Thursday, August 29, 2013

History mystery: Mysterious Caves in Nepal

Making discoveries on ancient findings can lead to a lot of speculations and excitement when confronted with it. There are a good number of manmade caves, 155 feet from the ground, hidden within the Himalayans, separated by the Kali Gandaki River, which are some of the world’s amazing mysteries, yet to be discovered. It is estimated that around 10,000 caves have been found in former Kingdom of Mustang in North Central Nepal, some of which have either been dug into the Cliffside or tunneled from above. While some sit by themselves, others are in groups of holes stacked eight or nine storey high on a vertical neighborhood. These caves seem to be thousands of years old and the unknown fact is yet a mystery, of why and by whom were they built. Being 155 feet above the valley floor, it is also unknown how people climbed into the caves at these heights. Some of them who have seen these mysterious caves relate that the effect of the cliff face makes it look like a giant sand castle with dozens of holes carved into the sandy colored cliff, hidden within the Himalayas in a large gorge and dwarfs the Grand Canyon.

 In the mid 1990s, several groups made attempt to discover these mysterious caves and found some bodies which were at least 2000 years old and since then the adventure to these mysterious caves is still on. Adventurer photographers, Cory Richards, who was joined by climbers, Pete Athans, and archaeologists, Mark Ardenderfer, along with a team of explorers set out to unravel some of the mysteries to us with pictures and their own findings. They started their expedition, though it was not an easy task to climb the sky caves with the rocks being unstable and posing to be dangerous while climbing. They envisaged a few dangerous threats all along their expedition to these mysterious caves. As they began with their exploring process to get to know more on these mysterious caves, they faced a lot of challenges during the dangerous climb with loose rocks around them which were very scary. With these loose rocks around them they had a feeling of everything crumbling down during their expedition.


They also encountered a few mishaps and faced physical injuries during their climb which were at times unnerving, but they were determined and excited in making discoveries to unravel the hidden mysteries of these caves. Their exploration lead them to what seemed a 12th century village culture beneath the caves with amazing history to it having villages which they used to live in but now unfortunately forgotten. This intrigued and further excited them in making more headway in their exploration of these caves. On arrival at the caves it seemed to be grander and bigger than they had imagined and made them wonder how the people at that time accessed and got into these caves. As they began exploring they came across images of eroded mural on the walls of Ritseling Cave in Upper Mustang. This exploration took a good many years to unravel and to discover it. Moreover since the climb and access to these mysterious caves seemed a lot difficult than they had envisaged, they had to thread with caution and care, since Cory Richards had already encountered an injury when he had lost his footing and fell down breaking his back. In another, incident videographer Lincoln Else had also faced injuries when he was hit by a falling rock and fractured his skull. Their exploration in solving the mysteries of the caves kept them perplexed as to how the original inhabitants accessed into these caves without any signs of ascending of ropes, scaffolding or even steps, in any of the caves which were at a height of 155 feet above the ground.

Some of the caves which they found were empty though some showed signs of inhabitation with sleeping spaces, hearth, and grain storage bins, besides the murals related to Buddhist history together with calligraphic manuscripts. Mustang cliffs are gorgeous with the walls melting like wax under the intense heat of the sun, with the ridgelines eroded into wild shapes of bony fingers lending support to the colossal rocky basketballs and with towering tubes spread similar to an endless pipe organ. The most amazing thing about these rocks is that its color keeps changing as the day progresses encompassing it in shades of red and ocher and brown and grey. According to the Scientists, the caves in Upper Mustang have been divided in three periods, one as early as the 1000 BC, where the caves may have been used as burial chambers. Towards the 10th century, the region may have encountered frequent battles and hence for safety purpose rather than convenience the people of that time, moved into the caves making it their living quarters. By 1400s, the caves may then have been used as meditation chambers, storage units since the people had moved into village or even military lookouts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

History mystery: CONSTANTINOPLE the City of the emperor Justinian -2



Justinian’s wife, the empress Theodora, was no less impressive. The daughter of a humble bearkeeper at the Constantinople Hippodrome, she was endowed with remarkable beauty and an exceptional strength of will. In her youth she had bee a popular actress and courtesan, achieving notoriety for evading a ban on stage in nothing but a minuscule girdle. Justinian married her in 523, four years before he came to the throne. Theodora seemed to wield considerable power, and with her background she was an easy target for gossip. Yet she exercised her authority with much common sense and political foresight. Her husband saw himself as God’s representative on Earth and his state as an earthly model of the Kingdom of Heaven. Pursuing his dream, he spent many nights studying state files, hoping to become the ‘perfect legislator’. As he walked the corridors of his palace, the shrewd, realistic Theodora was constantly at his side, moderating his wilder schemes.

Justinian was a man of astonishing energy; his citizens called him ‘the emperor who never sleeps’. But the city he inherited presented a daunting challenge even to his titanic capabilities. Though created as the heir to Rome, the city had more in common with the old, densely populated Babels of the East – Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus, Pergamum – bustling centres of business which survived while the cities of the Western Empire fell. It was overcrowded, and choked with squalor, misery, and disease. As the Roman Empire slowly crumbled in the west, the eastern capital attracted adventures, from refuges and rebels to deserters and prisoners of war. Peasants from neighbouring areas flocked to the city in search of work. Constantinople still prided itself on its Greek heritage. Greeks held the highest positions in society.

They called themselves the politikoi – the people of the town, the ‘Byzantines of Byzantium’ to distinguish themselves from the alien multitudes. Among these multitudes were peoples of the Middle East – Syrians, Anatolians, and Jews. When Justinian reconquered Rome’s western provinces, more visitors and immigrants arrived. Egyptians and Africans from Nubia and Ethiopia rubbed shoulders with fair-haired white giants from the north: Germans, and Viking traders and mercenaries who had come via Russia. Barbarians civilized by their settlement in Italy sent their children to Constantinople to study Christianity, literature, law and philosophy. But Constantinople also sheltered those with smaller ambitions.

