Accidental Discoveries That Changed the World

Accidental discoveries are not uncommon in the world of scientific investigation. Many useful substances, including Teflon and Scotchgard, were invented by chemists who were attempting to create something for an altogether unrelated application. (The chemist who invented Scotchgard was a woman).

Biochemist and science fiction author Isaac Asimov once said that “the most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny.'” “That’s funny” is exactly what microbiologist Alexander Fleming said when he found that Penicillium mold had contaminated a petri dish and destroyed the bacteria he was experimenting with. His lab accident led to the discovery of penicillin – the world’s first broadly effective antibiotic.

24/7 Tempo has compiled 31 accidental discoveries that changed the world by reviewing sources including History, Reader’s Digest, and Business Insider. In some cases, an initial accidental discovery by one person led to a later invention by another. Only the initial discovery is recounted.

While a few are folk accounts of early discoveries, the majority are inventions and discoveries made by scientists, engineers, doctors, and hobby inventors who were following one path when they stumbled upon another. 

Many serendipitous discoveries have revolutionized the pharmaceutical and medical fields, while others have influenced the worlds of fashion, cosmetics, home appliances, and children’s toys

©LIKIT SUPASAI / Getty Images

Quinine

>Year: unknown

native Andean people

Before Jesuit priests introduced the malaria treatment quinine to Europe in the 17th century, they learned of its properties from indigenous Andean peoples. According to Andean legend, a man delirious with malaria was lost in the rainforest and drank bitter-tasting water from a puddle under some quina-quina (cinchona) trees. The tree had been previously considered to be poisonous, but the man’s fever soon abated, and his people began using the tree bark to treat fevers. Andean people likely taught it to Jesuit priests.

©ruslanshramko / iStock via Getty Images

Brandy

>Year: 16th century

According to folk accounts, brandy was invented when a Dutch ship captain, who wanted to ship higher quantities of wine, decided to concentrate wine by removing the water before transport. Although his intention was to water it down again at his destination port, he liked the concentrated wine so much that he kept it that way, calling it brandewijn, meaning “burnt wine.”

©vzmaze / iStock via Getty Images

Anesthesia

>Year: 1844

Although the psychoactive properties of nitrous oxide were discovered in the 1770s, the gas was almost exclusively used as a party drug amongst the British elite until the next century. In 1844, a dentist named Horace Wells attended a demonstration on the effects of the gas and noticed something interesting: a man who had bruised his legs while jumping around under the influence of nitrous had no idea that he’d hurt himself, and had felt no pain. Wells began using the drug in his dental practice, only after experimenting on himself by inhaling nitrous and having his own tooth pulled.

There are 28 more fascinating, accidental discoveries documented by Josie Green for 24/7 Tempo©. To see all, click the source link below.

Source: Accidental Discoveries That Changed the World (msn.com)

Nostradamus predicted war in Europe, refugees and a dictator’s demise in 2022

Predictions by the French prophet Nostradamus

Did you know that the French astrologer Nostradamus predicted a European war with many refugees, attacks on a city, and the fall of the European Union? People who studied and interpreted his writings believe that these predictions apply to 2022.

Nostradamus lived from 1503 to 1566 and wrote approximately 6,338 prophecies. He even claimed to know how and when the world would come to an end! Of course, his writings were rarely specific, which makes them open to a lot of different interpretations. Critics even say that people can read into his words whatever they want to read.

©Provided by Showbizz Daily

Nostradamus predicted war in Europe

The following interpretations of his prophecies for 2022 were circulated at the beginning of the year – before anything was known about the Russian attack on Ukraine. Read on to see what Nostradamus predicted according to his interpreters.

Refugees

Some of his interpreters claim that Nostradamus predicted the arrival of many more refugees by 2022. They say he calculated that, this year, seven times as many migrants would reach Europe’s borders as in the previous year.

Death of a dictator

According to some prophecy interpreters, Nostradamus predicted the death of a dictator. They think he was referring to North Korea’s Kim-Jong Un.

Earthquake in Japan

Another prediction is that a major earthquake will hit Japan in 2022.

Terrifying predictions

He allegedly foresaw the Great Fire of London, Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, the horrors of World War II, the French Revolution and even the creation of the atomic bomb.

