ArchiveDecember 2019

Lead poisoning and the Roman empire


Lead poisoning may have helped to destroy the Roman Empire. Lead poisoning most probably afflicted the majority of Roman emperors, including for instance Claudius, Caligula, and Nero, who drank wine flavoured with syrup made in lead pots. Lead poisoning causes gout, but also lead to organ, tissue, and brain problems—severe symptoms that affected so many emperors that it is likely that it...

Red Lights for the Church – the “prosperity gospel”


‘Red lights’ for the Church – The ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Source: unknown William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, who lived in the last century, made this interesting remark: “One of the greatest dangers for the Church in the 21st Century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration...

Yazidi women restored to their families


In the honour-shame culture of the Middle East, if a woman is raped, it brings shame upon the family, and they have a duty to kill her. In 2014, ISIS invaded villages in northern Iraq and took thousands of Yazidi and Christian women as sex slaves. But as ISIS fell apart more recently, those women were able to escape. They could not go home because they would be killed. One Yazidi man had five...

First-time rejections


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling: The first Harry Potter book was turned down by multiple publishers, including Penguin and HarperCollins. Animal Farm by George Orwell: If T.S. Eliot had had his way, Animal Farm would never have seen the light of day. As the head of publisher Faber and Faber, Eliot called the manuscript “unconvincing.” Chicken Soup for...

Fleming and the drowning boy


His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.  There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death...