Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The origins of the modern-day image of Father Christmas

The origins of the modern-day image of Father Christmas
Coca-Cola claims to have created the modern-day image of Santa Claus when it began using images of jolly St. Nick in advertisements in 1931. Coca-Cola’s claims have, however, been refuted by the company White Rock Beverages, which used advertisements featuring a white-bearded and fat Santa Claus dressed in red as early as 1915. Read the article on BevNET.com. The website of the White Rock Collectors Association, White Rocking, features advertisements from the time.

Darwin’s mysterious illness diagnosed
The Australian doctor and associate professor at Monash Univerity in Melbourne, John Hayman, has recently suggested that Darwin suffered from ‘cyclical vomiting syndrome’, a rare inherited disorder. Darwin appears to have suffered from nausea, vomiting, headaches, and stomach and skin problems throughout most of his adult life. The results of Hayman’s study are published in the article ‘Darwin’s illness revisited’ in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. The Guardian reports.

Father Christmas buried in Ireland
According to the historian Philip Lynch, the remains of St Nicholas, who inspired Father Christmas, are believed to be buried at Jerpoint Abbey in County Kilkenny, Ireland. St Nicholas of Myra was Bishop of Lycia, in what is now Turkey, in the 4th century. He was famous for leaving anonymous gifts for the poor and, shortly after his death in 346, he was declared a saint. He was initially buried in Myra, but it is believed that his remains were brought back to Ireland during the Crusades.
Read the article in The Telegraph.

China’s heritage destroyed
Tania Branigan reports in The Guardian on a recent survey carried out by the Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), which has revealed that ten of thousands of historic sites have disappeared in China over the past 30 years as a result of the county’s rapid development. Some 30,995 items on a list of historic sites compiled in 1982 have vanished. Liu Xiaohe, deputy director of the survey, was interviewed by the Chinese newspaper China Daily.

Daily Express 100-year-old archive available online
The Daily Express has launched an online archive of every edition of the paper published since 1900. Over 1.7 million pages from the newspaper’s archive have been uploaded to ukpressonline. It is possible to view thumbnails of the newspapers’ pages, but users have to pay to have full access to the articles. 48 hours access costs, for example, £5.95.

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