Criminal Psychology

Haley O’Brien

 

Schull

4/29/2015

Criminal Psychology

There are many people and jobs created throughout the justice system. Each career serves an equally important purpose, yet some jobs still are being unappreciated. While we watch shows such as CSI and Law & Order, we primarily watch policemen and forensic scientists, yet there is one person that is in dire need of recognition that helps solve murders as well: criminal psychologists.

As you probably have no idea what a criminal psychologist is, I am sure you would appreciate a definition. A criminal psychologist, better known as a crime shrink, is someone who studies the wills, thoughts, intentions, and reactions, and all that partakes in the mind of criminals. The majority of criminal psycologist have the same task: study and find out why people do the crimes they do. However, they may be asked to interview the criminals and make educated and informed decisions on whether the criminal will re-offend in the future. While also helping the law enforcement solve crimes or analyze criminals, crime shrinks are very often asked to testify in court due to their expert testimony. Through all of their hard work and dedication, all criminal psycologist have the same general goals in mind…  To inspect and better the criminal justice system, improve the justice system interviewing, detecting deception, and research both courtroom psychology and jury decision making.

There are many different obstacles one must face in order to become a criminal psycologist. To become a crime shrink in the state of Arkansas, you first need to understand that higher education is the primary step. While having your bachelor’s is a great start, this will still limit you in the types of jobs you are eligible for, primarily research and support roles. For this reason, anyone looking for a criminal psychology career should pursue their education by receiving a doctorate. Once you have received your doctorate and Ph.D for criminal psychologist, Arkansas requires two years or two thousand hours of completed internship approved by the APA,  American Psychological Association. The next step in making your criminal psychologist career dream come true,  is to apply for a license through the Arkansas Psychology Board and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in order to qualify for a formal interview and oral examination.

Even though you receive your certification and are now a licensed shrink, tips are always a good idea to take part in. One of the best tips given to upcoming criminal psychologist is given by the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology. Volunteering in a forensic setting can greatly improve your skills. Stated by the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology, “Students pursuing a career in criminal psychology may benefit from volunteering in a forensic setting, like a parole office or abuse shelter, to gain hands-on experience.” An addition to help you gain experience in the criminal field, volunteering can also help a students stand out when applying for things such as scholarships and graduate school.  Another good suggestion made by the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology is to participate in even additional internships. Internships help future psychologist gain the skills and experiences needed for their future careers.

Once in the actual field, there can be quite a lot to expect. Being a criminal psychologist is a very stressful job. In this career field, you will be trying to help convicted criminals, some of which have no desire to be helped. While trying to help them, you must also be careful. Criminal psychologist must always be cautious of the dangerous scenarios that may arise. The work environment also vary from criminal psychologist to criminal psycologist. Some work environment conclude prison settings or office settings.

Typically, a criminal psychologist works about 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, allowing you to have a 37 hour work week. However, many criminal shrinks’ hours vary. Some flexibility is required, due to the fact that you will be needed to work some weekends and evenings. Fortunately, if you decide to work only part-time, that’s still an option. Also, you are eligible to take a career break, depending on the employer.

As a criminal psycologist, you have many responsibilities. Your job is crucial to not only you, but other people’s lives. One of the most important duties you have to do as a criminal psychologist is to carry out one-to-one assessments. These are assessments that are dedicated to questioning the criminal to see if they are searching for an opportunity to reoffend, self-harm, suicide, or other high risk behavior that could affect themselves or others. You will also have to create, present, and critique correct offender rehabilitation and prevention programs. These programs can include: anger management, treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, and social speaking and understanding skill training. Another big responsibility as a criminal psychologist is to stay updated on all the recent discoveries of both criminals and psychology.  You need to begin research projects to assess situations that could affect your client, the criminal. These research projects can include the inquiry of things such as bullying in prison cells or the effect and effectiveness of an anger management program. You’ll also need to undertake statistical analysis on criminal profiling. Knowing such things can greatly help you in your future battles as a criminal shrink.

