Tag Archives: learning

Utterly Amazing Web Series: History of the Rhinoceros

the utterly amazing rhinoceros

Web series chronicling the history and origins of popular stuff. In this episode of “Utterly Amazing,” the history of the mysterious and beloved rhinoceros.

This video covers the etymology of the word rhinoceros in general usage and meaning in popular culture from its ancient Greek and Latin roots to to its modern adoption to English usage. It touches on the rhino’s impact as a keystone species, including its daily rituals and impact on the environment to it’s overall life expectancy and birth rates in the wild. A relative to the common Tapir. Its sudden global expansion in the Eocene epoch lead to its becoming one of the most prolific creatures on earth. Though subsequent hunting by man in the Miocene epoch lead to its numbers dwindling, nearly to extinction in modern times. With modern rhinos such as the white rhinoceros and black rhinoceros living in Africa. The Javan Rhinoceros, Sumatran Rhinoceros, and Indian rhinoceroses make their home in Asia. Characterized by its notably large size. Its horn, its thick, protective, skin, poor eyesight, and a hind-gut that aids in fermentation of difficult to digest foods. The rhinoceros, is considered very intelligent. Twisting saplings to indicate junctions in trails to other rhinos. And is able to open gates and car door with its mouth, much to the chagrin of park goers. Able to charge 31 miles per hour for short distances, the rhinoceros is a strong swimmer. The rhino’s horn is made of keratin, much like human hair, though different than cattle or sheep whose horns are made of keratin with a boney core or deer whose antlers are solid bone. African male rhinos establish dominance by fighting with their horns. Asian rhinos, on the other hand, use their lower incisor to bite or gore. Despite a lack of scientific evidence, the rhinos horn is often used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, consumed in the hopes of curing illnesses, ranging from hangovers to gout. Illegal trade routs for the horn extend from South Africa and West Africa to Vietnam and China.

To learn more about helping to save the rhinoceros. Google: “Rhino Conservation.”

Utterly Amazing Web Series: History of Cloud Computing

the utterly amazing cloud computer banner image

A web series chronicling the history and origins of popular stuff. In this episode of “The Utterly Amazing Web Series,” the history of widely used and widely misunderstood cloud computing.

This video covers the etymology of cloud computing in general usage and popular culture. It lightly touches on the development of cloud based business models in the mid 90’s such as software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service. It gives a two part definition of what cloud computing actually is. It briefly talks about the creation of the internet and its early history, the expansion of the internet through the 80’s, the dot com bubble and its subsequent crash by 2000, Amazon Web Services early role in the popularization of cloud services, the echo boom growth of cloud based services companies, developments in communications infrastructure, and cloud computing today.

Special thanks to the Computer History Museum, IBM Archives, and Raytheon for use of their archival images used in the making of this video.

Utterly Amazing Web Series: History of the Pencil

history of the pencil

A web series chronicling the history and origins of popular stuff. In this episode of “The Utterly Amazing Web Series,” the history of the common, not so common pencil.

This video covers the etymology of the word “pencil” as well as the origin of graphite as a writing implement. It gives explanation as to how pencils write, muses on an early misunderstanding around the place of graphite on the periodic table, documents the creation of pencil lead from powdered graphite and clay – especially as a result of the French Revolution. It details the standard measure of modern pencil grades, reveals the history of modern pencil construction and manufacturing since The War of 1812, gives pencil use statistics in modern times, talks about the use of incensed cedar as the popular choice of casing material in modern American style pencils due to early 1900’s era deforestation, and reveals miscellaneous facts about the variety and assortment of pencils and accessories available to consumers in the present day.

Special thanks to the Early Office Museum and The Pencil Pages for assistance with images.