Wednesday, July 11, 2007

discarded pants boosted literacy

ok, this has to be one of the more random stories of the day. the grauniad reports that underwear had a vital role to play in the making of cheap paper, and that allowed knowledge to come within reach of a much greater audience.

apparently the use of underwear increased in the 13th century as peasants became townspeople and found themselves in more business encounters with members of the opposite sex. this increased the supply of rags, which were used for the making of the cheap paper. before then, it was just hyper-expensive parchment, beyond the reach of the likes of you and me.

today is 12th july, not the first of april. i don't think they are joking. read about it right here.

see also this expanded version.

ps remember that 'pants' in england are 'underpants' in the usa

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