One responsibility that often gets overlooked, is to be a supportive team member with your fellow criminal psychologists. As being a shrink for completely vial people might be a little tough, you can only imagine the amount of encouragement needed to maintain a healthy life. You can deliver a great comfort team by having a stress management session and training camps that illustrate the correct way to cope with understanding techniques to better the crisis interrogation process. The support team is also good to sustain due to the fact that many criminal psycologist have to testify in a court setting. This can be extremely difficult and nerve wracking. Criminal psychologist must provide their expert testimonies as a witness in court for parole boards and mental health tribunals. Last but not least, criminal psychologist will always need room to improve and provide development for further policy and strategy development to help ensure constant improvement.

Thankfully, within time, we have learned a great deal about past and current serial killers and criminals. By studying dark criminals, we can try to get a rare glimpse into the mind of all criminals. One particular criminal that was closely examinedcomes to mind. He is one of the most infamous criminals of all time: Ted Bundy.

Theodore Robert Bundy was born on November 24, 1946. His mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell, was an unwed mother and was unaware of the true father of Bundy. After the claims that Eleanor made of Ted’s biological father, speculation arose that it might of been Eleanor’s own abusive father, Samuel Cowell who fathered Theodore. Despite this claim, Ted Bundy was raised by his grandparents for the first three years on his life. His grandparents actually raised him as if he was their own son, making his true biological mother his sister. At the time, having a child out of wedlock was extremely frowned upon and both the mother and grandparents thought that raising him in such a manner would prevent the social stigma. However, when Ted Bundy found out the truth, it just created a lifelong resentment towards his mother, Eleanor.

Soon after Ted Bundy was in college, he started dating a young lady by the name of Stephanie Brooks. Once he fell in love, Brooks terminated the relationship. He then started focusing on his education and becoming a professional and productive citizen. Years later, he contacted Stephanie Brooks again, in which they soon begin to date. Eventually, they started talking about married. He then disappeared and denied all allegations of being in a relationship with her. When asked for a reason behind this, he simply said “I wanted to prove that I could marry her.” Soon after, Ted Bundy stopped any further education. At the same time, girls started to disappear.

Before he was killed in 1989, he confessed to killing 30 young women, all with the same looks of his first true love, Stephanie Brooks. A lot of things had happened to Ted Bundy that caused him to cause such horrific acts to all those young women,. It could have been anything from the childhood with lies or the heartbreaking of his college romance. Whatever it was, Ted Bundy’s criminal psychologist was going to get to the bottom of it.

After his first arrest in 1975, Bundy was evaluated by a criminal psychologist at the Utah State Prison, Dr. Al Carlisle. Carlisle was asked to do an evaluation for the court, in which he states, “I spent about twenty hours with Bundy on the psychological assessment.” Throughout his studies of Ted Bundy, Carlisle left with more knowledge than anyone would have suspected.

In order to evaluate Ted Bundy, Dr. Carlisle had to do a lot of research on Bundy’s previous education. It was then, he had found out that Bundy took psychology classes. Instead of asking typical questions, Carlisle knew to complete his assignments and gather information from people that were close to the infamous Ted Bundy. In Dr. Carlisle’s research, he said, “He was described as intelligent, high achievement-oriented, had the acumen necessary for a political career, and he was loyal to a cause.” And yet, Ted Bundy had a fire steaming inside that only killing could put out.

Throught all of the psychology assessments, each one came out “clean.” This meant that Carlisle didn’t see anything in Ted Bundy that was typical and other serial killers. Since his tests came back clean, Ted Bundy didn’t get the privilege of probation. Instead, he was sent to medium-security unit. When it became clear that Bundy was planning his escape from prison, he was locked up in maximum security, where he spent his last days.

Despite Ted Bundy being put on death row, Dr. Al Carlisle continued to question, evaluate, and study Ted Bundy. He gathered information about him personally. He would talk about his fraudulent childhood, his heartbreaker girlfriend, and even why he did the things he did to 30 helpless women. Such conversations and interviews allowed Dr. Al Carlisle to assemble and form a theory about serial killers in general.

