Category: History

World History: What Kind of Food Did the Aztecs Eat?

Located in Mexico, the Aztecs built a cultured civilization with unique kinds of food eaten daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In this easy lesson, we explain what kinds of food the Aztecs ate every day, including specialty cuisines according to different social classes.

History of Tea and Modern Afghan Tea Culture

When the term tea culture comes up, people usually think of places like Japan, China, or England, though perhaps Afghanistan deserves to be in this lineup too. While not as well known as those already mentioned, Afghanistan’s tea culture is a venerable one that dates back centuries. As with many ancient cultural artifacts, tea came to Afghanistan by way of the Silk Road, likely via merchants going to or from China. This tradition continues to this day, as while the country does grow some of its own tea, the majority of Afghanistan’s tea consumption relies on imports from China and Pakistan.

Literary Analysis: An Examination of Free Will Through Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange

Fundamental conversations, on freedom and self-determination, greatly influenced Anthony Burgess’ choice of immoral characterization and dramatic plot development in his 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, dealing with what it means to be able to make choices in a restrictive society and dabbling in themes of freedom and bondage. 

Modern-day democracies across the globe continue to thrive as world powers as a result of the choices made by its citizens. However, when governments suppress the voice of the people, as seen in A Clockwork Orange’s totalitarian government, growth is stunted and the government remains static. Similarly, philosophers have debated whether individuals have free will and the extent to which this self-sufficiency extends. Alvin Plantinga,  an analytic professor at the University of Notre Dame describes the ability to choose as, “Now, God can create free creatures, but he can’t cause or determine them to do only what is right. For if he does so, then they aren’t significantly free after all; they do not do what is right freely.” (Plantinga).  Plantinga’s attention towards the ability to make choices rather than rely on foreordained outcomes reveals the very hypocrisy Burgess aims to reveal through his novel, a hypocrisy centered on the notion that good can’t live without the choice to do otherwise. Alex, who is the antihero of the novel, questions the government which strives to dictate him, wondering, “ What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?” (Burgess). Alex’s internal line of questioning and later entrapment by the restrictive government reveals the evident truth of decision making. Without choice, then there is no moral guideline to follow and, essentially, no discernment from right and wrong. To state that the ability to make a choice through self-autonomy is an act of hypocrisy in and of itself as the individual making such a  claim would be referring to their own volition. For example, Jans Jonas, a German philosopher reveals an anecdote about a group of physiologists such as Ernst Brucke and Emil du Bois-Reymond who promised early in their careers, “Brucke and I pledged a solemn oath to put into effect this truth: ‘that no other forces are at work in the organism except chemical-physical ones’” (Jones). Contrary to their statement, their eventual rise to fame is an indicator of the impact personal actions have on an individual. As Seifert, an Austrian philosopher explains,

Mass Media vs Local Journalism: A Pillar of American Democracy

In recent years, the labels of “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” have been prevalent when talking about the media, especially from the White House. The hostile rhetoric from Washington has had a considerable impact on the public: Americans’ trust in mass media is at 41%, a significant 4% drop from the previous year. Additionally, partisanship has dramatically increased as many Americans opt to solely consume news media that perpetuate their beliefs, leading news companies to produce blatantly partisan content, and thus, further promoting partisanship among their readers. This cycle creates an echo chamber that results in a sharply divided and often misinformed population.

Psychology 101: The Stanford Prison Experiment

What happens when you put good people in an evil place? Does humanity win over evil, or does evil triumph? Philip Zimbardo, a psychologist and a professor at Stanford University posed the same exact question in 1971, thereby leading to what is known as The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). The experiment was originally created to uncover the truth about human nature, a more in-depth look on what our true ambitions were, what really drove us. Zimbardo began by choosing 24 volunteers, making 12 of them “guards” and the other 12 “prisoners”.  They were taken to a prison simulation, a fabricated illusion to make the volunteers feel as if they were actually in prison. He began by  giving the guards ultimate power and left the prisoners vulnerable. This evidently led to a distinction of power between the two groups. 45 years later, people still ponder the  question that drove the experiment to its end. Was this study ethically right?  The Stanford Prison Experiment was not ethically right, it stripped volunteers of emotion temporarily, forcing them to turn against each other and was physically harmful to the majority of the participants. 

