50 & 100 years ago

50 Years Ago

Much that we admire in the English landscape — the trout stream, the parkland of the great estate … was created for the benefit of the few. It was created generally by an autocratic minority for their exclusive use and enjoyment in perpetuity and was deliberately designed, often with protective measures bordering on the ferocious, to exclude the many … The increased leisure, the affluence, the train … and latterly the car enable millions to travel to places where 50 years ago only a few could afford or were entitled to penetrate … [T]he countryside will have to become, as the theatre and football match have become, a place of restricted entry unless it is to be destroyed by the multitude. Payment for entry to a National Park will have to become as commonplace as payment to enter any other place of entertainment.

From Nature 9 December 1967

100 Years Ago

An earthquake of some intensity was felt in parts of Lower Burma in the early morning of July 5 last … The only damage reported was at a famous pagoda at Pegu … Its golden cone, or umbrella, studded with jewels to the value of many thousand pounds sterling, was shaken down, destroying several smaller pagodas at its base … The pagoda trustees and Buddhist elders at once took steps and formed a committee to supervise the removal of the débris and to recover the valuable jewels which had fallen … The largest diamond, which was placed on the top of the golden umbrella, has not yet been recovered, and as Pegu has some thousands of non-Buddhists amongst its population, fears are entertained that many valuable jewels may get into dishonest hands.

From Nature 6 December 1917 

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07813-5
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