Tagged: History

Volcanoes, plague, famine and endless winter: Welcome to 536, what historians and scientists believe was the ‘worst year to be alive’ - News

Guest Author Feb 04, 2022

Miles Pattenden, Australian Catholic University It’s only February and already 2022 is shaping up badly. A huge volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga, the prospect of war with Russia, the ongoing pandemic (and its economic disruptions). And that’s even before we touch on Chinese sabre-rattling over Taiwan or Sex and the City’s disastrous reboot. Welcome to the New Year: … Read More

Endless itching: how Anzacs treated lice in the trenches with poetry and their own brand of medicine - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 26, 2021

Georgia McWhinney, Macquarie University We think we know a lot about Australian and New Zealand soldiers’ health in the first world war. Many books, novels and television programs speak of wounds and war doctors, documenting the work of both Anzac nations’ medical corps. Often these histories begin with front-line doctors — known as regimental medical officers — who first … Read More

Forensics and ship logs solve a 200-year mystery about where the first kiwi specimen was collected - Hot off the press

Guest Author Apr 14, 2021

Paul Scofield, University of Canterbury and Vanesa De Pietri, University of Canterbury The flightless kiwi is an iconic bird for New Zealanders, but all five species are threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators. Recent genomic analysis focused on one species, the South Island brown kiwi or tokoeka, suggests several as yet undescribed lineages. Before these can be fully … Read More

The speeds of life - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 08, 2020

  Many people think that the speed of change today is unprecedented. That’s just because we have short memories. Historians focused on Western civilisation, like Vaclav Smil, point back to the late 19th and early 20th Century when electricity, radio, the telegraph, telephone, phonograph, cars, planes, anaesthetics, and (a bit later) antibiotics emerged. Smil … Read More

Revolutionary cycles - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 14, 2019

Like business and politics, futurism and foresight are susceptible to short-termism, shallow historical perspectives, and a focus on parts not the whole. That’s not necessarily bad, but you need to recognise what perspective you are taking. Good foresight needs to balance the tension between detail and distance. As one interviewee noted for the Thinking the unthinkable report: … Read More

Numbering our New Years - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Dec 31, 2018

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] New Year is coming in a few hours (as I write), at least on the calendar used as the global standard. Not everyone counts years in quite the same way, though.     It takes most of us a week or two to get used to the number of the year having changed. In the … Read More

And so this is Christmas… - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Dec 19, 2018

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] The date of Christmas is a matter many find confusing, and yet the adopted anniversary is easy to understand if you follow through the history, astronomy and human biology that are involved.  Why is the Nativity commemorated on December 25th, when it is clear Jesus was not actually born on that date? And how can … Read More