Building the World

April 17, 2012
by zoequinn001

The Oracle at Delphi

Temple of Apollo, Delphi, from Sweet Briar College, at

The Oracle at Delphi is credited as having told the Greeks to settle at Cyrene, among many other prophesies, but who was the Oracle? She has most traditionally been associated with Apollo, but her beginnings were more humble than that. Her powers were actually discovered by a shepherd and his sheep. The shepherd noticed his sheep near a chasm and acting rather strangely; when he went to investigate, he was overcome with a fit. The vapors coming from the cavern that caused the strange behavior in the shepherd and his sheep were the source of the Oracle’s powers.

The Oracle fell from favor with the introduction of Christianity to the area, but she did not fall from interest. More recently a group of scientists studied the prophetic vapors, and discovered that they have a narcotic effect on people, and in large concentrations could send one into a trance similar to that of the Oracle.

To read more please visit National Geographic

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

March 13, 2012
by zoequinn001

Genghis Khan and the Environment

Genghis Khan, portrait, 14th century. National Palace Museum, Taipei. Image: wikimedia.

Genghis Khan, responsible for an extension of the Grand Canal, is legendary for tactics used to expand the Mongol Empire. Expanse of this empire did have a lasting impact on the world. The Guardian reports that Khan may have drastically decreased the carbon levels in the atmosphere by the very destruction of civilizations for which he may be sometimes scorned. Khan may also have helped replenish that carbon. National Geographic reports (as of 2003) that there are roughly 16 million genetic descendants of Khan in the world today. That’s .05% of the world’s population.

Creative Commons License
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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