Sunday, February 21, 2010

Odds and Ends, Sun 21 February 2010

Some blasts from the past, the Renaissance to be more precise...

1. "Five Centuries of Board Games"

2. "A Big Map That Shrank the World"
"Created by a visiting Italian-born Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci, and
 apparently commissioned by the court of Emperor Wanli in 1602 — the
 year after Ricci became the first Westerner admitted to Peking and then
 the Forbidden City — this map is indeed partly a tribute to the land in
 which Ricci had lived since 1582, and in which he would die in 1610."

3. "The Medici Meltdown"
"In these times of financial woe, some journalists have been timidly
 exploring the past for precedents, pushing the horizon as far as the
 1929 Great Depression. Very few have looked beyond that traumatic
 event, assuming that capitalism in its current form has no earlier
 historical roots."

4. "Leonardo da Vinci's Resume"
"Before he was famous, before he painted the Mona Lisa and the Last
 Supper, before he invented the helicopter, before he drew the most
 famous image of man, before he was all of these things, Leonardo da
 Vinci was an artificer, an armorer, a maker of things that go 'boom'"

5. "Student finds art treasure in old couch"
"A Berlin student who bought a second-hand sofa bed at a flea market
 learned she had been sitting on a small fortune when she found a 17th
 century baroque painting hidden inside the couch."