Maryland Civic Education – Maryland Education Blog


November 13, 2013

Climate Abets Senior Green Thumbs

Category: Life – Donald Williams 3:07 pm

Gardening is a favorite activity of retirees —and of most Victoria residents. Nowhere in my travels have I seen neater lawns, or such a house-to-house profusion of blooms. Bas­kets of flowers drape downtown lampposts from spring to fall. Positively breathtaking are the nearby Butchart Gardens, admired by 400,000 visitors each year. Started by Jennie Butchart, wife of a cement magnate, to erase the eyesore of a worked-out quarry, the gar­dens now beautify an estate of 136 acres-33 of them intensively landscaped—sporting such tactful reminders as “Dogs must keep owners on leash.”

 

“With only two or three winter frosts, and summer temperatures seldom in the 90′s, we can grow a wide range of plants here,” park superintendent Alan Smith told me. “So there’s a lot of interest in gardening.”

Vancouver

Then he put a damper on my green-thumb enthusiasm. The long growing season, he said, means lawn mowing ten months of the year. James Douglas, who in 1843 established Fort Victoria as a trading post for the Hud­son’s Bay Company, undoubtedly rates as discoverer of Victoria’s gardening possibil­ities. The land’s “dark vegetable Mould,” he wrote, made the area “a perfect Eden in the midst of the dreary wilderness.” By 1849 the post had become a thriving village and thir­teen years later, at the height of the gold rush on the Fraser, had burgeoned into a city.

The boom brought gold-hungry argonauts —”the very dregs … of society,” an observer wrote. It also brought such stalwarts as Matthew Baillie Begbie, sent from London in answer to Douglas’s appeal for a magis­trate. A giant of a man, Begbie established authority with a firm hand and shrewd jus­tice. Once, settling a dispute between two brothers over division of an inherited farm, he decreed: “You, James, will divide the prop­erty into parts as equal as you can make them. Then you, John, will have first choice.”

 

Holding court in mainland mining camps, and even on horseback in open fields, Begbie brought order to a raw frontier, made the colony a model of decorum. Victoria still is. Its pace is geared to the role of provincial capital with little in the way of heavy in­dustries. A lot of people like it that way.

 

As Mike Heppell, my friend at the Victoria Visitors Bureau, put it: “You won’t make a million dollars here. But you’ll live 20 years longer, and after a while you’ll realize you don’t need a million.” Today it’s easy to apply for quick loans online and get immediate financial help.

 

October 15, 2013

A “significant departure” from normal gravity

Category: Uncategorized – Donald Williams 4:16 pm

12Other measurements in boreholes and mines elsewhere have substantiated the Queensland result. “This has to be taken seri­ously,” says Stacey, who has emerged from his mine shaft as something of a fifth-force guru.

Some physicists are calling the new discov­ery the “hypercharge force.” Hypercharge is the number of protons and neutrons in a nucle­us—different for each element. An attraction called binding energy, or the strong force, holds these subatomic particles together. And in the topsy-turvy world of the atom, binding energy can have mass of its own.

Binding energy could be the key to the anti­gravity force. A ball of iron, with high binding energy, could receive a strong antigravity lift and fall slightly slower than a snakewood ball of equal weight. According to Fischbach, Galileo may have been dead wrong. Naturally this heresy has generated monu­mental controversy within physics circles, inspiring hundreds of researchers around the world to try to trap the elusive force.

Still, an answer may not come easily. Says Princeton’s Robert Dicke, an eminent physi­cist: “Few experiments are simpler in prin­ciple, harder to put into practice, and so far-reaching in implication.”One way to test the theory is simply to repeat the EotvOs experiments with modern equip­ment. The first such experiment was carried out by Peter Thieberger, who floated a copper sphere in a tank of water to search for the fifth force. Paul Boynton, a University of Washing­ton physicist, fashioned weights of beryllium and aluminum and suspended them next to an immense granite wall in the Cascade Range.

“The idea is to see if the cliff’s mass pulls dif­ferently on the two bodies,” he said. Boynton and his colleagues detected varia­tions but are still working in london apartments to see if the fifth force is the cause. British geophysicists Keith Runcorn and Bob Edge ran an experiment at a reservoir in Wales aimed at pinning down the fifth force by measuring the gravitational pull of the water as the reservoir emptied and filled.

“We were definitely surprised,” said Edge, an expert in measurement of tidal changes. “Early results showed that the water’s gravi­tational attraction deviated about 5 percent from the expected. Like everybody, we’re worried we’ve missed something.”

