Paws, Pee and Mice: Cats among Medieval Manuscripts


Today’s blog is a guest post from Thijs Porck, a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Culture, Universiteit Leiden.

This week Erik’s tweet on cat-paws in a fifteenth-century manuscript went viral across facebook and the twittersphere when it was shared and commented on by thousands. Follow @erik_kwakkel  today for more animal-themed tweets #manuscriptzoo

Everyone who has ever owned a cat will be familiar with their unmannerly feline habit of walking across your keyboard while you are typing. One of the manuscript pictures tweeted by @erik_kwakkel ( ) revealed that this is nothing new.

Although the medieval owner of this manuscript may have been quite annoyed with these paw marks on his otherwise neat manuscript, another fifteenth-century manuscript reveals that he got off lucky.  A Deventer scribe, writing around 1420, found his manuscript ruined by a urine stain left there by a cat the night before…

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Running A Startup

Here is my experience running a startup:

  • It’s scary
  • It’s Hard work
  • It’s exciting
  • It’s Hard work
  • It’s rewardings
  • Did I mention it’s hard work?

Running a business can be extremely rewarding. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
But if anyone ever tells you they didn’t have to work hard, through some weekends, work exhausted, and want to have a break down at least once while getting up and running is lying or never started a company.


World Powers Cowardly Stay Silent Over Hacking For Money Reasons. UPDATED.

An Irishman's Perspective.

A number of years ago just as the world had witnessed a British Government in self interest, deliberately stopping an inquiry further investigating a huge bribing scandal (see HERE and HERE)  going on for some time to Arab business people and high ranking government officials (in order to procure lucrative business contracts between the two states) for their feared such an investigation would stop later contracts being awarded to British industry (and the under the counter bribing continued) – today we have a similar code of silence operating across Europe and now to America also for financial reasons.


For some time now its been VERY known that Chinese cyberhackers have been and continue to targeting companies and governments around the world. As of this morning, the date posting of this write-up, Microsoft (see HERE and HERE) itself yet again has tried to be hacked by enemies outside the state of USA. This follows after Apple, Facebook and other high public profile…

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Using Business Success to Give Back

Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

When she was in her mid-40s, Maxine Clark founded Build-A-Bear-Workshop, a store where children can make their own teddy bears.

Build-A-Bear, which opened its first store in 1997 at the St. Louis Galleria, went public in 2004. Today, there are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and the Middle East.

Clark, now 63, announced recently that she will retire as “chief executive bear” of the Missouri-based company. She doesn’t plan to slow down, however. As she explains in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, she’s found inspiration from people like Bill Gates who have used their success in business to serve bigger purposes.

Once Build-A-Bear names a successor, Clark will remain on the board. She also wants to dedicate her money, creativity and energy to help improve public education…

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Seeing the world through Google-coloured glasses


Yesterday a car did a burn-out in my street. It was noisy and disruptive and smelly and offensive.

I could see the car doing it. I could read the registration number. And I thought: if I was wearing Google Glasses right now, I could record this. And then perhaps pass it onto the police for them to follow up. Or post to YouTube for the audiences who like that type of thing.

I’m excited by Google Glasses.

I love the idea of easily being able to capture and share images and video. This includes sharing imagery with others live.

But I’m also pondering what could go wrong.

If Google Glasses become widely used, there’s potential for a massive impact on our behaviour and in particular the way we interact with each other.

Imagine somebody wearing Google glasses and sharing their experience while they’re:

  • being sanctioned in the workplace
  • in a…

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