Category: History of science

playdoh

The Non-Glamorous History of Play-doh

Play-doh is fairly ubiquitous. Where there are toddlers, there is Play-doh or a variant of it. It’s one of the most beloved fidget toys for those with sensory issues, meaning it’s making it’s way into older people’s desks so they have something to manipulate while they think. So, what’s the history behind this beloved toy? …

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An Insanely Simple Breakdown of the Internet

The Internet has permeated so much into our everyday lives that we can hardly imagine a day without it. But what is the internet really? Let’s break it down until it’s insanely simple! The internet is a communication line between computers. This connection is established by using telephone lines, ethernet cables, fibre optic cables, electromagnetic …

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The Dilemmas of Max Planck

The time around the World Wars was an interesting one for science. A great many things were discovered, then invented off these new illuminations. There was one that stood out for his slow, creative genius that, through his belief that physics and chemistry are intertwined, discovered thermodynamics. Following the threads of evidence, Max Planck travelled …

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death ray, archimedes

Greek Fire and the Archimedes Death Ray: Could These Ancient Weapons Have Actually Worked?

Legends from antiquity talk of two different weapons used in warfare, Greek fire and the Archimedes death ray. In fact, both of these weapons have been mentioned in some of the popular medieval fantasy books, movies, and television series, like Game of Thrones. But what exactly were these two cool-sounding ancient weapons and could they …

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Carlos Finlay: Mosquitoes, Yellow Fever, and a Big Case of “I Told You So”

Pop Quiz – What animal is responsible for the most human deaths every year? If you said “shark” or “alligator” or “snake”, you would be wrong. Sure, these animals are dangerous, but they actually result in very few human deaths each year. The animal that poses the biggest threat to humans is the mosquito. Mosquitoes …

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From Slave to Botanist, Professor, and Inventor: George Washington Carver

Born into slavery in 1864, George Washington Carver used his natural scientific curiosity and the power of education to become one of the leading agricultural scientists of his day. He advocated that southern farmers rotate their crops between cotton, which quickly depletes the soil, and peanuts, which added nitrogen to the soil. His concept of …

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Fossil Hunter: Mary Anning

The scientific fields of geology and paleontology owe much of their early advancements to an uneducated, impoverished, amateur fossil hunter in the early 1800s. However, much of the credit for Mary Anning’s work was not granted to her during her lifetime. The reason for this was threefold – she was from a poverty-stricken, working-class family, …

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Scientist Spotlight: Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley. It’s a name that won’t mean much to the average person. And even the few that recognise his name, but don’t know his story, will snigger saying, “That’s the dude that found oxygen that he didn’t believe in.” True that. Priestley did find oxygen ─ and explored many other gasses ─ while still …

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Fire Starter: Chemical Reaction on a Match Head

It is a simple, everyday object with a long and science-y history…the match. Today, we may strike a match to light a birthday candle or bonfire or a charcoal grill or a celebratory cigar, but for our ancestors, the ability to consistently start a fire meant survival. They relied on fire for heat, cooking, and …

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