Astronomy is the study of the stars. It is one of the oldest sciences. It is also one of the most complex and thrilling.
Ptolemy was a Greek philosopher who taught the geocentric theory. Geo means earth and centric means center. So what Ptolemy was teaching was that the earth was in the center of the universe and that the stars and the rest of the heavenly bodies were revolving around it. This was the lasting theory until another scientist called Nicolaus Copernicus changed it.
Nicolaus Copernicus (b.1473 d.1543) was a Prussian who invented his own theory to counteract Ptolemy’s. His theory was heliocentricity. Helio means sun and centric is center, as mentioned before. Thus it was the sun in the center of the universe instead of the earth. The Catholic Church didn’t like his theory.
Galileo Galilei was a one of the most famous astronomers, both of his time and ours. He improved the science of the stars by discovering Jupiter’s moons. By this he proved heliocentricity, showing that not all things revolved around the earth.
Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer who advanced this science by publishing a series of books on The Laws of Planetary Motion. He, along with a contemporary named Tycho Brahe, confirmed that the planets moved in oval orbits instead of perfect circles, as was the former belief.
Isaac Newton added to it by forming the Law of Gravitation, which solved the mystery of why the planets stayed in orbit. Continue reading
Napoleon Bonaparte was a military general who, after a succession of small steps, proclaimed himself emperor. Those steps are what will be described in this essay.
The National Assembly was made up of the Third, Second and First Estates (the different classes). The National Assembly asked Napoleon to lead its army. After it self-declared its new name, Directory, it decided that what the bereaved country now needed was war. How the people, though they wanted revolution, must have felt when that was announced!
The French army invaded Rome in 1798, sacked it, took in its firing squads, tore the pope’s symbol of authority, his ring, off his finger and carried poor Pius off to France, where he died.
Napoleon was named First Consul in 1798. He privately forced the Second and Third Consuls into submission. He won the people by promising peace, like most false rulers who do exactly the opposite of what they say when they actually get to power. In 1799, the Directory gave him full power as Consul.
Pope Pius VII was elected in 1800. He helped Napoleon negotiate terms between the Catholic Church and France. These terms put the Church under Napoleon’s thumb, but the pope was happy in the sense that at least churches were open in France and they were at peace with each other.
The Code Napoléon put some of the revolutionary ideas in documents, therefore making them official. Continue reading
The line of descendants from Abraham, the founder of the twelve tribes of Israel, to Moses, the deliverer of the descended Israelites, can be traced throughout history as one of the longest family lines in history.
Abraham lived in Chaldea with his father, wife and family. After Abraham moved to Haran due to business matters, God appeared to him and told him to rise up and take his wife and depart for Canaan, the land of milk and honey. So Abraham did as God told him and took his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot and his closest kin and traveled to Canaan.
When he reached Canaan he settled down on one part and Lot settled on another with his wife and two daughters. There God told Abraham that he would be the father of nations and that he would cause Sarah to have a son. Sarah was ninety years old, but was still able to bear a son due to God’s grace. His grateful parents named him Isaac, meaning gift from God.
As the ultimate test of faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham, his heart breaking, did as he was told. As he was about to deliver the deathblow, an angel stopped his hand. Abraham was the most joyful man on earth because he did not have to kill his son.
Isaac, when he came of age, got married to Rebecca. Together they had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau, because he was born first by a few seconds, claimed the birthright, which was the passing down of the father’s property and a blessing. Continue reading
The War of Independence is the most important event in American history. It is the story of the breakaway of the colonists from the English empire.
The colonists had, ever since they had settled in the New World, governed themselves. They only allowed their own elected representatives to form laws for the people. The English Parliament couldn’t make laws for them. But then, just when everything was running smoothly, England started interfering.
England had hitherto confined itself to external affairs such as trading rights and policies, and foreign matters. The colonists recognized England’s right to do this and they did not complain. But when England started interfering in the laws and taxing affairs in the colonies, the settlers considered this a violation of their form of government.
The argument of the colonists was that they were born Englishmen and they had rights. These rights, they declared, permitted them to make their own laws and impose their own taxes. The English counter-argument was that it was only by their generosity that the colonists had been ruling alone for so long. If the English decided that the colonists could not rule alone anymore, then (according to George III) the English would rule them and it would be fine. Not so from the colonial point of view. Continue reading
It is true that what you work for is far more valued than something that comes to you easily. If you buy an object, fine, you’re happy. But if you make an object you’re way happier than if you had bought it.
If you buy an old car and take it to a shop they will fix it for you and you’ll be happy. But if you take the car home and fix it up yourself it’s way more satisfactory than if you had someone else fix it for you.
The bottom line is: What you make with your own hands is far more valuable, especially in your eyes, than something you bought.
Take the early pioneers. They built their homes with their own hands. They cut their own wood and grew their own food. When they saw bread on the table they were proud of it because they knew they had made it.
What you come by easily is not half as valuable as something that you make yourself.
Let’s say you buy a new toy. Then you make yourself a toy. The toy that you made is way more beautiful in your eyes than the toy that you bought. Continue reading