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Christmas – American holiday

By |2018-04-24T11:05:18+00:00August 14th, 2017|History|

Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming (1300 AD) Even before 1500 AD, people in North America celebrated a winter religious festival when the days stopped getting shorter and began to get longer again. Many people built stone structures to make it easier to know when the solstice had arrived. When European settlers arrived, they brought with them some new ideas [...]

Guy Fawkes Day project – Fireworks

By |2018-04-08T11:14:20+00:00August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Carrying a puppet of Guy Fawkes to burn him There's a famous verse about Guy Fawkes' plot to blow up the King of England and the Houses of Parliament in 1605, and it goes like this: Remember, remember the Fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason Should ever [...]

Roger Bacon – Medieval science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Roger Bacon's diagram of a human eye Roger Bacon was born in England maybe about 1210 AD. It was late in the reign of King John. (That's the one in Robin Hood.) England was just beginning to get richer from raising and selling high quality wool cloth on the Silk Road. In addition, a warmer climate - the Medieval Warm period - was making [...]

Diwali – the Festival of Lights – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T08:36:06+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Flowers and Diwali lamps Diwali is a Sanskrit word originally meaning "a row of lights" - "dipa" is the Sanskrit word for "light". Diwali is an Indian harvest festival celebrating the end of the hard work of harvesting food. People celebrate that now there is plenty of food to last through the winter. Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains all celebrated Diwali [...]

History of Gunpowder: Gunpowder in ancient China

By |2018-10-02T09:40:12+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Science, War|

History of gunpowder: Fireworks Who invented gunpowder? Like the idea of zero, gunpowder developed gradually over time. In 142 AD, during the Han Dynasty, a man named Wei Boyang was the first to write anything about gunpowder. He wrote about a mixture of three powders that would "fly and dance" violently. We aren't [...]