10 Amazing Facts About the History of Money

10 Amazing Facts About the History of Money

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An Yī Huà (一化) coin. (Credit: Jean-Michel Moullec / CC)

Throughout history, financial innovations have played a crucial role in shaping societies, battles and empires. New inventions – from coins to paper money to banks – have triggered global shifts in power. Here are 10 amazing facts from the history of money…

1. We never really started with bartering

It’s a cliché that before coins and banknotes, people bartered, trading (say) a fishing net for shoes. But this idea is a fallacy. There’s no way for bilateral deals to meet true needs. From the very start, humans relied on brokers who dealt in “proto-money” to grease the wheel of transactions. This proto-money varied by culture, from bolts of silk to ingots of gold to heads of cattle. But currency brokers are a foundation of civilization.

2. China invented coins

In China’s Yellow River valley in 5 BCE, we see the widespread emergence of coins in the form of bronze castings. We see the same in Lydia, a kingdom in modern-day Turkey, during this period. But Chinese coinage probably goes back centuries before that.

3. Money and banking aren’t as modern as you think

Finance emerged with writing. The earliest attempts at writing are tallies. The ancient Mesopotamians’ clay cuneiform tablets were printed to keep track of commodities and set terms of transactions. These could be quite sophisticated, resembling modern-day futures contracts. The Code of Hammurabi (which was written in 1754 BCE and set the tone for law in the ancient world, until the Greeks) dealt mainly with contracts and transactions.

The Stele of Hammurabi, which hosts The Code of Hammurabi. (Credit: Mbzt / Louvre Museum, Paris / CC)

4. Greece connected coins to markets

The ancient Greeks were the first to promote widespread adoption of coins in private retail markets, rather than leaving it up to governments and their cronies to control how coins were used. This turbocharged Greek civilization, put economic power in the hands of ordinary people, and allowed cities like Athens to finance their arts and culture.

5. The Islamic World developed the first version of modern banking

Muslim traders formed commercial houses that spanned the entire Islamic world, from Central Asia to Spain. These merchants, keen to exploit this giant market, invented tools to sidestep the prohibitions of their faith on charging interest. Bills of exchange, checks, and bookkeeping using Indian numerals are all things that European bankers would copy and revise in Renaissance Italy.

Tom Holland traces the history of Islam through the centuries, and its interaction and impact on Christendom and the modern-day western world.

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6. China invented paper money

The Tang Dynasty of the seventh to tenth centuries was a golden age for China, which by now was the world’s largest economy and most sophisticated culture, with inventions including gunpowder, the compass, and printing. But its dependence on strings of low-value coins was an impediment to commerce. Guilds in Sichuan Province experimented with “flying checks”, with contracts printed on the bark of mulberry trees.

Tang Flying cash – a cheque from the Tang Dynasty. (Credit: CC)

7. Spain’s New World plundering crashed the world economy

Spain’s conquests of the Aztecs and Incas led to an orgy of stealing and mining gold and silver. So much was shipped to Europe and China that it led to a century of inflation. There was simply more money in circulation than the economies could absorb. This bounty initially made Spain the world’s richest and most powerful country in the world, but by the seventeenth century, Madrid’s rulers had become serial defaulters.

November 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the meeting of Hernan Cortes and Aztec ruler Montezuma at the gates of the magnificent Aztec capital at Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. Caroline Dodds Pennock is a specialist in the Aztecs. She takes Dan on a whirlwind tour through the events of that extraordinary year and the gigantic impact of the Spanish conquest that followed.

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8. The Dutch invented capitalism

The Netherlands was a checkerboard of Catholics and Protestants, so to survive the burghers practiced a new idea: toleration. This attracted all kinds of talented people fleeing persecution elsewhere, and fuelled a culture that found wealth and power in credit.

Amsterdam saw the first central bank, the first stock market, and the first market mania (over tulip bulbs). The Dutch financed their own wars of rebellion against Spain, and then a world-spanning commercial empire.

9. Sir Isaac Newton helped establish Britain’s financial hegemony

Newton was named Master of the Royal Mint in 1696, a side job he enjoyed throughout his career. While there he reformed the mess of debased British coinage, establishing a firm gold standard for the pound.

This decade also saw the chartering of the Bank of England, which set a new model for managing the currency with a public-private partnership. The combination of Newton’s gold standard and the Bank of England’s privilege to issue currency led to modern money markets that underpinned British power.

Portrait of Isaac Newton by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1689 (Credit: Public Domain).

10. Americans are the masters of fiat money

Although China and Europe pioneered banknotes, these began to be used widely in the general population in early America. The colonies lacked precious metals so they printed copiously to finance government, the Revolution, and the Civil War.