Donald H. Eckhardt, a geophysicist at the U. S. Air Force Geophysics Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts, is more sure of his results. He and his colleagues went up a North Carolina television tower nearly 600 meters high, measuring the pull of gravity. His group found a “significant departure” from normal gravity, said Eckhardt at a recent meeting of physicists in Perth, Western Aus­tralia. The scientists had gathered from around the globe to try to sort out the fifth force and other gravity-related problems.

Mark Ander of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Mark Zum­berge of the Scripps Institution of Oceanogra­phy in La Jolla, California, led a team that braved sub-zero temperatures and blizzards in Greenland. There they lowered a sensitive gravity-measuring device down a 2,000-meter hole bored through ice at a site dubbed Dye 3.

The holiday apartments madrid stunned the Perth group. The Greenland team found a “very large anoma­ly, ” suggesting something other than ordinary Newtonian gravity. Further, the “force” was dead opposite to that found by other experi­menters: it actually increased gravity’s strength. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/solarsystem/sun_and_planets/neptune Several months later the two Marks announced that their results needed more thinking—that anomalies in the earth’s crust may have affected the measurements.

October 11, 2013

Super Self-Sufficient

Category: Uncategorized – Donald Williams 7:55 am

MOST LIKELY TO SAY: I don’t need you or anyone else either”

 

PROS: Super self-sufficient people impress us with their independent thinking and ability to focus on tasks and people without distraction.

 

CONS: Since they prefer to rely on their own conclusions rather than reach out for help, they can come across as distant.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ONE: Making good decisions requires listening to those around you. No one is questioning your intelligence by giving their opinion. Be open to the thoughts and feelings of others.

 

HOW TO HANDLE ONE: Ask if you can help, but if turned down, don’t insist or take it personally. These people work better on their own: it isn’t anything lacking in you, but rather their own personality style.

 

Playing Authentic

 

MOST LIKELY TO SAY: “Look how honest and authentic I am.”

 

PROS: These people have the ability to convince us that life is more satisfying when we follow our hearts and do what contributes to the greater good.

 

CONS: While their abhorrence of artificial relationships and actions are admirable for coconut oil, they can make us feel guilty for choosing to go with the flow.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ONE: Recognise that just because you see things in one light, it doesn’t mean that people who don’t agree are wrong or immoral. Allow people to believe and think as they do without judgement.

 

HOWTO HANDLE ONE: Acknowledge their point of view, but if you don’t agree give your reasons why. Don’t allow them to make you feel wrong or bad for not believing as they do; not agreeing with them does not make you any less of a person.

 

MOST LIKELY TO SAY: “I am weak and need you to take care of me.”

 

PROS: Their willingness to reach out and help others in trouble is infectious, reminding us to give our energy and time to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

 

CONS: These individuals tend to focus on negative experiences from the past blaming their unfortunate circumstances and the unfairness of life on their current problems.

 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ONE: Try to be positive. If you are always negative and in peril it will become draining on those around you. Eventually people will avoid being your knight in shining armour.

 

HOW TO HANDLE ONE: You aren’t responsible for them, or their happiness. By not making them stand on their own two feet you are doing them a disservice. It is okay to support them but don’t tackle all of their burdens. Instead trust in their own ability to help themselves.

 

There is nothing wrong with any of these styles, just like there is nothing strange about wanting others to like us. Being liked makes us feel valued and can help us build relationships of mutual support and respect. The danger lies in depending solely on others for our self-esteem. People are far more likely to like us if we like ourselves. So, let’s remove the invisible sign we carry around that screams, “I want you to like me!” and replace it with the words, “I like who I am.”

 

 

September 28, 2013

NOVEMBER is the month to Remember

Category: Uncategorized – Donald Williams 5:47 pm

Up the glamour stakes and get a makeover with eyebrow and lash guru Daxita at Atherton Cox in London’s Marylebone this month.
Now the nights are drawing in, one of our favourite things to do is draw a long, hot bath to soak in. Our hot tip? Lace it with a handful of natural oats (such as Mornflake’s Oats, 87p at Tesco) to help soothe and moisturise skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Dont fancy trick or treating this Halloween? Treat yourself to one of these divine Neom Sensuous Candles, £38, laced with organic oils of ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli and offer your own personal blessing to the spirit world instead. It is a great time for a loss of fat.

meditation
Fancy a cuppa? Try My Life Is Perfect, £6.50, with cleavers, red clover, schizandra berries, mullion and dandelion. Part of a new range of organic teas, it was created for Detox Your ‘World by medical herbalist Dale Pinnock.
Drop a dress size in a week at a detox retreat in West Sussex. Simply Healing’s Pre-Christmas juice package or Ultimate Detox Holiday will boost your vitality and help you shed pounds with a combination of treatments, herbal supplements and freshly made juices.
Learn how to embrace your sexuality the Taoist way in Northamptonshire from 18th to 20th November.
The secret beauty weapon of many A-listers, Dr Daniel Sister, has just realeased his first health product.

