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Archive for October, 2011

I love popcorn. It’s more than just a snack. It’s part and parcel with the history of the alphabet. I can prove it through the following links:

Did you know that the highest registered distance that a popcorn kernel has jumped in the air (when popping) is 3 feet? Three feet is not yet a meter, but it is exactly one yard.

The most famous ‘yard’ in the world is Scotland Yard, which was inaugurated in London in 1829.


That same year, 1829, William Burt (in the USA) obtained the first patent for the typewriter while Cyrill Demian (in Vienna) obtained the first patent for the musical instrument the accordion.

In a sense, an accordion is a typewriter that types musical notation instead of alphabet letters.

The earliest form of musical notation can be found in a cuneiform tablet that was created in Iraq in about 2,000 B.C. Cuneiform, the first form of human written expression, did not begin as the nail-shaped format. If we look at the image below, showing the evolution of cuneiform, we notice (using some imagination) that it initially started out resembling drawings of, yes, popcorn!

evolution of cuneiform

Coincidentally, cuneiform (the first alphabet) was born in Iraq thousands of years ago, at around the same exact time that Native Americans first discovered… you guessed it… popcorn.

So it’s not just popcorn; it’s history. Next time you’re having popcorn, remember that.

Why not ‘unwind’ with this slow-motion video of the magical popcorn, popping like a ballet dancer?

There was once a young girl from Beirut

Who ate nothing but water and fruit

She grew so thin

You’d see bone through her skin

Yet everyone thought she was cute.

She tilts the cup

and spills a single drop,

watches it rise up

towards the ceiling

and swell into a grape.

On her lip a smile

serves in revealing

her hope that rarely

had a shape.

Her hand touches his face,

just barely,

to leave some space

for her escape.