The global arrangements after World War Two pegged the US dollar to gold, but in 1971 Richard Nixon abandoned this constraint. Thus began today’s period of pure fiat currencies (meaning a currency is accepted as money because a government says that it’s legal tender), and the risk that we lose mastery over money if we rely too heavily on the printing press.

‘Cowries to Crypto: The History of Money, Currency and Wealth‘ by Jame DiBiasio and illustrated by Harry Harrison is published by OANDA, a global leader in online multi-asset trading services.

10 Alice Doherty

Known as the &ldquoMinnesota Woolly Girl,&rdquo Alice Doherty has earned the distinction in history as being the only recorded person with hypertrichosis born in the United States. Alice was born to average parents in March 1887. She had two other siblings who showed no signs of hypertrichosis. Alice&rsquos parents loved her but realized quickly that although she was just a normal girl on the inside, her hairy outside traits were something that people would gladly pay to see. At the age of two, her parents started exhibiting her in their local community to earn money. The people who visited Alice commented on her spirit as well as her strange looks, noting that Alice was &ldquoas frolicsome as a kitten.&rdquo [1]

As she grew, so did Alice&rsquos woolly mane by five years of age, her facial hair, which completely covered her face, was more than 13 centimeters (5 in) long. By her teens, it had grown to a whopping 23 centimeters (9 in)! Alice&rsquos popularity grew along with her hair, and her parents decided it was time to make more money. Alice&rsquos parents set her up in a standalone setting: a storefront exhibition. The front of a store would be rented out as a performance space where people were charged to see Alice. Along with &ldquoProfessor Weller&rsquos One-Man Band,&rdquo she was set up in storefronts in many cities, gaining both fame and money.

Although Alice was bringing in good money, she wasn&rsquot doing as well as other extremely hairy people of the time, i.e. Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and the like. This was simply because she didn&rsquot have big backers in the entertainment industry. So as Alice aged, she discovered she wasn&rsquot an entertainer at heart. In 1915, with a large sum of money from her youth spent as a peculiarity for the masses, Alice retired in Dallas. She spent the rest of her days there until she passed away peacefully in June 1933, at the young age of 46. Her golden facial locks delighted people for many years, and she is still remembered as America&rsquos hairy beauty.

3. The stadium has a couple of nicknames

One of the most remarkable facts about Ohio Stadium is that it is shaped like a horseshoe as opposed to the bowl design of a stadium. This design also allowed the addition of an upper deck that hangs over the lower deck, giving the spectators on top a much better view of the game.

That’s why the stadium is often referred to as “the Horseshoe“, or simply “the Shoe.” The Horseshoe / Pi.1415926535 / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

10 Of The Biggest Scams Ever In History

Since the time people started using money, there have been numerous cases of scams and frauds. History shows that scammers are expert in preying on people’s gullibility. But even after stealing millions, the future for these people does not bode well, and usually, their frauds are exposed. In this article, we have collected the 10 biggest scams in history which left the investors penniless and sometimes even destroyed entire economies.

1. In 1996, a Canadian mining company, Bre-X, announced a huge discovery of gold, and in the process went from a penny stock to $280 per share, with a total value of $4 billion. In reality, it was all a fraud and the lead geologist was shaving off gold from his wedding band to add to drill-core samples.

Image Source: www.911metallurgist.com

During the late 1990s, geologist John Felderhof believed that a property near the Busang River in Indonesia would produce gold after mining. At his advice, David Walsh, the founder of Bre-X Minerals Ltd., bought the property. The project manager of the gold mining project was Filipino geologist Michael deGuzman. When deGuzman tested the initial samples, he didn’t find any trace of gold, so he shaved off some gold from his wedding band, added it to the samples, and declared the first estimate of the total find to be about 62 metric tons.

The news of the presence of gold in Bre-X’s property soon spread like wildfire. The company claimed that it was going to be the richest gold mine ever discovered. Mining investors rushed to invest and the stock price of Bre-X started climbing, and it rose from pennies to $280 per share.

Michael deGuzman kept on salting the samples, and that worked until 1997. In 1997, the Indonesian government got involved, and from February 1997, the evaluation of the site began. In March 1997, deGuzman committed suicide by jumping from a helicopter. Bre-X and its mine’s reputation started going downhill from then on. On March 26, 1997, an American firm announced that its core sample collected from Busang contains a negligible amount of gold. As a result, the Indonesian government postponed signing the mining deal with Bre-X. Stock prices began to fall, and thousands of investors lost billions. TSE and NASDAQ suspended trading of Bre-X stock, and it went bankrupt on November 5, 1997.(1,2)

2. Founded in 1985, the Enron Corporation claimed revenues of nearly $101 billion during 2000 and employed approximately 20,000 staff. But the real value of the company was exposed at the end of 2001, after which the company was declared bankrupt. Enron was responsible for wiping out over $78 billion in stock market value.

