Having Fun Yet? by, David Barrows, API

117 billion humans have existed in total.


Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim.” In other words, suffering and misfortune are the general rule in life, not the exception. Contradicting what many philosophers had stated previously, evil is a real thing, with good being the lack of evil. We can see this by considering that happiness or satisfaction always implies some state of pain or unhappiness being brought to an end; and by the fact that pleasure is not generally as pleasant as we expect, while pain is much worse than imagined.

Mark Twain

In 1590, three boys, Theodor, Seppi, and Nikolaus, live relatively happy, simple lives in a remote village called Eseldorf. The story is narrated by Theodor, the village organist's son. Other local characters include Father Peter, his niece Marget, and the astrologer.

One day, a handsome teenage boy named Satan appears in the village. He explains that he is the nephew of the fallen angel whose name he shares. Young Satan performs several feats. He claims to be able to foresee the future and informs the group of unfortunate events that will soon befall those they care about. The boys do not believe Satan's claims until one of his predictions comes true. Satan proceeds to describe further tragedies that will befall their friends. The boys beg Satan to intercede. Satan agrees but operates under the technical definition of mercy. For instance, instead of a lingering death due to illness, Satan simply causes one of Theodor's friends to die immediately.

In the village and other places around the world where Satan transports them magically, the boys witness religious fanaticism, witch trials, burnings, hanging, and Death. Finally, Satan vanishes with a brief explanation: "[T]here is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, and no hell. It is all a dream – a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought – a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”

Let’s Get Out of Here

The earliest remnants of wine as we now know it was discovered at the site of Hajji Firuz Tepe in the northern Zagros Mountains of Iran. The site dates back to the Neolithic period (8500-4000 B.C.). Carbon dating confirmed the wine was from sometime between 5400-5000 B.C.

Evidence of the earliest use of the narcotic opium has been found in an ancient burial site in Israel. Traces were discovered by archaeologists in pottery vessels at the complex in Yehud, about 11km (7 miles) southeast of Tel Aviv. C containers date back about 3,400 years, apparently having been used in local burial rituals.

The site was used by inhabitants during the period when the land was known as Canaan. It is believed the opium was grown in what is modern-day Turkey and brought to Yehud via Cyprus.