Month: October 2016

Medieval Manorial System

aurorawatcherak

Less than 3% of the United States labor force works in farming or farming-related occupations, yet that small percentage of the American population feeds most of the population of the country with a lot of surplus to export to feed other parts of the world.

Image result for image of feudalismThis is in stark contrast to life in the Middle Ages. It is estimated that between 80 to 90% of Europe’s population lived on the land and devoted all their time to the production of food. The remaining 10 to 20% of the population was engaged in various small and relatively simple trades and crafts in the towns, providing personal services to the nobility, or were Catholic Church clergy.

Throughout most of Medieval Europe, agriculture was organized around the manorial system. The local social units revolved around the residence of the “Lord,” who owned all the land and ruled over its use and the people…

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Goodreads giveaway – Asante’s Gullah Journey

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Asante’s Gullah Journey will be offered as a signed paperback version for a Goodreads giveaway on October 13 through October 27th. This giveaway is available for Goodreads users in the United States and Canada. The story is about Beneda, a Gullah farmer and Asante an African scout for the Libraries, in the future world without technology.

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Spear Thrower

A spear thrower is a simple tool that allows the user to throw a spear further than by hand alone. It is a small length of wood with a hook in the end that fits into a notch in the back of the spear. The extra power and distance gained by the thrower is due to the extra leverage it gives.

I cut a small branch with a minor branch coming off the side. I shaped the minor branch into a spur to fit into the end of the spear. The thrower was about 65 cm long.For the spear, I cut a thin sapling approximately 2 m long and about 1.5 cm thick. I carved a cup in the end of the spear for the spur to fit into. Then I bound the back of the spear with bark fiber to prevent the wood from splitting. The head of the…

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The Care and Keeping of Notebooks: A Reading List

The Care and Keeping of Notebooks: A Reading List

Longreads

I found my favorite notebook—a red Moleskine, narrow-ruled, hardback—at the Harvard Book Store while on vacation. I liked its bold color. Someone had bent the front cover, giving it a well-worn look and earning me a 10% discount from the kind bookseller. I felt relief. My anxious handwriting and endless to-do lists would not be the first things to mar my new notebook. Someone had already done me that courtesy. Now there was nothing to fret about; I could write in peace.

1. “Why Startups Love Moleskines.” (David Sax, The New Yorker, June 2015)

Distraction-free, tried-and-true: the notebook remains, even in the tech-saturated realm of Silicon Valley.

The notion that non-digital goods and ideas have become more valuable would seem to cut against the narrative of disruption-worshipping techno-utopianism coming out of Silicon Valley and other startup hubs, but, in fact, it simply shows that technological evolution isn’t linear. We may eagerly adopt new…

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Sell your heart

Cristian Mihai

heartIn 1938 aspiring authorFrances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when youbeginto write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you haveonlyyour emotions to sell.”

You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.

Now, about selling your heart…

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