Saturday, April 2, 2011

Things I Did Today
  • Worked from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Ordered dinner from Oshima, my favorite neighborhood sushi source.
3 Recommended Links
Thoughts -- Excerpts From The Middle Ages, Part 4: The Health And Domestic Life Of The Nobility
[Noble] life was precarious and had to be lived fast and hard. To balance the high incidence of infant mortality, women had to marry when barely nubile and bear three times as many children as they do today. The genetic effects of mating of twelve-year-olds can only be guessed at. Polluted water, tainted foods, the rheumatic, pneumonic damp of stone-walled rooms, mistreatment of wounds, epidemics of typhoid, dysentery, smallpox, influenza, and the plague took a heavy toll. The nobles consumed too much meat and alcohol, and in the winter no vitamin C, for lack of which, says Aldous Huxley, they were subject to visions, holy or diabolical.

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The newly married couple lived in a crowded turmoil that would offend a present-day recipient of relief. Few nobles possessed more than two or three rooms, and these swarmed with family and retainers. Even the English king was known to hold royal court in his bedroom, with his queen sitting on the bed for lack of other retreat. All ate together in the hall. Waifs lived under the stairs, and at dinner stood in "beggars' row," disputing their pittance with the dogs. Children slept with their parents or with the servants on the floor of the hall. Privacy is one of the greatest of modern inventions.

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