Who Discovered Salt?

Salt is white, pink or grey in colour and is in the form of a crystalline mineral. A small amount of it is necessary for the human diet, but it is harmful in large amounts. Salt is a compound made up of two elements, sodium and chloride and each of these play an important role for human health. 

The history of the relationship between salt and man started with animals that created paths whilst looking for salt, people followed these paths and they eventually became roads. Settlements grew along these roads, but as the Human diet shifted from salty game to grain, more salt was needed to supplement the diet and so more innovative methods for obtaining salt originated.

Salt Cultivation And Production

Salt has been used generally as a food preservative and more often as a meat preservative for thousands of years. There is evidence of salted birds and fish in the tombs of Ancient Egyptians at least four thousand years ago, but it is presumed it goes back much further than this. Human salt cultivation is truly ancient!

In the Neolithic Age, the Dawenkou culture in northern China had extracted salt from underground brine deposits and used it as a food supplement. Salt was also extracted in the modern Chinese province of Shanxi, which with more than 1.5 million inhabitants has one of the largest salt reserves in the world. The salt was extracted from the lake bed, a process sometimes called drag-gathering.

The earliest evidence of salt production comes from northern China, where people extracted salt from a salt lake called Lake Yuncheng, around 6000 BC, or perhaps even earlier! Around 4500 BC, rock salt was mined underground and salt was an important part of the many battles that were fought between the people of the Dawenkou culture and their enemies, such as the Qin Dynasty. Scientists have also discovered that the Ancient people of Cucuteni in Eastern Europe had been boiling the salted water from a spring in order to get salt in the year 6050 B.C.

Salt as a commodity

The Egyptians began to trade salt in the form of salted fish with other Middle Eastern societies such as the Phoenicians around 2800 BC. Written records also describe the production and trade of sea salt from China, but it is unknown exactly when salt became a commodity. The earliest records of exchange of salt for grain dates back to the Middle Ages, when desert and savanna people tried to gain access to what they could not produce themselves. The Egyptians were bartering salted fish with some products from the Phoenicians in the year 2800 B.C.

In the year 800 B.C. the Ancient Greek and Ancient Romans were trading salt for wine. Salt was also used as a currency by the Romans. The Roman soldiers monthly allowance was called “salarium” (“sal” being the Latin word for salt). This Latin root can be recognized in the French word “salaire” — and it eventually made it into the English language as the word “salary.”

In 252 BC, Li Bing, ordered the drilling of the first brine wells, and innovators like Yi Dun, boiled brine to distill salt and it is still the most valuable salt in the world today. Modern production methods that boil brine can evaporate up to 1,000 times more salt than could originally be evaporated in a single day. In the Middle Ages it was mined in shafts stretching for kilometres, often at depths of up to 500 metres.

When Marco Polo returned from Cathay for the first time in 1295, he delighted the Doge with a salt coin bearing the seal of the great Khan. Venice’s glittering wealth was so great that the Venetians traded everyday salt for spices from Asia to Constantinople, and people sold salt as far away as Japan and South Korea, and the Middle East. Moorish traders in the Middle East traded salt for gold, as well as salt and spices from Asia to Europe and even from Africa to America.

The inhospitable Sahara desert is the largest source of rock salt, which is obtained from surface deposits caused by the drying out process, or from rocks in relatively shallow mines where salt naturally forms into plates. The salt is creamy grey and similar to the salt found in ancient seabed and salt cakes found in the United States.

Salt in modern times

The refining of salt (table salt) is purifying, improving of sea salt, and recrystallizing the salt. The manufacture of table salt also involves adding iodine, iron and fluoride which are available in the unrefined salt but not in the sufficient amounts for human health.

Salt production

Salt manufacturing is here to stay and although it plays a less important part in our modern lives, it is safe to say that salt has played an important role in shaping and defining Human culture and societies from some of the earliest times recorded. 

Salt (Sodium Chloride) is a mineral that is suffused throughout the geology of planet Earth. Being highly soluble in water, salt is leached out of the rocks and ends up in salty sea water. Between mined salt & sea salt, it’s unlikely that this mineral resource will run out, so you can be assured that your favourite recipes will still taste as great as they always have done!

American inventor launches music gear company with revolutionary goals

A start-up music gear company from Missouri says the launch of their first product will begin a transformation for the music industry that is akin to the switch from landlines to smartphones. cameron eaton and the rockdolly inventionTheir big aspirations include manufacturing not just their all-in-one wireless speaker systems for bands and DJs, but also a host of unique instruments that have integrated wireless connectivity.

