Tag «Teded»

The secret messages of Viking runestones – Jesse Byock

The secret messages of Viking runestones – Jesse Byock

In the 8th century CE, Vikings surged across the misty seas. They came from Scandinavia in Northern Europe but would travel far and wide. Some plundered and settled in the British Isles and France; others braved Artic exploration or forged clever new trade routes to the Middle East. With their steely navigational skills, advanced long-ships …

How do blood transfusions work? – Bill Schutt

In 1881, doctor William Halsted rushed to help his sister Minnie, who was hemorrhaging after childbirth. He quickly inserted a needle into his arm, withdrew his own blood, and transferred it to her. After a few uncertain minutes, she began to recover. Halsted didn’t know how lucky they’d gotten. His transfusion only worked because he …

One of the most epic engineering feats in history – Alex Gendler

One of the most epic engineering feats in history – Alex Gendler

In the mid-19th century, suspension bridges were collapsing all across Europe. Their industrial cables frayed during turbulent weather and snapped under the weight of their decks. So when a German-American engineer named John Roebling proposed building the largest and most expensive suspension bridge ever conceived over New York’s East River, city officials were understandably skeptical. …

Why is cotton in everything? – Michael R. Stiff

Why is cotton in everything? – Michael R. Stiff

Centuries ago, the Inca developed ingenuous suits of armor that could flex with the blows of sharp spears and maces, protecting warriors from even the fiercest physical attacks. These hardy structures were made not from iron or steel, but rather something unexpectedly soft: cotton. These thickly woven, layered quilts of cotton could distribute the energy …

The myth of Arachne – Iseult Gillespie

The myth of Arachne  – Iseult Gillespie

From sailors who were turned into pigs, nymphs that sprouted into trees, and a gaze that converted the beholder to stone, Greek mythology brims with shape-shifters. The powerful gods usually changed their own forms at will, but for mortals, the mutations were often unwanted. One such unnerving transformation befell the spinner Arachne. Arachne was the …

The ballet that incited a riot – Iseult Gillespie

The ballet that incited a riot – Iseult Gillespie

We typically think of ballet as harmonious, graceful and polished– hardly features that would trigger a riot. But at the first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” audience members were so outraged that they drowned out the orchestra. Accounts of the event include people hurling objects at the stage, challenging each other to …