Category Archives: Technology

The defeat of cholera

New epidemic diseases are always terrifying.1 Cholera arrived in Britain in 1832 when Britain didn’t have a medical-scientific infrastructure to cope. Favoured explanations for cholera were Miasma, (roughly, ‘bad air’), moral turpitude and God’s anger. Victorian Britain’s rationalists looked for … Continue reading

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Alexey Stakhanov: the most famous coal miner in history

  Stalin introduced a whirlwind of industrialisation in a series of Five Year Plans beginning in 1928. These plans centralised control of every part of industrial production. Every mine had productivity targets which had to be met or exceeded. This … Continue reading

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Where is my Tardis?

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People and computers: three jokes

Playing chess against a computer A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. A lightbulb problem Q: How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. It’s … Continue reading

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A plumbing lesson at Sir Philip Magnus School in 1960

I attended this school from the age of eleven until sixteen (1955–1960). It was a very good school with its students split into two streams: a) for academics and b) for building trades). I was in the ‘b’ stream. My … Continue reading

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A telephone family

Chris

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The Wehrmacht’s use of horses in the Polish and Soviet Union campaigns 1939-44

Blitzkreig attacks were a logistical impossibility on the eastern front, which meant the Polish experience couldn’t be repeated. Germany relied on the Soviet Union for oil supplies, which ceased with their invasion. The wehrmacht’s early successes were a ‘winner’s curse’ … Continue reading

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