Their all-in-one solution for musicians is the RockDolly. The RockDolly acts as the guitar amplifier, bass amplifier, pa-system, wireless mic and instrument hub, and mixer for live music production. As the name suggests, all of this equipment is arranged neatly in brightly colored boxes and has recessed casters and handles much like a dolly or hand cart.

Cameron Eaton, the inventor and designer behind RockDolly Equipment, says he has other inventions in the fields of energy and transportation that can not yet be discussed. Right now he is devoting most of his efforts to launching the RockDolly. He thinks that he can leverage this commercially popular product, and the revenue from it, into a research and development company that can pursue the other projects. Right now, that means all efforts are going towards this musical endeavor.

He says that his company isn’t just looking into wireless guitars and basses though. They have plans to build wireless chime drums, theremins, even a never before conceived electric hurdy-gurdy. His vision for the company involves what some consider to be a re-invention of the wheel, drawing criticism from competitors who say that no revolution is necessary. Right now, the company is far from those lofty goals. Their first product launch is expected next month through a Kickstarter campaign where they will unveil their latest design and plan to sell a limited number of units.

When asked about the relatively low number of units (200) available for a product launch, Eaton said that his small team of carpenters and circuit-builders can only handle so many orders each month, and will need time to scale up. He wants to manufacture all of the RockDolly units and instruments in the United States, a tricky proposal, even while the climate is starting to lean towards American manufacturing.

Eaton patented his design and believes his company can raise enough capital in their Kickstarter launch to both scale up manufacturing, and begin hiring the engineers he says he needs to bring the company to the next level. Will the company attain their goal of “music industry revolution”? Until we see how well their Kickstarter performs, your guess is as good as ours. More information at www.rockdollyequipment.com

Why using chemicals while you can kill the bugs with a gun

SKELL INC. is a start up company founded by the artist Lorenzo Maggiore as a vehicle to bring his creations to commercial life. SKELL INC. is constantly in the process of developing other interesting products in the near future on other planets.

The initial product offering of SKELL INC. is the BUG-A-SALT™ insect eradication device, an invention originally proto-typed all the way back in 1994. Through the help of family and friends, Lorenzo finally pulled it off in 2012 when the BUG-A-SALT launched via crowd-funding.

After working on the BUG-A-SALT for decades, in 2012, Lorenzo is “officially” granted an “Official Patent of Invention”.

In May 2012, Lorenzo created a BUG-A-SALT video telling the story of his journey.

In July 2012, the BUG-A-SALT pre-sale launched on Indiegogo.com crowd-funding site.

The BUG-A-SALT video posted on YOUTUBE and quickly went viral attracting press, bloggers, and customers worldwide.

In October 2012, The Wall Street Journal ran a front page article featuring the BUG-A-SALT and Lorenzo.

By the end of 2012, Lorenzo took orders for over 20,000 units and raised over $577,000 via pre-sales.

This is how the gun works


Rainwater’s Engine

According to Lefigaro magazine, Laurent Baltazar who sells his system for five years now,  said that the rainwater’s engine actually brings water in spray form to improve engine efficiency. The combustion process is more efficient because the combustion temperature is reduced.  The kit, which costs about 300 EUR, is to install a system for storing water in a tank and frost resistant under the hood and then inject water into the engine. The device allows a motorist to reduce from 20% to 50% fuel consumption.

The effectiveness of the system depends on “the legality of the conduct and the load of the vehicle,” the creator of the device said”. Fuel economy will thus be greater on agricultural machinery, trucks or boats because the load is heavy and steady pace.

Regarding cars, traffic on highway permit greater efficiency in town for example. The car model can also play. Thus, an owner of 306 indicates that the vehicle autonomy gain is about 300 kilometers on a full, says the motorist to 1200 km with the device where it was 900 km previously. Fill the rainwater tank every 1000 km.

Another advantage, carbon emissions are reduced with this system. “On at least 20%,” says the inventor. But again the benefits of the system depends on the vehicle. “On a car, we could measure the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere has been reduced by 70% after installing the kit.” The effectiveness of the device is greater on the most dilapidated vehicles.

