Crate of Curios part 32

T-shirt weather is finally here, the Sahara dust has subsided and we are enjoying the wonderful Mediterranean blue skies again. Next week just might herald the end of movement restrictions and I’ve had a coffee in my usual corner cafe again. According to any parameters, life is good. So, without any further ado, let’s get to opening this week’s Crate.

  1. We hear a lot about the ‘richest people of the world’, ‘the Fortune 100 list’, etc, so it can be easy to forget that incredible wealth is not something unique to our era. In fact, on the list of 10 wealthiest individuals of all time, the 20th century is represented by a single person – and that’s not Jeff Bezos. The richest person in history is in fact estimated to be a 14th century African ruler Mansa Musa who ruled over the empire of Mali.

2. Adding the word ‘forced’ to any other word normally makes it worse. Forced empathy, however, might make you a much better negotiator.

3. Ever wondered what the students actually do at the universities? In LOLmythesis, the graduates explain their thesis topics and results in a single (often hilarious) sentence.

4. We tend to connect the British Isles with a constant drizzle and grey gloom rather than with palm trees and laid-back lifestyle. The British Isles, however, are composed of a good number of isles, among them the Isles Of Scilly, just off the coast of Cornwall, that enjoy an almost subtropical climate due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. And just so you don’t think it’s an innocent little place – The Isles of Scilly ended their 335 Year War with the Netherlands only in 1986.

5. If you are not familiar with the cartoonist The Oatmeal, it’s high time you made the acquaintance. And what better way to do it than with the story imagining his dogs as a pair of middle-aged men instead.

6. And to finish off for this week, another wonderful little comic by Grant Snider.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!


If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.
The Crate is now also available on Medium.

Crate of Curios part 31

A hot Easter Sunday filled with Sahara dust has passed and today, Easter Monday, promises the opening of cafes and restaurants – albeit without music -as another step towards reclaiming our pre-pandemic life. If anything, the last six months has shown how much the little pleasures in life actually count. Hence, selfishly counting this newsletter among one of said little pleasures of life, let’s get to opening this week’s Crate without further ado.

  1. Naive art provided much of the inspiration behind modernism – one need only to name the quiet tax collector Henri Rousseau – but it does not only belong to the beginning of last century. One example of it would be a former Soviet factory worker Rosa Zharkikh, who after a near-death experience at the age of 46, started her path as an artist trying to map her visions with needle and thread into intricate embroideries.

2. No matter where, we are evaluated on our output. However, as Austin Kleon (who, by the way was the main inspiration behind this very newsletter) notes in his blog – our output depends on our input.

3. Women in Ancient Greek society have been thought to have been confined to the gynaeceum and busied themselves mostly with everyday household matters – and certainly not with anything that had to do with creation. Now, however, a shift in patterns on Greek amphoras during the Early Iron Age has called that view into question.

4. After having collectively lived through it, many of us are probably prone to classifying 2020 as the worst year ever. However, things could get much much worse – as they did in 536 A.D, supposedly the worst year in the whole European history.

5. Glass is something we mostly do not connect with sensuality, but after seeing Amber Cowan’s detail-rich works, we might just change our minds about that.

6. And to finish off for this week, a little comic from Safely Endangered.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!


If you want to receive the Crate to your mailbox, you can subscribe here at Substack.
The Crate is now also available on Medium.