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Screw – Simple machines – Physics

By |2019-04-24T20:06:22-07:00August 17th, 2017|Physics, What|

A cider press with big wooden screws What is a screw? People always count screws as a separate kind of simple machine. But really screws are just one kind of inclined plane. They are such an important kind that we give them their own category. Inclined planes Simple machines All our physics articles Who invented [...]

What’s the Ionic order?

By |2017-10-14T15:17:15-07:00July 1st, 2017|Architecture, Greeks, What|

Around 500 BC, Greek architectural styles changed so that instead of building temples in the old Doric style, people began to want their new temples for the gods to be built in the new Ionic style. Ionic temples are a little fancier and more delicate than Doric temples, without being as elaborate as Corinthian temples. [...]

Who invented playing cards? China

By |2018-04-20T08:23:52-07:00June 23rd, 2017|China, Games, What|

An early playing card (Ming Dynasty, ca. 1500 AD) People in T'ang Dynasty China made the first playing cards, about 800 AD. They used their new material, paper, to make the cards, and they called their game "the leaf game". The emperor's daughter, Princess Tongchang, played cards with her husband's family in the [...]

History of Knitting: Who invented knitting? Nalbinding and sprang

By |2018-01-15T14:20:43-07:00June 8th, 2017|Africa, Clothing, What|

History of knitting: Nalbinding hat from Urumchi (ca. 1000 BC) Nalbinding and sprang Even before the invention of spinning and weaving, people were making cloth using early forms of knitting we call "nalbinding" or "sprang", which used one needle to hook together short lengths of yarn. Probably people started this early knitting as [...]

Chinese animals – Environment of China

By |2018-04-18T09:53:29-07:00June 6th, 2017|China, Environment, What|

A camel caravan in northern China Long ago, in the Stone Age, about 3000 BC, many different kinds of wild animals lived in China - elephants, lions, pandas, wild horses, wolves, wild dogs, aurochs, and many others. But as there got to be more and more people and farms, there was less room. [...]

What is lost wax casting? History of Art

By |2018-04-14T12:41:56-07:00May 25th, 2017|Art, What|

A Samnite man cutting the bronze pins off a newly poured lost wax statue. This is the only ancient image of lost wax casting; it's from Pompeii, about 400 BC. Just a little while after bronze was invented, around 2500 BC, the Sumerians began to make bronze jars and bronze cups using lost-wax [...]