Tag «Ted education»

The world’s most mysterious book – Stephen Bax

The world’s most mysterious book – Stephen Bax

Deep inside Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library lies the only copy of a 240-page tome. Recently carbon dated to around 1420, its vellum pages features looping handwriting and hand-drawn images seemingly stolen from a dream. Real and imaginary plants, floating castles, bathing women, astrology diagrams, zodiac rings, and suns and moons with …

A brief history of cannibalism – Bill Schutt

A brief history of cannibalism – Bill Schutt

15th century Europeans believed they had hit upon a miracle cure: a remedy for epilepsy, hemorrhage, bruising, nausea, and virtually any other medical ailment. This brown powder could be mixed into drinks, made into salves or eaten straight up. It was known as mumia and made by grinding up mummified human flesh. The word “cannibal” …

The myth of Pandora’s box – Iseult Gillespie

The myth of Pandora’s box – Iseult Gillespie

Curiosity: a blessing, or a curse? The paradoxical nature of this trait was personified for the ancient Greeks in the mythical figure of Pandora. According to legend, she was the first mortal woman, whose blazing curiosity set a chain of earth-shattering events in motion. Pandora was breathed into being by Hephaestus, God of fire, who …

A brie(f) history of cheese – Paul Kindstedt

A brie(f) history of cheese – Paul Kindstedt

Before empires and royalty, before pottery and writing, before metal tools and weapons – there was cheese. As early as 8000 BCE, the earliest Neolithic farmers living in the Fertile Crescent began a legacy of cheesemaking almost as old as civilization itself. The rise of agriculture led to domesticated sheep and goats, which ancient farmers …

The history of tea – Shunan Teng

The history of tea – Shunan Teng

During a long day spent roaming the forest in search of edible grains and herbs, the weary divine farmer Shennong accidentally poisoned himself 72 times. But before the poisons could end his life, a leaf drifted into his mouth. He chewed on it and it revived him, and that is how we discovered tea. Or …

History vs. Cleopatra – Alex Gendler

History vs. Cleopatra – Alex Gendler

“Order, order. So who do we have here?” “Your Honor, this is Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen whose lurid affairs destroyed two of Rome’s finest generals and brought the end of the Republic.” “Your Honor, this is Cleopatra, one of the most powerful women in history whose reign brought Egypt nearly 22 years of stability and …