Read With The Gringa “The Lone Islands”, Chapt. 3’s Conclusion


We finish together another chapter from “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, book 5 in “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis. King Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace and Reepicheep are captured by slave traders.

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Image Source: imgarcade.com

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Zippity Doo Dah – It’s A Blood Delivery


What do you think of when you hear the word Rwanda? War? Genocide? Do you wonder if anything good ever happens in Rwanda? Well, the gringa is here to assure you that good things do happen in Rwanda despite its tragic history.

Thanks to drone technology a medical revolution is poised to kick off in this troubled African nation. Testing began at drone headquarters in Kabgayi hospital. If successful, remote Rwandan villagers will soon have access to medical supplies that are desperately needed.

Considering that Rwanda has the highest rate of death for women during childbirth, the gringa’s heart is especially gladdened to think of all of the mothers and babies who will benefit from something many of us take for granted, blood. Most of these mothers die simply because they do not have access to a blood transfusion. It is not uncommon for women to hemorrhage during childbirth. Although this sounds frightening, mothers in labor in developed countries routinely receive blood transfusion treatment. It is a procedure that Rwandan women living in remote villages rarely had access to until now, thanks to drone technology.

You may ask, “What about trucks that can drive the stuff from the hospital to the villagers?” The nickname of Rwanda is “the land of a thousand hills”. The geography, along with the economic trials the nation faces and a rainy season of intense rainfall, all add up to a country where roadways are unreliable. If needed supplies are for a life and death situation, trusting in automobile delivery may spell death for a patient in outlying regions far away from a hospital.

There is also the scarcity of the nation’s blood supply to consider. It is considered a precious commodity. That is why the bulk of the nation’s blood supply is secured at a state-of-the-art facility near the capital city of Kigali. Despite one location, the drones can actually deliver medical supplies virtually anywhere in the country quite rapidly. Maximum delivery time is about half an hour with many places receiving their deliveries in 15 minutes or less.

The drones have been nicknamed “Zips”. They have begun brisk trial delivery runs with drones capable of carrying a cargo of about 3 bags of blood. And these are not your backyard garden variety drones. Although many of the gringa’s dear readers may have a drone on their Christmas wishlist this season, you will probably not be receiving a Zip-quality drone. With a 6 foot wingspan you would have a tough time finding a place to park it around the house.

But a drone of this size is necessary in order to be powerful enough to deliver a payload of more than 3 pounds (1.5 kilos) over 90 miles (150 kilometers) away in only half an hour. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Now you know why they call them Zips. They travel almost 45 miles per hour (70 kph).

So although many of the gringa’s dear readers may be buzzing their neighbors with a bit of high-tech peeping Tom efforts with Christmas drones, Rwandan based geeks will be saving lives with theirs. And who knows, a child playing with a drone today could become a superhero saving lives around the world with drones tomorrow. So drone on young geeks! Take a peek at how drone superheroes in Rwanda do it and become inspired:

Sources:

flyzipline.com

www.gavi.org

Image credit: geoawesomeness.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read With The Gringa “The Lone Islands”, Chapt. 3, Part 1


We begin another chapter of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, book 5 in “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. King Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace and Reepicheep take a walk across the first island they come to while the Captain swings the ship around to meet them on the other side of the island.

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Image Source:www.npr.org

 

Read With The Gringa “For El-ahrairah to Cry”, Chapt 21’s Conclusion


We finish another chapter from “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. Captain Holly tells everyone about the violent run-in with Strawberry’s warren.

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Image Source:  www.michaelbarrier.com

The Earth v. Theia Smackdown


In just a few days, November 14, the Moon is going to be a Supermoon. There are lots of opportunities to see a Supermoon but the super-super-super-ness of this particular Supermoon won’t happen again for 70 years. What better time to pen a post that explains just how our Moon ended up in the orbit it’s in around our pretty, blue planet? You see, despite the fact that we are all accustomed to that big, gray rock circling us every day, how it got there to begin with is actually a mystery. Earth and her moon have not always been a couple.

Scientists think that Earth had a major smackdown with a protoplanet millions of years ago that resulted in it becoming our Moon. A protoplanet is a large body orbiting around a sun, or star, that eventually develops into a regular planet. In other words, it’s a hunk of rock that eventually transforms into creating its own motion that affects the events and natural environment of its surface. So, although the Moon has its own motion, it is controlled by the Earth’s gravity. Interestingly, although the Moon is not yet a planet in its own right, it does affect environmental events on Earth, our ocean tides.

But the gringa has gotten sidetracked. Back to just where the heck the Moon came from. So, a protoplanet slams into Earth yet is not obliterated. Researchers suspect that for a hunk of rock to survive such a collision it would have had to have originated from a protoplanet the size of Mars. Scientists have named this theoretical Moon-producing protoplanet Theia. Here’s a picture of Earth next to Mars and Mars next to the Moon. Picture the middle guy slamming into the big guy and ending up the little guy.

compareemm

 

Now, the gringa wants to know that if this is how it happened, how did the Moon become so perfectly round? I don’t know about you, but whenever I have seen any rock get pulverized, I don’t find any fragments that are spherical. So, the gringa takes her skepticism further. What kind of rock is the Moon?

Well, the Moon actually consists of geological material that can be found on Earth. What this means is that an impact theory between Earth and Theia doesn’t really make sense. The Moon would then consist of Earth stuff and foreign Theia stuff. But, the Moon’s just made of Earth stuff.