Image Source: www.entrepreneur.com

The American company Enron came into focus after 1996 when it began reporting a steady increase in its sales each succeeding year. From 1996 to 2000, the sales of Enron was reported to increase from $13.3 billion to a staggering $100.8 billion. It was declared as “America’s Most Innovative Company” by Fortune magazine for six consecutive years. But at the end of 2001, the actual financial condition of Enron was revealed. The report stated its accounting fraud, also known as the “Enron Scandal,” and the company filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

The Enron Scandal revealed the loopholes in accounting rules in America. The company used to book revenue from huge energy-derivative contracts at their gross value instead of their net value. Basically, Enron served as a middleman on deals. It would put together a seller with a prospective buyer and take “delivery” of the contract. Then it would book the entire “sale” as its own revenue. This was made possible due to a loophole in the procedures approved by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). According to the board, each company had a “free option” as to how to account for the deals of energy contracts.(1,2)

3. In 1821, a Scotsman, Gregor MacGregor, invented a fictional Central American republic called “Poyais” and convinced hundreds of people in his home country of Scotland to invest in the nonexistent country, and even oversaw the deployment of a ship of 250 people hoping to start a new life in Poyais. When their ship arrived, they found nothing but undeveloped, inhospitable jungle.

Image Source: 1,2

Gregor MacGregor was born in 1786 at Glengyle, Scotland. He carved out a place for himself in history by pulling off one of the biggest frauds of the early 19th century, gaining over £200,000 in the process. In the early 1820s, McGregor invented an entirely fictional country and named it “Poyais” He claimed it was located near the Black River in what is now present-day Honduras. McGregor claimed that Poyais covered eight million acres, and he was the prince of this land. He also claimed that the land was rich in natural resources but required manpower to turn it into a developed country.

MacGregor began an aggressive campaign to make people believe in his fictional country. He printed advertisements and leaflets and gave interviews in national newspapers. He even had Poyais-related ballads composed and sung. In mid-1822, a 355-page Poyais guidebook was being sold in London and Edinburgh which contained elaborate maps and details about this fictional country. The official-looking book convinced many people, and they started buying Poyaisian land certificates. By early 1823, about 500 people had bought Poyaisian land.

After that, McGregor began making arrangements to send interested people to Poyais. On 10 September 1822, a vessel with 70 emigrants on board sailed towards the non-existent country. Later, on 22 January 1823, another vessel sailed with almost 200 emigrants aboard. Upon reaching the land which was they believed to be Poyais, the emigrants realized they have been duped. Few travelers were able to return, and most of them died due to diseases like yellow fever and malaria.(1,2)

4. In the early 1990s, the infamous Italian criminal Charles Ponzi scammed investors out of about $7 million by passing on new investors’ money to existing investors and presenting it as a sustainable investment.

Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org

In the summer of 1919, Charles Ponzi was living in Boston. The idea for a scam began forming in his mind when he received a letter from a Spanish company. The letter contained an international reply coupon (IRC). This coupon could be redeemed by the recipient for postage to the sender’s country. Ponzi realized that he can buy the coupon in one country and then exchange them for postage in another country with a higher value of postage. Soon, he set his plan into motion, but he required a large amount of capital to buy the IRCs with cheap, European currencies.

To raise the money, he went to his friends and promised them double returns in 90 days. Some people invested and they got the interest as promised. In January 1920, Ponzi opened his own company to promote this scheme. In the beginning, 18 people invested. They got the promised interest the next month. As word spread about this unbelievable scheme, investments started pouring in.

By June 1920, the net total investment in Ponzi’s scheme rose to $2.5 million. People began mortgaging their homes and even invested their life savings in the scheme. But no one realized that Charles Ponzi was paying the earlier investors with the money invested by new investors. Ponzi’s rapid rise drew suspicions, and his publicity agent found incriminating documents related to the scam. The agent wrote an article for the Boston Post which brought Ponzi’s scam into public view. From then on, things went downhill for Charles Ponzi, and his investors lost about $20 million. In November 1920, Ponzi was sentenced to five years in prison.(1,2)

5. After buying the financial institution Lincon Savings and Loan Association, Charles Keating began investing savers’ cash in high-risk ventures without informing the depositors. The scam was revealed in 1989 after the business failed leaving thousands of elderly investors with worthless bonds.

