Thursday, June 17, 2010

Colonization for Dummies

Right now I'm studying for my U.S. History final and as I'm reviewing all the stuff about the colonies, this is all I can think:

Colonizing the New World for Dummies

If you are French...
  • Go explore the delicious forests of Canada (yes, I'm using the adjective 'delicious'... they produce maple syrup, okay?) and make friends with the natives. Your trade will make them very happy campers indeed, and they'll even take your side when you fight those stupid Englishmen in a few hundred years or so. This, in turn, will create a spark of confidence that'll eventually lead to those other colonies rebelling against the stupid Englishmen, and then you can show up those stupid Englishmen again! Of course, you'll lose Canada in the end, but it'll be worth it because your legacy, Quebec, won't let your influence die! They'll even try to secede a few times and make the entire country speak your language!
  • Alternately, if you're adverse to cold weather and moose, go settle Louisiana and eat shrimp.
If you are Dutch...
  • Go chill out in the Middle Colonies for awhile. Don't really conquer anyone, but trade like crazy and make a crapload of money instead. Be sure to buy your land from the natives. They take kindly to it, even if that's because they tricked you and they didn't really own it in the first place. Give your settlement an amazingly original name, like New Amsterdam. Build a nice wall. In the future, a street will run where your wall was and people will fittingly call it Wall Street. Go ahead, boot the Swedes off the Delaware River and out of the New World. The English'll return the favor and boot you out in a little bit anyways. And don't worry-- when they rename your settlement, it'll be something just as creative. Like New York.
If you are Russian...
  • Settle Alaska. The cold will make you feel right at home. Trap furs and hunt animals. Make money. Once you've trapped and hunted so much that there's not much more profit left to be had, sell Alaska to the United States. Don't worry, your former colony won't be too far away. Sarah Palin can still see you from her house.
If you are Norse...
  • Get here several hundred years before anybody else does. Land at a point in Newfoundland and call the place Vinland. Build a little settlement if you feel like it and celebrate your lovely discovery. Then shrug, turn around, and go back home. Greenland is way cooler anyways.
If you are Italian...
  • Volunteer your exploration services to the lovely Spanish monarchy. Get to Americas about 492 years after the Norsemen, but claim you got there first. Fail epically at geography and force future generations to constantly have to clarify "Indians like Native Americans, or Indians from India?"
If you are Spanish...
  • Forget Canada. There's no gold there. Screw the U.S. There's no gold there. Focus on Central and South America! That's where the gold is, baby! ...Well, make an exception for California. Because there's totally gold there. And maybe Florida too. Disneyworld is very profitable.
If you are a Puritan...
  • Go found a colony with a name so complicated that generations of schoolchildren will despair when spelling it. Be so scarily religious that in the future some poor students will have to write AP essays about how your religion affected every aspect of your lifestyle. Have families. Build towns. Burn the witches.
If you are supposed to a Puritan but aren't...
  • Screw Massachusetts. Rhode Island is waiting.
If you are a Quaker...
  • Settle a pretty darn epic colony called Pennsylvania. Be super-tolerant and nice to the natives. Annoy everybody. Found the city of Philadelphia-- it'll serve you all well as a capitol for quite awhile, even if in the future it's a scary city where everyone wants to knife you.
If you are Catholic...
  • Well, aren't you in a fun situation? Britain just can't decide whether to be Catholic or Protestant, so one second you're happy as clams, and the next, you might lose your charter. As a compromise, say that you're going to be religiously tolerant and welcome both Catholics and Protestants into your colony. Also, execute any non-Christians you come across.
If you just want to get rich...
  • Go south. Start a plantation. Import slaves. Grow tobacco. Then grow indigo. Then grow cotton. Drawl when you speak. Invent the word "y'all."

Hopefully, this guide helped you decide how to best fulfill your colonial ambitions.
Good luck. Have fun when the independence movement comes around.

Till next time!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So. I did it. I actually created a blog.
Honestly, I'm very unsure about how this whole thing's gonna go over. I was told that I should start a blog because my Facebook status updates are arguably fairly amusing. But status updates and blog posts are two different things. When I post something on Facebook, all I have to do is think up a witty little phrase that's 420 characters or less, whereas blogs require me to keep my audience awake and drool-free for several paragraphs at least. Perhaps getting a Twitter would've been more fitting, but in my mind that would've been redundant as I already use Facebook for all my Twitter-like needs.
So here we are.

I figured a little overview of what to expect from this space would be an appropriate first post. My intentions, at this point, are to choose new topics for each post and explain them with a dash of quirk. Don't expect any "yeah, so, today I was tired and then I ate macaroni for dinner and then I tripped over my cat and broke my nose" sort of thing from me. I plan to write about stuff that isn't important in the grand scheme of things (hence my blog's title), but is interesting if you look at it properly. And then screw around with it a bit, because it's fun.
For example, have you ever wondered where cupcakes come from? Who invented them? Why? And what would cupcakes dream about if they were sentient?

So, in short, I'm hoping to learn some things while still being entertaining. I've always secretly-- somewhere deep down inside-- wanted to be an edutainment show. We'll see how this works out.

Thanks for reading, and till next time!