Saturday, July 10, 2004

History of Nations

History of Nations. This is a site which has a history of every nation on Earth. At least, every nation which is currently independent. (There is nothing on Welsh history for example.) This is an informative and easy to use site which I am sure I will be visitng from time to time.

From the site:

Welcome to History of Nations! This site has a history of every nation in the world. Each country if covered by a brief essay which gives the highlights of each nation's history.

The national histories at this site are divided into six regions. These are:

Africa - This is for the nations of the world which are located in Africa. This includes some of the island nations which lie off of the coast of Africa. It also includes Egypt which also has territory in Asia.

Asia - This is for the nations of the world which are located in Asia. It includes Taiwan evn though Tawain is technically not independent of China.

Europe - This is for the nations of the world located in Europe. It includes Russia which is mostly in Asia but is considered a European nation. It also includes Turkey which is also mostly located in Asia.

North America - This is for the nations of the world located in North America. This includes most of Central America and the island nations of the Caribbean.

Oceania - This is for the nations of the world located in the Pacific which are not considered part of Asia. This includes Australia and New Zealand.

South America - This is for the nations of the world located in South America.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Criticism of the First Persian Gulf War in Three Kings

Criticism of the First Persian Gulf War in Three Kings Article which reviews the political tone of the film Three Kings which focused on Iraq and the First Persian Gulf War. I personally didn't like the film but this is a good analysis of the political tone of the movie.

From the site:

I chose to write about Three Kings. The film stood out amongst because it did not involve politicians or the staff of politicians. It profiled the military and chronicled the suffering of the Iraqi people. The plot was excellent, revealing the moral transformation of Archie Gates, Troy Barlow, Chief Elgin and Conrad Vig (whom I will refer to as the four soldiers). I found the camera work effective in demonstrating the violence of war and also appreciated the choice of the Vietnam War era music that was strategically interspersed with violence. In the following paragraphs, I will go more into depth about what I just mentioned while addressing the questions in the three mandated areas of analysis on the syllabus.

The socio/political context of The Three Kings

The socio/political context can be described as liberal and highly critical of the policies of Republican President Bush. The film criticized the lack of U.S, support for the Iraqi people and the policy of bombing Iraq. The filmmakers asserted that the Bush Administration was more concerned about protecting oil resources and the wealthy people of Kuwait than the people of Iraq. The criticism of Bush was first evident in the scene where four main characters, Archie Gates, Chief Elgen, Conrad Vig and Troy Barlow witnessed the desperation of the villagers after the content of the milk truck was destroyed by Hussein’s soldiers. George Clooney’s character, Archie Gates, explained to his cohorts that Bush told the people of Iraq to rise up against Sadam, but didn’t offer the expected support. Instead, Hussein's soldiers punished rebels by cutting off food supplies to villages. The U.S. didn’t offer help and people ended up with a lack of food. Later, when the “three kings”, Gates, Barlow and Elgin, were trying to save the lives of group of refugees by helping them cross into Iran, U.S. military superiors tried to stop them because the Gates and his cohorts were violating U.S. policy.

Bush’s policy of bombing Iraq was also questioned. The filmmakers revealed how innocent lives were affected as a result of the bombing. Troy Barlow’s captor told Barlow how his family, including his baby, died as a result of the bombing. The two characters agreed that the loss was “worse than death.” Also, Archie Gates learned that one of the refugees, Amir Abdullah, lost his businesses as a result of the bombing.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Middle Palaeolithic Site of Wallertheim: A Brief Introduction

The Middle Palaeolithic Site of Wallertheim: A Brief Introduction A brief introduction to site of Wallertheim is located in the Rheinhessen region of Germany, approximately 25km southwest of the city of Mainz, and is situated on the former floodplain of the Wiesbach river.

From the site:

The open-air Middle Palaeolithic site of Wallertheim is located in the Rheinhessen region of Germany, approximately 25km southwest of the city of Mainz, and is situated on the former floodplain of the Wiesbach river.

The first excavations were conducted here in the 1920's by the German palaeontologist, O. Schmidtgen. These early excavations identified one archaeological horizon and recovered numerous remains of bison that are believed to represent an archaeofauna. These remains suggest that Neandertals engaged in species-specific hunting practices during the last interglacial, some time between 120,000 and 100,000 years ago. The most recent archaeological fieldwork at Wallertheim occurred from 1991 to 1994 and focussed on an area approximately 300m2 in size and 60m south of Schmidtgen's original excavation.

These excavations identified a total of six archaeological horizons (Wal A-E) and documented nearly 10,000 lithic artifacts and over 600 faunal remains (Profiles and horizons). In these layers we have reconstructed phases of lithic reduction and use, as well as bones and sometimes large portions individual animals. The lithic conjoins typically document periods of stone knapping oriented toward the production and maintenance of artifacts, while the faunal refits allow archaeological and non-archaeological modification of carcasses to be placed within a sequence of events. At present, the artifacts and bones recovered from this excavation are being studied at the University of Tübingen by our team and all findings will be published in a multidisciplinary monograph within the next year or two. The following is a brief horizon-by-horizon summary of some of our preliminary results.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Bulfinch's Mythology, The Age of Fable - Chapter 27, Part 1: The Trojan War.

