Education


The Earth is Flat

I should confess right away that I am one of those who think that, in the last three thousand years, human nature has not changed very much. The characters in the Old Testament seem to me to be people exactly as I know them. If, today, you were to revive the Roman arena where the condemned were eaten by wild beasts, there would be many protests; but I'm afraid I still reckon you'd have a full house. I do not subscribe to the view that we can never enter into the mindset of people in the past because they thought entirely differently. I think that if we can imagine ourselves in different circumstances, and perhaps with different beliefs, we may at least gain some insight into the lives of our ancestors. A specific example? Try this exercise. Imagine, as soon as you wake up, that you believe the world is flat. If you didn't know otherwise, it would be a perfectly reasonable thing to suppose. Now, keeping that in mind, go for a walk. Just keep imagining, as you go along.

During your walk, I'd say, you will have entered the past.

 

 

 

Did You Know?
Potatoes were made illegal in France for 24 years ! The French became convinced that the South American vegetable could cause a whole host of diseases, including leprosy, so in 1748, the cultivation and consumption of potatoes was strictly outlawed. It wasn’t until an imprisoned medical army officer named Antoine Auguste Parmentier survived in his prison cell subsisting solely on a diet of potatoes that acceptance of the food began to shift. After being released from prison, Parmentier went on to write a thesis about its health benefits, helping to overturn the law and re-introduce the potato to the French public in 1772. Within 20 years, potatoes became one of the most popular, and indeed, important foods in France. Even the ornamental royal gardens in Tuileres Palace in Paris - originally filled with flowers and exotic plants - were converted into potato fields.