Common Ground: Water Supplies and Water-Quality Issues in Rural Communities

On average, our society uses almost 100 gallons of drinking water per person per day. Introduction One of the primary differences between rural and urban housing is that much infrastructure that is often taken for granted by the urban resident does not exist in the rural environment. Examples range from fire and police protection to[…]

The Spice Trade and the Age of Exploration

Some of Europe’s elite began to ponder how they could get direct access to the spices of the East without paying Eastern and Arab merchants. Introduction One of the major motivating factors in the European Age of Exploration was the search for direct access to the highly lucrative Eastern spice trade. In the 15th century, spices[…]

Ground Zero: Rural California Residents Lack Access to Clean Water

The tiny town of El Adobe exemplifies the state’s struggles with contaminated water and aging infrastructure. By Claudia Boyd-BarrettSenior ReporterCalifornia Health Report Introduction When Ramona Hernandez turns on her kitchen faucet in El Adobe, an unincorporated town just a few miles southeast of Bakersfield, the water that splashes out looks clean and inviting. But she[…]

The Eastern Trade Network of Ancient Rome

Silk became so popular that the Roman Senate periodically issued proclamations to prohibit the wearing it on both economic and moral grounds. By Dr. James HancockProfessor Emeritus of HorticultureMichigan State University Introduction The life of wealthy Romans was filled with exotic luxuries such as cinnamon, myrrh, pepper, or silk acquired through long-distance international trade. Goods from the Far East[…]

Distant Grind: Does Outer Space End – or Go on Forever?

Astronomers know a lot about what’s in outer space – and think it’s possible it never ends. By Dr. Jack SingalAssociate Professor of PhysicsUniversity of Richmond Introduction Right above you is the sky – or as scientists would call it, the atmosphere. It extends about 20 miles (32 kilometers) above the Earth. Floating around the atmosphere[…]

Agriculture in Ancient Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent

The birth of agriculture was a pivotal moment in human history that allowed the earliest civilizations to arise in the Fertile Crescent. By Jan van der CrabbenFounder and CEOWorld History Encyclopedia Introduction The ancient Near East, and the historical regions of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia in particular, are generally seen as the birthplace of agriculture. In the 4th millennium BCE,[…]

The Modern History of Wills

While creating wealth is an important aspect of financial planning, deciding what happens to the accumulated assets after death is equally vital. The smoothest way to transact this is by leaving behind a will, which is a legally enforced document, to make sure the right person, or persons, get their respective shares after you are[…]