The Columbian Exchange: Crash Course World History #23

In which John Green teaches you about the changes wrought by contact between the Old World and the New. John does this by exploring the totally awesome history book “The Columbian Exchange” by Alfred Cosby, Jr. After Columbus “discovered” the Americas, European conquerors, traders, and settlers brought all manner of changes to the formerly isolated continents. Disease and invasive plant and animal species remade the New World, usually in negative ways. While native people, plants, and animals were being displaced in the Americas, the rest of the world was benefitting from American imports, especially foods like maize, tomatoes, potatoes, pineapple, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and manioc. Was the Columbian Exchange a net positive? It’s debatable. So debate.

Resources:

The Columbian Exchange, by Alfred Cosby, Jr: http://dft.ba/-columbian

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Simple Animals: Sponges, Jellies, & Octopuses – Crash Course Biology #22

Hank introduces us to the “simplest” of the animals, complexity-wise: beginning with sponges (whose very inclusion in the list as “animals” has been called into question because they are so simple) and finishing with the most complex molluscs, octopuses and squid. We differentiate them by the number of tissue layers they have, and by the complexity of those layers.

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Table of Contents:
1) Porifera 1:33
2) Cnidaria 2:36
a) Diploblasts 2:48
3) Platyhelminthes 3:33
a) Triploblasts 3:56
b) Coelom 4:36
4) Biolography 5:36
5) Nematoda 7:26
6) Rotifera 7:57
7) Molusca 8:33

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-2V_c

crash course, biology, anatomy, animal, simple, complex, tissue complexity, tissue, sponge, development, porifera, multicellular, eukaryotic, eukaryote, species, cnidaria, jellies, anemone, hydra, coral, germ layer, body cavity, endoderm, ecotoderm, dipoloblast, stinging cell, cnidocyst, platyhelminthes, fluke, triploblast, coelom, acoelomate, biolography, cambrian explosion, adaptation, fossil, evolution, diversity, nematoda, pseudocoelomate, hookworm, rotifera, mollusca, chitin, snail, bivalve, octopus, squid, visceral mass, foot, mantle, radula, gastropod, cephalopod

The Renaissance: Was it a Thing? – Crash Course World History #22

In which John Green teaches you about the European Renaissance. European learning changed the world in the 15th and 16th century, but was it a cultural revolution, or an evolution? We’d argue that any cultural shift that occurs over a couple of hundred years isn’t too overwhelming to the people who live through it. In retrospect though, the cultural bloom in Europe during this time was pretty impressive. In addition to investigating what caused the Renaissance and who benefitted from the changes that occurred, John will tell you just how the Ninja Turtles got mixed up in all this.

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Comparative Anatomy: What Makes Us Animals – Crash Course Biology #21

Hank introduces us to comparative anatomy, which studies the similarities and differences in animal anatomy to support the theory of evolution and the shared ancestry of living things.

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References:
Campbell Biology, 9th ed.
CliffsAP Biology, 3rd ed.
Thomas Henry Huxley: http://www.strangescience.net/huxley.htm
Tissues: http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~acarpi/NSC/14-anatomy.htm
Divergence time estimates for the early history of animal phyla…
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1689654/

Table of Contents:
1) Comparative Anatomy 0:00
2) Locomotion 1:19
3) Heterotophy 1:41
4) Convergent Evolution 2:40
5) Biolography 3:40
6) Tissues 6:00
a) Epithelial Tissue 6:11
b) Connective Tissue 6:33
c) Muscle Tissue 7:01
d) Nerve Tissue 7:14
7) Organs 7:32
8) Organ Systems 7:39

crashcourse, crash course, biology, comparative anatomy, evolution, ancestry, animal, kingdom, locomotion, organism, heterotroph, heterotrophy, convergent evolution, vertebrate, environment, thomas henry huxley, paleontology, agnostic, dinosaurs, charles darwin, prehistoric, fossil, tissue, epithelial tissue, connective tissue, nerve tissue, muscle tissue, organ

Columbus, de Gama, and Zheng He! 15th Century Mariners. Crash Course: World History #21

