The Baptistère de Saint Louis and its Significance to European Culture

The Baptistère de Saint Louis was created by Malmuk craftspeople to be used as a luxury bowl to hold holy water during christenings, in fact King Louis XIII used the same object during his christening as an infant. Despite being created by Islamic craftspeople and depicting graphic violence of decapitation and limb severance, the Baptistère de Saint Louis was used for hundreds of years, seemingly without conflict between Islamic and Christian traditions and viewpoints. The object itself is a basin of metal and copper alloy which is inlayed with silver and was crafted in Syria or Egypt during the mid 14th century

 

Technology Provided by the Iron Age

Iron was favored over bronze throughout history because it could be formed into thin and detailed structures which could not be achieved when casting bronze. This is important because it meant that iron blades could be worked and therefore sharpened to a much more refined degree than bronze which was brittle. Iron is also more readily found, a metal which could be found locally around the world and did not depend upon an immense, trading network. By 400 B.C., iron tools and iron objects became ubiquitous throughout various civilizations with the effects of this new technology felt upon the cutting edge of agricultural technology. Iron is more practical than bronze as bronze needs to be melted down and recast if broken in opposition to iron which could be taken to a fire, hit with a hard object, and repaired to the point at which it becomes functional once again. These aspects helped iron to gain favor worldwide as the metal of choice for building and advancing society. As the Iron Age progressed, knowledge about where iron deposits are found became better understood with more and more iron becoming available upon the open market. This is important because the more readily available a particular type of artifact is, the younger the item typically presents as. As time progressed, iron became akin to plastic of the modern day, being cost effective and readily available to manufacture virtually anywhere. Iron tipped wooden plows allowed for more difficult soils to be farmed, which meant that more land could be cultivated making iron truly an agricultural and commercial revolution in the ancient world. Despite lasting for an period of 1000 years, the Bronze Age was quickly replaced with the more effective and efficient Iron Age. The issue of total replacement is complicated as bronze was not only used for tool making, it also helped to create an elite class and was used for spiritual and ceremonial objects as well as visual displays of prestige and wealth. Iron tools several hundred years later, failed to achieve the same intrinsic value within society that bronze once had as it was less rare and precious and therefore less valuable. Iron tools however were highly practical unlike their bronze counterparts, a feature which plagued agriculture and society as a whole

The Rationale Behind the President’s Chosen to be Depicted at Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore used a combination of dynamiting and jackhammering. It was the largest sculpture of its time. From left to right, George Washington was chosen as the father of the U.S., Thomas Jefferson as the father of U.S. law, Abraham Lincoln as the father of equality for all U.S. citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt who made the U.S. a world power

The Usage of 5D Crystals as a Means of Computational Storage

Quartz is being used to create the most powerful data storage device ever developed, the 5D Superman Memory Crystal, a technology which could store data for up to 13,800,000,000 (13.8 billion) years, the calculated age of the universe. The 5D quartz crystal is a method of ensuring a large density of data can be saved within a relatively small object. This is an incredibly secure and long lasting method of saving data as the information is physically encoded into the crystal itself, remaining indefinitely until the quartz itself is destroyed, a very difficult task in and of itself. In 2018, technology entrepreneur Nova Spivack used a 5D crystal to create a permanent space library, sending it to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Heavy Falcon rocket. Quartz is highly stable because it is a crystal, remaining unchanged for billions of years meaning if data is inserted, theoretically it could survive for billions of years. For a quartz crystal approximately 2.5 centimeters by 2.5 centimeters in diameter and 5 millimeters thick, 30 terabytes of data can be held, which is 30,000 gigabytes or 800 Blu-ray discs or 600 smartphones worth of information. This means that the entire British library could be fit into 1000 5D crystal slides, a small enough volume to fit within a single shoebox. A traditional storage medium like a compact disc, stores data in individual pixels, with 1 pixel able to hold the equivalent of 1 bit or 8 bytes of information. In a quartz drive however, each voxel can hold 8 bits or 64 bytes of information. The technology required to achieve this feat however is still in its infancy with scientists still discovering new ways to refine manufacturing, the writing and reading of data, and storage capabilities

The Future Technology of Carbon Nanotubes

carbon-nano-tubeThe atomic structure of carbon, more specifically naturally occurring diamond, is neatly stacked in a cuboid shape. Carbon nanotubes use carbon but instead stack their atoms in a hexagonal shape. The result is a material which weighs virtually nothing, yet is stronger than any material known upon Earth, including poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide, more commonly referred to as “Kevlar”, zylon, and titanium. Some scientists have argued that carbon nanotubes will most likely be the strongest substance in the known universe and that nothing will ever have the ability to surpass its strength. Carbon nanotubes have a strength of 200 gigapascals; to provide frame of reference, the strongest materials known to civilization have a strength of approximately 5 gigapascals. 1 gigapascal, which is commonly abbreviated as “GPa”, is equal to 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) pascals, and 1 pascal, which is commonly abbreviated as “Pa”, is the SI unit for pressure defined as “1 newton per 1 square meter”. If a space elevator ribbon made of carbon nanotubes stretching 100 kilometers were ever to break (e.g. the counterweight above breaking), it would gently float down to Earth because it would only weighs 7 kilograms per every 1 kilometre of length

