Maps that Explain …

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.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2015. Maps that Explain ..., Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Intelligence Squared: The Killer Apps of Western Civilization

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.

The Intelligence2 podcast, recommended by Mr. Schmidt, is a great resource for talks like this one. They have a nice archive.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2014. Intelligence Squared: The Killer Apps of Western Civilization, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Global Shipping Patterns Then and Now

January 3, 2014

Ships tracks in black, plotted on a white background, show the outlines of the continents and the predominant tracks on the trade winds.  Image and caption from Sapping Attention.

Ships tracks in black, plotted on a white background, show the outlines of the continents and the predominant tracks on the trade winds. Image and caption from Sapping Attention.

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.

This map shows the frequency of shipping traffic along shipping routes around the world, ranging from low (blue) to high (red). Image and caption from SeaWeb.

This map shows the frequency of shipping traffic along shipping routes around the world, ranging from low (blue) to high (red). Image and caption from SeaWeb.

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.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2014. Global Shipping Patterns Then and Now, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Suffrage in the U.S.A.

November 22, 2012

Go back in time and see who would have won the last presidential election. BuzzFeed has an excellent set of maps showing who would have won the election if voting was restricted as it was in the past.

2012: The actual voting map. (Image from BuzzFeed).

1970: Adults over 24 years old (before the voting age was lowered to 18). (Image from BuzzFeed).

1920: Women’s sufferage. Only white voters (men and women). (Image from BuzzFeed).

1870: Only men can vote. (Image from BuzzFeed).

1850: When only white men could vote. (Image from BuzzFeed).

The video below gives a quick history of when voting rights were extended to different demographic groups.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Suffrage in the U.S.A., Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Making Tea

August 25, 2012

I was talking to Mr. E., one of the upper school history/geography teachers about the historical significance of tea. Then I ran into this: Alan Rickman makes a cup of tea (by David Michalek). Observe the awesome teacup.

Portraits in Dramatic Time (Alan Rickman) from Moving Portrait on Vimeo.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Making Tea, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

The History of the City of London

July 25, 2012

The historical reverberations of a wall built by the Romans 2000 years ago are still very real today in the history of the City of London.

CGPGrey The Dish

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. The History of the City of London, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Timeline of American (U.S.) Political Parties

July 21, 2012

Political party timeline. Via Mapping the Nation.

Susan Schulten of the website Mapping the Nation has found a wonderful timeline showing the evolution of early U.S. political parties.

The Dish.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Timeline of American (U.S.) Political Parties, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Alexandria to Constantinople: Traveling the Roman World

May 24, 2012

Say I wanted to get from Alexandria, Egypt, to Constantinople, I don’t trust boats, and it’s 1800 years ago. Well, instead of mapping it with Google I’d have to use ORBIS instead. ORBIS tells me that it would take two and a half months and cost me 3000 denarii (about $30,000).

Route from Alexandria to Constantinopolis during the time of the Roman Empire (about 200CE). Map by ORBIS.

Which seems like a bit much. But, since I absolutely have to get to the capital, I think I’ll price out a coastal boat route. That reduces the price by 80%, and the time to three weeks.

If I was really cheap, and was willing to risk the open Mediterranean, the time could be chopped down to less than two weeks, at a cost of only 374 denarii.

In ORBIS, Walter Scheidel and Elijah Meeks have created a fascinating resource for the study of the geography and history of Roman civilization.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2012. Alexandria to Constantinople: Traveling the Roman World, Retrieved November 20th, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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