Centralia: the 60-year-old fire

Nearly 60 years ago a coal mine fire began under the borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania. It continues to burn today. Now an abandoned near-ghost town, the fire could burn for over 250 years. It is thought that the fire began when, in May 1962, residents used an old strip mine on the edge of Centralia... Continue Reading →

I Was Dancing When I Was 8-legged: Tarantulas and Dancing Plagues

Yes, that title is a T.Rex reference. And, as Marc Bolan sings, he “danced out of the womb”, and so our story begins with a term originating from that word... The etymology of the term hysteria comes from the Greek word hysterika or Latin hystericus, meaning uterus or “of the womb”, and thus the diagnosis... Continue Reading →

The Birdman of Stirling Castle

During the reign of King James IV of Scotland (a theme in my recent blog posts it seems!), around the early 16th Century, there was a court member by the name of John Damian de Falcuis – dubbed The Birdman of Stirling. Image: Stirling Castle. viewed from Raploch Road, StirlingImage Credit: DeFacto, Wikimedia Commons An... Continue Reading →

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