Hotel Torni (“Hotel Tower”) is a historical hotel located in Helsinki, Finland, and a part of the Sokos Hotels hotel chain. When opened in 1931, it became the tallest building in Finland, a position it maintained until the completion of the new Neste headquarters in neighboring Espoo in 1976.
It remained the tallest building in Helsinki until 1987. The interior of the building was completely renovated in 2005. It is located in central Helsinki, the so-called Helsinki Design District.
The hotel was designed by architects Jung & Jung in 1928, and has 14 stories. It is allegedly the place where the murder of the Mata Hari-like Minna Craucher was planned in 1932.
The hotel served the needs of air defense during the Second World War, when members of the Finnish women’s paramilitary organization Lotta Svärd kept watch for enemy bombers. Immediately after the cessation of the war, Hotelli Torni served as the headquarters of the Allied Control Commission monitoring Finnish compliance with the obligations of the Moscow Armistice. It became known as a center of culinary excellence.
Nearly 100 years ago, Charles Ponzi stumbled across a loophole in the international postal system and turned it into one of the most infamous scams of all time. This time on Sidedoor, we follow Ponzi from his early days until his epic downfall, and hear from a postal investigator trained to catch swindlers like Ponzi who continue to use the U.S. mail for nefarious purposes.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history and social impact of coffee. From its origins in Ethiopia, coffea arabica spread through the Ottoman Empire before reaching Western Europe where, in the 17th century, coffee houses were becoming established.
There, caffeinated customers stayed awake for longer and were more animated, and this helped to spread ideas and influence culture. Coffee became a colonial product, grown by slaves or indentured labour, with coffea robusta replacing arabica where disease had struck, and was traded extensively by the Dutch and French empires; by the 19th century, Brazil had developed into a major coffee producer, meeting demand in the USA that had grown on the waggon trails.
Professor of 18th Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor of 18th Century Studies at Queen Mary University of London
Professor in Modern History at the University of Hertfordshire
It’s a simple question to ask, but seems impossible to answer: What causes one nation to succeed and another to fail? What exactly are the origins of global inequality?
There are few people who have spent more time trying to answer this question than Prof. James Robinson. Robinson’ first book, Why Nations Fail, was an international best-seller. It laid out in clear and stark terms what the origins of prosperity and poverty really are. Now, he’s written a sequel, The Narrow Corridor, which further explains what ingredients you need to create a prosperous nation.