When American Earle Dickson married in 1917, he discovered that his new bride Josephine was so clumsy in the kitchen that she cut herself umpteen times a day. Being a solicitous husband, Dickson I would rush to her aid with gauze and sticking tape. Soon, Dickson thought of a better idea. He placed small strips of gauze in the centre of the pieces of sticking tape and then lined the tape with crinoline (a stiff fabric) so that it wouldn't stick to itself. He re-rolled the tape so that Josephine could unwind and cut off whatever she needed. Dickson worked at Johnson & Johnson, which produced cotton and gauze bandages for hospitals and the military. They were impressed with his idea, but the first versions of the bandage they made did not sell very well because they were too big.

Eventually Band-Aid was popularised by distributing them free to Boy Scouts. The company also began machine-cutting them in different sizes in 1924. By 1939, Band-Aid was sterilised, and in 1958, a completely waterproof version was in the market. Today, the company sells millions of dollars worth of the little sticking plasters every year.

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Who was the first bionic man?

Rex is the world's first bionic man, comprising artificial organs, synthetic blood, robotic limbs and a human face. And as if that's not enough, he can speak and listen, too. In science fiction books or films, a bionic person is someone who has special powers, such as being exceptionally strong or having exceptionally good sight, because parts of their body have been replaced by electronic machinery.

Unveiled at London's Science Museum as part of the “How Much of You Can Be Rebuilt”? exhibition, the artificial human is valued at a whopping $1 million. Researchers say they wanted to test scientific boundaries and demonstrate how modern science is beginning to catch up with sci-fi in the race to replace body parts with man-made alternatives.

Rex's 6'5" 'body' built with currently available bionic and prosthetic technology, includes a prosthetic face, hands, hips, knees and feet as well as cochlear implants which enable him to hear and retinal implants that allow him to sense objects in front of him. Speech synthesis technology means Rex can make sense of simple statements and even respond to some questions. Artificial blood pumps through his artificial organs, which include a heart, kidney and pancreas. He also has a spleen and trachea.

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Who created the first talking doll?

The first talking doll was made by the acclaimed American inventor Thomas Alva Edison in 1890. It was embedded with a small phonograph enabling it to recite a nursery rhyme.

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, and when he imagined the uses for his new machine, he speculated that, beyond serving as a means of preserving dictation, it might animate toys. His idea took form in a talking doll, manufactured briefly in 1890.

In 1887 Edison had licensed W. W. Jacques and Lowell C. Briggs of Boston to make and sell talking dolls as the Edison Toy Phonograph Company. The Edison Phonograph Works, in West Orange, N.J., manufactured the phonographs, inserted them into dolls, and packaged them for sale. The talking dolls work imperfectly, sold poorly, and proved a costly mistake for Edison. By 1896, all remaining unsold phonographs for dolls were reportedly destroyed.

Credit : Smithsonian

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Where were the first scissors found?

The earliest scissors known to exist appeared about 3,000 or 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today's Iraq, mostly, but also parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey). Known as spring scissors, they consisted of two bronze blades connected at the handles by a thin, flexible strip of curved bronze. This strip served to bring the blades together when squeezed and to pull them apart when released.

The ancient Egyptians used a version of scissors as long ago as 1500 B.C. They were a single piece of metal, typically bronze, fashioned into two blades that were controlled by a metal strip. The strip kept the blades apart until they were squeezed. Each blade was a scissor. Collectively, the blades were scissors, or so rumor has it. Through trade and adventure, the device eventually spread beyond Egypt to other parts of the world.

The Romans adapted the Egyptians' design in 100 A.D., creating pivoted or cross-blade scissors that were more in line with what we have today. The Romans also used bronze, but they sometimes made their scissors from iron as well. Roman scissors had two blades that slid past each other. The pivot was situated between the tip and the handles to create a cutting effect between the two blades when they were applied to various properties. Both Egyptian and Roman versions of scissors had to be sharpened regularly.

Credit : Thought Co. 

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When was snakes and ladders invented in India?

The game Snakes and Ladders was invented in India in the century by the poet saint Gyandev, and was called Moksha Patam. The ladders represented the virtues while the snakes indicated vices. The game was designed around the concept that good deeds take you to heaven while bad deeds take you to hell.

Our favorite Snakes and Ladders was earlier known as Mokshapat, Moksha Patamu, or Gyan Chaupar (the game of knowledge). It was not just a game but a way of understanding life and its values. 

Its origin is still unclear, but some historians believe that the game is as old as the 2nd century BC, while others believe that it was invented in the 13th century by an Indian poet, Saint Gyandev.

The game served as a teaching tool to embrace and reinforce the Hindu philosophies of Karma and Samskara in students. Unlike the snakes and ladders we know now, the original game had squares in the range of 72-124 that symbolized the journey of life. Every square enlightened a positive or negative aspect of life. 

Mokshapat had more snakes than ladders representing various evils on the path to attaining salvation. It also depicted that the path to salvation is more difficult than the path to evil. 

The squares that contained the bottom of the ladder symbolized a good deed or good karma, and the top of the ladder symbolized a heavenly place. The squares where the mouth of the snakes was placed were a sign of evil or bad karma. The goal was to reach the end square that signified salvation or Moksha.

The astounding fact about the old version of the game is that the game focused on developing the necessary values in people rather than focusing on competition.

Credit : ED Times

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