The Parasol and the Advent and Evolution of the Umbrella

Parasols, the precursor to the umbrella, were initially comprised of tree leaves, specifically eucalyptus and palm branches. The original intent of the parasol was to stop ultraviolet radiation from the sun, from penetrating the skin and causing it to become tan. The term “parasol” is derived from the French term “para” which means “to shield from”, from the root Latin term “parare” (pronounced “pah-rah-ray”), and the French term “sol”, which means “sun”. Parasols and umbrellas can be separated by their appearance as parasols are typically colorful and lively whilst umbrellas are generally solid, muted colors (e.g. black, grey, white etc.). It was not until the 1750’s when English philanthropist Jonas Hanway began carrying an umbrella in public with the intent to avoid rain that the idea caught on as a social trend and a new technology. Umbrellas up until the 19th century were heavy, weighing approximately 10 lbs. as they were comprised of whale bone with wooden rods setup to support the canvas. In the 1920’s, Hans Haupt helped usher the next generation of umbrellas in by inventing the foldable umbrella, the same kind of umbrella used during the modern day

Large Technology Corporations Purchasing Competition to Monopolize the Marketplace

Large technology corporations have the ability to analyze potential competitors and acquire them before they have a chance to compete. This is detrimental to consumers as it eliminates competition in the marketplace. Facebook has acquired more then 75 companies (e.g. WhatsApp, Instagram, Lightbox etc. ), Amazon has acquired more than 100 (e.g. Audible, Whole Foods, Ring etc.), and Alphabet, the umbrella organization which owns Google, has acquired more than 200 (e.g. Picasa, YouTube, Songza etc.). In 2010 and 2011, these technology juggernauts were acquiring competition at a rate of more than 1 company per week

The U.S.’ Attempt to Combat Fraudulent Currency in 2013

The U.S. $100.00 note was updated in 2013 to employ better and more advanced security measures. The $100.00 bill released in 2013 was a marvel of engineering which included the portrait watermark from the 1996 rendition, as well as the security strip which glows under ultraviolet light. In addition to these security features, color shifting ink was employed upon the bell which appears in the bottom right hand corner next to the text which states “100”, microprinting was implemented on Benjamin Franklin’s jacket cuff to inscribe “The United States of America”, “USA100” around the blank space containing Franklin’s portrait, “ONEHUNDREDUSA” along the golden quill, small 100’s in the notes borders, and a three dimensional ribbon which causes the bill to change its bell icons into text which states “100” when tilting the bill either up or down while continuing to focus upon the blue ribbon shown

The First Person to Weigh the Atmosphere

Italian Jesuit Evangelista Torricelli was able to definitively prove that the atmosphere has a specific weight by designing an experiment in which a tube is filled with mercury and then placed into a dish of mercury. Torricelli disovered that when performing this experiment, half of the mercury runs down into the dish and the other half stays within the tubing. Until this point, it was believed impossible to create a negative or empty space as the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once stated, “nature abhors a vacuum” believing that nature would forever fight against the creation of true and pure nothingness. This is the same reason that an object (e.g. plastic straw or an oil drum barrel etc.) crumbles when all of the air within is extracted. Torricelli was able to overcome this phenomena by using the exteme weight of mercury within a ridged glass tube. The level of mercury left within the tube was a measurement of the weight of the atmosphere, a balancing act between the weight of the mercury and the weight of air pressing down upon this mercury, balancing each other out like scales. Torricelli famously stated, “noi viviamo sommersi nel fondo d’un pelago d’aria” which means “we live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air” in Italian, and his findings made scientists realize that air was a substance for the first time. Torricelli became the first person to invent the barometer because of his understanding of atmospheric pressure. Despite Aristotle being believed to be correct for millennia, Torricelli definitively proved that air does have weight

