Textures of London

Textures of London

Last year, i actually got my arse in gear, and went to London. Good thing, that, considering the pandemic of 2020 ...
J. G. Ballard: Architecture of Decay

J. G. Ballard: Architecture of Decay

J.G. Ballard's novel High-Rise had been on my radar to read for many years, and I finally did so over the last month when I learnt it had been made into a movie by a film director whose movies I tend to seek out and watch (more on that in a moment). High-Rise is set ...
My hovercraft is full of eels: English as she is spoke

My hovercraft is full of eels: English as she is spoke

Pedro Carolino of Portugal holds the record for unintentional humour: in 1883 he wrote and English-Portugese phrasebook, The new guide of the conversation in Portuguese and English. It is widely held that Pedro spoke no english and the book is a feast of hilarity with incomprehensible sentences such as: He has toast his all good Exculpate ...
The Great Exhibition of 1851

The Great Exhibition of 1851

I was once walking around Crystal Palace Park, waiting for a movie festival to begin, when a man approached me and my friend and asked us if we had seen the dinosaurs. We were confused at first, but he quickly pointed at some massive and frankly strange-looking sculptures that were spread around the park. Only ...
The most boring day in history

The most boring day in history

April 18, 1930 On what should have been the news bulletin on good friday 1930, the BBC presenter said: "Good evening. Today is good friday. There is no news." then proceeded to play piano music. April 11, 1954 However. Computer programmer William Tunstall-Pedoe from Cambridge fed 300 million facts about events into a programme called ...
Cholera map, Broad street

Images in the time of cholera

In 1854 there was a cholera epidemic in London. The accepted theory at the time was that illness and epidemics spread through the "miasma", a form of "bad air", pollution and smell emanating from decomposing organic matter. The mechanics of germs was not understood. Dr. John Snow was sceptical to the miasma theory, but not entirely grasping germ mechanics, ...
Maps: the time and space of the Hereford cloth of the world

Maps: the time and space of the Hereford cloth of the world

Maps: the time and space of the Hereford cloth of the world The Hereford Mappa Mundi is one of the oldest know, complex map of the world (Mappa = cloth Mundi = world). It dates from about 1285, and are found in the Hereford cathedral. It depicts 420 towns, 15 Biblical events, 33 animals and ...