Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard’s Almanack

 

Benjamin Franklin pic

Benjamin Franklin
Image: amazon.com

With around 35 years of experience as a computer systems engineer, Amita Vadlamudi most recently worked with a major financial services firm. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys reading, especially on the topic of American history.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the writers of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, is known as one of America’s Founding Fathers. In addition to his political career, Franklin was an inventor, printer, and writer. He published the book known as Poor Richard’s Almanack, first under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.

The Almanack contained poetry and weather predictions as well as advice on work and life that turned into common idioms still heard today. Examples of the Almanack’s maxims include “there are no gains without pains” and “he that lives upon hope will die fasting.” While Franklin usually received credit for the aphorisms, he commented that many of them were already popular sayings that he put in print. Franklin continued to publish the Almanack annually for 25 years, and it was one of his most profitable publications.

Documentation in the Assyrian Empire

 

Assyrian Empire pic

Assyrian Empire
Image: ancient-civilizations.com

Amita Vadlamudi is a longtime computer systems engineer in the financial services field. Outside of professional pursuits, Amita Vadlamudi has a strong interest in anthropology and ancient cultures. One culture popularly studied by anthropology buffs is Assyria, a region in the Near East that extended from Mesopotamia through Egypt thousands of years ago.

The Assyrian Empire and its capital of Ashur took their names from the god Ashur, who was reinterpreted as a son of Noah once the Assyrians accepted Christianity. The Assyrians initially spoke Akkadian but, like many nations in the Middle East, moved to Aramaic for its ease of use.

The Assyrian Empire had several advantages over other empires in the region, which ultimately led to greater success. For instance, one of its major emperors, Tukulti-Ninurta I, employed his scribes and scholars to create an efficient bureaucracy and to catalogue existing written works. While the Assyrians crushed revolts with overwhelming force, they also made sure to document the knowledge and cultures of conquered cities and nations, in the interest of expanding the empire’s technological and cultural dominance in the region.

Cownose Rays and Migration

Cownose Rays pic

Cownose Rays
Image: seathos.org

Computer systems engineer Amita Vadlamudi has more than three decades of experience in the information technology industry. Amita Vadlamudi also maintains an interest in marine biology and ocean creatures such as cownose rays.

An open water species found in tropical and temperate waters as well as parts of the Atlantic Ocean, cownose rays engage in mass migration twice a year. These endurance swimmers are built to traverse long distances using flexible, wing-like fins that extend from either side of their bodies, which often breach the water’s surface as they glide through the ocean. Cownose rays grow up to seven feet in length from wingtip to wingtip and reach maturity between four and five years old. Lifespans may vary according to distribution and migration route, with rays in the Gulf of Mexico living up to 18 years and populations in the western Atlantic Ocean only living to 13.

Migration occurs twice a year in large numbers. Groups in the Atlantic Ocean migrate southward in the late fall and northward in spring, although southbound groups often possess a larger population. Schools in the Gulf of Mexico often migrate clockwise, with each school consisting of around 10,000 individuals. Although marine biologists theorize that solar orientation and changes in water temperature may influence the onset of migration, this is not consistently true. For example, migration of the cownose ray population in Florida’s Pine Island Sound seems more influenced by predator avoidance and food availability.

Improving Breathing Technique While Swimming

Breathing Technique pic

Breathing Technique
Image: active.com

Amita Vadlamudi spent over three decades working as a computer systems engineer. Holding a bachelor’s in computer science from Saint Peter’s College, she has supported and maintained numerous operating systems and has a solid understanding of UNIX system technology, IPFC, and Java. Dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Amita Vadlamudi attends the gym regularly and enjoys swimming.

Although many swimmers overlook it, breathing technique greatly affects the overall success and ease of various strokes, especially the freestyle. As swimmers move through the water, their face should be pointing down toward the bottom of the pool. Beginners often struggle with this and instead keep their head above water. However, doing so pulls the rest of the body down. This causes increased resistance and swimmers tire faster. A similar problem is rotating the head with the body. This decreases coordination and makes it difficult to establish a good breathing rhythm. Ideally, the head remains in one position unless the swimmer is taking a breath.

In many cases, new swimmers hold their breath while their face is in the water. When they turn to take a breath, they must exhale before they can inhale. Swimmers should be exhaling while their head is in the water. This lets them take a full breath when they need it and promotes better rhythm. Breathing into the trough improves rhythm even more. Instead of turning the head completely to the side, swimmers can turn it slightly and take advantage of the lower water level by the side of their face. Swimmers should also time their breaths with their movements and make sure to switch breathing sides to prevent imbalance.

Archimedes: Mathematician, Physicist, and Inventor

 

Archimedes pic

Archimedes
Image: thefamouspeople.com

Amita Vadlamudi spent more than 30 years working as a computer systems analyst and engineer. Outside of her work, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys reading and learning about a variety of subjects, including Ancient Greece.

Archimedes of Syracuse, born in 287 BC, is often hailed as one of the most accomplished mathematicians of his time. Like other Greek intellectuals, Archimedes was well-versed in multiple areas of study. He used his knowledge of mathematics, physics, engineering, and astronomy to deduce facts about lever function and hydrostatics. He is credited with creating Archimedes’ screw, a machine made with a screw inside a hollow tube that Archimedes designed for King Hiero. Archimedes’ screw aids irrigation systems in developing countries to this day.

Archimedes is also lauded for his discovery of the fundamental principles of buoyancy. He conducted extensive research into density and volume, which formed the basis for hydrostatic studies. Lastly, Archimedes is known for writing three incredibly-detailed treatises in Greek.

To learn more about Archimedes’ inventions and theories, visit goo.gl/LMYC7v.

