From the Yale Blog

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John Dalton: Tiny pieces of matter

May 21, 2013

Who discovered the atom? Nowadays it’s completely unremarkable to hear someone talk about atoms, but there was a time when they were not understood at all. In fact, before John Dalton’s pioneering work in the development of modern atomic th …

Bertrand Russell: Is the Present King of France Bald?

May 18, 2013

On this day in 1872, a boy was born in Wales who would later grow up to pose many perplexing questions to the rest of the world. His name was Bertrand Russell, and he is remembered today as an important British philosopher, logician, mathematician, his …

The Philosopher’s Stone

May 6, 2013

If you could turn your aluminium Coca-Cola can into gold, would you? You probably would, but if everybody could do it, it wouldn’t be quite so amazing since gold would become common and not worth much. The old Greek myth of King Midas, who was gr …

What’s In A Name?

April 30, 2013

Have you ever wondered where names come from? Why is it that people commonly have two names? Are people with the name Armstrong always really talented weightlifters? In A Little Book of Language,  expert David Crystal delves into the history of etymolo …

Alfred Wegener: A Shifting World

April 29, 2013

There are few things more rewarding than completing a difficult jigsaw puzzle. Alfred Wegener was a prominent scientist  and geologist who solved one of the biggest puzzles on Earth, he suggested a theory called ‘Continental Drift’ which ex …

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Language Games

April 26, 2013

‘Passionate, profound, intense and dominating’, was how Bertrand Russell described the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. If you had found yourself at one of the seminars Ludwig held in Cambridge in 1940 you might well agree. Wittgenstein was …

Confucius: Living Together in Harmony

April 25, 2013

Confucius – or K’ung Fut-zu, as he was called in Chinese – was a philosopher who proposed some ideas that seem very simple, which might be the reason why he is still so popular today. What he taught was this: outward appearances are more important than …

World Book Night: A Celebration of Reading, featuring Yale’s ‘A Little History of the World’ by E. H. Gombrich

April 23, 2013

Yale announces a brand new website for our Little History family of books, to celebrate  our bestselling Little History of the World being selected to be part of World Book Night 2013. World Book Night UK on April 23rd is a celebration of reading and b …

Max Planck: Introducing the Quantum

April 23, 2013

Albert Einstein is a name that most people recognise, but did you know that Albert was a big fan of a fellow scientist called Max Planck? The winner of the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics, Planck discovered some fascinating things about science and the wor …

How to Have a Conversation

April 22, 2013

Have you ever wondered how people learned to have conversations? Why don’t we all speak at the same time? Why do we speak at the same time when we argue?! With a language disappearing every two weeks and new words springing up almost daily, it …