Quatr.us Study Guides
Projects and Pages for mid-May:
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
RAMADAN: The Islamic holiday of Ramadan will start Friday evening, May 26th. Ramadan is a month of religious festivals, combined with not eating, drinking, or smoking during the day, that is one of the five pillars of Islam. We'll be celebrating Ramadan by remembering great Muslim people from Mohammed to Saladin, Lalla Arifa, Suleiman the Great, Nurbanu Sultan, Hamida Banu, Ibn Khaldun, and Ibn Bajjah - from the Atlantic coast all the way to India.
MEMORIAL DAY: (Monday, May 29th) - Memorial Day got started as a way to remember the many, many people who died during the Civil War. It's a good time to review the history of slavery in North America, and the invention of the cotton gin and the rise of cotton-growing and the early cotton mills in England. Then you can understand what led to the Civil War and how African-American people won their freedom. More Americans died in the Civil War than in all the wars since then - World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
This week in history:
FIFTH CRUSADE: On May 24th, 1218 AD, the Fifth Crusade left Europe for Damascus, in Syria. Like the Fourth Crusade, this one went first to Egypt, under the leadership of the Pope. Even though the Crusaders made an alliance with the Seljuk Turks, the Crusaders failed to capture Egypt, and eventually went home again.
SAVONAROLA: On May 23rd, 1498, the people of Florence, Italy burned their preacher, Giovanni Savonarola at the stake. Savonarola, a Dominican monk, tried to use religion to organize the people of Florence against the powerful Medici family and restore republican control, but when he failed a trial by fire, the people turned against him and back to the Medici.
WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK: Celebrate Ramadan, if you are Muslim! Otherwise, find a way to work for peace, as the people who started Memorial Day wanted you to do. And aren't these two things really the same? Because "Islam" means "peace."
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New page this week:
Last week's page on the history of bicycles led me to this week's page on the history of rubber - the Olmec and Aztec used rubber for balls and to make raincoats, but people suddenly started to use a lot more rubber after Besemer invented cheap steel in the 1850s. Rubber turned out to be good padding for steel parts - and for bicycle tires. Millions of people from Brazil to Congo and India died, forced to work harder and harder to produce enough rubber.
History Deals of the Week:
I've been loving Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (2010, only $10.65 in paper!), and liking Stewart Gordon's chatty When Asia Was the World, about medieval Central Asia (2009, $12.52 in paper). Enjoying is the wrong word, though, for these sad books about the trouble Europeans and Americans caused in their rush to get rubber: John Tully's The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber (2011, $12.73 for Kindle), Stephen Harp's A World History of Rubber (2015, $14.86), and the Neelemans' Rubber Soldiers: The Forgotten Army that Saved the Allies in WWII (just out, $20). For kids to learn more about Ramadan, check out 30 Days of Ramadan: Activity and Coloring Workbook about Islam.
New discoveries this week:
VATICAN VIRGIL: Okay, it's not a new discovery exactly, but it's great news that the Vatican has put the whole illustrated Vatican Virgil manuscript of the Aeneid online, so you can see the pictures for yourself, zoom in, and really get to know the world of Late Roman painting, often neglected.
EARLY AUSTRALIANS: Confirming our idea that modern humans left Africa around 60,000 BC and slowly traveled around the coast of India to Australia, a new cave site shows that there were people in Australia by around 50,000 BC, fishing and hunting.
MOCHE (PERU) ATE MUSSELS: And DNA analysisof Moche burials in Peru also supports the idea that it was the ocean that provided a reliable food source for early people as they spread all over the world: Moche people in Peru, about 500 AD, were eating a lot of shellfish and probably seaweed.
Seasonal food of the week:
PEANUTS: When Civil War soldiers, both North and South, were trying to feed themselves, they often had to resort to eating raw peanuts out of the fields, which they complained about all the time. South Americans, who were the first to farm peanuts, didn't usually eat them raw, and neither did Africans and Southeast Asians when peanuts became an important food there. Try some peanuts in Thai Lettuce Wraps, or Thai peanut noodles, or a delicious peanut stew with sweet potatoes.
Also check out our seasonal and budget recipes at Gevirts.com.
Or, view an extensive range of science and history based educational and learning toys by visiting www.mykidneedsthat.com now.
kids discount codes too!