Best Of Nick’s Crusade Blog, So Far

I’m happy that some of my blog posts have become particularly well-trafficked resources on the interweb. I’ve often written about historical topics that interest me, and, oddly enough, those posts get more hits than posts about disability, politics and injustice, the main subjects of my Nick’s Crusade Blog.

This is a survey of the most viewed posts ever on this site…

China’s Age of Discovery: The Voyages of Zheng He

This post, about the explorer Zheng He and the voyages of his grand treasure ships, is usually the most viewed post for any given week. Not only does the post shed light on the way-ahead-of-their-time ways that the Yongle Emperor projected power and influence with technology like the printing press and an enormous Navy (techniques that would seldom be used with such sophistication until the 19th century) but it also remains very relevant because it details a Chinese period of prolonged international engagement, trade and wealth only rivaled by the high water mark of Chinese power today. The end of the treasure ships, with hardliners burning them as an isolationist backlash swept the empire, illuminates a pattern you see over and over again in Chinese history: after the inevitable bust comes following an economic boom, Conservative Confucians take over and crackdown on trade after a harsh isolationist reaction. Today, China-watchers and investors, and indeed the PRC regime, worry about another cycle of isolationist backlash cropping up if Chinese people in the underdeveloped heartland don’t feel enough improvement in their lives from foreign trade and become angry.

The Griffin Was Based On A Real Creature!

Rivaling “Zheng He” for the Top Search term leading people to my blog is “griffin” or related key words. This post is shockingly well-visited, and it’s one of the quickest ones I’ve written. I saw a program on the History channel about mythical creatures that suggested the Griffin came from ancient Scythian warriors who came upon dinosaur skulls and spread stories about Griffins to intimidate enemies, and decided to blast a quick blog post. I guess people really like Griffins.

Donald Duck As A Nazi. Really.

This post, coming in a distant third in views, generates hits from the sheer bizarreness of the video it highlights, a war propaganda-era Disney short with Donald Duck dreaming he is a Nazi. Even though the film is clearly meant to mock and underline the failures of the Nazi system, seeing Donald in a Nazi uniform is still WEIRD!

Special mention: Vigorously Insisting On A More Perfect Union: Fighting Cuts, Demanding Universal Health Care

This blog post of mine was published by the Greenhaven Press imprint of Gale Publishing in their Opposing Viewpoints Series, which is heavily used both in libraries and high school and college courses, to introduce differing views of the issues. it’s in the 2008 edition of Opposing Viewpoints: Health Care, if anyone is interested.

Also check out my comic art, Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders vs. Zombies over at — it’s can’t miss!