Kathleen Cooper's previous work for The Toast can be found here. It’s a shame that we don’t often celebrate the creators of small pleasures. Creators of Big Things -- like cars, light bulbs, and antibiotics -- understandably receive a great deal of attention, but when it comes to the small events in history, we seem to suffer from collective amnesia. The origins of the first birthday party are lost in the mists of time.
Visionary philosopher Brillat-Savarin said “The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” Most of us would agree that a wonderful culinary invention would make us happier than knowing Pluto’s planetary status. What if it were the invention of a new cookie? Now we’re talking happiness. One such great invention: The Toll House Cookie™. Most cookie lovers will agree that the invention of
According to Herodotus, when Greek soldiers met the Scythians in battle, they were amazed to see Scythian women on horseback fighting alongside the men, all wearing pants and decorated armor. When they went back to Greece they immortalized those Scythian women for posterity as the legendary Amazons in their poetry and art. Painting them looking both chic and fierce, their pictures of the Amazons are some of the earliest Western artworks showing women
I The harsh sterile lights of the hospital are so bright after our mad dash through the summer night. The nurse comes out and takes us to a room and says that the Doctor will be in shortly. I didn’t know then that that is a very bad sign. “Your grandmother has died of a heart attack,” the doctor says. II We wait in the waiting room. The surgeon comes out. There is no request…