• Daniel Davies, in the context of an unrelated post, links to a three year old article I'd missed about what may well be the most significant toilet in history.

  • The news for June 6th: A trial for witchcraft begins in Connecticut, Massachusetts reorganizes its court system to better deal with the witchcraft epidemic, and food shortages ravage New Mexico. No, I won't explain what I'm talking about, click the link.

  • A Marginal Revolution reader writes:
    I wanted to ask for survival tips in case I am unexpectedly transported to a random location in Europe (say for instance current France/Benelux/Germany) in the year 1000 AD (plus or minus 200 years). I assume that such transportation would leave me with what I am wearing, what I know, and nothing else. Any advice would help.
    Tyler gives some reasonable advice, the commenters give some other, mostly unreasonable advice, but let me pitch the canonical solution from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: today, right now, memorize an historical eclipse table so you can predict them. Or, slightly more realistically, learn your history well enough that you can first figure out what year you're in (this will be difficult, because information won't travel particularly fast and might be heavily distorted by the time it reaches you) and then take advantage of your foreknowledge by either wisely investing (horde food before a historically significant famine, ally with the winning side in wars, etc.) or just by making predictions and gaining a reputation as an oracle.

  • Ronald Mallett, the man most likely to invent a time machine (likelihood near zero). The touching, amazing, This American Life story where I first learned about Mallett.

  • Oracle Night, among its other pleasures, contains a short and convincing explication of the ways in which H.G. Wells's The Time Machine sucks.

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