Small things can have reverberating effects on history, both good and bad. In 1453, the great walled city of Constantinople, which had withstood sieges for 1,100 years, fell to the Ottomans...because someone left the door open.
Mel Brooks said it best, “It’s good to be the king.” There’s the seemingly limitless power and unspendable amounts of wealth. On the flip-side, though, there’s the back-stabbing, political intrigue, and of course, the inbreeding to deal with.
In the age of bigger, better, faster, more, it’s easy to default to thinking that we invented everything, that the complex things that make up our lives couldn’t have existed in the times we view as primitive. Oh, how wrong we are.
Take, for example, George Washington’s youthful proclamation on the lumberjacking of his father’s cherry tree - “I cannot tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.” It’s one of the first presidential facts American children learn in elementary school. The trouble is, that story is a complete fabrication.
From a lone example of a trilobite in Hunan, China named Han Solo to a butterfly pea flower reminiscent of a Georgia O'Keefe painting, called clitoria ternatea, the naming of species offers almost as much in the way of entertainment as it does scientific classification.