Squatters infested the marble porticoes of the city’s great colonnades; in winter the authorities had to nail boards across the entrances to give the vagrants some protection against the cold. Justinian, devout Christian that he was, distributed bread and opened hostels, workhouses, orphanages, and leper hospitals. Theodora founded a house for repentant prostitutes. But charity could not rid the city of its plague of poverty. In Justinian’s mind, another solution was born: to build. He would quite simply expand his busting city. The scheme was, of course, partly intended to immortalize his own glory that of his Lord. But there was more. Justinian saw in the vagrant multitude an immense pool of manpower. Harnessing the army of the unemployed, he organized the construction of schools, baths, theatres, palaces, gardens, harbours, aqueducts, monasteries, and especially churches. For Justinian, building became an obsession. Yet vagrancy could not be eliminated. In 539 the emperor was still ordering new public works, but was also applying increasingly strict surveillance: ‘Natives’, he decreed, ‘who are sound in body and have no means of subsistence must be sent without delay to the organizers of public works, to the heads of bakeries, and to those who maintain the gardens and so on. If they refuse, they must be expelled from the city. The physically handicapped and the old shall be left in peace and looked after by the inhabitants who are willing to do so. The others shall be asked why they have come to Constantinople, to ensure that no idlers remain; and as soon as they have finished…they shall be asked to return home.’ The building programme did not get rid of unemployment, but it turned the city into the wonder of its age. The works of contemporary writers and excavations by archaeologists have created a comprehensive picture of the Byzantine capital. Constantinople borrowed much from the mother city. The public buildings were mostly Roman in style. As chance would have it, the city even included seven hills, like the original. It was also divided into 14 districts for the purposes of administration. Titles of office were borrowed from Roman tradition: magistrate, consul, and so on. There was even a senate house. The Imperial District, sited at the tip of the peninsula, was the city’s commercial, administrative, and ceremonial hub. The Sacred Palace, begun by Constantine and enlarged by Justinian, was built there amid beautiful gardens that descended in terraces to the sea. It is now the site of the Blue Mosque, built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I. Today, only a few mosaics remain from Justinian’s palace, but it is known to have consisted of a complex of pavilions, with adjoining churches and barracks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Setting Up a Free School

Since the introduction of the free school concept in the UK, the idea has really caught on with parents and organisations who want to take better control of their children’s education. Religious groups have welcomed the opportunity to incorporate their religion’s teachings into the curriculum, and community groups, charities and parents have been enthusiastic about giving their children a wider choice of school experiences. If you’re considering setting up a free school, what should you do?

Firstly, you need to work out if you can afford the funding. The way to do this if you don’t have the backing of a charity or a religious group is to approach potential sponsors in your area. Those with businesses relating to the education sector would be a good place to start. Once you have secured funding, make sure you find yourself an accountant as soon as possible to stay on top of the finances.

Next, you will need to find a suitable site for the school. You will need to have figured out how much interest there is in your school and have a rough idea of the numbers you intend to attract before you start looking for somewhere. Some free school organisations have had brand new buildings built from scratch, but others have moved into community spaces or even vacant offices.

Your school will need to be kitted out with enough equipment for each child, and this should tie in with the curriculum you intend to teach. The first place to start is with some good quality classroom furniture, such as desks, chairs and drawers at a suitable height and size for the age group that will be using it. After this, you can start thinking about more specialist equipment such as science desks fitted with gas taps, art and technology benches and sports equipment.

The curriculum is extremely important and you should discuss this with the parents of prospective pupils to see what people want their children to learn about. You need to make sure you incorporate the main subjects (literacy, numeracy and science) into the timetable, but the way you teach them and the angle you approach them from is up to you. You may decide that the school will specialise in one specific area, such as sport or foreign languages.

Working closely with a mentor can be really helpful, as it’s not necessarily easy to set up a brand new school from scratch if it’s never been done before. You’ll be dealing with the education of the children of your community, so it’s vital that you get it right and know how to overcome any teething problems you may run into.

Dawn Siddle has been following the free school movement for several years and is fascinated by its success thus far

History mystery: CONSTANTINOPLE the City of the emperor Justinian -1



When Rome perished under barbarian fire and sword, a second imperial capital kept alive the glorious traditions of the fallen city. The new centre of power was Constantinople: luxurious, refined – and seething with poverty on an unimaginable scale. More than a million people lived in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the 6th century AD. Its beauty was renowned far and wide. Suffused with the grey light of the Bosporus – the strait separating Europe and Asia – an undulating skyline of domes rose from a soft shimmering sea of pink brick. Constantinople’s churches, gardens and palaces, wondrous in their own right, housed some of the finest works of the finest works of classical Greek statuary.

 Marbled walls flashed with iridescent mosaics. Despite undercurrents of suffering and depravity that accompanied its affluence, this city at the crossroads of the East and West was farmed as a beacon of civilization – the heir of Rome and guardian of the Christian faith. Its site is a promontory jutting out from the western shore of the Bosporus where the warm Aegean climate is tempered by cold moist winds blowing down across the Black Sea. Greeks from Megara are said to have founded a settlement here around 668 BC. Their leader, Byzas, gave it its name – Byzantion, later Romanized to Byzantium. A deep water inlet known as the ‘Golden Horn’ provided the site with a natural harbour, and gradually the city became a focal point for trade, handling timber and wheat supplies on their way to Greece from the steppes of southern Russia. Greek tradition took root, but it was the rise of imperial Rome that began the city’s ascent to glory. In AD 196 Byzantium fell to the legions, and under Rome it developed into a metropolis. By the 3rd century AD, storm clouds were gathering over the Roman Empire. Warrior tribes of Goths from the Black Sea region, and Franks and Alemanni from along the Rhine, threatened its western frontiers. By the early 4th century Rome was no longer secure, and the emperor Constantine (307-37) looked to Byzantium as an alternative capital.

