- David Kamp has written a fascinating detective story surrounding the legendarily prodigious eating feats of Diamond Jim Brady. He suspects some exaggeration, but the reality is probably close enough.
- Gertrude Baines, daughter of slaves and Obama voter, takes on the most dangerous job in the world. The previous job-holder survived just four months in the position.
- How do salmon find their way back home after years in the ocean? The open sea part still seems a bit iffy, but once they reach the river, it’s the schnozz that leads. Maybe Jimmy Durante is their patron saint?
- The earliest artificial eye has been discovered at an archaeological dig in Iran.
These days we look down on string. We don’t use it as much as we used to. The occasional turkey gets trussed, a few packages may get tied, and some garden plants are stabalised. But that’s just about it. We don’t give much thought to the fact that string was a major supportive technology for thousands of years. Now, archaeologists have excavated a piece of string from surroundings that date it to 8,000 years ago.
The fibres were discovered in a flooded Stone Age settlement just off the coast of the Isle of Wight [England]. The four-and-a-half inch long string was made from tough stems of honeysuckle, nettles or wild clematis that were twisted together. British Archaeology magazine Editor Mike Pitts described it as a “fantastic find”. He said: “I don’t think the average person realises what an important piece of technology string has been over the ages.”
Culture is all about the details.