At around six hours flying time from London, Baku is not quite a weekend destination but, add a couple of days, and it becomes very attractive indeed. There's a spanking new airport, looking like a giant crystal goldfish bowl, and on the way into town the buildings lining the wide boulevards are all lit up.
All things considered, the modern Christmas is pretty bizarre. However, this is entirely in keeping with tradition - as far as we can tell, Yuletide has always been a curious head-scratcher. For the historian like me, teasing out what Christmas used to be like, and why it even exists, is a blooming nightmare.
Twitter is having a facelift, and in keeping with the Facebook trend started by the image-saturated Timeline profile, the social mediums are getting rid of words. It looks sleek and simple, but the picture-heavy pages suggest a dumbing down, of the respective websites and global society.
Romans, who are known to have enjoyed bloody sports, preferred gladiatorial fights to martial arts. Still, boxing was widely practiced in the Empire. However, its inhabitants introduced one crucial innovation. It seems that they thought simple leather straps were for wimps, so they introduced even meaner "gloves".