Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

Everyday puzzles

by : 
KatB

Humans have been, historically speaking, astonishingly ignorant. Not until comparatively recently did we realise that our small blue and green planet is, in fact, round and not flat. Knowledge was the preserve of the elite, much of which was in fact based on superstition and educated guesswork.

Luckily, the scientists of the 15th and 16th century Renaissance dragged mankind - kicking and screaming and clutching to its superstitious ways - out of the Dark Ages. During the eighteenth century, a period known now as the Enlightenment, many political and philosophical revolutionaries challenged existing social systems. And then, in the twentieth century, civil rights movements shocked the world into recognising gender and racial equality as a right, rather than a privilege.

Great minds will always challenge the status quo. Scientists, philosophers, explorers and avant-garde artists: they all contribute to the progress of mankind. They are constantly searching for answers to the really big questions, such as if there could be life on other planets, or if there is a God. 

We normal folk, however, face our own set of unanswerable everyday mysteries. A set of nagging puzzles life likes to throw at us now and again, if you will. You know what I mean - like why does it only rain when I have forgotten my umbrella? Or why is the traffic always worse when I am already late? Why is Justin Bieber famous? And why do my house keys insist on running away from me? I’m sure I left them in my bag …

If anyone has the answer to any of these unanswerable everyday mysteries, please let me know (particularly the last one)!

Discussion
What is your favourite period of history? What would you like to know the answer to?