Download e-book for iPad: An Uncommon History of Common Things by Bethanne Patrick, John Thompson

By Bethanne Patrick, John Thompson

ISBN-10: 1426204205

ISBN-13: 9781426204203

Someday approximately 30,000 years in the past, a person caught a pointy rock right into a break up stick—and presto! The awl used to be born. Our inquisitive species simply loves tinkering, trying out, and pushing the boundaries, and this delightfully various booklet is a freewheeling connection with enormous quantities of customs, notions, and innovations that replicate human ingenuity all through history.

From hand instruments to vacation trips to guns to washing machines, An unusual historical past of universal Things beneficial properties thousands of colourful illustrations, timelines, sidebars, and extra because it explores almost about each topic lower than the sunlight. Who knew that indoor plumbing has been round for 4,600 years, yet punctuation, capital letters, and the convenient areas among written phrases simply date again to the darkish a long time? Or that old squaddies baked one of those pizza on their shields—when they weren’t busy flying kites to frighten their foes?

Every web page of this quirky compendium catalogs whatever interesting, striking, or serendipitous. a full of life, incomparably browsable learn for historical past buffs, popular culture fanatics, and someone who relishes the unusual and awesome info hidden within the daily, it's going to tell, amuse, astonish—and adjust how you take into consideration the shrewdpermanent creatures we name people.

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The thick red sauce takes its name from the Chinese ki-tsiap, a savory, fermented fish sauce. Dutch and English sailors brought a taste for the salty stuff back home, but in place of its exotic ingredients tried more indigenous items like walnuts, celery, and mushrooms. Mushroom ketchup (with nary a tomato in sight) is still widely available in the United Kingdom. When ketchup reached the New World, it coincided with the latest food trend: tomatoes. D. 700), but it took European exploration to introduce them to and popularize them in North America.

The funny material—which could be formed into a ball that would bounce higher than any other and could also be flattened over the Sunday comics to take up a colorful image of whatever it touched—was the result of a wartime quest for a cheap substitute for rubber. Although Nutty Putty did not find its way into military use, the more innocently named Silly Putty became a great hit with children. Among my favorite essays in this book is the one on blue jeans. ” I learned that 16th-century sailors bought “thick cotton indigo-dyed cloth” in the vicinity of Mumbai (Bombay), near a fort called Dongarii.

C. ASTRONAUTS EAT THEM IN SPACE TO AVOID CRUMBS Soft or fried, corn tortillas are an unmistakable sign of Mexican cuisine, and that’s partly because maize itself is unmistakably part of the Mexican diet. Maize (from the Latin Zea mays) was sacred to the Mexica, or Aztec, people, supplying their main source of starch, as well as some protein and fat. Though some corn was eaten green, most of it was stored in ventilated cribs and later boiled in limewater to make a softened gruel called nixtamal.

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An Uncommon History of Common Things by Bethanne Patrick, John Thompson

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