Book Review: No Bath But Plenty Of Bubbles: An Oral History of the Gay Liberation Front 1970-73 by Lisa Power

Book cover featuring a GLF protest.

The Gay Liberation Front dragged homosexuality out of the closet, onto the streets and into the public eye. Its London supporters held the first gay demonstrations, organized the first Pride march and ran the first public gay dances in Britain. The Front contained an alliance of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transsexuals long before ‘queer’ […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: Kindred - Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art by Rebecca Wragg Sykes

Book cover.

This is an amazingly detailed look at the life of Neanderthals. It covers their habits, habitats, and human-like behaviour. We get a full history of the science of Neanderthal studies, and an overview of the cutting edge laser-powered science that is happening today. It is slyly and subtly funny - with little pop culture call […]

Continue reading →

Why didn't Phonewords take off in the UK?

A black and white photo of an old rotary dial phone.

The first thing I did when getting to the USA as a kid, was to find a payphone where I dutifully called 1-800-STARWARS. I'd grown up with American media. Phonewords - where your phone's dialpad spells out words - were ingrained in my psyche. But the UK never had anything like that. In 2003, a […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: Black Tudors: The Untold Story - Miranda Kaufmann

A black trumpet player.

A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable stories of Africans who lived free in Tudor England… They […]

Continue reading →

By Act of Parliament 1603: One Mulberry Tree

Welcome to my descent into a mulberry-induced madness. As I was wandering through the quaint European town of Woodstock, I noticed a most intriguing plaque affixed to one of the houses. This seems like a curiously specific act to pass! This house is № 28 High Street - so why would Parliament pass an act […]

Continue reading →

Asymmetric Latency

I've just finished reading the most wonderful short story - Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang. In it, he speculates on what would happen if The Tower of Babel were completed. For those unfamiliar with the legend, it tells of a people who tried to build a tower tall enough to reach the heavens. The […]

Continue reading →

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park stands as a testament to the power of mathematics. It represents the idea that brains, not brawn, are vital to winning any conflict. Like many Brits, I learned about the Second World War at school. I devoured books - fiction and non - about the war. What interested me wasn't the tales of […]

Continue reading →