From the archives…

The Pont d'Avignon

Miracle bridge to nowhere

On our first trip to France, several years ago, Morgen and I spent about a week in Provence. There was no way we could see all the places that interested us in such a short period of time, so we had to settle for a few highlights. We were able to squeeze in just about half a day in the town of Avignon, and though it has immense historical significance, our main reason for visiting was a nursery song. Having grown up in the U.S., I was familiar with French children’s tunes such as “Frère Jacques” and “Alouette,” but I’d never heard “Sur le Pont d’Avignon,” which Morgen learned as a child in Canada. The song is all about people dancing on the Bridge of Avignon. It doesn’t mention the rather important fact that the bridge in question—which is probably the town’s most famous attraction—stops abruptly less than halfway across the Rhône river.

Rome if You Want To
Avignon rose to fame when, in 1309, Pope Clement V decided to move the official papal residence from Rome to Avignon—which was, at that time, on the outskirts of the Roman Empire (and just across the Rhône from France). Seven popes called Avignon home until 1377, when the papacy officially returned to Rome. (From 1378 to 1417, leadership of the Catholic church was in dispute; two so-called antipopes, Clement VII and Benedict XIII, resided in Avignon during that period.) Later, after the French Revolution, Avignon would finally become part of France. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Story of Toilet Paper

What goes around, comes around

For as long as I can remember, there’s been an ongoing conflict in my family regarding the complex moral issue of whether toilet paper (and paper towels) should be installed in a dispenser so that it rolls over or under. Some family members feel very strongly about one orientation; others feel equally strongly about the other. So whenever someone visits a relative’s house where the paper is rolling the “wrong” way, they’ll change it—prompting considerable ire from whoever lives there. Me…I’m agnostic. I roll both ways. I suppose if someone twisted my arm and demanded a decision, I’d side with the “over” camp, but it’s just not something I can get terribly worked up about.

I’ve read lots of newspaper and magazine articles about this debate over the years, and I think the issues have been explored adequately elsewhere. What I have not, however, read enough about is how toilet paper (in the form in which we now know it) came to exist in the first place. For most of us in the modern western world, toilet paper is such a basic necessity of life that we simply can’t conceive of how we would function without it. But in fact, it’s not that old—and it has a rather interesting history. This is, I realize, a rather delicate topic, but one well worth a few minutes of consideration. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Wet Collodion Process

Developing a better negative

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Biodegradable Plastic

The quest for impermanence

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Space Pens

What to use when your writing lacks gravity

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

House of the Future

Disneyland’s 1957 all-plastic house

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Bakelite

The Plastic Age

Guest Article by Jackie Chappell

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Paperclip

The twisted tale of paper’s best friend

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Crypt of Civilization

Museum in a time capsule

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Leap Seconds

Time keeps on slippin’

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Antikythera Mechanism

Computer from ancient Greece

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Longitude Problem

Finding your way around the world with a watch

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Clepsydras

Watching time flow with water clocks

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Sleep Debt

Wake now, pay later

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Zeno's Paradoxes

Proof that motion unexists

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Pont d'Avignon

Miracle bridge to nowhere

On our first trip to France, several years ago, Morgen and I spent about a week in Provence. There was no way we could see all the places that interested us in such a short period of time, so we had to settle for a few highlights. We were able to squeeze in just about half a day in the town of Avignon, and though it has immense historical significance, our main reason for visiting was a nursery song. Having grown up in the U.S., I was familiar with French children’s tunes such as “Frère Jacques” and “Alouette,” but I’d never heard “Sur le Pont d’Avignon,” which Morgen learned as a child in Canada. The song is all about people dancing on the Bridge of Avignon. It doesn’t mention the rather important fact that the bridge in question—which is probably the town’s most famous attraction—stops abruptly less than halfway across the Rhône river.

