Ile le petit Detroit, "Detroit Island," was our home for 11 summers. We and a dozen friends bought the better part of the island in 1970, and the Martys built a little home there and enjoyed it through 1981. After the death of my wife, cobuilder and mother of five cobuilders, we sold it for reasons of sentiment and practicality.
The colleague with whom I teach astronomy likes to challenge our students with the question, "Are we any smarter than the ancient Greeks were?" We surely have a great deal more knowledge—especially about technology, medicine and the natural world—than Plato, Aristotle or Aristarchus had, but few of us equal them in brain power or logical reasoning.
This past May, India’s population crossed the one billion mark, according to the country’s registrar general and census commissioner. The billionth citizen of this ancient land entered a country with 40 political parties and 24 official languages, each spoken by more than a million people.