Sunday, 27 January 2013

what I'm learning: Libya, venom, and Kyrgyzs

I do not keep up to date much with current affairs. I also am terribly bad at the history questions in Trivial Pursuit. You could say I'm a little selfish about where I give my time since I don't often look outside my immediate surroundings.

As it turns out, I will be teaching a course called Theory of Knowledge next year. And it requires a broad general knowledge base. It's time for me to start paying attention to the world around a bit more.
So to start with I picked up National Geographic Magazine. I had about an hour to use in Central. Usually I would go shopping, but this time I decided to get some reading material and a snack and settle down to learn something. And so here are some two (ish) sentence summaries of what I have learned this weekend.

Libya, recently democratic, has a lot of archeological sites from Roman and Greek times and they were neglected, and hence preserved, all through the previous leader, Quaddafi's, time in power. Now they are being rediscovered, and hopefully actively protected.

Venom from poisonous snakes, insects, and reptiles can be used as cures. Researchers are collecting venom sample, analysing them, modifying them, and testing lots of new drugs.

There is a group of about 1000 people called the Kyrgyz, who live in the remote mountain ranges of isolated Afghanistan. They live in extremely harsh conditions but have close, happy families. The article I read hints that they may be connected to medical support and the modern world if a road is built to their area, but this is currently not the case.

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