because history just ain't what it used to be

The Swarm

In Creative Writing on April 26, 2010 at 13:02

Creative Writing assignments in West Civ class?


This is a little horror story written as a reflection to a class discussion about the Black Death during the Middle Ages.

The Swarm

by Bryan Doherty

The year is 1968 on a small island off the coast of Argentina. This island, Parasio, is small and isn’t even marked on most maps but is inhabited by over 100 people. These people are from all over the world and have come to this island to get away from modern society. One man leads them all. This man was loved by all and hated by none, but he was cruel and violent. He promised a better life for those people but really only controlled them. He had complete control over them and the people on the island had no way to live by themselves or to even escape if they wanted to.

One day a strange man came ashore the island in hopes for a better life. He was immediately engrossed in this new “perfect society” and had made a new life for himself. But when he went to meet with the leader of the island, the leader knew the man was trouble. The leader instantly told his spies that he had placed throughout the island to watch the man. The spies did not help because that night the leader of Parasio died mysteriously in his sleep. Doctors later found that his lungs had imploded while he slept leaving no marks on the body.

Instantly everyone appointed the new man the leader. All on the island accepted him as the leader, even the old leader’s spies and body guards. Each man, woman, and child swore allegiance to him. Soon though things began to go awry. People on the island started to die. Each of the dead had had their lungs imploded while they were sleeping leaving no marks on the body. Within thirty six hours of coming into contact the new leader, that person was dead. Every one panicked and tried to get off the island, but there was no way to get off. They were trapped.

Within a month there was no one left on the island except the new man who had joined the island society and become the leader. He was trapped on the island with no way to get off and only the dead for company. He went mad and as soon as he was dead the white swarm of parasites left his body to find new victims.


Annotated Links: Recycling in the ‘Old’ World

In History, Internet Resources on April 22, 2010 at 16:25

by Staff of West Civ Sec 2

For Earth Day, our class took a look at the history of recycling.

Here is a short annotated collection of what we found online. It’s pretty interesting because even though most people believe that recycling is a modern idea, research has shown that even the Ancient Romans recycled!

Ancient Greece

The people of crete creating an urban garbage dump about 3,000 B.C. The Athenians were some of the first to dump their waste outside the city.

Ancient Rome

The Ancient Romans took old metal after conquering a new place and melted it down to make statues.  This reused the metal and made it into something useful. The Romans would recycle the swords and jewelry of the places and regions they defeated. They would melt the metal down to make statues of gods and war heroes.

Stones used in the walls of Roman cities were recycled and used to make other people’s houses and other things when part of the wall was damaged. Much later, museums in Britian used glass from the Roman times to turn into gems and decorate their displays.

The Numberlands took the old bronze Roman coins and they recycled them into trinkets for the Roman Army and sold them for more money than the older coins were worth.

Ancient Romans also recycled and reused their broken pottery.


This site is about how the Vikings recycled old metal weapons by melting them down and using them for other things. It is maybe unusual to hear that the Vikings recycled, but they would always reuse weapons from obtained from battles.
The Vikings recycled their old weapons by taking them to smithies after battles and having them reprocessed.  This allowed broken weapons to be reused over and over again.

Further reading…

This site from the Waste Watch Project’s WasteOnline has a “Chronology of Waste” that has information dating back to 3000 BC . This site tells how different civilizations recycled waste and used their waste products.

We Are Vikings!

In History on March 22, 2010 at 21:57

by Elliott Weinberg, Bryan Fidler, Becky Hottle, and Mackenzie Rayburn

In gearing up for a Viking raid, the Norsemen would have first gathered their weapons. A sword with a blade about 90 cm long that was sharp on both sides would be needed.

They would also take a short ax and a round shield. Many of the Vikings also wore helmets made of iron with eye, ear, and nose coverings.

Bows and arrows would also have been taken to shoot at the enemy from boats, or on land when approaching. Some Viking warriors had mail tunics, and these would have been brought to battle as well. Once this gear and weapons was gathered, it would be loaded into shallow draught longships that were used for “hit-and-run” surprise attacks by the Viking raiders.

Sometimes, however, things just didn’t work out for the Viking Warrior.

“Combat Equipment and Fighting Techniques of the Vikings.” The Vikings., 1999-2008. Web. 18 Mar 2010. (

Koeller , David. “Vikings Raid European Mainland.” The Web Chronology Project. WebChron Project, 1996-1999. Web. 18 Mar 2010. (