What is the history of AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio? How has AK Steel, and Armco before it, impacted Middletown’s economy? In Hillbilly Elegy, JD Vance tells the story of the impact of AK Steel on Middletown, Ohio. To fully tell his story, JD has to begin by telling his family’s story. Grandparents Mamaw and Papaw were raised in Jackson, Kentucky, which they left in the 1940s when Papaw found work in the Armco steelworks in Middletown, Ohio.
What was the “Hillbilly Highway”? How did this phenomenon start, and where? The “Hillbilly Highway” is a name for stretches of U.S. Route 23 and Interstate 75. It earned its moniker from the mass migration of “hillbilly” families from Kentucky to the midwest in search of jobs. We’ll cover how the “Hillbilly Highway” came to be and how JD Vance’s family arrives in Ohio in Hillbilly Elegy.
What is Middletown, Ohio’s history known for? What role did the Armco steel mill play? We’ll cover Middletown, Ohio’s history through the eyes of Hillbilly Elegy‘s JD Vance and explore how Armco impacted Middletown’s economy…and led to Middletown’s decline.
On Jan. 25, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 left La Guardia Airport with 155 on board, hit a flock of geese, lost both engines, and crash-landed in the icy Hudson River. Investigators later called Sully’s Hudson River landing the most successful ditching in aviation history. Pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III was hailed as a hero. We’ll cover why Sully didn’t consider himself the primary hero of the “miracle on the Hudson,” and we’ll discuss how a simple checklist can save lives, both in the air and in everyday situations.
What was Van Halen’s problem with brown M&Ms? And what do brown M&Ms have to do with safety? We’ll cover why David Lee Roth of Van Halen insisted on a “brown M&M clause” in Van Halen’s contract, and why this clause was actually really important.
What is a chaotic system? What are some examples of chaotic systems, and how does the fact that history is a chaotic system affect our ability to explain the past? A chaotic system is a dynamical system that’s highly influenced by its beginnings. A chaotic system can’t be explained because it’s impossible to see how all its variables interact. There are two kinds of chaotic systems: level one chaotic systems and level two chaotic systems. We’ll cover how chaotic systems work, why they’re unpredictable, and the difference between level one and level two chaotic systems.
What is hindsight bias? How does it influence how we think about not only the past, but also the present and the future? Hindsight bias is the human tendency to believe that events that have already happened were more predictable than they actually were. Looking back, we think we could have predicted how history would unfold—it seems obvious in hindsight. But while today we can describe how history has unfolded so far, we can’t say why it’s turned out the way it has. We’ll go in depth into the hindsight bias definition above and cover hindsight bias examples.
Is there truth in fiction? How do we identify the truth of fiction? In what ways is fiction actually truer than nonfiction? We’ll look at Tim O’Brien’s treatment of the theme of truth in fiction in his classic The Things They Carried to see how in war depictions, what’s true may not be best represented by a series of facts.
What happened during the midnight ride of Paul Revere? Why was Paul Revere so successful in spreading his message? Why haven’t you heard of his counterpart, William Dawes? Why is he a major influencer in the history of America? What can modern influencers learn from him? We’ll cover why the midnight ride of Paul Revere was so successful, and what it teaches us about the best way to communicate and spread our ideas.
What are some of the greatest accidental discoveries in science that changed the world? How did they happen? We’ll cover some of the most life-changing accidental discoveries, from penicillin to the cosmic microwave background, and discuss why the most profound discoveries are often the ones that are inadvertent.