Dressed in muslin gowns, they sip Assam tea and nibble on cucumber sandwiches. A maid refills the silver teapot while her mistress and her guests discuss the merits of Lyme Regis over Bath. Outside in the garden, trees drip from a recent shower and birds hop on a damp lawn. It could be afternoon tea in Mansfield Park, the seat of the Bertram family in Jane Austen’s novel – except that the trees are banyans, the birds are Indian hoopoes and the maid wears a shalwar kameez. This is not Northamptonshire but Lahore.
The Tsimane People of the Amazon (pronounced chee-MAH-nay, roughly) hunt, farm, and forage. They don’t have a lot of technology. And if you talk to them about the colours they see in the world, they say some pretty interesting things…In the world of colour research, that’s unusual to the point of uniqueness. Across languages and cultures, people tend to break up “colorspace,” the universe of all the colours humans see, in roughly the same way—different words, sure, but for mostly the same colors
Why is it that some people seem to make constant progress in their professional and personal lives, while others appear to be doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over? While the answer isn’t cut and dry, I’ve noticed an interesting mindset difference between these two groups: they approach obstacles and challenges very differently.
Glasshouses like Baccarat, Saint-Louis, Clichy, and Pantin revived ancient techniques such as flame working, filigree, and millefiori, “thousand flowers” wrought from brightly colored glass canes; they also perfected plant and animal motifs. These paperweights were useful, fashionable, relatively inexpensive, and cheery (a way to keep flowers on desks even in winter), and their manufacture spread through parts of Europe. Immigrant glassworkers brought the trend and their know-how to America. But by 1860, the bauble-bubble was cooling off.
On the afternoon of 31 January 1827, a new vision of literature was born. On that day, Johann Peter Eckermann, faithful secretary to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, went over to his master’s house, as he had done hundreds of times in the past three and a half years. Goethe reported that he had been reading Chinese Courtship (1824), a Chinese novel. ‘Really? That must have been rather strange!’ Eckermann exclaimed. ‘No, much less so than one thinks,’ Goethe replied.
Zozu, like any other white stork in Europe, typically flies to southern Africa for the winter. Yet when researchers at Germany’s Max Plank Institute for Ornithology tracked the bird’s path using a GPS logger in 2016, they found that he and a few others had skipped the gruelling migration across the Sahara Desert. That year, the birds stopped, instead, in cities like Madrid, Spain, and Rabat, Morocco. Apparently, they had developed a taste for junk food, in particular the stuff that piles up in landfills along the migration route.
Rushing to publish and overlooking glaring typos may have become part of the new economics of traditional publishing. But on the Web, typos sometimes come with a price. “Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales,” said a BBC headline last week. The article cited an analysis of British Web figures that suggested that a single spelling mistake on an e-commerce site can hurt credibility so much that online revenues fall by half.
As a significant proportion of the meaning of a communicative message in social interaction derives from nonverbal cues, it stands to reason that text alone—the linguistic mode—conveys only a relatively small proportion of the information we have access to, in spoken exchanges. There’s a gaping lacuna in what digital talk, alone, can convey.
In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote. He ‘is the type and the genius of deep crime … He is the man of the crowd.’
A birth, a death, a pilgrimage. A film about the 1,200-mile journey of a pregnant woman, a butcher who wants to atone for his sins and a rag-tag band of villagers who go on foot from their small village in Tibet to the sacred Mt. Kailash has become a surprise winner at the Chinese box office. It has also found a cult following among an unexpected audience — China’s venture capitalists and startup founders.