Irish Workers In The 1500s Drank Ale Like Water

Beer was a staple of the Irish diet, as much as bread, according to new research. Masons hewing stone at a Dublin quarry in 1565 were allotted 12 to 14 pints of ale a day, when doing extreme labor. That's the highest amount. But the lowest daily amount is still pretty high: household staff at Dublin Castle, and Elizabethan soldiers stationed in Ireland, were drinking up to 8 pints of hopped ale a day.

In the 1500s, Irish beers had higher oat contents than English beers. Oat beer was reportedly thicker, and more bitter, than beer made predominantly with barley. They also have 400 to 500 calories a pint. You could drink nothing but beer, and get enough calories for your day!

Know Your Enemy

During the Cold War, Russia made such incredibly detailed maps of the Canadian Arctic that other ships still use them today and even prefer them over current Canadian maps.

Did you know that Queen Victoria personally chose Canada’s capital? On December 31st, 1857, she announced her choice was Ottawa.

The Triple Bridge of Pontarfynach

In Wales, is a small village named Pontarfynach, meaning “the bridge on the Mynach”. But its name is a little bit of a misnomer: there are actually three bridges!

The original and the lowest bridge was built in the 11th century. When that was thought to be unstable, a second stone bridge was built over the gorge directly atop the original bridge. That was in the mid-1700s. The original bridge was not demolished; rather it was used to support scaffolding during construction. The third and the final bridge is an iron bridge constructed in 1901. Click through the image gallery to see the more pictures of the three bridges of Pontarfynach!

"An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person's main task in life - becoming a better person."

Leo Tolstoy

Salt Holder Shows Two Worlds' Collision

This saltcellar is both an extraordinary example of skilled workmanship and an artifact that epitomizes a singularly important convergence of cultures. In the second half of the 1400s, the Portuguese were slowly exploring further and further down the western coast of Africa. Portuguese explorers and traders were particularly impressed by the skill of West Coast ivory carvers. Many commissioned beautiful art pieces to bring home.

This particular carving combines both European and African aesthetics and forms. It was made by Sapi in what is today Sierra Leone. The four snakes, associated by the Sapi with mystical wealth, appear to confront four growling dogs. According to regional traditions, dogs are considered spiritually astute animals able to see spirits and ghosts that are invisible to humans. There are also nods to European sensibilities. The roses, for instance, and the animated nature of the carvings.

Roman Record Lasts For Almost 2,000 Years!

For millenia, the domed ceiling of the Pantheon in Rome was the largest dome in the world with no visible internal supports. It was made out of that famous Roman concrete and completed in 125 CE by Emperor Hadrian. The Pantheon's record was surpassed only in 1958, by the CNIT building in Paris. For those doing the math the Pantheon held the record for 1,833 years.

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    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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