City of Fights

March 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm (By Tim) (, )

Yet another element of modern (I almost wrote that lamentable word, “civilized”) life that is Bad For You:

City lights.


They cause cancer, because sleep patterns are disturbed, and, well, Science has discovered that anything that is not just like Cro-Magnon life 40,000 years ago causes cancer.

This article enthuses over the new Paris that is proposed to be not so well-lit. There IS something to be said for Paris in, say, 1591 (one of my favorite years), when it was appropriately dark at night. Henri IV was on the throne, and all was right with the world. And it was a lot simpler to knife your opponents in a back alley and throw the bodies into the Seine at 2 AM. I don’t know if the French did anything similar, but at Venice in the same period, the Doge had special soldiers who collected the murdered bodies from the canals every morning. The average was about eight—a dozen or more on good nights.

As a traditionalist, I say, turn off those damn lights and bring back stilettos. They’re much quicker than cancer.


  1. mockturtle said,

    Ah, those were the days!

  2. Donna B. said,

    That photo reminds me of this one:

  3. A said,

    I was looking just last night at photographs that were taken as Paris was being revamped in the mid 19th century by Haussmann for traffic and streetlights—sort of the opposite of Donna’s link:

  4. wj said,

    In contrast, that famous bastion of environmentalism, San Francisco, has decided that what it needs to do is add an enormous number of lights to the Bay Bridge for the next two years. $8 million in lights. (They are LEDs, so the running cost is only about $15 per night, but still….)

    Just what we need: more light pollution!

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