The city was sheltered geographically from the incursions of the Germanic barbarians, and could also act as a bastion against oriental tribes to the east. The decision to make Byzantium in imperial capital was followed by a rapid and extensive building programme. A senate house, baths, a palace, and a forum were set up. The empire was secured for splendid monuments, which were imported from Rome, Alexandria, Athens, and Ephesus in order to beautify the city. In 330 Constantine formally declared it the Roman Empire’s second capital. Its provinces were also to be known as Byzantium, and the city itself took on an alternative name – Constantinople, city of Constantine – in honour of its benefactor. Constantine managed to hold off the barbarian threat to Rome. But persistent onslaughts from tribes north of the Danube continued to plague his successors. Religious and ethnic divisions also began to split the eastern and western provinces. On the death of the Pious Christian emperor Theodosius I in 395, the Roman Empire was formally split into two halves. The eastern capital, Constantinople, increased in prestige as the beleaguered western territories began to crumble in the face of constant invasions by Germanic tribes. In 410, Rome fell to the Visigoths – invaders originally from the Balkans – and was sacked and burnt. Constantinople now became the main guardian of classical civilization, protector of the Greek and Roman heritage, and of the Christian faith.

It was left to the emperor Justinian to fulfil the city’s potential. Justinian (527-65) is one of the most imposing and enigmatic figures in Roman history. A country boy from the Balkans, he was brought up in Constantinople by his childless uncles, the emperor Justin I. On his uncle’s death he inherited the throne of Rome. Traces of his Slavonic roots remained with him – it was said that he spoke Greek with a barbarian accent. Yet this upstart was to become the last of the great Roman emperors. Justinian was a military leader of the highest rank. Brilliantly served by two generals, Belisarius and Narses, he held the eastern frontier of Byzantium against the Sassanian monarchs of Persia. More, he managed to claw back from the barbarian Goths and Vandals much of the territory that they had occupied in North Africa and Italy. The Byzantine Empire ruled by Justinian eventually included many of the territories which had made up the old Roman Empire: the Balkans, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. To his victories in war Justinian added achievements at home. He reconciled, at least temporarily, the warring factions in the Eastern and Western churches. Passionately concerned with the law, he drew together the strands of the existing Roman legal code into four major compilations: the Codex, Digest, Institutes, and Novellae. The code of Civil Law, or Justinian Code as it is generally known, was the means by which Roman law was committed to prosperity.

International MBA Programs in Toronto

The political, socio-economic, security and stability, as well as Canada's limitless opportunities has made the country a preferred destination for international and local MBA students. There is a variety of schools across the country that offer top quality education. Local and international students can undertake their MBA programs in Toronto.

Toronto is one of Canada's most important educational and business hubs. Fittingly, the city is home to various colleges and universities that offer a variety of high quality undergraduate and MBA programs to both local and international students. The programs are designed into a wide range of specializations.  These include MBA in environmental studies, accounting, business management, law, human resource management, marketing, information technology, hospitality and tourism management, administration of technology and innovation, international relations and other areas of business and organizational administration.

The wide ranges of MBA classes in Toronto are typically scheduled in a way that suits different students with different time-lines. To this end, individual students in respective colleges and universities can talk to their course administrators to arrange for flexibility. The MBA course can either be undertaken on a full time or part time basis.

More importantly, all the MBA programs in Toronto and Canada, in general, are based on a highly-applied (hands-on), extensive curriculum. Equally important, the curriculum places special emphasis on global business and relations, which are essential in today's greatly globalized business environment. This ensures that the students are trained on how to leverage their skills and other resources to tap on the global market for the good of their firms.

Taking an MBA class confers the students with many benefits, including job placement, high quality student services and a wide range of career opportunities. Many universities offer programs in a variety of areas and allow prospective students to apply for a two-year fulltime study, or opt to study part-time.
Laurier University is known for their high quality degrees and MBA curriculums. They offer MBA courses in a variety of areas, including human resource management, information technology, innovation management and finance.

Students can choose to undertake their MBA course online or at the institution. In most of the Toronto-based MBA universities, there are three batches of intake each year---winter, spring and fall. The completion time for the MBA classes in Toronto ranges from 2 to 3 years.

In all, students can apply to undertake their MBA programs in any of the various Toronto universities. The universities offer high quality course, based on a highly-applied curriculum.
This article was written by Madeleine Romano.

Monday, August 19, 2013

History mystery: Chanchan, A target of the Inca conquest -2



The Chimu were energetic builders, and established urban centres less grandiose than Chanchan in almost all of the valleys they ruled, including Tucume Viejo in the Leche valley and Pacatnamu in the Jequetepeque. They followed a tradition of urban construction established by earlier Andean civilizations, executing their work with greater skill, and on a larger scale. Only a powerful administration was capable of organizing such large building works. Some information has survived on the nature of Chimu government. The king was supreme, wielding absolute power. Known as the Quie quic, or Great Lord, he was like the Inca sovereign in claiming to be descended from the gods. Below the king were the Chimu chieftains, known as alaec, and the members of the royal family. One myth states that the king and the nobility were descended from two stars, while the common people sprang from two others.

The tale suggests that a strict class system existed, and that there was no possibility of movement between the classes. At the bottom of the social scale were the commoners, who were referred to as paraeng and yana, generally taken to denote vassals and servants. Agriculture was the main source of livelihood, on land owned mainly by the king and nobility. A few animals such as the dog and the Muscovy duck were raised for food. Fishing and hunting also supplemented the diet. The large-scale manufacture of craft goods also supported the economy, and trade was based on barter. The centralized state supervised various public works. For example, a network of roads was built to link the kingdom’s different regions. An irrigation system, begun by the Moche a few centuries earlier, was extended to reach some of the desolate spaces around the valleys, to secure abundant harvests. Like other ancient peoples all over the world, the Chimu watched the movements of the heavenly bodies with fascination. Yet no divinity seems to have been worshipped as a supreme force. Legends refer to a variety of gods – notably the sea, the stars, the sun, and the moon goddess Si. Si was considered more powerful than the sun, because she was visible even during daylight hours. While knowledge of the Chimu’s beliefs remains sketchy, ample material survives to form a picture of their superlative craftsmanship. Their goods included figures identical to those on wall friezes in the capital.

