Ecology – Rules for Living on Earth: Crash Course Biology #40

Hank introduces us to ecology – the study of the rules of engagement for all of us earthlings – which seeks to explain why the world looks and acts the way it does. The world is crammed with things, both animate and not, that have been interacting with each other all the time, every day, since life on this planet began, and these interactions depend mostly on just two things… Learn what they are as Crash Course Biology takes its final voyage outside the body and into the entire world.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a new Crash Course in ECOLOGY!

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Table of Contents
1) Ecological Hierarchy 02:01:2
a) Population 02:12
b) Community 02:26:1
c) Ecosystem 02:50
d) Biome 03:22:1
e) Biosphere 03:51

2) Key Ecological Factors 04:07
a) Temperature 05:06:1
b) Water 05:37

3) Biome Type 06:03:1

References/Image Licenses: http://dft.ba/-2qQ3

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Decolonization and Nationalism Triumphant: Crash Course World History #40

READ THIS: THERE ARE TWO MORE VIDEOS IN THE WORLD HISTORY SERIES. You should also turn on the captions. You’ll like them.

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In which John Green teaches you about the post-World War II breakup of most of the European empires. As you’ll remember from previous installments of Crash Course, Europeans spent several centuries sailing around the world creating empires, despite the fact that most of the places they conquered were perfectly happy to carry on alone. After World War II, most of these empires collapsed. This is the story of those collapses. In most places, the end of empire was not orderly, and violence often ensued. While India was a (sort of) shining example of non-violent change, in places like The Congo, Egypt, Rwanda, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, things didn’t go smoothly at all. John brings you all this, plus pictures of Sea Monkeys. Sadly, they don’t look anything like those awesome commercials in the comic books.

Resources:

The Columbia History of the 20th Century – http://dft.ba/-columbia20th

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Fungi: Death Becomes Them – CrashCourse Biology #39

Death is what fungi are all about. By feasting on the deceased remains of almost all organisms on the planet, converting the organic matter back into soil from which new life will spring, they perform perhaps the most vital function in the global food web. Fungi, which thrive on death, make all life possible.

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Table of Contents
1) Biolography 02:07
2) Structure 04:53
3) The Decomposers 06:10
4) The Mutualists 06:38
5) The Predators 07:23
6) The Parasites 07:35
7) Reproduction 08:24

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-2i0c

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USA vs USSR Fight! The Cold War: Crash Course World History #39

In which John Green teaches you about the Cold War, which was occasionally hot, but on average, it was cool. In the sense of its temperature. It was by no means cool, man. After World War II, there were basically two big geopolitical powers left to divide up the world. And divide they did. The United States and the Soviet Union divvied up Europe in the aftermath of the war, and then proceeded to spend the next 45 years fighting over the rest of the world. It was the great ideological struggle, with the US on the side of capitalism and profit, and the USSR pushing Communism, so-called. While both sides presented themselves as the good guy in this situation, the reality is that there are no good guys. Both parties to the Cold War engaged in forcible regime changes, built up vast nuclear arsenals, and basically got up to dirty tricks. If you had to pick a bad guy though, I would point out that the USSR had no intention of brining Laika the Cosmonaut Dog home alive. That poor dog never had a shot.

Sorry to disappoint, but the economist t-shirts are not a real product.

Thanks to Raoul Meyer for the YUGOGAL photo.

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The Plants & The Bees: Plant Reproduction – CrashCourse Biology #38

Hank gets into the dirty details about vascular plant reproduction: they use the basic alternation of generations developed by nonvascular plants 470 million years ago, but they’ve tricked it out so that it works a whole lot differently compared to the way it did back in the Ordovician swamps where it got its start. Here’s how the vascular plants (ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms) do it.

