Ideas at Home

Posted by Roger

I just completed Bill Bryson’s latest book: At Home: A Short History of Private Life.

I have read most of his work and enjoy his whit and humor. His attention to detail and fact finding is terrific. I recommend Baby Boomers start with The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I laughed out loud in portions remembering doing some of the exact things he references in the book.

In At Home, he takes us through his house and describes the history of each room with great detail and in unexpected ways. He touches on those things that impact the life we live and enjoy today.

I am fascinated with the inventions, ideas and people who changed the world. He offers up many things I didn’t know or even think about. So, for the next few months, I'm going to highlight some of the most fascinating things I took away from this book. In no way will it replace reading it...you should still do that. But, I hope these little tidbits will interest you just like they did me...

Lets start with corn. That’s right, corn.

Without this staple we would have no corn dogs, popcorn balls, corn fritters, creamed corn or corn on the cob. Not to mention soft drinks, chewing gum, ice cream, peanut butter, paint, gunpowder, insecticides or bio-fuels.

The amazing thing about corn is that it was engineered by the Mesoamericans. They created the first engineered plant. Corn depends on us for survival. Had people not been continually caring for it, it would be extinct.

So when we think of big ideas, not many are more important than an ear of corn. There is no more significant plant on earth. Pretty good idea.

More to come.


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