The history of the world, for a long time, was the history of great people. Mostly great men. It focused on singular individuals and seldom mentioned common people. Preferring to recount historical events from the perspective of leaders.
I learn today a manuscript of Isaac Newton’s is being offered by Bonhams.. The two page manuscript is based on Tumulus Pestis [The Tomb of the Plague] by Jan Baptist van Helmont, a Flemish physician who treated victims during the Antwerp plague of 1605. Van Helmont’s writing on chemistry was not only influential on Newton and Robert Boyle, but he invented the word ‘gas’ and demonstrated that other gases exist which are distinct from atmospheric air.
ICON_PLACEHOLDEREstimated reading time: 5 minutes
I know I know… you don’t need to shout it I am not so superannuated that I am deaf to your cries. Months I can hear you say, without so much as a drunken ramble or intellectual fart on this blog and then in my first two words I have blasphemed, thereby offending the bulk of the worlds population and sending that little man at the end of my road into an apoplectic spin as he lurches between picketing my drive with signs predicting hell fire will rain down on Sydney and taking matters into his own hands and immolating me on the spot, in an attempt to save mankind. The atheists among you, or those would be atheists who are too timid to actually commit to this belief for fear of social ostracism, are probably chortling into your cups.
ICON_PLACEHOLDEREstimated reading time: 4 minutes
The satirical ‘Yes Prime Minister’ quipped about international organizations:
Hacker: But surely we’re all committed to the European ideal?Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the United Nations, in fact; the more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up, the more futile and impotent it becomes.Hacker: What appalling cynicism.Sir Humphrey: Yes… We call it diplomacy, Minister.