Only constraint, says Laurent Baltazar, users of this system should fill the tank kit every 1000 km with rain water or demineralized water.
Moreover, term users of the system may need to replace parts inside the device, says Baltazar who explained that still the lack of hindsight to know the rate of degradation of the kit. The latter however, that “the life of the system is around 150,000 kilometers, the life of an engine.” He added that his system is legal and does not damage engines. “We have never heard that the fog damages the engines, says Baltazar.

The success of its system is growing. If fitted to around 1,000 vehicles in the first year, it aims this year around 10,000 systems sold. And a large group would have passed him a major order for catalysts of series production. Laurent Baltazar, who says to fill orders, indicates rethink its organization to fill satisfy demands.


Chip tuning is the easiest way to increase the impact on your car, with money back guarantee. Scandinavian Chiptuning wish you only as a customer if you are very pleased with their services. They therefore will give you 30 days to test both their products and use them as a supplier. You do not need a reason to return the product, unless they provide a quality services through their professional experienced team.

Enthusiasts hopes to solve space debris problem in 2016

According to a press release, the solution for the space debris issue will be a crowdfunded cubesat Mayak equipped with a special aerobraking system. The rocket Soyuz will take the satellite to the orbit in the second half of 2016.

Space debris is natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles orbiting the Earth. Most decommissioned satellites become space junk for years and decades, preventing usage of orbits for commercial and governmental projects. Spacecrafts on low Earth orbit are affected by low-density atmosphere and slowly are running out of altitude.

Typical decay time for a 600 km (373 mi) orbit is years. On-board rocket engines can be used to speed up the process, but it is an unreliable and expensive solution.

Mayak will conduct orbital tests of deployable aerobraking device which will allow to significantly rise spacecraft drag and speed up decay. Aerobraking will allow to lower Mayak’s orbital time from year to just one month.

As the Mayak project is implemented by enthusiasts via crowdfunding, all project data (3D models, drawings, electrical schemes, source code, test programs and test results) will be published for open access.

Mayak has collected approx. $33 000 for testing via two Russian crowdfunding campaigns in 2014 and 2016. Roscosmos has authorized project access to the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle in summer-2016 as a part of the Kanopus-V-IK launch campaign.

The Mayak team started a new campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for manufacturing of a production unit.

Photos and videos are available here.

How to get the best Wi-Fi signal in your house

It’s hard to underestimate how fundamental Wi-Fi is to so many of us these days. Whether we’re watching movies on Netflix, streaming music on Spotify, or downloading every science paper on the web for free, that signal in your home is what keeps us connected to the all-knowing, all-seeing Internet. Yeah, there’s mobile data too, but it can’t compete with home broadband for value when it comes to heavy, ongoing data consumption.

Which is why it’s kind of funny that so many of us take for granted where we place our Wi-Fi router in our homes. After all, you’re paying for that fast data connection to travel a pretty significant distance to your house or apartment, so it’s silly to throw the maximal quality and speed of the signal away because you unwittingly chucked your little digibox in an inopportune location after unboxing it.

It might be common sense to some, but as April Glaser writes at Wired, it’s helpful to think of your Wi-Fi router’s signal strength in terms of its radius of broadcast. That signal extends out in every direction from the router, meaning you should ideally place the device in a central location in your home. Otherwise, if you store it up one end of your pad, you’re really just handing over your quality coverage area to your neighbour, your garden, or the street out front.

Of course, depending on your home and where the phone/data ports in your house are located, that could be easier said than done. The solution then is to consider running some Ethernet cable – which you can buy in some pretty crazy-long lengths – to your router, letting you place it pretty much anywhere in your home you want. (It’s worth noting that connecting your PC or Mac to your router directly via Ethernet will also ensure a faster connection than what Wi-Fi allows.)

As Wired points out, the same principle applies to multiple storeys. If you can place the router as close to the vertical middle of your home, that could improve the signal’s reach overall.

Another thing to bear in mind is walls. Any solid structure can impede Wi-Fi signals, and while the technology can impressively permeate things like walls some of the time, they’ll still have an impact on the signal.

Because of this, place your router in as open a location as possible, away from brick or concrete walls if you can – and similarly avoid the floor, which will block in part any Wi-Fi waves directed downwards.

As we’ve mentioned before, other electronics in your home can interfere with the frequency of your Wi-Fi too, so try to keep your router away from things like TVs, microwaves, cordless phones, and any other kinds of devices that broadcast wireless signals as part of their regular operation.

