Geeking Out: Earthquakes.

Here’s why there’s bad news on the horizon.

Look at that link. It’s all the earthquakes this year. Look at the pattern. Ring of Fire. Big Shakers. What does this mean?? Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: Etruscan Religion

There is little evidence of Etruscan religion thus there are many differing opinions as to it’s definition, none of which are able to be proven. In her small section on the subject of religion in Etruscan Civilization, Sybille Haynes puts forward the idea that early Etruscan rituals took place outside and later temples were built in which to worship. Her and Helle Anderson share the idea that votive offerings were a large part of religious practice. Anderson seems very convinced that gods had very little to do with religion. Faith centered on deified ancestors. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: The Roman Empire

All things must end, and the Roman Empire was no exception. The Roman Empire did survive in the form of the Byzantine Empire, then the Holy Roman Empire, but the glory days of Rome, the days of Augustus and Marcus Aurelius came to an end in 406. One of the theories Cahill puts forth in the beginning of his book How the Irish Saved Civilization is that the Empire fell so slowly that not even those who were living in it noticed, nor did many of them probably admit it when it did happen. Although we can certainly say that when the tribes of Europe continually invaded Rome that the Empire was dead, it was dying much before this. The theory that all empires must end and that Rome slowly fell out of power seems the most plausible. Cahill speaks of the evasion and harm of taxes, the collapse of the army, and the beginning of illiteracy being the slow murderers of the great Roman Empire. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: Evolution of Presidential Power

Presidential power evolves because our country evolves just as our language, culture, science and technology make progress. The office evolved significantly between 1787 and 1809 as men arrived in office with a particular view of presidential power, only to have this view shift upon taking office. The Constitutional Convention alone saw the presidency change from a vaguely defined office as it was in the Virginia Plan, to specific and powerful as in the Hamilton Plan, which proposed an executive chosen by the electors that would serve for life with the ability to veto all laws passed by the legislature.1 Washington believed himself to be, and acted as, the chief administrative officer of the entire government of the United States.2 John Adams wrote “the other branches are imbecile”, and “the executive power is granted, not the executive power hereinafter enumerated and explained.”3 This view may explain why Adams made some of the decision that he did. Thomas Jefferson arrived in office as a Strict Constructionist, but greatly expanded presidential power through the replacement of federal staffers, carrying out undeclared wars, and committing the nation to the Louisiana Purchase amongst many other expansive uses of power.4 These men had specific views of the presidency that they sought to embody and each executed the responsibilities of the office in a different manner that usually changed over time. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: The Development of Copyright Law

There was once a website that gave the user access to nearly every album ever recorded. These albums were available in all file formats, and they were free. The site had over 180,000 users, was easy to search, and housed a thriving community of music lovers. In October 2007 this site went offline. Word of mouth spreads fast on the internet and before too long it became clear that site administrator for Oink.cd, as the site in question was called, had been arrested by an International Federation of the Phonographic Industry task force for suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.1 News of this arrest surprised few since the site allowed users to connect their computers to the computers of other music fans in order to download the files housed on these remote computers. The site acted as Google does, allowing users to search for the music they desired. This activity made copyright infringement easy, and the site’s closure was inevitable. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About:

Through the years, the nature of light has been a question pondered by some of the greatest minds the world has ever known. With each passing generation of scientists, it seems that some new, seemingly impossible quality is discovered. These breakthroughs have at times come in bunches, but hundreds of years have separated new discoveries. One thing has always been kept constant however, and that is the idea that there will always be something new to learn, and some great mind to shine through the darkness to reveal another unforeseen quality of light. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: Hypocrisy in the Quest for Independence

Samuel Johnson said, “How is it that we hear the largest yelps for liberty among the drivers of the negroes?” In this statement a British man remarks on the tendencies of a nation three thousand miles to the west, and this nations thirst for independence from the very land that Johnson himself called home. Spoken in 1775, these remarks came at a time in history when tensions were high and every opportunity was taken to put down, or bring to light inconsistencies or hypocrisies in the practices of other side of the argument. Much like a political campaign, these comments had effects that went beyond merely stating the truth about those who were shouting for revolution. These comments also served to undermine the revolution as a whole, and break down foundations it had been built upon. Given the historical context of this quote, it can be said that there is a fairly decent amount of symbolism behind these words, and much that serves to be considered in the deconstruction of Johnson’s statement. Continue reading

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