Strange Bedfellows

ryanGovernment, Mini Lessons

Watch: CSG: Alliances Alliances from Certell on Vimeo. People group together for a variety of reasons, voluntary, and involuntary. You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. For the most part, we like, and are like those we choose to associate with as friends. Allies are a different story. We enter into alliances for a variety of … Read More

The Midnight Ride of Sybil Ludington

Certell IncAmerican History, Study Break

Most every American is familiar with the Longfellow poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride”. Better than a modern-day PR firm, the poem ingrained (and exaggerated) Revere’s role in alerting Americans about advancing British militia. Revere was not alone in exhibiting such bravery during the Revolutionary War. Sybil Ludington was a 16 year old girl who lived in Dutchess County, New York, and … Read More

August 17 – Japan Surrenders

ryanBell Ringers, Government

On August 17, 1945, Japan surrendered, ending World War II. Watch: CSAH – U.S. Celebrates Japanese Surrender CSAH – U.S. Celebrates Japanese Surrender (1945) from Certell on Vimeo. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, they brought to an end one of the bloodiest decades in human history. The celebrations were unprecedented, and certainly deserved. The end of the war had … Read More

August 17 – North Korea

ryanBell Ringers, Economics

Watch: CSE – North Korea Explained CSE – North Korea Explained from Certell on Vimeo. On August 17, 1945, Korea was officially divided by the victorious powers of World War II, namely the Soviet Union and the United States. The dividing line was the 38th Parallel. This has led to an incredible “natural” experiment. North Korea has been government by … Read More

August 17 – National Thriftshop Day

ryanBell Ringers, Economics

Watch: Macklemore – Thrift Shop THRIFT SHOP (G rated Radio Edit Clean version) – MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS FEAT. WANZ from Cosmic Reach Media on Vimeo. One way to spend less is to buy used. When you buy a new car, for instance, it instantly depreciates by as much as 11% once you leave the parking lot! Smartly buying a … Read More

The Salem….Tomato Trial?

Certell IncAmerican History, Study Break

Local legends are interesting, with many tied to an actual historic moment, but whose facts are distorted over time. Some legends are downright sketchy because it could be argued that they were used to bring in tourist revenue. One legend is the Salem “Tomato Trial” of 1820. Long considered to be a mild aphrodisiac (therefore sinful) and even poisonous during … Read More

“Early Encounters”

ryanAmerican History, Mini Lessons

Read from Common Sense American History for Life Less than a quarter century after Columbus’s arrival in the New World, Hernán Cortéz encountered the first major American civilization, the Aztecs, when he arrived at Tonochtitlán, a city of 200,000 people in 1519. Cortéz’s encounter was, as one of his men later recalled, like an “enchanted vision.” Aztec wealth was unlike … Read More


ryanGovernment, Mini Lessons

Watch: CSG: Kingslayer Kingslayer from Certell on Vimeo. Jaime Lannister is known as the Kingslayer because he killed the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. He broke his oath to do so, because, well, the King had gone mad, and someone needed to do something! The problem of what to do when the king goes mad is as old as history. … Read More

The Declaration of Independence

ryanGovernment, Mini Lessons

Read from Common Sense Government: The Declaration is, without question, one of the most important documents to emerge from the 18th century, and probably the whole of human history. The principles espoused within the Declaration have been used by virtually every revolutionary movement which has appeared on the world stage since. Consider that the French Revolution, the American civil rights … Read More

There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (TINSTAAFL)

ryanEconomics, Mini Lessons

Read from Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity (St. Martin’s Press, 2016): Politicians, government officials, and lobbyists often speak of “free education,” “free medical care,” or “free housing.” This terminology is deceptive. These things are not free. Scarce resources are required to produce each of them and alternative uses exists. For example, the buildings, labor, … Read More