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How GPS Came to Be—and How It May Be Altering Our Brains

How GPS Came to Be—and How It May Be Altering Our Brains #eklecticaWe use GPS today to guide airplanes, ships, and tractors. It keeps tabs on sex offenders and helps find oil deposits. “GPS surveys land, and builds bridges and tunnels,” Milner writes. “GPS knows when the earth deforms; it senses the movement of tectonic plates down to less than a millimeter.” GPS can tell you how long until your Uber arrives—and even let you know if someone nearby is interested in a one-night stand.

The set of technological challenges that had to be solved to enable all of this was formidable.

The denim dictionary: Every jean style you need to know

The denim dictionary: Every jean style you need to know #eklectica
The denim world is no longer a dictatorship but a democracy. Each day you can cast your vote for whatever jean you see fit, trends be damned.

With so many varieties available, shopping for denim can be overwhelming. We’ve broken down the huge variety of today’s most popular styles to help you navigate the vast blue jeans seas, and to properly exercise your freedom of choice.

The Hidden Stories In Your Kitchen

The Hidden Stories In Your Kitchen #eklectica Look around your kitchen. Big or small, it’s probably full of gadgets and tools. We use these things daily, but we never think that hard about where they came from in the first place. Look closer, though: There are hidden stories in your kitchen. | www.eklectica.xyz #eklectica

What does the ‘i’ in iPhone really mean?

At an Apple event in 1998, Steve Jobs introduced the iMac, explaining the link between “i” and “Mac.”

Jobs followed these statements with a slide that expanded upon what else the “i” means to Apple:

  • internet 
  • individual 
  • instruct 
  • inform 
  • inspire 
Since then, the “i” has moved beyond its Internet-centric meaning; Apple probably didn’t have the Internet in mind when naming the original iPod.

The Invention of Pad Thai

The Invention of Pad Thai #eklectica
Phibunsongkhram, better known as Phibun in Western historical accounts, had played a prominent role as a military officer in a coup that stripped Thailand’s monarchy of its absolute powers, and in 1938, he became prime minister.

Thailand, which was then known as Siam, had never been colonized, but it was surrounded by French and British colonies. Siam was also an ethnically diverse country with strong regional identities. Worried about his country’s independence, disintegration, and, most of all, support for his rule, Phibun decided to transform the country’s culture and identity.

Phibun passed 12 Cultural Mandates (which included changing the name of the country to Thailand) exhorting the Siamese people to be productive, well-mannered, and proud of their country.

As part of his campaign, Phibun ordered the creation of a new national dish: pad Thai.

The exact origins of pad Thai remain contested. According to some accounts, Phibun announced a competition to create a new, national dish. Phibun’s son, however, says that his family cooked the dish before Phibun made it government policy, although he does not remember who invented it.

Either way, the dish’s roots are Chinese. Its full name is kway teow phat Thai. Kway teow means rice noodles in a Chinese dialect, and the entire name means stir-fried rice noodles Thai-style. Noodles and stir-frying are very Chinese, and immigration likely brought the practice to Siam. Flavors like tamarind, palm sugar, and chilies were the Thai twists.

By releasing a pad Thai recipe and promoting it, Phibun turned one potential take on stir-fried noodles into a national dish – a uniquely Thai dish which would help to unify the country.

A Gentleman’s Guide to Linen

A Gentleman’s Guide to Linen | eklectica.xyz
Linen shirts have long been a summer staple. Not to be confused with its denser, denim-like cousin chambray (so 2014), linen is made solely from the fibers of the flax plant. The name comes from the Latin word for the plant, linum, and it’s correspondingly one of the earliest man-made fabrics. 36,000-year-old linen fibers were discovered in Georgia in 2009. Ancient priests wore it and pharaohs were buried in it.

Lately, linen is simply part of the palette of global fashion, as easy to encounter on the streets of Istanbul as Williamsburg.