History 101: What Are The 4 Causes of World War 1?

An international conflict during the 1910’s, World War 1, was contributed by not one factor but numerous factors that led to its extensive atrocity. The aggressive rise and continuation of nationalism throughout countries greatly contributed to the start and four-year length of the war. In addition, the heightened race of militarism and its advanced trench warfare also contributed to the massive scale of the war, including the appalling losses of men as well as the elongated duration. Therefore, both the rise of nationalism, the patriotic feelings of countries’ people to fight, and the pursuit of militarism, advancements of armies, weaponry, and warfare style, played key roles in the contribution of the international conflict World War 1.

Say… Cheese! A Look Into Fermentation – History and Making of Cheese

From sour, sweet, and savory, cheese is a delicacy that connects people of all ages. It’s in hamburgers, pizza, salads, spaghetti, and desserts. Many of the world’s most popular dishes contain cheese, a food item that has been around humans for a long time. In this article, you will learn the incredible science that makes cheese possible.  Although the exact origins of cheese are unknown, it is thought that cheese originated when humans first began domesticating milk-producing animals like cows and goats. In fact, there is a legend that the first person to discover cheese was a merchant who found his milk curdled inside his container made of a sheep’s stomach. To his surprise, the curdled milk had a unique flavor that quenched his hunger. Cheesemaking is also shown in the artwork of a number of ancient civilizations including the Roman Empire and Ancient Egypt. However, the cheeses that are popular today were not made until cheesemaking became widespread across European countries around 500 years ago and then came to America when Pilgrims brought cheesemaking techniques with them. Since then, the cheese industry boomed in America and as of 2017, Americans consumed an average of 37 pounds of cheese every year per person! 

History 101: The Banana is Dead, Long Live the Banana

Native to New Guinea, bananas prefer tropical climates and can be grown year round. In terms of produce, the biggest distinction is between bananas and plantains, both of which belong to the same genus (Musa) and come in a range of cultivars, or varieties. Bananas are generally eaten raw or as part of a dessert or baked good. Plantains are a staple crop, culinary distinct due to their higher starch content, predisposing them to being cooked and fried as part of meals or snacks.

Alberto Santos-Dumont vs The Wright Brothers: Giants of Aviation

Back in 2016, Rio de Janeiro hosted the Summer Olympics. The opening ceremony featured bossa nova, capoeira, and laser-lit choreography depicting key points in Brazil’s history. Among these theatric renditions was a curious biplane aviator that the Olympic announcer noted Brazilians claim to have beaten the Wright Brothers in their claim to fame. Are there any merits to this assertion? Has history snubbed this Brazilian inventor?

Pushing Life’s Boundaries: Extremophiles Archaea

Moderate and extreme are relative terms. What many assume to be the normal conditions for life do not apply equally across all species. Habitability can be thought of in terms of the Goldilocks principle. For example, to survive people need an environment that is not too cold and not too hot. Ranges like this exist for other factors as well, such as pressure. However, what is just right for us and most other creatures can be too much or too little for some. Animals that live on the sea floor provide an illustrative example in this regard. Where people need submersibles to maintain their equilibria, creatures that natural selection has adapted to thrive in the ocean’s depths are right at home. Cold, highly pressurized environments are the norm for them. When deep sea creatures are brought to the surface through accident or scientific curiosity they often either melt, as with glacial ice worms, or fatally decompress, like with blobfish. In this way the term extremophile is a relative one and is used to describe organisms that live in environments that are extreme to us. Beyond their novelty, extremophiles are important objects of study as they challenge and expand our notions of life and its necessities.

Freddy Mamani’s New Andean Architecture

Most artistic movements are named after the fact, often by critics, to group together the works of artists that share certain characteristics or that are in reaction to specific events and thus coincide thematically. Counter to this academic pattern is la nueva arquitectura andina (or the New Andean Architecture). The term was coined by the style’s creator: Freddy Mamani Silvestre, who goes by Freddy Mamani professionally.