Image Credit: Nick Ut/Associated Press via www.nytimes.com

Charles H. Keating was a champion swimmer, activist, lawyer, banker, and real estate developer. But the thing he is most known for is his role in the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980s. Charles Keating became the head of Lincoln Savings and Loan Association in 1984. Immediately after joining the enterprise, he fired the existing management. During those times there were quite loose restrictions on banking investments. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Keating began investing depositor’s money in high-risk investments. For the next four years, Lincoln’s assets increased. It rose from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion.

In 1989, Lincoln Savings’ parent company, American Continental Corporation, went bankrupt. The day after American Continental Corporation went bankrupt, Federal authorities seized Lincoln Savings. The scam left 23,000 customers with worthless bonds.(1,2)

6. In 1925, a Portuguese named Alves dos Reis forged a government contract authorizing him to print money and “officially” printed himself 100 million escudos, the equivalent of 0.88% of Portugal’s GDP at that time, leading to the “Portuguese Bank Note Crisis.”

Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org

In 1924, Alves dos Reis was in jail for embezzling money from a company. During his 54-day stay in jail, he planned a scam which later came to be known as the “Portugal bank note affair.” After being released from jail, Reis forged a contract in the name of the Central Bank of Portugal, Banco de Portugal. Then he posed as a representative from the bank and convinced a London-based company that the bank had authorized him to print his own bank notes. Reis further claimed that the money they were going to print was a part of a secret project, and it would be used to financially aid a struggling Portuguese colony, Angola.

According to Reis’s instructions, the London-based company printed an equivalent of £1,007,963 of bank notes. The notes were then circulated into the Portuguese economy. In June 1925, he created the Bank of Angola & Metropole to help Angola. He even went on to buy the controlling interest in the Bank of Portugal following which he hoped he would be able to successfully hide his scam. But the low-interest rates of the Bank of Angola & Metropole piqued the interest of journalists, and they raised questions. Finally, the Bank of Portugal noticed the bank notes with duplicate serial numbers, and Reis’s scam was exposed. Five years later, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail.(1,2)

7. In the 1920s, Ivar Kreuger, who owned banks, film companies, newspapers, mines, telephone companies, and railways, decided to form a monopoly to control all the world’s safety matches. International banks begged him to let them invest, not knowing that his many companies existed only on paper, profitable only because they were invested in each other.

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

The Swedish civil engineer Ivar Kruger began his career by helping in building New York’s Plaza Hotel and other landmarks. After gaining experience, he opened a company in Sweden in 1908. His company soon became the best construction firm in Sweden. Then Kruger took over his father’s match business. In 1917, he founded the Swedish Match Company. In the post-depression era after WWI, Kruger began to acquire match-making factories around Europe.

From 1925, Kruger began offering loans to insolvent countries at a bargain that was hard to refuse. He would also provide loans to countries that offered him a national monopoly on match production. Using his skills, he increased the sales in the country. Since the governments taxed matches, the increase in sales would increase tax revenues used to repay the loans. By 1931, the Swedish Match Company controlled 250 factories in 43 countries. But his empire collapsed during the Great Depression. On 12 March 1932, he committed suicide by shooting himself.

The death of Kruger led to the “Kreuger crash.” It hit investors and companies all over the world, especially in America and Sweden. After his death, Kreuger’s forgery of Italian bonds amounting to $142 million was found out. In Sweden, Kruger owed more than the country’s national debt. As a result, the suicide rate increased in Sweden and the prime minister fell. In America, his shares collapsed taking with it the life savings of thousands of people.(1,2)

8. Nigerian scammer Emmanuel Nwude once sold a fake airport to a major international bank for $242 million, and the scam wasn’t discovered until 3 years later.

Image Source: 1,2

Emmanuel Nwude is a Nigerian fraud artist who was formerly the Director of Union Bank of Nigeria. In 1995, he defrauded a Brazilian man, Nelson Sakaguchi, who was the Director at the Brazil’s Banco Noroeste. Nwude began his scam by impersonating the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Paul Ogwuma. Posing as the governor, he convinced Sakaguchi to invest in a new airport located in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. In exchange, he asked for a $10 million commission.

The fraud remained undetected until 1997 when a Spanish bank decided to take over the Banco Noroeste Brazil. When an official from the Spanish bank enquired about the large sum of Noroeste’s money which was sitting in the Cayman islands unmonitored, it led to a criminal investigation. It was found that Sakaguchi had paid $242 million in between 1995 to 1998 to Emmanuel Nwude who promised him an airport which actually never existed.(source)

9. When “Count” Victor Lustig discovered that the famous Eiffel Tower was in need of repairs, he faked some government papers and sold the tower to scrap metal dealers twice with a total of over $200,000 in bribes to throw the multi-million dollar contract their way.