This suggests that a single model was used for multiple copies. Weavers worked on tapestries, embroidery, and ceremonial mantles made with feathers. Chimu potters specialized in a gleaming black ware – vessels cast in moulds and ingeniously embellished with human and animal figures. But it was in goldwork that the Chimu excelled. Chimu goldsmiths mastered the arts of soldering, chasing, and filigree work. Most goldwork was made from hammered sheet metal, although some pieces were cast in moulds. The results were exquisitely shaped golden bowls and goblets, masks, breastplates, and jewellery. The Chimu goldsmiths were famed beyond the frontiers of their own state. When the Incas overran the Chimu kingdom, they took the most skilled craftsmen back with them. In about 1460, the Incas began to penetrate the northern regions of Peru.

 But Minchan-saman could offer only ineffective resistance, and Chimor was defeated and brought within the Inca domain. The Chimu king was treated well, and his son, Chumun-caur, was appointed to govern the defeated kingdom. But between 1485 and 1490, the unity of the kingdom was destroyed – its ruler became merely a provincial chieftain of the Moche valley, with no power over the neighbouring territories. The Incas went on to absorb Chimu achievements into their own empire, which extended beyond modern Peru to much of Ecuador and Bolivia, and parts of Chile and Argentina. Like Chimor, the Inca domain was rigidly centralized, with a system of roads and couriers running between the main centres. But now they carried the orders of the supreme Inca, the Child of the Sun. After the disintegration of the Inca Empire and its subjugation by the Spaniards, Chanchan – which was already partially abandoned – was sacked by the treasure-hungry conquistadores. The city fell into ruin, and the native goldwork was melted down in huge quantities and cast into ingots sold at the metal’s market value. Yet neither time nor conquest has completely obliterated Chimu civilization. The Incas disseminated Chimu culture over an area much larger than the original kingdom, and the Spanish chroniclers preserved their legends. And even in their fallen state, the regal ruins at Chanchan evoke the majesty of the Chimu rulers and the inventive energy of their people.

Affordable LSAT Prep Courses

In order to obtain high scores in LSAT and secure admission in a law course of their choice students need to make use of LSAT prep courses. This is vital because the LSAT paper has to be answered both quickly and accurately. This is far easier when the candidate is aware of the LSAT paper pattern as well as the ways in which the paper setters try to confuse the candidates. However, many ambitious students are unable to make use of such courses because of the high cost of tutors.

Lower Cost LSAT Prep Courses

While personal tutors and live classes are expensive when one is preparing for the LSAT, it is possible for students to obtain help in the form of lower cost LSAT preparation. Many of these combine online material, video tutorials, and telephonic instruction from tutors. This combination brings down the cost of the learning material and ensures that students have access to great content at lower costs.

Free Components in LSAT Prep Courses

While there are many LSAT prep courses available online, one needs to select a course that is truly affordable. This is possible when the course offers various levels of preparatory material. One of the ways in which a student can assess the quality of the course material provided is to download a free component and use it. A committed LSAT course provider will offer students free components as they want to ensure that a greater number of students have access to the coaching material.

Paid-For Components in LSAT Prep Courses

Part from offering free components, most LSAT prep courses also offer paid-for components of course material. This is because the question papers of the past LSATs and other material are covered by copyright law, making it impossible for the course providers to offer them for free.

Video Components in LSAT Prep Courses

Any student is aware that for a complete learning experience it is essential to use both the audio and visual media. LSAT preparation courses and their creators are also aware that certain concepts are best explained using videos. As such the best LSAT courses offer a video component to the course material.

Optimum Use of Time with LSAT Prep Courses

Students aiming for admission in a law course have to manage their time and energy properly in order to fit in preparation for the LSAT. This is made easier when they use LSAT preparation resources online that offer a variety of course material that covers the entire LSAT. This course material should not only be comprehensive but be presented in an organized fashion using all the media available.

While some explanations are best made using the written word, others require video explanations. Besides, students are likely to have doubts after they go through the prepared material. For this the course should offer access to experienced LSAT tutors who are aware of the course material and its contents. This will help the students make best use of the telephonic tutoring to clarify their doubts.

Another resource that students can take advantage of while studying for the LSAT is mobile applications. There are now LSAT apps available that help proctor and monitor one’s practice test. Some even provide realistic background sounds and virtual watch.

This article was written by Austin Thommes.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Helping Your Child Succeed in Math

Math is a key area of study and an integral part of our everyday life. Some people have a natural ability with math while others tend to struggle and feel like a math failure.

When a child does poorly in a math’s class, they can lose interest and ultimately fall behind making it very difficult to catch up again. You as a parent can help your child avoid this embarrassing dilemma through helping him or her through private maths tuition. Private one-on-one math tuition will not only help your child understand the fundamentals of math, they will learn how to become better problem solvers, get higher marks at school, help them begin to learn how to love the subject of math and even become a math Olympiad. Some of the greatest minds and mathematicians live in Singapore and they are waiting to help your child get ahead in math.

Private math tuition Singapore can help your child understand the true importance of not only learning math but understanding it too. They will learn that applied math is used in many aspects of our everyday lives, from money to calculating areas. Math is known also to help improve a child's motor and critical thinking skills, so math tuition will be beneficial to every child who participates.

If you wish to help your child become a math Olympiad or mathlete in Singapore private math tuition can help you. There are a myriad of math tutoring houses that offer special courses for children who have the goal of becoming a math champion. There are courses for every kind of child - for children who have never participated in a formal math competition before, for returning mathletes, for students who are weaker in math but have a dream of entering a competition and for those students who are particularly gifted in math - you can find it all.

Most programs are offered year round and special intensive courses run through the summer months for the serious wannabe math Olympiad.

