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

  • Malaysia finds 'migrant' mass graves
  • Authorities in Malaysia find several mass graves near the border with Thailand suspected of containing the bodies of trafficked migrants.
  • Nepal flood alert after landslide
  • Thousands flee their homes in western Nepal following a landslide which blocked a river, causing fears of flash flooding.
  • Irish Church needs 'reality check'
  • One of Ireland's most senior Catholic clerics calls for the Church to take a "reality check" following the country's overwhelming vote in favour of same-sex marriage.
  • Sweden scoops Eurovision 2015 crown
  • Swedish singer Mans Zelmerlow triumphs at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, beating Russia's Polina Gagarina.
  • Activists make rare Koreas crossing
  • A group of 30 female activists cross the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea to promote peace but are criticised over their initiative.
  • Greece 'cannot afford IMF repayment'
  • Greece will not be able to make a debt repayment to the IMF due in early June as it does not have the money, the interior minister says.