But can these predictions really be trusted?

Of course, we are unable to ask Nostradamus whether his ambiguous texts were actually pointing towards these concrete events. The prophecies will always remain a point of interpretation and discussion.

Source: Nostradamus predicted war in Europe, refugees and a dictator’s demise in 2022 (msn.com)

Fascinating Women’s History Month Facts

As recent years have painfully indicated, inequality and sexism is still very much alive and prevalent in the United States (as well as the rest of the world). In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 42% of women said they’d experienced gender discrimination at work. They also face the “motherhood penalty,” in which women earn less money after they become mothers while men who become fathers actually earn more. These prevailing inequities are exactly why Women’s History Month, which is recognized in March, matters so much. Sharing Women’s History Month facts and the stories of historic women isn’t trivial — it helps celebrate those women who paved the way, and those who are fighting for and representing women now.

UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVEGETTY IMAGES

Women’s History Month isn’t perfect. Professor Kimberly A. Hamlin argued in a Washington Post op-ed that when men make history, it’s just called “history.” But when women make history, it’s “women’s history.” It’s a fair point to keep in mind, now and especially as the country moves forward to a more equitable tomorrow. The below facts about women’s history and contributions of women aren’t historic just for women — they’re historic for everyone.

1. The first Women’s History Day was held in 1909.

February 28, 1909 marked the first Woman’s History Day in New York City. It commemorated the one-year anniversary of the garment workers’ strikes when 15,000 women marched through lower Manhattan. From 1909 to 1910, immigrant women who worked in garment factories held a strike to protest their working conditions. Most of them were teen girls who worked 12-hour days.

2. The day became Women’s History Week in 1978.

An education task force in Sonoma County, California kicked off Women’s History Week in 1978 on March 8, International Women’s Day, according to the National Women’s History Alliance. They wanted to draw attention to the fact that women’s history wasn’t really included in K-12 school curriculums at the time.

3. In 1987, it became Women’s History Month.

Women’s organizations, including the National Women’s History Alliance, campaigned yearly to recognize Women’s History Week. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 Women’s History Week across the country. By 1986, 14 states had declared the entire month of March Women’s History Month, according to the Alliance. The following year, in March of 1987, activists were successful: They lobbied Congress to declare March Women’s History Month.

4. The president declares every March Women’s History Month.

Since 1995, every president has issued a proclamation declaring March Women’s History Month, usually with a statement about its importance.

5. Every Women’s History Month has a theme.

The 2022 theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” according to the National Women’s History Alliance. This theme not only honors the tireless work of caregivers and frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, but also women of all backgrounds who have provided compassionate healing and hope for the betterment of patients, friends, and family.

For much more content, click link below.

Article by Jo Yurcaba and Elizabeth Berry for Woman’s Day©

Link to story source: 21 Women’s History Month Facts — Facts About Women’s History (womansday.com)

Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 each year. The holiday honors Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick, who lived in the 5th century, is credited with bringing Christianity to the country of Ireland. 

Giuseppe Milo / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat around 385 A.D. Succat was born in Britain to parents who were citizens of Rome. The boy was kidnapped by pirates as a teenager and spent several years as an enslaved person in Ireland.

After about six years in captivity, Maewyn escaped and returned to Britain, where he later became a priest. He took the name Patrick when he was ordained.

Patrick returned to Ireland to share his faith with the people there. The shamrock, or three-leaf clover, is associated with St. Patrick’s Day because it is said that the priest used the shamrock to explain the idea of the Holy Trinity. 

Leprechauns and the color green are also associated with the holiday. Unlike the shamrock, they have nothing to do with Saint Patrick but are recognized as symbols of Ireland.

St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday for the Catholic Church and a national holiday in Ireland. However, it is also celebrated by people of Irish descent around the world. In fact, many people who aren’t Irish enjoy joining in on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Common ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s day include the “wearing o’ the green” to avoid being pinched and eating foods associated with Ireland, such as soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and potatoes. People may also dye their hair, foods, and drinks green for St. Patrick’s Day. Even the Chicago River is dyed green each St. Patrick’s Day!

By Beverly Hernandez for Thought Co.©

Source: St. Patrick’s Day Wordsearch Printables (thoughtco.com)