First News
Volume:7, Number:34
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FUN FACTS
THIS WEEK

First Roman Emperor to Wear a Beard

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Hadrian, who was Roman emperor from 117 to 138, is known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Britannia. He also rebuilt the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. Philhellene in most of his tastes, he is considered by some to have been a humanist, and he is regarded as the third of the Five Good Emperors. Hadrian was the first emperor to wear a full beard. He based his look on the ancient Greeks, and later emperors – and European monarchs – based their looks on Hadrian.

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Transporting Pyramid Stones

The ancient Egyptians used a clever trick to make it easier to transport heavy pyramid stones by sledge. If a heavy sledge is pulled over dry sand, a pile of sand accumulates in front of it. If a heavy sledge is pulled over wet sand, this does not happen. A sledge glides far more easily over firm desert sand simply because the sand does not pile up in front of the sledge as it does in the case of dry sand. If they use the right amount of water, the number of workers needed to pull the sledge can be halved!

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Aztecs Knew Where Babies Were Born

The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries. Many Aztecs wondered where babies come from. And they believed babies were given to them from the 13th heaven, the highest heaven of all. It was called Omeyocan, which in Nahuatl means “the place of duality.” In Omeyocan a female god and a male god – or perhaps one god with dual forms – shaped and made each baby’s soul.

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