Horses: Humanity’s First Technology

Bonus — alcoholic milk dispenser!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever considered the origination of horseback riding? At some point in history, humans and horses existed separately on the planet and didn’t have a single thing to do with each other. Now — we’re atop their backs forcing them to do silly footwork in dressage and jumping hurdles for no good reason.

According to the Internet, humans started riding horses 5,500 years ago. In Kazakhstan. Where, interestingly, locals apparently consume horse milk, fermented until it’s mildly alcoholic. Now that’s a milk that’ll help put your kids to sleep at night!

So, this first rider, in the fourth millennium B.C., gazed upon a horse and thought to himself: “I should put my body on top of that creature’s body.”

He figured out a way to capture the horse, and then, because he was the original horse whisperer, convinced that horse to do his bidding, which was to take him to the grocery store post haste so that he didn’t have to schlep food home in a reusable animal pelt bag slung over his shoulder anymore.

Now he had a horse he could measure with his hands. This steed is 15 hands high! Not too mathematically sound, since everyone has different sized hands, but such as it is. Because the horse was our first vehicle, we measure car strength in “horsepower,” despite it being an embarrassingly obsolete comparison.

The horse doesn’t want us on its back. It resents our lazy and imposing ways. No one belongs on anyone else’s back unless it’s a koala or monkey baby clinging to its mother. Or when a human voluntarily carries another. But the horse never volunteered for this job.

How do I know this? Because they toss us off whenever they get the chance. I climbed onto a horse when I was a teenager, and he nonchalantly reared up, dumping me into a blackberry bush. Message received loud and clear, Mister Ed!

I say, we let ’em all go. Let ’em run wild. We’ll just tap them like kegs anytime we need a good dose of alcoholic milk.

The Real Lowdown on Napoleon

A totally 2% true history

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Contrary to popular opinion, it wasn’t Buddha or some other yogi that came up with the idea of mindfulness. It was none other than Monsieur Napoleon Bonaparte.

People say he was short. He wasn’t. He was of average height, around 5’6″ says the Internet. Some think he was crazy. Not so, according to my cursory research. And you know how he kept his hand tucked inside his lapel like a weirdo? He was stroking the One Ring to Rule Them All, stored in his watch pocket!

Perhaps the most important thing to know about this historical figure is that he was all about mindfulness. Before battle, he could be found strolling through his garden.

Someone once asked him, “Monsieur, aren’t you nervous? You’re soon to be in mild peril!”

“No!” replied Napoleon. “Smell the fragrant flowers, feel the sunshine beaming down upon us. I live…in the moment!”

Then that other person practiced living in the moment as well. 

“Hey, you’re really onto something!” he said, when his buzzing thoughts and worries disappeared.

“Yes, it is called mindfulness,” said Napoleon. “Tell all your friends. It’s the next big thing!”

And so that other fellow went on to regularly post photos of himself in a mindful state on Instagram. He attracted millions of followers, and the rest of us soon caught on that multitasking is the root of all evil, haste makes waste, and it is perfectly acceptable to wear black yoga pants to coronations and funerals.

The Arc of Joan’s Journey

A brief and somewhat accurate history lesson


In the 1400’s, teenaged Joan of Arc went before her king. 

“Your majesty, I’ve had visions,” she said. “I’m going to lead our troops to victory and secure your throne.” 

“Yes, yes,” said the king. “But tell me, Joan – are you a virgin?” 

“Yes, your majesty, I am.” 

And so, a determined Joan set off to cut her hair under a bowl as the men of her time did and donned men’s clothing. She went into battle with the soldiers. But the authorities, suspicious that Joan was just using this “divine vision” excuse as a means of getting around with hot soldiers, were oddly preoccupied with her sexual activities. 

After the first victory Joan reported back: “Your majesty, we’ve taken the East. Success is upon us!” 

“Yes, but are you still a virgin, Joan?” 

Next victory: “Your majesty, we’ve taken the North. Success is ours!” 

“Yes, but are you still a virgin, Joan?” 

It was said that Joan blended in with the soldiers so well they didn’t view her as a sexual conquest. But no one believed her. This poor young woman was forced to undergo the world’s first OBGYN appointment to confirm that her nether regions were in fact untouched.  

Here she was going into battle – a teenager, putting herself in harm’s way – for the good of her people. What did it matter what she did in bed? 

After Joan accomplished everything she had promised, she was put to death for heresy. 

“You can’t just go running around claiming to have visions. Even when those visions are accurate!” said the authorities. “Plus – we’re pretty sure you’ve been sleeping with those hot soldiers.”