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The Medicine Chest


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  • The Hunting of the Snark

    "The Hunting of the Snark offers a timely caution for geographical investigation. The danger, both academic and pragmatic, of enslavement to static conceptual categories, rigid classifications, and established methodological procedures is simply that they tend to rule out the possibility of experiencing that insight and understanding which can be neither discovered, formulated nor communicated by adherence to traditional investigative methdologies. This is not to advocate an un-methodical and irrational geographical philosophy, but rather to suggest that there may be conditions under which slavish adherence to a tried and tested methodology may fail to provide reliable guidance in our search for understanding. A lack of commitment to open-ended investigation could mean that, because our methods are inappropriate, our explorations will forever remain, so to speak, 'snarked' ".
  • Ocean Chart

    "He had bought a large map representing the sea, Without the least vestige of land: And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be A map they could all understand".
  • Soda-Mint

    "However, this bottle was not marked ‘poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste it, and, finding it very nice (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pineapple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot buttered toast), she very soon finished it off. ​ ‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice. ‘I must be shutting up like a telescope!’ And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden. First, however, she waited for a few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further: she felt a little nervous about this; ‘for it might end, you know,’ said Alice to herself, ‘in my going out altogether, like a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?’" (Carroll 2007: 18).
  • Fairytales warn us...

    "The fairytales warn us that there is no such thing as standard size – that is an illusion of industrial life – an illusion farmers still struggle with when trying to supply uniform vegetables to supermarkets … no, size is both particular and subject to change. The stories of the gods appearing in human form – scaled-down power deities – are also stories against judging by appearances – things are not what they seem. It seems to me that being the right size for your world – and knowing that both you and your world are not by any means fixed dimensions – is a valuable clue to learning how to live" (Winterson 2011: 35).
  • Museum of Natural History Oxford

    On a sunny afternoon, July 4th 1862, an Oxford don took out four friends, for a rowing expedition up the Thames. The don was the Oxford mathematician, photographer and storyteller, Charles Dodgeson (better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll) and his friends were the Rev. Robinson Duckworth and three children – Alice Liddell, aged 10, and her sisters. During the afternoon Dodgeson spun out a series of fantastic yarns incorporating friends and familiar places in Oxford, mathematical riddles, literary allusions and countless references to natural history.
  • Tabloid

    "The brand name ‘Tabloid’, however, stayed associated with things ‘reduced in size or compressed’ (Larson 2009: 86). It is this reduction in size that made the firm’s drugs perfect for travel, and the medicine chests in particular were designed to this end" (Liebenberg 2021: 45).
  • Soda-Mint (Neutralising)

    "Antacid, exhilarant and stimulant. From one to three as a neutralising agent, in irritable and acid conditions of the stomach, dyspepsia, flatulence, etc. They may be swallowed with water, or be powdered and dissolved in water and taken as a draught" (BWC 1925:138).
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