Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random Bits and Pieces of History

Celtic warriors sometimes fought their battles naked, their bodies dyed blue from head to toe. The Canadian province of New Brunswick had a bloodless war with the US state of Maine in 1839. About two hundred years before the Common Era, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate that winter was approaching. Abdul Kassam Ismael, Grand Vizier of Persia in the tenth century, carried his library with him wherever he went. Four hundred camels carried the 117,000 volumes. Before 1883, the three-cent U.S. stamp was also used for advertising. The advertisment was located on the back of the stamp for various products. China is the world's oldest known continuous civilization. Arabic numerals were not invented by Arabs, but were invented in India by the Hindus. During the 16th century, newly married couples in France had to stand naked outdoors while the groom kissed the bride's left foot and big toe as part of traditional customs. Ever since 1944 the town of Bunol, which is near Valencia, Spain has a festival called "Tomatina." The festival occurs once a year on the last Wednesday of the month of August. People have a huge food fight and throw tomatoes at each other, and this festival is considered the world's largest food fight. From 1526 to 1707, the first six Mogul emperors of India ruled in unbroken succession from father to son. In 1943, Navy officer Grace Hopper found a glitch in her computer. After investigating, she discovered the system had a bug - a real one. Turns out a moth made its way into Hopper's computer. Though the word bug has meant fault or defect since as far back as the 1870's, Hopper's story is credited with making it the synonym of choice in the computer industry.

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