Behind every nursery rhyme is a history and story that’s every bit intriguing as the rhyme itself : Three Blind Mice; Mary Mary Quite Contrary; Pease-pudding Hot; Little Miss Muffet; Little Jack Horner
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Cracker. That extra piece of trimming that helps make up the Christmas table with it’s paper hats, silly (sometimes usefull) gifts and jokes and mottos that we all like to groan at. Here we look at how the man behind this tradition, Tom Smith, developed them.
Guernsey Patois is a very ancient tongue indeed. A descecdant of old Norman French and developed in splendid isolation within the island it has become a true ‘language apart’.
Punctuation really does add more meaning to the written word than we often give these little characters credit for. But when was punctuation first used in any language ?
Writing – The invention that enabled science and knowledge to flourish. However it seems that is wasn’t invented for prose or love poems or literature but for the more mundane and prosaic task of taxation and bookkeeping.
From prostitution to dealing on the stock exchange, trading has been around for tens of thousands of years. But when did mankind move from a barter system to exchanging goods for bits of metal and paper ?
Rubber is a unique a wonderous material. However processing the raw latex into a durable and useful form proved very difficult. Charles Goodyear was a man obsessed with it. Here’s an account of his struggle.
It may surprise you to know that the origin of the modern moggie, one of the mysteries of veterinary science, has only very recently been solved by researchers.
Such a small thing, as symbols go, but it can make all the difference in meaning and understanding when used in a sentence. But wher did it come from ?
Emoticons … those little smiley characters crop up everywher , texts emails , twitters. They instantly convey a whole gammat of meaning. Today you even get some representing Elvis, a rose and Homer Simpson. But who invented them and when ?
The screw thread … a simple device that cranked technology to new levels. Without the humble screw thread our world would literally fall apart.
We use them everyday to order our lives to record, analyse and make sense of things. We’re talking about the days and months of the year. What are their origins ? You may be surprised in that they all have origins deep within our pagan past.
It may surprise you to know that Rudolph the red nosed reindeer is not all that he seems. Here we discuss the origins of the most mercurial of all Santa’s reindeer.
We all think we know how fireworks and gunpowder came about … but here we look at really how they came about.