Ancient Greek historian Polybius came up with a cyclical theory of government (anacyclosis), where governments start off as monarchies, the final stage is ochlocracy, when a democracy degenerates into chaos and mob-rule. Then the cycle resets itself.
Over a hundred years ago, virtually every American city had public streetcars that people took to work. That includes cities we don’t think of as hubs for mass transit today, like Atlanta, Raleigh, and Los Angeles. Today, just 5 percent of U.S. workers commute via via public transit.
A study about class differences in 18th & 19th century England, showed that on average, a wealthy 16-year old boy was 8.5 inches taller than a poor 16-year old boy, as a result of malnourishment and living standards.
In 1917 you could order a belt-fed machine gun from a Sears catalog: “Machine guns are used largely by police organizations, home guards and municipalities in case of riots.”
Humans nearly went extinct, reducing to a population of only 8,800 which would qualify today as “endangered” before bouncing back.
Millennials being scrutinized isn’t unique to this generation. Older generations have been doing it to younger generations for over 2,000 years. Similar criticisms include laziness, being self absorbed, spending too much money, expectations being too high, and the use of technology.
Newly discovered fossils show that moths and butterflies have been on the planet for at least 200 million years whereas flowering plants came along around 130 million years ago. Butterflies survived without flowers for 70 million years.
Roman slaves wore collars of iron with messages like a modern dog collar, for example this one, which reads “I have run away; hold me. When you shall have returned me to my master, Zoninus, you will receive a solidus”
The idiom “Turning a blind eye” is attributed to Admiral Horatio Nelson who, in the midst of battle and given the permission to retreat by his superior, lifted the telescope to his eye (blinded from an earlier injury) and said “I really do not see the signal” and pressed on with the attack.
In medieval years, an hour was divided into 4 puncta (quarter-hours), 10 minuta, or 40 momenta. So if you asked someone to “wait a moment”, turns out that you really asked them to wait for about 90 seconds.