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History of Islam – Religion

By |2018-04-09T23:10:26+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, Religion|

Tomb of Ali, the first Imam and the fourth caliph, in Iraq (it was rebuilt about 1500 AD by the Safavids) Medieval Islam was closely related to Judaism and Christianity. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believed that there was only one God. They called this God 'Allah'. Muslims believed that Moses and Jesus had both existed. They believed that Moses [...]

Who was the Norse god Odin?

By |2017-06-29T02:30:16+00:00June 29th, 2017|Northern Europe, Religion|

Viking stone, 600s AD, from Gotland, Sweden. Odin is riding his horse, Sleipnir. Sometime before 300 AD, people started to think of Odin (or Wotan) as the chief of the German gods, as Zeus was for the Greeks and Jupiter for the Romans. Odin replaced the earlier chief god, Tyr. Odin had two brothers, [...]

History of wine and grapes – West Asia

By |2018-04-20T00:21:41+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Food, West Asia|

History of wine: White grapes on the vine Grapes grow abundantly and reliably in the West Asian climate, and taste good, and even gatherers ate wild grapes (which are smaller than domesticated grapes). But the best thing about grapes has always been that you can ferment them into wine. This has several advantages. [...]

Where do apples come from? – History of apples

By |2018-09-17T06:09:30+00:00June 20th, 2017|Central Asia, Food|

The history of apples starts in Central Asia Where do apples come from? Apple trees grew wild in Central Asia and western China beginning - as new DNA studies show - about ten to twenty million years ago, around the time that the first humans were evolving. That was the Tertiary Period. Apples [...]

What are hydrocarbons? Simple science – Chemistry

By |2017-06-02T08:24:00+00:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

A model of a methane molecule Hydrocarbons are molecules made out of hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms. Methane is the simplest hydrocarbon molecule: just one carbon atom with four hydrogen atoms stuck to it. Because both carbon and hydrogen were common in nebulae, hydrocarbon molecules are very common in space. Many of these molecules [...]

Genghis Khan and the Mongols – Central Asia

By |2017-10-14T14:49:20+00:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, History, Where|

Genghis Khan By 1200 AD, the Mongol and Turkic people of Central Asia had pretty much finished pushing the Indo-Europeans out of power in Central Asia and West Asia, and had taken over ruling the whole area. About 1180 AD the Mongols elected a new king, Genghis Khan (Khan means king), who was [...]

Yeast cells – Cell biology

By |2018-04-16T10:32:23+00:00May 29th, 2017|Biology|

A yeast cell Yeast cells are a very common kind of eukaryote cell. They vary in size, but are usually about four thousandths of a millimeter (4 microns) in diameter, too small to see without a microscope. Yeast are one-celled creatures that eat starches and sugars. Enzymes inside the mitochondria in the yeast cells [...]