Where’s the Love for Donkeys? [The New York Times] “About 5,000 years ago, 10 donkeys were laid to rest in painstakingly constructed brick grave chambers at a site connected with one of the earliest Egyptian kings. They were buried in a place of importance, “where the highest lords would be,” said Fiona Marshall, an archaeologist at Washington University in St. Louis who studies the domestication of donkeys. Because of their importance in trade across the Sahara, she said, donkeys had “superhigh status.” Unfortunately, even the most passionate defenders of donkeys recognize that the animal they love gets little respect in the wider world today.”
Adam Davidson,The V.C.s of B.C.
Through a series of incredibly unlikely events, archaeologists have uncovered the comprehensive written archive of a few hundred traders who left their hometown Assur, in what is now Iraq, to set up importing businesses in Kanesh, which sat roughly at the center of present-day Turkey and functioned as the hub of a massive global trading system that stretched from Central Asia to Europe. Kanesh’s traders sent letters back and forth with their business partners, carefully written on clay tablets and stored at home in special vaults. Tens of thousands of these records remain. One economist recently told me that he would love to have as much candid information about businesses today as we have about the dealings — and in particular, about the trading practices — of this 4,000-year-old community.[more inside]
Modern Farmer describes centuries of military love for the humble donkey. Though the U. S. Army officially ended its pack mule program in the 1950s, current soldiers and Marines-- along with the Afghan Army itself -- have trained again to use donkeys and mules in mountainous terrain. [more inside]
Biblioburro is a library that schoolteacher Luis Soriano Bohorquez of La Gloria, a small town in northern Colombia, carries around on his donkeys Alfa and Beto. Another video of Biblioburro by Al Jazeera English. Here's some further footage in Spanish. [Biblioburro previously]
Nice Ass! Jon Katz describes why he owns and loves his donkeys. Follow-up: what happened when Lulu fell during an ice storm.
This painting will not set you agog until you realize it's an early design for a self-righting ship by a man somewhat obsessed. Similarly, this cap pattern is pretty simple, but it represents some deep geek knowledge. In other words, digital artisans can seem pretentiously empty under the physical weight of a carefully considered compulsion.
"PETA Wins Right to Have Newest Party Animal" Judge orders the D.C. Commission on the Arts to allow PETA to display an entry in an ongoing public street art exhibit featuring elephants and donkeys, entitled "Party Animals Public Art Project".
Boy's Penis Stitched Back After Donkey Bite. "Donkeys in Morocco are used for laborious work on farms and garbage collection and are often subject to harsh treatment". Okay, but this leaves several important questions, such as Why is the Donkey the mascot of the Democratic Party? Are Concrete Donkeys evil? (and why are the capitalisations of the C and D in Concrete Donkey stressed?) Should we fear a pregnate donkey? Would you consider adopting a donkey needing a home? I will.