Bulfinch's Mythology, The Age of Fable - Chapter 27, Part 1: The Trojan War. Annotated, hyperlinked text of Bulfinch's Mythology - Chapter 27: The Trojan War, Part 1.

From the site:

MINERVA (Athena) was the goddess of wisdom, but on one occasion she did a very foolish thing; she entered into competition with Juno (Hera) and Venus (Aphrodite) for the prize of beauty. It happened thus: At the nuptials of Peleus and Thetis all the gods were invited with the exception of Eris, or Discord [article]. Enraged at her exclusion, the goddess threw a golden apple among the guests, with the inscription, "For the fairest." Thereupon Juno, Venus, and Minerva each claimed the apple. Jupiter (Zeus), not willing to decide in so delicate a matter, sent the goddesses to Mount Ida, where the beautiful shepherd Paris was tending his flocks, and to him was committed the decision.

The goddesses accordingly appeared before him. Juno promised him power and riches, Minerva glory and renown in war, and Venus the fairest of women for his wife, each attempting to bias his decision in her own favour. Paris decided in favour of Venus and gave her the golden apple, thus making the two other goddesses his enemies. Under the protection of Venus, Paris sailed to Greece, and was hospitably received by Menelaus, king of Sparta. Now Helen, the wife of Menelaus, was the very woman whom Venus had destined for Paris, the fairest of her sex. She had been sought as a bride by numerous suitors, and before her decision was made known, they all, at the suggestion of Ulysses (Odysseus), one of their number, took an oath that they would defend her from all injury and avenge her cause if necessary. She chose Menelaus, and was living with him happily when Paris became their guest. Paris, aided by Venus, persuaded her to elope with him, and carried her to Troy, whence arose the famous Trojan war, the theme of the greatest poems of antiquity, those of Homer and Virgil.

Menelaus called upon his brother chieftains of Greece to fulfil their pledge, and join him in his efforts to recover his wife. They generally came forward, but Ulysses, who had married Penelope, and was very happy in his wife and child, had no disposition to embark in such a troublesome affair. He therefore hung back and Palamedes was sent to urge him. When Palamedes arrived at Ithaca Ulysses pretended to be mad. He yoked an ass and an ox together to the plough and began to sow salt. Palamedes, to try him, placed the infant Telemachus before the plough, whereupon the father turned the plough aside, showing plainly that he was no madman, and after that could no longer refuse to fulfil his promise. Being now himself gained for the undertaking, he lent his aid to bring in other reluctant chiefs, especially Achilles. This hero was the son of that Thetis at whose marriage the apple of Discord had been thrown among the goddesses. Thetis was herself one of the immortals, a sea-nymph, and knowing that her son was fated to perish before Troy if he went on the expedition, she endeavoured to prevent his going. She sent him away to the court of King Lycomedes [at Skyros], and induced him to conceal himself in the disguise of a maiden among the daughters of the king. Ulysses, hearing he was there, went disguised as a merchant to the palace and offered for sale female ornaments, among which he had placed some arms. While the king's daughters were engrossed with the other contents of the merchant's pack, Achilles handled the weapons and thereby betrayed himself to the keen eye of Ulysses, who found no great difficulty in persuading him to disregard his mother's prudent counsels and join his countrymen in the war.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Teaching about the Two Koreas

Teaching about the Two Koreas. This is a nice and small essay on how to teach about Korea. This includes tips for history.

From the site:

The United Sates has a force of approximately 40,000 troops in South Korea to defend the country against potential enemies. The United States military commitment to South Korea and its economic ties with the nation ensure that issues involving Korea will remain consequential to Americans. The Bush Administration has reasserted the U.S. pledge to maintain a military force in South Korea, although plans are under way to reduce the number of U.S. bases and eventually to remove U.S. military personnel from Seoul.

Korea has contributed much to regional and world culture. Inlaid Koryo celadons grace the world's finest museums. Korea has transmitted elements of continental culture to Japan, as well as making its own innovative contributions to Japanese culture. Korean movable type predates Gutenberg's version by several centuries. The han'gul alphabet, developed in Korea in the fifteenth century, is one of the world's easiest and most systematic scripts. T'aekwondo, a martial arts indigenous to Korea, is practiced throughout the world for its benefits as a sport and a means of self defense.

The number of Korean immigrants to the United States is growing steadily. Large Korean-American communities exist in many cities. These immigrants have demonstrated family and community solidarity, establishing churches and cooperative business ventures. Like previous immigrant groups, Korean Americans have experienced racial discrimination.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson. This is a short biography of American President Woodrow Wilson.

From the site:

Dr. Thomas Woodrow Wilson ( December 28 , 1856 – February 3 , 1924 ) was the 28th ( 1913 - 1921 ) President of the United States . He was the second Democrat to serve two consecutive terms in the White House after Andrew Jackson .

Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia , with ancestry in Strabane , Northern Ireland . He grew up in Augusta, Georgia .

Wilson attended Davidson College for one year and then transferred to Princeton University , graduating in 1879 .He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternal organization . Afterward, Wilson studied law at the University of Virginia for one year. After completing and publishing his dissertation, Congressional Government, in 1886 , he received his Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University . Wilson remains the only American president to have earned a doctoral degree.