The amazing story of the mysterious magic lantern

The bulb blew with a loud pop. Angry at the darkening screen, the father ordered his disappointed children to bed. There would be no pictures from that magic lantern tonight. Next day, he walked from his panelled office several blocks to a less prosperous part of town. There he mounted the bare stairs to enter a shop marked ‘Thomas Wills & Son, Lantern & Cine … Continue reading The amazing story of the mysterious magic lantern

The Tree

The tree remembered being planted in the churchyard those many summers ago. For he saw the young daughter of the squire slipping in a copy of that new book on ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to wile away the long sermon. This blissful rural scene was oblivious to the battles being fought on land and sea to fence in the tyrant Napoleon. The tree brought to mind the … Continue reading The Tree

Showing Rank

Does our clothes show our wealth and status? Well it did in medieval China. Back then the garments and materials you wore were clearly laid down so that rank and social position was obvious. Those who were at the lower end of the spectrum wore clothing made from hemp and other vegetable fibres. But as you rose up the hierarchy you got to the silk … Continue reading Showing Rank

Locomotion–changed the World

It is not everyday, we see something that has genuinely changed the world. But today I did and it is called Locomotion. Nowadays, it looks distinctly ‘old hat’ yet as Pete Waterman explains, when it was first seen in action it must have been as exciting and frightening as the Space Shuttle. Nevertheless, when its inventor George Stephenson let loose this contraption on the unsuspecting … Continue reading Locomotion–changed the World

Here and Now

Picture courtesy of Rome.info This week will see an ever increasing attention on Rome by the world. Since Papal conclaves naturally fascinate the faithful and the unbeliever in almost equal measure. More to the point for today is that the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church will have a global influence on the future of the whole Christian Church not least in the way … Continue reading Here and Now

Ghost on Royal Deeside

There can be no more beautiful stretch of country in Scotland than Deeside. And there, presiding over its eastern end, is the ancient fortified tower of Castle Crathes. With its estates almost ‘check and jowl’ with those of Balmoral and one of its rooms still displaying the splendid  bone horn given to the family by King Robert the Bruce after the Battle of Bannockburn., this … Continue reading Ghost on Royal Deeside