Control Of Fire

Burn stuff
1 million years ago?

Nobody knows when our ancestors learned to control fire. The oldest direct evidence comes from Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa, which contains ashes and burned bones from 1 million years ago. But there is evidence hominins were processing food even earlier, and that might have included cooking with fire.

See other: What Makes Humans Human?

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According to William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar called out: “Et tu Brute!” moments before dying on 15 March, 44 BC. He was stabbed 23 times.

Pope Benedict XVI

On 28 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI resigned the papacy as a result of his advanced age, becoming the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415. In modern times, all popes stayed in office until death. Benedict XVI was be the first Pope to resign voluntarily since Pope Celestine V in 1294.

February 12 is an interesting day in history: in 1554, Lady Jane Grey was executed for treason after reigning as queen of England for just nine days, and in 1912, the last emperor of China, Puyi, was forced to abdicate and the country became a republic.

February 11 is a moving date in history: in 1531, Henry VIII is recognised by the new Protestant Church of England as its ‘supreme head’; in 1975, Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to head a British political party, leading the Conservatives; and in 1990, South African anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years.

British navigator Captain James Cook was killed by indigenous Hawaiians after a row over a stolen boat on 14 February 1779.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

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Agniology is the philosophical study of ignorance.

English: Map of South Africa, with provinces, ...

Map of South Africa, with provinces, neighbouring countries and oceans

The word honky, meaning a ‘white man’, comes from a West African language called Wolof. In Wolof, honq means ‘bright pink’.

South Africa has nine official languages and three official capitals.

The word agnomical means ‘not having any particular purpose’.

In French, bonne soeur literally, ‘good sister’ means nun; belle-mère literally, ‘beautiful mother’ means mother-in-law.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Territorial Morphology

Do Norwegians feel curiously at home in Chile, and vice versa? Do South Africans have a strange affinity with Italians? And Filipinos with Maldivians?

They should, at least if they’re map nerds: each lives in a country with a territorial morphology – the study of the structure of territories; not to be confused with geomorphology, which studies the structure of land masses; the critical difference between both disciplines are the man-made borders that divide land masses into territories – that closely resembles the other’s.

The two nation’s capitals, Oslo and Santiago, are 7,900 miles (12,700 km) apart; the maximum distance between two locations on Earth, half the circumference of the Earth at the equator, is 12,450 miles (20,036 km). Although they’re on opposite sides of the globe Chile and Norway are each other’s type, morphologically speaking: elongated to the extreme.

From east to west, Chile on average is just 150 miles (240 km) wide, which is the distance from London to Manchester, or New York to Baltimore. But from north to south, it measures 2,700 miles (4,300 km), which takes you from London to Tehran; or New York to Los Angeles. This makes Chile the world’s most stretched-out country – 18 times longer than it is narrow.