The reason we shake hands has nothing to do with warmth or kindness and everything to do with mistrust. Just as we clink glasses so that if our companion has poisoned our drink he’ll get to drink some of his own poison (by virtue of contents slopping between glasses), we shake hands to check for concealed weapons.
This is one of those seminal inventions that can only work and ‘take off’ as a practical reality if you get a critical mass of people to take up the technology. In this article we look at some of the seemingly small, but vastly important, things that needed to happen in order for, what we take for granted today – the modern telephone system, to actually become a reality.
Guernsey folklore possess a rich set of superstitious tales, involving a variety of different supernatural beings, some helpful to the Guernsey folk, some not. In this article we look as a few of these “characters” that our ancestors were sure inhabited and stalked across the island.
As language evolves, new words are born and others die out. In this article we look at some delightful English words that time has forgotten.
Most of us will be familiar with the aches that seem to accompany the bouts of flu we sometimes contract, especially during the change of seasons. But why does our whole body ache, including bits that really shouldn’t like teeth & hair ?
Are you a Bibliophile, someone who loves books? If you are you’ll know the joy of buying, collecting, owning, (smelling?), touching and of course reading these textual marvels. As a bibliophime, is one of your favourite pecadillos the scent of a new book or the musky thrill of an old books smell? In this article we look at the chemistry behind that guilty little pleasure otherwise known as Bibliosmia.
When we picture Naval vessels in a historical context we often see them in some very fixed regonisable form we rarely think about them in their interim ‘ugly duckling’ phases. Such was the state of affairs when the naval first of the ‘The Battle of the Iron Clads’ occurred.
I expect that you’ve heard of ‘Doing the Hussle’ or maybe even ‘Doing the funky Chicken’ (they’re dances by the way), but what about ‘Doing the Medieval Walk’? No ?
Well, it’s not a dance craze but a real historic thing.
A valentine’s day conundrum for you : Why does an X stand for a kiss? and why do humans kiss anyway?
On the face of it there seems little hope of working out precisely how a 75ft long, 50 ton Brachiosaur fed itself. However it is possible to make a few guesstimates, by assuming the present laws of physics and chemistry applied 65 million years ago.
I’ve recently re-discovered the joy of the Slinky – one of the simplest of all children’s toys and yet, so beguiling, as it seems to defy the laws of physics by hinting at some sort of perpetual motion. So how on earth does this work?
As language evolves, new words are born and others die out. In this article we look at some delightful, slightly naughty English words that time has forgotten – maybe you could start your own mini language revival and begin using them in your everyday conversation !
Blue Monday is the name given to the day in January, typically the 3rd Monday of the month, that it is claimed is the most depressing day of the year. So is this a real thing or not … Urban Myth or Science Fact?
After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Norman French became the official language used at court and by the nobles. It was 300 years before ‘English’ became the official language of England. In Guernsey however the local people continued speaking Norman.
It took over 300 years of experimentation and refinement to arrive at the figure for the speed of light which we use as standard today. That being the case, the method proposed in this article for determining that speed yourself might seem more than a little surprising.