The Jolly Teapot

Freshly brewed links, served by Nicolas Magand

My name is Nicolas Magand and I live in Paris, France. I work as a social media and engagement editor at the Global Editors Network, a non-profit aimed at promoting innovation and sustainability in the news industry. Here I blog mostly about tech and media, but many other topics can face my enthusiasm.

Filtering by Tag: history

The coldest decade on record was caused by a series of volcanic eruptions

Fascinating article by Ann Gibbons, writing for Science, about what a team of researchers learned from analysing polar ice cores, and matching their results with historical records:

At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, when another signal in the ice—a spike in airborne lead—marks a resurgence of silver mining.

The title of the article Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’ could not have been more on point. Now you have to wonder: What if such eruptions were to happen in our times?

My least favourite quote from my favourite writer

There it is, in all its gory glory:

At Torquay’s Town Hall hospital, she cared for the seriously wounded, assisted in operations and cleaned up after amputations. “I would wash [away] all the blood,” she later wrote, “and stick [the limb] in the furnace myself.”

'She' in the text here is Agatha Christie. She was a volunteer nurse during the first World War and an apothecary’s assistant during the second World War. Such experiences obviously influenced her writing, especially the use of poison for the murders in her books. A great read on the Guardian.