Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Who Invented The Wheel?

Welcome back my fellow learners, when we look around, we all take for granted the one item that is the most used in the whole world, and that is the basic wheel. However, how exactly did this basic item first come into being? And by whom?

They say that it was the Mesopotamians in 3500BC that first thought up the wheel. And since then it still remains the most crucial invention of all time. If you think on it, how many things do we own that have wheels on? The most obvious answer would be a car or motorbike. However, there are other things that most people don't consider, such as tables, chairs, washing machines, WHAT I hear you say, well if you look more closely on the basic workings of a washing machine, you will find out that they too have tiny wheels inside them, helping millions across the world to look and smell great.

Nearly every appliance that has been built since the start of the Industrial Revolution involves a basic principle embodied of mankind’s truly significant invention. It’s difficult to imagine any system that would be possible without the wheel or symmetrical component moving in a circular motion. From watch gears to cars, jet engines and computer drives, the principle is all the same.

The earliest indications of the wheel was found depicted on ancient clay tablets, and believe it or not but the first wheel was actually a potters wheel, a crude but effective prototype of today's wheel. This was seen in Mesopotamia, also known today as Iraq. This invention was taken and upgraded to use on the Mesopotamian chariots. However, one interesting fact is that the wheel was not actually invented for vehicles at the time.
A spoked wheel first appeared in Egypt around 2000 BC on their chariots. The great Inca, Aztec and Maya civilizations some how reached an extremely high level of development, without ever having to use the wheel. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that the wheel ever existed among native people in the Western Hemisphere.
So there you have it folks, however, it does beg on question, how did the Aztec and Maya people reach their level of development without ever having to resort to the wheel, and who exactly taught them, this is what really boggles the boffins minds.

Monday, 28 April 2014

How The Internet Was Invented

Welcome back my fellow learners. Today we are going to look into how the internet came into being.

Believe it or not but the internet was not actually invented by one person, and the dynamics of the internet were created many years ago, but in another form. The actual idea of internet began over a quarter of a century ago.

The idea of the internet first began in 1957, when the Sputnik was launched by none other than the Soviet Union. American as per usual saw this as a personal threat, (so what else is new), so created the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency, which was a bit of a mouthful, so they shortened it to DARPA in 1958. This was supposed to protect them from a missile attack from space, so the Americans not to be outdone by the Russians went and built their own satellite.

This is where Joseph Licklider came into play, he was the chief of New Information Processing Technique Office, or IPTO for short. (please tell me where the Americans get these big ass names from), anyway where was I? Oh yeah, this Joseph guy first helped influence towards today's internet as we know it. He believed that a communications network within the US would be beneficial, he brought in Lawrence Roberts who also worked in the field of networks.

Now Joseph had no working knowledge on computer programming, this was left down to Lawrence, who headed up ARPANET, who based ideas on packet switching. In 1969 ARPANET was used for the first time, and communicated between Stanford and the University of California in LA.

After a time more and more computers began to connect making this a huge success. Robert in 1973 left ARPANET and created telenet, this was to be the worlds first commercial network. He hired Robert Kahn and Viston, and together they worked on packet switching, by 1983 they had developed TCP which was to become one of the worlds most widely used networks.

By the time 1992 rolled around internet became available for us common people.
So there you have it folks!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

What Cocaine Does To A Person

Welcome back my fellow learners, today is a serious subject close to my heart, the use of cocaine and what it does to a person. In my life I have seen the utter destruction drugs have done to some very good friends, some even leading to fatalities, there is nothing more worse than watching a good friend pass away in your arms all because of this stupid drug.

It is reported that approximately 14% of adults living in the United States today have tried coke at least once in their lives. This heinous drug is responsible of more emergency room visits than any other drug on the market today. The long term effects on the internal organs of a person body is horrendous, and also the over spill onto family and friends is felt.

I have to add a personal note here friends, people who use this drug either need serious help due to a major crisis in their life, or are too stupid to know better. We have all heard the saying “I can stop whenever I want”, this is total bull crap, once the monkey is on your back you are in trouble. So don't be pushed due to peer pressure to even trying this drug, it may end up costing you your life.

Okay, the short term effect of cocaine are rapid, especially to the brain. It does and will interfere with all the nerves in the brain, and prevents chemicals like serotonin and dopamine from being absorbed, this leads to the feeling of being high.

Symptoms to look for in a cocaine user are:-

Constricted blood vessels
    Dilated pupils
    Increase in heart rate
    Increase in blood pressure
    Increase in body temperature

Cocaine leads to heart attacks, even in the very young and healthy. Taking vast amounts of cocaine can cause erratic and violent behaviour. These users could experience tremors, muscle spasms, paranoia, and even vertigo. Cocaine can also impact on a persons sex drive.

