Wow, what a month! Not only did it make me one year older, but it also swept by at the crazy speed, showering me in catch-ups, movies, books, work activities and, of course, such first traces of spring as longer days, warmer sun and blooming crocuses right below my balcony.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear quotes the anthropologist Jared Diamond on how different shapes of the continents influence human behaviour. The primary axes of the Americas run from north to south. The same works for Africa. The stretch of the landmass of Europe, Asia and the Middle East is more east-west in shape.
Agriculture spread two to three times faster across Asia and Europe than it did in the Americas because locations along the same latitude generally share similar climates, amounts of sunlight, rainfall, and season changes. These factors allowed farmers in Europe and Asia to domesticate a few crops. In contrast, the vertical continent’s farmers would need to find and domesticate new plants whenever the climate changed.
The hunchback of Notre-Dame
Victor Hugo conceived this gothic novel as early as 1829 to make the contemporaries more aware of Gothic architecture’s value (hence the many depictive sections in the book). However, Hugo started working on it in September 1830. Hugo finished the book by March 1831. Imagine – Hugo wrote this thick volume (my edition features two thick volumes) in just six months!
Drag-queens and kings
While reading Andy Warhol, I discovered the term “drag-queen”. It usually indicates a male person who uses drag clothing and makeup to imitate and often exaggerate female gender signifiers and gender roles for entertainment purposes. The origins of the term “drag” are unclear, but it might be that it refers to the sensation of long skirts trailing on the floor.
Huh, I was not aware that this is the whole movement. All of a sudden, the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha meets Samantha just got a whole new meaning 🙂
The importance of laggards
Quoting Seth Godin, it feels safer, more productive and easier to go after the devices or systems or people that seem to be so close to getting it right. But it’s the laggards that cost us the most.
German origins of the dollar
In 1516 a rich silver lode was discovered in St. Joachim’s dale (Joachimsthal in German) in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). In 1519 new silver coins were struck from this silver, named after the lode Joahimsthaler, shortened to thaler, which became dollar in English.
First subway in continental Europe
First subway in continental Europe was built in Budapest in 1896, while oldest European subway is in London.
Re-growing a forest?
Here is how the barren plot of land became a tropical paradise. Intention, intention, intention!
Price is quality
The snob effect is the expressed preference for goods because they are different from those commonly preferred.
We, humans, are spoiled to the roots…
My quote of the month
Clarity is the elimination of mental clutter. Agility is the elimination of physical clutter. Tranquillity is the elimination of spiritual clutter.James Clear, 3-2-1 Thursday Newsletter