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These 13 essays explore the fascinating world of insects all around us. Vernon Kellogg, an eminent entomologist and natural story teller, and his little friend Mary, start by collecting Tarantula Holes and proceed to observe spiders, ant lions, ants, wasps and many other tiny creatures in their daily life. Each creature has a wonderful story and it is told most entertainingly. (Summary by Phil Chenevert)
 
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This episode looks at the rise of the East India Trade Company through the triangle trade between British India, Qing China, and the British Isles. Opium fueled the Company’s rise. It took a combination of opium smugglers, Free Trade ideogues, and 19th century Christian missionaries working together to bring their reign in Guangzhou to an end.…
 
In the second episode of the “mini season” on the Opium War, we’ll look at how the highest officials of the Qing Empire debated the problem of opium in the 1820’s and 1830’s. Specifically, what was the best way to prevent trading of Chinese silver for foreign opium? Some advocated harsh crackdowns, while others wondered why not just legalize it?…
 
The name “Opium War” was first given to the war by a British newspaper opposed to the conflict. It was a derogatory label that implied the great British Empire, emancipator of slaves, was being lowered to doing the bidding of a bunch of British drug dealers selling opium mostly grown in British-controlled regions of India by a giant, private corpor…
 
In this episode, a young Hong Xiuquan fails the provincial exam in Guangzhou for the third time. The experience breaks him, and his family fears for his life. It’s then, as his family fears he might be dying, that a group of small children in golden robes, a host of angels, and a giant rooster come to whisk him away on a journey that will change hi…
 
The Qianlong Emperor This episode we’ll look at the rise of the Qing, China’s last imperial dynasty. We’ll look at some of the major decisions Qing rulers made in the dynasty’s first 150 years. The reigns of Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong will rule China for a combined 140 years, during which it was the most powerful and populous state on earth. B…
 
Popular conceptions of Chinese history usually follow the lead of Confucian ideology that held that China was the eternal “Middle Kingdom”, always existing in its essential essence at the center of the world. Dynasties may rise and fall, but China remains China, a country that has been around for more than two thousand years. Well, that’s wrong. It…
 
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