Veni, Vidi, Vici
I was hanging out at the library today just doing some work when I completely lost my way. I ended up reading all about Julius Caesar and how the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire. In retrospect the topics I read about on the way to my final destination were linked in quite a peculiar fashion. It all started like this:
I look up from my book to see Ainsley Harriott's pretty face staring back at me from this medical journal with the headline "Ainsley Harriott talks about cooking, life and arthritis".. or something of the sort. So my mind wanders to a comment a friend of mine made as we stumbled onto Ready, Steady, Cook! when channel surfing on a hangover sunday about how Mr. Harriott is a former member of the Harlem GlobeTrotters. Lo and behold, I'm onto google in a flash to confirm the truth behind the rumor, so I type in his name and a Wikipedia link comes up. Nope, nothing remotely having to do with basketball.. he's been in the cooking business his whole life, apparently.
Hmm, so who WERE the members of the GlobeTrotters? Using Wikipedia again, I searched for that and came up with an article listing their history and members over the years.. interesting. Wilt "the Stilt" Chamberlain was one, eh?
While searching for that, one of the results was about Harlem, New York.. so I decide to click on it and read about the history of the area. It's quite informative, teaching me about the physical borders of the area as well as the years in which the African American populations started moving there and how throughout the years it gained notoriety as a hotbed for criminal activity. The article mentioned Hell's Kitchen as another area of New York, so I click on that and read about it.
From there the idea pops into my head to look up The Hells Angels (without the apostrophe in Hells I learn) which brings up a mention of the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont in 1969 when the gang were used for security and ended up stabbing a fan to death. Always wanted to know what happened that night, so I decide to read more about it by reading up on the Rolling Stones. After a quick whiz through their history in which it highlights quite the rift between Jagger and Richards, I decide to read more about Keith Richards' drug problems.
While reading about that, the article comes across two pieces of jewellery that he wears, one being a handcuffs bracelet that reminds him of how much he doesn't want to go to jail again, and a ring that looks like a skull with no jaw which apparently is a Totenkopf ring. What's that now?
On we go as I click on Totenkopf to read that its a german word that means "Death's Head" and is a military insignia associated with the Nazi SS. Hmm, click on that then and as I read the introductory paragraph the SS is described as the Nazi party's "praetorian guard".
Praetorian.. hmm.. so I click on that, which leads me to read about the Praetorian guard and their role in the Roman Empire and how they've become synonymous with intrigue, conspiracy, disloyalty and assassination. From there it lists the Roman Emperors and how the guard had affected their reign (whether by assassinating, deposing or assisting them) and from there I read about a few of the famous ones such as Nero, Caligula, Commodus etc.. There was actually an emperor called Philip the Arab who ruled for 5 years before being killed. Alllllriiiighhhttt.
You can see where this is leading, I hope? I spent the next hour and a half reading about the life and death of Julius Caesar, followed by the first Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus (real name being Octavian) who old Julius had written down as his heir in his will and who was actually his nephew and not his son.
Wikipedia is fantastic. I literally had to pull myself away otherwise who knows what I'd be reading about right now.