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Kalashnikov

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The 1947 Kalashnikov Automat, known as AK 47, is a Russian weapon inspired by a German model. This automatic pistol was developed by a young Sergeant-In-Chief of the Red Army, Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, and a cartoonist, Ekatarina V. Moses.

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It took years for the AK 47 to replace the war rifles previously in use. It was with the events in Budapest in 1956 that he officially entered a theatre of military operations. Since then, it has become the most used weapon of (poor) wars: popular uprisings, revolutions, scrub, urban guerrillas...

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Meteorite

Five to ten of these fragments of celestial bodies orbiting the Sun, mostly between Mars and Jupiter, fall on our planet each year. The first observed fall, the pieces of which were collected and are still preserved in various collections, is that of the meteorite that fell on November 16, 1492, in Ensishein, Alsace.


On March 22, 1984, Japanese scientists announced that they had just detected, among the meteorites collected by them in 1979 near the Yamato Mountains, on Queen Maud Land, in Antarctica, two fragments of a few tens of grams probably having a lunar origin. Until then, we held for the first small piece of Moon (38 g) ever collected on Earth meteorite Allan 81005. The place: the Allan Hills area, on Victoria land, still in Antarctica; the discoverers: an American team; year: 1981.

Maize


In the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, adjoining present-day Texas, caves have been discovered inhabited by man since the 7th millennium BC.


The excavations that have been made there prove that this caveman, who lived by gathering, did not start collecting the kernels of a tiny variety of (wild) corn until the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. In addition, in the valley of Tehuacan, in the south-east of Mexico, we found larger ears of corn, which already represent, surely, the result of a selection and a culture. They are 5,500 years old.


In his diary, dated November 5, 1492, Christopher Columbus notes that "there were largely cultivated lands there with roots, a kind of bean, and a kind of wheat called maize".


The taste of roasted corn displeased his sailors, and it would take thirty years for some Andalusian peasants to decide to sow corn - which they would use as fodder. And it will not be before the middle of the 17th century that the first European populations will decide to eat corn, in Italy and in the Balkans. On the other hand, the Spanish and Anglo-Saxon colonists of America very quickly made it one of their staple foods.

Lamp


Oil lamp. From ancient times, the oil lamp succeeded the torch with which the heroes of Homer illuminated. By the end of the 5th century BC, the oil lamp was in common use. It lasts until the 19th century. But from the Middle Ages, it was hardly used any more than as a night light and in kitchens or in back rooms. Everywhere else, in castles as in thatched cottages, candles are used. It is necessary to arrive at the XVIIIe century so that the lamp goes down in the street. Those found there are then fitted with a reflector to increase the intensity of the light. These are the street lamps whose name will long be used to designate, by extension, all public lampposts.


In 1757, Rabineau launched the "Optical Lamps", two of which were sufficient "to light a billiard table without interruption to blow your nose, which is very gracious for the players". But the peaks of luminosity by oil are reached with the "Antoine Quinquet" invention of Argand, Switzerland installed in Great Britain. It was there that, in 1784, he created his draft model, with a braided wick in the shape of a hollow cylinder which increased the light intensity by suppressing the smoke. But Argand had as a friend the French apothecary Quinquet, whose indelicacy was matched only by business acumen. Quinquet seizes on the idea, perfects it with the help of a tinsmith named Lange, who equips the wonderful lamp with a glass fireplace, and here is Quinquet who triumphs, with the naive guarantee of Lavoisier and a first application. much applauded at the Comédie-Française.


Kerosene lamp and gasoline lamp. Mineral oil mistletoe arrived from America in 1860, petroleum will replace vegetable oil. All the complicated mechanisms of oil lamps disappear. Like the kerosene lamp, the gas lamp is very simple and also comes from America. But the best known in France, because it was born here, is the Pigeon lamp, forever immortalized by the romantic funeral monument of its manufacturer in the Montparnasse cemetery.


Electric lamp. The first patent for an incandescent electric bulb was filed in 1841 by the Briton Frederick de Moleyns. The first bulb equipped with a filament allowing a long-term use, and therefore it's marketing, is that of the American Thomas Alva Edison (1879).
Barely a year later, the American liner Columbia was equipped with it.

Jeep History

In June 1944 and during the following months, an all-terrain vehicle, lively and maneuverable, aroused the admiring astonishment of the populations liberated in Europe by the Allies: the Jeep. But four years earlier, it was still just a rough-cut prototype, hastily designed by a mid-size builder: American Bantam.

It was in fact on July 22, 1940, at the Holabird camp, devoted to the testing of American army vehicles, that Bantam presented the technical project of a machine that met the wishes of this army for an all-terrain vehicle. And it was the engineer Karl K. Probst who had designed the plans and drafted the file .. in five days.

The Jeep, a light all-terrain vehicle, intended to serve as a means of liaison for the American army, was created in 1940 by Bantam, quickly followed by Ford. Today, this automobile is widely used by civilian populations.

The army gave Bantam ninety days to build a first prototype, which was to be delivered to Holabird on September 23, 1940, at 5 p.m. sharp. And this schedule is being respected. With a few modifications, the prototype was accepted, and Bantam landed the first order for seventy pre-production vehicles. But during his field trials, two competitors, Ford and Willys Overland, dispatched observers - and three weeks later Willys presented the military with his own vehicle; Ford did the same, twelve days later.

