The Bulking Agents Used in the Saffron Spice

saffron-bulking-agentBecause saffron is so expensive it’s often mixed with other plants which are not actually saffron but are closely related to saffron to build up the bulk of the weight of a purchase. Turmeric is a primary example of a plant often used to help bulk up supplies. Distributors also use plastic as it helps add weight and eye appeal whilst actually providing nothing more than visual esthetics. Scientists can perform deoxyribonucleic acid examinations to determine if a sample is actually pure saffron or not. High quality saffron should have a humid scent which indicates that it was picked fresh. If the scent of saffron is slightly rancid, it means that it is old or of low quality

John Edgar Hoover’s Leverage of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Regarding Matters Outside of the Agencies Original Intent

John-Edgar-HooverJohn Edgar Hoover, the original head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation leveraged his power and the organization itself as a political police force which targeted anyone who Hoover felt was off message and out of line with what the United States of America’s political climate was during that particular period. Anyone who was suspected of being misaligned with the then current presidential administration was subject to probe. Figures who were perceived to have challenged the U.S. government and its institutions without the use of hostility includes such notable figures as Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lennon

The Advent of Parallax Distance to Measure Immense Distances in Space


Stellar parallax is a measurement technique developed by Friedrich Bessel to measure far away objects in deep space. The process of stellar parallax involves measuring an object from two separate vantage points hinging upon the fact that the object being observed will appear to move a lot more than objects further behind it (e.g. if an observer closes one eye and views their finger in front of a building, and then repeats this act with their second eye closed and the first eye open, the observers finger will appear as though it has moved much further left or right, relative to the other objects behind it). Because Bessel developed a method of calculation to take advantage of this phenomena, astronomers now have the ability to map grand distances with relative accuracy. Bessel worked out that if an observer took an image of a star when the Earth was at either side of its orbit around the sun, it would be possible to observe the star shifting in its position. By knowing how much a star shifts, it is possible to calculate the distance the star is from its observation point on Earth. Bessel surmised that the relatively close star 61 Cygni must be 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) kilometers away from the Earth because of his parallax distance method. This technique unfortunately is severely limited as the diameter of the Earth’s orbit is only 300,000,000 (300 million) kilometers which means that the parallax method can only measure objects up to a factor of 1,000,000x (1 million) the Earths orbital rotation, allowing for a maximum distance of 300,000,000,000,000 (300 trillion) kilometers which is only a tiny fraction of the size of the Milky Way Galaxy or the universe as a whole

The Ancient History of Damascus Steel

Damascus-steel-swordDamascus, Syria, the birthplace of Damascus steel was prized in the ancient world for its durability but unbeknownst to the craftspeople who forged Damascus steel, the region from which the iron ore was taken had naturally occurring nickel which meant that Damascus metalsmiths had composite steel 3000 years before the rest of the world as the idea to mix different kinds of metals had not yet been invented. Damascus steel was shatter resistant and could be sharpened to become sharper than any other type of steel. Having first encountered it during the Crusades of the 11th century, European forgers attempted for centuries to recreate what their Middle Eastern counterparts had already perfected

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 and its Impact Upon Modern Royals


King George III married for dynastic reasons but his 2 brothers each married commoners would had been married before. George found this unacceptable as it brought the royal family disrepute. In 1772, George passed the Royal Marriages Act which stated that a monarch is permitted to decide who members of their family marry. This new law disrupted royal marriages for over 200 years, perhaps most famously in the case of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Princess Margaret also experienced problems because of this law as she was forced to ask her sister Queen Elizabeth for permission to marry a commoner as well. The royal family considered anyone not royal to be a commoner despite their wealth, fame, or aristocratic title