" To the boy of twenty it seems impossible that he will not love as wildly at sixty as he does then ... His love will never fall, whoever else's may. Nobody ever loved as he loves, and so, of course, the rest of the world's experience can be no guide in his case. "
Jerome K. Jerome

Back in the day


Nathan Ames Patents His "Revolving Stairs," Now Known as the Escalator

Although no working model of his design was ever built, Ames is credited with patenting the first escalator. His idea for the "revolving stairs" was largely speculative. It was not until the 1890s that the first working escalator—called the "inclined elevator"—was produced, based on another's designs. It was installed among the amusements at New York's Coney Island but did not remain a novelty for long. How did shoppers react when Harrods in London debuted its first escalator in 1898?



Dunbar's Number

Before there was Facebook, British anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed a cognitive limit to the number of meaningful social relationships one can have. Through his research on primates and ancient hunter-gatherer societies, he concluded that brain size, specifically the size of the neocortex, dictates the maximum size of one's social group. Primates create intimacy by picking parasites off each other, while humans rely on language. How many social relationships does Dunbar believe one can have?

Born on a day like today


Pamela Lyndon "P. L." Travers

Australian-born British actress, journalist, and novelist P. L. Travers is best remembered for her series of fictional children's books about the prim, vain, imperious, acerbic, and mysteriously magical nanny Mary Poppins. The books were a great success, and Disney's award-winning 1964 film adaptation made the author even more famous. Travers worked as an adviser on the film, but in the end she was unhappy with it and never allowed anyone related to the production to adapt her work again. Why?

Last updated on Friday, 9th August 2013

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