Image Credit: Jeff Maysh via www.smithsonianmag.com

Victor Lustig began his conman career through a “money-printing machine.” The machine would produce a counterfeit bill of $100. His client would buy the machine for a high price believing that it would provide them with huge profit in the future, but the machine would produce $100 bills only for the next 12 hours after which its supply became exhausted resulting in blank notes. By the time the person realized the scam, Lustig was long gone.

Lustig’s sale of Eiffel Tower began in 1925 when he read about a repair and maintenance of the tower in a newspaper. He invited six scrap metal dealers and posing as a government official said that Eiffel tower would be taken down. Then he asked them to submit a bid and finally secured a deal with one of the dealers. For finalizing the deal, scrap dealer Andre Poisson offered a large bribe and secured the deal. After receiving the money, Lustig went away and Poisson was too embarrassed to lodge a police complaint. A month later, Lustig returned back to Paris and repeated the same trick. His second victim went to the police, but Lustig evaded arrest.(source)

10. From 1997 to 2002, over 4,000 people paid an advance fee in order to receive new cars at a fraction of their value. The cars supposedly came from the estate of a wealthy Christian man according to his will. The scheme took in over $ 21 million, but neither the deceased, his alleged will, an estate of any kind, or the cars ever existed.

Image Source: www.highlineautomotive.in

The “miracle car scam” began with a story circulated by a man named Robert Gomez who claimed that he was the adopted son of John Bowers, a wealthy executive of a food company. Three years later, just before Christmas Bowers claimed in his church that he is now the heir of Bowers’ estate which is valued at $411 million. He also said that Bowers had instructed in his will that a fleet of 16 luxury cars would be given to fellow believers as a “gift.” The beneficiary needed to pay an amount of roughly $1,000 to $1,100 as a conveyance fee for each vehicle. The news spread through word of mouth and many church members showed interest in the deal. People started depositing the conveyance fee, and in a course of four years, from 1997 to 2002, 4,000 people deposited the advance fee.

The staggering number of car sales aroused suspicion, and an investigation was launched. Investigators found out that a man called John Bowers, as described, never existed and neither did his estate or cars. It was also revealed that in 2002, Gomez, along with his accomplice, had collected $21.1 million from people. In 2003, he was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in federal prison.(source)

How Construction Loans Work

A construction loan is similar to having a line of credit. What this means is that you don’t have to pay the builder until the work is completed, not upfront. You only pay interest on the principal balance of the construction loan, and it is to be paid monthly.

On average, it takes builders four to six months to construct a home, that is if there aren’t any customizations. Then it can take up to a year depending on what the customer wants. The financing for this project could take up to a year. But if you want to know more about getting new construction loans, keep reading!

1. Construction loans are typically for a limited time only. They are often not designed to last over a year due to the length of time it takes to build a home.

2. Construction loans aren’t always advertised by lenders. Because construction loans are higher-risk investments, lenders may not push them as aggressively as standard mortgages. So, what does this imply for you? To find the best lender, you may need to do some investigative work. The right lender may be right under your nose. It may be with your bank or credit union.

3. The interest rates on construction loans are subject to change without much notice. New construction loans have higher interest rates than typical mortgages. Interest rates will vary depending on the prime rate of the lender and may fluctuate.

4. You may need to save still for a down payment. Because new construction loans are short-term, they carry a larger risk. As a result, lenders may ask their customers to put down more cash upfront. Don’t be startled if your lender demands 20% of the project’s total cost in the beginning.

5. Buyers frequently pay interest only while the house is being built, although a larger down payment is required for a new construction home. Lenders only demand that buyers pay interest while their home is being built because construction loans are short-term agreements.

6. Lenders may want proof of your ability to pay especially for any additional work you may need. Buyers may want to make adjustments to the original design plans in the middle of the construction phase. This is fine, but you know sometimes ‘great ideas’ can be costly. Before borrowing money, make sure you have enough money set aside to cover any unexpected costs.

7. Before approving a loan, lenders may request certain information. New construction lenders may want to see a project timetable and budget plus the usual traditional information when applying for a mortgage.

8. Changes in your financial circumstances could impact your mortgage approval. Any changes to your financial status could impair your ability to roll a new construction loan into a regular mortgage. So, keep your credit, job, and finances in good shape to ensure nothing goes wrong.

