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E-Books: Neither E Nor Books

Now, as much as I love books, I love computers, too. Computers are fundamentally different from modern books in the same way that printed books are different from monastic Bibles: they are malleable. Time was, a “book” was something produced by many months’ labor by a scribe, usually a monk, on some kind of durable and sexy substrate like foetal lambskin. [ILLUMINATED BIBLE] Gutenberg’s xerox machine changed all that, changed…

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Catapult Makers: Rock Stars of Antiquity

Ancient catapults were state-of-the-art weapons of unequalled power?but how powerful were the military engineers who created them?… The fearsome machines terrorized battlefields and sieges until the proliferation of gunpowder. Their power was impressive and terrifying. Roman catapults could hurl 60-pound (27-kilogram) boulders some 500 feet (150 meters). Archimedes’ machines were said to have been able to throw stones three times as heavy. –Brian Handwerk –Catapult Makers: Rock Stars of Antiquity (National…