Sign in

Freelance Writer, Author. Lives in Asia. Or email: Top writer in History and Culture.
Photo by Daniel Vogel on Unsplash

In 2013, at a press conference in London, food technician Peter Verstrate and scientist Mark Post unveiled the first ‘cultured’ beef burger. It cost £215,000 (around US$295,000) and had taken them seven years to make. It was a start.

Her name was Tibbles

Photo by Piotr Musioł on Unsplash

In 1894, David Lyall became the assistant lighthouse keeper on Stephens Island, a remote place at the northernmost tip of New Zealand’s South Island. The lighthouse and outpost had just opened, and even though there were sixteen others moving in, Lyall foresaw some lonely times ahead.

Lyall discovers a new species

Lyall was a naturalist and was keen to examine the native species of the island. Twice he caught glimpses of a small bird he described as a ‘rock wren’. …

The hoax revealed Barnum’s genius for press manipulation and publicity

By Daderot — Own work, Public Domain,

In early 1822, an American captain called Samuel Eades and his crew rescued sailors from a sinking Dutch merchant ship. They also managed to save an item of cargo that fascinated Eades — the stuffed body of a dead mermaid the Dutch crew had bought from a Japanese fisherman.

Jack the baboon worked for the South African railway for nine flawless years

Jumper, Jack, the signal levers and the trolley. Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

In the late 19th Century, a railway signalman called James Edwin ‘Jumper’ Wide worked for the South African railways as a guard in a town called Uitenhage. He got his nickname from his dangerous habit of jumping or swinging from one railcar to another.

To win the civil war, the future Emperor Augustus used some very underhanded tactics

Photo by iam_os on Unsplash

Fake news seems to be everywhere these days. But it is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, there have been numerous examples of notable people stretching the truth and either exaggerating or flat-out lying about their rivals or their own achievements.

She was also arrested, her head shaved, and narrowly avoided execution

Madame Tussaud self-portrait waxwork Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marie Tussaud is world-renowned for her waxwork museums. She was an incredible wax sculptress, and her ability to capture famous likenesses led to her fame. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is her remarkable story.

Early life and the start of an amazing career

Marie was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1761. Her father, Joseph…

Ghosts, spirits, myths and demons in the Land of Smiles

Working as a freelance journalist in Thailand, I have covered a vast array of topics but few were as interesting to research as an article I wrote called ‘Ghosts and Spirits of Thailand’. My editor renamed it ‘Haunted Thailand’ which I will be the first to admit is a much snappier title. I had been commissioned to write an 800-word piece on the more popular ghosts and/or hauntings in the country but after a brief bit of investigation, I realised that would not be enough. The subject was fascinating. …

Fewer cats led to more plague bearing rats, or so the story goes

Photo by Mark Rimmel on Unsplash

People have mixed attitudes toward cats. Some people love them and some not so much. But historically speaking, the pendulum has swung much further to each extreme.

And cases have shot up over the last 50 years

IMAGE: Budimir Jevtic on Shutterstock

A little over two hundred years ago, no one even knew hay fever existed. There were people suffering from it, but it was so rare it had gone unnoticed.

By most definitions, you have 9 or 21. And seeing dead people isn’t one of them

Photo by Solstice Hannan on Unsplash

Everyone knows you have five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. This belief probably originates with Aristotle and his writing in De Anima, where he states these five.

Jason Ward

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store