Long-term use lead to arrhythmia, heart attacks, strokes, seizures, headaches, ulcers, nausea, and even fatality. Long-term use can destroy the kidney and liver.

Finally how a person uses cocaine can also lead to side effects. Snorting coke up your nose can cause a person to lose their smell, create nosebleeds, and in extreme cases destroy you septum.

Injecting create puncture marks which by the way never go away, and collapse veins.

So there you have it folks, before taking that evil white powder into your body remember what you have read here, and ask yourself “IS IT WORTH YOU LIFE”?

Monday, 21 April 2014

How Tea Came About

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to learn about that much unappreciated drink tea.

In 2737BC there is a Chinese legend that states that the Emperor Shen Nong sat beneath a tree for a quick rest, he took a few leaves off said tree and mixed it with water to quench his thirst. This Emperor was so impressed with the taste he actually invented tea. However, this cannot actually be proven, so its a moot point. But tea did actually originate from China in the southern province of Yunnan. It was originally used as a therapeutic beverage in 206-24AD under the western Han dynasty. This became part of their daily lives, however, only the rich could afford to drink it, just goes to show, some things never change.

Anyway, it took years but finally in 618-907 in the Tang dynasty, tea finally became available to the masses. It came in the form of sugar like cubes, which needed to be ground into powder before being added to boiling water. Water and sugar was unheard of in those times, so they added salt or spices depending upon taste.

In the Ming dynasty, tea as we know today was finally born, however, not in bags marked with a brand name, no, the tea went back to its original form of leaves, which were then in turn added to hot water.

The Chinese finally realised that this was like gold and began to export it in the 10th century to its surrounding countries, then to Europe. It was sent via boat to Holland in 1606. It wasn't until 1653 that England and France finally jumped on to the band wagon. The first English man called Thomas Garraway in 1657 first served tea in his London cafe. This proved to be an instant hit, and soon overtook coffee in the English person hearts.

Due to the high demand, China could not keep up with the ever growing demand for tea. The British then introduced tea to other countries such as India in 1834, and Ceylan in 1857.

So it just goes to show, that Great Britain, the nation of tea drinkers, did not actually introduce this beverage to the world after all.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Some Of The Most Powerful Gladiators In History

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to go more in-depth into my favourite part in history, yep you guessed it my blood thirsty Romans.

Back in the hey day of Rome, gladiators were the superstars of their time. Their epic battles drew in thousands of people everyday. These men were originally bought as slaves, and then trained in the arena, a successful gladiator could gain the support of many, and even be showered with lavish gifts, and on occasion earning their freedom, however, this was rare, after all why give the freedom of one earning you so much money.

This unknown was discovered purely by accident via graffiti in 1817 in Pompeii, Tetraites was recorded due to his victory over Prudes. Depicted using a sword, helmet, arm and shin guards and brandishing a rectangle shield, this was known as murmillones style fighting. However, the extent of Tetraites fame was not known until the late 20th century when pottery was unearth in France and England that showed his true victories

Spiculus, another infamous gladiator was reported to have a close friendship with none other than the Emperor Nero. Due to Spiculus endless victories, Nero was said to have given him palaces, slaves and riches. However, this friendship was doomed to last, due to the fact when Nero was finally dethroned in 68AD, he sent his closest aides out to find Spiculus so he would die at the hands of a friend not the enemy, however, the search proved fruitless and Nero ended up taking his own life.

Marcus Attilius
Even though he was a Roman citizen through birth, Marcus choose to become a gladiator because he was heavily in debt. In his very first battle he defeated a gladiator known to be owned by Nero, this gladiator was a 13 times champion in the arena, Marcus went on defeating champions right until the end. His life as a gladiator was recorded in mosaics and graffiti that was unearthed in 2007.

And I saved the best for last, my firm favourite Spartacus, many an epic film was made about this man, (however, my favourite was played by Kirk Douglas).

everyone has heard about this legendary gladiator, he began life as a Thracian soldier, who was captured and then sold as a slave. Lentulus Batiatus of Capua recognized talent when he saw it, because he bought him for the sole purpose of using him as a gladiator. However, despite the odds this warrior’s fierce independence shone through and he would not give up his bid from freedom. In 73BC he persuaded nearly 100 of his fellow gladiators these included Crixus. As a result of this revolt their master was murdered, allowing the gladiators to escape to freed to Mount Vesuvius.

Monday, 14 April 2014

How Boxing Was Born

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to look at that popular sport boxing, and how it came about. Though I have to add I am more into speed, no not the drug, the sport, racing, whether it be on bikes or cars is more my bag, so I have to ask, what is so enjoyable about watching 2 grown men beat the crap out of each other?

Anyway enough of my rant, lets get the learning done.

Boxing has grown over the centuries, however, it is most popular in Europe and the Americas. People such as Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Benny Leonard, Mickey Walker have made this sport legendary, and made it into what it is today. However, something you may not know but boxing was originally known as Pugilism, which simply means sweet science.