Don’t forget about your router’s antenna either. Not all router models include an external antenna you can manipulate, but if yours does have one – by all means, manipulate it! Seriously, the angle and direction of your router’s antenna will have an impact on the way it broadcasts radio waves, and it could make a noticeable difference in your home.

Which brings us to our last point. When you’re playing around with Wi-Fi, it’s a good idea to bring a little scientific measurement into the equation. There are plenty of apps and websites that help you measure the download and upload speed of the device you’re currently using, so when you’re trying a new router placement or configuration, take the time to prove to yourself that your new setup is better than your old one – for at least the locations in your house where you’ll most often be needing good data speeds. Good luck!

Here you can get a better Wifi router if you need one.

Internet at speeds of 1Gbps by use of LED bulbs

Imagine a technology, which could connect you to the Internet at speeds of 1Gbps, by simply using LED bulbs, free from any waves with potentially harmful effects on the body.

That is precisely what Li-Fi offers. It is a technology in the development phase and is planned to be used first in businesses and then in homes.

Li-Fi, which stands for Light Fidelity, is a wireless communication technology based on the use of the light spectrum.

It sends data by switching the current to LEDs off and on at a very high rate, and is invisible to the human eye.

Safe technology

Li-Fi has many advantages, starting with the absence of radio waves, which could be harmful to health in the long term, and electromagnetic interference.

Also, the Li-Fi spectrum is around 10,000 larger than Wi-Fi’s, making it possible to connect more users together at the same time.

Furthermore, as light cannot pass through walls, there can be no automatic connection from one room to another. But it also means that piracy from outside sources becomes impossible.

In terms of speed, Li-Fi looks highly promising. It could theoretically achieve speeds of 1Gbps, which is faster than the most recent Wi-Fi standard (802.11ac).

Researchers at Oxford University in the UK have achieved speeds of 224Gbps in the lab, which is a record, but it is not likely to become the norm in homes.

In France, several Li-Fi connection experiments are currently underway, mainly in business settings led by specialist companies such as Oledcomm and Lucibel. Velmenni, an Estonian start-up, has already carried out tests in homes.

One of the preconditions for Li-Fi to become commonplace is for the whole environment (companies, public places, housing, etc.) to be equipped with LEDs and for mobile phones to have light sensors compatible with this new technology.

Rural water users can finally join the 21st century with a new monitoring device

No more running out of water and definitely no more checking water levels in minus 40 degree weather!  An electronics team in Wainfleet, ON from ParemTech have developed a cloud-based water level monitor, the ptlevel, allowing rural water users with a cistern or well to remotely monitor their water levels.  And more, the device has built in low-level alert features by text and email so you’ll never run dry again.

ptelvel-installWhat really brings this device to life is it’s high-tech, yet user-friendly, interface and platform.  First of all it is the easiest way around to view your water level.  And second, the technology and programming of the ptlevel displays surrounding water delivery companies.  This enables super easy water ordering and allows water delivery companies the ability to advertise to their local customers.  Another unique feature of this interface that is not available anywhere else is “water level history”.  And more than just past level history, soon it can even predict when you will run out of water!

Installation of the ptlevel can be completed by a certified installer (by a certified ptlevel installer), or can be installed by the purchaser by following simple instructions (drop a line, plug it in, set-up an account!).  The product has only been widely available for 4 weeks but the initial response has been huge.  “We’ve already shipped our first wholesale order more than half-way across the country and we’ve sent out another local wholesale order just today” says Mike VandeBeld, Chief Developer at ParemTech.

ptelvel-picture-6During initial test stages and needs analyses the team found there were many people who had developed their own monitoring systems whether it be a long stick or pole, “eye-balling it”, or even low-technology float switches.  The problem is, there is still no way to be directly alerted when the level is low and there is a risk of running out of water.  With the new ptlevel users can check the level from anywhere, anytime and are alerted to their phone or email; ordering water can even be automatic if they’ve shared their level with their local supplier.

The ptlevel has been long awaited for many rural water users.  ParemTech is also working on a top-secret product right now to be ready for 2016.  The product launch will shape the landscape of the way many country-living residents do life.  The technology is still hush-hush though since they are in the midst of patents and research; you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what they have up their sleeves!

Follow them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Paremtech or visit their website for more details at www.ptlevel.com!

Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners, study finds

Dogs do not like people who are mean to their owners, Japanese researchers said Friday, and will refuse food offered by people who have snubbed their master.

Source: Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners, study finds

angry dog photo

The findings reveal that canines have the capacity to co-operate socially—a characteristic found in a relatively small number of species, including humans and some other primates.

Researchers led by Kazuo Fujita, a professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University, tested three groups of 18 dogs using role plays in which their owners needed to open a box.

In all three groups, the owner was accompanied by two people whom the dog did not know.
In the first group, the owner sought assistance from one of the other people, who actively refused to help.
In the second group, the owner asked for, and received, help from one person. In both groups, the third person was neutral and not involved in either helping or refusing to help.
Neither person interacted with the dog’s owner in the control—third—group.

After watching the box-opening scene, the dog was offered food by the two unfamiliar people in the room.
Dogs that saw their owner being rebuffed were far more likely to choose food from the neutral observer, and to ignore the offer from the person who had refused to help, Fujita said.

Dogs whose owners were helped and dogs whose owners did not interact with either person showed no marked preference for accepting snacks from the strangers.

“We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest,” Fujita said.

If the dogs were acting solely out of self-interest, there would be no differences among the groups, and a roughly equal number of animals would have accepted food from each person.

“This ability is one of key factors in building a highly collaborative society, and this study shows that dogs share that ability with humans,” he said.

The trait is present in children from the age of about three, the research papers said.

Interestingly, noted Fujita, not all primates demonstrate this behaviour.

“There is a similar study that showed tufted capuchins (a monkey native to South America) have this ability, but there is no evidence that chimpanzees demonstrate a preference unless there is a direct benefit to them,” he told AFP.
The study will appear in the science journal Animal Behaviour to be published later this month by Elsevier, he said.

A camera has successfully been powered using spare Wi-Fi signals

Researchers in the US have tweaked a regular Wi-Fi router and made it capable of continuously powering a battery-free surveillance camera. Even better, their work didn’t interfere with the router’s data transfer speeds.

The breakthrough could help researchers overcome one of the main challenges when it comes to the development of new technology – including the Internet of Things, which aims to put a chip inside all our household appliances and bring them online: how do we keep everything powered up without lots of cords?

Researchers have long known that the electromagnetic waves broadcast by Wi-Fi routers could be harnessed for energy as well as sending information, but the challenge was finding a way to do this reliably and continuously. A team from the University of Washington in the US has now accomplished this by simply changing the way a router broadcasts. They’re calling their new approach ‘power over Wi-Fi’ or PoWi-Fi.

“The ability to deliver power wirelessly to a wide range of autonomous devices and sensors is hugely significant,” writes MIT’s Technology Review. “PoWi-Fi could be the enabling technology that finally brings the Internet of Things to life.”

In the past, scientists have never been able to harness enough Wi-Fi signals to power anything of much use. But the team’s big break came when they attached a simple antenna to a temperature sensor in order to see how much power they could get from a nearby router.

They found that the resulting voltages produced by the Wi-Fi signals were never high enough to cross the operating threshold of around 300 millivolts. But they often came close.

The problem, they realised, was that Wi-Fi routers don’t continuously blast out electromagnetic waves, they send them out on a single channel in bursts. But by programming a router to broadcast noise across a range of Wi-Fi channels even when it wasn’t transmitting information, they were able to pump out enough signals that their antenna could then use to provide continuous power to electronic devices.

Using their prototype, the team managed to show for the first time that they could not only run battery-free temperature and camera sensors using Wi-Fi signals from a distance of six and five metres respectively, they also proved that they could charge a range of coin-cell batteries at distances of up to nine metres.

They then took their system into six metropolitan homes to show that the set-up worked in real life, and didn’t interfere with data transfer speeds. The results are published over at arXiv.org.

The question that needs to be answered now is how these routers interfere with other signals in the area. “Having a router next door that is blasting out signals on three Wi-Fi channels might not be everybody’s idea of neighbourly behaviour,” writes MIT’s Technology Review. “It is worth pointing out, however, that if this kind of interference turns out to be a problem for current routers, it is one that could be solved in future generations.”

The next step is further testing on these routers under a range of different conditions to make sure they really can help to provide us with regular power for our devices while we browse the Internet. And if that’s the case, then it could seriously change the way we power up our homes. We can’t wait.

Source: A camera has successfully been powered using spare Wi-Fi signals – ScienceAlert