Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Stendhal Syndrome

File this one under: Who knew?

A few weeks ago a woman attacked the Mona Lisa with a ceramic mug (it did no damage thanks to the two centimeter thick bulletproof glass). Anyway, after being taken into custody the woman was given a psychological screening to see if she was suffering from Stendhal Syndrome. Psychology Today explains:

Named for the French author Henri-Marie Beyle, who died in 1842 and is best known by his pseudonym, Stendhal, the syndrome is also known as hyperkulturemia and as Florence Syndrome. After visiting Florence, Italy — a city distinctively replete with art — Stendhal wrote in his 1817 book Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio: “I felt a pulsating in my heart. Life was draining out of me, while I walked fearing a fall.”

August 24, 2009