Image

The Flag’s Beginnings

The Star-Spangled Banner’s history starts not with Francis Scott Key, but a year earlier with Maj. George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry. Knowing that his fort was a likely British target, Armistead told the commander of Baltimore defenses in July 1813 that he needed a flag—a big one. “We, sir, are ready at Fort McHenry to defend Baltimore against invading by the enemy…except that we have no suitable ensign to display over the Star Fort, and it is my desire to have a flag so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance.”

Armistead soon hired a 29-year-old widow and professional flagmaker, Mary Young Pickersgill of Baltimore, Maryland, to make a garrison flag measuring 30 by 42 feet with 15 stars and 15 stripes (each star and stripe representing a state). A large flag, but one not unusual for the time. Over the next six weeks, Mary, her daughter, three of Mary’s nieces, a 13-year-old indentured servant and possibly Mary’s mother Rebecca Young worked 10-hour days sewing the flag, using 300 yards of English wool bunting. They made the stars, each measuring two feet in diameter, from cotton—a luxury item at the time. Initially they worked from Mary’s home (now a private museum known as the Flag House), but as their work progressed they needed more room and had to move to Claggett’s brewery across the street. On August 19, 1813, the flag was delivered to Fort McHenry.

For making the Star-Spangled Banner, Mary was paid $405.90. She received another $168.54 for sewing a smaller (17 by 25 feet) storm flag, likely using the same design. It was this storm flag—not the garrison flag now known as the Star-Spangled Banner—which actually flew during the battle. The garrison flag, according to eyewitness accounts, wasn’t raised until the morning.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-story-behind-the-star-spangled-banner-149220970/

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

Benefits of Taking Risks

“The first thing you get is LEARNING. When you ask new questions, when you try new things, when you take constructive risks, you can’t help but learn. The American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments, the better.”

The second benefit of constructive risk is SELF-ESTEEM.  Champion boxer Muhammad Ali spoke about that. He said, “The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” In other words, it’s difficult to have self-esteem if you’re not growing.

The third benefit of constructive risk is CONTENTMENT. As you go through life, you will have millions of choices, and you will have millions of decisions to make. All of those choices and decisions involve some degree of risk, but some risks are not worth taking. Some risks are just plain foolish.

However, there are lots of choices you should make, and lots of risks you should take. If you don’t take those particular risks, you won’t be content. In those cases, it’s risk or regret. You either do it or wish you would have.”

Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Comments (0)

This past January a neuroscientist by the name of Stanislas Dehaene published a study on the extensive impact reading has on the brain. He performed his study with thirty-one Brazilian adults who’ve learned how to read from an early age, twenty-two adults who learned how to read at an adult age, and ten who’ve never learned how to read. His study was performed by using functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain function of adults while they responded to oral language, written language, and visual tasks. From this study a few conclusions have been made on how reading helps improve the function of the brain.

The occipital lobe is the area of the brain that processes visual information. Among the readers it was enhanced, showing that the literate readers could process visual information more accurately.  Reading is a form of visual exercise. The visual stimulation of reading exercises the occipital lobe.  This helps with the imagination, which will also help with creativity. The occipital lobe also has a big impact on making decisions.

The parietal lobe is the part of the brain that turns letters into words, and words into thoughts. Among the readers it was enhanced and stimulated. The parietal lobe is mainly recognized for its ability to increase writing skills. It also helps with reading comprehension. When anyone is reading, the parietal lobe becomes very active and works with the temporal lobe to store information.

This study tells us that reading impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Reading is a great exercise that helps people process information verbally and visually. Those that don’t read will struggle with processing verbal information. This explains why a slow reader will be slow in other academic areas. With the lack of verbal and visual comprehension skills, if slow readers don’t change they will have higher chances of divorce and job unemployment. Reading really improves every aspect of communication skills.

Mental stimulation will improve brain function. Reading is clearly the best way to increase mental stimulation. The best part about mental stimulation is that it will develop new neurons, no matter how old the individual is the brain can still create and develop new neurons. This is exciting news for everyone because it shows that we should really invest the rest of our lives into education. Most importantly, this shows the vital importance of teaching your child how to read if you’re a parent.

– See more at: http://athome.readinghorizons.com/blog/how-does-reading-improve-brain-function#sthash.S4huQNnT.dpuf

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

This past January a neuroscientist by the name of Stanislas Dehaene published a study on the extensive impact reading has on the brain. He performed his study with thirty-one Brazilian adults who’ve learned how to read from an early age, twenty-two adults who learned how to read at an adult age, and ten who’ve never learned how to read. His study was performed by using functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain function of adults while they responded to oral language, written language, and visual tasks. From this study a few conclusions have been made on how reading helps improve the function of the brain.

The occipital lobe is the area of the brain that processes visual information. Among the readers it was enhanced, showing that the literate readers could process visual information more accurately.  Reading is a form of visual exercise. The visual stimulation of reading exercises the occipital lobe.  This helps with the imagination, which will also help with creativity. The occipital lobe also has a big impact on making decisions.

The parietal lobe is the part of the brain that turns letters into words, and words into thoughts. Among the readers it was enhanced and stimulated. The parietal lobe is mainly recognized for its ability to increase writing skills. It also helps with reading comprehension. When anyone is reading, the parietal lobe becomes very active and works with the temporal lobe to store information.

