Modern health authorities combating the Ebola virus in West Africa might look into the past for inspiration. During the medieval period and into the early 20th century, plague—The Black Death—was a feared and incurable infection, spreading rapidly through Europe along trade routes. As a result, authorities in port cities through the ages were especially vigilant […]Read more "Infection Control 600 Years Before the CDC"
One of the world’s most famous self-portraits is going on rare public display in the northern Italian city of Turin. Very little is known about the 500-year-old, fragile, fading red chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci but some believe it has mystical powers. There is a myth in Turin that the gaze of Leonardo da […]Read more "The Leonardo hidden from Hitler in case it gave him magic powers"
The events surrounding the 1956 Hungarian Revolution are closely linked to my family. My grandparents and my father fled Hungary after the revolution to settle and build a new life in Canada. The events in Hungary demonstrated to the world the true face of communist oppression in Eastern Europe, and ripped a hole in the […]Read more "The Hungarian Revolution of 1956: The Event that Shook the World"
A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two […]Read more "Discovery of two vessels from WWII convoy battle off North Carolina"
A transgender singer hits stardom in Baghdad. Officials scramble to impose order after a Kuwaiti restaurant is found to be selling cat meat. Gulf royals on an official visit to London are left marooned in a drab south London suburb because of a shortage of hotel rooms in the West End. These are some of […]Read more "Tales from the India Office"
The new Museum of the History of Polish Jews will intensify the debate about how museums should think about depicting issues of national identity. From the 1600s until 1939 Poland was the global centre of the Jewish people, home to the world’s largest Jewish population and its greatest nexus of religious, cultural and political activity. Yet […]Read more "Shtetl of honour"
A complex political satire written almost 500 years ago doesn’t seem like an obvious candidate for viral success, but its unusual pronunciation has struck a chord online. The poem, called Speke, Parrot, was written in the sixteenth century by an Englishman named John Skelton. A group of students at a Dutch university set the poem […]Read more "History gone viral: The 500-year-old poem that captivated Reddit"