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

  • Burkina Faso leader 'ousted' - army
  • Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore is no longer in power, an army spokesman tells demonstrators in the capital, Ouagadougou.
  • Key Jerusalem holy site reopens
  • Israel reopens a key Jerusalem holy site after its temporary closure following the shooting of a prominent Jewish activist.
  • Lawsuit over Malaysia missing plane
  • Two children whose father was on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared file a lawsuit against the airline and Malaysia's government.
  • Russia-Ukraine deal secures EU gas
  • Russia will resume gas deliveries to Ukraine this winter in a deal brokered by the European Union, which will also safeguard supplies to EU countries.
  • Myanmar in rare multi-party talks
  • Myanmar's president is holding rare roundtable talks with the opposition, military and ethnic groups, as the US calls for "credible" elections next year.
  • Charity warns US on Ebola quarantine
  • Charity Doctors Without Borders warns some mandatory US state Ebola quarantine measures are having a "chilling effect" on its work.