Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Skinny On Organic Food

Welcome back my fellow learners, today's blog is about organic food, and is it as healthy as they boast.

Once this food could only be found in health food stores, organic food can now be seen in supermarkets across the world. And because of this, it's created a great debate. On one side you have a standard apple. On the other, you have an organic one. Both are firm, juicy and red. Both give vitamins and fibre to the eater, and are fat free, sodium and cholesterol free, so the question raging today is “which to choose?”
normally grown produce is much cheaper, but is organic food really safer and more nutritious? Get the low down before you run out to stock your fridge.

Conventional versus organic
The word organic basically refers to the way food is grown and processed, such items as fruit, vegetable, dairy products, grain and meat. Organic farming is designed to encourage soil and water and thus reduce pollution. Farmers that cultivate organic produce and meat don't use normal techniques to fertilize, control weeds or stop livestock disease. For instance, instead of using chemical weed killers, organic farmers conduct sophisticated crop rotations, and spread mulch or manure to prevent weeds from growing.
Here are some important differences between normal farming and organic.

Standard Food
Organic Food
Add chemical fertilizers to encourage plant growth.
Add natural fertilizers, like manure or compost, to provide food to soil and plants.
Sprays synthetic insecticides to stop pests and disease.
Sprays natural pesticides, use insects and birds, or traps to reduce pests and disease.
Use synthetic herbicides to prevent weeds from growing.
Use environmentally friendly plant killing products, crop rotation, till, hand weed or mulch to control weeds.
Give antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to animals to stop disease and encourage growth.
Give organic feed to animals and allow them outdoors. Use preventive measures, like rotation grazing, a good diet and clean housing to stop disease.

So there's the skinny, I personally think it is all about preference, but I leave the decision up to you. 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Who Exactly Invented the Game Pac Man?

Welcome back my fellow learners, well I don't know about most of you, but my whole experience with computer games stopped with pac-man. So this article is for all you pac-man fanatics out there.

The game pac-man was first created in the image of the original console game by Universal. This was known as the space panic game. It was introduced to the public for the first time in 1981. This game takes can hold several players, that are scattered though out the different levels trying not be eaten by the bad guys that are chasing after them. Other parts of the game have players climbing ladders and also diggers to be able to get to the next screen. However, along the way many obstacles are placed in the way of the players trying to either kill or injure them.

However, how many out there know that pac-man due to its color and appearance is supposed to be the other Pokemon? The designer Toru Iwatani wanted to make a game that wasn't just about shooting. His aim was to design a cartoonish style game for people. He wanted to entice more women players, and not just creating a market solely for me. Toru's vision was drawn from a Japanese hero that was infamous for his ravenous appetite. His first vision was made to look like a pizza. However, this was scaled back to just a simple yellow circle. The mouth design wedge was left, and he was known as the e puckman. This name is from the Japanese word pakupaku.

Throughout this game, the enemies that had to be avoided were little apple like monster that would endeavour to bite into the games behind trying to slow them down. But, the player came with a shovel, so they were able to dig through any surface to evade the apples. By employing strategic manoeuvres, the player could trap his enemies, and save themselves. Then fill in the traps and the bad guys would be eliminated. This game was used as a blueprint for millions of other games, this opened up the market for other game creators, such as Pac-Man which was designed and sold by Namco.

So there you have it my lovelies, my little run down on a sadly forgotten game.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

What Causes Acid Rain?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to read about the cause of acid rain and where it is mostly found.

Acid rain consists of water droplets that are highly acidic due to the atmospheric pollution, usually due to excessive amounts of sulphur and nitrogen belched out by cars and industrial factories. Acid rain is also referred to as acid deposition, this is because the term includes other types of precipitation like snow.

Acidic deposition happen in two ways, wet or dry. Wet deposition is any kind of mode that removes acid from the atmosphere, and then dumps them on the surface. Dry deposition stick to the ground with the help of dust and smoke when there is no precipitation. This form is hazardous, because precipitation will wash all pollutants into any lakes, streams and rivers.

Acidity is determined on the pH level of the droplets of water. PH is measures the amount of acid in liquid. Normal rain is always slightly acidic, and its PH level can be anywhere from 5.3 to 6.0. Acid deposition is below that scale.

Today, this acid deposition can be found in the north eastern US, south east of Canada, and Europe including parts of Sweden, Germany and Norway. Also, parts of South Asia, South Africa, Southern India and Sri Lanka are in danger of getting impacted by acid deposition.

