Turkmenistan’s Niyazov

Saparmurad Niyazov (1940-2006) was the absolute ruler of Turkmenistan. In 2002, he changed the names of months and days of the week into the names he proposed. An example would be April (Aprel), which was changed into Gurbansoltan, which in turn is the name of his mother. He was the creator of an extreme personality cult around his person. The …

Mount Tambora

On April 10, 1815 the largest recent volcanic eruption took place in Indonesia. Mount Tambora exploded, lost about a third of its mass (it was 4,300 meters/14,000 feet high). The explosion was so massive that it was felt hundreds of miles away. It eventually caused a global climate change for over a year due to the amount of ash, aerosols, …

Made in China, ancient China

During the Han dynasty (206BCE-220CE), the Chinese invented (or improved) porcelain, water-powered mills, modern horse collars and breast straps, double-acting piston bellows, tube seed drills, ships with water-tight compartments and -last but not least- alcohol. It was one of the most important technological eras in recorded history. Some of those inventions were “re-invented” later in Europe. Pictured above is a …