Margaret Chase Smith’s Speech of a Lifetime

The American experiment was founded on the idea of a democracy where the people hold the ultimate power over the government. But when the government oversteps its power; when it threatens to endanger individual rights, it takes someone with true courage to stand up for the America public. Some of the most striking examples of blatant abuse of power in the last century occurred during the Cold War. From 1947 to 1991, the Capitalist United States (US) and the Communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) clashed in a series of escalating economic and political tensions. In the midst of this tumultuous period, US government officials became concerned that communist sympathizer would collude with Soviet spies and endanger national security. The most vocal advocate for the “Red Scare” was Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. McCarthy came under the national spotlight during his speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, when he claimed that 205 State Department employees were known communist infiltrators (Achter). Although he lacked definitive evidence to back his claim, McCarthy continued a long string of accusations against celebrities, politicians, and nearly anyone who disagreed with him. McCarthy’s campaign to “expose” communist infiltrators caused innocent Americans to lose their careers and reputations, and fueled McCarthy’s rise to power. This period of mass, unsubstantiated paranoia eventually became known as “McCarthyism” (Achter). Few dared to challenge him, for fear of becoming his next target; At least not until a woman by the name of Margaret Chase Smith stepped into the political fray.

The Little Ice Age: Definition, History, Causes, and Ending of the Ice Age

Earth has experienced at least five Ice Ages: the Huronian, the Cryogenian, the Andean-Saharan, the Karoo, and the Quaternary. The latest of these is the Quaternary Ice Age, which began 2.6 million years ago and is still ongoing. That might sound off given that the popular conception of an ice age is of a world blanketed in snow and roaming with wooly mammoths, but the scientific definition only requires that a substantial ice sheet be present on the Earth’s surface, and Antarctica fits the bill. While their causes vary, ice ages are typified by periods of sustained global cooling and glacial expansion. Going by this, the Little Ice Age qualifies, though it is also an ice age within an ice age, making it a sort of matryoshka doll climate event. The Little Ice Age is not the only lesser ice age, though it is the best known as it occurred the most recently and within recorded history. After having touched on similarities, our next logical step is to examine what makes the Little Ice Age different.

Standardized Tests are Necessary for Learning – True or False? A Look Into the Recent AP Testing Situation

enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary for students to take these tests at home – and in only 45 minutes. Outrage over failed submissions and website problems has prompted the media to focus on the CollegeBoard and the real purpose and necessity of standardized testing. Is a test really enough to test a student’s true knowledge of a subject? Here, we will analyze the history of standardized testing, delve into the recent AP test situation, and consider the pros and cons of standardized tests.

Running Into History: Eluid Kipchoge’s 1:59:40 Marathon

On October 12, 2019, Eluid Kipchoge became the first person in history to run a marathon, 26.2 miles, in under 2 hours. He crossed the finish line, smiling and waving at the crowd that had lined the course in Vienna, in 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds. This amazing accomplishment, once thought impossible, stunned not only the world of running but also the entire athletic community. Kipchoge’s run symbolized his motivation, the message he has been working to share with the entire world, that no human is limited.

Dinosaurs 101: The Shifting Image of Dinosaurs – Facts, History, and Evolution

Scientific discoveries reach the general public through schooling and news stories, though occasionally this kind of information gets filtered through the lens of pop culture. When it comes to dinosaurs, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a prime example of this. Insights and ideas gleaned from science can inform new and creative plot elements or action set pieces, though the same is true of scientific distortions and misunderstandings. Rather than nitpicking elements of a single film, this article will briefly highlight the areas in which our understanding of dinosaurs has evolved over the past few decades.

Arthropods 101: Insects, Evolution, Classes, and Examples of Arthropods

Making up around 75% of all animal species in the world, arthropods are are a vast phylum of the kingdom Animalia. The name comes from the Greek words “arthro”, meaning joint, and “podos”, meaning legs. While they all share segmented bodies with joined legs, members in this phylum vary wildly, from butterflies and millipedes, to scorpions and lobsters. They are also all invertebrates, which means that they do not have backbones. Instead, they use hard exoskeletons to protect themselves, which are made out of chitin. Because these exoskeletons are relatively inflexible, arthropods molt as they grow larger, which means they shed their exoskeletons.