9. New construction loans may be added to a conventional loan. Together they make a construction-to-permanent loan. When looking for a new construction loan, keep in mind that you can convert it to a 15–30-year mortgage.

10. Because lenders are concerned about the length of time it takes to build a new home, they may also inspect the work periodically. When submitting a timetable to your lender, it’s wise to include delays in case of bad weather or shipping issues.

10 Amazing Facts About Jack London

Born on the 12th of January, 1876, the brilliant American novelist, journalist, social activist, as well as god of short stories Jack London came to be. Best known for his work such as his 1903 masterpiece Call of the Wild, Martin Eden, as well as White Fang, to name a few. His talent for literature was unmatched and influenced fellow literary superstars Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, as well as Upton Sinclair. To find out more about this phenomenal writer, read on!

Here are 10 amazing facts about Jack London:

Fact 1: Jack London has had his fair share of hardship. His mother Flora Wellman, in particular, more so. Back when she shacked up with Jack’s biological father, William Chaney was so enraged that she got pregnant that he beat her senseless, and demanded that she get an abortion. Flora went so far as committing suicide twice, one by an overdose and the second by a shot to the head. The drama even headlined as a story in San Francisco’s newspaper entitled “Discarded Wife”. Eventually, the heat had William packing, and gave way to Flora meeting John London, who promptly took in Jack as his own.

Fact 2: He had a foster mother named Virginia Prentiss. A former slave girl, the Prentiss and London residences were situated right by each other, which was convenient, because Jack went from home to home. The first time, when his mother was too sick to care for him and didn’t want him, and the second, when the mother relented and thought about receiving him once more. Virginia Prentiss remained a strong and significant maternal figure to Jack London.

Fact 3: Jack used to work in a cannery, rendering about 12-18 hours. Fed up with all the hard work and low pay, he decided to enter the oyster business. He borrowed 300$ from Virginia Prentiss, only to have the business fail as well. Later, he was employed by the local fishing boats. He’s made his rounds, beginning work from the tender age of 10. From selling newspapers on the streets, to working in bowling alleys, and even the ice wagon business! If you can imagine it, he probably has done it.

Fact 4: London dedicated himself to write at least 1,000 words a day. This was to ready himself for more serious writing career, in order to support his mother and himself. That 1,000 words a day thing finally paid off when the fruit of his labor hit sales and he was known worldwide for his masterpieces such as White Fang, as well as Call of The Wild, to name a few.

Fact 5: The phenomenal writer, having nothing else but an eighth grade education to his name, came out from nowhere and bagged the 25$ prize at a competition, besting some of the best from Berkley and Stanford college students!

Fact 6: London struggled with immensely poor health all his life, due in part to his poverty, environment, and alcoholism. Sadly, he died at the age of 40, due to a mix of morphine poisoning, as well as uremia.

Fact 7: He became a student and received education from the University of California at Berkley for one semester, before completely running out of money and having to drop out. Some say he stuck on and worked as a janitor for a little bit, before embarking on other ventures.

Fact 8: It was his experience following the Gold Rush at Klondike that his two books, Call of the Wild, as well as White Fang, were inspired.

Fact 9: You can add award winning stock breeder, social activism, and world crusader to the list of things Jack London is exceptional at.

Fact 10: His ranch and estate has now been transformed into the Jack London State Historical Park. By the time of his death, he was already a self made millionaire.

In November 1906, Roosevelt made presidential history by becoming the first chief executive to leave the United States. He sailed aboard USS Louisiana to personally inspect the construction of the Panama Canal, a project that he had championed as president.

Roosevelt boxed for Harvard University’s intramural lightweight championship and continued to spar recreationally during his political career. During his days in the White House, he regularly put up his dukes against former professional boxers and other sparring partners until a punch from a young artillery officer smashed a blood vessel and left him nearly blind in his left eye.

image via www.dailymail.co.uk

Snowman also need their own snowy landscapes, right? And the biggest and best snow sculptures were adjudicated by the Guinness World Records on 1st January 2007 in Harbin, China.

The largest snow sculpture was measured to be 115ft tall and 654ft wide. The sculpture, known as ‘Romantic Feelings, was created as part of annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, with 600 sculptors from 40 countries creating the beautiful Olympic-themed landscape, which even featured a Russian church and a French cathedral.

Top 10 Amazing Facts of World history, Everyone Must Know

There are unit heaps deal of great places to spend hours on Reddit. “Today I Learned” is one of our favorites. On TIL users transfer random info they learn, sourcing it back to wherever they learned it. As a service to GlobalPost readers, we’ve compiled a number of the foremost fascinating posts regarding the globe. From ill-gotten manduction gum in Singapore to the adoption of grownup men in Japan, you are certain to learn one thing, too. We promise.

