A very short history of the Frisbee…..

  The ancient Greeks threw the discus as part of the Olympic pentathlon, but the heavy clay disk was only for throwing, not catching. No doubt children over the intervening centuries found any number of round objects they could spin through the air, but the actual Frisbee dates only from …

Heads or Tails?…..

In ancient times, people believed that major life decisions should be made by the gods. And they devised ingenious forms of divination to coax gods to answer important questions with an unequivocal “yes” or “no.” Although coins—ideally suited for yes/no responses—were first minted by the Lydians in the tenth century …

A very short history of tennis…..

Tennis began as an indoor game called jeu de paume (palm game) in medieval France. It was a version of handball and probably first played by priests in cathedral cloisters. The word tennis most likely derives from the French tenez (take), which was shouted before a serve. By 1292 there …

A very short history of nail polish…..

  Ancient Egyptians dyed their fingernails with henna and other natural plant stains, but the first real paint for the nails was developed in China around 3000 B.C. Made of beeswax, egg white, and vegetable dyes, and sometimes gelatin and gum arabic, the lacquer was colour-coded by social rank. At …

A short history of chewing gum…..

The ancient Greeks chewed the resin of the mastic tree; the Maya chewed chicle from the sapodilla, and North American Indians chewed spruce sap (mixed with beeswax, this would become the settlers’ first chewing gum). Chewing gum has a long history in the world, and a long history in the …

A very short history of chocolate…..

Considering how many cultures have contributed to chocolate and the many steps in its manufacture, it’s small wonder that a substance dating back several millennia has been consumed as a food for only about 150 years. First harvested and used by the ancient Maya, chocolate was initially a beverage, and …

A very, very short history of the Pizza….

Modern pizza is basically no more than a circle of dough spread with sauce and sprinkled with cheese. It’s probably these simple elements that have made pizza a worldwide staple; most cuisines include some kind of flatbread that can be topped with oils, vegetables, and meats. The ancient Greeks made …

A very, very short history of Tea….

Cultivated for thousands of years in India, tea is now drunk all over the world. The apocryphal story about how the Chinese found tea involves Emperor Shennong’s hygienic belief in boiled water and a few leaves of a plant falling into his cup around the year 2737 B.C. The emperor …

A very, very short history of the sandwich……..

  John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, certainly contributed his title’s name to the popular snack of two pieces of bread holding some type of filling. In 1762, Montagu, a notoriously avid gambler, realised that the type of food he’d seen in his Middle and Near Eastern travels would …

A very, very short history of the music video…….

  Long before the birth of rock–and-roll, the first music videos were making their own noise. In fact the Dickson Experimental Sound Film, widely recognised as the oldest known musical video, dates back to the mid-1890s. In it, two slightly drunk men dance while inventor William Dickson plays the violin …