New PDF release: An Uncommon History of Common Things

By Bethanne Patrick, John Thompson

ISBN-10: 1426204205

ISBN-13: 9781426204203

Someday approximately 30,000 years in the past, an individual caught a pointy rock right into a cut 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 publication is a freewheeling connection with thousands of customs, notions, and innovations that replicate human ingenuity all through history.

From hand instruments to vacations to guns to washing machines, An unusual background of universal Things good points enormous quantities of colourful illustrations, timelines, sidebars, and extra because it explores with reference to each topic below the solar. 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 infantrymen baked a type of pizza on their shields—when they weren’t busy flying kites to frighten their foes?

Every web page of this quirky compendium catalogs anything attention-grabbing, miraculous, or serendipitous. a full of life, incomparably browsable learn for heritage buffs, popular culture fanatics, and somebody who relishes the strange and amazing information hidden within the daily, it's going to tell, amuse, astonish—and adjust how you take into consideration the smart creatures we name people.

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Extra resources for An Uncommon History of Common Things

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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. This could either be soaked for a tender, starchy dish known as pozole or, more often, ground into a mealy flour known as masa for tortillas.

However, the public didn’t embrace frozen foods until World War II metal needs made canned goods scarce. Once frozen foods caught on, people started looking for new ways to use them. The war was over, the standard of living was high, and a new style of cooking and dining was on the rise. Into this mix came television, drawing families around it and making people unwilling to spend time on cooking when a particular show was due to start. But it wasn’t the TV itself that inspired “TV dinners”; it was a turkey surplus.

The item histories span earliest known origins through modern usages. UNCOMMONLY KNOWN, PARALLEL HISTORY Items of special interest are highlighted in Uncommonly Known blue boxes and Parallel History tan boxes. The Uncommonly Known stories reveal little-known facts about familiar things, such as origin, use, or common misconception. Parallel Histories put entries in historical context, describing related world and local events, competing items, and the impact of their invention, evolution, or usage.

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


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