In which John Green teaches you about the beginning of the so-called Age of Discovery. You’ve probably heard of Christopher Columbus, who “discovered” America in 1492, but what about Vasco da Gama? How about Zheng He? Columbus gets a bad rap from many modern historians, but it turns out he was pretty important as far as the history of the world goes. That said, he wasn’t the only pioneer plying the seas in the 1400s. In Portugal, Vasco da Gama was busy integrating Europe into the Indian Ocean Trade by sailing around Africa. Chinese admiral Zheng He was also traveling far and wide in the largest wooden ships ever built. Columbus, whether portrayed as hero or villain, is usually credited as the great sailor of the 15th century, but he definitely wasn’t the only contender. What better way to settle this question than with a knock-down, drag-out, no holds barred, old-fashioned battle royal? We were going to make it a cage match, but welding is EXPENSIVE.

Resources:

The Age of Reconnaissance by JH Parry – An explanation of the technologies that made these voyages possible, and a nice detailed record of many of the important voyages. http://dft.ba/-discovery

When China Ruled the Sea by Louise Levathes: A history of the Ming dynasty’s ventures into maritime exploration. http://dft.ba/-zhenghedragon

Unknown Seas by Ronald Watkins: A highly readable account of Vasco da Gama’s introduction of europe into the Indian Ocean trade. <a href="http://dft.ba/-vasco&quot; target="_blank" Read more of this post

Evolution: It’s a Thing – Crash Course Biology #20

Hank gets real with us in a discussion of evolution – it’s a thing, not a debate. Gene distribution changes over time, across successive generations, to give rise to diversity at every level of biological organization.

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Table of Contents
1) The Theory of Evolution 1:49
2) Fossils 2:42
3) Homologous Structures 4:36
4) Biogeography 7:02
5) Direct Observation 8:52

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-2Oyu

evolution, theory, biology, science, crashcourse, genetics, gene, facts, fossil, fossil record, dinosaur, extinct, extinction, organism, dorudon, rodhocetus, vestigial, structure, similarity, homologous structure, related, relationship, morganucodon, fore limb, hind limb, vertebrate, molecule, DNA, RNA, chimpanzee, fruit fly, biogeography, marsupial, finches, direct observation, drug resistance, resistance, selective pressure, italian wall lizard

Russia, the Kievan Rus, and the Mongols: Crash Course World History #20

In which John Green teaches you how Russia evolved from a loose amalgamation of medieval principalities known as the Kievan Rus into the thriving democracy we know today. As you can imagine, there were a few bumps along the road. It turns out, our old friends the Mongols had quite a lot to do with unifying Russia. In yet another example of how surprisingly organized nomadic raiders can be, the Mongols brought the Kievan Rus together under a single leadership, and concentrated power in Moscow. This set the stage for the various Ivans (the Great and the Terrible) to throw off the yoke and form a pan-Russian nation ruled by an autocratic leader. More than 500 years later, we still have autocratic leadership in Russia. All this, plus a rundown of some of our favorite atrocities of Ivan the Terrible, and a visit from Putin!

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Taxonomy: Life’s Filing System – Crash Course Biology #19

Hank tells us the background story and explains the importance of the science of classifying living things, also known as taxonomy.

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References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-2L2C

Table of Contents
1) Taxonomy 0:00
2) Phylogenetic Tree 1:24
3) Biolography 2:26
4) Analogous/Homoplasic Traits 3:48
5) Homologous Traits 4:03
6) Taxa & Binomial Nomenclature 4:56
7) Domains 5:48
a) Bateria 6:04
b) Archaea 6:44
c) Eukarya / 4 Kingdoms 6:54
-Plantae 7:56
-Protista 8:23
-Fungi 8:56
-Animalia 9:31

taxonomy, classification, classifying, evolution, filing, science, biology, life, organism, relationship, ancestor, ancestry, evolutionary tree, phylogenetic tree, tree of life, biolography, carl von linnaeus, linnaeus, botanist, botanical name, morphology, homologous traits, systema naturae, taxa, groups, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, binomial nomenclature, latin, domain, archaea, eukarya, division, autotrophs, heterotrophs, protist, fungi, animalia, animal, cat, kitty