Eating Dinner on a Mountain!

Yesterday our whole family, except for Nicholas and my Dad, drove up to a mountain near Shasta lake, I don't know the name of the mountain but, I do know it is somewhere near Shasta Lake because we saw Shasta lake from the top of the mountain. We followed the map coordinates Jonathan sent to us to get to the bottom of the right mountain, then we drove up the gravel road to the top. We had been invited by my brother Jonathan; we weren't the only ones Jonathan invited. He also invited some of his other friends. We had dinner there, and we ate venison stew, rice, and sweet potatoes. It was a beautiful view when it started to get dark because we could see Redding slowly light up way down below. We drove back down when it started to get dark. All of the other cars followed us till we got to the bottom of the mountain then we each went home our separate ways.

My favorite part was when I saw sunlight descending on the lower hills through the separated clouds.

Here is some videos and pictures my Mom took there:

Ts'ai Lun Paper Maker - History of inventions - Lesson 23

Ts'ai Lun was born around 50 AD in China. He is the first paper maker that established paper in China.

The story of Ts'ai Lun is that he started work for the imperial Chinese Government, at a very young age, and he was put in charge of inventing new types of weapons. Ts'ai Lun was so good at his job that he rose quickly in the ranks. Because the emperor especially liked his weapons being the best. 

The current way of writing during his time was on either bamboo slabs or silk. The problem with those is that bamboo is not as easy to store because each slab of bamboo is like one page in a book. The problem with silk is that it was expensive to buy.

Around 105 AD he was inspired to make paper because he saw the paper wasps make their nests with paper. The wasps made paper by chewing wood fibers from logs and mixing it with saliva. With that, they formed their nests.

Ts'ai Lun created paper by mixing tree bark, scraps of cloth, scraps of hemp, and old fishing nets. Then he mixed that with water and mashed it into a pulp. Then he strained out all other the water from the pulp to turn it into paper

Here is the process in a video:



Parchment Compared to Papyrus - History of Inventions - Lesson 23

Parchment was made out of animal skin. The way the Egyptians would have made it is by shaving off the fur of the animal skin, then they would stretch the skin in the sun under tension. The upside of the parchment is that it preserves longer than the papyrus paper and it would not be easily torn apart because it was made animal skin.

The downside of parchment is that it would curl when there was humidity. The way they would deal with the problem is that they would use wooden book covers with straps to keep the parchment from curling.

The ancients were probably using parchment starting in 500 BC 

Here is an example of high-quality parchment book: 

Here is a funny skit about a monk trying to use a book for the first time:




Paper Papyrus - History of Inventions - Lesson 23

Without paper, people would not be able to write down what they had learned. They would not be able to have books to keep on a bookshelf because if you had a rock and you spent the time trying to chisel a whole book into a stone, it would take a super long time to chisel and would be too heavy to hold or to send to someone.

The first type of paper was papyrus. Papyrus was made by the Egyptians out of a plant called papyrus. The way they would make papyrus was to cut the plant lengthwise and then they would press the juices out. After that, they would soak the strips in water for a few days. And then they would weave the wet strips together. After weaving, they would press the weave for three days to press out any extra water. Finally, they would let the weave dry in the sun for one day. This would give usable papyrus that you can write on.

I'm amazed at how flat the papyrus paper ends up being. 

Here is a video on making papyrus:




Bloomery Makes Wrought Iron - History of Inventions - Lesson 21

A bloomery is an invention used in the middle ages. To get wrought iron from sand and other chemicals, the way a bloomery would work is they would have to burn charcoal, then add the sand then add more charcoal. This part of the process goes for about 4-7 hours.

When the bloomery process is nearly finished, they would either break a hole in the bottom or unplug a plug.

Once unplugged, a stream of molten iron and slag pours out. What comes out is called the bloom. Once the bloom is hardened, they pick it up with tongs, and they will reheat the bloom for about one minute in a furnace to a very high temperature without remelting it. Once it is hot enough, they move the reheated bloom onto an anvil and hammer off any slag. Once they have finished hammering the bloom, the bloom has now become wrought iron. They can now use the wrought iron to turn it into any tool they want.



WaterWheels in Egypt - History of inventions - Lesson 17

WaterWheels have been used to power mills, saws, sifting flour, and for hammering stuff. The Egyptians used it for transporting water from river to land. When the Nile river was full, without the water wheel, they would have to move it by hand, but with the waterwheel, it was more accessible because it would move the water for them.


The water wheel didn't get used in Europe until after the roman empire fell apart. Because the Romans already had the number of slaves to do the work for them, and they didn't want to pay the money for an invention they weren't sure was going to work. So they stuck to slaves. But the reason it came back after the roman empire fell apart is that everybody had to help themselves. And the churches knew how to read and understand the Egyptian manuscripts on the waterwheel, and they had the funds to build it, so they created the waterwheel. They used it for hammering, milling flour, and many other tasks. Here are some videos on waterwheels:

- Les

Glass - History of Inventions - Lesson 7

glass is used everywhere in our life it is used for car windows, home windows, glass jars, watches, the vacuum tube, and many other things. Glass is made out of sand which sand is made out of silica. Most glass that we see today is usually soda lime glass because pure quartz glass takes the extremely high temp to melt. It is thought that the first people to use it, was Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. over time glass became more and more popular because it was used for necklaces beads and many other things. Summary: Glass is a crucial part of our lives. Glass is mostly made out of silica. (Here is a video of the making of glass)