Railroad Inventors Railroaders were practical men. But some antebellum locomotives, like this 6-2-0 built by the Camden & Amboy, were spectacular oddities as well as miserable failures. Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania No one actually "invented" the railroad, nor can any one place claim its birth. Ancient Corinthians cut grooves in stone pavement to guide wagon wheels, as did the Romans. In late-medieval Central Europe, miners crafted tramways (later, "tramroads") with crude wooden wheels rolling on equally crude wooden rails. By the 1500s, tramways were in use in Germany and Great Britain, and by the time of American independence there were hundreds of miles of fairly sophisticated tramroads and railroads operating throughout the mining districts of England and Wales, using gravity and animal power. A man by the name of Richard Trevithick built the first successful steam locomotive in 1804, operating it on the Penydarren tramroad in Wales. By 1825 and the opening of … [Read more...] about Old Railroads
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Giz Asks In this Gizmodo series, we ask questions about everything from space to butts and get answers from a variety of experts. Surveying the whole scope of human history vis-à-vis food, a couple of themes emerge. One is that humans like their food to taste good. Another is that they like it to not kill them. These two qualities often cohere in the same foodstuff—apples, for instance, taste great, and are not to my knowledge toxic—but inevitably the tastes-good/won’t-kill-you ratio’s sometimes less than ideal. For some foods, this is a selling point—fugu, say, the poisonous fish you need a certificate to properly prepare. For others, lethality’s just an unfortunate byproduct—as with the alloy in early tin cans, which sometimes gave people lead poisoning. For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of food historians and anthropologists to nominate their candidates for the all-time most dangerous food. There was one … [Read more...] about What’s the Most Dangerous Food of All Time?
Burning Questions Burning Questions is The Takeout's Q&A feature that satiates your food and drink curiosities In all honesty, my experience with bobbing for apples is based on the Peanuts’ It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Halloween special. In my world, you have to dunk your entire head in to get an apple out. In actuality, bobbing for apples go back further than that. I mean, look at the considerable mythology attached to the apple itself, from the story of Snow White all the way back to the story of the Garden Of Eden. As witchy new Netflix series Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina has shown us, the apple can figure prominently in other magic rituals as well; Sabrina uses an apple in a spell almost right out of the gate, and her wardrobe is heavily scarlet-themed. As Munchies pointed out, “The practice of cutting open an apple to reveal that most potent symbol within—that of the pentagram—is still carried on today, particularly at [Celtic … [Read more...] about Why do people bob for apples?
In a year where cruelty, deception, and unfettered corruption controlled all three branches of the U.S. government, The Onion’s flawless reportage and above-reproach journalism in 2018 exposed the dark underbelly of society and provided a beacon of hope that human civilization would finally and mercifully come to an end soon. Here, then, are the landmark moments of the year as reported with singular veracity by America’s Finest News Source. January | February | March | April | May | JuneJuly | August | September | October | November 2018 The Year It All Going To Fall Into Place, Delusional Sources Report WASHINGTON—Fooling themselves into believing things were going to be turning around, delusional sources reported Friday that 2018 will be the year it’s all going to fall into place. Read more. Brad Pitt Stumbles Across Old Cardboard Box With Gwyneth Paltrow’s Head In Attic LOS ANGELES—Making the discovery while searching his attic for a … [Read more...] about Year In Review: 2018