An outdoor gender-reveal party in California sparks a wildfire.
According to Thucydides, before the plague of Athens, the Athenians were divided over whether the disaster predicted by an oracle would be a limos (famine) or a loimos (plague). “In the case of unwritten prophecies,” wrote one classicist, “it would be impossible to determine which word the speaker meant to use. The ambiguity of the sound would have been its chief recommendation to the soothsayer.”
Infectious disease is one of the few genuine adventures left in the world.—Hans Zinsser, 1935
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The World in Time
Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union. More