Rome if You Want To
Avignon rose to fame when, in 1309, Pope Clement V decided to move the official papal residence from Rome to Avignon—which was, at that time, on the outskirts of the Roman Empire (and just across the Rhône from France). Seven popes called Avignon home until 1377, when the papacy officially returned to Rome. (From 1378 to 1417, leadership of the Catholic church was in dispute; two so-called antipopes, Clement VII and Benedict XIII, resided in Avignon during that period.) Later, after the French Revolution, Avignon would finally become part of France. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Story of Toilet Paper

What goes around, comes around

For as long as I can remember, there’s been an ongoing conflict in my family regarding the complex moral issue of whether toilet paper (and paper towels) should be installed in a dispenser so that it rolls over or under. Some family members feel very strongly about one orientation; others feel equally strongly about the other. So whenever someone visits a relative’s house where the paper is rolling the “wrong” way, they’ll change it—prompting considerable ire from whoever lives there. Me…I’m agnostic. I roll both ways. I suppose if someone twisted my arm and demanded a decision, I’d side with the “over” camp, but it’s just not something I can get terribly worked up about.

I’ve read lots of newspaper and magazine articles about this debate over the years, and I think the issues have been explored adequately elsewhere. What I have not, however, read enough about is how toilet paper (in the form in which we now know it) came to exist in the first place. For most of us in the modern western world, toilet paper is such a basic necessity of life that we simply can’t conceive of how we would function without it. But in fact, it’s not that old—and it has a rather interesting history. This is, I realize, a rather delicate topic, but one well worth a few minutes of consideration. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Wet Collodion Process

Developing a better negative

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Biodegradable Plastic

The quest for impermanence

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Space Pens

What to use when your writing lacks gravity

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

House of the Future

Disneyland’s 1957 all-plastic house

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Bakelite

The Plastic Age

Guest Article by Jackie Chappell

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Paperclip

The twisted tale of paper’s best friend

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Crypt of Civilization

Museum in a time capsule

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Leap Seconds

Time keeps on slippin’

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Antikythera Mechanism

Computer from ancient Greece

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Longitude Problem

Finding your way around the world with a watch

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Sleep Debt

Wake now, pay later

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Zeno's Paradoxes

Proof that motion unexists

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Pont d'Avignon

Miracle bridge to nowhere

On our first trip to France, several years ago, Morgen and I spent about a week in Provence. There was no way we could see all the places that interested us in such a short period of time, so we had to settle for a few highlights. We were able to squeeze in just about half a day in the town of Avignon, and though it has immense historical significance, our main reason for visiting was a nursery song. Having grown up in the U.S., I was familiar with French children’s tunes such as “Frère Jacques” and “Alouette,” but I’d never heard “Sur le Pont d’Avignon,” which Morgen learned as a child in Canada. The song is all about people dancing on the Bridge of Avignon. It doesn’t mention the rather important fact that the bridge in question—which is probably the town’s most famous attraction—stops abruptly less than halfway across the Rhône river.

Rome if You Want To
Avignon rose to fame when, in 1309, Pope Clement V decided to move the official papal residence from Rome to Avignon—which was, at that time, on the outskirts of the Roman Empire (and just across the Rhône from France). Seven popes called Avignon home until 1377, when the papacy officially returned to Rome. (From 1378 to 1417, leadership of the Catholic church was in dispute; two so-called antipopes, Clement VII and Benedict XIII, resided in Avignon during that period.) Later, after the French Revolution, Avignon would finally become part of France. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Story of Toilet Paper

What goes around, comes around

For as long as I can remember, there’s been an ongoing conflict in my family regarding the complex moral issue of whether toilet paper (and paper towels) should be installed in a dispenser so that it rolls over or under. Some family members feel very strongly about one orientation; others feel equally strongly about the other. So whenever someone visits a relative’s house where the paper is rolling the “wrong” way, they’ll change it—prompting considerable ire from whoever lives there. Me…I’m agnostic. I roll both ways. I suppose if someone twisted my arm and demanded a decision, I’d side with the “over” camp, but it’s just not something I can get terribly worked up about.

