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What Kind of Horses did Knights Ride?

What Kind of Horses did Knights Ride?

In 1066 AD the Normans (people who came from Normandy in Europe) conquered England and introduced feudalism in England. Feudalism was a system of contract where society was divided into four classes: royalty, barons (noblemen) and bishops, knights (a title or a rank) and lastly peasants. Merchants and artisans were placed just above the peasants. From 1066 to about the 14th century, feudalism developed across Europe. There were no professional armies at that time like we have today....

The Bittersweet Story of Chocolate

The Bittersweet Story of Chocolate

Many, many centuries ago, sometime around 400 BC, in the jungles of South and Central America, the Cacao plant was discovered which in the ages to come would become the most desired foodstuff in the whole world. The plant was found to have hard pods with each pod containing brown beans that later became the main ingredient in the making of chocolate. Cacao was a very important plant even then as it was actually used as money by the Mayans and later by the Aztecs....

Why is the Mediterranean Sea Blue?

Why is the Mediterranean Sea Blue?

We know that about seventy one per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. The earth’s three main Oceans are the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean is a great mass of water that separates Europe and Africa from America. It is shaped like a great hour-glass-with a ‘waist’ where Africa and South America bulge out towards each other. Although in area it is less than half the Pacific, it has many ‘secondary’ seas, such as the Arctic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea....

How Wool Came Into Existence

How Wool Came Into Existence

It must have been a very intelligent human who looked at a sheep walking past and thought of the use its fleece might have! Although the oldest surviving textile made out of wool is around 3,500 years old, the oldest fine woolen fabric dates to the fifth century BC (about 2,500 years ago) and was found in an ancient Greek colony. How Wool Came Into Existence Wool was probably the first fiber to be woven into a textile....

Why do People Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

Why do People Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

In millions of homes in Europe and America, a sprig of mistletoe with berries is hung outside the doorway at Christmastime. According to custom, a man is allowed to kiss a girl if she is standing under the mistletoe. Why do People Kiss Under the Mistletoe? Legend has it that when Balder, the son of the Norse goddess Frigga was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe by Loki, an evil spirit, Frigga wept tears of white berries which brought him back to life....

Where Did Piggy Banks Come From?

Where Did Piggy Banks Come From?

You can find a piggy bank at almost every home. But whoever heard of pigs and savings? Pigs in a poke, yes, and pigs in a sty. But what is the connection between the sty residents and a home saving bank? Actually none. The connecting link has to do with clay. Clay? Yes. Though coin-slotted money boxes in the shape of animals, including pigs have been in existence for centuries, the actual term came to be associated with Europe in the middle ages....

The Stockholm Effect

The Stockholm Effect

Sweden lies in the Scandinavian Peninsula in northern Europe, with Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast. Stockholm, its permanent capital since 1523, is located at the junction of Lake Mälar (Mälaren) and Salt Bay (Saltsjön), an arm of the Baltic Sea, opposite the Gulf of Finland. Due to its location, built as it is upon numerous islands, Stockholm is regarded as one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world. The Stockholm Effect [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] The Swedish capital, Stockholm, has puzzled people for ages....

The First Notes of Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived just 35 years. But he filled those years so totally with 626 musical works that the world today recognises him as one of the greatest composers ever. Among his works were 50 symphonies and 19 operas, including much-loved works like The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. Mozart was born in the Austrian city of Salzburg, known for its salt mines, in 1756. His father, Leopold, was the choirmaster to the Archbishop of Salzburg....

Anchor rips through phone and internet cable

Anchor rips through phone and internet cable

Where: The Mediterranean Sea December 22, 2008: A ship’s anchor slammed into the ocean bed, ripping apart an undersea cable that connected millions of computers and telephones. Cut somewhere between Sicily and Tunisia, in the Mediterranean Sea, the cut ends of the cable are being searched by an undersea robot. The robot will bring the cable ends up to the surface, where they will be joined on a ship. According to a story by the Associated Press, experts from France Telecom Marine sent the robot called ‘Hector’ down to the sea bed to start the search for the broken ends of the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable (which stands for South Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4)....

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