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How History Might Have Been Different...With Mats

And now for something completely different...

In the 9th and 10th centuries, a new form of music began evolving. It was characterized by monophonic melodies, bereft of harmony, and in the simplest of forms. It became the sacred music of the Roman Catholic Church, due in large part to its development by Catholic monks. However, had the monks' knees been spared the hours of prayer on cold, hard stone floors, say, with a little 3/8" foam padding beneath them, it is likely that Gregorian Chant today would sound less like structured moaning and more like, I don't know, maybe - The Nylons?

We all know the story associated with Isaac Newton's "discovery" of gravity. He's lounging around beneath an apple tree, a piece of fruit falls off, hits him on the head, and shortly thereafter we have the theory of gravity. Had Sir Isaac been resting instead on an outdoor patio laid with colorful, interlocking foam mats, in all likelihood he would have been so comfortable, that he would have slept through the apple's plunge to the earth. It wouldn't have been for several years, in a heated debate with his friend John Locke, that a bookshelf would be bumped, dislodging a tchotchke, and sending it plummeting onto Locke's head, that Newton would have articulated his thoughts about gravitational pull. And the symbol history would have had to use to talk about gravity wouldn't have been an apple, but perhaps a small ceramic monkey wearing a lei and grass skirt, smoking a cigar.

And finally, the expansion of the European empires. Never happened. Nope - Ferdinand and Isabella were quite content in their castle in Spain, carpeted as it was in royal red carpet top foam mats. And George III? He did think about conquering the lands to the west, but when it came right down to it, he really preferred fencing practice on his Tatami-finished martial arts mats where he couldn't get hurt and where he would always have plenty of tea.

Happy Friday :-)


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