Gender Reassignment Surgery: Male to Female

The reason gender reassignment surgery is possible is because all human beings begin life with the same anatomy, with the ovaries starting from the gonadal ridge, becoming testicles if they drop and remaining as ovaries if they do not. In addition to this, the clitoris is effectively a short penis as both genitalia are physically and anatomically identical (e.g. nerve ending bundles, interior connection and placement, sexual function etc.). When male anatomy is transitioned into female anatomy, a reversal of embryology occurs. When a biological male transitions to become female, during surgery, the scrotal skin is excised after which it is opened to form the labia majora and labia minora, and part of it is utilized to line the new vaginal cavity. The testicles are removed in their entirety and the cliterous is formed using the head of the penis which allows the cliterous to function as it does upon the body of a biological female, with most patients able to orgasm post surgery once healed. The volume of erectile tissue is decreased as the penis is effectively folded over, but because the nerves and arteries remain attached, sensation remains. Once the cliterous is sutured into place, the vaginal tunnel is created which is the most difficult aspect of the entire surgical procedure. A space is created between the bladder and the rectum which is difficult as both structures contain significant blood supply and injury to these systems can cause major complications. A skin graft from the scrotum is then set in place onto a cylindrical mold and sutured around it once the cavity is produced so that it can be implanted. Hair follicles are obliterated as they will continue to grow internally if not removed which would cause further complications. The mold used is an approximation of the average male penis which allows surgeons to create a cavity large enough to allow for sexual intercourse if desired. Small cosmetic details are taken care of after which the patient is sutured and migrated out of the operating theater so that they can be left to rest and reawaken after the anesthesia administered wears off

The Advent of Oil Paint Storage Changing Artwork and the First Artist to Begin Painting Outdoors

Tubed oil paint became available in 1841, superseding the traditional methods of storing paint in pigs bladders and glass syringes, which made traveling to a location and/or painting outside, suddenly possible, so that aspects of light and shadow would not have to be manufactured as with classical paintings, but rather they could be painted exactly as the artist laid witness to them. Claude Monet was the first Impressionist artist to start painting outdoors during the mid 19th century, often painting in the public’s view, outdoor scenery like The Manneporte which he painted in 1885

The Symbolism of the Islamic Garden

Islamic gardens act as symbolic representation of the archetypal eternal heavenly garden, an attempt to provide a small peak into what could potentially wait for a person in the afterlife. Repetition of geometric shapes in Islamic gardens help to emphasize the link between the physical world and thereafter. Circular fountains represent Jannah, the Islamic representation of heaven, as the circle is symbolic of heaven. The square is always utilized as a symbol of the Earth, with circular fountains often found within square indentations to act as a metaphor for heaven and Earth meeting. The term “Jannat-al-Firdaws” which means “Garden of Paradise” in Arabic, is mentioned many times throughout the Quran, with Chapter 55 of Surat al-Rahman (pronounced “suu-rat al rack-man”), which means the “all merciful” in Arabic, holding the best and most descriptive accounts of what this garden truly would look like if experienced. Water plays a crucial role in these accounts, with multiple layers of symbolism for life present which is why water is the most important element within an Islamic garden as it is symbolic of the soul. Rain was and continues to be viewed as a merciful gift from heaven within Islamic culture as Islam stems from one of the hottest regions in the world. Water is essential to Islam and an Islamic paradise garden cannot exist without the incorporation of water to some degree. Islamic gardens are separated into 4 specific quadrants because of the “chahar bagh” (pronounced “cha-harr bahh”) which means “4 gardens” in the Persian language of Farsi, directly related to the 4 rivers of paradise, including a river of milk, honey, wine, and water, an order and harmony which underlies everything within an Islamic garden

The Etymology of American Industrialist Henry Ford’s Model T Automobile and the First Mass Produced Vehicle

Henry Ford named the iconic Model T automobile as he did because of the way he built his company. Ford started with the Model A and continued to improve the design, moving through each letter of the alphabet the way modern software changes numerically with each upgrade (eg. Model A, Model B, Model C alongside software 1.0, software 2.0, software 3.0 etc.). It was Ford’s 20th design that met his stringent personal requirements allowing the Model T to become the first mass produced vehicle in 1908

The Etymology of “Tetris” and the Block Shapes Available to Players

The videogame Tetris was named as such due to its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, amalgamating the Ancient Greek prefix “tetra” which means “4”, a direct reference to the various block shapes of Tetris which always have 4 cubes, and the term “tennis” as this was Pajitnov’s favorite sport. The shapes are referred to as “tetrominoes” and consist of an S-shape, Z-shape, T-shape, L-shape, line-shape, 7-shape, and a square-shape

The Reason the World Clock Starts in Greenwich, England

The reason the world clock starts in Greenwich, England is because during the 19th century, the majority of sea charts used Greenwich, England as the Prime Meridian for the 0° coordinate. In addition to this, during the early advent of the British railway network, trains could end up in accidents if the timing of coming into and/or out of stations was off by even a small margin of error. Because the sun rises earlier in some parts of Britain and later in the rest, these variables needed to be compensated for which was accomplished by introducing more accurate clocks and the concept of time zones. Up until this point, horsepower was the fastest way to travel and because of that, sundials which had been invented in and used since the 9th century A.D., were satisfactory. It was only with the emergence of locomotives that this system of time keeping became antiquated