Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nazi view of Slavs parallels contemporary Allied view of aboriginals

The Nazis are best known for killing peoples they felt were actively seeking to harm them and civilization's road to progress.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

'calvinistic' genetic predestination selects the few worthy --- or HGT's 'catholic' transfer of genetic salvation to all ?

Dr Martin Henry Dawson, the Canadian who gave humanity the boon of  'public domain penicillin-for-all' in the teeth of fierce opposition from the likes of Sir Alexander Fleming and Sir Howard Florey, was raised well within the long-forgotten atmosphere of fervent Calvinist evangelical missionary efforts that peaked in the very decades of his youth, just before the Great War.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Boyd Woodruff, possibly last of the decision-makers from the early days of penicillin research, dies at 99

Possibly the last of the decision making participants from the pioneering days of wartime penicillin (I am talking basically pre mid 1943) has died.

There are almost certainly still people alive who were very young patients from the earliest days of penicillin or who merely followed orders while working on some penicillin production line but I do not know who they are.

But Boyd Woodruff had a powerful role in the earliest days of antibiotics while still basically an undergraduate - that and his very long life made him a rare living link to events that we know can only know second hand, as history not journalism.

I knew he was still alive, still mentally active, knew his phone number and home address since 2005, but I always was too shy to call him and ask him what he recalled personally of Dr Dawson's parallel penicillin efforts.

Sigh....

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

did Pfizer boss John L Smith and penicillin pioneer Dr MH Dawson EVER actually meet ?

I have found no evidence, yet, that the two people most responsible for making penicillin WWII's only 'Good News Story' ever actually met in person -- or even ever talked over the phone.

Despite working only a few miles apart in New York City!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Potemkin Presidency : the power of the Big Lie remains timeless

At the very least, this generation of school kids will no longer have to gape in disbelief as to how so many people were unwilling to believe Hitler's often repeated blood-curdling racist threats and so willing to con themselves into believing he was just saying them to help 'swing a deal' that would satisfy German demands over Versailles and placate its neighbours.

For they have the billionaire President-to-be Donald Trump before them : assembling the richest and most right wing Cabinet ever in American history, all the while claiming he is out for the ordinary six pack working stiff.

An American patriot --- or Putin's Poddle ?

Hard on the Chinese ---- or a willing-to-cut-them-a-sweet-deal Manchurian Candidate?

The Trump family has made it to the top by fabricating fake golfing and vacationing Potemkin Villages*, and by fabricating Fake News and Fake Political stances : fake, fake, fake : and a new generation of gullible parents and grandparents swallow it wholesale,  in 2016 as in 1936 ....

*Scottish political boss Alex Salmond becoming his generation's Neville Chamberlain when he got down on his knees to swallow that particular Big Whopper.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Viola Desmond triumph will boost Kellie Leitch campaign

why we all failed to predict the triumph of the TRUMP counter reaction to Obama's moves towards greater tolerance 


I won't go as far as to call it a law of political science ----because I don't believe such 'laws' can exist ----- but generally, we can say that for every official gesture towards greater tolerance there is almost always a massively angry, if sullenly quiet, popular counter-reaction from about half of the population.

And having an united quietly sullen half of the population on your side is more than enough to get yourself elected -- just ask President-to-be Donald Trump.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

a team of two 4Fs & a woman, working unfunded in three little rooms, couldn't possibly be worth 'a hill of beans', not set against the bigness of WWII

But then you never know, do you ?

Because ten billion of us already, since 1940, have led healthier happier lives because of those three's dogged efforts eventually inspiring a lot of others to join in.

Emergent Modernity is all about an interconnecting humanity, that even when it is open to anything and everything, is still always unexpectedly surprised....

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Music on the radio Dawson's chief pleasure as he worked at night

Radio was much much bigger than movies in the supposed golden age of movie theatres.

imagining the typical thoughts of typical people

Imagining the particular thoughts of particular individuals is not something historians can do and still be regarded as historians.

Dal Medical Library is my best friend

If we see a fly-on-the-wall documentary regarding the thirty six hour visit of a major European president to President Clinton ; a documentary film in which we see Clinton charm the visiting VIP publicly but then privately tells his aides, "Oh God, he just never stopped talking !!", we are likely to feel we have gotten an accurate account of the visit, based on what we already know about the public and private Clinton.

Robert E Hoyt loses as Official Histories (and their arse-licking sycophants) 'disappear' more people than Argentina's Dirty War ever did

It now seems clear that the Washington bureaucratical fallout cum panic from Robert E Hoyt's early 1943 decision to stop making DIY penicillin for Frank Queen's patients at Bingham military hospital led directly to the decision to bring in the WPB (War Production Board) into the penicillin story.

Monday, November 28, 2016

the libretto to a hospital drama, with background radio music

A melodrama (melo-drama), it is worth remembering, was originally any sort of spoken word drama with background instrumental and vocal music off.