History shows that boxing first starting in 4000BC in North Africa, and was also popular in Greece, and yep you guessed it, by my blood thirsty Romans. In those days there were no rules in boxing, and most of the times it was to the death. Boxing gloves had not even been thought of so leather was used to bind the hands. The Romans used slaves and prisoners for their boxing matches, and sometimes they fought for their freedom. But evidence shows that everyday men enjoyed participating in the sport just for the sheer enjoyment of it. However, a buzzjoy named Augustus decided to ban this sport, and in 500AD it was also banned by the odoric due to its growing popularity, and was blamed for causing a distraction in everyday life, which begs the question of “what was their life like if something as simple as boxing wrecked havoc with it”?

The first documented records on boxing was in England in 1681. It states that a bored Duke of Albermarle decided to make a wage of who would win when his butler and butcher entered the competition, this soon took off and many boxing competitions began to spring up amongst the gentry, this was done with the hierarchy due to boredom mostly, and they wanted something to alleviate this and supply them with fun and amusement.

However, before this a little known man called Jack Boughtonis established the ever set of boxing rules. Jack decided to publish these rules when an opponent of his died within the ring, thus sprung the legend known as the father of boxing.

However, most of know the traditional boxing rules call the Queensbery rules. These were named after the founder the Marquess of Queensberry in 1866. These rules are still in operation even today, and use the 3 minute rounds rule. The Marquess banned all forms of wrestling gouging, and made gloves compulsory.

So there you have it readers, a quick run down on how boxing was first created.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The History Of Guns

Welcome back my fellow learners. Today I want to talk about guns, Unfortunately, these deadly firearms are a necessary evil, and have killed more people than the bubonic plague over the last few centuries. However, today is not about maudlin thoughts, today is about how certain pieces changed the history of guns in general.

Over the years firearms have constantly evolved ever since their appearance around 800 years ago. Ranging from primitive hand cannons to automatic rifles, here are just a few breakthroughs that changed the face of history.

13th century hand cannon
Those quiet unassuming Chinese developed a variety of gunpowder weapons called fire lances and fire dragons, and believe it or not but those deadly flame throwers and fireworks, stretching as far back as the 10th century. The first gunpowder toting firearm can be dated all the way back to the Yuan Dynasty somewhere in the 13th century. These included stunning hand cannons made in bronze, which could operated by one man and set off by another. Their firing range was short and accuracy bad, but the overall affect was known to intimidate their opponents.

1862 The Gatling Gun
If any of you remembers that legendary movie “Zulu”, you will all remember the infamous gating gun scene. This weapon was invented by Dr Richard Gatling, hence the name, and it was the first machine gun known, it fired more than 700 50caliber rounds a minute. It housed 6 barrels which rotated with the help of a handle, firing bullets from a clip using gravity. It was first seen in the American Civil War, but showed its true worth in the Spanish-American war.
1873 The Colt Peacemaker

Samuel Colt contrary to popular belief did not actually invent this revolver, what he did however, was introduce and assembly line to mass produce them, rather than rely on gunsmiths to make them. Thus ensuring a mass produced weapon. This weapon was a firm favourite in the wild west era, and cowboys all carried the famous 6 shooter, or Winchester rifle commonly seen today in many of the movies.

M1911, 1911 Colt

In a rare turn of events, a certain John Browning actually put the cart before the horse. He invented in 1904 the 45 cartridge bullet, then built the gun around it. The M1911 was used in 2 wars, the Korean and Vietnam, but was replaced eventually with the M9 Beretta. Both of these weapons earned their reputations for being reliable and accurate, although the Beretta could hold more bullets than its counterpart, however, the M1911 is still preferred by many.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The History Of Cuban Cigars

Welcome back my fellow learners, today is all about the cigar. These have become increasingly popular over the last few years due to the likes of Stallone and Schwarzenegger sporting one in nearly every picture or movie they have starred in.

However, it cannot be determined when they were first brought into production or even smoked, it one thing is for certain most Europeans knew nothing of tobacco until Columbus made his legendary voyage in 1492.
But, this is were it gets a tad confusing, 2 of Columbus's sailors stated that they saw the Cuban Indians smoking a form of cigar, using dried tobacco leaves that were twisted and then rolled into other leaves like palm or plantain. However, I have to ask the obvious question here, who in their right mind looked at these leaves and thought about setting fire to them, then ingesting them into their lungs??? So now I know who to blame for my life long love affair of tobacco!

Okay, lets get back on track here. Over time the Spanish and other European sailors caught the tobacco bug, as did the Conquistadors, smoking then spread like wild fire to Spain and Portugal and last but not least France, this was mostly down to Jean Nicot, the French ambassador to Portugal, who actually used his name, so giving the world nicotine. Much later, it spread to Italy and, after Sir Walter Raleigh's went to America, eventually to England.

