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.