Can you measure time with sand?

The hour glass was a good way of measuring time. It was in use for hundreds of years. Fine sand trickles through a small hole in the glass from the top half to the bottom. When the top is empty the glass is turned over. Tournaments were timed by the turn of a glass.

Little written evidence exists to explain why its external form is the shape that it is. The glass bulbs used, however, have changed in style and design over time. While the main designs have always been ampoule in shape, the bulbs were not always connected. The first hourglasses were two separate bulbs with a cord wrapped at their union that was then coated in wax to hold the piece together and let sand flow in between. It was not until 1760 that both bulbs were blown together to keep moisture out of the bulbs and regulate the pressure within the bulb that varied the flow.

While some early hourglasses actually did use silica sand as the granular material to measure time, many did not use sand at all. The material used in most bulbs was "powdered marble, tin/lead oxides, [or] pulverized, burnt eggshell". Over time, different textures of granule matter were tested to see which gave the most constant flow within the bulbs. It was later discovered that for the perfect flow to be achieved the ratio of granule bead to the width of the bulb neck needed to be 1/12 or more but not greater than 1/2 the neck of the bulb.

Picture Credit : Google

Can you stay warm in an igloo?

You can. The Eskimo igloo is a temporary home used on hunting trips. It is built by cutting large blocks of hard packed snow and placing them one on top of another to form a dome shaped house. Fur rugs are spread on the floor. Light and warmth come from a small lamp that burns seal oil.

An igloo floor is never just flat like the inside of a tent. It's cut into terraces which create an upper level for sleeping, a middle level for the fire and a lower level used as a cold sink. Heavy cold air, which naturally falls, collects on the floor – ideally near the door - and stays there. And warm air, which is lighter and naturally rises, stays in the parts of the igloo people use the most, including the area they sleep in.

Because the door of an igloo is at the bottom of the structure and features at least one right angled piece of tunnel to crawl through, the powerful, freezing cold Lapland winds can't blow directly into the living space. And the little hole cut into the top of the curved roof lets smoke from the fire escape safely.

All this means it can be as cold as minus fifty degrees Fahrenheit outdoors but as cosy as 19 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit indoors, not always warm enough for a T shirt but a temperature difference that'll feel really good all the same, sometimes as much as seventy degrees warmer than the outdoors.

Credit : Transun 

Picture Credit : Google

Did the Indians always have horses?

Horses did not exist in America until the Spaniards brought them in the 16th century. It was over 100 years before the Indians had them. At first the Indians were terrified of the horse, but later they became the best horsemen in the world.

When the first horses arrived they looked like very wonderful and magical dogs that could carry a lot of stuff. That is why many Plains Indians called horses "sacred dogs".

In a very short time Plains Indians learned to be expert riders. Along with hunting they learned to use the horses to make war and go on raids. They could go much farther than they ever could on foot and arrive rested and able to fight. The tribes who learned how to use horses first and fast had a huge advantage over other tribes. They quickly pushed other tribes out of their former territories and expanded their territories. Tribes like the Comanche and Cheyenne who had horses and knew how to use them first pushed other tribes like the Apache, Wichita and Tonkawa south and west off the plains. The Apache who now live in New Mexico and in Old Mexico used to live way up in the Texas panhandle and north of Texas. Bands of Comanche warriors on horseback were powerful and feared by everyone – Indians and Europeans.

Picture Credit : Google

Is the croissant French?

In 1683 Vienna was under siege from the Turks. Men baking bread during the night heard the Turkish army tunnelling under the city. They raised the alarm, saved the city and baked croissants in the shape of the crescent Moon on the Turkish flag!

The story dates to 1683, during the Ottoman Turks siege of Vienna. Legend has it that a baker working late at night heard the Turks tunneling under the walls of the city and alerted the military.

The military collapsed the tunnel in on the Turks and eliminated the threat, saving the city. The baker baked a crescent shaped pastry in the shape of the Turk’s Islamic emblem, the crescent moon, so that when his fellow Austrians bit into the croissant, they would be symbolically devouring the Turks.

Marie Antoinette popularized the croissant in France by requesting the royal bakers replicate her favorite treat from her homeland, Austria.

Then, August Zang, an Austrian artillery officer that founded a Viennese Bakery in Paris in around 1839. This bakery served Viennese specialties including the kipfel (croissant) and the Vienna loaf and quickly became very popular and inspired French bakers. The dough became lighter and more delicate throughout time, and the kipfel was developed into what it is known now as the croissant.

Today, the croissant is both a symbol of French culture and tradition, shared throughout the world. Share this story the next time you enjoy one of our delicious croissants.

Picture Credit : Google

Where do you find gargoyles?

Stonemasons in the Middle Ages carved animal heads, devils and grotesque faces as water spouts. They took rainwater from church or cathedral roofs and kept the water clear of the stone walls.

Gargoyles are carved stone creatures known as grotesques. Often made of granite, they serve an important purpose in architecture. Other than providing interesting decoration for buildings, they contain spouts that direct water away from the sides of buildings.

Like modern gutter systems you might see on houses or newer buildings, gargoyles prevent rainwater from running down stone walls, eroding the mortar that holds a building together. Architects often designed buildings with multiple gargoyles to direct the flow of rainwater.

Many gargoyles feature troughs cut into their backs to catch water. The water that's caught is usually directed out of the open mouth of the creature. Gargoyles usually have an odd, elongated shape, because their length determines how far from the building's walls the rainwater is deposited.

The word gargoyle comes from the French word gargouille, which means “throat" or “gullet." This probably comes from the gurgling sound of the water as it passes through the gargoyle and out its mouth. Some legends hold that gargoyles also protect against harmful spirits.

Gargoyles have been used for hundreds of years. Ancient Egyptians usually created gargoyles in the shape of a lion's head. Other popular animal gargoyles were dogs, wolves, eagles, snakes, goats, and monkeys.

Over the years, many other types of creatures have been used as gargoyles. For example, some gargoyles are humans, such as monks, while others are combinations of humans and animals. Unusual animal combinations are sometimes called chimeras. Some popular chimeras include griffins, centaurs, harpies, and mermaids.

Some of the most famous gargoyles in the word sit atop cathedrals, such as Notre Dame in Paris. Some experts believe they were popular on churches because of the widespread belief that they protected against evil spirits.

After the eighteenth century, gargoyles became much less common, as more modern drainpipes were developed. Occasionally, some buildings would still be built with gargoyles, but they often became more decorative than functional.

Credit : Wonderopolis

Picture Credit : Google