Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Betelgeuse: Arab astronomers and mapping the Middle East

Sept 20

SW Asia or the Middle East- which is the best name?

SW Asia is technical and specific; Middle East is derived from the British and is a culturally relative term (if an enormously popular one).

Contemporary map:
Greece * Turkey * Iran / Tehran * Iraq / Baghdad * Persian Gulf / Mediterranean / Red Sea / Black Sea / Caspian Sea * Saudi Arabia * Jordan * Israel * Lebanon * Syria * Egypt

Mercator *rojection:
* commonest type
* see textbook, WG, pp. 4 to 7.

In what nation?
a) Euphrates
b) Tigris
c) Mesopotamia
d/ Ur
e) Babylonia

Greenwich / London / prime meridian

What is disconsonant about the definition of cosmopolitan and the magazine's image as implied by its covers? Is the contemporary Cosmopolitan in effect a Babylonian periodical?

terra firma (Latin)

tempus (Latin)
Arab astronomers:
Betelgeuse, Aldebaran

RSVP: repondez, s'il vous plait

Video: Using maps and Globes

Great Bakeries of S W ASia: a map of principal cities.
Athens, Constantinople, Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Cairo and Mecca.
Why "bakeries"? Because the development of wheat and other grains as crops was an earmark of civilized society. From wheat one makes bread, "the staff of life."

1) Is Spaceship Earth spherical or elliptical in shape? Both.
2) Why is "Middle East" an ethnocentric term?
Ethnocentric: belief that your nation or culture is superior to others, ie, cultural bias. Examples: the French, the Chinese, the Americans.
* Since the term Mid East was coined by the English during the time of the British Empire, we see that the term has a cultural bias. The rest of the world does not see the region as "Middle" nor necessarily as the "east." A less value-laden term is South West Asia.
3) The language that first united this region - under the reign of Alexander the Great:
a) Greek
b) latin
c) Arabic
Answer: Greek. It was followed by latin and, much later, by Arabic.
4) A person who is open-minded, broadly educated and a "citizen of the world," or sophisticated"
a) provincial
b) cosmopolitan
c) parochial.
Answer: cosmopolitan. Provincial and parochial mean "from the country."

Cosmopolitan cities, for their broad cultures and educational levels: NYC, Seattle, San Francisco. Provincial cities: New Orleans, Memphis.

petra: rock
oleum: oil

Atlas: the Greek titan cursed with the burden of holding up the entire world.

Writer's Workshop for small-group point-making study: every Wed. after school.

Terrorist connection
stabilize oil supplies

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