Humans Used To Eat Off What?

Before cookware emerged around 24,000 BCE, humans relied on foraged shells or animal parts (like stomachs or hides) to store and carry food.

The English word "alarm" means a state of sudden fear, or an alert that something is dangerous. It comes from the Middle French "à l'arme," or "alarme," which in English means "to arms!" It was the sound heard right before an attack. The word is first attested in English in 1378.


"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, each of us will have two ideas."

George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) an Irish playwright, critic, and activist.

What is the Meghalayan Age?

The International Commission on Stratigraphy recently announced the creation of a new unit in the scale of geological time, the Meghalayan Age, from 4200 years before present, or 2200 BCE, to the present. That means we are currently living in the Meghalayan Age! Our age began with a megadrought. A "megadrought" means at least twenty years of drought, but this one was two centuries of low water, which research has linked to the collapsing of civilizations in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Palestine, Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, and the Yangtze River Valley. Geologic time scales are reflected in layers of rock or geologic strata. The best evidence of this sudden, global megadrought can be found in chemical signatures in a stalagmite in a cave in the Indian state of Meghalaya; hence the name.

But this new geologic age, less than a year old, is now the subject of controversy. There are three main arguments (so far) against the new Meghalaya Age. First, that all these civilizations did not collapse at once. Local city-states in Mesopotamia flourished, for instance, even as the Akkadian Empire shrunk. Second, that the archaeological and historical record suggests the civilizations destabilized due to specific, local problems -- not a worldwide megadrought. For instance, Egyptian civilization had slowly decentralizing for about a hundred and fifty years before 2200 BCE, but there was no disruption to Egyptian civilization, no dark age, and no mass starvation and death. Third, that the environmental determinism suggested by naming a new age after the Meghalayan megadrought takes away the importance of human agency, of cultural and sociopolitical factors, to drive change. By saying a drought caused all these civilizations' problems, we deny that humans are capable of causing such large-scale changes.

The debate has just begun. Initial arguments have been made for both sides. There are many more archaeological and historical discoveries to be made, scientific checking to do, and debates to be had. I personally am very excited to see what happens to the Meghalayan megadrought!

Meet the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team - A Segregated Japanese-American Army Unit

The United States' government interned ethnic Japanese who lived in the western United States in camps, at the outbreak of World War II. In addition, all Japanese-American men of draft age, except those already in the armed forces, were classified as 4-C, enemy aliens, forbidden to serve their country. The Japanese government used the internment camps, and military prohibition, as propaganda in Asia. Look, they said -- this is a racial conflict! All Asians might fight against the anti-Asian Americans!

In response, the United States government decided to allow some Japanese to join the military. In 1943, the Army started recruiting in the internment camps for a special, segregated unit. This would be the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team. Many military leaders were reluctant to have Japanese Americans fighting under them. General Eisenhower’s staff had initially rejected the idea of Japanese-American troops, but General Mark Clark, commander of the Fifth Army in Italy, had said that he would “take anybody that will fight”.

The 442nd became one of the most decorated units in World War II. And after 25 years, twenty surviving members of the 442nd would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor -- the United States' highest award for valor. Sadly, it took 25 years for the US government to look past the skin of men who died to protect it.

Click through the image gallery to see some photographs of the unit, taken during the war.

The word “coward” comes from the Anglo-French word “cuard” -- which might itself come from “cue/coe,” meaning tail. Which makes sense. That is the part of a coward that you see!

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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