History: Battle of Hastings: what was William’s claim?

Tutoring history or social studies, you might be asked about the Battle of Hastings. The tutor explains why it happened.

William’s claim

William of Normandy was a cousin of Edward the Confessor, King of England 1042-1066. Supposedly, William visited Edward, in England, in 1051. Some believe that, during that visit, Edward promised he would name William to succeed him as King of England.

Edward the Confessor died in January 1066; just before, he named Harold Godwine to take over as England’s king. Thinking the English crown had already been promised to him, William invaded England in September 1066 to claim his right.





Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, economics, history: what is mercantilism?

Tutoring a number of subjects, the term mercantilism might arise. The tutor defines it.


economic policy that favours exports, discourages imports, and has the objective of amassing precious metals.


Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, history: what does wassail mean?

Tutoring English, new vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor shares the meaning of wassail and its holiday connection.

wassail (verb): to celebrate with drinking

In the Yule celebrations, people would not only wassail each other, but also crops and trees.



Mish, Frederick C (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, history: AD vs CE

Tutoring English, conventions are important. The tutor brings up one he was curious about.

As far as I can determine, timewise, the two acronyms AD and CE have the same meaning. However, their literal meanings are different:

AD anno domini: year of our lord

CE: common era

The reason CE might be used is to avoid religious connection to a given topic.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Business: what do Carly Fiorina and Martha Stewart have in common?

Tutoring, you’re interested in education. The tutor brings up two business titans from the late ’90s/2000s: What were their first degrees?

In their time, I followed both Carly Fiorina (CEO, Hewlett-Packard, 1999-2005) and Martha Stewart through the headlines. Both were tremendous achievers – that’s an understatement.

Interestingly, both have arts degrees (among others). Carly has a BA in philosophy and medieval history from Stanford; Martha has a double major in history and architectural history from Barnard College.

Some people say it’s hard to succeed in business with an arts degree….:)




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Architecture: what is an engaged column?

Tutoring history, you might mention architectural features. The tutor brings up the engaged column.

An engaged column is a round vertical feature that is not free-standing, but partly built into a wall. Its roundness protrudes from the wall it’s part of, interrupting what would simply be flatness.

The engaged column is not only a design element, but also structural. It increases the surface area of the wall it’s part of, which contributes extra strength. It also adds vertical support to the roof above.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, history: how was acetaminophen discovered?

The tutor shares a few facts from his recent research of pain medications.

In 1886, Doctors Arnold Cahn and Paul Hepp were trying naphthalene as a treatment for intestinal worms. They ordered more, but a pharmacist mistakenly sent acetanilide.

One of the patients was not only suffering from worms, but also from fever. After they took the acetanilide, the fever subsided, although the intestinal worms remained. The doctors examined the medication and discovered it wasn’t naphthalene, but rather acetanilide.

Having noticed the fever-reducing performance of the acetanilide, the doctors performed more trials with it. They discovered it to be effective as a pain reliever (analgesic) as well. A derivative, phenacetin, became established by Bayer for relief of pain and fever.

Phenacetin, even in moderate doses, was found to be toxic. In 1899, Karl Morner of Germany discovered that the body metabolizes acetanilide into acetaminophen. (The same effect occurs with phenacetin.) In the UK, Sterling realized that acetaminophen is effective against pain and fever, without the toxicity of phenacetin.

Acetaminophen went to market in the US and the UK in the 1950s. It is also known as paracetamol, and sold under many brand names worldwide.








Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.