Smoking was popular throughout Europe, mostly in pipes in England, by the time the mid 16th century rolled round, tobacco began to be grown in the US. The biggest joke of all was Tobacco was originally said to have medicinal qualities, take that boffin eggheads, however, there are always die hards that considered it evil, and so tobacco was outlawed by Philip II of Spain, and James I of England. The word cigar came from the Mayan Indian work sikar, which literally means “smoking”

The Cigars we know today were made first in Spain in the 18th century, using that delicious smelling and every expensive Cuban tobacco. However, then no cigars were being brought in from Cuba.

So there you have it, how the evil weed came into existence. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Is Mineral Water Really Good For You?

Welcome my fellow learners, today we are going to read about mineral water, and put to rest the pros and cons.

Most of us now prefer to drink mineral water, whether it is because we have been brainwashed into thinking it is better than tap water remains to be seen. However in some parts of the world where water is not purified, then yes bottled water is the better option.

Anyway I digress, I look back over the years at all the technical marvels mankind has achieved, but I cannot help wondering that somewhere along the way we have lost something because of this. Decades back life was easier, people drank from the tap and did not have to worry about getting diseases, so I guess my question would be, have we taken a step back or a step forward?

Ok, where was I? Ah yes, nowadays experts are telling us that too many fizzy beverages can not only strip the lining off your stomach, but also rot your teeth and weaken bones. Well I have to admit the teeth part I agree with, one of my best friends used to take a glass of cola to bed with her every night, over the years her teeth slowly rotted, and I personally think it was because of this.

Anyway, mineral water is just water that is collected from a spring that they say contains minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Over the years, the egg heads have conducted intensive tests to debunk some of the above myths, let look into these more closely.

Mineral water weakens your bones, well according to them this is total rot. In fact they actually state the reverse, drinking this water will actually strengthen bones.
They also say that carbonated mineral water will actually regulate your blood pressure, as it contains up to 4 times the calcium and magnesium as normal tap water.
However, beware it has been tried and tested, on who or what defies logic? That carbonated water can cause stomach ulcers, who knew!

As for the teeth rotting the boffins are undecided, they are walking the middle of the road on this, and are saying that it is both true and false???? Some bottled water does not contain enough fluoride to protect the teeth, so just drinking this water is not enough. They suggest that you mix it with some tap water everyday, which begs the question of “why buy the stuff in the first place then”?

So there you have it folks, my scaled down version on the pluses and minuses of bottled water.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

How Women Won The Right To Vote

Welcome back my fellow learners, my last article was dedicated to all my male readers, however, today is aimed solely at the ladies. So enjoy because without these courageous ladies listed below we females would still be bare foot and chained to the kitchen with no voice.  

It all started with a young lady called Millicent Fawcett in 1897 who created the National Union of Women's Suffrage, the word Suffrage literally means the right to vote.

This unique and out of time young lady strongly believed in peaceful protests, she was of the mind that violence would only give men the continued idea that women could not be trusted with the right to vote, which come on people, how many killings and wars were started by men???? Can anyone say Hypocrisy?

Anyway where was I? Ah yes, Millicent rightly argued that women could hold trusted posts on school boards, but could not be trusted to vote? Her strongest argument was that wealthy women could be in charge of vast estates and employ gardeners and workmen, who by the way could vote, but the lady of the manor could not be trusted to vote. Unfortunately Millicents progress was depressingly slow, however, she did manage to convert some men in parliament, which by the way was the soon to be Labour Party at the time.

Due to her lack of progress many women soon became angry, and quite rightly so, and in 1903 another splinter cell was founded by Emmeline Pankhurst known as the Womens Social And Politcal Union, she was joined in her crusade by her 2 daughters Sylvia and Christabel, which again begs the question, where was her husband when all this was going on, and what was his reaction to all this? This cell was soon to be infamously called the Suffragettes. These ladies meant business and were prepared to use any method needed to get their point across, even violence.

This all came to a head in 1905 when both Christabel and Annie Kenney invaded a political meeting based in Manchester at the time to ask 2 liberal politicians if they believed women should have the right to vote. These 2 little known men at the time were none other than the great Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Grey. However, their question went unanswered by both men, probably due to shock, as this sort of behaviour was unheard of at the time.

Anyway, things escalated from there with these brave women doing jail time, once incarcerated they refused to eat, in those days force feeding inmates was not heard of, so the prison system decided to leave them to starve, only releasing them when they were on the point of imminent death, the way the government saw it, if they died once out of prison they were not held accountable.

So ladies there you have it, some things never change women are still treated like second class citizens and have to suffer in silence to get the same respect men are immediately given, so you could say the fight still goes on, just more silently.