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Interesting Links for 04-01-2012

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
steepholm
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
I wonder what a 'bicycle face' is?
nwhyte
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC)
One dreads to think!
gareth_rees
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
From "The Hidden Dangers of Cycling" by A. Shadwell, M.D., published in the National Review of 1897:
The vera causa [of the nervous troubles associated with cycling] seems to lie in the extreme instability of the two-wheeled machine, which can never be left to itself for a single moment without dismounting. In this respect bicycling differs from any other occupation whatever. The strain of attending to it may not be very great in itself—sometimes it is and sometimes it is not—but it never ceases, and this incessant tension is the thing which tells upon the nerves. How incessant it is, the demeanour of most riders declares with an emphasis which still excites ridicule, familiar as the sight has become. Some time ago I drew attention to the peculiar strained, set look so often associated with this pastime and called it the ‘bicycle face’; the general adoption of the phrase since then indicates a general recognition of its justice. Some wear the “face” more and some less marked, but nearly all have it, except the small boys who care little for croppers. Has anybody ever seen persons on bicycles talking and laughing and looking jolly, like persons engaged in any other amusement? Never, I swear.
This famous piece is a masterclass in conjuring up a medical scare from a handful of unrelated anecdotes (a couple of six-day-racers who became delirious from lack of sleep; one women who suffered an attack of appendicitis, and another of goitre, while riding a bike), while exuding the most noxious sexism under the guise of concern for womens' health.
steepholm
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you, that's very enlightening.
gareth_rees
Jan. 12th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
The piece gives interesting insights into attitudes to women taking up cycling in the late 19th century, so I put the whole thing on my blog.
yorksranter.wordpress.com
Jan. 10th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
Hey, if they manage to re-implement Hawking's synthesiser, how long before the "Talk Like Stephen Hawking" app appears?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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