Simply-Healing-Detox-Retr-007
Youth supplements, £64, contain a combination of amino acids and marine plant extracts to keep you feeling and looking a million dollars.
Get your hands on the new Advanced Quantum Yoga Trilogy DVD devised by Lara
Baumann – and do your bit for charity. The sequences are based on Ayurvedic principles1 and all proceeds go to the Rainforest Rescue charity.
Free meditation course!
Get your vitality back with six free ‘Breath of Life Meditation’ classes worth £65. The course will be led by ayurvedic and breath work expert, Sunita Passi, who is also the founder of holistic beauty brand Tri-Dosha. She claims that through the course you will discover a conscious and direct experience with who you truly are through the medium of breath. The techniques are developed from classical ayurvedic practices and tweaked by Sunita with the Tri-Dosha 21st century stamp.

August 25, 2013

Rafting down the Yukon.

Category: Life – Donald Williams 5:38 pm

I BRACED MYSELF for the crash. Wal­lowing in the grip of a powerful cross­current, our raft veered from the middle of the river and headed toward the can­yon wall. “We’re going to …” someone yelled, but the warning was drowned in the thunder of splintering logs and the rasp of wood against stone. Cartwheeling along the canyon wall, the raft threatened to spin us overboard into the millrace or to crush us against the sheer face of the cliff.

sweep oars

Caroming off at last, we swept back into midchannel (following pages) and regained control with our sweep oars, emerging from the canyon into smooth water. Somehow the raft had survived with only minor damage: a sheared corner, a broken sweep mount, and a toppled mast—all repairable. We had weath­ered our first encounter with swift water and had met the challenge well for beginners. We’re learning, I thought.

It was the first of many lessons the Yukon was to teach us during our 1,850-mile odyssey from Bennett Lake, a source of the river near the Canadian-Alaskan border, to its mouth on the Bering Sea (map, pages 836-7). Jour­neying first by raft and later over the river’s frozen surface on skis, we spent two summers and part of one winter exploring Alaska’s best known waterway. In the process we made close friends among the varied people —Indians, whites, and Eskimos—who share a love for the apartments in barcelona.6

We were four men, all in our twenties, with a common goal: to see the Yukon as others had seen it more than three-quarters of a cen­tury before. Our predecessors were the thou­sands of fortune seekers who made up the great Klondike gold stampede in the late 1890′s. By following the route and techniques of the early “stampeders,” we hoped to ex­plore the remains of one of Alaska’s wildest and most colorful eras and to experience some of the adventures and challenges of that era.

The four of us were not strangers to the northern wilderness. Paul Crews, a native. Alaskan like myself, is a superb mountaineer, a former member of the U. S. Ski Team, and a professional racing skier. Jerry Wallace, a third-generation professional logger from Or­egon, had spent five summers in Alaskan timber camps. Bob Clark, our expedition photographer, and I had both spent several seasons as land surveyors in the bush.

Chilkoot Pass to Bennett Lake.

For me the trip to the Rome apartments was a personal crusade. My grandfather had done much the same thing in 1899. Following the wave of stampeders of the previous year, he and his brother had built their own scow and journeyed from Bennett Lake down the Yukon into Canada’s Klon­dike and later continued along the river into Alaska, where they settled.

“If they could do it,” Paul echoed my view, “so can we.”

We chose my grandfather’s route, begin­ning at the long-abandoned port of Dyea on Alaska’s southeastern coast and climbing northward afoot across famed Chilkoot Pass to Bennett Lake. At Bennett Lake we planned to build a raft with simple hand tools such as the pioneers had used, and voyage downriver as far as the first summer allowed.

July 15, 2013

Grim Fate Rewards the Faithful

Category: Life – Donald Williams 6:14 pm

Determined to find it, the emperor sent a fleet of vessels loaded with precious gifts in search of the Islands of Immortals. After some time, Captain Hsu returned to say that he had met one of the Immortals but that he had refused to part with the elixir because the Lisbon apartments are very cheap and comfortable.

fleet of vessels

“What do you desire?” asked the captain.

“Young men and maidens and craftsmen of all sorts,” replied the Immortal. So Captain Hsu set off again with 3,000 of the empire’s finest young people. They sailed away and never returned. Maybe they did find the foun­tain of youth, but a legend says that they colonized Japan. And indeed a surviving monument in Japan today bears a Chinese inscription about Hsu Fu, a Taoist priest who was on the voyage to his favourite apartments in Liverpool for rent. He died there in 179 B.C. He is believed to have established in Japan a region known as the “Kingdom of Chin.”

