Monthly Archives: June 2016

Same stories with a few twists

The ‘Holy Koran’ is supposed to be recited in Arabic which is why so many Muslims memorize it. It tells the story of Moses, Noah and the flood, and it tells the story of the prophet Jesus who was born to the Virgin Mary but he is considered completely human.

(The Great Courses – Sacred Texts of the World)

Magellan was killed in the Phillipines

Magellan left Spain with five ships to try and get to the Spice Islands in the Pacific Ocean by sailing West. The Spice Islands which are called the Moluccas actually comprise about one thousand small islands but the Europeans only considered the five largest to be the Spice Islands. They are named Ternate, Tidore, Motir, Makian and Bacan and the main spice which was loaded onto the ships were cloves which were considered more valuable than gold. Only two ships with sixty crew made it to the Spice Islands and only one ship made it back to Spain with only eighteen members of the original crew of over two hundred thirty. Several other members of the crew which were marooned in several places also eventually made it back to Spain. One of the ships had mutinied in South America and made it back to Spain before they even got to the tip of South America. The one ship that made it back was full of cloves which were so valuable that the entire venture was a commercial success for the original investors.

(Book – Over the Edge of the World:Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the World – Laurence Bergreen)

It’s all downhill

At birth the brain has more neurons than it will ever have again. About 70% of neurons die shortly after birth because they are no longer needed since they were used in the initial growth of the brain and the pathways.

(The Great Courses – Understanding the Brain)

Everyone wanted a piece of Sicily

During the Greek Golden Age many Greek settlements were founded in Sicily and the southern areas of The Italian peninsula. The Carthaginians were really just the Phoneticians from the area around Lebenon/Israel who settled in Northern Africa and then became their own empire after Alexander the Great took over the areas of the Middle East. The Carthaginians then expanded in the western Mediterranean and fought the Greeks for control of Sicily. By the time the Carthaginians won the Romans were expanding and eventually made Sicily one of their provinces by defeating the Carthaginians in the first Punic War.

(Book – The Rise of Rome – Anthony Everitt)