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10 Objects that Changed the World

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on 11 May 2015

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Transcript of 10 Objects that Changed the World

Stephanie Murtos
His 102 Section 4
May 15th, 2015

10 Objects that Changed the World

Big Mac
Pepper and Spices
The words I came up with about tea tell me that I am familiar with tea and where it comes from/how it is used. I know how it's prepared and that it has health benefits. I have also used the product and it is very easy to find. After the lecture I learned more about tea, like how there are 4 kinds and it depends on how it's dried and cut. After hearing about the origins of tea I can now confirm that tea was big in Britain and China.

Monday : 8 am
Tuesday : 8 am
Wednesday : 8 am
Thursday : 8 am
Friday : 8 am

When I drink coffee, it usually wakes me up so I will have more energy to get things done throughout the day. There are never inconsistencies because I always have class by 9 am everyday of the week, so I'm always up at
8 am to make it on time. I usually drink the same amount everyday. Sometimes if I am tired on Saturdays, I will have some coffee in the afternoon around 3 pm, which is an unusual time. I can connect to the reading “Coffee, Coffeehouses, and the Nocturnal Rituals of Modern Jewry” because my friends and I will sometimes get together and go to Starbucks or coffee shops, and talk about the latest news around town.
I wear jeans pretty much every day. If someone was asked to describe how I dress, the first thing they would say is that she is wearing jeans. Jeans are a really big part of my wardrobe. First of all they are useful because they keep me warm and have pockets that I can put things in. They are very strong so they last a long time and don't tear easily. I can also wear them pretty much everywhere and any time of year. I own several different styles, but my favorite pair is my dark blue skinny jeans. These jeans are my go to jeans, even in the summer. These jeans remind me of the concerts I've gone to since I wear them to a lot of the ones I attend. They also remind me of some of the best nights I've had. These jeans say that I am a stylish, and casual person. Ever since I bought them I have fallen in love with them. I purchased these jeans many years ago and the fact that they still fit, and I have them means they are important to me. Most girls love leggings, however I love jeans.
Silk Mini Assignment
The mandate of Peta is that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. No living being deserves to be abused. Peta believes that current methods of farming silik are unethical because they are tormenting animals, and that doesn't have to happen. The worms are gassed or steamed alive in the cocoons. It takes 3,000 worms to make a pound of silk. The solutions provided in my article for peace silk say that moths are allowed to hatch out of the cocoon and then the cocoon is taken. However, the silk is not as good because the silk strand is broken and the pieces are shorter.

The way the moths are treated should be a concern in fashion production because animals should not suffer because of a product. If the moths can be gassed it is not as bad as scalding. The moths that are not gassed only live 10 days longer than the ones that are, and they die 4 - 5 days after hatching. The Bombyx Mori moth is blind and completely dependent on man to feed it the Mulberry leaves. If all the moths are allowed to hatch there will not be enough food to feed them all and they will starve, which is also cruel. It seems that there are issues either way, however it is best if a product can be made without an animal having to suffer.

1) What is Ahimsa Silk?"
https://fashion-trends.knoji.com/what-is-ahimsa-silk/ "
2) "Raw & Organic Silk: Facts behind the Fibers"

Jeans Mini Assignment
Tea Mini Assignment

Ingredients -
1 (10.5 oz.) Condensed Cream of Chicken soup *
2 cups Sour cream
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground black pepper
2 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Sliced green onions
1 package (30 oz.) Ore-Ida® Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes
2 cups Crushed corn flake cereal
1/4 cup Butter, melted

Directions -
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13x9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, onion and hash browns until well mixed. Spoon evenly into baking dish.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together cereal and butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of hash brown mixture.
4. Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
5. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if desired. Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired.

Cheesy Potato Recipe :
Mini Assignment

The object I viewed was a mug for beer advertising Stroh's beer. The images on the mug are of a European looking medieval village. It looks like people are working hard and are rewarded with beer. It relates to the video because it talks about the boiling of water that was needed when brewing beer. It also has pictures of wheat and barley on it, and shows a river flowing past the town. Water, wheat and barley are all used to make beer. There is a coat of arms with a lion of it. It states that Stroh’s is Americas only fire brewed-beer. Looking at the scene you think of tradition and things being made like they were many years ago. There is a lot of detail and raised texture on the mug which demonstrates quality, because it would take a long time to make a mug like that. The mug is for drinking, but is also a piece of art.
When I was 7 years old, my family and I ate at McDonald’s on Christmas Eve because it was the only place open. We thought they would be open later so we planned on stopping there for a quick dinner. We were doing last minute shopping when dinner time quickly approached and we were all very hungry. All of the fast food restaurants in the area were closed, besides McDonald’s. However, it was closing in 10 minutes. We bought whatever they had left because the kitchen was closed. I remember we had apple pies and french fries, but I don’t remember what else. We had gotten used to everything being open all the time, so it was a surprise when they were closing early. We ate as they were cleaning up the restaurant and shutting it down for the night. They were mopping the floors and the lights were turned off in some parts, so it was dimly lit. We were the only customers in the restaurant, but we were grateful to get what they had. My family said we would never forget that Christmas Eve dinner. It was a Christmas Eve celebration I will never forget. It's a good childhood memory that I share with my family.

