Topic: history

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Why are Dalmatians the Traditional Dog of Choice at Firestations?

Before fire trucks, there were horse-drawn carriages. One of the most effective fire-fighting tools in the middle of the 18th century was the steam pumper- a machine that consisted of a boiler which was able to use st...

A sonata played on the earliest known surviving piano

What does the earliest known surviving piano sound like? Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, listen to the 'Giga' of Sonata number 6 in B flat major, played by professional keyboard player and music producer D...

Unmasking the Secrets That Ancient Mummies Hold

For more than a century, archaeologists have dismantled mummy coffins, also known as cartonnage, in a hunt for literary treasure. In ancient Egypt, undertakers entombed the departed middle-class in sheets of papyrus t...

The Big Cloth (An Clò-Mòr): Weaving Harris Tweed

On the Island of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, over 170 freelance weavers weave Harris Tweed. It's the only cloth protected by an Act of Parliament, the Harris Tweed Act 1993, which states that to ...

Dinosaur’s Feathered Tail Found Remarkably Preserved in Amber

This incredibly well-preserved, feather-covered dinosaur tail was found by Beijing-based paleontologist Lida Xing in a northern Myanmar (Burma) amber market. The find is a first: Skeletal material from a dinosaur has ...

How to Understand Power – TED Ed

Every day, we move and operate within systems of power that other people have constructed. But we’re often uncomfortable talking about power. Why? Eric Liu describes the six sources of power and explains how understan...

The stories behind Fahrenheit and Celsius

Fahrenheit (°F) is a unit of measurement for temperature. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736) is the inventor of the mercury-in-glass thermometer and the aforementioned scale of measurement. In this Veritasium video...

Earth’s History Plays Out On A Football Field

The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. How can we comprehend such a massive amount of time? Skunk Bear's Adam Cole sets out to answer this question by using the 100 yard length of a football field to help us visualize ou...

Neil deGrasse Tyson Replies to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

"I got a phone call from the Abraham Lincoln Library Foundation, and they asked me, would I mind composing 272 words of my own reflecting on Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address? I'm going to read you what I wrote..."...

Marie Tharp: Uncovering the Secrets of the Ocean Floor

In the early 20th century, Alfred Wegener proposed a revolutionary idea: that the Earth’s continents were once joined together, and had gradually moved apart. The idea contradicted almost everything scientists thought...

Globe Making (1955) – British Pathé

Skilled British artisans in this North London globe making workshop would painstakingly create 60,000 world globes every year. This awesome 1955 film from British Pathé showcases their step-by-step process. Wikipedia ...

How a mathematician dissects an astonishing coincidence

True story about an adventure that befell Anne Parrish one June day in Paris. She was wandering through the old book stalls along the Seine with her husband who had been there before. He sat down at a table on the qua...

Toothpaste – Ingredients With George Zaidan

Cultures throughout history have tried a variety of things to clean their teeth... Egyptians and Babylonians brushed with twigs around 3500-3000 BC. In 5000 BC, a recipe of ox hooves, eggshells, myrrh, and pumice woul...

The art of Japanese marquetry

Crafted with different colors of wood arranged in intricate patterns, Yosegi Zaiku or Japanese marquetry is a style of object decoration that's practiced in Hakone, a town near Mount Fuji. No wood staining is used to ...

What causes cavities?

When a team of archeologists recently came across some 15,000-year-old human remains, they made an interesting discovery: the teeth of those ancient humans were riddled with holes. So what causes cavities, and how can...

A Sketchy History Of Pencil Lead

When fifth-graders at Green Acres Elementary in Lebanon, Oregon asked the NPR Skunk Bear team how pencil lead was made, they looked into it... way into it. From the start of the universe (with a shout out to Carl Saga...

The Amazing Shapes of Ammonites

Now extinct, ammonites are abundant, prehistoric sea molluscs that first appeared in the fossil record around 240 million years ago. The images of ammonites that we often see in museums and books are planispiral-shape...

Portrait of Innovation: James Conway Farley

Born to enslaved parents in Prince Edward County, Virginia on August 10, 1854, James Conway Farley became the country's first prominent African American photographer, winning awards for his work, as well as enduring t...

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