Advanced Trade from "Primitive" Ancestors

I’m always amused by how little credit we give our ancestors when it comes to ingenuity and mobility. The article below from Der Spiegel points this out well:

Bronze Age Espionage: Did Ancient Germans Steal the Pharaoh’s Chair Design?

Roughly 3,500 years ago, folding chairs remarkably similar to ones found in Egypt suddenly became must-have items in parts of northern Europe. Scholars are now looking into this potential case of ancient industrial espionage.

The notion that man evolved from other lesser creatures forces us to think that man several thousand years ago could not have been capable of major technological feats, complex trade networks, and bluntly, thinking the way we think. Evolution (not adaptation within species) has handicapped us in understanding and appreciating the accomplishments of past civilizations. These blinders leave us with very limited theories on how great achievements from past civilizations were accomplished.

Since I believe in a God who created man in His image, I don’t have these conundrums to deal with. I accept that from the beginning, man had the capability for all sorts of great accomplishments, and with the cumulation of technological advances over the millennia, he has been able to build on these advances to develop the advanced civilization we live in today. Disasters, such as the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and the collapses of ancient cultures, have taken away much of our ability to provide proper attribution where it was due.

Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon: Bartitsu Club member and Titanic survivor

From the Bartitsu Society:

Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon: Bartitsu Club member and Titanic survivor:

Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon (22 July 1862 – 20 April 1931) was a prominent Scottish landowner and athlete who is today best known as a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic Sea on April 15, 1912.
A keen fencer, Duff Gordon was also a member of the Bath Club, a London Club that featured an indoor swimming pool (a great novelty in the late 1800s) and counted many athletes among its members. He may well have witnessed Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright’s demonstration at the Club in 1899. Duff Gordon’s colleague William Grenfell, the first Baron Desborough, was at that time the president of the Bath Club and likewise went on to become associated with Bartitsu, accepting the presidency of the Bartitsu Club.

Fencing and Bartitsu at the Bath Club, 1899In Bartitsu Club instructor Armand Cherpillod’s memoir La vie d’un champion: Cours de culture physique et de jiu-jitsu (1933), Cherpillod recalled a compliment paid to him by Duff Gordon, who had been one of his students. Cherpillod had successfully represented the Bartitsu Club in a challenge contest against the wrestler Joe Carroll. Duff Gordon, remarking on the public reaction to the Swiss Cherpillod defeating the English champion, was reported to have said “you did not only beat Carroll, but you punished England.”
Both Duff Gordon and Grenfell were members of the organising committee of the 1908 London Olympic Games.

Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon (left) poses with W. Bean and Captain MacDonnell, all three holding duelling pistols and protective masks.In 1912, Cosmo Duff Gordon and his wife, the famous fashion designer Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff Gordon, became embroiled in a massive scandal surrounding the circumstances of their surviving the wreck of the Titanic. It was popularly alleged that the wealthy Duff Gordon had bribed members of the crew of their lifeboat not to return to help people left swimming for their lives as the ship sank.  He was fully cleared of these charges after an exhaustive inquiry, but, sadly, the stigma of the scandal ruined his reputation and he spent much of the rest of his life shunning the public eye.
A recently discovered cache of letters by Cosmo and Lucy Duff Gordon offers a poignant perspective on one of the great tragedies of the early 20th century.

Why you can’t travel like a road warrior and shave like your grampa

I do a fair amount of travel, and for several years now I have shaved with a safety razor. There are numerous benefits to this: it breaks the shaving consumerism trap, there’s something nostalgic about it (my razor is at least 80 years old…), you generate  much less waste, and you save a bucketload of money buying double-edged razor blades versus cartridges. My problem in combining the travel with my preferred means of shaving is that it is a no-go at airport security. So what is the aspiring chap to do, invest in disposable razors (and blades) as well? NO! I still take my puck of soap and badger brush in my carry on and get a cheapie disposable razor gratis from the front desk at the hotel. Everybody is happy.