Isolated Tangier Island: A Dialect Preserved from the 1700s

Tangier Island, located 12 miles off the coast of Virginia, has maintained its isolation to such an extent that its inhabitants still speak a dialect similar to the one used by the island’s original colonists in the 1700s. This distinct dialect features a significant example of the Big Vowel Shift, with the word “house” pronounced as “hice” (rhyming with “mice” or “lice”), and the number “four” pronounced as “far” (rhyming with “car”). Understanding this dialect can be challenging for those who did not grow up hearing it. The island’s early settlers hailed largely from the Cornwall area of Southwest England, and the island itself was named after the Moroccan city of Tangier by either colonial explorer John Smith or his physician, Walter Russell.

“Smart” bullets

Did you know that DARPA has been developing “smart” bullets since as early as 2008? These precision-guided firearm bullets are capable of altering their course and accurately correcting their path to a target. What’s even more fascinating is that they have been fire-tested successfully, proving their potential for use in military and law enforcement applications. In addition, smart bullets could also have significant implications for civilian use, such as improving the accuracy of sport shooting and hunting.

Apples: A Fruit with a Fascinating History

It is a little-known fact that apples are not originally from North America but rather hail from Kazakhstan, in central Asia east of the Caspian Sea. Interestingly, the capital of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, which was renamed Almaty in 1993, means “full of apples” in the Kazakh language. It is said that the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan are some of the most diverse in the world, with over 5,000 varieties of apples growing there.

By 1500 BC, apple seeds had already been carried throughout Europe, where the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans quickly recognized their value and began cultivating them. In fact, the ancient Greeks were known to place a high value on apples, and the goddess of love, Aphrodite, was often depicted holding an apple as a symbol of love and fertility.

Furthermore, the Romans were particularly fond of apples and used them for both culinary and medicinal purposes. They also introduced the fruit to Britain, where it eventually became a staple food in the diet of many people. Today, apples are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world, and their fascinating history and cultural significance continue to be appreciated by people all over the globe.

Abraham Lincoln’s beard

Milton Bradley, who initially sold pictures of celebrities, faced a significant setback when his top-selling lithographs of Abraham Lincoln became outdated due to Lincoln’s iconic beard. As a result, customers demanded refunds, rendering Bradley’s entire stock of lithographs worthless. To recover from this loss, Bradley decided to pivot to selling board games.

It’s worth noting that Abraham Lincoln’s beard wasn’t just a fashion statement that ruined Milton Bradley’s lithographs. In fact, it played a significant role in his 1860 presidential campaign. As the story goes, Lincoln received a letter from an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell, who suggested that he grow a beard because “all the ladies like whiskers.” Lincoln took her advice and grew a beard, and the rest is history. The beard became an iconic feature of Lincoln’s appearance and is now synonymous with his image as a statesman and leader.

Henry Ford and his Model T

It is a historical fact that Henry Ford, the renowned industrialist and founder of Ford Motor Company, resisted making significant improvements to the Model T for a long time. However, it’s important to note that this decision was not entirely without reason.

At the time, the Model T was a runaway success, and Ford had achieved incredible economies of scale by streamlining the production process. Making significant changes to the design would have required a massive overhaul of the entire manufacturing process, which Ford deemed too costly and time-consuming.

However, it’s also true that Ford was known for his strong personality and at times, extreme behavior. There are several accounts of him destroying prototypes that didn’t meet his expectations.

Despite his reluctance to change the Model T, Ford’s legacy as an innovator and inventor cannot be denied. He revolutionized the manufacturing industry with his assembly line techniques, and his introduction of the $5 workday helped to transform the American middle class.