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Pythagorean Theorem proof

By |2018-04-23T14:19:10+00:00September 25th, 2017|Greeks, Math|

A right triangle. This is the proof of the Pythagorean Theorem supposedly written by Pythagoras about 500 BC: The Pythagorean Theorem says that in a right triangle, the sum of the squares of the two right-angle sides will always be the same as the square of the hypotenuse (the long side). A2 + B2 = C2. Try it yourself: if Side [...]

Where does chewing gum come from? Central America

By |2018-04-12T08:53:22+00:00September 8th, 2017|Central America, Food|

Sapodilla tree - where chewing gum comes from Nobody knows when the first person began to chew gobs of sap from trees, but it was probably before they were really even people. Certainly somebody was chewing gobs of tree sap as early as 3000 BC in Finland. People also chewed gum in ancient Greece, early North America, [...]

Silver and silver mining – the history

By |2017-10-17T13:26:22+00:00September 7th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

Silver mining slaves at Laurion, near Athens People first mined silver in the Bronze Age. Like gold, silver is a great way to help people trade. Even before people started to make coins, little bits of silver - bracelets, earrings, and necklaces - were a great way to carry around something valuable but not [...]

What is opium? World history of medicine and drugs

By |2017-09-07T09:33:48+00:00September 7th, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Opium poppy flower Opium comes from a kind of poppy flower. It evolved around 100 million years ago in West Asia and Central Asia. People probably realized as soon as they got to West Asia, about 60,000 years ago, that you could use opium as a medicine. By 6000 BC, in the Stone Age, West Asian farmers were already growing opium in their [...]

Influenza – History of Medicine

By |2018-04-25T17:10:21+00:00September 6th, 2017|Science|

Clay hen whistle from Mohenjo Daro (ca. 2700 BC, now in Brooklyn Museum) Influenza is a virus that mostly infects birds - like chickens - and pigs. But influenza can also attack people. Probably people started to get influenza around the time they started keeping chickens and living in cities - in China and India, about 3000 BC, in Greece about 500 BC, and in North [...]

What is Dysentery? – History of diarrhea

By |2018-08-30T04:48:48+00:00September 6th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

History of Dysentery: Dysentery came from germs in your drinking water. Here people are washing clothes in the river (India) What is dysentery? Dysentery means having trouble with your insides - your intestines. You might say you had a tummy-ache. It usually means that you have very serious diarrhea. The history of dysentery [...]

Running spirals and meanders – Ancient art history

By |2018-11-20T09:44:50+00:00August 31st, 2017|Art|

The beginning of meanders? An Egyptian pot with spirals (Naqada II, ca. 4000 BC) What is a meander? A meander is a kind of pattern that artists used to decorate the borders or edges of pictures. They're called meanders because "meander" means to wander. So these are lines that wander around before they [...]

Screw – Simple machines – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:15+00:00August 17th, 2017|Physics, What|

A cider press with big wooden screws 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. Like most other simple machines, screws also exist in nature. The hip joints of [...]

Stoics – Greek and Roman philosophy

By |2018-04-18T17:19:14+00:00August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

Cicero, a Roman philosopher The Stoics were a group of philosophers who first began teaching their ideas in the Hellenistic period. Stoicism was founded by a man named Zeno, who lived from 335-263 BC. He was friendly with the successors of Alexander who ruled Greece. Zeno lived in Athens, which was a great center of learning. He used to [...]

Skeptics – Greek philosophy

By |2018-04-18T17:19:14+00:00August 16th, 2017|Greeks, Philosophy|

This is supposed to be a bust of Pyrrhon, the founder of Skeptic philosophy We don't know as much as we might like to about the activities of Plato's Academy after the death of Aristotle. But between about 300 and 100 BC- almost up to the birth of Jesus - the Academy became known as the center of [...]