Another thing that keeps scientists scratching their heads about the Earth-Theia impact theory is where the Moon is. If it was a piece of space debris from an impact, the Moon should orbit around Earth’s equator. Instead, it orbits elliptically at a tilt, five degrees off our equator.

Scientist Sarah Stewart at the University of California thinks she has solved these problems. She theorizes that:

  • Number one, the clash between Earth & Theia involved much more energy than previously thought.
  • This caused the Earth to spin like crazy, much faster than it does now.
  • Some of the debris was vaporized, meaning melted Earth material fused with Theia and Theia material fused with Earth. The Earth and Moon are actually mixed together. So, when it seems that the Moon is only comprised of Earth materials, in a way that’s true but yet not all true. The Earth and the Moon are BOTH made up of Earth & Theia stuff.
  • When the collision first happened, causing the Earth to spin wildly, our axis pointed right at the Sun and we only had a 2 hour day.
  • As Theia a.k.a. the Moon stabilized in its orbit around the Earth equator, its affect was to gradually slow the rapid spinning of the Earth by affecting the tidal movements of the oceans.
  • As the Earth slowed down the Earth’s axis also shifted which caused Theia a.k.a. the Moon to no longer orbit around our equator.

Now, it would have taken more than 10 million years for all of this to happen. But, it all makes perfect sense to the gringa. Except for the round bit. Why is there not a big dent still visible in the Earth and the Moon? And despite the fact that I really like the name Theia, I don’t have any plans to call the Moon anything other than the Moon.

Source:

www.ibtimes.co.uk

Image Credit: www.space.com

www.digipac.ca

 

 

 

 

 

Read With The Gringa “For El-Ahrairah to Cry”, Chapt. 21, Part 1


We begin another chapter of “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. Captain Holly recounts the horror of what happened at the warren when Fiver’s visions came true.

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Image Source:  www.deviantart.com

A Summary of Sumerians


So what does mankind really know about the ancient civilization of Sumeria? Around 4000 B.C. it was located in a geographical region known as Mesopotamia covering the area we know today as Iraq and Kuwait. The Sumerians called themselves the “black headed people” and they had a written language, cuneiform. They didn’t call their country anything other than “the land” but the people around them called their country Shinar or Sumer. The language they spoke is called Akkadian and means “land of the civilized kings”. It seems Sumeria had a reputation as having some very sophisticated leadership. Who were these kings and what made them so civilized compared to the nations around them?

Eridu is the first Sumerian city to be ruled by a king according to Sumerian religious mythology. Uruk is the oldest city to be established by historians and is also the oldest city in the world that is known to mankind. The “black headed people” who settled here are believed to be the Ubaid people who had evolved from a hunter-gatherer society into an agricultural society. Archaeologists have found remnants of tools and artifacts leading them to this conclusion.

The first record of a king is one named Etana of Kish. He is attributed with creating stability. He is featured in ancient mythology as ascending to heaven on an eagle. Utu-Hegal is next in line and created a document called the “King List”, basically a summary of Sumerian Kings. King Utu-Hegal felt it was an important responsibility to document human accomplishments because they were accountable to the gods who had created them. The manuscript contains names and kingdoms spanning hundreds of thousands of years. An English translation can be read here. Copies of the list have been found by archaeologists in numerous regions remote from Sumeria and recorded in different languages.

One of the reasons their kings may have had such acclaim as founders of civilization is that one of their cities was home to more than 80,000 people. The city rose out of the desert floor, constructed as a massive ziggurat with civilians living in a tiered, pyramid like structure. There were irrigation canals and a sophisticated plumbing network that delivered a water supply from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. At the time, it would have been the largest city in the world.

Amongst all of those notable kings there was a single woman. With humble beginnings as a tavern-keeper, she rose to monarch status. The King List credits her with firmly establishing the foundations of Kish and creating a dynastic legacy that lasted a century.

More recently, Sumeria’s King List has made the news with some historians speculating on the longevity of the kings. Well, the gringa should say eight kings in particular. They believe the manuscripts and tablets reveal a tale of eight kings who ruled for more than 240,000 years, only meeting their end in what is popularly known as the Great Flood. Archaeology does establish a devastating deluge which is recounted in the mythology of many religions. Historians wonder if these kings were even human, since the King List records that their “kingship was lowered from heaven”.

If they survived for hundreds of thousands of years, only dying because of the catastrophic flood, could they have been considered immortal? Or, were they just long-lived space aliens? Were some of their descendants the result of inter-marriage with shorter lived humans, producing children with long life-spans that inspired tales of characters like Methuselah? You know, the descendant of Adam and Eve who was Noah’s grandfather and lived almost one thousand years? Was Methuselah a space alien? Were all the pre-flood people space aliens or alien/human hybrids? Was the flood’s purpose, then, not to kill all of mankind but only to purge the space alien element?

That would explain the seeming contradiction of how life survived a catastrophe created by a god for the purpose of destroying mankind. It was actually only supposed to destroy the aliens posing as men. I mean, think about it. If these aliens established their kingdoms in desert locales, chances are it’s because they didn’t like water. Maybe the waters of the sea, saltwater, was deadly to them. Maybe a catastrophic flood that would mingle the water of the Earth’s oceans with the freshwater these aliens could tolerate would result in a toxic combination they could not survive. Maybe that’s the nugget of truth behind the legends of water killing witches, like depicted in the “Wizard of Oz“. Like the gringa says, stranger things have happened.

Sources:

www.ancient.eu

reflectionofmind.org

www.history.com

Image Credit: reflectionofmind.org