Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 1 Day 4 - The Intellectual Devotional: Eratosthenes

Week 1 Day 4 - The Intellectual Devotional:  Eratosthenes - Ann Again and again

Day 4 is for science and today's subject is Eratosthenes (276-194 BC).  The chief librarian of Alexandria who devised a way to measure the earth's size.  I've read this page two times and my mind is still boggled.  It took a water well, the sun and a measuring stick.  Oh, and a pacer - a professional walker trained in taking perfectly equal steps.  What?!?

On June 21st, the longest day of the year, Eratosthenes got crackin' with his plan to visit a special well in the neighboring town of Syene and wait for the sun to hit the bottom of the well. That time was 12 noon. By seeing the bottom of the well this meant that the sun was directly overhead in Syene, which was due north of his town of Alexandria.  If the sun was directly overhead in Syene then the suns rays must be hitting at an angle in Alexandria.  On June 21st (I'm assuming the following year, they don't say) Eratosthenes took a measuring stick and captured the angle cast by the shadow.  He knew the angle of the shadow was equivalent to the angle formed by the two cities and the center of the earth.  Are you with me?

There's division happening, and fraction making and percentages taking place.  What a brain this man had!  There's even a little quip about a nickname given to him by his contemporaries, "Beta".  He had so many interests that they considered him a dabbler, which they attributed to being second-class, a beta.  (I think they were just jealous.)

This brilliant man estimated the circumference of the earth to be 24,700 miles.  Today, using the exact same principles developed by Eratosthenes 2,000 years ago, modern instruments estimate the distance around the equator to be 24,902 miles.

There's so much more to learn!  I'm really enjoying this book.  (I need to read this page again.)

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Week 1 Day 3 - The Intellectual Devotional: Bust of Nefertiti



Nefertiti translates to "the beautiful one is come".  Did you know that?  The bust of Nefertiti is nearly 3,400 years old and is in near perfect condition.  Amazing!  Only the earlobes are chipped.  (I can't say that about plates I've had for only 10 years.)

Nefertiti's husband Pharaoh Akhenaton embraced a new, monotheistic religion that emphasized ethics.  I think a massive dose of ethics is very much needed these days!  I feel ethics is lost on those in positions that need it most.

I'm really enjoying the information found in The Intellectual Devotional.  It gives you just enough to make you want to delve into the subject and learn all you can.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stomach Bug In School - Building Immune System At Home

Stomach Bug In School - Building Immune System At Home - Ann Again and again
image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


Yesterday I hear, "Mom, where's the stomach medicine?"  It's in the same place it's always been but if the question's being asked that means she re-e-eally doesn't feel good and wants to be taken care of.  Mom to the rescue!  (Hopefully).  Time to brush up on foods/vitamins that help build the immune system.

Let's see... I've brought out a can of Lysol and a container of disinfecting wipes has made its rounds around the house this morning.  (I'm wondering if the rumbling in my stomach is something wrong or just the result of the cayenne pepper I put in my scrambled eggs.  Hello, hypochondria.  It's me, Ann.)  Time to visit WebMD and see what I need to stock up on:

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon
Vitamin C: berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, and red, green, or yellow peppers
Vitamin E: broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds
These foods are also rich in antioxidants:
  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Raisins
  • Plums
  • Red grapes
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Beans
Other antioxidants that can help keep you healthy include:
Zinc: oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products
Selenium: Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry, fortified breads, and other grain products
(Above information courtesy of WebMD)

I'm also going to add ginger ale and oyster crackers.  Those are things that are a "go-to" when one of us doesn't feel well.  Are there certain foods your family wants when they don't feel good?  
Oh geez, do I feel an itchy throat?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 1 Day 2 - The Intellectual Devotional: Ulysses

Week 1 Day 2 - The Intellectual Devotional: Ulysses  at Ann Again and again

Literature is the topic on day 2 for the weeks lesson in The Intellectual Devotional.  Subject: Ulysses by James Joyce.  I haven't read this book.  Have you?  They make reference to his use of "stream-of-consciousness narrative" and I have read another author that used that style, William Faulkner (Oprah's Book Club ;-> ).  Wow. Talk about an exercise in concentration.

If you aren't familiar with this style of writing, here's an example from Ulysses:


"He is young Leopold, as in a retrospective arrangement, a mirror within a mirror (hey, presto!), he beholdeth himself. That young figure of then is seen, precious manly, walking on a nipping morning from the old house in Clambrassil to the high school, his book satchel on him bandolier wise, and in it a goodly hunk of wheaten loaf, a mother’s thought.”

Once you find your groove with the writer then it can be enjoyable, like a game.  But in the beginning it was difficult for me to relax with Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying".  Like I would hold my breath waiting for the end of the sentence that would never come.  But it does, eventually. And you breathe, gratefully, and relax with the writing, the telling of the story.

With regard to Ulysses its last chapter has more than 24,000 words and those words are broken up into 8 mammoth sentences.  whoa.  Sounds like a challenge.  I'll put this on my list of "Books To Read".  Have you read James Joyce "Ulysses"?  Did it have an impact on you?  I will say, even thought reading Faulkner was a trial at times, the images that his words created have stayed with me.  For better or worse ;->


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