It takes about 5,000 years (give or take) for photons to escape the sun’s core. Once they are out, though, it takes just 8.3 minutes for them to reach Earth. The sunlight we see is thousands of years old!

Fiji established a democratic government in 1970 but has experienced a great deal of political turmoil since. Military coups occurred in 1987, 2000, and 2006. Fiji's current government is considered a democratic republic.

This is what bananas used to look like! When it was first domesticated, between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, Papua New Guineas were eating a very different thing than we eat today. Today’s sweet, seedless bananas are the result of thousands of years of cross-pollinating and selective breeding.

The Tragedy of the Moriori

The Moriori were a small, isolated population of Polynesians settlers, living on the Chatham Islands. Sometime shortly after New Zealand was settled in 1000 CE, a group of them set out an settled the Chatham Islands, far to their south east. And then the Chathams were forgotten. Remote and subarctic, the Chathams did not support any of the domesticated crops the Polynesian settlers brought with them -- taro, yams, sweet potatoes, breadfruit, bananas, and coconuts. Those crops had been domesticated in a tropical climate and quickly died on the Chathams. Without agriculture, and without nearby islands to colonize and perhaps get more food from, the Chathams were capable of supporting only about 2,000 hunter-gatherers.

So the Moriori learned to get along with each other. They renounced war. Chiefs remained, technically, but they caught their own food and lived in huts which were identical to everyone else. To prevent overpopulation, some male infants were castrated. All of these measures worked quite well, and the Moriori had a sustainable population from about 1300 CE, when it was settled, until November 19th, 1835.

Earlier in 1835, an Australian seal-hunting ship visited the Chatham Islands en route to New Zealand, and brought news to New Zealand of islands where "there is an abundance of sea and shellfish; the lakes swarm with eels; and it is a land of the karaka berry...the inhabitants are very numerous, but they do not understand how to fight, and have no weapons." That was enough to induce 900 Maori to sail to the Chathams. They arrived on November 19th, 1835. Another 400 arrived on December 5th. Armed with clubs, axes, and guns the warrior Maori walked through Moriori settlements, announcing that the Moriori were now their slaves, and killing anyone who openly disagreed.

The Moriori had a tradition of resolving disputes peacefully. They decided in a council to not fight back, but to offer the Maori peace, friendship, and a division of resources. The offer was never made. The Maori attacked first. Over the course of the next few days the Maori systematically killed hundreds of Moriori, cooked and ate many of them, and enslaved the rest. A Maori conqueror explained: "We took accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. No one escaped." And so the Moriori ended.

Can you guess how long cigarette cartons have had to carry warning labels? In the United States, since 1965. It has been over fifty years! And the fight is still going to keep people from literally killing themselves. The latest idea? Australia was the first to mandate that cigarette packages can have nothing on them at all -- except health warnings. No name-brands, no advertisements, just the fact that cigarettes will kill you.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Fiji was settled in three waves of immigration between 1230 BCE-860 BCE by early Polynesian peoples. Cannibalism came soon after: estimates say that cannibalism on Fiji started around 400 BCE. In fact, Ratu Udre Udre, a Fijian war chief, is the most prolific cannibal in history. He is reported to have eaten between 872 and 999 people!

The Cost of Hosting The Olympics Jumped Drastically In Less Than 10 Years

The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta cost US$2 billion. Hosting costs increased to US$4.8 billion in Sydney four years later. The 2004 Olympics in Athens increased to US$32 billion.

That's an increase of $30 billion in 8 years. Or 1600%

The bow and arrow, scientists believe, were invented in the middle of the Stone Age -- so about 60,000 years ago. The first arrows were probably fire-dipped sharpened sticks. Later they became more sophisticated to inflict more damage, with animal bone heads and flint-tipped points. Prehistoric flint points, like these, have been found dating as far back as 16,000 years ago!

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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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