Masters of War

I first heard this only this year. Written by Bob Dylan, this live version by Julie Felix is my favourite, perhaps because I heard it first, and perhaps became it seems to have more passion than her recorded track. And as often, though Dylan can be peerless as a songwriter, I prefer others’ performances. Though…

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How much can we afford to forget, if we train machines to remember?

Read the full essay at Aeonhttps://aeon.co/ideas/how-much-can-we-afford-to-forget-if-we-train-machines-to-remember “As the internet grows ever more powerful and comprehensive, why bother to remember and retain information? If students can access the world’s knowledge on a smartphone, why should they be required to carry so much of it around in their heads?” Gene TracyChancellor professor of physics at William &…

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‘He Do the Police in Different Voices’: On Speech and Language Policing

Originally posted on Jeanne de Montbaston:
“And I’ll tell you another thing about the way women don’t Talk Proper …”Filippo Lippi, Man and Woman at a Casement. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to speak, as T. S. Eliot puts it, ‘in different voices’. We…

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Thomas Savery, and a new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion by the impellent force of fire

Thomas Newcomen and James Watt are the names I think of regarding early steam engine development. Yet, it was a Thomas Savery, who on July 2nd, 1698 first patented the idea of an early steam ‘engine’, or perhaps more precisely its direct predecessor since it had no moving parts. It was as Savery explained: “A new invention…

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The Chilwell catastrophe: Fatal explosion on the home front

It is the pictures of the vast warehouses of shells, six hundred thousand of them, that is most shocking: that they could all be fired in just two or three days. Heritage Calling On 1 July 1918, at 7.10pm, a catastrophic explosion tore through the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire. The blast killed…

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Tower Bridge: Happy Birthday!

Combined Bascule and Suspension Bridge Tower Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1894. I have long been enchanted by it: as a fascinating piece of engineering it is the only combined bascule and suspension bridge I’ve seen; and as a monumental piece of Victorian Gothic architecture. I first saw it as a child,…

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What’s the Difference Between England, Britain and the U.K.?

As explained by the Smithsonian Institute. Which of all the US, (American, or is it USA?) organisations is right up there with NASA as an all time favourite of mine. Many years back I spent a blissfully happy time exploring its Air and Space Museum. I had seen images or copies of grand breaking aircraft,…

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