Building Catapults Required Engineering Know HowWritten by MCSW Webmaster
When building catapults, armies had to include in their ranks those people capable of employing complicated mathematical formulas and turning them into machines of war.
While their appearance on warfare scene dramatically changed tactics for quite literally hundreds of years, it was no easy task for medieval armies to create machines of war they needed to help ensure victory.
The engineers were generally responsible for production or mass production of larger scale weapons on battlefield and leading up battle.
When building catapults on site, engineers had to rely on their own know how and materials available to them, unless of course they transported wood, sinew and in case of some more complex catapults, counterpoises and other materials with them.
When idea was to create more simple machines such as ballistas or mangonels, task of building catapults was much easier on site than let’s say a trebuchet, which often required extremely heavy materials. In case of ballistas and mangonels, main ingredients – wood and rope or sinew – were a little easier for engineers to find. The difficulty came in getting these machines together in a big hurry for an impending siege.
Since mass production factories and automation were years in future, medieval armies had to rely on their own ingenuity to pull this off. Engineers who were responsible for building catapults understood intricacies of design, they knew formulas behind trajectory theory and they were smart enough to create ways to make their designs more mobile and easier to construct with haste.
When building catapults such as ballista and mangonel, engineers only needed to create simple designs. The ballista, for example, required a platform, two wooden arms and tightly wound ropes. These machines could be built in advance and put on platforms for an army to move along with it. The mangonel, too, was similar, and building catapults of this make required only one wooden arm. The drawback to both of these machines, however, was lack of accuracy, although mobility was a plus.
Coffee HistoryWritten by Hilda Maria Sigurdardottir
Coffee - THE Drink of Choice
Did you know coffee is most consumed beverage in world. How did coffee get this ranking? What country first figured out coffee was safe for consumption? When was first drink of coffee prepared? Where did first coffee shop come in being?
There are many questions about starting point of drinking coffee. It has been so long ago no one really knows all facts. But, one thing is for sure, coffee is most consumed beverage on planet.
It looks as if first trace came out of Abyssinia and was also sporadically in vicinity of Red Sea around seven hundred AD. Along with these people, other Africans of same period also have a history of using coffee berry pulp for more than one occasion like rituals and even for health. Coffee began to get more attention when Arabs began cultivating it in their peninsulas around eleven hundred AD. It is speculated that trade ships brought coffee their way. The Arabs started making a drink that became quite popular called gahwa--- meaning to prevent sleep. Roasting and boiling bean was how they made this drink. It became so popular among Arabs that they made it their signature Arabian wine and it was used a lot during rituals. After coffee bean was found to be a great wine and a medicine, someone discovered in Arabia that you could also make a different dark, delicious drink out of beans. This happened somewhere around twelve hundred AD. After that it didn’t take long and everyone in Arabia was drinking coffee. Everywhere these people traveled coffee went with them. It made its way around to India, North Africa, eastern Mediterranean, and was then cultivated to a great extent in Yemen around fourteen hundred AD. Other countries would have gladly welcomed these beans if only Arabs had let them. The Arabs killed seed-germ making sure no one else could grow coffee if taken elsewhere. Heavily guarding their plants, Yemen is where main source of coffee stayed for several hundred years. Even with their efforts, beans were eventually smuggled out by pilgrims and travelers. Coffee Shops Appear Around 1475 first coffee shop opens in Constantinople called Kiv Han two years after coffee was introduced to Turkey, in 1554 two coffee houses open there. People came pouring in to socialize, listen to music, play games and of course drink coffee. Some often called these places in Turkey “school of wise”, because you could learn so much by just visiting coffee house and listening to conversations.
In sixteen hundreds coffee enters Europe through port of Venice. The Turkish warriors also brought drink to Balkans, Spain, and North Africa. Not too much later first coffee house opens in Italy. There were plenty of people also trying to ban coffee. Such as Khair Beg a governor of Mecca who was executed and Grand Vizir of Ottoman Empire who successfully closed down many coffee houses in Turkey. Thankfully not everyone thought this way.
Coffee Tips Arrive
In early sixteen hundreds coffee is presented to New World by man named John Smith. Later in that century, first coffee house opens in England. Coffee houses or “penny universities” charged a penny for admission and for a cup of coffee. The word "TIPS" (for service) has it’s origin from an English coffee house.