Friday, February 5, 2016

A Mine of Possibilities

Poland was a target of Nazi aggression for a far more sinister reason than you might think. Poland is famous for ancient silver mines and for being the first country conquered by the Nazis. It is the home of the silver deposits that were struck into the thaler, which inspired the word dollar. Less well know is that tailings from these ancient mines were rich in pitch blend. Pitch blend contains uranium. The Nazis conquered Poland to get materials for the Nazi atomic bomb program.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Slip Sliding Away



Originally the Pyramids were sheathed in highly polished white Tura limestone casing stones. The limestone from Tura was the finest and whitest of all the Egyptian quarries. The Tura limestone was quarried from deep underground in a stone deposit South of Cairo. The miners tunneled deep underground to cut the stones out, leaving some limestone behind as pillars to support the caverns left behind. The stone casings fit together accurate to within 1/100th of an inch. All total, they were around five feet long, five feet high, and six feet deep and weighed around 15 metric tons each. Imagine the Pyramids as shining white structures rather like sunbeams.
So what happened to the beautiful casing stones? In AD 1303, a massive earthquake caused many of the outer casing stones to slide to the base of the pyramids. The stones were then carted away at the orders of Bahari Sultan An-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan in 1356 to build mosques and fortresses in nearby Cairo.

Brushing Up



People have been brushing their teeth since the late Stone Age with a twig chewed on one end to create a rudimentary brush, They often chose aromatic twigs like marshmallow and licorice to freshen their breath while brushing. Chew sticks are found in Bronze Age Babylonian and Egyptian tombs. The first toothbrush went on the market in England in 1780. William Addis used wild boar bristles set in cattle bones for his toothbrushes. The now familiar nylon toothbrush with a plastic handle first went on the market in 1938.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Templar Travel Agents


The Templars offered the first group package travel plans. Security on the road with a group of other pilgrims en-route to Jerusalem. Food and accommodations throughout the trip. A berth awaiting you on Templar owned ships in Italy. Further security and accommodations in the Holy Land. Templar chapter houses also could act like bank machines dispensing funds as needed from monies on deposit in Europe.

Monday, December 28, 2015

On Crusade


Did you know that Richard the Lionheart captured Cyprus while on crusade and sold it to the Templars? During his stay on Cyprus, Richard married Berengaria of Navarre ( a kingdom that occupied lands on either side of the western Pyrenees, south of his mother's lands in Aquitaine). Richard also retook the port cities of the Near East during the Crusade. He was unable to conquer Jerusalem, but did negotiate safe passage for pilgrims who visited Christian sites in the city of Jerusalem.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Unconquered


What building in Paris never was NEVER entered by the occupying Nazis or the Allied liberators? The International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris was so respected by the engineers of both groups that it was never interfered with. The master metric measures are stored at this location.

Top Secret Melon


A moldy cantaloupe was the source of one of the Top Secrets of WWII. As WWII threatened, a British team sought to perfect penicillin and its production. As D-Day loomed fear of the Germans getting their research and lack of resources for further development caused them to turn their Top Secret project over to the Americans. The search was on for a mold that produced the most penicillin. USA military planes even brought back molds from exotic locales. An American agricultural inspector brought a moldy cantaloupe to the labs one day. The mold was the best penicillin producer yet. Penicillin was found to grow well in corn syrup, which was readily available in the corn growing USA. Penicillin needed oxygen to grow. At first penicillin was grown in tipped milk bottles, finally in giant vats with oxygen bubbled into the mixture. Large amounts of penicillin were ready for D-Day and saved many soldiers from infection. In WWI, more soldiers had died of infection than did from being shot.