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Posts Tagged ‘curve ball’

t-rex dinosaur fossil

Tang Dynasty. A Chinese emperor in Chang’an, fearing death, commissions alchemists to create an elixir of immortality. Sulphur, saltpeter, and charcoal are combined to form “fire medicine.” While not granting eternal life, fire medicine is found to be a useful fumigant to kill insects before its martial potential becomes clear. Gunpowder is born. Under constant threat of invasion, especially by Mongols to the north, the Chinese create gunpowder weapons: the gun, cannon, flamethrower, rocket, multi-stage rocket, bomb, land mine, and eventually, the machine gun. The serendipitous discovery of gunpowder is hailed as one of the “Four Great Inventions,” ushering in the age of “hot” warfare.

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