Acid deposition can happen by natural sources such as volcanoes, but it is primarily caused by releasing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide when burning fossil fuel. When these gases are let loose into the atmosphere, they mix with the water, oxygen, etc., that are already present to create sulphuric and nitric acid and ammonium nitrate. These then disperse over areas due to wind patterns, then fall back onto the ground as acid rain.

So you see my friends, unless civilization learns how to stop relying on fossil fuels, our beautiful and sustaining Mother Earth will one day buck us off her back for good. Don't say you have not been warned.

Monday, 19 May 2014

How Did Martial Arts First Begin?

Welcome back my fellow learners. Today we are going to talk about the history of martial arts.
Most people think Asia first started this art, however, it is not necessarily the place that started all of the different martial arts seen today. But, the likes of Kung Fu, Hwa Rang Do and Karate did actually come from this part of the world.

We have all watched the old martial arts movies, and who has not heard of the legendary Bruce Lee, undeniably the king of all martial art techniques. However, due to the woefully sad records of martial arts, it is extremely hard to pin point who or what first started this off. Many myths and legends hint at it, but nothing can be proved.

In 2600BC, the Chinese Emperor Huang Di was known to be a great shui jiao and pole fighting expert, and made sure all his troops were to.

Ever since the dawn of time, each culture has developed their own fighting skills, usually out of necessity.

In 770BC the tribesmen of Mongolia first introduced the Chinese method of skull bashing, to be followed closely by the Koreans and Japanese. This was known as shang pu in China, and tae sang bak in Korea.

However, over the centuries this art form has been bastardised to suit different cultures. Some of the techniques used take many years to master. But true martial arts is not just for for fighting. Mastering any form of self defence could mean being able to block your opponent rather than striking him.

Other martial art forms also introduce the use of weapons, such as Samouri swords, or nunchucks.

I watched a documentary the other day on Bruce Lee showing his skills with nunchucks, however, he was not using them on an opponent, he was actually playing against the ping pong ball world champion. I have to say I was impressed Bruce blew him away. Even at one time playing against not just one but two opponents.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

How Old Is The Christian Faith And When Did It Begin To Spread?

The biggest question asked through out history is exactly how long does Christianity stretch back to? When did it segregate its self from the Jewish faith and become its own faith? At the end of 2011, the Biblical Archaeology Review, drafted a paper known as Crossing The Holy Land, where it stated that new archaeological discoveries of churches are vital with answering those questions. However, the burning question is when did Christianity first begin to build these ancient churches? Early Christian gathering places where not done in churches as first suspected, but were actually performed in peoples houses, which is what is making it so difficult to answer this question. Even as the Christian faith gathered more followers, distrust and persecution by their bloodthirsty Romans counterparts forced this fledgling faith deep underground.

However, this situation was soon to change, when in 313 A.D. the emperor Constantine ruled that Christianity was to be made a recognised religion of the Roman Empire. With this came the building of large public structures, or churches, to serve the needs of Christians. Relics of these forgotten churches are now showing up in Biblical archaeology digs across the globe, aiding scholars to answer the eternal question of how old is Christianity in such places as Turkey and Egypt? And when did this faith start to spread beyond the Israeli an borders throughout Rome?

In 2011 the Israel Antiquities Authority announced some archaeology findings of biblical nature, such as a Byzantine Church at Horvat Midras Jerusalem. The building, that was used as a church, was among several new discoveries at the dig, and was found inside an earlier Jewish area. The highlight is the mosaic carpeting. The geometric designs and depictions of such things as fishes, peacocks, lions and foxes are sublime in the level of craftsmanship and preservation.

So there you have it readers, a quick run through of a faith that has lasted hundreds of years, and no doubt many more to come. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

How Did Archaeology First Start

Welcome back my fellow learners. Today we are going to learn about how archaeology first came into being. Archaeology has been around for centuries, but modern man only became interested in it for looting and monetary purposes. One of the most notorious digs was of course Tutankhamun (better known as King Tut). This dig was plagued by tragedy right from the start, and the more superstitious countrymen swore it was because the tomb was cursed.

