How We Lost The Night

May 19, 2011

In Paris, along the Rue Mouffetard is the Place de la Contrescarpe.

Before the time of artificial lighting, this was a dangerous place. The civil authorities commonly found dead bodies on the ground when day broke. You could pay somebody with a candle on a pole to walk you through the area to safety, and he would charge you based on how much of the wax burned down. Night and darkness were frightening, supernaturally and realistically.  Today, passing through the place at midnight, you see hipsters still on the early end of their evening. The night is a little less scary, but the price of that is a deep loss of the meaning of darkness. Our circadian rhythms are jumbled, and we no longer have that constant reminder of our place in universe, the starry sky. On today's show, how we lost the night and what went away with it.  Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin. ***This episode originally broadcast May 19, 2011***