Click! Introduction to Photography 101

Photography is much more complex than taking photos on a camera. Photography in its most basic definition dates back to ancient China, where the use of a camera obscura was first documented by a Chinese philosopher in the fifth century B.C.  A camera obscura is the phenomenon where a small pinhole on a wall of a dark room allows light to come in. On the wall opposite to the pinhole, an upside-down image of the outside is illuminated. The science behind this strange phenomenon lies in the basic principles of optics, the study of light. Light travels in straight lines until it is blocked by a material, in which case the angle of the light changes. This concept of capturing light and forming an image was studied for hundreds of years, leading to the invention of microscopes to look at tiny living organisms, telescopes to look at the stars, and cameras to take pictures. 

Psychology 101: Crowd Psychology and The Theory of Gustave Le Bon

Crowds are often overlooked as a segment of psychology. Most people would like to say that they are independent and trail away from what others do, however, much goes unnoticed when talking about the human behaviour of an individual when placed in a large mass of others. This type of psychology becomes a unique aspect of how one may think purely based off of the interests and situation of a crowd. There are several theories and the concept itself plays a large role in several real-world situations with effective consequences.

UNESCO World Heritage: 10 Travel Sites and How They Were Selected

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has several branches and initiatives aimed at promoting the subjects in its name across the globe. One of these is the World Heritage Committee which, among other things, decides what locations are worth preserving for various reasons. These reasons are grouped together in a list of ten selection criteria, each denoted by a Roman numeral. To explain the Committee’s selection criteria and World Heritage sites more broadly let us go through this list and examine an illustrative example for every criterion.

From Warrior Footwear to High Fashion: The Origin of Heels

The earliest recorded instance of heeled shoes comes from tenth century Persia. Mounted soldiers wore shoes with heels to make it easier to keep their feet in their stirrups, as the heels would catch the back of the stirrup’s tread and stop their feet from sliding in and out. This same use can be seen to this day with cowboys and other jobs that involve riding horses. During this period heels went from being a masculine sign of strength and wealth to a non-gendered court fashion to a feminine fashion statement.

Art in Space

When discussing space art, one can mean at least two different things. The term can refer to art made on Earth that is then sent into outer space, or art produced while in space. Going with the former definition, our exhibits come down to Earth’s closest neighbor in the Solar System and the rest of the cosmos.

Taxonomy: History, Definition, Classification, and Taxonomy Mnemonic

Cougar. Mountain Lion. Puma. What do these animals all have in common? Believe it or not, they are actually all names for the same animal! Because this feline spans such a large area, different areas call it different names. As you might think, this could get confusing if scientists try to discuss the same animal, so what do they do? They use taxonomy.
Taxonomy is the science and process of organizing organisms into categories and naming them. Every species of animal has a unique taxonomic, or scientific, name. A species is a group of organisms that reproduce among itself and produce offspring. The scientific name is used by scientists all over the world for ease of communication. After all, it is very important to be specific in science. For example, the scientific name of the cougar/mountain lion/puma is Puma concolor. The name cougar/mountain lion/puma refers to the animal’s common name. Organisms can have many common names used by the public, but when scientists are referring to them, they use the scientific name. Domain Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species

Oceanic Forestry: Coral Farming and Biorocks

Climate change affects the entirety of the earth’s surface, and nowhere more so than our oceans. While our seas cover about two-thirds of the earth’s surface they absorb over ninety percent of the additional heat attributable to global warming. Both land masses and bodies of water absorb and reflect solar radiation that rebounds off of the greenhouse gases trapped in our atmosphere, but the latter is generally more absorptive and holds on to heat longer due to differences in physical properties. This of course has led to increases in global seawater temperatures, which has and continues to endanger several aquatic species. This article will examine one of those species and go over human efforts to preserve it.