In these courses children are taught basic concepts, they review the school year curriculum in math, study advanced math but they also have the opportunity to have fun. These two words math and fun do not usually go hand in hand but the specially designed tutoring courses intersperse the math lessons with fun games - all math related. Their main goal is to prepare the students for the upcoming math Olympiad with their secondary goal being: learn to love math.

Parents who wish their children to participate in a math competition such as Olympiad should never push their kids. Pushy parents fail and the children more often than not turn their back on math and start to dislike the subject. Instead you could try encouraging your child through telling them about your own personal experience as a math Olympiad and see if you can arouse their interest this way.

Another thing to bear in mind if you wish to have your child participate in a maths olympiad is to find the right book - this is easier said than done in most cases. A book that is too easy does not challenge and book that that is too difficult discourages. Find a book that has easy exercises at the front and more difficult ones at the back - that way you know that your child has to learn the information in between. Ask your child's personal maths tutor for supplementary material, they will be more than willing to help, after all the result of your child will also reflect on them.

All in all, maths is important, period. Your first goal is to help foster your child's passion for maths and help them understand its importance.
James Liao a.k.a The Educationist of Singapore, a MASTERS scholar from NTU, has been on the forefront of Singapore's education fabric for more than a decade. Through this period he has helped many students improve from F9 to A1 in Chemistry, Physics, A.Maths and E.Maths. As a result, these same students managed to qualify for Junior Colleges and most of them have already graduated from NTU, NUS and SMU.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

History mystery: Chanchan, A target of the Inca conquest



On the northern coast of Peru, a field of ruins stretches as far as the eye can see. This was Chanchan, capital of the Chimu, which fell to the Incas only decades before the Incas themselves perished under the swords of the Spanish conquistadores. When the spaniards defeated the incas in the 16th century, they inherited the remains of more than one civilization. Inca Peru, also an empire of conquest, embraced many different societies. But the Incas extinguished earlier traditions as mercilessly as the Spaniards were to crush their own, and many of the cultures that rose and fell in the Andes and its fringes are shrouded in mystery. The first major culture to arise in Peru was that of the Chavin, around 1000 BC. Others followed: the Paracas of central Peru, who mummified their dead and wrapped them in magnificent fabrics; the Moche of the northern coast, who were great builders and goldsmiths.


Farther south, the mysterious Nazca culture emerged round AD 500, leaving behind a fantastic network of designs – birds, spiders, and geometric figures – indelibly scored across the desolate southern plains. By about AD 1000, the culture of the upland Tiwanaku people dominated much of Peru, which now enjoyed a rich cultural heritage. Among the civilizations that built on this heritage, none was more impressive than Chimor, the kingdom of the Chimu, ruled from the city of Chanchan. A handful of legends collected by Spanish chroniclers have survived through the centuries to explain the origin of Chimor. The tales centre on the semi-mythical hero Taycanamo, founder of the Chimu royal dynasty. Taycanamo, so the stories say, arrived in the Moche valley on a raft as an envoy from a great lord beyond the seas. He brought with him a magical yellow powder – probably gold dust. He built a palace, learned the language, and was eventually recognized by the locals as their chief.



Taycanamo is said to have founded his dynasty in about 1300, but archaeology has shown that Chanchan, the Chimu capital, dates back to an earlier period. The site is thought to have been settled as far back as 800 BC, and monumental construction began in about AD 850. But it was not until the Taycanamon dynasty that the city became the wonder of its contemporaries. Taycanamo’s dynasty continued through nine more kings. His immediate successors conquered the whole of the Moche and six other valleys. But the empire reached its peak under the last monarch, Minchan-saman. In the mid-15th century, when the Incas were expanding southwards from their capital at Cuzco in the central highlands, Minchan-saman brought the valleys of the central coastlands within the fold of Chimor.

The kingdom now stretched along 960km (596 miles) of coast, from Tumbes in the north to a point near present-day Lima. Chanchan was even larger than Cuzco. It covered about 20km2 (7½ sq miles), and supported 40,000 people. With its workshops, factories, warehouses, and temples, it was the hub of Chimu trade, religion, and administration. The heart of the city was dominated by ten great enclosures, with tapering walls ranging from 7.5m to 9m (24½ft to 29½ft) high. Each enclosure conformed to the same rectangular plan, with a single, narrow entrance in the north wall and an interior divided into three sections: north, central, and south. The north and central sections contained living quarters, kitchens, audience chambers, courtyards, colonnades, storage areas, and water tanks. The southern sections often contained a mound or platform. When archaeologists excavated one of these mounds in 1969, they uncovered the remains of almost 100 young women. They had been sacrificed – perhaps by poison. In the centre, they found a T-shaped tomb and burial offerings. What purpose did the enclosures serve? There were ten such structures, built one after another – and ten kings in the dynasty of Taycanamo. The generally accepted theory is that each king constructed an enclosure as his own royal residence. After death, it would have served as a shrine devoted to his worship, and his heir would then build his own complex. The royal enclosures were built with a combination of clay and sun-dried mud bricks, as were the city’s houses, storage areas, and colonnades, which were roofed with reeds, straw, and clay. Clay friezes of geometric motifs, animals, and various mythological monsters decorated the walls. The reliefs often depict sea-birds, fish, starfish, and crustaceans. Chanchan was close to the sea, and the ebb and swell of the Pacific must have been constantly in the minds of its inhabitants. The ocean was a divinity known as Ni, worshipped by casting offerings of maize and red ochre into the waves. Around the outskirts of the citadels were humble dwellings made of cane. Two depressions at each end of the city appear to have been planted with gardens, and water was supplied to areas that needed it by a system of irrigation channels. A pyramid complex, probably a temple compound, stood just outside the city. This way not an innovation of Chimu society – flat-topped pyramids had existed in Peru as early as the 2nd millennium BC.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How To Improve Problem Solving Skills With Math Questions

A key element for victory in math is thorough practice. Generally understudies are hesitant to commit a part of their study time to polishing math inquiries, because of various explanations, going from fatigue to in-effectualness to tackle issues on their own. The methodology of taking care of an issue has much to educate the learner; the technique included, requisition of hypothesis, a chance to find substitute techniques, and an opportunity to watch and calibrate the manner of thinking included.

