Questioning Reality is an occasional series and is a complete work of fiction.
The views contained herein are nothing whatsoever to do with the author, and instead are based on the views of the character ‘Thom’. Thom is a fifty-year-old gardener who likes talking to begonias. Although, she may be a twenty-eight-year-old secretary who sings spiders to sleep. Or perhaps he’s a 25 year old panel beater who likes the history of Queen Nefertiti.
Names, where necessary, have been changed, but also where necessary, they haven’t.
Historians used to think the world is flat. Not modern historians, I hasten to add, but history’s historians. I don’t think they had time in those days, although they may have used the occasional sundial. Even though the world curved around in front of them, and they were surrounded by hilly hills, they were still of the impression the world was flat. Nothing anybody said to them to convince them otherwise changed their opinion, and fruit and vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and apples hadn’t been invented yet.
They were probably around back then, in history, but went by a multitude of different names. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1600s when a historical figure by the name of John Ray (sometimes Wray) began a vast classification project of plants and animals that existence began to take on a more structured look. From these yellowed pages, onions eventually became a vegetable and tomatoes a fruit. Presumably, before this classification exercise, they were probably known as ‘weepy thing’ or ‘squishy thing’.
Tomatoes may or may not have been red at that time. As the previously mentioned classification project was starting to take place, Isaac Newton, another historical figure, was discovering colour. Back then, red was the most light colour, and blue most dark. Or least light. You see, Isaac was working on light at the time and discovered the spectrum.
Also at the same time, research was beginning into electricity. Electricity had been a myth for thousands of years before this, even back to the times of Ancient Greece and before. Folk were regularly receiving shocks from creatures such as electric fish, or static shocks from stroking cats, but they had no idea what the effect was and put it to the backs of their minds. William Gilbert, yet another of history’s figures, wrote about a magnet in the early 1600s, and came up with the word electricus at the same time due to receiving a static shock after rubbing a piece of amber. (The Greek word for amber back then was ‘elektron’). Electricity now had a name, several years before fruits, vegetables and spectra came into existence.
Many years after the introduction of electricity into mainstream reality, James Watt (yes, another historical chap) discovered horsepower, nowadays shortened to power. The Watt was named after him. Power, in fact, is the rate of work over time, and it certainly took a lot of time for power to come into existence. Incidentally, James Watt wasn’t really looking into electricity, but steam engines.
The historical fruit, tomatoes, are a source of electricity – especially damaged ones. Lycopene, which is the red colouring in tomatoes and other fruit and vegetables, helps with the generation of electrical charges. The charge is only small, however, only 0.3 watts per ten milligrams of tomato waste, but it’s a start.
From a flat world to a flat tomato the world has come a long way.
The connections between everything in existence are quite remarkable, when you stop and take a look.
Next time: We may look at the invention of time.