Needless to say, the three prototypes, without being identical, are strangely similar. Ultimately, Willys wins the market with its lowest manufacturing price. But as the needs of the army continued to grow, Ford, in turn, obtained a production of the "MB Willys GP" model. GP, that is to say, general-purpose, all uses. And this abbreviation will soon be phonetic in Jeep.

Forty years later, still very much alive and returned to civilian life, the Jeep has become the absolute weapon of thousands of farmers around the world. Note that Renault, which absorbed American Motors in 1982 (which itself had digested Kayser-Jeep ex-Willys in 1970), then became the new guardian of the Jeep. For a short time: in March 1987, Chrysler bought Renault American Motors.

Since When Kiwi

Native to southern China, the liana Actinidia, in the wild, climbs up to 10 m in height in trees that border rivers and streams. Its Chinese name is Yang-tao.


It was during a trip to the Celestial Empire at the end of the 18th century that Incarville's father discovered her. A hundred years later - from 1874, baptized Chinese gooseberry, it appeared in Europe, brought by botanists, and became an ornamental plant for pergolas, thanks to the courage of its lianas and the beauty of its white flowers.


In 1906, for the first time, plants were shipped to New Zealand where, cultivated, selected, improved, and produced industrially, Actinidia will give the appreciated fruit that we know. The New Zealanders baptized it kiwi, the Maori name for the Aperix, a flightless bird that serves as their national emblem.

Since When Clock

The clepsydra, or hydraulic clock, which replaced the sundial and hourglass, was already known to the Egyptians. The oldest known dates back to fourteen centuries BC and is in the Cairo Museum. The clepsydra was perfected by Greece in the 4th or 3rd century BC and introduced to Rome in 159 BC. China knew it.


In the 10th century, the hydraulic clock was replaced by the mechanical clock thanks to the invention of the escapement and the deadweight, very probably due to Gerbert d'Aurillac, the pope in 999; it was he, in any case, who built the Magdeburg clock.


The Usages of the Order of Cîteaux (1120) require sacristans to adjust the clock so that it strikes for matins; automatic ringing, therefore, existed as early as the 12th century. In 1314, Beaumont built the first public Striking Clock in Caen. It was in Nuremberg that the first watches were made around 1500: their size and shape earned them the name of Egg of Nuremberg. The famous British watchmaker Georges Graham was the first to use the word "Chronometer" at the start of the 18th century.


In 1736, an English carpenter, who would become a renowned watchmaker, John Harrison, built the first marine chronometer for the determination of longitudes. Then, in 1765, Pierre Le Roy, master of Parisian watchmakers, built a chronometer containing all the essential elements of a modern chronometer.
Electric clocks date from the first half of the 19th century, the quartz clock from 1929, the atomic clock from 1954. In 1963, the digital display made its appearance thanks to information technology: instead of consulting the two classic hands, the hours and minutes were read in numbers that were spelled out on a table.


Supreme reference, International Atomic Time (TAI), instituted in 1972, is defined by "Timekeepers" installed in different countries: clocks driven by cesium atoms (9192 631 770 periods per second). A new device launched in space in 1988, "Lasso" (Laser Synchronization from Stationary Orbit), already makes it possible to synchronize clocks in Europe, and, ultimately, those around the world.


The speaking clock was invented by the director of the Paris Observatory, Ernest Esclangon, tired of the many phone calls asking for the time that assailed his switchboard (1933). Fifty years later, the speaking clock was the most requested telephone number in France: one hundred and forty million calls per year. In 1975, a battery of three cesium atomic clocks was put into service, which gave the top sound until September 18, 1991. That day began to give the time four talking machines and four atomic clocks operating in parallel. They will do so until September 18 ... 2088.

Since When Fox Terrier

In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder recounts that the legionaries of Julius Caesar, having landed in (Great) Britain, "they found their little dogs who knew how to follow their prey into his den". Were they fox terriers? Without a doubt. 


In any case, this fox hunter was popular in England from the 14th century. In 1570, during the reign of Elizabeth I, it was described for the first time by a doctor and naturalist whose name should have been retained in History.


But the severe selection of characters that we know him today was not undertaken and continued until the 19th century: it was in 1862 that he was exhibited for the first time in Birmingham. The first breed standard, established in 1876, mentions both varieties: smooth-haired and wire-haired. The type will not be definitively fixed until the beginning of the 20th century.


In the meantime, around 1880, the smooth-haired fox made its appearance in France for fox and badger hunting. But it is the wire-haired fox that will experience in our country, between the two world wars, popularity comparable to that of the poodle from the 1980s.

Since When Fencing

Born from individual medieval weaponry, Fencing first developed in France and Italy. The first fencing treaty is Italian (1553). Firstly utilitarian or aesthetic, fencing only became a sport at the end of the 14th century. Only foil and saber were present at the first Olympic Games in 1896. 



Swords in turn appeared on the program four years later. The same year is organized in Paris, the first annual championship of foil. French fencing, the first specialized magazine, was created in 1889. 



The electric control of the fights was made obligatory, for the épée, during the European championships of 1934, in Budapest; for foil, in 1958, after two successful trials at the 1955 World Championships, then at the 1956 Olympic Games.

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