Once people figured out how to roast the seeds of the Coffea plant in the 1400s, coffee took over the world. In doing so, it fueled creativity, revolutions, new business ventures, literature, music — and slavery.
Tagged with “history” (111)
Netscape launches and is a smashing success. Jim Barksdale officially comes on as CEO. Netscape fights off legal threats from the NCSA and the University of Illinois. Despite it’s young age and lack of profits, Netscape files to go public in THE historic IPO of the era. Flush with cash, flush with fame, Netscape girds for battle with a new foe: Microsoft.
Sarah Rose is the author of For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History. At the beginning of the 19th century, China had a global monopoly on tea. One of the most valuable export products in the world, China carefully guarded every part of tea’s production: the techniques, the workers and, most of all, the plants. So, when the British East India Company went looking for someone to steal every part of tea production and bring it to their plantations in India, they needed someone truly remarkable. At that point, no Westerners were allowed into the interior of China. Whoever the Company selected for the task would need the linguistic and cultural knowledge to pass into the heart of the Empire disguised as a Chinese person while still possessing the botanical skills to bring the tea plants out intact. They selected Scottish botanist Robert Fortune.
A thrilling mix of history, industrial espionage and culture clash, For All the Tea in China is a very enjoyable read. Bryan and Sarah discuss the book and the process of writing history in general in this episode.
Listening to the news or hyperlinking our way through blog posts, it might seem like the end is nigh. Whether the coming crisis is environmental, economic or some intoxicating mix of the two, the message is always basically the same: humanity is about to screw everything up…forever!
As Matt Ridley reveals in his 2010 prize-winning, bestseller The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves this eternal pessimism has more to do with human psychology than it does with the facts of the situation. Throughout history, there have always been professional harbingers of doom. In the old days, doomsdayers predicted man’s greed and lust would bring about divine retribution. These days, we’re treated to the idea that we might bring about our own destruction because of our relentless pursuit of wealth. In our desire for more food, bigger cars and a more comfortable lifestyle, we will use up all the oil, overheat the planet, pollute the oceans and wipe out all the polar bears. Notice any similarities? Man gratifies his desires…and is punished.
While the apocalyptic scenarios on the nightly news might feel plausible, the facts say something very different: the future has never looked more promising. More and more people are being lifted out of poverty. The environment is improving. And all of this is due to the very technologies we’re supposed to fear: pesticides, fertilizers, fracking and genetic engineering. Pessimism may feel reasonable, but optimism is what’s rational. The Rational Optimist is a tour de force that not only restores your faith in the future, its overview of man’s relentless ability to solve problems makes you proud to be human. Perhaps that’s why Michael Callen references it all the time.
In this episode, Matt, Bryan and Hunter discuss everything from why organic farming is bad for the environment to how the 2008 financial crisis refined Matt’s view on the proper role of government in the economy. (Note: Matt Ridley was Chairman of Northern Rock, one of Britain’s largest banks at the time.)
Before writing The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley got a doctorate in Zoology from Oxford and wrote five books on biology: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters, Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience, & What Makes Us Human and Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code. In case you’re wondering, these were all bestsellers and also won lots of prizes.
Marc Andreessen heads out to Silicon Valley. He hooks up with startup legend Jim Clark. They decide to form a company, Netscape, to build upon Mosaic’s previous success. They “get the band back together” by recruiting most of the original Mosaic development team. Netscape Navigator is developed. The company hustles to establish itself before other, larger competitors catch on to the opportunity that is the web browser market.
A radio documentary about different ways of seeing the Book of Kells.
‘The Calligraphers’ Song’ was first broadcast on 15th April 2002.
Produced by Lorelei Harris.
An Irish radio documentary from RT Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.
Mike Pick & Tim Murtaugh talk about creating a “Web at 25” website in five and a half weeks. Design, approval, and client focus. Working for geniuses. What we’d be doing if the web didn’t exist. Keeping the web open. What the W3C has in common with IndieWeb. The web today: more powerful, more empowering. Specialization and creativity. The effect of mobile on the digital divide.
A young Marc Andreessen and a team of programmers at the NCSA on the campus of the University of Illinois create and publish the Mosaic browser, thereby creating the world wide web’s first killer app. Mosaic enjoys meteoric, overnight discuss. But the higher ups at the NCSA take the project away from the “kids” who created it. Examining Mosaic as the “trial run” for the product that would eventually be called Netscape Navigator.
A look at the family tree of Indo-European languages and the relationship of English to those related languages. The closest relatives of English are highlighted, including the Germanic languages, Latin and Greek. We explore the background of English from the first Indo-Europeans to the first Anglo-Saxons in Britain.
The story of the discovery of the ancient language which gave rise to most of the languages of Europe, including English.
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