Math Questions And Answers for Practice

To determine that your practice sessions are successful, attempt to take care of a wide assortment of  math questions, under the same point. Learners some of the time make the slip-up of adhering to sorts of issues they know how to explain well. While its a great thought to increase skill in subjects that come effortlessly to you, don't disregard the different sorts of issues. The most ideal approach to pro tests and exams is to increase an encompassing comprehension of the material being studied.

Numerous distinctive sorts of math inquiries and issues could be discovered online on math help sites. They are ordered by evaluation, subject, and trouble level, making it simple for learners to scrutinize and select the worksheets they might want to tackle. Online assets are not difficult to gain entrance to and use and people hunting down something specifically, for instance variable based math inquiries or analytics inquiries for instance, can find it rapidly. They additionally incorporate math recreations and tests to furnish variety and make studying more fascinating.

Assist With Solving Math Problems

Tackling math issues could be lengthy and you don't dependably fundamentally get it right. Understudies for the most part have a tendency to hold up till after the exam to swot hard and remember a couple of systems, trusting that will blanket all the issues. An alternate choice understudies have is to begin taking on math issues at a young hour in the school year by getting additional help outside the classroom. Any learner is equipped for studying math assuming that it is demonstrated plainly, in wording that they comprehend. This is the place one on one math solvers come in.

Needing outer math help has helped several understudies pass the subject with incredible evaluations and dispose of their abhorrence for math. It is adequate and improves people's trust in their capabilities.

Numerous scholars battle with their math inquiries, particularly as they approach their teenager years. There are a few explanations behind this, which I will talk over later.

Be that as it may, each guardian can help their tyke ascent above this battle -and succeed. Provided that a scholar surrenders, it can expedite a cycle of bafflement and washout that can frequent a person (and folks) for quite some time.

The additional exertion you make is a speculation in your kid's future.

As you as of recently know, people who comprehend math increment their possibilities of being acknowledged by the University of their decision.

Also, a prevalent math score on government sanctioned tests increments a learner's probability of getting a grant or cooperation to pay for their instruction.

Math is additionally imperative to your tyke's anticipated managers. Executives are hunting down petitioners who can apply science to business issues.

By Brilliant

Friday, August 9, 2013

History mystery: NARA A Japanese capital of Chinese culture -2



In 735, a severe epidemic of smallpox struck down members of the imperial family. To appease the gods, the emperor Shomu (724-49) decided to build a huge gilded bronze effigy of the Buddha at Nara. The colossal statue, 15m (49ft) tall, can still be seen today – much restored, but intact. A vast hall was erected around the statue while work was still in progress, flanked to the east and west by two ten-storey pagodas. By 752, it had become part of a temple complex, known as the Todaiji. This was the pride of Nara, and it continued to be embellished for another ten years, during which time a Chinese monk architect named Ganjin arrived at Nara with some of his disciples. Ganjin founded a new school of architecture. He also attempted to bring Shintoism more firmly within the Buddhist fold, declaring that the native gods were earthly incarnations of Buddhist deities, and founded another school of Buddhism. In religion, as in all else, Japan displayed a remarkable ability to assimilate outside influence. Religion was not Nara’s only concern. Among the city’s notable buildings is the fabulous treasure house, the Shosoin – the world’s oldest museum, built in 756 by the widow of the emperor Shomu. Its walls are constructed of horizontally stacked cross-sections of timber, which drain water, absorb moisture, and shrink to allow ventilation when the air is dry. The humidity of the interior remains constant all year round, and as a result the exhibits remain intact to this day.

The museum’s 3,000 treasures provide a rich picture of court life during the 8th century. They include silks, brocades, inlaid furniture, mirrors, and ceramics, most of which were gifts offered by high officials to their sovereign. The emperor also stored tributes from travelers returning from China and Korea: medicinal plants, sacred manuscripts, technical treatises, Buddhist paintings, musical instruments, weapons, devotional objects, and numerous utensils. Goods from distant lands include a glass bowl Persian origin, fabrics from Central Asia, and a marble bas-relief of Byzantine inspiration. China’s influence had changed life in Japan immensely – at least for the lords, courtiers, and religious leaders. But the peasant masses continued to live as they had done for centuries. Japan’s many peasants, by their sweat, produced the wealth that supported the imperial court. Yet to the privileged citizens of sophisticated Nara they ranked no higher than animals. They wore clothes made of bark fibre, and their homes were simple mud huts. Their lives revolved around toiling in the fields, or breeding silkworms to produce finery for the elite. They were illiterate, and continued to worship their rural gods. Because of this class distinction, ordinary people were almost completely ignored in the great works of Japanese literature of the time.

They are mentioned only obliquely in the chronicles. The main change in their lives brought about by the foundation of Nara was a change for the worse. The taxes levied to finance building the capital weighed heavily on the poor. They paid the price for their country’s prestige – partly in crops, and partly in labour.


At least they were not plagued by warfare. The Nara period was, on the whole, a peaceful age. It came to an end in about 794, as the monk’s of the capital’s six main sects grew increasingly powerful. Peasants who could no longer bear the tax burden abandoned their fields. Finally, to escape the influence of the Buddhist priests, Emperor Kanmu established a new capital at Heiankyo (present-day Kyoto) – the ‘Capital of Peace and Content’. But the lessons learned at Nara were not forgotten. Japan had gathered all the elements necessary to produce a culture of its own, and at Heiankyo, a tradition of native Japanese architecture asserted it. Chinese influence remained strong for the next 150 years, but the country was emerging from its formative era. By the 10th century, Japan’s links with the mainland had been severed, its influences consolidated, and its high society had become one of the most sophisticated civilizations of all time.

