The Conflict in Palestine

In the past we’ve mentioned over and over the empires and peoples of the Fertile Crescent, an area we today sort of generally refer to as ‘the Middle East’.  Conflict in this region is not confined to ancient history and, in fact, seems to be just as endemic now as it was then. In the part of the Middle East called Palestine there is a long running and complicated conflict going on between Israelis and Palestinians. The maps and videos below will give you an overview of the conflict. After viewing them answer the questions that follow.


Video One



Video Two


Video Three



Answer these questions as completely as possible and keeping in mind the material presented in the videos. Use examples and references to the videos or other sources to answer the questions. Feel free to look up terms, definitions, or events via Google or Wikipedia if you need to. Each of these questions is worthy of a good sized paragraph for an answer. 


  • What will it take to end this conflict? What things need to happen to archive peace? What steps should be taken?
  • Where should the blame be placed for the conflict? Whose fault is all of this?
  • What historical events are important to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? (There are many mentioned in the videos)
  • What questions do you still need to have answered in order to more fully understand this troubled area?
Posted in Current Connection | Leave a comment

7/8 Nightly Listening/Viewing Assignment 4.19.17

The War on Drugs – Take a look at the chart at the top of this page. What does it tell us? Skim through the article. How does the article explain the numbers and trends on the chart.


How the Media Cover Drugs Drugs are a long running problem in the United States. Listen to any two of the four audio pieces. I liked A (Long) History of American Drug Panics and Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Drug Edition the best. 


Shots Fired – This is a little long but important as an insight into the use of deadly force by police. We’ll discuss this topic on Friday so you’ve got a few days to finish listening to it.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

7/8 Nightly Reading/Viewing Assignment 4.18.17

Syria the World’s Nightmare – Reporting from and about Syria. Be sure to click on the first bit of audio (At Home in Aleppo) then choose at least one of the other segment to listen to. Think about Thucydides as you listen to this.


Ukraine Explained – These days it looks like Russia is doing a lot to try to start or become involved in conflicts around the world. For example they’re a big influence in Syria and they tried to influence U.S. elections. However, this new attitude on Russia’s part first became obvious to many people (me) when they just sort of took a chunk of Ukraine back in 2014. That conflict is still ongoing.



  • The Falling of the Lenins – More from Ukraine
  • The White Helmets of Syria – This article isn’t about the war itself but about the people living through it. Caution: There is a video embedded in the article it isn’t easy to watch and not for the faint of heart.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mythical Creatures


In talking about myths we neglected the topic of mythical creatures partly because we had other important things to talk about. It would be a shame not to at least consider a few however. Below are links to site run by the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Click the link that corresponds to your assigned number and read about two or three of the creatures listed in that category along the left side-bar. Afterward answer the questions at the bottom of this page.

If your number is 1 research Water – Creatures of the Deep

If your number is 2 research Land -Creatures of the Earth

If your number is 3 research Air – Creatures of the Sky

If your number is 4 research Dragons – Creatures of Power


Answer these questions as completely as possible and keeping in mind the material presented by the museum website. Use examples and references to the assigned material or other sources to answer the questions. Feel free to look up terms, definitions, or events via Google or Wikipedia if you need to. Each of these questions is worthy of a good sized paragraph for an answer. 


  1. Besides where they live (air, earth, water) do the creatures you read about have any similarities? If so what are the similarities? If not what are the major differences?
  2. What do you think is the purpose of these creature myths? What big ideas or truths are at the center of these myths?
  3. What modern day myths/mythical creatures do we still have? (No fair using the myths on this page, but it might help you come up with other ideas.)
Posted in Current Connection | Leave a comment


So far we’ve spent a lot of time in this unit focusing on the religion half of this ‘Religion and Art’ unit. I’m feeling a bit guilty about this so as they say in sports its time to ‘go big or go home’. That is something they say in sports, right? Or is it something people say when they go to get fast food? I don’t know much about these things. Regardless, we and not going home. We are going to tackle the Seven Wonders of the World, which could be called the biggest bigmac-touchdown-thickburger-double-layup-bacon-extra-innings-slapshot-with-cheese of art/architecture that ever existed.

