This Week I Learned: Banknote Bacteria

I’m reading Ian Morris’ War: What Is It Good For?, a big-picture world history with a rather startling thesis. However, as with Morris’ earlier book, the excellent Why The West Rules — For Now, the real highlight isn’t the thesis — it’s the romp through history and across continents. I think Why the West Rules is the better of the two books, but nonetheless, it’s fascinating to read the author’s take on the link between primate diets, social structures, and propensities for violence, or his counter-argument to the theory that the Ancient Greeks pioneered a unique, “Western” way of  war.  So far, I’d say this is a fair review — check it out if you’d like a more detailed take.

I have one more link for you this week: did you know that researchers identified THREE THOUSAND types of bacteria growing on banknotes? According to the cited article, “6% of English bank notes tested had levels of e.coli bacteria comparable to a toilet seat”!

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