11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… we’ll read Zora Neale Hurston’s story of Cudjo Lewis, the last survivor of slave ships to the United States. Read of the week!

Kossula, above, was captured at age 19 in what is now Benin by warriors from the neighboring Dahomian tribe, then marched to a stockade, or barracoon, on the coast. There, he and some 120 others were purchased and herded onto the slave ship Clotilda. After surviving the Middle Passage, the captives were smuggled into Mobile, Alabama. Renamed Cudjo Lewis, Kossula worked as a slave on the docks of the Alabama River before being freed in 1865 and living for another 70 years.
Photograph by Emma Langdon Roche, courtesy Wikimedia

Use our interactive timeline to navigate the history of slavery in the U.S.



… a Native American map is reshaping how historians interpret the Lewis & Clark expedition.

This remarkable map by the Arikara cartographer Too Né “deepens our understanding of how dependent Lewis and Clark were on Native American geographers,” says one historian.
Map by Too Né, courtesy We Proceed On

Use our lesson to help students explore different perspectives of the Lewis and Clark expedition.



… turns out this extinct kangaroo rat is not really extinct.

The last time anyone saw the San Quintin kangaroo rat was more than 30 years ago. And then one turned up last year in Baja. Photograph by Sula Vanderplank, San Diego Natural History Museum

What is extinction?



… rocks in Oman may help sequester carbon and save the planet.

A process called carbon mineralization, which naturally takes place in the rocky outcrops near Muscat, Oman, above, may help remove some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Photograph by Thomas J. Abercrombie, National Geographic

How are cement manufacturers working to sequester carbon?



… how architects imagine school design.

At Ecole Kenwood French Immersion School, a pre-K to sixth-grade public magnet school in Columbus, Ohio, the stairwell has transformed into a multipurpose space for lectures, presentations, collaboration, and socialization. ©William Manning/Photo courtesy of Fanning Howey

How would you design energy-efficient school design?



… night archaeology can reveal our ancient history.

Sleep and other nighttime activities (crime! stargazing! hanky-panky!) are not the same everywhere, and in every period. This gorgeous artwork, dating from 4000-2500 BCE, was unearthed in Malta.
Photograph by Jan van der Crabbens, courtesy Ancient History Encyclopedia. CC BY-SA 3.0

Get some ideas about bringing archaeology into your classroom.



… NASA technology has revealed the possible existence of a missing Dead Sea Scroll.

The unique handwriting on this fragment of a scroll leads experts to speculate that there may be a whole scroll that has disappeared, or at any rate, not been found yet. Photograph by The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?



… Swedish meatballs are Turkish.

Sweden’s official Twitter account made the announcement: “Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century. Let’s stick to the facts!”
Photograph by ReverseOlle, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

What other tasty treats have had long, strange journeys?



… satellite maps can be abstract art.

Washington, D.C., by Lu Xinjian

Get started mapping landforms with our activity.



… a rhinoceros helped prove humans have been in the Philippines for 700,000 years.

Tools found on the island of Luzon hint that human ancestors, like Homo erectus here, were probably on the island 700,000 years ago.
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett, National Geographic

Why do anthropologists say tool-making is one of the characteristics that make us human?



… this ocean path will take you on the longest straight-line journey on Earth. This is a really fun story.

This map shows the longest sailable straight line on Earth, a 32,090.3-kilometer route from Pakistan to Russia. R. CHABUKSWAR ET AL.; ARXIV:1804.07389V1, 2018, ADAPTED BY J. YOU/SCIENCE

If that’s a straight line, why is it curved?

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