(See I totally know how to talk sports and/or awful food.)

Like so much in western culture we owe the start of the seven wonders idea to the Greeks. The Greeks were known for many things science, literature, drama, and architecture just to name a few. We’ve mentioned some of these things in class, but one of the things we didn’t mention is that the Greeks were also travelers. Traders, merchants, and explorers from the Greek city states roamed all over the known world; from Egypt to Persia and all over the Mediterranean Sea. Everywhere the Greeks went their influence spread.

Several Greek travelers wrote down their thoughts about the places they visited. They also recorded interesting sights, experiences, and traditions. Most of what is now known about the process of mummification, for example,  comes from the writings of a Greek traveler. Perhaps the best known Greek travel writing was the list that several travelers made to describe what they called the Seven Wonders of the World. Different travelers had different lists of wonders, and some included more than seven. But the list below is pretty close to what most Greek travelers would have put on their list of the places that everyone should see.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

  1. The Lighthouse at Alexandria
  2. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  3. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  4. The Great Pyramid of Giza
  5. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  6. The Colossus of Rhodes
  7. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Each of these is linked to a Wikipedia article that gives a good description. You don’t have to read the whole article but at least read the intro to each one and look at the pictures.

All of these structures were amazing. There are a few things wrong with this list, however. First, most of these things are from a very small part of the world. Second, most of them were built by Greeks or people influenced by the Greeks. Lastly, all but one of them (The Great Pyramid) have been destroyed. From time to time different people have tried coming up with a new list of wonders, but no one list has been accepted.

I want you to come up with a list of Seven Wonders of the Modern World to go with the ancient Greek list. These should be man-made structures, built since 1000AD, that deserve to be visited by anyone/everyone in the world who can possibly make the trip. For each of your seven wonders write a brief (1 paragraph) description and a reason it deserves to be included on such a prestigious list.

This is going to require a good bit of research and little writing.  Be sure to include a list sources for the research you do. Make sure you reread and edit your work before you turn it in. I’ll give you until next Tuesday (Dec 20) to get all this done. Each wonder you identify and describe is worth 5pts, the bibliography is worth 5pts, and the assignment will be worth 40pts total.

Points will be subtracted for all the usual things (spelling errors, late, etc.)

For this assignment you will need to write or type your list and either turn in a hard copy or email the document to me through engrade. 

Posted in Current Connection | Leave a comment

Mythical Thinking


Mythology is the set of stories and legends cultures use to explain the un-explainable (supernatural) and communicate deep truths. Humankind has created myths since the depths of prehistory and predates the conceptions of science or reason. As a window to what a culture/people hold to be most central to who they are and what they believe myths can provide an opportunity to discuss many aspects of cultural development.

The BIG Myth is your link to the creation stories of several cultures around the world. Click on and watch at least four of them. Then read Genesis chapters 1-3 and answer the following questions.


  1. Are the stories in Gen 1-3 mythological? Why/why not?
  2. Why might this comparison of Genesis to other creation myths make Christians uncomfortable?
  3. What makes Christianity special?
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

King Tut’s Family



King Tut. He is one of the most written about and recognizable of all Egyptian pharaohs. Yet for all that there are still significant unanswered questions about the boy king. Many of these involve his family.

The link below will take you to a family tree of King Tutankhamen. Examine it thoroughly. I also recommend clicking through the photo gallery link that goes with the family tree.

Your today task is to read the accompanying article with a partner while noting important elements of Egyptian culture, especially art and religion. This is required reading for this unit; if you do not finish it today please do so for homework. I have made hard copies available, which you may highlight or write on if needed.


Tut’s Family Tree

Photo Gallery


Posted in TOTW | Leave a comment