I’ve read lots of newspaper and magazine articles about this debate over the years, and I think the issues have been explored adequately elsewhere. What I have not, however, read enough about is how toilet paper (in the form in which we now know it) came to exist in the first place. For most of us in the modern western world, toilet paper is such a basic necessity of life that we simply can’t conceive of how we would function without it. But in fact, it’s not that old—and it has a rather interesting history. This is, I realize, a rather delicate topic, but one well worth a few minutes of consideration. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Wet Collodion Process

Developing a better negative

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Biodegradable Plastic

The quest for impermanence

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Space Pens

What to use when your writing lacks gravity

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

House of the Future

Disneyland’s 1957 all-plastic house

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Bakelite

The Plastic Age

Guest Article by Jackie Chappell

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Paperclip

The twisted tale of paper’s best friend

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Crypt of Civilization

Museum in a time capsule

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Leap Seconds

Time keeps on slippin’

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Antikythera Mechanism

Computer from ancient Greece

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Longitude Problem

Finding your way around the world with a watch

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Clepsydras

Watching time flow with water clocks

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Sleep Debt

Wake now, pay later

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Zeno's Paradoxes

Proof that motion unexists

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Pont d'Avignon

Miracle bridge to nowhere

On our first trip to France, several years ago, Morgen and I spent about a week in Provence. There was no way we could see all the places that interested us in such a short period of time, so we had to settle for a few highlights. We were able to squeeze in just about half a day in the town of Avignon, and though it has immense historical significance, our main reason for visiting was a nursery song. Having grown up in the U.S., I was familiar with French children’s tunes such as “Frère Jacques” and “Alouette,” but I’d never heard “Sur le Pont d’Avignon,” which Morgen learned as a child in Canada. The song is all about people dancing on the Bridge of Avignon. It doesn’t mention the rather important fact that the bridge in question—which is probably the town’s most famous attraction—stops abruptly less than halfway across the Rhône river.

Rome if You Want To
Avignon rose to fame when, in 1309, Pope Clement V decided to move the official papal residence from Rome to Avignon—which was, at that time, on the outskirts of the Roman Empire (and just across the Rhône from France). Seven popes called Avignon home until 1377, when the papacy officially returned to Rome. (From 1378 to 1417, leadership of the Catholic church was in dispute; two so-called antipopes, Clement VII and Benedict XIII, resided in Avignon during that period.) Later, after the French Revolution, Avignon would finally become part of France. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Story of Toilet Paper

What goes around, comes around

For as long as I can remember, there’s been an ongoing conflict in my family regarding the complex moral issue of whether toilet paper (and paper towels) should be installed in a dispenser so that it rolls over or under. Some family members feel very strongly about one orientation; others feel equally strongly about the other. So whenever someone visits a relative’s house where the paper is rolling the “wrong” way, they’ll change it—prompting considerable ire from whoever lives there. Me…I’m agnostic. I roll both ways. I suppose if someone twisted my arm and demanded a decision, I’d side with the “over” camp, but it’s just not something I can get terribly worked up about.

I’ve read lots of newspaper and magazine articles about this debate over the years, and I think the issues have been explored adequately elsewhere. What I have not, however, read enough about is how toilet paper (in the form in which we now know it) came to exist in the first place. For most of us in the modern western world, toilet paper is such a basic necessity of life that we simply can’t conceive of how we would function without it. But in fact, it’s not that old—and it has a rather interesting history. This is, I realize, a rather delicate topic, but one well worth a few minutes of consideration. [Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Wet Collodion Process

Developing a better negative

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Biodegradable Plastic

The quest for impermanence

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Space Pens

What to use when your writing lacks gravity

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

House of the Future

Disneyland’s 1957 all-plastic house

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Bakelite

The Plastic Age

Guest Article by Jackie Chappell

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Paperclip

The twisted tale of paper’s best friend

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Crypt of Civilization

Museum in a time capsule

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Leap Seconds

Time keeps on slippin’

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Antikythera Mechanism

Computer from ancient Greece

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

The Longitude Problem

Finding your way around the world with a watch

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Clepsydras

Watching time flow with water clocks

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Sleep Debt

Wake now, pay later

[Article Continues…]

•••••

From the archives…

Zeno's Paradoxes

Proof that motion unexists

[Article Continues…]

•••••

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