Criminal shrinks give the connection between psychology and law. People that are trained in such a field are called upon for many different areas of the justice system. They’re needed in many different aspects, including assessing criminals that are claiming insanity, ability to stand trial, assessments for violence and risk behavior, anaylsis of polygraphs, and even questioning of child custody.

Although being a criminal psychologist will be a stressful job, it will be worth it. Criminal psychologists are needed in many aspects of the criminal justice system, and it just a matter of time until other’s realize the importance of having a criminal psychologist assigned to every convicted felon. Just like Dr. Al Carlisle, through studies of the most tormented people, we can further our education and understanding of not only past experiences, but also our present. Through the studies of criminal psychologists, everyone can further their understanding and maybe even prevent future crimes from happening. The more we understand the world and the people around us, the better place it will. It is just a matter of time before criminal shrinks get the recognition they deserve and it is just a matter of time until the world becomes a better place.

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Realm of the Mad God: The Man The Myth The Legend (Mostly Legends)

Realm of the Mad God: Mystery and Lore

 

Player Made Lore:
Wizard: There once lived a Wizard with his wife. They lived in a cabin. The Wizard was poor and had nothing but a priced, purple hat and his robe to protect him.

He left the cabin to find some wood for them to use for cooking, when suddenly his cabin was attacked by Oryx’s Bandits. His wife screamed as loudly as she could. The Wizard heard her and hurriedly ran to the cabin. When he got there, his wife was stabbed and killed. He was so angry that he killed the Bandits with a “wooden staff” he found in the forest.

He trained using Projectile Spells so he could avenge his dead wife. He was thinking that if he could kill Oryx himself, that his triumph would be a great success. He then realized that he couldn’t: he needed help from others to kill Oryx.

Warrior :  The mightiest in every aspect of close combat. Besides the knights, they are the most menacing and destructive forces in the Realm. They deal an alarming rate of damage, and make enemies who face them experience a bloody hell.

The knights are the defensive fighters, and the warriors are the offensive fighters. The warrior commands the group and leads the others with a cue on when to charge. Given the signal they ruthlessly rush through the thick sea of enemies and unleash a powerful, smiting force.

Warriors don’t carry shields, but instead wear ancient damaged helmets from the legendary fighters of their ancestors, as a remembrance and an inspiration for the ones who went to defend the kingdom at the cost of their lives.

Knight : Ah, The knights. Favored for the most durable fighters of the battlefield. Besides the warriors, they have been dreaded by the enemies for their bulwark-like armor; An unstoppable moving thick wall made of titanium. They carry a shield that is slapped upon the face of the enemies hard enough to make them dizzy. This gives the knights some time to focus on slicing and poking.

Before the wizards were discovered, they were useless and weak against magical enemies. But now, they can fight in steel and magic, and the magic ones that they used to fear are now hiding, waiting for the right chance for the dark power to once again overcome the forces of good.

 

Archer : The archer grew up with a normal life. He was a young, a 15-year-old boy, and practiced every day since he could hold a bow. He had a sense of humor and defiance to him. He wore the traditional hunter’s tunic and he never left home without his lucky green cap that he fashioned from old yarn. His dad trained him so well that he never missed a shot. When he was 12, he was given his own quiver and sets upon sets of arrows.

One day, when he was just about to shoot a practice target, he spied a man frantically galloping towards the cabin. It was a king’s man. He told the young archer about Oryx and a rebel alliance that had gathered with a wizard to fight Oryx. The King’s man begged for help. With his confidence, the young archer took his supplies and went to meet the wizard.

Priest : One priest was famous in his country for his healing powers that he had acquired through strong religion. He made a job of healing the wounded and sick in his chapel. He did this with a blessed stick he bathed in holy water. He also had a holy tome. He was a middle-aged man who wore his priestly robes and had a balding spot in the middle of his dark brown hair. He carried his tome and “wand” wherever he went. His wand had a square diamond fashioned at the top.

