Monthly Archives: December 2014

Mynde the Gappe: A Medieval Twist on the London Underground

ever let it be said that the folks at Londonist want their readers unprepared for any contingency. For example: what if you exited the Tube at Green Park one night and found yourself standing next to the 11th Century leper hospital of St. James the Less? Rather than panic, you could just pull out their handy Medieval Tube Map, and you’d be good to go….somewhere. Drawing on the Domesday survey of 1086 and early histories of London, Londonist created this whimsical […]

Peg Away And Keep Smiling: The “Santa Claus” Ship Brings Christmas To War-Torn Europe

epending on how you look at it, “The Santa Claus Ship” was either a Christmas miracle or an exercise in audacity. When Lilian Bell and James Keeley called on the children of America to give up their money and their toys and their time to send Christmas to Europe, they made a promise that they would get the donations on a ship, send it into the heart of the war zone, and get each precious gift into the hand of […]

The Vision Splendid: How One Woman Sent 7 Million Christmas Presents To WWI Europe

itting in front of a fan in the heat of late August, novelist Lilian Bell was thinking about Christmas. War had broken out in Europe a month earlier. Casualties were mounting. She found herself obsessing on how desolate it would be when the poor and orphaned children faced their first wartime holiday. Suddenly, she was struck by “The Vision Splendid.” Why couldn’t the children of America be moved to give the children of Europe a proper Christmas? The words of […]

Magnificent, But Not War: What A British Grocery Chain’s World War I-Themed Commercial Says About Historical Memory

ast month, the British grocery giant, Sainsbury’s, debuted its official holiday commercial: Christmas Is For Sharing. Based on an episode that has come to be called The Christmas Truce, Christmas Is For Sharing is an exercise in synergy. Capitalizing on a wave of nostalgia accompanying the start of the centennial of the First World War, Sainsbury’s partnered with the Royal British Legion, a support organization for former servicemen, for technical expertise in the making of the commercial. In return, Sainsbury’s […]

Ada Lovelace Is 199 Years Young Today

“I am more than ever now the bride of science…”   In honor of #AdaLovelaceDay, a brief round-up of some of the great recent commentary on her life and legacy: Ada Lovelace paved the way for Alan Turing’s more celebrated codebreaking a century before he was born (The Telegraph) How Ada Lovelace became famous again. (i09) “Ada Lovelace Exam” proposed as alternative to Turing Test, computers everywhere are hella stoked (The Mary Sue) Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, […]