Showing posts with label Alexander the Great. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alexander the Great. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

Times Square confetti 2011
 Catching up on reading. Did you know Alexander the Great introduced bananas to the "West" in 327 B.C.? See "We Have No Bananas," in this week's New Yorker about a blight threatening the fruit.
Separately, India is overrun with plastic bags, and one banker suggests in the Wall Street Journal that incentivizing rag pickers to collect them is a solution.
Finally, a fellow Couch Surfing enthusiast in India and blogger has taken fascinating trips (one with her mother!) to remote India locales. Here she reports on the proliferation of Chinese noodles in India. But read the rest of her blog.
Happy New Year from Times Square, where four days later, the confetti lingers (see photo).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gold-Digging Ants?

Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, two years after he led his armies into the Indus Valley. Seems Macedonian scientists were curious about Heroditus' accounts of India's gold-digging ants! Probably they were furry marmots -- bugs can be big, right? -- says a New York Times article in above link. According to "Historic India," a recent 1968 find with great illustrations, "[Alexander's] troops, wearied in battles against local Indian forces and terrified by tales of fierce peoples and frightful beasts ... refused to go farther. ... Small outposts and garrisons left by the Macedonians soon withered away." Does make you wonder if they left blue eyes behind. Today's assault on the foreigner is so much more benign: aggressive monkeys, poisonous sea urchins, computer viruses and pollution as thick as soup. And India still has the gold!