This interim focuses on our global community. As a result, one of our Chinese students gave a lesson on a traditional dance. I think I made a good start at learning the twirls, but we did not have time to get to the jumps.
Entries Categorized as 'Social World'
March 11, 2015
March 10, 2015
Vox does some great articles using maps to explain things like World War II (which is always a popular middle/high school topic for history papers). What the site does best, is that it accompanies each map with an explanation of what was going on. This results in a set of really interesting vignettes that stoke the curiosity bunkers.
August 30, 2014
Randal T. Olson compares the sources of the petroleum the U.S.A. uses, to where people believe the oil comes from.
While Canada is our major supplier of oil, Americans tend to believe that the oil comes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
March 26, 2014
An interesting satire of those generic branding ads that should be useful when studying propaganda and advertising.
March 6, 2014
Naill Ferguson gives a provocative talk about his thesis that there are six “Killer Apps” that made western civilization so successful over the last five centuries.
The killer apps he suggests are:
- Political and economic competition
- The scientific method
- Property rights (linked to voting)
- Modern Medicine
- Consumer based economies
- Protestant work ethic
There’s a PBS series about it as well.
January 3, 2014
For an interesting historical contrast — that highlights the change from wind to engine powered ships and the opening of the Panama and Suez canals — above is Ben Schmidt’s image created from the log books of U.S. ships in the 19th century, while below is a figure by Ben Halpern showing modern shipping patterns.
The first image also clearly shows the triangular trade routes between the Americas, Europe and Africa.
Schmidt also has some wonderful videos showing, among other things, the routes of whaling ships that are pushed farther and farther out as they drive whale populations toward extinction.
September 12, 2013
A 2011 article from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration linked recent severe droughts in the Mediterranean to anthropogenic climate change. Now Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell assert that the drought (and agricultural mismanagement) lead to the displacement of a million and a half people in Syria, which helped spark the current civil war.
- Understanding Syria: From Pre-Civil War to Post-Assad by William R. Polk: A good summary of the history and geography of Syria.
- WikiLeaks, Drought and Syria by Thomas Friedman: Cables from 2008, outline Syria’s growing recognition of the potential for civil unrest because of the drought.
- Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War — Is it One of Many Climate Wars to Come? by John Light: Another interview with Fermia about the potential for future wars.