The Entire Universe, As Copied-And-Pasted From Wikipedia

Greetings humans.

Faithful readers will note that there is considerably more cursing around here lately. I should fucking hope so. See, if I’m avoiding swearing, that means I’m caught up in a very urgent form of self-restraint. Blasphemy and scatology are linguistic delights and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise in the written word. In fact, be wary of he who does not swear.

The premise of this endeavor is that anyone can write anything, provided they are relegated to some ill-traveled back-corner of the internet. Faint, ominous banjo music is overheard. It is humid. Why is my skin so sticky? Why isn’t my heat activated deodorant activating? Why am I still reading this series of peculiar questions?

Anyhow, enough with the whimsy. The reason I have brought you all hear today is because I suspect that like me, many of you had rough time integrating history in school. Let me explain.  It’s not that I didn’t understand the stories that history teachers told us. For the most part, teachers put together nice little narratives about the past.  They may not hold much water, but you can still get your toes wet.

The problem for me was that all these narrative sequences are hard to stitch together. I mean how the fuck do you mesh Mastodons and Marconi in a coherent theory of the past? How does one thing lead to another?

I know that in Ontario, at least when I was a student, history was mostly taught in chronological order. From memory, kindergarteners learned about dinosaurs, 4th graders learned about early peoples in the Americas, 8th graders learn about the 1800s and so forth until its grade 12 you’re getting slapped in the face with the Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide and then off you go.

Maybe it’s all too much to take in at the first pass, but teaching methods can still be improved.  The rote memorizing of of presidents and prime ministers and kings and heroes obscures the more fluid swirls of human events.

It’s hard to get too subtle when teaching high school kids about long-dead Europeans, I concede on behalf of my former adolescent self. So here are some particulars of history you might find interesting, in one particular order:

Will’s TIMELINE of mostly EVERYTHING

( a work in progress)

BCE

25 000  – Ceramic
15 000  – Domestication of the dog in East Asia
11 000  – Climate effects from last Ice Age
– Pottery
10 000 – Domestication of the goat in Iran
– Domestication of the sheep in Southwest Asia
9800 – Domestication of wheat
9500 – Granary in Jordan
9000 – Bows and Slings
– Domestication of the pig in China
8000 – Domestication of the cow in India, Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa
7500 – Domestication of the cat in the Near East
7000 – Wine in China
6800 – Domestication of rice in Southeast Asia
6000 – Domestication of the chicken in India and Southeast Asia
4000 – Domestication of the horse (though in 2500 BC for sure)
– Domestication of the dromedary in Arabia
– Domestication of the honey bee
– Wine in Egypt
– Yeast in bread in Egypt
– Wheel
3500 – Writing Systems
– Domestication of the llama in Peru
3300 –  Bronze
3000 – Sugar in India
– Domestication of the silkworm in China
– Domestication of the rock pigeon
2000 – Chariot
1700 – Windmills in Babylon
1500 – Iron
1400 – Steel
1000 – Domestication of the duck in China
– Glass in Greece and Syria
753 – Foundation of Rome
691 – Aqueduct in Iraq
450 – Empedocles proposes classical elements theory
440 – Leucippus and Democritus propose the existence of atoms
429 – Plato Born
420 – Hippocrates creates the Hippocratic Oath
400 – Catapult
386 – The Academy
347 – Plato Dies
250 – Erasistratus distinguishes between cerebrum and cerebellum
44  – Julius Caesar assassinated

