Friday, August 29, 2014

Agricultural Revolution

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." The advent of agriculture is the single most significant event in human history. Without agriculture, none of what we take for granted today would be possible—the good, the bad or the ugly. Agriculture, the domestication of animals and plants, allowed a chain of events to occur that catapulted culture into "civilization." By choosing to follow the path created by agriculture, humanity, while tapping into its vast, but until then latent, talents moved from individual self sufficiency ten thousand years ago to at best regional and at worst, global self sufficiency today. But domestication is a two way street. Just think how many people dread power outages (I mean they're fun for a while, but a protracted power outage would be a real challenge). And what would happen if the grocery stores failed to open for a month? This unit will allow students to explore this period of truly revolutionary change and explore its consequences both intended and unintended. The links below offer some more insight into this pivotal time period. This site from WSU aka WaZoo is the closest to local that I've got on my site so far. It outlines the Agricultural Revolution very well and it's nice to be able to tap into experts in our own backyard. You should check it out regardless of who you root for in the Apple Cup. Also of interest is this encyclopedia-type article about the history of agriculture. It does a good job of relating the many issues relating to the development of agriculture and you can learn a lot of jargon to boot. Jared Diamond, writer of such books as Guns, Germs and Steel and Collpase, had this to say about the Agricultural Revolution.

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BBC World News

  • Hong Kong leader in protest appeal
  • Hong Kong leader CY Leung urges pro-democracy protesters to "immediately" stop their campaign, as crowds bring parts of the city to a standstill.
  • Argentina 'in contempt' of US court
  • A US judge rules that Argentina is in contempt of court for refusing to obey an order to repay the debt it owes to two US hedge funds.
  • World wildlife populations 'plummet'
  • The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, with wildlife populations halving in just 40 years, a report says.
  • IS and Iraq battle over key town
  • Iraqi ground forces, backed by air strikes, appear to have halted advancing Islamic State (IS) militants in a key town near Baghdad.
  • Intruder 'ran through' White House
  • A man arrested for breaking into the White House earlier this month gained access to more of the building than previously believed, US media report.
  • Spain court suspends Catalonia vote
  • Spain's Constitutional Court suspends Catalonia's independence referendum, planned for 9 November, after a request by the central government.