Unique School Trip Ideas

School trips are a fantastic way to enrich the learning experiences of children, and there are very few children who don’t enjoy a day out of the classroom. Sometimes these school trips tie in perfectly with a topic, such as a visit to a manor house to supplement a history project or a trip to a local river to observe the processes at work for Geography. However, not all trips have to fit into such rigid subject categories, and can be just as rewarding.
Art lessons can be taken absolutely anywhere, and all your class will need is their sketchbooks and some portable art materials. Good examples of places you can take your class include churches or other religious buildings, which are often beautifully ornate, scenes of natural beauty and even farms where they can try their hand at drawing the animals.
Factories and manufacturing plants are often overlooked as places for school trips, but many of them do actually offer guided tours to school groups. This can be a useful way to find out how the products we use are created, and is ideal for an inquisitive group of children who want to discover more about the world at large. This can be useful for technology-related topics, so that children can see the entire design and production process.

School trips can even be useful for promoting teamwork among classmates. Chartering a yacht is a really exciting way to get children working together and learning new skills. They will also have to follow instructions and listen closely to what they are told by the person leading the yachting trip, and they will have to behave in a sensible manner whilst on the yacht, so there are lots of lessons to be learnt on a trip such as this.

A trip to the theatre or cinema might not initially seem very educational, but if a film or play happens to come up which relates to a topic you have discussed in class, it can be a great way to consolidate their knowledge, especially if it is a historical story which can be difficult to engage with for younger children. You might even be able to work it into an English class by asking the children to spot literary devices being used, especially if they are a little older.

Next time you’re planning a school trip, think outside the box a little. Museums are all well and good, but why not do something a little bit different to get the children really inspired and eager to learn?
Paula Wicket is a secondary school teacher always on the lookout for inspiration to take her pupils out of the classroom

Supporting People with Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a condition whereby sufferers struggle with the comprehension, and often writing, of written language. Some dyslexics say that words appear to ‘swim’ on the page, whereas others may find that letters appear jumbled, or it may be that they find it difficult to write letters the right way round or in the correct order. It is a frustrating condition which qualifies as a learning difficulty, and those with dyslexia often require special measures to help them in daily life.
For many people, dyslexia is first detected at school where teachers recognise that the child is struggling to keep up with their reading and writing. The child may have a completely normal intelligence level, but will struggle with their written literacy. The child will then undergo tests, and if a dyslexia diagnosis is suggested, the school will need to find a way to support that child to help them learn at the same rate. Specialist dyslexia schools also exist to help children with the condition.

Dyslexia can improve with age and as a result of learning special techniques to override the condition, but it won’t necessarily disappear completely. Adults in the workplace might need a bit of extra help, especially with the prevalence of computer-based office work which requires a lot of reading and typing, which can be tricky for dyslexics. Employers should take advantage of the technology on offer for dyslexics to help them read more easily.

Screen filters work in the same way as an acetate paper filter. These are the virtual equivalent of the tinted sheets of plastic used in schools based on evidence that reading through a coloured filter can help reduce the ‘swimming’ effects of letters on the page. It may also be possible to use a screen reader program to read the contents of the screen out loud via headphones to the user, or you could provide them with a bigger screen for magnified working.

One of the most important things to remember is that dyslexia is not the fault of the sufferer, and this condition is far more frustrating for them than it is for you. The best thing you can do is to be patient, not to hurry them along and not to jump in and read things out for them unless they ask you to. This can add to their frustration which could then make it even harder for them to focus on reading, so let them read and write at their own pace and only help them along when requested.

Charlie Bail is a mother to two young children, one of whom suffers with dyslexia. She spends her time helping to increase awareness and support for the condition

Thursday, August 8, 2013

History mystery: NARA A Japanese capital of Chinese culture -1


One of the most striking aspects of Japan’s history has been its ability, at certain periods, to learn from foreigners. What happened at Nara, 13 centuries ago, was an example of the islander’s genius for adapting the traditions of other countries. ACCORDING TO MYTH, THE ISLAND OF JAPAN were divinely created, and the first Japanese were descended from the gods. In reality, their ancestors arrived from mainland Asia during the Palaeolithic period. Large numbers of immigrants also came from Korea in the 1st millennium BC, introducing rice cultivation and metallurgy. And it was from the mainland – China in particular – that Japan imported the beginnings of urban culture. Chinese Buddhism also took root in Japan, in the 6th century AD. The new religion came under the protection of Japan’s emperors, supplementing the existing official religion known as Shinto, the Way of the Gods.

By the late 5th century of the once fragmented nation, made up of small independent tribes, came under the rule of an imperial government established at the royal court of Asuka, today a small village 24km (15 miles) south of modern Nara. Major administrative reforms in the 7th century centralized authority under the emperor. The glamour and richness of the civilization in China exercised a magnetic attraction of Japan’s rulers. In AD 607 an imperial envoy, Ono no Imoko, was sent from Asuka to the Chinese court. He was granted an audience with the great Emperor Yangdi of China’s brilliant Sui dynasty. At the imperial palace the Japanese envoy started the interview by announcing with confidence: ‘The Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun greets the Emperor of the Land of the Setting Sun.’ To the Chinese – who thought of Japan as a semi-barbaric island – this opening was highly offensive.

It must have taken some delicate diplomacy to smooth over the outrage, for in the end the mission was a success. Over the years, many large delegations arrived from China in Japan. There were ambassadors with their secretaries and countless specialists, including doctors, monks, astrologers, soothsayers, sculptors, painters, carpenters, potters, and blacksmiths. The diversity of skills was immense. Many of the newcomers attached themselves to the Japanese court and became permanent residents. What Japan lacked was a capital city worth of its growing splendour. There were no major urban centres, and the imperial court – first established at Asuka – had moved as each monarch constructed a new palace complex. The Emperor Temmu planned a splendid capital comparable to those of China, and his widow, the Empress Jito, oversaw its construction at Fujiwara, which became the capital in 694.