Mini Assignment
One way I could conserve water :
Turning off the water while I brush my teeth instead of letting it run.

1) How much water saved in 5 days?
3 gallons each time you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day,
that is 6 gallons per day. In 5 days, you would end up saving 30 gallons.

2) How much water saved in a month?
180 gallons

3) How much water saved in a year?
2,160 gallons

4) How much water would an entire class have saved in
a year if they all conserved? 64,800 gallons

The study of commodities is different from the study of other historical sources because the study of commodities focuses on present day objects that have affected our lives. When studying history, some part of it might be unrelatable because it is in the past, where as we all understand these products and they are part of our everyday lives. Also, the study of commodities does not follow a chronological order, and we are always learning something about a different product each week. You learn about what effect the commodity had on people's lives and how it changed the world.

I usually eat this recipe when I get together with my family for Easter. I think of family when I eat it because we all get together to celebrate the holiday, and will make this dish. At Easter we will have ham, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and a salad. When I eat this dish I feel happy because I don't have it much. It is comfort food because it's warm, filling, cheesy, and it has a delicious taste. I always hope that Easter is at my house and that there are leftovers because I like having it for the next day.

Mini Assignment

I chose a set of electric salt and pepper grinders from Williams-Sonoma. These look expensive and are made with smooth silver polished stainless steel. They have windows so you can see the spices you are grinding. The only writing on them is the company name “Trudeau”. Looking at them makes me think about cooking and food. The impression they convey includes; cleanliness, upscale, gourmet cooking, very modern and a cool gadget. A person is shown using the pepper grinder, and you can see what the pepper looks like before and after. It relates to spice’s being expensive and something of value. The peppercorns are multiple colors and seem exotic. Using these would make you feel like your food is more special. These shakers remind me of the saying, “Only the best will do”.

l use pepper and spices on almost everything I eat. I like the extra flavor it adds. Pepper and salt, which are found everywhere, can really change the flavor of a dish for the better. Spices are a big part of my Greek heritage, and two spices that are often used are cinnamon and nutmeg. They are not only used in desserts, but also in traditional meat dishes such as Pastichio, which is a Greek dish similar to Lasagna. This might seem strange to someone who thinks of cinnamon as a sweet flavor, however it’s what makes Pastichio special. This is a dish that we always have with my Greek relatives when we celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter.

Before the 1600’s, spices were rare and expensive, and only available
to the wealthy people. As they became more available and common, they
lost some of their status. Salt became something you could easily buy at the store and it was very inexpensive. Today, it is on the tables of every restaurant, and you can even get little packets with your fast food. Currently there is a trend to make it exotic and expensive in gourmet stores. People who are into cooking will spend more money on uncommon types of salts and peppercorns that they grind themselves as they use it. The perception is that if you really care about what you are cooking, you will use the finest ingredients, and grind them fresh. It’s almost as if it’s come back around to the 1600’s where salt and pepper were scarce and special.

I connected all of these objects to how they have contributed to my identity as a person. I never realized how much I interact with these objects, so I thought it would be interesting to think about how these all have contributed to who I am today. These commodities are in order of how important they are to me in my everyday life. I picked a Prezi presentation because I thought it was an easy way to follow the history of these commodities. I could add in images and move things around if I thought of a different way to make my project more creative. I could color-code things and add cool images when needed. Also, Prezi allows you to put in a lot of information, instead of cramming many words on one page of a scrapbook, or other hand-made projects. As a consumer I like to have many options and there are so many little tricks and ways you can present Prezis, so I thought it would be most interesting. Making a Prezi says I like to be creative, that I’m always changing my mind and I'm always finding new ways to do things. The map is colored-coded. Each colored sentence has a coordinating star on the map to show where the event occurred. The arrows show the route the commodity followed. The events are all in order of the time they happened in history.

Water is the most important commodity in my life. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t use water for one thing or another. Usually, it is the first thing I use whether it’s to brush my teeth, shower or make coffee. However, water’s importance is not only as a product we consume, but it is also essential to agriculture, shipping and as a source of power. Water is essential to life, and civilization cannot exist where there is no source of water. The first Egyptian farming cultures learned how to control the flow of water through irrigation and as the success of crops grew, so did the population. Later civilizations, such as the Chinese used the Grand Canal to move goods and transport people. This expanded trade between cities, and eventually countries and continents. In the 1500’s, Portuguese explorers discovered new trade routes to India, and in 1869, the opening of the Suez canal changed trade forever. Now goods could be transported faster, and at a lower cost. Water has also been used to generate power. In 1769, the Steam Engine was invented and could power machinery in factories and engines on ships. Because water is so crucial to our survival, it is important that we keep it clean and safe.

