Tag «TED-Ed»

How corn conquered the world – Chris A. Kniesly

Corn currently accounts for more than one tenth of our global crop production. The United States alone has enough cornfields to cover Germany. But while other crops we grow come in a range of varieties, over 99% of cultivated corn is the exact same type: Yellow Dent #2. This means that humans grow more Yellow …

History’s “worst” nun – Theresa A. Yugar

Juana Ramírez de Asbaje sat before a panel of prestigious theologians, jurists, and mathematicians. The viceroy of New Spain had invited them to test the young woman’s knowledge by posing the most difficult questions they could muster. But Juana successfully answered every challenge, from complicated equations to philosophical queries. Observers would later liken the scene …

Where does gold come from? – David Lunney

Where does gold come from? – David Lunney

In medieval times, alchemists tried to achieve the seemingly impossible. They wanted to transform lowly lead into gleaming gold. History portrays these people as aged eccentrics, but if only they’d known that their dreams were actually achievable. Indeed, today we can manufacture gold on Earth thanks to modern inventions that those medieval alchemists missed by …

History through the eyes of a chicken – Chris A. Kniesly

History through the eyes of a chicken – Chris A. Kniesly

The annals of Ancient Egyptian king Thutmose III described a marvelous foreign bird that “gives birth daily.” Zoroastrians viewed them as spirits whose cries told of the cosmic struggle between darkness and light. Romans brought them on their military campaigns to foretell the success of future battles. And today, this bird still occupies an important, …

The history of marriage – Alex Gendler

The history of marriage – Alex Gendler

There have been many different things written and said about marriage. From the sweetly inspirational to the hilariously cynical. But what many of them have in common is that they sound like they express a universal and timeless truth, when in fact nearly everything about marriage, from its main purpose to the kinds of relationships …