Crash Course

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March 2018
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Happy Paddy’s Day! The history of Ireland 🇮🇪 goes all the way back before the Neolithic Revolution so it does, and connects to much of what we’ve been learning this year, as well as much of what you’ll be learning next year. St Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and who is most remembered for spreading the message of Christianity to the pagan isle ☘️. This picture was taken up in County Antrim in the north of Ireland, the part that’s still under British rule. It’s been a long back and forth to say the least, and we’ll be learning a bit about it in class this year and next. 🇮🇪
How much do I love my students? Enough to get pied in the face repeatedly and forcefully in front of a crowd of cheering adolescents. How many times? I honestly lost count. Is it true that one student gave me a bloody nose? No, that rumor is false, although, on the last pie, I inadvertently swallowed some shaving cream that got mixed in with the whipped cream. It did not taste good. #PiDay #ILoveMyStudents
The map above shows the all of the solid surfaces in our solar system stitched together into one giant map. It excludes gas giants, such as Jupiter, since they do not have any solid land but includes moons, asteroids, comets, etc. In alphabetical order, surface areas included are: All Human Skin Ariel Asteroids (1km+) Asteroids (100m+) Callisto Ceres Charon Dione Earth Enceladus Eris Europa Ganymede Haumea Iapetus Io Makemake Mars Mercury Miranda Oberon Pluto Rhea Tethys The Moon Titania Triton Umbriel Various small moons, comets, etc. Venus Vesta
MURASAKI SHIKIBU As a girl, Lady Murasaki was exceptionally intelligent; she also had no mother. Consequently she was raised by her father instead, a governor and a scholar, and when the man recognized the girl’s potential he couldn’t bring himself to ignore it. Although it would have been easier if she’d been a boy, he found a way around that obstacle. Despite the impropriety, he let her sit in on her brother’s Chinese lessons and in so doing, gave her a boy’s education. She married a distant relative in her early 20s and had one daughter, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a poet. Murasaki’s husband fell ill and died a few years later, but by then she’d developed a reputation for literary genius, and it didn’t hurt to have a persuasive father, either. So it wasn’t long before she became lady-in-waiting to the Empress Akiko. She kept a diary. Like many other servant-class people who keep diaries, Murasaki paints a richly detailed, satirically critical, and intensely lonely picture. It turns out she didn’t think much of the rules and concerns that made the courtly world tick. Too frivolous, too empty. But this vantage point of hers, close as she was to the doings and foibles of the upper class, influenced her masterwork immensely. So, despite her restrictions, Lady Murasaki found ways to feed her soul. While she had to hide her knowledge of Chinese because it was eccentric and unladylike, she still managed to teach it to Empress Akiko on the sly. And while she recoiled in frustration from the intricate extravagance that surrounded her, she wrote the story that would remember her as the first novelist of all time – as well as one of the best. This was none other than The Tale of Genji, which traces the predicaments of one “shining prince” amid the ins and outs of upper-class society. Love and lust, men and women, courtly life, intrigue and adventure – it was a best-seller from the moment it came off the press in 1011. A literary treasure, unprecedented by anything before and unrivaled by anything that followed, The Tale established a standard for Japanese literature that lasted centuries. Statues were erected in Murasaki’s honor.
Since I know you guys have come to really love and appreciate the wonders of #Tuvan/#Mongolian #ThroatSinging, also known as overtone singing, I thought you might enjoy this demonstration of a few different styles. The full video has seven total and this dude gives lessons over Skype! Maybe one of you will go on to become a throat singing sensation! 🎶 🇲🇳
DNA is legit so interesting. These are the major Y-DNA haplogroups in Europe. Y-DNA is found on the Y chromosome, and is passed from father to son, so if you are female, and you want to know what group was passed down in your family, you’ll have to have your dad or brother take a DNA test. The female equivalent, passed down from the Mother’s like, is mitochondrial DNA, but both men and women can be tested for it (since we all have mitochondria).
Really cool rare historical photo! #AlbertEinstein rarely accepted honorary doctorates but he did so for #LincolnUniversity, a small historically black college in Pennsylvania in 1946. He also gave a lecture before a small group of students who are seen with him in the photo.

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