As the EU wins the Nobel Peace Prize, we are reminded of a time when Europe was the site of many deadly wars.
Many institutions, from NATO to the UN, have claimed responsibility for the relative peace in Europe since the end of the Second World War. Can any of these claims be substantiated, or are they all special interests trying to make excuses for their hefty expense accounts? Continue reading Why is western Europe at peace?
I don’t know when the first University was established in the United States. That’s not because I’m too lazy to find out, it’s because different colleges claim the title. So, rather than nitpick over names and dates, I’ll tell a few stories from history that illustrate the worth of University, and how its meaning has changed.
April 1812, Rio de Janeiro, King’s Palace. The Regent and his two sons – meeting with their state secretary and top ministers – have just received the news that Napoleon’s troops have definitely been expelled from Portugal. That means that there is no longer a valid reason for the court to remain in Brazil.
39-year-old History teacher Josh Hoeska had a great idea. His sixteen-year-old students were to hold a tournament to find out who was the greatest examples of courage in American “history.” The two finalists involved events that happened in 2001 and 2005.
In other words, their “history” was the Presidency of George Bush Jr. Most people over thirty might think that these kids were learning current events, and not history.
On CNN, Timothy Stanely compared Bush Junior to Harry Truman. Both Presidents left office with low approval ratings, both supposedly fought what seemed like unpopular wars (Truman in Korea, Bush in Iraq), yet both had “a gentle, honest personality that voters looked back on with fondness.”
I often wonder why the so-called tea party keeps talking about “the past 100 years.” Do they see Woodrow Wilson’s election as the beginning of the downfall of America? Or are they still talking about William Howard Taft’s election, four years earlier?
If you read British history magazines, you’ve probably read Andrew Lambert. He’s an academic who writes in a style that flows so well, you don’t notice the footnotes.
This is in contrast to the man who Lambert claims is the founder of modern naval history, William James. James, according to Lambert, didn’t just write stories, he examined sources. James’ writing is exhausting because its filled with numbers and data (what James’ detractors might call “lies, more lies and statistics.”)
It has been more than 500 years since the first Portuguese ship carrying envoy Duarte Fernandes sailed into Trangque, but the celebrations of the long lasting relationship between Portugal and Thailand continue.
The celebrations began a year ahead of time, in 2010 when a Portuguese training ship called the Sagres sailed into port to commemorate the long relationship.
(The Sagres was on a trip around the world at the time, but rather than taking Vasco da Gama’s famous route around the cape of Good Hope, it cut through the Suez Canal. The ships first such trip in over a decade, it selectively stopped at several countries with strong historical ties to Portugal.)
After sailing to Siam, the Portuguese exchanged some food ideas with the Thais. Apparently, the Portuguese introduced dessert into Thai culture, before the two countries met people used to just drink a glass of water after meals.
Well, today Portuguese people are being influenced by Thai culture, and learning a thing or two. Here’s a picture of Andrew, a Portuguese in Thailand who is learning to dance as the celebrations continue. (He’s at the Vira do Minho in the Siam Museum.)
Well, I’ve been getting a lot of pictures about these celebrations, but not much information.