Chris and I enjoyed brunch at Piatti this morning and it continues to rain, delightfully so. It is like the good old days with rain and wind whipping around and freshening the air. I am so excited and now am happily tucked inside, viewing rain through the window after enjoying the thrill of getting thoroughly soaking wet. It is a lovely tap awake.
Yesterday I listened to a friend who is a therapist at the VA speak about the physical and emotional traumas with which our veterans return.
I have now ordered this book by Aaron Glantz, The War Comes Home: Washington's Battle Against American's Veterans. I think it is a must-read.
I am enchanted with the book 1491 by Charles C. Mann. It puts our current problems into a bit of perspective. I find it interesting the Olmec and their successors had the wheel in the Americas for more than 2000 years and yet only used it in toys. Also curious is this. The Chinese invented the mold-board plow by the 3rd century B.C. "Made of cast iron, the plowshare was shaped like a V, with the blade carving into the ground and the two arms arcing away like gull wings. Because the arms were curved, they turned the earth away from the blade, which both reduced friction and more efficiently plowed the soil."
"The design of the moldboard plow is so obvious that it seems incredible that Europeans never thought of it. Until the Chinese-style plow was imported in the seventeenth century, farmers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and other states labored to shove what amounted to a narrow slab of metal through the earth. "The increased friction meant that huge multiple teams of oxen were required, whereas Chinese plows could make do with a single ox," Temple explained. The European failure to think up the moldboard, according to scientific historian Teresi, was "as if Henry Ford designed the car without an accelerator, and you had to put the car in neutral, brake, and go under the hood to change speed. And then we did this for 2,000 years."
Look around. What aren't we seeing? The next innovation might be right before our eyes, might be dancing under our feet.