Month: February 2015

The Dutch Revolt

The Dutch Revolt was the result of oppression by the monarch of Spain, at that time Philip II. So the people rose up, the start of the famous Dutch Revolt.

Philip II was concerned that the Dutch people had too much freedom. So he started cutting down on that freedom in different ways. One way was to impose taxes. Another more serious way was to bring the Inquisition over and to try and use its power to subjugate the people, especially the Protestants. The people, naturally, detested him for this, Catholic and Protestant alike, and so they rebelled.

William of Orange was a landholder in Germany. He had Protestant parents but he was raised by the king to be a Catholic. However, in his later years, he turned back to Protestantism. He led the Dutch Revolt for a time, and earned the nickname ‘William the Silent’ by remaining quiet when an announcement was made against the Protestants by the king. At the meeting he was posing as a Catholic.  This information saved many Protestant lives.

Eventually the people, after much hard work and loss of precious lives, earned their freedom. They became their own country. They set forth a movement and a system called the demonstration effect. It was system where the citizens had rights to property, personal rights, etc., and the laws were obeyed with a surety and promptness remarkable for the times. Respect for land and rights were observed strictly, by the government and people in powerful positions.

By fighting for their freedom and the demonstration effect, the Dutch people set an example which some chose follow, the path to freedom.

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Urban Search and Rescue, Mountain Rescue Association, Coast Guard

Urban Search and Rescue (Urban SAR), the Mountain Rescue Association, and the Coast Guard are only a few of the many SAR fields.

Urban SAR was founded, and is conducted, by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). This system uses a number of teams for different functions, such as medicine, safety, etc. One of these uses canines (K-9). These latter can have a basic certificate, in which the handler gives commands to the dog, and the dog obeys. There is also an advanced certificate in which the dog can work on complex activities without the handler.

There is also a Rescue team, who does as the name suggests. The Hazmet (hazards) team looks over every situation and observes and eliminates any hazards to the people and SAR members. They can collapse threatening buildings, or other threatening objects, natural of artificial.

Medical teams are always on hand for delivering First Aid, and the Logistics team works side by side with them. And last but not least, there is the Plans team, the structural engineers.

Urban SAR is on hand 24-7 due to the shifting of two parties every twelve hours. The teams can also be at any disaster site within twenty-four hours.

SAR members can rescue trapped victims from fire, collapsed building, collapsed mines, trenches, etc. SAR members also work in very hazardous situations, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, storms, tornadoes, technical failures, technological accidents, terrorist activities and hazardous material releases. These compose only a few of the extremely dangerous situations in which they place themselves for the sake of others.

Mountain Rescue Association was established in 1959, making it the oldest SAR group in the USA. They help avalanche victims; they educate people about the ways of the mountains, avalanches, rock-slides, etc. They help climbers and hikers, and they help people develop plans and safety procedures.

The Coast Guard is responsible for all maritime SAR activities. They typically use helicopters, but sometimes boats are needed. They go to the aid of divers and ships, and they can retrieve objects that are accidentally dropped into the ocean. They are the SAR unit to call to for help on the ocean.

These SAR teams help save human lives at the expense of their own. They are highly trained and skilled workers, and many times our lives are in their hands. Remember Search and Rescue!

The Abolition of Slavery

Slavery, according to historians, has been with the world for countless ages. Slaves have worked in the mines of South America, they have worked in North American plantations and any other industry all over the world.

The African slave trade was a major occupation of all the countries of Europe. These slave trades were horrifying. The slaves were kept in terrible, close quarters. In such close spaces epidemics spread rapidly, and sometimes over half of the slaves and sailors died on the voyages.

The slave trade had a big ‘oomph’ when the New World was discovered. Many slaves were needed to work the gold mines. After that, when the colonies in the north were founded, the slaves were sold there. They were sold all over Europe.

Some people wanted to abolish slavery. They started putting out ideas in order to gradually bring about the general public to their way of thinking. Continue reading

Galaxies

Galaxies are massive groups of stars and gas that are spread throughout the universe. Our solar system is located within the Milky Way galaxy. We can only see a part of the Milky Way galaxy, because it is huge. It would take millions of light years to cross it.

Galaxies were known, but they were thought to be small, until Edwin Hubble discovered that galaxies were giant in 1924.

There are different types of galaxies. There are Spiral, Barred Spiral, Elliptical and Irregular galaxies. Spiral galaxies are divided into three categories: A,B and C. A spiral galaxies have many flat, tucked arms. B galaxies have fewer arms, but they are still tucked. C galaxies have a small amount of loose, un-tucked arms.

Barred Spiral galaxies are essentially the same as the Spiral galaxies, with the same categories, but they have a bar in the middle instead of a circle.

Elliptical galaxies range from round, with no arms, to oval, with no arms. Irregular galaxies are all shapes and sizes, and are made up of mostly gas and dust.

Galaxies are gathered into clusters. Clusters are massive groups of galaxies. Super-clusters are clusters of galaxy groups, and sheets are gigantically massive clusters of super-clusters. It would take at least a billion light years to cross.

Galaxies are giant spheres of light which slowly move across the unlimited universe. To know all of them, we would have to travel infinitely across the universe.

Louis XIV

Louis XIV was five years old when his father, Louis XIII, died. Since he was much too young to rule, his mother, Anne of Austria, ruled for him until he came of age. His reign was extraordinarily long, extending from 1643 to 1715.

Louis was a 17th century epitome for an absolute monarch. He couldn’t take all the power to himself because of certain rules. For example, there were venal offices, offices that people could buy and they would stay there, and they could not be fired. There were also the various parlements which, although their power was limited, still had a lot of influence. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, a financial manager with mercantilist ideas, tried to buy back some of the venal offices, but did not succeed. But he did manage to bring a lot of the power back to the king.

Louis is famous for building the home of the royal family, the splendid, expensive Versailles. It was huge, with tons of gardens and huge palaces. It cost so much to build that Louis had the financial papers burned so that no one could know the bizarre amount of money that went into it.

High ceremony was observed strictly. No one could turn their back on the king or his picture. One also had to bow to the king’s dinner. It was considered a great honor to hold Louis’ shirt, or light a candle for him. These sorts of petty rituals always attended the king. Continue reading

The Incident Command System

The Incident Command system is a routine used by Search and Rescue (SAR) organizations all over the world. Commonly known as ICS, it prevents panic and pointless ‘running around the bush.’ Three important questions about ICS are to be answered here.

  1. What is ICS?

ICS is a routine program that is used to prevent confusion. It is a series of commands, routines and non-panic calmness that allows for an operation or mission to be done flawlessly.

  1. Why is it important?

Without it, SAR operations would be a mess of panicky chaos. ICS enables a smooth mission that can be performed on schedule and with cool, smooth precision.

  1. ICS’ main functions:

The whole mission is presided over by an officer called the Incident Commander (IC). He gives the orders.

Under him are sub-officers who take care of security, medical services, etc. No officer, except the IC, is allowed to order more than seven people.

The routine is flexible, allowing the number of SAR personnel on the team to increase or decrease according to needs or codes.

ICS is an essential part of SAR. It keeps out panic, it helps the person in trouble better, and it helps the mission get done quicker. Without ICS, SAR would be a mess. It is utterly fundamental to the safety of people all around the world who call on SAR for help.