Page 203. " and pressed the whatever-the-end-is-called against the door "


Public DomainStethoscope - Credit: Huji

The end is simply called the chestpiece.  It has two sides, a "bell" for picking up low frequency sounds, and a "diaphragm" for higher frequency sounds.

The stethoscope was invented by René Laennec in 1816, at a hospital in Paris. In 1852 George Cammann modified the design.  Rappaport and Sprague innovated the two-sided chestpiece in the 1940s.

Page 207. " I wanted to take the sad song and make it better "

Hey Jude was written by Paul McCartney to comfort John Lennon's son Julian when his parents divorced.  It was released in 1968, and at more than 7 minutes long it was the longest single to top the UK charts.

Listen on Spotify: Elvis Presley version       Bing Crosby version      Tom Jones version


Page 209. " an illustrated edition of Ovid's Metamorphosis "
Orpheus by Corot (1861)
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOrpheus by Corot (1861) - Credit: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

  Ovid (43BC-18AD) was a Roman poet best known for his mythic poem, the Metamorphoses, about the creation and history of the world. The poem is presented in 15 books which cover some 250 myths. Here is an extract from the tale of Orpheus and Euridice:

Truly Hymen there
was present during the wedding festivities
of Orpheus and Eurydice, but gave
no happy omen, neither hallowed words
nor joyful glances; and the torch he held
would only sputter, fill the eyes with smoke,
and cause no blaze while waving. The result
of that sad wedding, proved more terrible
than such foreboding fates.

The full poem


Page 210. " everyone went to the shelters, but no one hurried "

Dresden after the Bombing
Public DomainDresden after the Bombing
Dresden was ill-prepared for air raids, and its biggest underground shelter was being used to house 6,000 refugees. There were very few other public bomb shelters, so most people took refuge in their cellars.

The city had taken the precaution to remove the thick walls between cellars and replace them with thin partitions that could be broken down. But this only created networks of cellars that led to a dead-end.  Rescue workers found hundreds of dead bodies piled up in them.

Page 210. " why would anyone want to bomb Dresden? "

Even in the midst of the war, the bombing of Dresden was a controversial act. Dresden was known as "Florence on the Elbe", a Baroque city of art and culture.  Its destruction in 1945 was largely irrelevant to the outcome of the war, and has been interpreted as an act of revenge for the bombing of British cities.  Defenders of the bombing argue that the targeting of civilians was necessary to break the morale of Germany's military.

Page 210. " One hundred planes flew ovehead "

RAF Lancaster dropping Incendiaries
Public DomainRAF Lancaster dropping Incendiaries - Credit: RAF
On the first night, around 750 Lancaster bombers from RAF Bomber Command attacked Dresden.

On the second night, it was the turn of the United States Eighth Air Force.  316 B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed Dresden; 60 others bombed Prague by mistake.


Page 213. " to the base of the Loschwitz Bridge "


Loschwitz Bridge
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLoschwitz Bridge - Credit: Alasdair Nicol
Page 224. " She said, Something has happened in New York "
Ground Zero - World Trade Center
Public DomainGround Zero - World Trade Center - Credit: NOAA

The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center claimed 2,973 lives, shook the American psyche and radically altered international relations. The co-ordinated attacks were made by Al-Quaeda terrorists who hijacked and crashed two airplanes into the Trade Towers and a third into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers on board attempted to wrest control of the plane from their hijackers.