Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
In Gubbio, Northern Italy, a race has been run every year since the 12th century – and the outcome is rigged. Villagers carry three statues in the race, Saints Ubaldo (for whom the race was started), Anthony and George. Every year Saint Ubaldo comes first, Saint George second, and Saint Anthony last.
When anaesthetic was used for the first time in childbirth in 1847, the mother was so amazed and relieved at how painless the birth was that she named her child Anaesthesia.
Pillow Book, Literally
The last time a cavalry charge was used in war was in the Second World War. A mongolian cavalry division charged against a German infantry division – the result? Not one German was killed and 2,000 of the cavalry were.
The grid layout used in many cities around the world is not a new invention – it first appeared in the city of Mohenjo Daro, in India, 4,500 years ago. The houses to the side of the streets had bare walls facing the street to keep out the sun and dust from carts.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Dave Eggers and the Writing Life
And I thought, okay, the writing life - damn that phrase - it doesn't have to be romantic. It can be workmanlike, it can be a grind, and it can take years to make anything of any value. But if, at the end of it all, there's a Gabby who holds the words to her heart and rides the subway through the night, back to Oakland, thinking of what those words on a page did to her, then the work is worth doing.