Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

"It's made to believe/women are the same as men;/are you not convinced/daughters can also be heroic?" - Wang Zhenyi, astronomer, 1768-1797

Title: Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
Author: Rachel Ignotofsky
Pages: 128 pages
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Genre: Science; Reference; Gender Studies; Feminism
My Rating: 5/5

A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon. 

Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more.

Some of these biographies will tug at your heartstrings. The strength it took these women to compete with their male counterparts is admirable. Professors made women attend classes behind a screen to remain invisible. Women had to create home basement labs because they weren't allowed near professional ones. Yet a female doctor (Elizabeth Blackwell) was the first to point out to a male doctor that hygiene is a real thing. "Like, Doc, maybe you should wash your hands between going from that flu patient to delivering that baby. You're giving everyone typhus for fuck sake." Probably in those words.

This was a quirky little illustrated reference book. I loved it. The biography of each scientist wasn't more than a page. Ignotofsky's artwork reminded me of being so goddamn bored in high school that I would fill every inch of available space around my notes with stars. I loved and hated this. There was so much to look at. Too much. And not necessarily in a clear manner as you would find in most illustrated books or comics.

Not related, but perhaps very related: In the early 1900s, psychologist and industrial engineer Lillian Gilbreth co-authored books with her male partner but remained anonymous because a woman's name would sully any credibility blah blah blah. Gilbreth. Galbraith. Robert Galbraith. J.K. Rowling, did you steal Lillian's last name for your pseudonym because of this? Because if you did, fucking brilliant.

My personal favorite hardcore lady types from Women in Science:
Psychoanalyst Karen Horney, because she challenged the notion that women most definitely do not have Freudian "penis envy" and zoologist Joan Beauchamp Procter, because she walked her pet Komodo fucking Dragon around on a leash.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this honest review.

Additional links

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Gettysburg Address: a very non-academic AP Government and Politics Lesson

Hey all. I recently developed a little AP curriculum lesson for an online project and I thought I'd throw it up on the site. Not literally. 
Considered one of the greatest speeches in American history, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is sure to give you all the feels. In this lesson we are going to break down Lincoln’s speech while placing it within the larger context of the United States government and discuss why the Address is still relevant and highly regarded today.  
In A Nutshell: Following the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln attended the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863. Asked to speak at the ceremony, Lincoln obliged and delivered a speech that would later solidify him as one of the most brilliant orators in United States history. Lincoln gave profound statements on freedom, equality, preservation of the Union, and governmental purpose. And he did it all in two minutes. (goals)  
The Speech: We don’t know about you, but we think the Gettysburg Address would be more entertaining if it was sung to the tune of Katy Perry's "Firework." The text can be found in the show notes of the video. If a sing-along isn’t your thing, you can find the text version here. This takes only a few minutes to read so have a quick look-see and let’s break it down.  
What Does It All Mean?: Lincoln lost us at “four score.” One score = 20 years. So, 87 years ago. YAY MATH! Lincoln begins the Address by referencing the 1776 Declaration of Independence. You know, that little statement of liberty you may have heard of? While addressing the casualties of the Civil War, Lincoln goes on to assure listeners that soldiers gave their lives to uphold American values, placing particular emphasis on those that uphold the equality of all citizens, and those who do not (ahem, the basis of the Civil War). Arguably the most important line to take away from the Gettysburg Address is that America was founded on the principle that it is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” This line is imperative to the study of the United States’ government because it reiterates America’s representative democracy. 
Why Should I Care?: The Gettysburg Address can be placed into the larger context of American government. Lincoln is reiterating that the nation can only thrive under a representative democracy. His words serve as a reminder of core American values.  
The Gettysburg Address has remained timeless. The speech has been referenced numerous times throughout history, including by bigwigs Martin Luther King (who referred to it in his 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech), John F. Kennedy, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. The Constitution of France straight up stole Lincoln’s lines by declaring the Republic of France as a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Lincoln’s words continue to be a reminder of principles that can often fall by the wayside in politics.  
We do however have to disagree with one thing Lincoln said: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here…” Oh he was so wrong.  
Free Response Questions: Give us a sentence or two that addresses the question prompt. Remember, there is more than one right answer. 
· Name another moment in US government or political history that the Gettysburg Address could pertain to. 
· Why did Lincoln believe the Civil War was necessary to preserve the survival of America? 
· Although Lincoln doesn’t directly mention the emancipation of American slaves, how does the liberation adhere to a representative democracy? 
· Why was the Gettysburg Address a defining moment for the United States government? 
· What is Lincoln asking of his listeners when he says “we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us”?  
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Sunday, July 3, 2016

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb #75

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb is a round-up of brand spankin' new history articles, selected by yours truly. Click on the link to be directed to the home site where you can read a professional being professional in their entirety.

Nazi-looted art rescued by the US military’s “Monuments Men” was not returned to its rightful Jewish owners at the end of the war but sold for profit by the Bavarian authorities, according to explosive new claims. You ain't no hero George Clooney.

Teach history with Game of Thrones to finally get children interested in forgotten medieval period, says Oxford tutor at Telegraph
Oh hey I did that too, American edition.

