One of the reasons I love the OER Programme…

…is that it turns up stuff like this.

The VirtualDutch timeline of Anglo-Dutch relations. It’s built using MITs Simile software and it’s packed full of utterly fascinating detail. Amongst more familiar historical events it includes such gems as the following:

1120s: first appearance of name Fleming in Scotland,
post-1154: introduction of oxtail soup in England,
c. 1310: pirate John Crab moves to Aberdeen,
1457: first recording of golf in Scotland,
1576: calls for immigrants to be sent back in English parliament (plus ça change),
1585: cacao beans enter Europe for first time,
1587: first cultivation of sprouts in Europe,
1637: crash of tulipomania
1662: piracy legally forbidden
1673: first performance of The Dutch Lover
1685: first mention of Sauce hollandaise
1689: Dutch fire engines in England
1709: first raids on molly clubs in London
1712: frog as insult for the Dutch
1793: first description of Britain as treacherous
1824: Dutch translation of Waverley
1829: Mons Meg moved to Edinburgh

Brilliant! Of course this has completely derailed any “real” work I was going to do this afternoon ;)

Ada Lovelace Day 2010

Ada Lovelace day is coming around again on the 24th March and you can plegde to participate here

The following is from the Ada Lovelace Day pledge announcement but I’m more than happy to repeat it here:

We had an amazing day last year, with over 1200 people writing about a woman in technology or science whom they admire. We got lots of coverage in the national press and even appeared on the BBC News Channel. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We wanted you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, and you did. Thank you!

But our work is not yet done. This year we want 3072 people to sign up to our pledge and to write their tribute to women in tech. We have the 72, we just need the 3000, which is where you come in. Please sign the pledge at and let all your friends know about it.

It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, if you do text, audio or video, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited to take part. All you need to do is sign up to this pledge and then publish your blog post any time on Wednesday 24th March 2010. If you’re going to be away that day, feel free to write your post in advance and set your blogging system to publish it that day.

To keep up to date with what is happening:

The Pledge:
The Blog:
on Twitter

Thank you for your support!

Suw Charman-Anderson