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Have you ever been part of an actual news event?  Most of us have.  Did you think that the way it was reported accurately represented what happened?  Unless you were the reporter I doubt that you did.  Yet we daily read, or watch on TV, this approximation of events and accept it as if it was true.   Indeed, if you ask ten independent witnesses or participants you are famously likely to get ten versions or perspectives.

Before engaging in the recollections, reminiscences and gossip we call 'History' it's a good idea to forewarn readers or interlocutors with a disclaimer. 

The text should contain phrases like 'and so we agreed'; 'as I remember'; 'that's what I was told'; 'according to a witness'; and 'so the official version claims'. 

The disclaimer should make it clear that none of these confirm incontrovertibly what actually happened.  That someone believes something to be true does not make it true.  Worse, it is possible that they may say it without believing or meaning it, they may be concocting imaginatively or lying, and this may be indistinguishable to us from true belief or honest intent.

Irrespective of any historical account, what actually happened irrevocably changed the future; our more recent past; and our present.  There are world changing events occurring all the time because that's what 'time' is.  Most of these pass unremarked, unnoticed by 'history'.  As I have repeatedly asserted you would not be reading this now if what actually happened had not gone exactly as it did.  And you would not be here at all if the exact past had not been as it was to the moment of your conception.  This depended as much on 'historical' events, like Hitler and the Jewish holocaust; or the impact of Isaac Newton or Genghis Kahn as it depends on your ancestor slipping on the bathroom floor or their disappointment in a meal. 

For a more detailed argument follow this link...

But 'History', the story told and agreed by the 'winner' retrospective to an event, is independently relevant in so far as it alters the behaviour of those that act afterwards.  History as a story, true or not, about an event influences perceptions and future decisions. 


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Bridge over the River Kwai



In 1957-58 the film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai‘ was ground breaking.  It was remarkable for being mainly shot on location (in Ceylon not Thailand) rather than in a studio and for involving the construction and demolition of a real, fully functioning rail bridge.   It's still regarded by many as one of the finest movies ever made. 

One of the things a tourist to Bangkok is encouraged to do is to take a day trip to the actual bridge.

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Fiction, Recollections & News




Jordan Baker and Jeff Purser were married on Saturday 3rd of December 2011. The ceremony took place on the cliff top at Clovelly.

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Opinions and Philosophy

The Chemistry of Life


What you should know

Most of us already know: that an atom is the smallest division of matter that can take part in a chemical reaction; that a molecule is a structure of two or more atoms; and that life on Earth is based on organic molecules: defined as those molecules that contain carbon, often in combination with hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, and may include other elements like sodium, calcium, phosphorous and iron.  

Organic molecules can be extremely large.  Familiar extremely large organic molecules include plastics like polyethylene and many proteins, like spider web.

Chromosomes are structures within the cells of animals and plants consisting of very large molecules of  DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid).   DNA stores and replicates information. It encodes the genes used by all complex living organisms on Earth to reproduce and function. 

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