Long before Starbucks appeared in every town in the USA, people have been enjoying the hot, energizing beverage in all parts of the world. Coffee spread from Ethiopia in the 1300’s to the Middle East, and eventually the rest of the world. It was valued by certain Jewish groups for its ability to help them stay awake late into the night during prayer rituals, as stated in the reading “Coffee, Coffeehouses, and the Nocturnal Rituals of Modern Jewry”. This use led to the spread of coffeehouses opening up as a place to chat and socialize, much like we do now. In the 1600’s in England, it was advertised as a product with many health benefits that could cure many illnesses. They encouraged drinking it twice a day. The popularity of coffee unfortunately led to slave labor, which was bad. Terrible conditions in the French colony of Haiti led to a slave rebellion in the 1750’s. By the end of the 19th Century, America was drinking half of the worlds coffee. Today, people all over the world start their morning with a hot, cup of coffee.

All of my life I have been addicted to sweets. I always have dessert after dinner, and sugar is always an ingredient in what I choose to eat. My friends know me as the one who loves sweets. Sugar is so common now that it’s hard to believe it was once rare and only used by the very rich. Sugar slowly spread from New Guinea to Persia, and then to Europe and the New World by the 1400’s. As production increased in the New World colonies, the price decreased and it became affordable to the middle and lower classes. Much of the reason it became cheap was because of the use of slave labor. According to the lecture “Sweetness and Power”, the middle passage was a journey the slave ships took that carried the kidnapped Africans in horrible conditions to the colonies. As more people became aware of how this product was produced, movements to boycott it increased. In the article “Slave Sugar Boycotts, Female Activism and Domestic Base of British Anti-Slavery Culture", it mentions that woman were an important part in the Anti-Slavery movement in the 18th Century. Today sugar is under attack for a different reason. According to the National Geographic reading “Sugar Why We Can’t Resist It”, sugar is causing diabetes and obesity because we are eating too much of it.

For more information, here is the podcast my group and I created about sugar:

The history of cotton starts in the first century and spreads from India to the rest of the world. The Southernization of cotton first spread to Egypt, and then continued to spread with the Muslims. It arrived in England in the 1600’s. During the Industrial Revolution, factories were built to make goods with the cotton and often used child labor. In the article "Child Labor and the Factory Acts" I learned that very young children worked in the textile factories, and that their parents depended on the wages they earned. As time went on, laws such as the Factory Act of 1833, were passed to shorten the hours they could work and require that they attended school half of the day. Eventually, the invention of steam power decreased the need for labor, and the demand for child labor decreased.

When I was a little girl, I remember having tea parties with my mom. I had been given a miniature tea set by my great Aunt for Christmas. Instead of using hot steeped tea, we would use tap water so that I could pour the “tea” safely. I enjoyed pretending I was grown up and having a tea party. Looking back, I realize that we were participating in a social tradition of a tea ritual that has been going on for centuries. The Chinese were the first to discover how to make tea in 2737 BCE. It spread throughout Asia and eventually made it’s way to England by the 1650’s as trade increased with with Asia. The British East India Company had a monopoly on the tea trade and soon tea consumption became popular in England and the New World. The British taxed the tea imports to the Americas at a high rate which eventually led to frustrated colonists protesting this tax by dumping the tea in the harbor.
The Boston Tea Party in 1773, is one of the memorable moments
leading up to the American Revolution. According to the tea podcast,
at first tea was only for the upper class, but it eventually became
available to the working class. Today tea is not only thought of
as a hot beverage. It is sold in bottles and served cold,
and its sales are increasing every year.

It connects to the lecture because when I was a child, the marketing done for McDonald's really caught my attention. I would see Ronald McDonald statues all around which would you make me want to eat there. I also loved playing on the playgrounds they put in certain McDonalds. I would usually pick ones that had those there over ones that didn't. I also was drawn in by the toys in the Happy Meals, especially if they appealed to me. I still have some of the plastic figurines that I collected stored in a box in my house. However, as I grew older, my friends and I, preferred food that was healthier and fresher and did not go to McDonalds as often. Today we also choose locally owned restaurants which have become more popular with the Slow Food movement and the idea of eating locally grown food.

