Hello everyone. It's the second Friday of the month instead of the first, but I did want to take a minute and give a couple of quick announcements and updates.
First, I'm officially going to be teaching high school World History next year, which will doubtless impact some of the things I write about here. Specifically, there's likely to be more "modern" world history (i.e. post-1300s) and less "ancient" world history (i.e. pre-Roman Empire) just as a function of what sorts of things I'm going to be paying more attention to professionally. For context, I used to teach "global studies," which spanned everything from the early evolution of homo sapiens to the current state of environmental politics in the Amazon Rainforest. My interests tend to be a function of things I get exposed to passively as much as actively, and I'm about to get a lot more passive exposure to stuff that happened after the end of the Roman Republic than I normally do.
Also, in the last month or so there have been a bunch of great comments on and follow-ups to my research overviews, and I wanted to highlight some of them.
- Bhalil in Morocco and Coober Pedy in Australia provide more examples of modern troglodytes, but apparently the Chinese government disapproves of cave-dwelling.
- The very short story Symbols of Waste touched on the history of the relatively short list of organisms domesticated for reasons other than food, and Shaun shared some pretty good circumstantial evidence that humans may have first interacted with silkworms as food. Beondegi is a Korean street food made with silkworm pupae.
- The Last Stands edition led to a bunch of people reaching out to share examples of last stands I'd omitted, forgotten about, or never known about. Here's some more information about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Siege of Masada, and the Siege of Lille (a heroic French resistance that held up German invaders long enough for nearby Brits to evacuate), and the Battle of Samar, one of the largest naval battles in history. There was also this video of MSgt. John Chapman's last stand during the 2002 Battle of Takur Ghar, which resulted in his posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor. It's super blurry, but the comments on some of the related videos were very edifying. The Battle of Takur Ghar was evidently the inspiration for the storyline of Medal of Honor, a first person shooter video game from 2010.
- Here's more information about Admiral Yi, the Korean general who commanded during the Battle of Myeongnyang, via the ever-excellent Extra Credits youtube site.
- Here's a great resource if you're interested in Chinese fortifications.
- Apparently it's not just love, sex and yawning that have weird connections, yawning is just weird in general.
Lastly (for now), there's going to be a slight shift to the schedule of the Iceberg editions. Previously I sent out a research overview every Monday in a very particular themed format. Going forward, every other research overview will be more of a "retrospective" and a little less tightly themed — basically, you should expect more follow-ups along the lines of what's outlined above. I'm also going to start moving the early-bird gold tier announcements about my notes updates to the 4th Friday flash edition to make things a little easier on myself formatting-wise.
If you have any questions about this, let me know. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!