Genetic Distances Across Eurasia

This is based on sections of DNA, selected at random from a group of ∼300 markers, all of which have are highly differentiated between populations across the world, and already tested on many populations.

In World War I, the German navy disguised one of their ships as a British ship, the RMS Carmania, and sent it to ambush British vessels. Unfortunately for the Germans, the very first British ship she encountered was the real RMS Carmania. Who promptly sank its doppelganger.

A 45-Day Storm Turned California Into a 300-Mile-Long Sea

For 43 days, from late 1861 to early 1862, it rained almost nonstop in central California. The flooding that the rain cause turned California's Central Valley into a 300-mile-long (480-km-long) sea. The state capital of Sacramento flooded, and on January 22, the California legislature had to be moved to San Francisco, where it stayed for six months as Sacramento dried out.

People's lives were destroyed as one in six Californian houses were gone, and many towns disappeared, swept away. The flood also decimated California's burgeoning economy. An estimated 200,000 cattle drowned, about a quarter of all the cattle in the ranching state -- the disaster shifted the California economy to farming and it never shifted back. It was also estimated that as much as a quarter of California's taxable property was destroyed, which bankrupted the state.

Artistic Snobbery

Serious American artists during the Early American Period (1789 - 1815) thought that genre scenes were too mean and lowly for their talent. So major painters such as John Vanderlyn and Samuel Morse scorned the depicting of ordinary folk - except, said Vanderlyn, Italian peasants. With their lack of "fashion and frivolity," Italian peasants, Vanderlyn declared, were close enough to nature to possess a neoclassical universality that was worth depicting.

NASA keeps videos of all the falls astronauts have ever taken on the moon. For scientific study, of course: though gravity is much lower on the moon, astronaut's mass stays the same and therefore inertia, which is a body's resistance to changes in motion and is related to mass, also stays the same. Astronauts are having to adjust to a completely different conditions than they're used to. And it makes the astronauts walk a bit like a one-year-old taking their first steps.

What is Volkswagen's Best-Selling Product?

It isn’t a car — it’s sausages. Item number 199 398 500 A in the Volkswagen parts catalog is "currywurst sausage." In the 1940s and 1950s the company owned a pig farm to help feed factory employees, and today a team of butchers in Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg factory still makes 6.5 million 10-inch sausages every year using a secret recipe. Per units sold it is Volkswagen's most popular product! The sausages are sold in 11 countries, too.

Did you know Cromwell attacked Jamaica?

It was part of Oliver Cromwell’s war on Spain. In 1654, a huge fleet -- one of the largest English fleets ever assembled -- left Portsmouth headed for the Caribbean. Its target was the rich prize of Hispaniola. Unfortunately, it was a fiasco, and 3,000 English marines failed to take the island’s capital of Santo Domingo. The “invincible” New Army was defeated and the victors of the English Civil War were exposed as ineffective on the world stage. How could the head of the expedition save face? Attack Jamaica of course!

It was another Spanish island, but much less well defended. On May 10th, 1655 the admiral attacked, easily defeated the small Spanish garrison at Cagway Bay. It was hopeless for the Spanish and the admiral had a treat of surrender from the Spanish commander in 6 days. England annexed Jamaica just like that. And Jamaica speaks English to this day.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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