An Awesome Experience

You know that sensation when you experience something truly breathtaking, something awe inspiring? It turns out that a sense of awe can support communities. Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner explained their recent findings on the connection between feeling awe and altruistic acts. The more awe people experience, the more altruistic they are. Awe-provoking experiences makeContinue reading “An Awesome Experience”

“The Bell” by Hans Christian Andersen

In Hans Christian Andersen’s short story, “The Bell,” its characters walk through a deep woods to find a mysterious solitary bell. In short, the plot goes something like this: a bell is heard off in the distance from a town, a bell which no one can identify. Various people attempt to locate the bell thatContinue reading ““The Bell” by Hans Christian Andersen”

Roland the Alarm Bell

In my last post I mentioned that the largest bell in the municipal belfry of Ghent, Belgium—called Roland—signaled the beginning of the Brabant Revolution with its tolling in 1789. The role of Roland as an alarm bell for the liberty of all of Flanders actually dates back much earlier—to 1537.* At that time, present-day BelgiumContinue reading “Roland the Alarm Bell”

Revenge of the Bells

John Potter Briscoe in Curiosities of the Belfry (1888) brings us this tale of vengeful bells in England. It is stated in a curious and rare little pamphlet on Catholic Miracles, published in 1825, that a band of sacrilegious robbers having broken into a monastery, proceeded out of bravado to ring a peal of bells,Continue reading “Revenge of the Bells”