The 100th anniversary of the assassination that touched off World War I was this past weekend.
In memoriam, The Wall Street Journal put together a multimedia site with 100 posts on things that were influenced by World War I.
I spent about an hour on this site. The “Words and Phrases” post got my attention first with “binge”, and “cushy”, and “swipe”, and “souvenir” (although, somehow or other I already knew that “dud” dated from World War I).
But I didn’t know how important the war was to Canada’s conception as a nation.
Nor did I know that this is when condoms were first routinely distributed.
Or that the popularity of wristwatches was due to the amount of stuff soldiers had to carry in their pockets.
How about blood transfusions — first done on a large scale late in the war.
I liked the post “Telecommunications”, although they should have titled it differently: it was mostly about the creation of lines that couldn’t be tapped.
Plastic surgery? With a photo of an early case!
Ring cakes (aka Bundt) are popular in Japan because a German baker from their colonies in China was interred there, and decided to open a bakery in Yokohama? Get out!
Flappers? Hospital scrubs? Hand grenades? Dada? Expressionism? Stainless steel? Sugar from Cuba? Sun lamps? Dry champagne?
Did you know that the poem features poppies because they grow better than other plants in disturbed soil?
And there was lots of stuff I did know about, that was still fun to review for different perspectives: machine guns, tanks, air combat, falling empires and monarchies, the rise of the U.S., migration from the South, chemical weapons (one of my grandfathers survived a gas attack that killed the buddies on either side of him), and so on.