Arabian philosopher and physician Avicenna introduced coffee as a beverage about A.D. 1000. He called the drink bunc; he believed it to be useful as a medicinal tonic. Not until about the sixteenth century did coffee become accepted as a social beverage in Arabia and Persia.
Part of the reason for the orientation of buttons on clothing is custom. Men usually dressed themselves, and because most men are right-handed, buttoning from the right made sense. Women were more often dressed by maids, and maids found it easier to work from their right, the wearer’s left.
Wheat, the food base of Western civilization, is by far the most widely grown plant. It has been cultivated for more than 7,000 years in every continent except Antarctica.
In 1960, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was founded to unify the members’ petroleum policies and regulate prices. The founding members were: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Since then, the following nations have also become members: Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
The original cheese comes from the city of Gouda in the western Netherlands, chartered in 1272.
In 1989, the United States was the fourth most populous country. The top five ran as follows: 1. China. 1.104 billion 2. India. 835 million 3. USSR. 289 million 4. United States. 248.8 million 5. Indonesia. 184.6 million
In days of old, tables were generally more crowded during mealtime and one’s elbows could get in the way of other diners. Today elbows are allowed on the table by certain etiquette authorities, but the general idea of keeping elbows away from dinnerware and other diners is still a good one.
Panama hats have always been made in Ecuador, where their manufacture helps to support the economy. They were once distributed through Panama.
Bananas did not come from South America. Bananas first grew in tropical Asia and were eaten by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Banana plants were transported from the Canary Islands off northwest Africa to the Americas soon after the New World was discovered.
Kosher pareve means food that is neutral. That is, fruits, vegetables, and eggs, and can be eaten with either meat or dairy products. The two other main categories of kosher food are mikhig (dairy) and fleishig (meat).
The Code Napoleon is the French civil code enacted in 1804 and introduced into areas then under French control. New Orleans, by that time, was under U.S. control, but the Louisiana state civil code of 1825 (still in effect, with modifications) was influenced by the French code. The Napoleonic Code covered everything from civil rights […]
According to Adam Smith (1723-1790), the “invisible hand” of economics is competition that regulates the marketplace. He first made this observation in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776).
The largest, though not the tallest office building was the World Trade Center in New York City. Each of its twin towers contained 4.37 million square feet of space.
The official languages of Belgium are Flemish Dutch and French. The country is bounded by the North Sea, the Netherlands, West Germany, Luxembourg, and France.
Yes, it’s true. Canadian Eskimos used igloos as temporary winter homes or camp dwellings. Igloos were usually made of blocks of hard-packed snow, but sometimes of sod, stone, or wood. Most Eskimos now live in more modern dwellings, but igloos can still be found in the area between the Mackenzie River delta and Labrador.
The original members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization known as NATO formed in 1949 during the Soviet blockade of Berlin, were: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Greece and Turkey joined NATO in 1952; the Federal Republic of Germany in 1953; and […]
Geishas are not necessarily prostitutes. A geisha is a member of a professional class of Japanese women who provide entertaining company for men, particularly businessmen. Some geishas sing, dance, or play instruments; most are skilled only at conversation.
The gypsies probably came from India. Romany, the Gypsy language, is Indic; but it is not known when or why the Gypsies left India. Living as aliens in every country, they reached Persia by A.D. 1000 and northwest Europe by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Lieutenant Harry Burnett of the Queen’s Own Corps of Guides was responsible for soldiers wearing khaki today. In December 1846, the English officer was told to develop a “mud-colored” uniform that would camouflage soldiers in dusty surroundings. By early 1847, Burnett had clothed his troops in the light-colored uniform named khaki, which comes from the […]
The term liberal arts arose in the Middle Ages from the Latin artes liberales. It refers to the seven branches of learning: logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, and grammar. The number seven derives from a quote in Proverbs 9:1: ‘Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn our her seven pillars.”
The news agency the Associated Press was organized in 1848.
As of the early 1980s, the United States held the largest supply, with nearly 27 percent of the world’s uranium reserves. Other countries with large supplies were: Australia, with 18 percent; Sweden, with 16 percent; South Africa, with 15 percent; and Canada, with 9 percent.
Angora wool does not come from sheep. Angora is harvested from a domesticated rabbit of the same name. The wool is white, black, blue, or fawn. The rabbits are sheared every three months; each one yields about 12 ounces of wool annually. These rabbits first appeared in the eighteenth century in France.
Asia, by far is the most populous continent. Its population in 1989, including the Soviet Union’s, was estimated at 3.35 billion. The next most populous continent, Africa, had only 646 million people. Antarctica, the least populous continent, is virtually uninhabited.
Gypsies call themselves Rom, or “man.” Not knowing the origin of Rom, the English called them Gypsies (derived from Egyptians); the French, Bohemians; the Spanish, Flemish; and the Swedes, Tatars.