Having written about one of the favourite soft drinks of my childhood the other day, I was reminded of the Vimto Book for Scholars, subtitled Knowledge is Power, that was a prized possession when I was young.

I had several copies over the years, but can't recall how you went about getting one – I think they were simply given away in the local sweet shop every now and then. Read more ›››

V is for Vimto

A deviation from my normal ABC Wednesday format this week as I write about a something, rather than a someone. And that something is Vimto which I couldn't resist as our V week coincides sweetly with the first week of Ramadan.

For those who have never come across Vimto before, it is a soft drink, or cordial, made from white grapes, raspberries and blackberries, flavoured with a secret mix of herbs and spices. Read more ›››

I haven't added much to the universal outpouring of sadness at the death of Muhammad Ali, apart from a short mention in my Sunday Round-up, mainly because others can do him justice better than I can, but I had to include a short post on something that passed me by at the time.

In 1978, DC comics published what must go down as the greatest fictional bout of all time – Muhammad Ali versus Superman. Read more ›››

There doesn't seem to be a week that goes by without an anniversary of some sort to remind me of just how old I'm getting. And here's another. Fifty years ago today saw Till Death Us Do Part air on the BBC for the first time.

Actually, that's not strictly true. The characters first appeared in the Comedy Playhouse pilot Till Death... in 1965, but let's not quibble. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

The last trump: He has helped our understanding of space and time, but even Stephen Hawking finds it a lot harder to explain Donald Trump.

And while some sport ‘Trump 2016: Make America Great Again’  and ‘I’m with Hillary’ bumper stickers, others take a more jaundiced view of the presidential election. Read more ›››

Mob Justice

The death of Harambe the gorilla is the latest example of trial by social media as the motley hordes of the interweb sharpen their pitchforks and light their torches in readiness to march on the parents' house in the mood for blood.

Apart from the seething anger and demands that the parents pay for this tragic incident, others have gone further and issued chilling anonymous threats against the couple. Read more ›››

Umberto Nobile was an Italian pioneer of aviation and was the first to fly across the polar icecap from Europe to America, and also the first to fly to the North Pole itself.

Born in Lauro in southern Italy in 1885, Umberto graduated from the University of Naples with degrees in both industrial and electrical engineering and he first worked on the state railway. Read more ›››

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