But it was not until 710 that their vision was fully realized. Under the Empress Gemmyo, Nara was chosen as the permanent site for the imperial court. The city, known at the time as Heijo-kyo, was laid out like a vast chequerboard in the style of the Tang capital, Chang’an, in China. The architecture was Chinese-inspired, from palaces and monasteries with tall pagodas to administrative offices and imposing mansions with stone paving, painted wooden pillars, and roofs with semi-translucent glazed tiles. The power of the central government at Nara was open to challenge by provincial clan leaders. So in 712, to cement the authority of the throne, Empress Gemmyo (707-15) sponsored the writing of chronicles glorifying the myths of the imperial dynasty. The Kojiki, ‘Records of Ancient Matters,’ were written using Chinese script to represent Japanese sounds. At the same time, monks and scholars were copying out Buddhist texts, and Japan developed its own style of exquisite calligraphy. Manuscripts brought to Japan by Chinese monks and scholars include Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist treatises, and works on astrology and fortune-telling such as the Yi Jing (The Book of Changes). Nara became a centre for Buddhist learning and worship. Japanese Buddhism mixed several different traditions, and came to be represented by six different sects founded in the capital. Each had its own monasteries and temples, and its own aristocratic patrons. The monks were recruited chiefly from the nobility, who fought constantly for influence at court. In a spirit of toleration, the new religion accommodated the spirits and gods of the Shinto cults.

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History mystery: Carthage Gateway to rich Western trade -4



There is no question of the nightmarish ceremonies being merely an invention of enemy propaganda. At Carthage and other Punic sites, archaeologists have discovered sanctuaries with urns containing the ashes of infants. The sanctuaries, known by modern writers as tophets after a place of sacrifice in the Bible’s Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, are walled enclosures, open to the sky. The urns were buried in pits, and a stone monument or stele about the size of a modern gravestone was erected nearby. The Carthage tophet contains some of the earliest reliable evidence of Phoenician settlement in the West: fragments of pottery discovered at its lowest level date back to about 725 BC. From then until the city’s fall, layer upon layer of urns containing the remains of thousands of sacrificed children were deposited, along with commemorative steles. The area of the Carthage tophet eventually stretched across some 2ha (5 acres). Most children seem to have been sacrificed individually, and the studies of teeth found among the charred bones confirm that most were two years old or younger.

Some were newborn. Occasionally, two children have been found in one urn, characteristically a newborn with a small child. Perhaps the parents promised to surrender a child in advance of its birth – if the child was stillborn, they would have to present their elder infant. Why did this barbaric practice persist among such a sophisticated people living in one of the most advanced civilizations of the classical world? During the last 200 years or so of Carthaginian civilization, the grave steles are often inscribed with a standard dedication: ‘To the lady Tanit and her consort Baal Hammon, -, the son of the son of -, dedicates this in fulfillment of a vow.’ The family’s social status is frequently indicated – those sacrificed were always the property-owning class.

 Trying to understand why only the children of the rich were sacrificed, and why the brutal tradition survived for so long, American excavators speculated that the practice may have had a social purpose: the sacrifices may have been a convenient form of family planning, allowing the property-owning class to prevent their wealth being divided between two many heirs. Cynical as it sounds, there are parallels elsewhere. The Greeks, for example, used to expose unwanted children on hillsides. Carthage was unusual in the ancient world in having a constitution acknowledged by the Greeks. In the Greek’s opinion, the Carthaginians, like the Romans, did not entirely qualify for the label ‘barbarians’. Although evidence of the city’s constitution is sketchy, it is clear that by the 4th century BC, three elements of authority existed side by side: monarchy, oligarchy (rule by a small dominant faction), and democracy.

Before about 450 BC, something approaching kingly authority had been held by one family, the Magonids (among whom was Hanno the navigator). But later, the great merchant families and the landowners used their political muscle to guarantee a share in government. The kingly element survived in the role of two principal officers of state, known as the suffetes. They were similar to the Roman consuls: two were elected annually from among the most influential families. Leading citizens were represented in a Council comparable to the Roman Senate. From the several hundred Council members, who held their positions for life, two powerful committees were chosen: one to carry out day-to-day policy, the other to administer justice and review the actions of the generals. A citizen body represented the democratic element in the constitution. The body could vote on proposals put before it, and had the power to elect certain administrators. In practice, its influence was small throughout most of Carthage’s history. When the suffetes and Council decided on a course of action, they rarely allowed the issue to go to a popular vote. The closing chapters of the city’s history began in the 3rd century BC, when Rome moved into the world of Mediterranean politics after taking control of the Greek cities in southern Italy.

Almost by accident the Romans and Carthaginians – previously allies in wars against the Greeks – fell out over the control of Sicily. The disagreement was to spark the first of the three great Punic wars. The first brought 23 years of intermittent fighting by land and sea (264-241 BC). It ended in victory for the Romans, and Sicily became their first overseas province. Following the loss of Sicily, and later of Corsia and Sardinia, the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca launched a masterly campaign to seize the southern half of Spain. Here, Carthagena, ‘the New Carthage’, was founded in 221 BC. But the contest with Rome had not been resolved. Hannibal Barca, son of Hamilcar, now led the army. When a second Punic War broke out in 218 BC he crossed the Alps with an army of 35,000 men and 37 elephants, but narrowly failed to take Rome. In the treaty that followed a later defeat, Carthage lost all its possessions in Europe, its fleet except for ten ships, and with it control of the Mediterranean. And yet the city still prospered. Cato the Elder, a Roman ambassador to Carthage in 153 BC, was so awed by the city’s grandeur that he was consumed with jealous rage. On returning to Rome, he would conclude every speech he made, on whatever subject, by declaring that ‘Carthage must be destroyed’. That destruction came at the end of the third Punic War (149-146 BC). The inhabitants of the ancient city held on with heroic tenacity against the Roman onslaught. Their last stand was made in the Temple of Eshmun. When the temple fell, the invading troops plundered and burned, leveling the city. Scipio Aemilianus, the Roman general who presided over the destruction of Carthage, wept over the rubble of the ruined city. He was moved less by pity than by awe that so gigantic a power could be laid so low. ‘This is a glorious moment,’ he observed, ‘and yet I am seized with fear and foreboding that some day the same fate will befall my own country.’