In the 1200s, Rabban Bar Sauma discovered a land known today as "Europe," a barbaric place divided up among bloodthirsty warlords known as "kings." The urkic/Mongol Nestorian monk was exploring on behalf of China, making him a sort of Marco Polo in reverse. He met the pope and the king of France, and made it all the way to Gascony on the ...Read more
In a traditional French restaurant kitchen, a "garde-manger" is responsible for salads.
The Great Lakes have a combined area of 94,230 square miles — larger than the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont combined.
The first person other than royalty to be portrayed on a British stamp was William Shakespeare in 1964.
The beam of light shining from the top of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada is the most powerful in the world. The equivalent of 40 billion candle power, the beam is visible to airplanes from a distance of 250 miles.
Johan de Witt presided over a golden age in the Netherlands. But he was also a republican, and the Orange royal dynasty had plenty of friends. When the French invaded, de Witt's enemies made their move, lynching both him and his brother. But that's not the worst part. We know that the corpses were mutilated to create souvenirs, and some accounts...Read more
Inside an asbestos suit coated with aluminum, a fire fighter may experience a sweaty, but tolerable, 85 degrees to 100 degrees F, while attempting to extinguish an inferno of jet fuel raging at over 2,000 degrees. Aluminum's reflective qualities are used in hundreds of ways.
Thor's only worthy adversary was a serpent dragon known as Jormungand, or the Midgard Serpent. Jormungand was the son of Loki and Angerboda and was expelled by Odin, forcing it to encircle the earth and hold its tail in its mouth under the depths of the sea. Many ages passed before the "Day of the Last Battle," a war pitting gods against giants,...Read more
Rag Dolls: Callie's Story (Volume 1)Shelley D Terrell
After the sudden death of her beloved Nana, Callie is ripped away from everything she knows and placed in a filthy, loveless, overcrowded foster home. Because of her ability to feel other's emotions, she is overwhelmed by pain from the other children. She knows that if ...
Tea may be kept for up to 18 months in an airtight container, preferably metallic. Chinese teas will keep for up to 3 years.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a pillar in the fight against apartheid. Now, he has become a pillar in the fight against disease. He became one of the first non-whites to have his genome sequenced, along with four tribal leaders from hunter-gatherer communities in Namibia. Most pharmaceutical research is based on the genomes of people in the west, ...Read more
In 1893, Milwaukee's Pabst beer won a blue ribbon at the Chicago Fair, and was sold thereafter as Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
Tuna has been fished from the warm, temperate parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans since ancient times. As a member of the mackeral family, tuna naturally has a stronger, more robust flavor than whitefish.
The ball used in hurling is also known as a sliotar or sliothar. The ball usually has a cork center and is covered with horsehide. Hurling for women is called camogie.
One Native American has served as vice president of the United States. Charles Curtis of Kansas was Pres. Herbert Hoover’s vice president. Curtis's mother was a full-blooded member of the Kaw tribe.
We're going to fly to Saturn and it'll be awesome. There is no surface, really, just an ocean of metallic liquid hydrogen. We're flying through an ammonia cloud moving at 1,500 km/hour. Some 75,000 km above us are icy rings that light up the sky and beyond that, six crescent moons. Oddly, the gravitational pull is a bit less on Saturn, so if you...Read more
The basenji is a mid-sized dog with a silky copper coat. Although they are considered a barkless dog, they are known to yodel when they are happy.
Actor Steve McQueen encouraged his karate teacher to pursue a career in acting. The teacher? Chuck Norris. McQueen is quoted as telling Norris, "If you can't do anything else, there's always acting."
Spyware is a type of program that watches what users do with their computer and then sends that information over the internet. Spyware can collect many different types of information about a user. More benign programs can attempt to track what types of websites a user visits and send this information to an advertisement agency. More malicious ...Read more
In the southern part of Japan, it rarely snows to any great amount except for the mountains, but the northern part usually has plenty of snow in the winter. Autumn is by far the best time to visit Japan, as far as the weather goes.
In Mexico, the poinsettia is known as the "Flower of the Holy Night." It was first brought to America by Joel Poinsett in 1829.