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Thank goodness for progress!

Imagine writing a 100,000 word novel on one of these!






Touching the Dead

The custom of Touching the Dead still lingers in many countries today, including some rural areas in the North of Britain.

One explanation for this custom is that touching protects the person involved from being haunted by the ghost of the deceased.

It was also once believed that a murdered victim’s body would bleed at the touch of his or her murderer. Long after this crude form of ordeal had been abandoned by the courts, it was often resorted to in secret. Refusal to participate in the test often left a person under a permanent cloud of suspicion.

Source: “Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain” 2nd Ed. 1977 The Reader’s Digest Association Limited, London.

Demon claw?

3,000-year-old remains of an upland moa.

Imagine finding this inside a dark cave!

The claw was, in fact, found in a cave three decades ago, and looks exactly like one imagines a demon claw would look.

It’s actually the 3,300-year-old mummified remains of an upland moa (Megalapteryx didinus), a species of large prehistoric bird endemic to New Zealand that had disappeared from existence centuries earlier.




Walk for Arts’ Sake

Walking cbw

When it comes to exercise, many experts agree that walking is one of the best forms. It’s one of the easiest ways to improve blood circulation, and is gentle on the joints. But, with such a broad choice of transportation available these days people are less willing to walk, even over short distances. Yet, this increase in a more sedimentary lifestyle may have more detrimental effects on our health than we imagine.

“The slow death of purposeless walking” by Finlo Rohrer, is a wonderful piece about the creative health benefits of simply walking for the sake of walking.

Rohrer notes that Wordsworth was a walker, as was Dickens and Wolf, and points to environmentalist and writer John Francis as being “…one of the truly epic walkers.” Rohrer believes “It is that “just to walk” category that is so beloved of creative thinkers.”

He cites a recent study from Stanford University that “…showed that even walking on a treadmill improved creative thinking…” (excellent! – since this is my preferred mode of moving the blood around!), and he quotes Geoff Nicholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, as saying “Your senses are sharpened. As a writer, I also use it as a form of problem solving. I’m far more likely to find a solution by going for a walk than sitting at my desk and ‘thinking’.” (I’m quite sure my good friend, and fellow author, Ben Starling, would agree with this!)

So, next time you find yourself battling against the dreaded ‘writer’s block’, take yourself off for a good long walk and clear the pathways to creativity!

Click here to read the full article: ‘The slow death of purposeless walking’ by Finlo Rohrer




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