Jan 24, 2006

Dubious firsts

Nathan on China's claim that it invented skiing, and discovered America.
One wonders if the Chinese scientific community will one day discover a long lost “original” copy of the Old Testament in China that begins, “In the beginning the Chinese created the heaven and the earth.” It makes about as much sense as the claim that a 10,000+ year old cave painting proves that a state that didn’t exist for another 8,000 years or an ethnic group that wasn’t a majority in that neck of the woods until very recently can claim to have invented skiing.
All of this reminds me of a movie I saw as a kid with my parents about Marco Polo--it may have been this one.

Anyway, we were on vacation in Florida at the time and we're all watching this movie. Marco Polo happens upon some Chinese peasants who invite him in for a meal. They present him with this long stringy stuff and Marco is amazed and excited. "This is one of the dishes of our people," says someone. "We call it spaghett."

I swear to you that I remember this. I also remember all of us saying for the rest of the week: "We call it spaghett."

In any event, I think the Chinese really did invent spaghett.

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