McDonalds was first started in Southern California by two brothers. The first drive up McDonalds opened up in 1937. Over the years people had tried to sue McDonalds for things such as serving unhealthy junk food. McDonalds created a formula that made them very successful. They provided a quick, inexpensive meal that would be the same no matter what city you were in. The article, “The McDonaldization of Society” states that this led to a homogenization of society.
We have some sort of potato dish at every family party and they are always a part of our weekly meals. It is a tradition for our family. I have loved these for so long because there are many different ways you can prepare potato dishes. The potato can be baked, mashed, fried, cubed, thinly sliced into chips, and served hot or cold in potato salad. It is the ultimate comfort food and an inexpensive meal that is nutritious.
Potatoes started in the Andes and were brought back to Europe by the Portuguese explorers in the 1500’s. The potato grew especially well in Ireland where poor farmers became dependent on them to feed their families. This success was followed by disaster when In 1845, a disease destroyed the crop and over a million people died from starvation. There are written records of what the people of Ireland went through. In “Oxford to Skibbereen”, which was written in 1847, we are given an idea of the horrible conditions the people in the village were dealing with. Even today, potatoes are grown in poor countries and are a major source of food in the developing world.

Future Possibilities
1) Don't eat as much fast food
2) Reduce sugar intake
3) Use less water
4) Don't buy silk, or if I do make sure it's peace silk
5) Try to get more food that is grown locally, such as going to the farmers market.

Mini Assignment

When I was a child visiting my grandma’s house, I would always love playing with her silk scarves that she brought with her from Germany. They were so soft and colorful, and I loved the way they felt. The closest thing I had to silk was a pair of pink polyester pajamas, which felt and looked like silk. I’m glad to know now that no silk worms were killed to make my pajamas.
Silk was discovered in China around 3000 BCE and was later brought to the West. It was highly valued for its strength and beauty. To make silk, people would raise silk worms. The worms would be fed mulberry leaves, and silk farmers would wait for the them to spin cocoons. The worms were completely dependent on the farmers for food. Once the cocoons were spun, the moths inside would be killed during the harvesting of the silk. One way people transported goods was by the Silk Road. It went between China and Europe, and also between China and India, and was 4000 miles long. It was difficult to travel on this road because of mountains, prairies, and deserts. In the 1300’s, a Venetian named Marco Polo traveled this road. He wrote about his travels in a book which described China to the western world. The trading of silk and other goods between the East and West also helped to spread religions such as Buddhism, Islam and Christianity as travelers brought these ideas with them to new regions.

Beer is often served at all of our family parties and celebrations and guests enjoy trying new flavors of beers from craft breweries. I grew up in Milwaukee, which was founded by a large number of German immigrants, and beer making is one of the traditions they brought with them. At one time there were many big breweries in Milwaukee, but now only one remains. Miller Brewery is still in Milwaukee. However, smaller breweries have become more popular and are now popping up everywhere.
Beer was discovered by accident, but has become a popular everywhere in the world. In the documentary “How Beer Saved the World” they described how the antibiotic Tetracycline was made when brewing beer. This helped the people who drank it become healthy. Another benefit from brewing beer was a creating a safer option to unclean water. The water in many areas was polluted, and people would get sick from drinking it. The brewing process purified the water and made it safer to drink. People of all ages drank beer. Many different crops such as wheat and corn could be used to brew beer and the Pilgrims even used acorns when they landed in the new world.

30 Day Challenge
Week 1:
I will turn off the water while shampooing/conditioning in the shower.
Week 2:
I won’t go to restaurants that serve fast food.
Week 3:
I will not drink soda, or eat sweets and candy.
Week 4:
I will go to the farmers market, instead of buying processed food.

1) I will turn off the water while shampooing/conditioning my hair because clean water is scarce and you can’t live without it.
2) I will not go to restaurants that serve fast food because junk food is unhealthy and can lead to health problems.
3) I will not drink soda, or eat sweets and candy because sugar was once produced by slaves. Today, too much sugar leads to diabetes and obesity.
4) I will go to the farmers market because this supports local communities and there is less pollution from transporting goods from far away.

Reasons why I will complete this challenge...

One of the things that amazes me most after taking this class is how much one simple everyday product can change the world and people’s lives. We take for granted that we can walk into a grocery store, loaded with products from all over the world, and not think about their history, how they ended up on the shelf, and in our shopping cart. Some products, like sugar, caused whole movements of people and the development of islands. It changed the future of the islands as foreigners took over and indigenous people were replaced. India became an English speaking country due to the colonization of it by England. Religions, inventions, customs and foods were spread around the world as these products were moved along trade routes such as the Silk Road. People’s jobs, diets, health and lifestyles changed as these products were introduced to their countries. It is also interesting to see how some of these products are a part of our social lives and celebrations; we meet friends for coffee at Starbucks, we go to an afternoon tea, we have beer at parties and serve sweets made with sugar to celebrate birthdays.
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