Cloning is nothing new, if by “cloning” we mean “producing genetically identical copies.”  Plants have been cloned for centuries by the low tech method of taking cuttings and grafting them into other stems or branches.  Frogs were cloned over 60 years ago by a process known as nuclear transplantation; the nucleus from a tadpole’s intestinal … Continue reading

Visual Art – The Chauvet Cave

Paleolithic Painting—The Chauvet Cave The world’s oldest works of art—more than 400 red ochre and black wall paintings of lions, panthers, bears, owls, rhinoceroses, hyenas, buffalo, and more—were completely unknown before 1994, when three cave explorers found them in Chauvet Cave (named for one of the explorers), near Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in the Arde’che region of southern … Continue reading

Music For The Home: The Piano

Through the late 1700s pianos—like all musical instruments—were constructed by hand in specialized craftsmen’s workshops:  Even the most productive European manufacturers only built a couple dozen pianos a year.  However, innovations in construction technique (first larger workforces, later mass-production approaches and steam technology) increased European production of pianos by a factor of 100 between the … Continue reading

Stonehenge And The Early Inhabitants of Britain

Stonehenge is a circular setting of large stone blocks located about eight miles north of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, England.  Nobody really knows for certain who actually built Stonehenge or why.  However, archaeological evidence provides a clear indication of when Stonehenge was built, and everyone agrees that it is a remarkable feat of engineering and construction. … Continue reading

The Geography of Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Earthquakes are sudden disturbances inside the Earth that generate seismic waves in the crust.  They happen all of the time; most of them are so small that sensitive instruments are needed to detect them.  When major earthquakes occur, they do considerable damage to the land—affecting agriculture and public works—and to cities, resulting in destruction of … Continue reading

George Washington – Repression of The Whiskey Rebellion (1794)

Repression of the Whiskey Rebellion (1794) The stalwart and physically imposing tall Virginian rarely spoke, stood rigidly upright, and moved with a regal stride, bringing some to the false conclusion that he was pompous. George Washington was among the least uneducated of the Founding Fathers. General Washington took a great deal of time to consider and … Continue reading