By the time the 14th century rolled around, the intellectuals in Italy were getting fascinated by the relics of bygone eras. My bloodthirsty Romans, had the greatest of all ruins, of which medieval pilgrims have long since marvelled at (like there was any other choice). Romans walking the streets were happy to give misinformation on sites and statues, however, the Renaissance era, scholars began excavate, and determine statues and buildings that has long since amazed travellers. However, sad but true, much has been lost forever. When a gentleman known as Poggio Bracciolini and his friend climbed up Capitoline Hill in 1430, the view that was spread before them was just desert, the ancient forum was now only populated by pigs, deer, and crops of vegetables. However, when the end of the 15th century arrived, Roman scholars had already catalogued sites of several thought to be lost buildings, scribbled arduously in notebooks compiling data, and thus started to build back up this once thought to be lost city.

Giovanni de Matociis also called Giovanni Mansionario due to his official status in the cathedral of Verona, used the very literature rich library there to great effect. He proved to his colleagues that there indeed been two Plinys, the elder that wrote the Natural History, and the younger who noted the death of the elder death when Vesuvius erupted. His skills in erudition served him well when writing his colossal Historia imperialis, which was a biographical compilation that first started with Augustus. He showed an interest in trying to recapture Roman times in three dimensions, as is clearly depicted by his stiff but fascinating drawings of emperors' heads, and Roman circus.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Who Were The Red Indians And What Happened To Them?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today's article is about the legendary Red Indians, and who they were and what happened to them. However, most of us have watched the movies or documentaries, and know what or should I say who happened to them.

The American Indians as most of us know where the first settlers of America. They were there long before being invaded by infidels, some say more than a million years before. Over those thousands of years, they splintered and formed different cells, that lived and hunted on this once fertile land.

The majority of them were a peaceful and lived for family, creativity and prayer. They worshipped the land and revered nature. They looked on nature and her bounty as a gift from the gods, and firmly believed it should be protected and treated correctly. However, the origins of the Indians still remains a mystery. Some say they migrated as far back as the prehistoric times, via the Bering Strait Bridge, or even from Siberia. However, this is just hearsay.

Sadly, this peaceful and loving race was doomed the second Europeans invaded. These usurpers drove the Indians from their land, and this once peaceful and proud race were forced to fight. Many wars were fought and lost because of this. And some Indians even befriended the white men.

However, their fate was sealed, in 1830 Andrew Jacksons removal act forced the once proud race to the Western part of the country.

However, after many centuries, the American Indians are finally getting the recognition and respect they sorely deserve, with Museums being erected countrywide showing exactly who and what this once proud nation once was.

Once again this just goes to show, what exactly men are capable of, many atrocities were done against the Indians, even to their women and children. The white man should be ashamed of themselves, after all they were the guests not the other way around. But it just proves how greedy and bloodthirsty the Americans are, and even today, some things have not changed.

The only difference is, the wars are fought in boardrooms first before the killing begins.

Monday, 5 May 2014

How Cigarettes Came About

Welcome back my fellow learners, this article goes to all my fellow smokers out there.

The Americas and tobacco go way back, drawings show that the Mayans of Mexico were dabbling in tobacco as far back as 600 – 900 A.D. The American Indians were growing their own tobacco long before the Europeans were even heard of. Back then the Indians used to use tobacco in their religious ceremonies, and even for medicinal purposes, with the help of a pipe.

In 1612 the population of Jamestown, Virginia began to grow tobacco as a way to earn money. This was their main source of income, along with cotton, corn, sugar, wheat, and soya beans. Believe it or not tobacco actually funded the American Revolution against England. And, the first President of the United States grew tobacco also. Which I have to say is a joke, since most of the Americans are all anti smokers now, I wonder if they know that their great nation was built on tobacco?

Most people by the 1800's used to use tobacco, however, most of them chewed it, (we have all watched the great westerns and seen the tough cowboys doing this). However, the more refined rolled their own cigarettes or had the occasional cigar. Back then the average smoker only smoked around 40 cigarettes a year.

The first known and commercial cigarettes by manufactured by Washington Duke on his farm in North Carolina, he sold most of his hand rolled crop to the soldiers towards the end of the Civil War.

In 1881, a savvy man called James Bonsack first invented the cigarette rolling machine, this machine could make up to 120,000 cigarettes per day. And so the tobacco industry went global. James and Washings Dukes son decided to combine their skills and built a factory which spewed out over 10 million cigarettes in their first year alone.

Their first brand were in a box that contained baseball care, this brand was known as the Duke of Durham. Duke and his father created the first company in the United States and named it the American Tobacco Company. This became the biggest and most powerful company up to the 1900's. By then more smaller firms has cropped up. Philip Morris in 1902 brought out the now still famous Marlboro cigarettes which would eventually spell disaster for the American Tobacco Company.

So there you have it folks, how the evil weed first began.