Galileo Galilei’s Telescope Design Improvement upon the Dutch Spyglass Design

Galileo-Galilei-telescopeIt had been known since the first spectacles were produced in the middle of the 13th century, that glass was capable of bending light, a property which no other known material of the period could achieve. The Dutch spyglass worked upon this very principal, arranging lenses with careful attention to detail to create a compounding magnification effect. If light hits a plano-convex (pronounced “play-noh”) lens, which is flat upon one side and convex upon the other, the same formation used for those who suffer from hyperopia, rays of light streaming inward are bent toward eachother, eventually meeting and converging at a specific triangular point. Right before this focal point, Galilei improved the original Dutch design by placing his second lens, an ocular lens which is plano-concave, meaning flat upon one side and concave upon the other, the same formation used for those who suffer from myopia. This secondary lens pushes the bent rays of converging light back out again so that they can hit the eye and provide a clear image. The eye focuses this light upon the retina so that the observer can view the image produced by the spyglass. The magnification power of a telescope depends upon the ratio between the focal lengths of the lenses, with these distances marked as F1 for the distance between the front of the spyglass and the plano-concave lens, and F2 from the plano-concave lens toward the back of the spyglass. The largest difficulty impeding Galilei was the grinding down process of his convex lens, in an attempt to make it as shallow as possible to maximize the length of the F1 partition, as the longer the distance is, the greater the magnification will be. Within a few weeks of developing this new technology, Galilei’s first telescope had a clear magnification of 8x, far exceeding the power of the original Dutch spyglass. On August 21, 1609, Galilei climbed a Venice bell tower to meet up with Venetian nobles and senators so that he could display his new technology. This new bleeding edge feat of engineering permitted Venetians to spot sailing ships 2 hours earlier than if they had used the naked eye. 3 days after the event, Galilei gifted his telescope to the Duke of Venice and was afforded a guaranteed job for life in exchange, with this salary equating to double his original income. With his finances secured, Galilei went on to develop and produce even more powerful telescopes

European Neolithic Mining Practices

Neolithic-mineDuring the Neolithic period, flint was as prized as gold was to the Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists. 4500 years ago, flint miners dug shafts up to 12 meters deep in search of more flint. Ladders and wooden platforms made extracting the ore easier. This task was Herculean as the only picks available were reindeer antler. When a mine was exhausted, a new hole would be dug and the rubble from that hole would be used to back fill the previous mine. Most flint can be found above ground and most of the flint found at Neolithic sites is indeed surface flint so it is unclear why such a massive undertaking was performed as much more readily available sources were freely available. Flint is black in color with a shiny, glass like appearance similar to obsidian. Flint chips easily and is fairly simple to make incredibly sharp by simply cracking off a piece with a harder rock. It’s possible that mine shafts were dug as a ceremonial coming of age tradition in that a prepubescent adolescent would enter into the mine, dig into the depths of the Earth, and then emerge back out as an adult. This theory is backed up by the fact that the majority of miners left their picks in the mine, possibly signifying that they had reached adulthood. It is unclear if these picks were left because they were considered to be spiritually polluted or if they offered their pick as an offering to the Earth itself in exchange for what has been brought to the surface. There is a site in Britain at which over 400 of these mines were dug a few meters from eachother giving the landscape a cratered appearance

The First Use of Forensic Science to Resolve a Murder

sickle

Sun Tzu’s text the “Washing Away of Wrongs”, written in 1235 A.D., is the first text which records forensic analysis being used to resolve a criminal case. The murder of a farmer prompted a local judge to demand that everyone in the village lay down their sickle before him. While every cythe appeared to be clean, the judge watched for insects as he understood that insects would be attracted to and by consequence fly around within proximity of a blade with fresh blood still attached to it, even if the blood was physically removed to the point at which it could no longer be observed by the human eye. This innovative technique allowed the judge to figure out which member of the community committed the homicide with forensic certainty

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 Link Between Dementia and Iron

Alzheimer's-Disease

Measuring iron in the brain is the best known way to confirm dementia without performing an autopsy after death. The brain naturally creates tiny bits of iron referred to as “magnetite”. As a human being ages, more and more iron accumulates within the brain. Too much iron however, is a hallmark of dementia. It is theorized that this overproduction of iron is actually due to external factors like pollution rather than naturally occurring phenomena. Dr. Barbara Marr, a world renowned expert and authority in respect to the measurement of metal in incredibly small particles, took thin tissue sections of affected brains obtained during autopsy and observed them under a highly resolved transmission electronmicroscope to review the particles within the neurons of the brain and found 2 different shapes of particle. The magnetite particles are beautifully crystalline, regular and geometric, whilst the opposing particles were rounded in shape, referred to as “spherls” or “nanospheres”, rounded in shape because they were originally molten droplets. For every 1 biologically manufactured magnetite, 100 artificially implanted foreign particles of iron are found within the brains of those affected by this condition as confirmed by a study which took place in Mexico City, Mexico. Although not definitely proven, the shape of these secondary particles is remarkably similar to that of airborne pollution, which suggests to scientists that there is a discernible correlation between the 2 types