Look around your kitchen. Big or small, it’s probably full of gadgets and tools. We use these things daily, but we never think that hard about where they came from in the first place. Look closer, though: There are hidden stories in your kitchen. | www.eklectica.xyz #eklectica
1850s-1950s: 100 years of manipulating images without computers
Prior to 1985 photographs were retouched by hand using paint or ink, pieced together in the darkroom from separate photographs. Airbrushing as a term is still in use today, though the technique originated much earlier. All these required a degree of artistic skill and, for some, access to a darkroom.
Why do people hiccup anyway?
Even scientists are a little bewildered by this. “We still don’t know what hiccups do, and our cure for them hasn’t improved since Plato,” says Robert Provine. He’s a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County who studies the evolution of behavior, and he researched hiccupping extensively for his recent book Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond.
One problem, Provine notes, is that hiccups have been difficult to study: “You can’t just go into the lab and ask someone to hiccup for you.” That means the research that does exist typically concerns people with problematic hiccups that have generally been going on for days, weeks, or years.
But even research on these people has gleaned many surprising facts about hiccups.
The ideas of algebra brought on the symbols, not the other way around. Robert Recorde had written the words “is equal to” almost two hundred times in his book Whetstone of Witte (1557) before noticing that he could easily “avoid the tedious repetition” of those three words by designing the symbol = to represent them. The initial incentive was the need to abbreviate, but once the equal symbol was in place, something else took over. The concise character of the symbol came with an unintended benefit: it enabled an unadorned picture in the brain that could facilitate comprehension.