Tag «John Green»

How the Egg Came First

In 1799, the Keeper of the Department of Natural History at the British Museum didn’t know what to make of a bizarre specimen that had just arrived from Australia. It appeared to be the skin of a beaver or a mole with a beak sewn onto it? Being a good curator, he carefully examined every …

Food History: Ketchup and Mustard

Food History: Ketchup and Mustard

Around 300 BCE, people in China were experimenting with making pungent pastes out of fermented fish guts. A few centuries later, the Greek historian Pliny shared a method to treat scorpion stings using the ground-up seeds of a common plant. These are the unlikely origin stories of ketchup and mustard. Hi, I’m Justin Dodd. *And …

Food History: Ramen

Food History: Ramen

If the first thing you picture when you hear ramen is this, you can thank Momofuku Ando. And World War II…and the Yakuza crime syndicate. Let’s begin in August, 1945. Japan had just announced its surrender to the Allies, and Ando was walking through war-torn Osaka. The Allied Forces’ aerial bombing had wrought destruction on …

When the Rainforests Collapsed

When the Rainforests Collapsed

Way back, about 310 million years ago, a lizard-like creature took shelter in a hollow stump in what’s now Nova Scotia. It was small, not much bigger than your hand, and it hunted for insects in an ecosystem that was way different from anything you’ll find in Canada today. It lived in a warm, swampy …