“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."
Donald Trump, January 2017
It seems that chaos appears with a sense of irony.
Rebellion. Insurrection. Lawlessness.
These are not words that one would normally associate with America.
As the scenes unfolded at Capitol Hill the entire fabric of a nation unraveled on live television. The saddest aspect of today's events was their inevitability. There is zero doubt that this violence was incited by Trump.
Lies and misinformation created the false hope that today Trump may have miraculously overturned his election defeat, that Mike Pence held a magic wand and could wrong the results of an election that has been deemed completely lawful despite every attempt to find irregularities. …
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 is said to have infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide — about one-third of the planet’s population — and led to the death of up to 50 million people. It is still the deadliest pandemic in history.
The laughably petulant actions of a spoilt brat that has lost their favourite toy continue, but Trump has done more than just disgrace himself. The repercussions of his non-existent humility and childish irresponsibility have brought the legitimacy of the democratic process into question once again.
The ongoing, groundless accusations of corruption have discredited the entire democratic model and tainted it with suspicion and mistrust. …
How COVID19 may save the species
Most people had never heard of pangolins before 2020, how a year changes things. Although their link to the spread of Covid-19 is still tenuous the fact remains that pangolins have been propelled to the forefront of our public interest in the most unusual way.
Pangolins look like otherworldly creatures from some bygone era and even among fellow mammals they appear completely out of place. Their bodies are almost completely covered by protective keratin scales making them resemble something that would look perfectly suited to prehistoric times. …
The mystery of the great footballer who defied the Nazis
To say that Matthias Sindelar is not universally well known would be an understatement. He played for FK Austria Vienna and the Austrian national team throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
His obscurity is even more perplexing given the fact that he was compared to Pele and many other football legends of the era. He was even once known at the time as “The Mozart of football” or Der Papierene (“The Paper Man”) for his speed and ability to seemingly float on the pitch.
Yet in a country not renowned for its incredible sporting talent it is inexplicable that there is no enduring memory of the man. No statues, plaques, no biopic, no exhibition, and most importantly, no conclusive investigation into his suspicious and sudden death. …
Monopoly and POW’s in the Second World War
Monopoly is not something immediately associated with the Second World War. However, this hugely popular household board game proved to be an invaluable tool in ensuring the freedom of imprisoned Allied pilots. It seems that ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ took on a literal meaning years ago.
Allied soldiers imprisoned in German POW camps were allowed to receive gifts under the Geneva Convention and, in particular, boardgames soared in popularity as they were permitted, along with packages from aid agencies that continued to operate in times of war. …
2020 has already been immortalised. It is a year that nobody will forget. However, when speaking of the worst year recorded in human history there are many to choose from:
The year 1349 saw the Black Death kill half the population of Europe.
In 1520 smallpox ravaged the Americas and killed between 60 and 90 per cent of the continents’ original inhabitants.
In 1918 the Spanish Flu led to the deaths of over 50 million people.
The rise of Hitler in 1933 is often claimed to be the turning point in modern history.
However, historians are unanimous in their choice. The title of the worst year in history is easily held by the year 536 AD. …
A terrible, hidden truth is finally revealed
The idea of a Nazi concentration camp on British territory is something unthinkable. However, a dark truth that has been concealed for years has now come to light.
It has been recently revealed that The British Channel Islands were the site of terrible atrocities that were completely hidden in official reports after the end of the Second World War.
During WWII, the island of Alderney — part of an archipelago between France and the United Kingdom — were the site of the only Nazi concentration camps built on British soil. Recently, archaeologists pieced together the story of Alderney’s camp, known as Lager Sylt, by using cutting edge mapping techniques and examining declassified satellite images. …
How Albert Camus can teach us about adversity and the current pandemic
Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”
― Albert Camus, The Plague
The Plague (1947) is a haunting account of a catastrophic pandemic that ravages through the fictitious town of Oran, told by the novel’s hero, Doctor Rieux. The novel evokes a sense of impending doom as the townsfolk fail to appreciate the gravity of the situation that is unfolding as rats appear more and more often and the pandemic worsens. …
The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishment’s hand. They make the racist secure in his racism.
Huey Newton (1968)
Violence has always been an inescapable part of human life. Like a shark from the depths below it appears without warning and is enacted by agents whose motives are often unknown.
The ongoing protests that are raging across America have once again brought violence to the forefront of our collective consciousness. It is easy to view the current situation as simply the explosion of rage against injustice but, as I have discussed in my previous article, the underlying factors that have led to the protests run much deeper. …