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PostBullfighting and Pope Alexander VI (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA, 05/16/21 4:06 am)
Gary Moore writes:
Thanks to José Ignacio Soler (May 14th) for the thoughtful look at bullfighting, and the reminder that indeed, Catalonia, too, has a history with it. Weren't the Borgias Catalonian (as in Pope Alexander VI, who parceled out the Americas)? Borgia myths aside, it seems to be accepted that Alexander/Rodrigo's son (son of a pope?), Cesare Borgia, introduced bullfighting for a temporary spell in Rome, with the famous image of Cesare himself stepping into the arena and astonishing the Colosseum crowd.
History also lurks near Enrique Torner's intriguing posts about memory and absent-mindedness. Those of us who breathe a sigh of relief to hear that others like Enrique share the vexing I-went-upstairs-and-then-couldn't-remember-why-I-went-there syndrome, might beware, however, of this confirmation that our wandering minds aren't hints of creeping Alzheimer's but perhaps badges of honor, showing the Absent-Minded Professor's deep powers of concentration. The brooding historical caveat remains.
Pierre Curie, less known than his brilliant wife Marie (née Sklodowska) was co-discoverer with Marie of the element radium. Meanwhile in 1906, Paris, their home, was bustling with open-air markets and wholesale produce hubs, served by rumbling freight wagons, the 18-wheelers of the turn of the century. These were common sights along Pierre Curie's customary walk home. The end of his brilliant career is understandably little heralded, with only questions remaining as to how he walked out in front of one.
JE comments: Alexander VI was born in Valencia, which then belonged to the Crown of Aragón. Not precisely Catalonian, but close. He fathered at least six children (including the infamous Lucrezia Borgia), which must be a papal record.
Regarding Pierre Curie's death, he fell under a passing wagon, which ran over and crushed his brilliant skull. Another genius who met his end in a similar fashion was the architect Antoni Gaudi, struck by a passing tram.
Look both ways, folks, especially when you're too smart to focus on mundane distractions like traffic.