The swastika was an emblem of fine – till the Nazis got ahold of it.

The swastika has been around for over 3,000 years and normally symbolized goodness and luck, up till its use by the Nazis in the European country. The currently abused image was employed by cultures everywhere the globe, as well as early Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and even Native Americans. In more recent history, the Hakenkreuz was still outstanding simply before the increase of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. a number of yank uniforms featured the image in warfare I, dope used it in advertising and, as seen higher than during this image of the provincial capital Swastikas, sports groups even took its name. The Nazis deeply sophisticated the swastika’s long existence as an emblem permanently, and searching back upon its thousands of years of prominence in cultural history will yield some results that seem improbably strange with modern eyes. To salvage the image, it’s been planned that the dextrorotary version of the Hakenkreuz ought to represent evil whereas counterclockwise would represent goodness.

Drunk debates were once a key facet of any vital decision-making method.

Perhaps you ought not to be Don trader to believe the requirement of alcohol at the work. once noted Greek student historian, cosmopolitan to Persia around 450 B.C., he found a culture that deeply valued the knowledge that comes whereas being drunk. The Persians he encountered would make certain that significantly vital arguments were debated each whereas sober and drunk, as solely concepts that created sense in each state were actually worth. This method went each way: Arguments originally had whereas drunk would be debated once more following day in soberness, and dry arguments would be followed up with discussions over wine.

C.S. Lewis swollen upon this idea in his “Letters to Malcolm,” once he wrote:

The Olympic Games won’t to award medals for art.

I know typically this can be the alternative of what’s often aforementioned regarding the requirement of keeping all feeling out of our intellectual processes – ‘you can’t assume straight unless you’re cool.’ then again neither are you able to assume deep if you’re. I suppose one should attempt each downside in each state. You keep in mind that the traditional Persians debated everything twice: once after they were drunk and once after they were sober.
Maybe artists are varsity jackets, too. From 1912 to 1948, the Olympic Games control competitions within the fine arts, with medals being awarded for design, literature, music, painting and sculpture. The art made was needed to be Olympics-themed, therefore gold-winning items had names like, “Knockdown” and “Étude First State Sport.” the primary winning work of literature was written by the founding father of the trendy Olympic Games, capital of South Dakota First State Frédy, Baron First State Coubertin, WHO purportedly wrote the piece, “Ode to Sport,” beneath a nom de guerre.

According to Frédy, adding associate arts part to the trendy Olympic Games was necessary as a result of the traditional Greeks wont to hold art festivals aboard the games. Over the years, dancing, film, photography and theatre were all planned as extra events, however, none of those ever became palm classes. In total, 151 medals were awarded before the Olympic Games removed the art competitions in favour of requiring host cities to produce cultural events to accompany the games.

image: statathlon

Pink wasn’t continuously a girl’s colour and blue a boy’s colour — really, it absolutely was once the opposite manner around.

The distinction of blue for boys and pink for ladies did not take full hold until the centre of the twentieth century. many folks already grasp that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wore dresses like a baby, however, this was common observe for the time. youngsters would wear gender-neutral, principally white wear that was simple to bleach clean, and would not get haircuts till around the age of six or seven. It wasn’t till shops started selling gender-specific colours that folks began to fret regarding ensuring their youngsters were carrying the “right” outfits.

Even once mass-selling began, the messages were mixed. The trade publication “Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department” featured a commentary suggesting, “the usually accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the women. the rationale is that pink, being an additional set and stronger colour, is additionally appropriate for the boy, while blue, that is additional delicate and dainty, is prettier for the woman.”

image: Photo by June Intharoek from Pexels

British people elites spoke French. English was once a language for “commoners,”

Despite the severity with that some modern English-speakers vehemently attack “incorrect” uses of the language, English wont to belong to the individuals. within the early life of the language, it absolutely was solely spoken by “commoners,” whereas English people courts and aristocracy principally spoke in French. This was because of the Norman Invasion of 1066 and caused years of division between the “gentlemen” WHO had adopted the Anglo-Norman French and people WHO solely spoke English. Even the far-famed King Richard the Lionheart was primarily stated in French, as Richard “Coeur First State Lion. “To additional mess along with your preconceptions regarding English people language, the “British accent” was created when the Revolutionary War, which means modern Americans sound additional just like the colonists and British troopers of the eighteenth century than modern Brits. Of course, accents vary greatly by region, however, the “BBC English” or public faculty English accent (which feels like Austin Powers) did not occur till the nineteenth century and was originally adopted by people that needed to sound enthusiast.

source: standardmedia

Money was once designed to discourage individuals from having an excessive amount of of it.

