The word encyclopedia comes from two Greek words meaning “a circle of learning.” The oldest known encyclopedia was written in Greece about 2000 years ago. It’s no longer in existence. The oldest encyclopedia in existence was written in the 1st century by Roman scholar Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder). His encyclopaedia, called Natural History, has 37 volumes.
The largest ever encyclopedia is the Yung-Lo Ta-Tien encyclopedia. It was commissioned in 1403 by Emperor Yongle and is also known as the Yongle Encyclopedia. Written by 2000 writers, it was completed in 1408 and bound in 11,095 volumes, of which some 400 volumes survived.
According to David Louis’s book of Fascinating Facts, it is believed that this is why surgeons, watchmakers, and others who perform delicate manual operations are so bothered by uninvited noise: the sounds cause their pupils to change focus and blur their vision.
The “millions of colors” that the eye can detect are the three primary colors of red, green and blue and the millions of combinations that result from these three colors. (In 1878, Ewald Hering proposed the theory that the four unique hues of red, green, blue, and yellow form the basis of all colors.)
The eye is, of course, just a lens for the brain. You actually see with your brain.
Edward Lloyd opened his coffee house in Tower Street in London in 1688. One corner of the coffee shop was reserved for ships’ captains where they could compare notes. Wealthy individuals who frequented Lloyd’s coffee house would each take a share of the risk of insuring the ships and their cargoes, signing their names one beneath the other on the policy, thereby being known as “underwriters”.
To Insure Promptness
It was in Lloyd’s Coffee House that a brass container for the benefit of waitrons was first inscribed with the words “To Insure Promptness”. The idea was that a patron would put an amount of money into the container before sitting down to insure promptness of service from the waitrons. The “to insure promptness” on the container is what we now call a TIP. Read more…
Central heating was developed in warm countries. The Minoans of Crete (2700 BC – 1100 BC) devised a system of diffused heating. And around 150 BC the Romans developed the hypocaust system. This is how it worked:
Tile floors were supported by columns, creating a space beneath the floor where warm gases from a central fire could circulate and escape through flues in the walls.
That also meant a demand for well-made pipes – and thus the job of the plumber was created.
When the Roman Empire ended, widely people returned to the use of open fires for heating.
When you do an eye test, the distance between you and the eye chart is 20 feet. The distance was chosen because the rays of light, as you experience it from your two eyes, are about parallel to an object at that distance. The third line from the bottom on the eye chart is the 20-20 line. If you can see that line fine at 20 feet, you have 20-20 vision. If you have 20-10 vision, for instance, you can spot letters at a distance that others need to stand at 10 feet to see.
The chart that is traditionally used for eye test is the Snellen chart, named after Dutch ophthalmologist Hermann Snellen who developed the chart during 1862. To test a person’s central visual field for blind spots or distortion, the Amsler Grid is used.
For thousands of years, until 1883, hemp was the world’s largest agricultural crop, from which the majority of fiber, fabric, soap, lighting oil, paper, incense, and medicines were produced. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals. Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids necessary for health. The oil from hemp seeds has the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats.
An acre of hemp produces more paper than an acre of trees. Paper made from hemp lasts for centuries, compared to 25-80 years for paper made from wood pulp. The US Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. Read more…
In medieval times, left-handed people could not become knights because it was thought that they were descendants of the devil, it is said. Spiral staircases in castles ran clockwise to allow knights – all right-handed – to battle intruders effectively.
The word for left in French means gauche and in Latin it means sinister. The Latin word for right is dexter, from which came “dexterous”. Ambidextrous means literally “both right.” Read more…
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