I've been thinking a lot about how many people are inherently racist. How the hatred or distrust of marginalized people has been passed down through generations. I'm talking about Donald Trump and his like-minded supporters.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that an international team of researchers has discovered the location of a 100-foot-long tunnel that Jewish prisoners dug by hand and spoon to flee a Nazi death camp in Lithuania, confirming a long-told story of one of the Holocaust’s great escapes.

#WeAreHere: WWI ‘soldiers’ appear across UK in ‘moving and powerful’ Somme tribute at Telegraph
Volunteers dressed as World War I soldiers appeared at transport hubs across the UK on Friday morning as part of Battle of the Somme commemorations, marking the centenary of the 141-day campaign that began this day in 1916.

Battle of the Somme: Royals at Somme centenary commemoration at BBC
Thousands of people, including members of the Royal Family, have attended a ceremony in France to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. More than a million men were killed or wounded on all sides at the Somme. The Battle of the Somme, one of WW1's bloodiest, was fought in northern France and lasted five months, with the British suffering almost 60,000 casualties on the first day alone.

The warnings of the Holocaust have never been more relevant in Britain at Telegraph
Since the EU referendum result on Friday these have not been isolated incidents. There has been a 57 per cent rise in hate crime incidents according to the National Police Chief’s Council, leading to the Polish Embassy seeking reassurance from the police, and a variety of senior politicians voicing their concerns. History is the usually the best place to start in trying to understand such questions, and when it comes to racism, prejudice and the internalisation of a hateful ideology, the Holocaust is the benchmark against which other events should be measured.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb #74

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb is a round-up of brand spankin' new history articles, selected by yours truly. Click on the link to be directed to the home site where you can read a professional being professional in their entirety.

In a nationwide referendum held yesterday, a majority of British citizens voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Though undoubtedly a historic decision, Brexit is also only the latest development in the conflicted relationship between the UK and the EU that has played out over the past 50 years.

Women are allowed to take part in jousting at English Heritage events for the first time this year, as they abandon strict historical accuracy for gender equality.

To hear Democrats tell it, the “historic” sit-in in the House last week was a noble effort to bar terrorists from buying guns, on par with the suffragette movement, the heroic defiance of the civil rights movement, and the valiant efforts of Father Lankester Merrin to save the soul of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist, all rolled into one.

Harvard Professor Concedes “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” Likely Fake at History
A Harvard professor garnered worldwide headlines in 2012 when she revealed the existence of a tiny papyrus scrap that suggested Jesus had been married. New evidence unearthed by the Atlantic magazine about the provenance of the papyrus has led the professor to reverse course and admit that it is likely a modern forgery.

US officials say the Pentagon will lift its ban on openly transgender service personnel next month. Defence Secretary Ash Carter has called the regulation outdated and harmful to the military. Can we next work on abolishing the short crew cut required by military men but not women? because I am personally effected by that.

Remains of Ancient Greek Naval Base Discovered Near Athens at History
As part of a recent excavation of Piraeus Harbor, a team of archaeologists discovered the remains of an ancient naval base estimated to date to between 520 and 480 B.C., the year the Battle of Salamis took place. With six sheds, each designed to hold hundreds of vessels, the complex would have been one of the largest structures in the ancient world.

Discovery of Roman coins in Devon redraws map of empire at The Guardian
The discovery of a few muddy coins in a Devon paddock by a pair of amateur metal detector enthusiasts has led to the redrawing of the boundary of the Roman empire in south-west Britain.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb #73

HTHS Weekly: History from the Interweb is a round-up of brand spankin' new history articles, selected by yours truly. Click on the link to be directed to the home site where you can read a professional being professional in their entirety.

Researchers say the findings overturn a 2001 paper that argued the oldest known Australian human remains found near Lake Mungo in New South Wales were from an extinct lineage of modern humans that occupied the continent before Aboriginal Australians.

What is Hamilton? A 12-step guide to your new musical obsession at Telegraph
Hamilton is already one of the most successful Broadway musicals ever, but the majority of its most ardent fans have never actually seen it. Since it opened in New York in 2015, the show - a hip-hop musical about the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and the American revolution  (this is my kind of history)- has sold out its whole run, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and was nominated for a record-breaking 16 Tony awards, eventually winning 11.

Clinton Embraces History at BuzzFeed
The first woman to be a major party’s presidential nominee has had a complicated relationship with her gender and politics. Last Tuesday, her victory speech made it a centerpiece. The message then, and now: “Don’t let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America,” Clinton said. “Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win. Our history has moved in that direction, slowly at times, but unmistakably. Thanks to generations of Americans who refuse to give up or back down.”

Buckingham Palace’s balcony: a focal point for national celebration at History Extra
From George V’s appearance on the eve of the First World War to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s post-wedding kiss in 2011, the Buckingham Palace balcony has been the setting of many iconic moments in history. Ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday celebrations, History Extra explores the history of the famous balcony.

Mutilated Remains Surface From 6,000-Year-Old French Massacre at History
Between 4400 and 4200 B.C., a group of men from the region around modern-day Paris appear to have ventured into Alsace in northeastern France. Whatever they were seeking, they met a gruesome fate, as local warriors are believed to have massacred the newcomers and dumped their mutilated bodies into a circular pit used to store grain and other food.

King Henry I – another king under another car park? at The Guardian
The monarch is thought to have been buried beneath a Reading car park – fuelling hopes that the town might be set for a similar footballing miracle to Richard III in Leicester.