Paul Collins has not one but two Christmas Eve treats for us: in the New York Times today he has a short essay on a little-known political hit-piece by Clement Clarke Moore, the putative author of "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" (aka "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). In 1804, Moore published an anonymous pamphlet attacking then-president Thomas Jefferson for his views on religion and race relations as expressed in Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia. Collins remarks on the pamphlet, its context, and Moore himself.
And over at Weekend Stubble, Collins writes on a rather odd assignment he's been working on this year: an article in the current New Scientist about food which is decades or even centuries old. His post contains some great pictures of Boer War chocolate rations, and the full article is very much worth a read.