En garde

As a sophomore at Sweet Briar College, I received an honors grant to study the recreation and practice of Western European historical swordsmanship. Here is a video of me talking about the experience at the Pannell Scholars Fair in the spring of 2013, and here is an article with a few highlights.


Also see “En Garde” from xkcd.

Spotlight: Place

Spotlight, December 4, 2014: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

Image credit: weadapt.org

Timor-Leste is a country that takes up roughly half of a medium island in Indonesia. It has one of the highest fertility rates in the world (ranked 15th), with women having an average of five children during their lives. Almost half of its population is under 15 years of age. It has 16 indiginous languages and most inhabitants originally come from that island system, but there is also a small Chinese minority. Timor-Leste was internationally recognized as a country in 2002, but from 1999 to 2008 it suffered from uprisings by small numbers of Indonesia-supported anti-independence rebels who destroyed almost 100% of the country’s infrastructure. Even now, some of Timor-Leste’s country borders have yet to be officially defined, including its Maritime Exclusion Zone with Indonesia and some regions of its exclave, the Oecusse District. It’s four major industries are printing, soap-making, handcrafting, and weaving, but it has the 42nd highest industrial growth rate in the world, which isn’t bad for a country that has had to rebuild itself almost from scratch.

Source: Timor-Leste.” The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, 20 June 2014. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

A quiz

Question 1: Do you know that children sometimes look like their parents or grandparents?

  • Yes. –> great
  • No. –> start here; if Wittgenstein can use this idea, so can you

Question 2: Do you know how you get these traits (for example, the color of your eyes)?

  • Yes. –> cool
  • No. –> read this (also a comprehensive yet comprehensible explanation that’s good for kids)

Question 3: Do you know that traits do not get passed onto the next generation equally (so that the total number of parents who have a trait is different from the number of children who have the same trait)?

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