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.

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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.

The Ancient Wollemi Pine

 

Wollemi Pine pic

Wollemi Pine
Image: wollemipine.com

Amita Vadlamudi is an IT veteran with more than 30 years of experience. Amita Vadlamudi also has a wide range of interests ranging from astronomy to the world of plants.

One of the most important discoveries in the plant world in recent times is the Wollemi Pine. In 1994, New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) officer David Noble was on a hiking trip in the Wollemi wilderness of the Blue Mountains, a forest found 150 kilometers west of Sydney, Australia. The Wollimi wilderness is the most inaccessible area in the rugged mountains. It has over 400 plunging canyons.

As he hiked along, Noble noticed a group of unfamiliar-looking trees thriving in a deep rainforest canyon. The trees had barks resembling bubbles of chocolate and were up to 38 meters in height. He gathered some leafage and had them examined at NPWS and the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney.

What Noble discovered was eventually called Wollemia nobilis (or Wollomi Pine), belonging to an ancient family of trees. In the world of botany, it was the equivalent of finding a living dinosaur. The tree was prevalent in the southern hemisphere forests for over 100 million years. Around 2 million years ago, dramatic climate change caused their demise.

It was astonishing how a very small number of the pines were found relatively close to a major city. A project was launched in the mid 2000s to commercially propagate and sell the pines to ensure their survival.

Brief History of the Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail pic

Oregon Trail
Image: oregon.com

A computer science graduate of St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, Amita Vadlamudi has led a successful career in the information technology industry. Among Amita Vadlamudi’s many interests outside of computer science is American history.

One significant undertaking in American history that led to the mass settlement of the western United States was the discovery and use of the 2,000-mile Oregon Trial. This stretched from Missouri to Oregon. In 1800, what was known as Oregon Country still belonged to the British Empire. In 1803, the U.S. government secretly funded the Lewis & Clark expedition with a plan for the eventual settlement of Oregon Country, but the route that Lewis & Clark made was too hazardous for travel by wagon.

Fur trader Robert Steward took an opposite approach starting from Fort Astoria in western Oregon to Missouri. What became known as the Oregon trail covered 2,000 miles from Fort Astoria to St. Louis. This was undertaken by Steward in 1810 and took 10 months to accomplish. The bigger accomplishment was that the route allowed for possible family travel by wagon.

In 1843, close to 1,000 people formed a wagon train beginning in Missouri and were able to successfully reach Oregon Country using the South Pass, a 12-mile-wide valley that allowed crossing through the harsh Rocky Mountains. With thousands of people settling in Oregon Country, England ceded it to the U.S. government in 1846. Thousands of people used the trail in search of cheap farmland or for gold mining in California.

The Ancient Development of Pottery Techniques

Pottery Techniques pic

Pottery Techniques
Image: ancientgreece.com

Amita Vadlamudi has a background in information technology that includes providing computer systems analysis support for distributed system and mainframe platforms. Amita Vadlamudi has a strong interest in ancient civilizations and traditions that developed, such as the craft of pottery.

With humans’ use of clay dating back as far as 30,000 years, the oldest place of pottery manufacture discovered so far is the Odai Yamamoto site in Japan. Fragments found at the archaeological site have been dated as far back as 16,500 years. By about 13,000 years ago, the Jomon culture of Japan was creating intricately patterned clay vessels that were used in food preparation. The Jomon employed an open-fire technique that involved relatively low temperatures.

Pottery was taken to the next level in the Near East during the early Neolithic era. The same high-temperature ovens used for baking bread and parching grains were used to fire pottery and create a superior end product.

Amelia Earhart’s Accomplishments in U.S. Aviation

Amita Vadlamudi

With a background in IT spanning three decades, Amita Vadlamudi served as a computer systems analyst and provided support for a diversity of mainframe and Unix systems. Amita Vadlamudi has a longstanding interest in ancient cultures as well as more recent American history.

One of the most dynamic public figures of the early 20th century was Amelia Earhart, who started flying as a hobby in 1921. Progressing quickly, she broke the women’s altitude record the following year, exceeding 14,000 feet. In 1928, she became ingrained in the American consciousness as the first woman to fly transatlantic, though she did so as a passenger.

Earhart continued to open doors in aviation for women in the 1930s and set increasingly ambitious goals. In 1932, she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic solo, and in 1935, she was the first person to pilot a plane from Hawaii to the continental United States. Two years later, she embarked on what turned out to be her final adventure: a 22,000-mile flight that would span the globe at the equator. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the way through her journey, Amelia Earhart and her navigator disappeared in the Pacific Ocean, en route from New Guinea to tiny Howland Island.