Friday assorted links
10 hours ago
a copper or silver token with a Russian Eagle on one side and on the other, the lower part of a face with nose, mouth, whiskers, and beard. It was inscribed with two phrases: "the beard tax has been taken" and "the beard is a superfluous burden".Whatever you may think of beards and mustaches as aesthetic facial hair, Peter had his reasons. He was particularly interested in increasing trade and political interactions with the rest of Europe, much of whom viewed Russia as archaic. To try and change this perception:
Peter ordered his noblemen to wear fashionable Western clothes instead of their archaic long costumes. To add insult to injury, Peter personally cut off the beards of his noblemen. All men except the peasants and priests had to pay Peter's yearly beard tax and wear a medal proclaiming, "Beards are a ridiculous ornament."
There are a lot of digital conveniences we take for granted in the Western world. Ok, let’s be honest and say we take most of them for granted. If we want something –anything– it is available at our fingertips. So what’s it like in places where the infrastructure still doesn’t exist to make those digital conveniences viable? Femi Akinde is the founder and CEO of Slimtrader, a company that is looking to change the way people in sub-Saharan Africa do business…all through their cell phones.