Science, Medicine, and Monsters by Jessica Roberts

I am discussing some of the most enduring monsters of nineteenth-century fiction in contemporary medical terms and revealing the relevant scientific events behind the texts.

Part One: Frankenstein

Firstly, Frankenstein written in 1818 by Mary Shelley, wife of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The idea for this novel famously came about when the Shelleys, along with Byron and his doctor Polidori, were at Lake Geneva and one dark stormy night challenged each other to write a ghost story. Polidori’s novel The Vampyre also came out of this literary experiment. Read more…

Blood and Blood Substitutes by Abigail Kraft

From the age of fourteen, I have worked in emergency medicine. Few people can say that; most of them are from the same town where I grew up: Darien, Connecticut. There, the town’s emergency medical services, Darien EMS – Post 53, are run almost entirely by teenagers. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it was the best of ideas, it was the worst of ideas – on the one hand, I have had the kind of experiences in medicine that most people my age can only dream of; on the other hand, well, I’ve had the kind of experiences in medicine that most people my age can only dream of.
A lot of these experiences center around blood, which, to someone with the background I have in medieval history, only makes sense. Blood, as Aryeh Shander points out when discussing transfusion, is one of the four humors that medieval doctors believed governed the body, along with black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. Read more…

Coordinator: David Hughes

David ‘Aphid’ Hughes is one of the future-shocked who is finding his place in a world he tries hard to understand. He has spent most of his time in pubs and is a great example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. A sociable Henry’s cat with a moustache and a bald head. He has many ideas and concepts and is looking for the right people to throw them at.  David cofounded Glasgow Ragged University producing a range of events across a variety of venues.
“I saw my place in the Ragged University as an enabler, bringing together venues, groups and individuals as well as subjects topics and experiences to form areas of society where ideas, discussions, projects and relationships can flourish and be challenged…
Read more…

London: Palatine Bar

The Palatine Bar in Shacklewell London is a new and developing venue with a focus on great music and quality real ales brought in from micro brewerys Brodie’s of Leyton and Ha’penny of Ilford. An arts bar with a relaxed atmosphere it is becoming increasingly popular with the locals of Shacklewell, especially creative types with paintings by local artists adorning the walls of the bar.  Read more…

Community Open Online Courses: Create Your Own MOOC

My thoughts on Community Open Online Courses – COOCs – is that it is a vitally needed platform and resource for the enablement of knowledge sharing as well as personal and group development. Increasingly the production of knowledge is being coopted by market values which is resulting in the narrowing of who gets to make meaning, and who gets valued in our culture for having created public content. Read more…

Paths, Parks and Pencil: The Background Story by Adele Gregory

I think I was still a teenager when I saw a strange and wonderful film called “The Swimmer”. In it wealthy suburbanite Burt Lancaster makes his way home from a party not by the streets or pavements but by swimming through the pools in his neighbours’ backyards. The possibility of finding adventure in unusual routes through familiar territory has intrigued with me ever since.
Decades later I decided to try it for myself but with parks rather than pools (a better choice in Edinburgh). I wondered how many parks I could traverse between St Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood and Portobello Beach (I managed five: Holyrood, Meadowfield, Baronscourt [now alotments], Figgate, Rosefield).  Read more…