The Mongols Helped Spread a Pandemic to Europe Through Biological Warfare
Photo of Jani Beg, the Khan of the Golden Horde. Public Domain. “If this account is correct, Caffa should be recognized as the site of the most spectacular incident of biological warfare ever,” Mark Wheelis, Emerging Infectious Diseases.Read full story
Fascinating Podcasts I’m Listening to Right Now
There’s a reason I don’t listen to music anymore, and that’s one simple reason: podcasts. People ask me if I listen to music when I run, especially when I run longer, 22 mile runs. I don’t listen to music. I listen to podcasts now — mostly because podcasts are so damn fascinating. When I run, I don’t want to distract myself. I do, however, want to get immersed in my thoughts, and immersed in a story.Read full story
Almost Everyone Is a Villain in "The White Lotus"
“What do you care? You make shit money. They exploit me, I exploit you.” — Armond. My fianceé and I just finished watching The White Lotus, and were both simultaneously fascinated and horrified at the show’s outcome and ending.Read full story
I Told My Students They Were In Special Ed
“So this is special ed,” I told my classes on the first week of school. “How does everyone feel about that?”. As a third-year special education teacher in Baltimore City, I teach in the most restrictive setting, self-contained. All my students have moderate to severe disabilities and most of them have less than 40% of their classes in the general education setting. Their disabilities range from ADHD, intellectual disabilities, emotional disabilities, autism, and specific learning disabilities like dyslexia and dysgraphia.Read full story
Hadrian’s Wall — The Inspiration Behind The Wall in Game of Thrones
Hadrian’s Wall — The Inspiration Behind The Wall in Game of Thrones. Hadrian’s Wall was used to “assuage the fears of those it supposedly guarded.”. Photo from Michael Hanselmann on Wikipedia Commons.Read full story
Living Without Air Conditioning In The Summer Is Forcing Me to Check My Privilege
It took not living with AC (air conditioning) for three weeks in the smoldering heat to make me realize a couple things: AC is a first-world comfort and privilege, and not having it is a sobering reminder to check my privilege.Read full story
Execution By Molten Gold Is Even Worse Than Game of Thrones
In Game of Thrones, a universally unliked and hated character is killed by molten gold. The man begged for a crown, and he is quite literally given one in a symbolic death. But execution by molten gold has a long history. TheJournal of Clinical Pathology notes the Jivaro tribe of present-day Ecuador once poured gold down the throat of a hated Spanish governor in 1599, who taxed the tribe unfairly and heavily for the gold trade. The man’s internal organs burst in a symbolic killing of justice.Read full story
Was The Assassin of Martin Luther King Innocent?
James Earl Ray — from the Federal Bureau of Prisons on the Public Domain. Dexter Scott King: “I just want to ask you, for the record, did you kill my father?”. James Earl Ray: “No. No I didn’t.” (Source)Read full story
I Got a Job at an Amazon Warehouse Without Talking to a Single Human
Photo: Andrei Stanescu/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus. A few weeks ago, I had just completed an application to work in a warehouse for Amazon. I had watched a video and completed a quiz showing that I knew that to stow items — heavy goes on the bottom, light goes on top. About 20 minutes later, Amazon emailed me that I had the job at the shift I desired. The email said to come into the warehouse recruiting office in Baltimore to take a photo for my ID and have my official documents, like my social security number and passport, ready to be scanned.Read full story
The Bizarre History of The $2 Bill
Growing up, I saw one $2 bill, and I never saw another one. I wondered why $2 bills were so rare, and so I did some digging on the complete history behind the $2 bill, and why it’s so lacking in circulation right now. I thought they just weren’t printed much, and these days, I barely use cash, besides when I go to the barber shop. The only bills I ever have in my wallet are the $1, $5, $10, and $20 bills. I never have $50 or $100 bills — first, it makes me paranoid, and second, it’s always a hassle for a cashier to check if it’s real. But the $2 bill is a complete afterthought.Read full story
The O.J. Simpson of Argentina
″I beat all my women, except one, and nothing ever happened to any of them,″ Carlos Monzón once said. In late 1988, Argentina was going through a significant upheaval. The economy was in shambles during a record period of inflation. The military was in the middle of a rebellion against the democratic government.Read full story
The Hungarian Serial Killer Who Got Away
“Today he is memorialized as many bloody monsters are in slasher movies and heavy metal music,” Mara Bovsun at the New York Daily News write about Bela Kiss. Béla Kiss was a serial killer that murdered at least 23 women and one man, and then pickling their bodies in metal drums filled with methanol. Despite his crimes, he evaded authorities his whole life after going to fight in World War I in 1914, and no one knows when Kiss actually died. In Hungary, he is, today, known as the serial killer who got away.Read full story
The most difficult part of being a beginner in UX design
I just finished the first part of Google’s User Experience (UX) course on Coursera, and the course was a lot of fun. But it took me significantly longer than it necessarily should have. The course, so far, only has videos and readings and beginner networking activities, not practice on Adobe XD and Figma.Read full story
This Is The Most Vaccinated State in America -- Here's How They Did It
In June, Vermont became the first state to vaccinate 80% of its eligible population of people ages 12 and up. In response, Governor Phil Scott lifted all COVID restrictions in the state. at the time.Read full story
Maryland Just Crossed 7.5 Million Vaccinations — It Is The 6th Most Vaccinated State in America
“You are the ones threatening the freedoms of all the rest of us, the freedom not to wear masks, to keep our businesses open and to get our kids back in school, and tragically it may be only a matter of time until you do get COVID-19,” governor Larry Hogan said.Read full story
Trying to Hack Life Was Making Me Miserable
Life hacks have been the rage of my Google searches over the course of a couple of years. But they were especially prevalent when I was a freshman in college. I tried all sorts of life hacks to help myself get through the day. I needed life hacks to get through my job, my studying, my role as an athlete, and more.Read full story
Do We Call Them Internment Camps or Concentration Camps?
The Manzanar War Recreation Center - From Ansel Adams, Public Domain. When I taught seventh grade English, one of the books assigned to my curriculum was Farewell to Manzanar, a young adult book about a girl’s experience in a Japanese internment camp. We unfortunately didn’t get to read it because of the COVID-19 pandemic taking us out of school.Read full story
We Isolate And Withdraw When Life Is Hard. Why?
Some people say they need time alone to maintain their sanity. I am not one of those people. When I isolate myself, it’s often a sign that things are not going well. More often than not, it’s a sign that there is something very wrong in my life if I haven’t left my house all day.Read full story
What Is a Bystander’s Role Witnessing Parents Beat Their Kids?
A couple days ago, I was driving home, parked across the street, where I had to walk through a park on my way to my apartment. At the time, I was on my phone with my girlfriend, when I saw a couple adults and about 10 kids at what seemed to be an outdoor birthday party — a typical scene for me.Read full story
Stop Worrying About How Homeless People Spend Your Money
As I entered a gas station in East Baltimore the other day, a homeless man opened the door for me and asked if I can give him a dollar for a meal. I gave him five, and went about my day, more than I would usually give since I don’t normally carry cash.Read full story