Perhaps having fast and simple cash is not actually in our greatest interests. consistent with Greek student Plutarch, in his “Life of Lycurgus,” the Spartans used long and significant iron rods as their currency in hopes that it’d discourage them from following giant amounts of wealth. This uncommon currency was referred to as “below” and was purportedly therefore cumbersome than carrying multiple rods would need oxen. A couple of alternative things that may modify the manner you’re thinking that regarding modern money: yank presidents weren’t originally speculated to air the nation’s currency, as that was seen as an observation of monarchies. Also, the concept civilizations relied on established barter systems before the increase of physical currency is perhaps incorrect. individuals might have listed things, however, one in all the sole well-known bartering practices was additional of a bonding and sex ritual between tribes in Northern Australia referred to as the Dzamalag.

An honest night of sleep wont to mean arousal someday within the middle.

Are we have a tendency to sleeping all wrong? consistent with growing analysis regarding sleeping habits before the twentieth century, individuals did not continuously sleep in one long block, however, would, in brief, come to life within the middle to separate the slumber into 2 sessions. throughout this point, individuals would reportedly have interaction altogether types of activities, with the additional donnish victimisation the time to browse and write, whereas couples may pay the break having sex.

The two-part sleeping pattern was the merchandise of individuals attending to bed abundant earlier before the invention of electricity, that meant the globe went dark once the sunset. For people who assumed candles were often lit in the dark before electrical lights, student Craig Koslofsky points come in his book, “Evening’s Empire,” that we have a tendency to tend to overestimate their importance. He writes, “even the rich, WHO may afford candle flame, had higher things to pay their cash on. There was no status or social worth related to staying up all night.”

Contemporary society appears to own adjusted to one session of sleep, however, that does not mean the transition has been entirely sleek. it’s been prompt that people who systematically come to life within the middle of the night and have bother falling back asleep, might merely have bodies that yearn for the manner we have a tendency to wont to operate.

Tickling might are used as torture.

This one could also be additional of a legend, but still, tickling isn’t funny, dammit! it absolutely was used as a variety of torture throughout the Han dynasty, as captives would recover quickly and no physical signs of abuse were left on the body. the traditional Romans might have additionally used tickle torture, wherever a goat would be brought in to lick the captive’s feet.

Although there’s solely shaky proof that either of those modes of torture was used, there seem to own been cases within which severe tickling was deemed abuse in additional modern times.

Buying or mercantilism chew gum is unlawful in Singapore.

If you’re in Singapore hoping to shop for some chewing gum when your occasional or lunch break, you’re out of luck. The sale of chew gum is taboo within the country. the sole reason gum may be foreign is that if it’s for export elsewhere. This law came to mean officers apparently detected copious amounts of discarded gum on sidewalks and streets. If you’ve got gum, you’ll chew it, however, be discreet. If you’re not projection it comes in a bin, beware: nice fines can apply.

source: theculturaltrip

Between Egypt and Sudan, there’s a strip of land that neither country can claim. it’s one amongst the few unwanted regions on earth.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (R) and Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi hear their national anthems throughout a departure ceremony at Khartoum airfield. Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty pictures.

There’s a strip of unwanted land between Egypt and Sudan. In reality, the 2 simply can’t appear to agree on whose border is whose. jointly Reddit reader place it, “its such as you have 2 children at a birthday celebration and solely 2 cupcakes left. Except one amongst the cupcakes is smooshed and truly fell on the ground and did not quite get dusted off. everybody else at the party will agree that the last 2 cupcakes square measure the last 2 kids’, however, every child claims the smooshed one ought to head to the opposite child. everybody else at the party already had many cakes tho’, thus no one else very needs to possess the smooshed cake either.”

Bahrain’s government illegal Google Earth as a result of it allowed Bahraini voters to visualize discrepancies between made and poor areas.

Bahrainis participate in an exceedingly protest to demand a lot of rights within the village of Bilad al-Qadeem, in an exceedingly community of capital of Bahrain, on June 15, 2013..Mohamed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty pictures.

Did Google Earth cause the rebellion in Bahrain? once Bahrain gained access to Google Earth in 2006, voters might for the primary time see the large discrepancy between the ultra-rich and also the majority of the population, via huge mansions on expansive compounds, next to the slums of traditional voters. the govt. tried to dam access soon, however it absolutely was too late. because the article puts it, “The individuals had seen the difference.”