Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
According to the BBC, the idea of sleeping right through the night is a fairly modern one. Apparently in antiquity people would sleep for a few hours in the early evening then get up for a few hours then go back to bed.
His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I think I may have blogged about this sort of thing before but I liked this list of foreign words that we don't have in English.
Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude
Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time
L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it
Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation