Category Archives: history

Caterpickles cleans house, Part 4

Taking most of the summer off from answering questions would have worked a lot better if I’d had established a Caterpickles Agreement with The Nine-Year-Old that she would take the summer off from asking them. I did not, alas. The backlog of questions is … Continue reading

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“Why did California ban paper money in 1850?”

Thanks for stopping by Caterpickles. The good news for you today is that I’m mostly done writing about potatoes. But The Great Potato Gold Rush Project of 2016 still has riches to offer us. In the course of figuring out … Continue reading

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“Why didn’t miners during the California Gold Rush realize eating potatoes could prevent scurvy?”

Welcome back to Caterpickles! As we learned last week, miners during the Klondike Gold Rush valued the scurvy-fighting power of the humble potato so highly they were willing to pay $25 per bushel for them. After politely listening to my … Continue reading

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“Why were potatoes so expensive during the Klondike Gold Rush?”

As you may have inferred from this blog, I am the sort of mother who adores stocking my child’s mind with interesting tidbits about the world around her. I am also the sort who likes to make sure (eventually), that … Continue reading

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“Were potatoes ever so valuable that miners paid for them with gold?”

About two years ago, I slipped a note into The Nine-Year-Old’s lunch box. It was one of those preprinted affairs with a sweet little message on the front that said something like “Choose to be happy today,” and a bit of … Continue reading

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“Did clocks even have minute hands in 12th C France?”

As you may remember from my original post on the oddities of tennis scoring, Billie Jean King believes that the reason tennis is scored Love-15-30-40 may have been because the clock hanging over the indoor tennis court was the handiest tool … Continue reading

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“What was the significance of the number 4 in medieval France?”

That tennis post I did last week keeps generating questions for those of us here at Caterpickles Central.  Chasing down potential answers to them has proved surprisingly entertaining, so I thought I’d do a quick follow-up post this morning to share what we’ve … Continue reading

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“Why is tennis scoring so weird?”

The other day while driving past a neighborhood tennis court, the subject of scoring naturally came up. Everyone in the car agreed that the standard Love-15-30-40 scoring system used in tennis was pretty bizarre. Oddly specific, too, in that way … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: The Nine-Year-Old visits the Terracotta Warriors at the Field

Related Links:  More Wordless Wednesday on Caterpickles China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors (Field Museum)

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“Did the Red Baron have a dog?

One of the side effects of The Nine-Year-Old’s computer classes at school has been that suddenly I have competition for the computer in the office. The Nine-Year-Old is proving extremely adept at using Google to find images* for her Powerpoint bulletins about … Continue reading

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