Did you ever read Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen? If not, you should. It’s a book full of fascinating insights into the sides of history we’re never allowed to see, a warts-and-all look at the flaws that make history interesting. With Loewen in mind, I concocted a list of 20 things most Americans don’t know about history. (I imagine many people in general don’t know these things, as a 2008 poll showed that two-thirds of British teens thought King Arthur was real; another half thought Richard the Lionheart was fictional.) Some of these facts are Loewen-isms, others are well-documented elsewhere.
Second only to oil, coffee is the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world. We love it, we rely on it, and we drink it in massive quantities. It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide. New Yorkers are said to drink 7 times the amount of any other U.S. city, which is why it may seem like there is a Starbucks on every corner of Manhattan. Famed French writer and philosopher Voltaire was rumored to have drunk 40 – 50 cups per day. Coffee is a daily ritual in the lives of millions of humans around the globe. Where exactly did this caffeinated phenomenon begin?
Though history will probably remember Richard Dawkins as the activist who spearheaded a new atheist movement, there is something far more famous and important that he invented — and few people know it. He is the guy who first popularized the idea of the meme, way back in the 1970s. That’s right. Dawkins is indirectly responsible for every fruit-adorned cat, weird Japanese mashup video, and animated gif from Harry Potter fandom that has spurted out of the internet and into your face.
But of course, Dawkins’s idea of memes wasn’t quite the same thing as lolcats or ROFLCon. Here’s how the idea of the meme evolved, and where it came from.
Source: Where Memes Really Come From
In the past year and a half, Samsung, a company that makes everything from dishwashers to smartphones, has become one the most powerful and recognizable names in tech.
A lot of people are even lumping Samsung together with Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google as one of the most important tech companies right now.
So how did Samsung get to where it is today?
Source: History Of Samsung – Business Insider
Bee Wilson is the author of Consider the Fork, which documents the evolution of cooking and eating technology. In the book, Wilson describes many unintended consequences of new methods of or materials for cooking and eating. Here she talks about some of the health ramifications of such changes.
Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat
Source: How Forks Gave Us Overbites and Pots Saved the Toothless – Scott Douglas – The Atlantic