Chinese Silk


Historically recorded Chinese accounts by monastic Chinese scholars state that a handful of monks sent to China by the Roman emperor Justinian, smuggled silkworms out of China within the hollowed out shoots of bamboo canes and brought this cargo to Constantinople which is modern day Istanbul, Turkey so that the silk textile trade could be exported from China for the first time in recorded history. For over 2000 years Constantinople was considered the crossroads of the world, the nexus at which the west and east converged. Silk soon took off as one of the most in demand and profitable industries within Istanbul’s long and fascinating history. It should be noted that these accounts are thought by many scholars to be a work of fiction

Charles Darwin’s “Survival of the Fittest”


When Charles Darwin created the phrase “survival of the fittest”, he did so before the term “ecosystem” was commonly used within the English vernacular. Darwin originally intended to state that the species or organism which fit in best with its environment, would have the most probable chance of survival. It is a common misconception that Darwin was referring to physical attributes like strength, speed, and fight or flight endurance

Indonesian Islam


In Indonesia, during the 16th century (although various sources of contrasting Islamic documentation state Islamic traders brought Islam to Indonesia in the 8th century), Islam had mass appeal to the general population. Islam strictly forbade discrimination and idolation of any monarchy or royal bloodline, and gave the common people the same opportunity to ascend to paradise as their rulers did. Islam does not have an intermediary when dealing with divine power which further made the religion attractive to the native islanders. These values made Islam more liberating in comparison to Hinduism and Buddhism which were the dominant religions at the time. The most recent mass conversion to Islam was during the fall of communism in Indonesia in 1965. Massive and brutal murders of communist party members occurred in the late 1960s as the accepted convention at the time was that communists were atheists and atheists were therefore communists. The safest method to ensure survival during this turbulent time, especially for the indigenous Javanese who adhered to local indigenous religions, was to declare themselves Muslim so they would not be mistaken for communists and by default, atheists

Fermat’s Last Theorem

Fermat's-Last-TheoremFermat’s last theorem was the last problem Pierre de Fermat ever claimed to have solved. Fermat often wrote in the margins of his books and one particular evening, while reading Arithmetica by the Greek mathematician Diophantus, he wrote “I have the answer to this equation, but the margin is too small to contain it”. Hours later that same night after writing this notation, Fermat died. Fermat was famous for writing in the margin of a books when he had figured out the correct answer for a problem, but for some reason he never provided the answer. Fermat was proven correct in each accounted notation by future mathematicians who came along posthumously. Fermat’s last claim however was unable to be solved and proven for centuries. Fermat’s last claim posited that the Pythagorean equation of a^2 + b^2 = c^2 does not have an infinite number of solutions when the squared exponent of all 3 numbers is any number greater than 1 or 2 (e.g. it is impossible to separate a biquadrant or cube into 2 biquadrants or 2 cubes, only squared numbers can be separated into 2). Andew Wiles of Princeton University eventually solved this equation in 1993 but could not publish his work until 1995 due to an error. Wiles resolved this problem 3 centuries after Fermat as no other mathematician was able to figure it out

Captain James Cook


Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy was a sea captain as well as a cartographer. Cook circumnavigated the bottom portion of South America and South Africa, in addition to discovering and mapping many different islands including New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, and Easter Island as well the fertile east coast of Australia, which he named New South Wales and claimed in the name of Britain. Cook also found islands which had yet to be explored in the Pacific Ocean, discovering new lands on a scale which until that point had not been performed. The maps Cook drafted were so precise that even during the 20th century, sailors were still using them up until the advent of satellite imagery. Additionally, Cook discovered the cure and prevention for scurvy by accidentally stumbling upon the answer after feeding his crew a diet which included orange extract and sauerkraut

Nostradamus’ Books


Other than The Bible, Nostradamus’ self-published books have sold more copies than any other publicized work in the history of the printed word. Nostradamus made his ominous predictions of the future by inhaling as well as orally ingesting nutmeg which breaks down into an amphetamine when processed by the liver. Nostradamus then poured black ink into a bowl of water, covered his head with the hood of his robe and stared into the bowl of water and ink claiming it allowed him to view depictions of future events. Nostradamus wrote down his visions in cryptic verses referred to as “quatrains” which contain only 4 sentences. Quatrains have been used by many different European cultures, as well as Asian cultures over the course of history

Roman Apothegm


The acronym “SPQR” is an initialism of the Latin phrase, “Senatus Populusque Romanus” which means “The Roman Senate and People”. Latin was the primary language spoken by the ancient Romans, alongside many other lesser spoken languages as the Roman empire was a vast and diverse nation state with tolerance for culture, language, and religion. Today SPQR is still used as the official emblem of the modern day commune/municipality of Rome