The First Use of Forensic Science to Resolve a Murder


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


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

The Danger of Air Pollution Gaining Access to the Brain


The reason pollution has a metallic taste and scent and that it burns the eyes when exposed to it is because the particles of air pollution are tiny enough that they can travel through nerve cells, and gain direct entry to the brain, where the olfactory bulbar meets the frontal cortex, as there is no blood-brain barrier at this point. The body protects itself through the blood-brain barrier, which means that particles within the bloodstream, cannot get directly into the brain. This system has a slight flaw however as the nose acts as a direct conduit for incredibly tiny particles to bypass this security mechanism

Maria Gunning; The Woman Who Was Thought to be the Most Beautiful Woman in London, England During the 16th Century


George William Coventry, the 6th Earl of Coventry, married Maria Gunning who was said to be the most beautiful woman in London, England, so beautiful in fact that grown men claim to have fainted when in her presence. Gunning wore a heavy layer of lead and mercury based makeup which caused blood poisoning and began to eat away at her skin. It is reported that Gunning only had the light of a tea kettle in her room, because she was so devastated by the damage done to her face by the makeup she wore. Venetian Ceruse, also referred to as “Spirits of Saturn”, was the 16th century cosmetic skin whitening agent which Gunning used. Venetian Ceruse was in great demand and considered the best available cosmetic during the era. The problem with lead and mercury based cosmetological products is that this compound contains acids which eat away at the skin and cause further blemishes which then in turn require even more concealer be used, causing a vicious cyclical scenario (e.g. further blemishes lead to more makeup, and more makeup, leads to ever further blemishes). It is believed that Queen Elizabeth I also used Venetian Ceruse to achieve her iconic pale beauty standard

Chinese New Year Traditional Fireworks Display


500 years ago during the Ming dynasty, a blacksmith came up with a cost effective way to display a fireworks show during the Chinese New Year festival by spraying molten metal onto and alongside a wall, an incredibly beautiful, yet dangerous feat to pull off. This process is referred to as “dashuhua” (pronounced “dash-ooh-wah”). The metal is 1600 degrees Celsius which means it is literally in a liquified state. The dashuhua master traditionally wears a straw hat and sheepskin coat for protection. There is currently only 1 dashuhua master left in the world, a person who is a 14th generational master. This master has 2 daughters, neither of whom want to learn the craft, so theoretically, after this master passes away, the tradition will die out

Highest Elevation at Which People Live


In La Rinconada, Peru, the entire village of La Rinconada lives as high as those who make base camp on Mt. Everest before attempting to scale its peak. When Spanish settlers first landed in La Rinconada, most lost their infant children shortly after birth because oxygen levels are half of what they are in comparison to most other places on Earth. The reason people stayed and continue to stay in La Rinconada is because of the gold which can be extracted from the nearby mountain ranges. La Rinconada is the absolute highest elevation at which humans can live, as anything considerably higher would cause organ failure which is often quick and difficult to detect by oneself resulting in death in many cases

Elon Musk’s Innovative Tesla Battery


Tesla vehicles use approximately 8000 small cell batteries close to the size of a double A (AA) battery, only slightly larger with a length of 65 millimeters and a width of 18 millimeters. Tesla originally used this battery size because of its wide abundance but will be switching to a slightly larger size with a length of 70 mm and a width of 21 mm when their gigafactory is complete. Tesla claims that these new batteries will be the best and cheapest option in the world. Competitor manufacturers use different kinds of batteries than Tesla because of their belief in how the technology works and how efficient it can be

Ancient Stained Glass Manufacturing


The manufacturing of stained glass is an ancient technology which dates back so far that the ancient Egyptians knew how to do it 2000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Medieval Europe inherited this form of technology but did not invent it as is common belief. Deep, rich blue glass was very difficult to make and therefore needed to be imported from southern Italy. The deep blues which the Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France is so famous for can historically be traced through documentation to fragments coming from the Byzantine Empire as well as the Roman Empire. These imports were melted down and used to create new glass. Most colors and dyes came from the natural world in the forms of roots, berries, barks, leaves, minerals, and crushed insects, but the most prized colors were imported into Europe from the east, specifically India and China using Ottoman trade routes. The simple luck of geography made Venice, Italy an incredibly wealthy city as it acted as a nexus between the east and west. The blue hue referred to as “ultramarine” was the most expensive color to acquire and therefore it was almost always saved for depictions of the Virgin Mary, typically in her cloak or some other form of clothing, as Mary was depicted as the focal point of every painting she appeared within. Ultra Marine came from the mineral of lapis lazuli and when it was ground up into powder, some parts would inevitably become smaller than others which allowed these particles to reflect more light and provide a deeper, richer color to work with and appreciate. Vermillion Red was almost as precious as ultramarine, and has been used in Europe for hundreds of years in various illuminated manuscripts. Made from the mineral cinnabar, vermillion was adopted in places outside of Europe like meso-America for painting, India for bindi dots, and China to create lacquerware

Medieval Age Armor Of Impoverished Soldiers 


Poorer soldiers who could not afford armor or chainmail would use a garment referred to as a “gambeson” which consisted of layers of cloth with thick wool sandwiched in between more layers of cloth, similar to the modern advent of Kevlar which is tightly woven layers stacked on top of eachother. The gambeson was sewen extremely tight making it flexible but also somewhat resistant to blows. It wasn’t as effective as armor and chainmail but it did offer moderate protection. Those who could afford it would have covered their gambeson with chainmail as an added layer of protection