The Egyptians invented toothpaste, consisting of ashes, burnt eggshells, and ground ox hoofs. At the time the most popular brand was Toothankhamun.
The Sumerians originated the cuneiform system of writing. When asked why they didn’t use sheepskin or papyrus, or chisel hieroglyphs into limestone or sandstone, they said that pressing a stylus was the best way to make a point.
The Book of Exodus tells us that Moses was so enraged when he beheld the golden idol of the Israelites that he burned it in fire, ground it into powder, mixed it with water, and forced the people to drink it, which caused asthma attacks all around. This incident is remembered today by Jews as “The Golden Cough.”
The Assyrians are notable in history for building a great empire, but if you look closely at their images in bas-relief, their real legacy to humanity are their hair curlers.
According to archaeologists, the legendary Tower of Babel is located in the city of Babylon. In the legend the people who built the Tower of Babel couldn’t understand each other, and no, the Babylonians didn’t invent politics.
The Persians loved honesty, and they loved wine because drinking it made the drinker tell the truth, but it didn’t work if they were snoring.
The Chinese invented chopsticks when they discovered it was easier to pick up pork spare ribs with two sticks than to stab it with one.
Confucius is considered the greatest sage of traditional China. When he purportedly said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop,” he was not talking about breakfast.
Hinduism, the oldest religion in the world, developed in India. Hindus believe that all religions that cultivate a virtuous life lead to the Ultimate Reality or what some call God, so Hindus have no beef with most other religions.
Buddha discovered that suffering is caused not by desire but rather by sitting down for long periods of time under a Bodhi tree, in his case for nearly two months. Once he decided to stop sitting around and do something constructive, he came to be known as the Enlightened One.
Greek physicians would diagnose their patients by tasting their ear wax. Needless to say, medical school enrollments jumped after this practice was discontinued.
Reportedly, Plato believed in reincarnation. He recollected that in his past life he had been a dog, and when asked what it was like, he said, “Rough, rough.”
Aristotle said that the purpose of watching a Greek tragedy is katharsis or purgation of emotions, resulting in cleansing and renewal. Reason the audience suffered emotional distress was because they had to endure hard stone seats and popcorn was never served.
The Romans who used public toilets to relieve themselves would clean up by passing around a shared sponge mounted on a stick and rinsed with salt water. Tourists, learning of this practice, didn’t as the Romans do.
Paul the Apostle was not very successful evangelizing the Persians. They read his letters and said, “It sounds like Greek to me.”
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