We arrived in London right on time Friday morning, and after some minor trouble finding our bus, arrived at the hotel unscathed. After lunch, we made the short walk north to the British Museum. As a group we saw the Rosetta Stone, then allowed everyone to explore for a little over an hour. As anyone who has been at the museum can attest, one could easily spend a full day exploring the wide variety of treasures housed within. Some made their way to Asian art, many lingered in the antiquities. Others marveled at the textile adorned with thousands of prescription pills — the average number of medications a British citizen takes in a lifetime. It’s designed as a timeline, so the lines of drugs increase greatly of course after the age of 50.
This professor made it to the money room (brought to you by Citi) and saw how currency has been a form of communication. I was particularly struck by a sem-recent poster from Zimbabwe. Using images currency such as the short-lived 100-trillion dollar note circulated as the country’s economy collapsed in 2009, the poster reads “It’s cheaper to print this on money than paper.” Sponsored by an independent newspaper in the country, it serves both as grim social commentary and a reminder of the power of the printed word.