One Important Invention

I really am like so bored to my grave. Like, I wish I could leave tomorrow, but like no… so, like, oh the agonizing wait!

But on the grimly-looking bright side of it all, the uneventful cook-less days I’ve been spending at home had taught me to cook my own meals with motivation. I don’t know if they’ll pass culinary school but so far they’ve been edible and none of us had been food-poisoned. Yet.

So. 3 uneventful days had passed. How have I been keeping busy? Hmmm… .

Well, let me tell you about this guy Amir Aczel. I met him some time ago and I went with him… hold your breaths now, you’re not going to believe this… to Amalfi! Don’t know where that is? Then Google it, people!

It’s been said that the very first compass rose (you know, the direction-indicating device) was invented there by a man named Flavio Gioia. It turns out that that was a complete and total myth and so we went on to trace the origins of the compass. There’s hardly any good evidence and resources with regards to the origins of the compass but it is very likely, and with some documents existing as proof, that the magnet (or loadstone) was first used in China. But in Feng Shui. Another important use of it was as a weapon-detecting device during Shi Huang Ti’s reign, which of course magnetizes any hidden weapon made of metal to the enormous gates of the palace. Pretty cool, huh?

But it wasn’t later before or during Marco Polo’s time that the compass was used as an important navigational tool. Isn’t that terrific? And among the very first people to use it were the Venetians, which explains why they were once a powerful navigation and trading center. They changed the world!

No longer were mariners limited to sailing once a year (because in Wintertimes, the sun and the constellations, which they refer to for directions, aren’t always visible), they can now go on a voyage two to three times a year with the help of the compass.

The compass changed the course of history.

How’d you like that?

Of course I didn’t meet Mr. Aczel in person. And neither did I step anywhere near the shores of Amalfi. But I sure wish I zoom back in time and give you fantastic details of my adventures.


To learn more about this amazing adventure, check out Amir Aczel’s The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World.

 

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