Bartleby, the free (as in beer) ‘Internet publisher’, has available a fascinating graphic depicting the evolution of language (all those stemming from the single Proto-Indo-European language, anyway).
Now I know the historic route of my native tongue (as opposed to my cradle tongue), Welsh: it’s closest ‘relatives’ are Cornish and Breton (in that order) as they are all Brythonic languages that in turn stem from Insular Celtic.
Update: It appears the original has been removed/taken down. I’ve updated the link above to point to a local copy.
Originally an idea for “professional philanthropic development”, Michaelâ€”a multi-millionaire who’s giving away $78m over a 10 year periodâ€”lived with a homeless Chicago man for one weekend. Freakonomics covers the story in Michael, Meet Curtis: Philanthropy Gets Personal.
Curtis cooked another plate of chicken and beans. He was about to eat it, but once again he offered it to Michael. This time Michael accepted. Michael looked overwhelmed; his face was perspiring. Curtis refilled his coffee and gave Michael one of his cigarettes to calm him down.
“Not everyone lives like this,” I said. “And donâ€™t feel bad for Curtis.”
“No!” Curtis exclaimed. “Donâ€™t pity me,” he said, pouring some whiskey in Michaelâ€™s coffee. “This will help you sleep tonightâ€¦” Curtis lit a cigarette and leaned back on his busted plastic chair. “Just understand that you got to be creative. Even if you got a home, you still got to pay rent â€” so you take in somebody now and then. Maybe you let your friend stay in the house and they watch your kid, or clean up, or pay youâ€¦” Curtis kept on talking. Michael kept on eating.