When the Mongols took over the known world
The Mongol conquests are difficult to fathom. Although their most important technology was the horse, they conquered much of the known world from China to Europe, a series of wars that killed tens of millions of people, then a substantial chunk of the world’s population. The Mongols also established what may well have been the largest empire in history until the British surpassed them six long centuries later. It’s difficult to understate how much we still feel their impact today; the country we know of today as Iraq has never fully recovered from the 1258 sacking of Baghdad, which until then had been a center of global wealth and knowledge.
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Capricorn: This is a week for getting serious about your life, for narrowing your focus, for dreaming about every small golden detail of the future you want for yourself, every detail of the person you wish you could be. It’s a week for some kind of channeled intensity, for standing up, standing strong, for believing in yourself so much that it’s embarrassing. Keep your focus and work so hard and believe, more than ever, that this will be enough to make things happen, because this week it will be.
Today’s image was made specially for Madame Clairevoyant by Jen May.
Make moves. This week, next. Always.
Sagittarius: This week, the ground’s not going to feel quite solid underneath you, the sky’s going to feel like it might open up right above your head. It’s going to make your limbs feel weak, maybe, it’s going to feel hard to trust yourself, but try to keep moving anyway. Try not to lose your nerve. You already have everything you need to keep living, you have everything you need to make your world so bright, so keep moving until it happens, keep moving until you believe.
This computer simulation of a hummingbird in flight, surrounded by turbulent vortices of air. Haoxiang Luo, a professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt, built this incredibly detailed simulation based on videos of the real thing (captured by Ty Hedrick at UNC):
When most birds fly, they produce lift as their wings flap downwards, but when their wings flap back up, they do the opposite - they produce a little negative lift. But hummingbirds tilt their wings so they produce positive lift on both upstroke and downstroke.
Luo’s research could be used to help perfect a hummingbird drone. One company in California has already given it a try. Here’s an early prototype, in slow mo, followed by a newer version with a camera attached:
Emma Thompson, being awesome. via.
When rice culture in the American South was in its prime, every effort was made by plantation owners to harvest, winnow, and polish rice so that you ended up with whole grains. That was the goal. The mistakes were the breaks, what some people call the middlings, which is where the expression ‘fair to middlin’ comes from. In the South when someone asks you “how’re you doing?” you might answer “oh, fair to middling’.” These are the grades of cotton and rice, agricultural grades. In this case, I’m talking about rice that is broken, also known as rice grits.
—John T. Edge on rice grits , one of his 5 staples for a Southern kitchen.