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

  • Egypt's Morsi jailed for 20 years
  • Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi gets a 20 year jail sentence over the abuse of protesters during his rule, the first of many verdicts he faces.
  • Sunk migrants' boat captain charged
  • The captain of a boat that capsized off Libya, killing about 800 migrants, has been charged with reckless multiple homicide, Italian officials say.
  • Japan train sets new speed record
  • A Japanese magnetic levitation train breaks its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h (374mph) on a test run near Mount Fuji.
  • Auschwitz guard admits 'moral guilt'
  • A 93-year-old former Nazi SS guard, known as the "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz", admits he is "morally" guilty of aiding the killing of 300,000 Jews.
  • US sends carrier to Yemen patrols
  • The US is sending an aircraft carrier to boost its patrols in the waters off Yemen, amid suspicions that an Iranian naval convoy in the area is carrying arms intended for Yemeni Houthi rebels.
  • Three dead in New South Wales storm
  • Three people die as storms with winds of up to 135km/h (85 mph) batter New South Wales, Australia, with more bad weather forecast.