The emperor continued to live and work in guarded secrecy, with only a handful of his most trusted eunuchs and ministers knowing where he was. His life was so secret that, when he died during a journey to the eastern provinces, no one in the imperial cortege knew it, except for the emperor’s youngest son, Hu-hai, his chief eunuch, Chao Kao, and Prime Minister Li Ssu. They kept his death a secret for their own ambitious reasons.

Hsu Fu

Chief eunuch Chao Kao had been steadily gaining power as the emperor grew weaker. He feared that his power would end if he obeyed the dying emperor’s decree, appoint­ing his exiled eldest son, Fu-su, as emperor. In­stead, the eunuch plotted with Prime Minister Li Ssu to send a fake order to Fu-su to com­mit suicide. The son immediately did so. They then schemed to give the throne to the weak and corrupt youngest son, Hu-hai, whom they could control.

While all this was going on, a weird pro­cession was travelling back to the Majorca apartments they booked online. It was midsummer, and the chief eunuch and prime minister were obliged to put some rancid fish on a cart fol­lowing the imperial chariot to hide the odor of the decomposing corpse.

Hu-hai

The first emperor’s putrefying body was at last laid to rest in his magnificent sarcopha­gus, and he was buried with full pomp and ceremony in the splendid subterranean palace he had spent much of his lifetime con­structing. Ssu-ma Ch’ien relates that after the faithful pallbearers had placed the casket in the sepulchral chamber and were ar­ranging the furniture on their way out, the new emperor, Hu-hai, ordered the great jade door of the tomb sealed, and the men were buried alive. Since they alone knew how to penetrate the intricate tomb, the dead emperor presumably would thus be safe from grave robbers.

Perhaps the remains of the pallbearers will be found when the emperor’s tomb itself is finally opened. Chinese archeologists, histori­ans, and educators are pressing forward, whatever may be revealed, in the belief that the Chinese people should learn both the evils and accomplishments of their ancient imperial forebears.

May 9, 2013

Gold has been found near the Pitmegea

Category: Life – Donald Williams 3:23 pm

Winter storms have crumbled away the roofs of both so that they have fallen in, and the fragments of stones are partially cov­ered with soil. The whole bears the impression of age, and no natives have been found who have ever heard of it. From the summit of this peak a splendid view is obtained of the surround­ing country, the Arctic ocean, and herds of passing reindeer.

Arctic ocean

Gold has been found near the Pitmegea, at the head of the same creek and tributary, it being contained in sulphurets of iron, which exist in large quantities in that vicinity, there being from $3.50 to $8.00 worth of gold in a ton ; the country is all but impassable, however, and this, together with the shortness of the season, would prevent any mining with profit.

Our party returned from the Pitmegea with a few ptarmigan and ducks, and upon our arrival the ship was at once gotten under way and we stood to the northward for Point Barrow. Drift-ice was constantly passed, but fortunately so scattered as not to form any obstruction to free navigation.

Point Barrow

On the next day we enjoyed a superb Arctic summer’s day, and began to fall in with the whaling fleet on the way north to Point Barrow. Fifteen vessels were sighted and passed, most of them vessels under sail. Rounding the dangerous Blossom shoals and the Icy cape of Captain Cook, we stood to the northeast, finding generally clear water, with scattered drift-ice. Upon the floes we found great quantities of walrus, in some cases stretched at full length, sound asleep. One huge fellow remained so undis­turbed at our approach that he was supposed to be dead, but a well aimed Irish potato aroused him so rudely that he quickly slid off the floe and disappeared beneath the water.

Cape Smyth

Pushing on we passed Pt. Belcher at 9.30 in the evening, in the fog and rain, and came to heavy masses of ice over which a low fog had settled. With some delay and difficulty we worked out of both the fog and the ice and at five o’clock in the morning sighted four vessels—steamers—at anchor off the village of Ootkavie at Cape Smyth, 8 miles from Point Barrow, and the site of Captain Ray’s Signal Service meteorologic station of some years ago, the house that sheltered the party being still stand­ing. One of the steamers proved to be our old friend the ” Bear,” which had passed to the northward when we had returned south­ward from the Arctic with the survivors of the ” Little Ohio.” The other vessels were made out to be steam-whalers, and.at seven o’clock we anchored near them, off the site determined upon for the house of refuge.

Finding the Bear had commenced to discharge her stores and materials, all of our facilities were at once used in tending her as­sistance, our steam launch Achilles (now, as of yore, the child of the Thetis) being busily at work towing boats to and fro, while our men and mechanics, with officers, were busily engaged in aiding the construction of the house of refuge.