CE

105 – Cai Lun invents paper in China
200 – Horseshoes in Germany
300 – Toothpaste in Egypt
312 – Constantine converts to Christianity
350 – Crystallized Sugar
570 – Muhammad born
632 – Muhammad dies
700 – Quill Pen
1215 – Magna Carta
1242 – Ibn an-Nafis pioneers circulation theory
1450 – Johann Gutenberg invents the movable type press
1455 – Gutenberg Bible
1473 – Nicolaus Copernicus born
1490 – Martin Behaim invents the globe
1500 – Leonardo Da Vinci invents scissors and the ball bearing
1514 – Copernicus first states his heliocentic theory
1517 – Martin Luther and the Reformation
1535 – Lima, Peru is founded by Francisco Pizarro
1540 – The Jesuits
1543 – Copernican Challenge to Geocentrism
1564 – Galileo Galilei born
1565 – Rio De Janeiro is founded
1582 – Gregorian Calendar introduced
1600 – Giordano Bruno burned alive for heresy
1608 – Hans Lippershay invents the telescope
1609 – Hans Lippershay invents the microscope
1615 – Jean Beguin invents the chemical equation
1619 – Johann Kepler models planetary motion
1633 – Galileo tried¨before the Inquisition
1642 – Galileo dies
Meditations on First Philosophy – Rene Descartes
1643 – Isaac Newton born
1666 – Isaac Newton proposes gravitation
1692 – Salem witch trials
1698 – Thomas Savery invents the steam engine
1727 – Isaac Newton dies
1793 – Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin
1794 – France abolishes slavery
1795 – Metric System
1798 – Edward Jenner invents the vaccination
– Thomas Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population
1808 – John Dalton pioneers modern atomic theory
– Jöns Jakob Berzelius proposes chemical notation, atomic weight
– Charles Darwin born
– U.S. bans import of slaves
1809 – Nicolas François Appert invents canning
– Lamarck proposes inheritance of acquired characteristics
1810 – Bolivar in South America
1816 – Bicycle
1818 – James Blundell performs first blood transfusion
1825 – Hans Christian Orsted produces aluminum
1827 – William Prout determines three groupings of biomolecules
1826 – Samuel Morey invents the internal combustion engine
– Karl von Baer discovers location of mammalian egg
1828 – Friedrich Wöhler disproves the theory of vitalism by synthesizing urea
1834 – Jacob Perkins invents the refrigerator
1835 – Samuel Colt invents the revolver
– U.S. National Debt at $0
1836 – Battle of the Alamo
1839 – Charles Goodyear invents vulcanized rubber
1840 – Germain Hess proposes early version of the Law of conservation of Energy
1844 – Telegraph
1848 – Lord Kelvin discovers absolute zero
– Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto
1849 – Antonio Meucci invents the telephone
1852 – Léon Foucault invents the gyroscope
1856 – William Perkin synthesizes dye
1858 – Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace propose evolution by natural selection
– Rudolf Virchow proposes cell theory
1859 – Edwin L. Drake invents the oil drill
– Charles Darwin: Origin of Species
1861 – U.S. Civil War begins
1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard invent pasteurization
1863 – Henry Ford born
1865 – U.S. Civil War ends
1866 – Alfred Nobel invents dynamite
– Gregor Mendel publishes paper on inheritance
– KKK
1867 – Trans-Atlantic cable
1870 – Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch advance the germ theory of disease
1871 – Charles Darwin: the Descent of Man
1876 – Alexander Graham Bell invents the loudspeaker
1877 – Emile Berliner invents the microphone
1879 – Vaccine for Cholera
1880 – John Milne invents the seismograph
1881 – Vaccine for Anthrax (Louis Pasteur)
1882 – Vaccine for Rabies (Louis Pasteur)
1883 – Charles Fritts invents the solar cell
– Karl Marx dies
1885 – King Léopold II of Belgium makes the Congo his possession
1886 – Gottlieb Daimler invents the gasoline engine
1892 – Sierra Club
– General Electric
1893 – Nikola Tesla invents the radio
1895 – Rudolf Diesel invents the diesel engine
1898 – Nikola Tesla invents the remote control
J’Accuse! –  Emile Zola
1900 – Ernest Rutherford discovers nature of radioactivity
1902 – Willis Carrier invents the air conditioner
1903 – Orville and Wilbur Wright invent powered, controlled flight
– Ford Motor Company
1908 – Model T
1912 – First military use of airships (Italy vs. Turkey)
1915 – Albert Einstein proposes the Theory of Relativity
1919 – League of Nations.
– Fascist Party in Italy (Benito Mussolini)
1921 – Frederick Banting and Charles Best discover use of Insulin
1923 – Vaccine for Diphtheria
1924 – IBM
1926 – Vaccine for Pertussis
1927 – Vaccine for Tuberculosis
– Vaccine for Tetanus
– Werner Heisenberg develops the uncertainty principle
1928 – Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin (thus inventing antibiotics)
1929 – Mother Teresa arrives in Calcutta
1930 – Cow rides, is milked in plane for first time (Elm Farm Ollie)
1932 – James Chadwick discovers the neutron
1935 – Vaccine for Yellow Fever
1936 – Last Known Tasmanian Tiger dies
–  Hoover Dam
1938 – Otto Hahn discovers fission in uranium and throrium
– Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia
1940 – Discovery of echolocation in bats (Max Delbruck and Salvador Luria)
1946 – United Nations
– League of Nations ends
1947 – International Standards Organization
– International Monetary Fund
1949 – George Orwell: 1984
1953 – Structure of DNA
– Joseph Stalin dies
1955 – Soviet Union ends state of war with Germany
1957 – Sputnik
1958 – Pope Pius XII unveils the patron saint of television
1959 – Structure of Hemoglobin (Max Perutz)
– Cuban Revolution
– Avro Arrow scrapped
– Barbie
1960 – CPR (medicine)
– Structure of Myoglobin (John Kendrew)
– Albert Camus dies
1961 – Vietnam War begins
– OPEC
1962 – Oral Vaccine for Polio
1964 – Vaccine for Measles
1966 – Palomares hydrogen bomb incident
1967 – Vaccine for Mumps
– State of Israel
– Outer Space Treaty
1969 – Moon Landing
– Boeing 747
1970 – Vaccine for Rubella
1971 – Federico Faggin and Marcian Hoff invent the microprocessor
– Ray Tomlinson invents e-mail
– Idi Amin becomes president of Uganda
– Sea Bed Treaty
1972 – Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge propose punctuated equilibrium
1975 – Fall of Saigon
1977 – Cray-1 Supercomputer
1979 – Islamic Revolution in Iran
1980 – Iran-Iraq War begins
1982 – Stanley B. Prusiner proposes the existence of prions
1985 – Hezbollah
1988 – Iran-Iraq War ends
1989 – Exxon Valdez Disaster
– Ali Khamenei in power
1990 – Hubble Space Telescope
– Reunification of Germany
1991 – Gulf War
1994 – NAFTA
– Rwandan Genocide
1995 – First published genome
1996 – Dolly
1998 – Liquid water discovered on Europa
2001 – First drafts of the Human genome
2002 – First virus “from scratch”
– SARS
2003 – U.S. Invasion of Iraq
– International Criminal Court

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