Christopher Columbus attempted to sail for the Far East, to the countries which now make up the continent of Asia. He proposed that it would be faster and easier to reach Asia by sailing west rather than east.
A:Scholars traditionally regard Mesopotamia, an ancient area surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that is now parts of modern day Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Kuwait, as the cradle of civilization. The area is also know as the Fertile Crescent.
A:Barley was the main staple of the Sumerian diet, and was used to make barley cakes and barley paste. Sumerians combined barley with other local vegetables, including beans, lentils, chickpeas, mustard and lettuce. Lamb, goat, pork and fish were favorites with city-dwelling Sumerians, but rural farming communities did not eat meat often and lived on a mostly vegetarian diet.
A:The wheel allowed Mesopotamians to create a number of novel transportation methods. It was also used in a variety of mechanical devices. Creating wheels may have also spawned new methods of making items that need precision.
A:Astrophysicists believe the Earth and the rest of the solar system is the result of the Big Bang and its explosions of massive stars. The Big Bang and the stellar explosions, called supernovas, blasted untold amounts of material into space. Eventually, the matter cooled down and began to clump together into a hot, spinning cloud that eventually became a solar nebula.
A:The ancient Babylonians used sharpened weapons such as sickle swords, socketed axes, spears, and the Egyptian-derived bladed mace, as well as clubs and staffs, and projectiles flung from war slings. The Babylonians were a Bronze Age people, so the bladed weapons they used were made of a softer metal than later civilization's iron and steel. This made them less effective in battle than iron and iron-alloy based weapons, as iron is harder and harder blades can take a sharper point.
A:Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb, but he did invent the first practical incandescent light. Edison's invention improved upon previous models that were not capable of being used in the home. Edison is also credited with inventing the first electrical system capable of powering a light bulb long-term.
A:A liquid thermometer works by using the thermal expansion of a liquid within a capillary tube to measure temperature. The precision of this method varies by the liquid used, but all use the fact that when most liquids are heated, they expand. Common types of liquid thermometers use mercury, toluene or less toxic biodegradable liquids.
A:Zacharias Janssen is the Dutch spectacle maker who is widely credited as the inventor of the first compound microscope. Although many of the archives surrounding Janssen's invention have been lost, historians believe that Zacharias and his father Hans invented the first microscope at some point in the 1590s.
A:Wristwatches were first officially invented in 1868 when a watch was created for the Countess of Hungary. Prior to the first official wristwatch, pocket watches were adapted to be worn on the wrist as early as 1570.
A:The exact number of people who died during the construction of the Great Wall of China is unknown; however, it is estimated that up to 1,000,000 people lost their lives. Over 2000 years ago, Emperor Qin commanded the original construction of the Great Wall of China.
A:The Crusades were a series of holy wars fueled by two major causes: the Pope's desire to expand the Holy Roman Empire and the reclamation of the Holy Land. In the 11th century, Christians and Muslims were at odds over the ownership of Jerusalem, a holy site for both Christianity and Islam.
A:The Vikings invented the longboat during the Vikings Age from 800 to 1100 A.D. This type of ship helped them travel the oceans to reach France, England, Scotland, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Vinland and the Middle East. Thus, they became a dominant force in European medieval trade, politics and warfare.
A:Medieval knights were the professional warrior class of Europe, responsible for defending their feudal lord's territory from rival lords and keeping the local serfdom in line with the lord's rule. Knights were frequently members of the noble class, with the title inherited through the father, but it was also a title granted as a reward for chivalrous deeds. In the late medieval period, noble and warrior classes became more static.
A:King Charles VI of France was prone to bouts of insanity where, among other things, he didn’t recognize his family or thought he was made of glass. Modern doctors think he may have suffered from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
A:In his 1967 "Steeler Lecture," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." The "Steeler Lecture" was one of five sermons published in a book called "Conscience for Change," republished as "The Trumpet of Conscience" after King's death.
A:South Africa became independent from Great Britain on December 11, 1931, but the British monarch remained head of state. On May 31, 1961, the country became a republic, severing all formal ties with Great Britain.
A:The United States got involved in the Vietnam conflict to keep communism from spreading throughout Southeast Asia. At first the United States only aided France with military aid and advisors, but after the French suffered a major defeat at Dien Bien Phu in the north-western hills, the French pulled out and the United States took over the burden of the war.
A:The Cambodian genocide was caused by Khmer Rouge party leader Pol Pot's attempt to eliminate anyone potentially opposed to his proposed system of labor in a federation of collective farms, according to World Without Genocide. Pol Pot's project was inspired by Maoist-Communist ideals.
A:The Bosnian War took place when Bosnia and Herzegovina attempted to declare independence in the wake of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and when Serbia attempted to prevent this breakaway. Aided by forces from Serbia, Bosnian Serbs took up arms against the Bosniaks and Croats in the country, triggering a violent and destructive war that lasted for more than three years.