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Table of Contents
1) Sporophyte Dominance 01:55
2) Ferns 02:14
3) Gymnosperms 03:35
4) Angiosperms 05:33
5) Truth or Fail: Fruit Edition! 08:28

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-2d8V

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World War II: Crash Course World History #38

In which John Green teaches you about World War II, aka The Great Patriotic War, aka The Big One. So how did this war happen? And what does it mean? We’ve all learned the facts about World War II many times over, thanks to repeated classroom coverage, the History channel, and your grandfather (or maybe great-grandfather) showing you that Nazi bayonet he used to keep in his sock drawer and telling you a bunch of age-inappropriate stories about his harrowing war experiences. So, why did the Axis powers think forceful expansion was a good idea? (they were hungry). So why did this thing shake out in favor of the Allies? HInt: it has to do with the fact that it was a world war. Germany and Japan made some pretty serious strategic errors, such as invading Russia and attacking the United States, and those errors meant that pretty much the whole world was against them. So, find out how this worldwide alliance came together to stop the Axis expansion. All this, plus Canada finally gets the respectful treatment it deserves. Oh, and a warning: there are a few graphic images in this episode. Sensitive viewers may want to use caution, especially around the 9:15 mark.

Vascular Plants = Winning! – Crash Course Biology #37

Hank introduces us to one of the most diverse and important families in the tree of life – the vascular plants. These plants have found tremendous success and the their secret is also their defining trait: conductive tissues that can take food and water from one part of a plant to another part. Though it sounds simple, the ability to move nutrients and water from one part of an organism to another was a evolutionary breakthrough for vascular plants, allowing them to grow exponentially larger, store food for lean times, and develop features that allowed them to spread farther and faster. Plants dominated the earth long before animals even showed up, and even today hold the world records for the largest, most massive, and oldest organisms on the planet.

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Table of Contents
1) 3 Tissue Types 02:37
2) Primary Growth 03:04
3) Secondary Growth 03:28
4) Dermal Tissue 04:47
a) Epidermis 04:54
5) Parenchyma Cells 05:39
6) Vascular Tissue 05:58
7) Xylem 05:58
8) Collenchyma 07:10
9) Sclerenchyma 07:35
10) Ground Tissue 08:25
a) Mesophyll 08:17
b) Photosynthesis 08:47
11) Phloem 09:54

References
http://www.uic.edu/classes/bios/bios100/lecturesf04am/lect17.htm
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700071982/Central-Utahs-Pando-worlds-largest-living-thing-is-threatened-scientists-say.html?pg=all
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/200000-year-old-patch-seagrass-worlds-oldest-living-organism

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Communists, Nationalists, and China’s Revolutions: Crash Course World History #37

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In which John Green teaches you about China’s Revolutions. While the rest of the world was off having a couple of World Wars, China was busily uprooting the dynastic system that had ruled there for millennia. Most revolutions have some degree of tumult associated with them, but China’s 20th century revolutions were REALLY disruptive. In 1911 and 1912, Chinese nationalists brought 3000 years of dynastic rule to an end. China plunged into chaos as warlords staked out regions of the country for themselves. The nationalists and communists joined forces briefly to bring the nation back together under the Chinese Republic, and then they quickly split and started fighting the Chinese Civil War. The fight between nationalists and communists went on for decades, and was interrupted by an alliance to fight the invading Japanese during World War II. After the World War II ended, the Chinese Civil War was back on. Mao and the communists were ultimately victorious, and Chiang Kai-Shek ended up in Taiwan. And then it got weird. Mao spent years repeatedly trying to purify the Communist Party and build up the new People’s Republic of China with Rectifications, Anti Campaigns, Five Year Plans. the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. These had mixed results, to say the least. John will cover all this and more in this week’s Crash Course World History.

Resources:

The Search for Modern China by Jonathan D. Read more of this post

The Sex Lives of Nonvascular Plants: Alternation of Generations – Crash Course Biology #36

Hank introduces us to nonvascular plants – liverworts, hornworts & mosses – which have bizarre features, kooky habits, and strange sex lives. Nonvascular plants inherited their reproductive cycle from algae, but have perfected it to the point where it is now used by all plants in one way or another, and has even left traces in our own reproductive systems.

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Table of Contents
1) Key Traits of Nonvascular Plants 01:42
2) 3 Phyla of Bryophytes 02:52
3) Alternation of Generations 04:33
a) Gametophyte Generation 05:04
b) Sporophyte Generation 05:25
c) In Vascular Plants 07:48

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here: http://dft.ba/-1TpW

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