Weekly Meanderings, 12 October 2013

Sleep more, live longer, be healthier, be more creative from BBC: “It has been known for some time that the amount of sleep people get has, on average, declined over the years. This has happened for a whole range of reasons, not least because we live in a culture where people are encouraged to think of sleep as a luxury – something you can easily cut back on. After all, that’s what caffeine is for – to jolt you back into life. But while the average amount of sleep we are getting has fallen, rates of obesity and diabetes have soared. Could the two be connected?… [experiment] So the clear message from this experiment was that if you are getting less than seven hours’ sleep a night and can alter your sleep habits, even just a little bit, it could make you healthier. “Have a lie-in, it will do you good” – that’s the kind of health message that doesn’t come along very often.”

The Great Museum of Alexandria was destroyed, but how? why? “One of the great tragedies of ancient history, memorialized in myths and Hollywood film, is the burning of the great library at Alexandria. But the reality of the Library’s end was actually a lot less pyrotechnic than that. A major cause of the Library’s ruin was government budget cuts. Alexandria was a Hellenistic city founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great’s invading forces. Ptolomy II Soter, who ruled after Alexander, wanted to found a museum in the Greek style, based on Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens. He imagined that this place — called Ptolemaic Mouseion Academy — would attract great scholars from all over the world. No longer would Alexandria be a colonial backwater or just a nice vacation spot for rich Greeks. Instead, it would become a great city of wealth and learning.”

And here’s a good story about archaeological sites destroyed by humans doing stupid things.

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