“Based on your knowledge of photosynthesis, are there commercially viable ways to produce food on land that has traditionally been considered ‘marginal’?”

1. A plant that grows in water adjacent to the edge of land
Re-reading the question, we can understand it as follows: Based on my own knowledge about photosynthesis, are there legit ways to produce food on land that come from plants that grow in the water, yet right next to land? My answer is yes. There is a plant called the ‘Creeping Jenny’, traditionally a marginal plant, that can easily be grown in hanging pots.
R. Biology, Lesson 80


“According to Deirdre McCloskey, why do some of the traditional explanations for Western prosperity fail, and what in her view is the major, unique ingredient that accounts for it?”

Many scholars have different reasons for the success of Western prosperity. Some assume it’s because the West traded frequently with other areas and thus gained an upper hand in the expansion of wealth. However, this explanation falls short when we realize that other countries did this exactly and yet, the West gained the upper hand. So what caused it? McCloskey concluded that the West valued some things over others and because of this, the West was able to prosper greatly.

Western Civ. 2, Lesson 80



Descriptive Storms

“How important for the narrative are the descriptions of the storms?”

The narrative the question is referring to is a book called Robinson Crusoe. Storms in this narrative are very important because it drives one of the main points of the story. Near the beginning, Crusoe makes a promise to God and then breaks the promise by getting onto a ship. While on the ship, a large storm overtakes it. Describing the storm is very important because it shows just how dangerous the situation Crusoe was in on the water. Other storms in the book are also well described to show the intensity of the situation. 

English 3, Lesson 80

The Foundation

“In what way did Mandeville lay the foundation for Darwinism?”

This explanation is going to sound really odd if you haven’t read Mandeville’s poem, The Grumbling Hive, but I’m going to explain it to you the best I can. In the poem, Mandeville describes a hive of bees working together, having jobs, emotions, and overall very human traits. This poem caught a lot of attention and because of this, it got people thinking. Thinking, specifically, about the connection between us and animals. With that, the foundation was set, ready to be built upon by a certain man from 76 years in the future…

English 3, Lesson 75

A Photograph Can Only Tell So Much

 What was the standard-of-living debate?

The standard-of-living debate was a debate amongst historians concerning the living conditions during the Industrial Revolution. They debated about whether or not the average person was better off during the Revolution or not. Average people, as well as children, would work long hours in factories and had very difficult lives. However, this was better off for them. Why? Because without jobs in factories, these adults wouldn’t have a family to provide for. Without the difficult jobs, the children would starve and wouldn’t be able to provide for their families. But some historians disagreed and so the debate begun. 

Western Civ. 2, Lesson 75


Thanks, Mary Wollstonecraft

“What points is Mary Wollstonecraft making in the excerpts you read from the beginning of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman?”

Mary Wollstonecraft was an 18th century advocate of women’s rights. In an excerpt I read of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft made plenty of points on the  subject of women’s rights (no duh). She stated that women needed better education because they needed to fend for themselves, should they live alone. She said, contrary to popular belief (popular belief in that time), that women were not naturally inferior smarts wise to men, but only appeared that way because of the lack of education that women were being provided with. She wanted men and women to be treated equally in education. These ideas changed our world for the better in the past, but now they might be destroying it. Women in America are treated the same as men and they fail to see that. Well, some fail to see that…. Actually, I think it’s just social media being dramatic…

Western Civ. 2, Lesson 70

Pro-kary-otes? Boil ’em, Mash ’em, Stick ’em in a Stew?

Many biologists are passionately fascinated by prokaryotes, the same way a “normal” person might be excited about sports, music, or some other hobby. What are some of the characteristics that get scientists so excited about these tiny, primitive creatures? How do you feel about them?

Well for one thing, these ‘tiny, primitive creatures’ are about as old as the earth itself, however old it may be. That’s what makes them fascinating in my opinion. If they were powerful enough, they could take over the human race–but enough talk of world domination, let’s talk about how interesting theses little creatures can be. On one hand, these things can help progress the sciences to achieve something beyond our comprehension! On the other hand, this little devils can be used to cause diseases so powerful, it’ll send us all the way to Raxacoricofallapatorius! How could you not be interested in these buggers? It is a very interesting topic to have a chat about over lunch and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all we talk about in the future. 

As for how I feel about them, I’d have to say it’s a love/hate relationship. Don’t get me wrong, they’re plenty fascinating, but so are Great White sharks and you don’t see me cozying up to any of them. 

Biology R. Lesson 70