This study tells us that reading impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Reading is a great exercise that helps people process information verbally and visually. Those that don’t read will struggle with processing verbal information. This explains why a slow reader will be slow in other academic areas. With the lack of verbal and visual comprehension skills, if slow readers don’t change they will have higher chances of divorce and job unemployment. Reading really improves every aspect of communication skills.

Mental stimulation will improve brain function. Reading is clearly the best way to increase mental stimulation. The best part about mental stimulation is that it will develop new neurons, no matter how old the individual is the brain can still create and develop new neurons. This is exciting news for everyone because it shows that we should really invest the rest of our lives into education.

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

Jonathan Swift’s poem “City Shower” (1710) described floods that occurred after heavy rains.  The floods left dead animals in the streets, and may have led locals to describe the weather as “raining cats and dogs.”

Again, we don’t know for certain. Etymologists—people who study the origins of words—have suggested a variety of mythological and literal explanations for why people say “it’s raining cats and dogs” to describe a heavy downpour.  Here are some of the popular theories:

  • Odin, the Norse god of storms, was often pictured with dogs and wolves, which were symbols of wind. Witches, who supposedly rode their brooms during storms, were often pictured with black cats, which became signs of heavy rain for sailors.  Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats).
  • “Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.
Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

A gifted inventor, Muir designed a water-powered mill to cut wind-felled trees, and he built a small cabin along Yosemite Creek, designing it so that a section of the stream flowed through a corner of the room so he could enjoy the sound of running water. He lived in the cabin for two years, and wrote about this period in his book First Summer in the Sierra (1911).

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

A person’s name is the sweetest sound

Repetition

Repeat the person’s name as many times as possible in conversation. Use it when it is appropriate. Use it when you are saying goodbye to that person. Afterward, repeat it in your head as much as possible.

Association

Make associations of physical characteristics, names of landmarks, objects, buildings, companies, etc. Use color nouns and similar words to help you remember the name. We as humans remember things better in pictures.

After using this, remembering names becomes that much easier. Use names with everyone you interact with, practice this and make it a habit.

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

Whopper April Fools’ Jokes

In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

Houdini assisted with the American war effort during WWI.

Although he was born in Hungary, Houdini was an American patriot and staunch supporter of U.S. involvement in World War I. He persuaded the Society of American Magicians to sign loyalty oaths to President Woodrow Wilson, and later canceled his touring season to devote himself to entertaining soldiers and raising money for the war effort. Houdini also drew on his arsenal of magician’s tricks to provide special instruction to American troops. In a series of classes held at New York’s Hippodrome, he counseled doughboys on how to escape sinking ships and extricate themselves from ropes, handcuffs and other restraints in the event of capture by the Germans.

He owned his own movie studio.

Houdini’s brief career as a silent film star began with 1919’s “The Master Mystery,” an adventure serial in which he played an undercover agent who uses his escape skills to thwart criminal plots. The series was a blockbuster hit—it’s now remembered as the first film to feature a robot—and the magician went on to star in two more features before launching his own studio called the “Houdini Picture Corporation.” He made two films for the company, “The Man From Beyond” and “Haldane of the Secret Service,” but neither fared particularly well at the box office, and critics poked fun at his stilted performances. Having lost a large chunk of his personal fortune, Houdini quit the movie business for good in 1923.

Houdini debunked psychics and the supernatural.

As the world’s greatest trickster and illusionist, Houdini had little patience for anyone who claimed to be in possession of supernatural powers. Beginning in the 1920s, he embarked on a second career as a professional skeptic and debunker of psychics, mind readers, mediums and other “Spiritualists” who purported to be able to contact the deceased. Houdini campaigned tirelessly, often visiting séances in disguise to expose their ringleader as frauds. He also offered a $10,000 reward to any psychic who could present “physical phenomena” that could not be explained rationally (no one ever collected), and in 1926 he testified before Congress in support of a bill to outlaw the practice of “pretending to tell fortunes for reward or compensation.”

The cause of his death is still debated.

Houdini died on Halloween 1926 at the age of 52, just days after struggling through a final performance in Detroit. The official cause of his death was peritonitis brought on by a ruptured appendix, but several legends continue to swirl around his last days. The most famous concerns an incident that had occurred after a performance in Montreal on October 22. While holding court in his dressing room, Houdini was approached by a university student who inquired about a rumor that he could withstand heavy punches to his abdominal muscles. When Houdini boasted about his physical strength, the young man walloped him in the stomach without warning, leaving him doubled over in agony. Houdini complained of stomach pains for the rest of the day, leading many to conclude that the unexpected blows somehow triggered his appendicitis. Others, meanwhile, allege that the great magician was poisoned by the Spiritualists, who had previously issued several death threats against him in response to his attacks.

“Houdini séances” are still held every Halloween.

Despite his skepticism about the spirit world, Houdini swore to his wife Bess that he would try to contact her from beyond the grave. He told her to listen for a specific message—a series of codes that spelled out the words “Rosabelle, believe.” Bess Houdini eventually spent a decade trying to contact her husband before giving up, supposedly saying, “ten years is long enough to wait for any man.” Others continued the search, however, and since the 1930s, fans have held Houdini séances every Halloween to attempt to communicate with the magician’s ghost. There is even an “Official Houdini Séance” that takes place in a different city each year.

Categories : Uncategorized
Comments (0)

Appreciation from a student

Appreciation and Recogition

A surprise appreciation written by a student on my office blackboard. Thank you.#appreciation,#tutoringinlongmont,#recognition

Comments (0)