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Doing yet another MOOC

I’m getting quite in to the “Massively Open Online Courses”, or MOOCs, available totally for free from the FutureLearn platform. They keep my mind ticking over, give me something new to learn, and I can easily fit them around work.

I did a mind-blowingly challenging one a few months ago from a Japanese University on quantum computing, so I decided to change the pace a bit and am currently doing a much less demanding course from the Open University on “Health and Well-being in the Ancient World”. It’s a rather superficial gallop through Greek and Roman medical practices, comparing and contrasting them with today. To be honest, I’m finding it somewhat wishy-washy, and non rigorous, though that is probably somewhat inevitable given the wide non-specialist audience that it is aimed at.

I’m finding that the most interesting parts are the side-alleys and rabbit holes that one ends up exploring through web searches. I’ve come across a fascinating site on the history of toilets from Neolithic times onwards – and what’s slightly worrying is how many of them I’ve actually visited! (Though thankfully I’ve not been to the World’s Worst Toilet!) Plus I’ve found myself wondering whether Trojan archers would really have worn brightly coloured knitted onesies (probably, yes!) and trying to decide which set of Roman Baths I should plan to visit next…..

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