The Origins of Chocolate in the Mayan World

Origins of Chocolate  pic

Origins of Chocolate
Image: godivachocolates.co.uk

A computer systems analyst with over three decades of experience, Amita Vadlamudi has worked in various capacities in the information technology sector. A lifelong learner, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys learning about history and science. In particular, she is interested in ancient American cultures, like the Maya civilization of South America.

The Maya culture was extremely complex and sophisticated. In addition to several noteworthy scientific and astronomical discoveries, Mayans also are responsible for domesticating the cacao bean. The cacao bean was a prized element of the Mayas. Its importance is evidenced by its prolific inclusion in artwork, on vases, and in murals. It had medicinal, sacrificial, ceremonial, and culinary uses and was even used as currency.

The Mayas used the cacao bean to produce a frothy, sugarless chocolate drink made from crushed cacao beans, chili peppers, and water. The chocolate drink was a luxury item and was often offered to royals and newly married couples. It was known as the “food of the gods.”

Christopher Columbus was the first European exposed to the cacao bean during his fourth and last voyage to the Americas, when the treasured beans were offered to him as a trade item. Later, in 1528, Hernan Cortes brought chocolate to the Spanish court. With the addition of sugar, chocolate became very popular and spread throughout Europe as a luxury item.

Conserving the Nation’s Natural Treasures

Theodore Roosevelt pic

Theodore Roosevelt
Image: nps.gov

Amita Vadlamudi possesses over three decades of experience as a computer systems engineer. In addition, Amita Vadlamudi pursues a number of interests, including fitness, volunteerism, and history. She particularly enjoys learning about American history.

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt is known as an early champion of conservation efforts. Unlike many of his contemporaries who were pursuing industrial growth at an unprecedented rate, Roosevelt recognized that the nation’s natural resources were not inexhaustible and needed to be protected and used in a wise manner.

Because of this belief, Roosevelt created five national parks during his presidency, thereby doubling the number already in existence. He also signed the Antiquities Act, making national treasures such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Natural Bridges in Utah national monuments. In an effort to conserve the nation’s forests for continued use, he also turned 100 million acres of land into national forests. In all, he is credited with protecting about 230 million acres of public land.

Later, in 1916, Woodrow Wilson established the National Park Service, which unified the management of federal parklands. After 100 years, the National Park Service continues to protect the nation’s natural treasures, ensuring that generations to come can enjoy the beauty of the land.

Fitness Advantages of Swimming

Swimming

Swimming
Image: swimming.about.com

Amita Vadlamudi accumulated some 35 years of experience in computer technology. In her spare time, Amita Vadlamudi keeps in shape by swimming regularly.

Swimming provides lifelong health benefits. Fitness guru Jack La Lanne is said to have swum an hour each day at age 93.

Many swimmers appreciate its low-impact aspect, which reduces stress on the joints. Persons with arthritis enjoy water aerobics – even if you jump in and land on the bottom, the water lessens the force on your feet. Using a flotation device further reduces impact on the joints.

Swimming enhances cardio-respiratory fitness. One study of sedentary middle-aged individuals (male and female) demonstrated that 12 weeks of training improved oxygen levels by 10 percent and increased the amount of blood pumped by the heart.

Research into men swimming showed that it built more mass in the triceps by some 24 percent. It also upgraded overall muscle strength and tone.

Finally, swimming consumes calories, as much as 500-650 per hour, depending on intensity and the amount of body fat you carry. As a calorie burner, swimming compares well to running and cycling

What You Can See with a Beginner’s Telescope

Beginner’s Telescope pic

Beginner’s Telescope
Image: space.com

In her career in IT, Amita Vadlamudi developed expertise in mainframe and client-server systems. Amita Vadlamudi also engages in side interests, such as astronomy. A chief tool of astronomers, optical telescopes can show the sights of the solar system at a relatively low cost.

However, you should have realistic expectations about what you will see. The spectacular photos of celestial objects published on the web were taken in observatories by professionals. Even so, a so-called backyard telescope can still provide exciting views.

Because of its size and brightness, the moon is the most logical candidate for initiating yourself into astronomy. Even an inexpensive 30-power telescope will display a remarkable world, dotted with hundreds of craters and mixed with darker “seas” and mountains. In a 40-power scope, the lunar surface will fill the entire field of view.

That same telescope shows such celestial details as the phases of Mercury and Venus, as well as the reddish disk of Mars. Jupiter, its four largest moons, and Saturn and its rings are also visible. Other targets include Saturn’s moon Titan and the planets Uranus and Neptune.

Moving up to greater magnifications reveals the polar ice caps of Mars, the red spot of Jupiter, and the Cassini division in Saturn’s rings. Moving your telescope away from the bright city will enable you to see the Andromeda Galaxy, nebulae, and double stars.

Ancient Inventions

The Nail pic

The Nail
Image: objectlessons.org

Amita Vadlamudi, who served most recently as a computer systems engineer, is a history enthusiast. Fascinated especially by ancient cultures, Amita Vadlamudi specifically enjoys reading about Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian, Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations.

Many items and practices we take for granted today were invented during ancient times. A few examples:

1. The nail, a common hardware item, was originally invented and used in ancient Rome, replacing difficult building practices in which wood structures had to be interlocked in a complicated process.

2. Written language had at least five distinct, separate beginnings. Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, and Mayan cultures, and people residing in the Indus Valley all came up with their own ways of communicating and sharing information. Many of these spread to other regions and were the basis for written languages, like Latin.

3. Paper and block printing originated in ancient Chinese culture. Through this invention, it became possible to create and distribute texts that otherwise would have been handwritten.

4. The door lock, or at least its predecessor, was invented in ancient Egypt. The first door locks were pin and tumbler locks that required a key to turn and withdraw the bolt.