One day, while he was praying, a king’s man approached him and told him he was needed to fight Oryx. After a requested hour of tranquility and prayer, he said his God approved him of fighting. At that moment his wand became a weapon rather than a healing tool and he was escorted to meet the Archer and Wizard who were in waiting for the other promised fighters.

Rogue : The rogue was infamous in his country for being the man who held the record for doing the most crimes. Before he was caught, he was running wild in his country, looting and killing with his dagger and speed. He always wore his cloak and his leather armor to protect him. He was a man of 29. He had a dark blonde buzz cut and wore a doo-rag around his face to hide his identity.

One day while he was sitting in jail, a king’s man was brought in to visit him. The man paid his bail and told him about Oryx. After some arguing he reluctantly was taken to meet group that was waiting for him and others.

Paladin : The paladin was adored by all people in his country. He was a rank created only by the king of his country. He was a man of 31, with blonde hair, gold armor, and a gold crown. He was given the gold crown by the king himself. He carried a shield and a very unusual item. Many thought it was a belt buckle – it acted as one and was the same size as one, but it was really something much greater: a seal. The seal, when gripped, emitted a strange radiance which healed all those around him. The paladin was famous for taking down strong knights.

One day while the paladin was having his weekly visit with the king, the king told him of Oryx. The paladin agreed to fight for his good friend and was escorted by a king’s man to meet the knight, the warrior, the rogue, the wizard, the priest, and the archer.

Assassin : The assassin was just that: an assassin. He was a trained and skilled killer. He killed people the king wanted out of the way. He was a man of 34, and wore a bright red doo-rag around his face to shield his identity from civilians. He had an honorable and trustworthy personality. He killed with his dagger and poison.

One day while he was off duty, he was approached by a king’s man. The king’s man told him of Oryx. He was told where to meet the others.Necromancer : The necromancer was a mysterious chap. He had no friends, no family, and lived in solitude while he worked on dark magic. He devoted so much of his life to dark magic and soul-sucking for an unknown reason, almost as if he had promised someone he would

exercise the practice. Perhaps he made some kind of deal with Ms. Schull, the devil.

He killed anyone who was trespassing on his property using an odd skull that possessed strange powers, and a staff with projectile abilities. He was the master of life and death, and he understood evil. He understood its’ ways, but also understood good. No one knew his age, but it was assumed he was male from his deep, booming voice. He rarely spoke, but when he did, it was in a deep and grim thunder.

One day, a king’s man cautiously stepped up to his door and knocked on it. The door immediately swung open, and there stood the necromancer in his purple robe.The robe accented his sickly glowing yellow eyes. The king’s man told the necromancer of Oryx, and then the necromancer was had to swear that he would never hurt his allies; he only heal them with his magic. After the oath, he joined the other fighters.

Huntress : The huntress was just as skilled in archery as the archer. However, she used a trap instead of a quiver. The archer and huntress were actually quite good friends from two different countries. They passed messages back and forth, so often that they tired the message-senders. She was nearly the Archer’s age, but managed to bring down the mightiest beasts with her traps. This made her famous in her country, as she could easily deal with bears, and anything else that plagued the country.

The king was fond of her too, so when Oryx came about, he looked right to her to serve in the battle. After the king met with her to tell her of Oryx, she agreed to join the others in battle.

Mystic : The mystic was a psychic who used orbs to tell others of their future. She was 42 and was famous for defeating demons that rested in peoples’ souls. Many liked her because she had a sweet personality. Unknown to others, she usually spent her time looting people and pick-pocketing them. When people felt their wallet sliding out, she would whip out her staff and strike them dead.

One day while she was strolling through town, she saw the king and his guards. They stopped when they got to her and she thought she was to be arrested. The king looked her right in they

eyes and made her a deal: if she were to fight Oryx, her charges would be dropped. So she took one of her best orbs and was taken to where the rest of the heroes were all waiting to be sent into the realm.

 

Trickster : Alongside the mystic was the trickster, who lived in the same country. The two had a lot in common; they liked looting and stealing from others. However, the trickster was more cruel and killed more people with his dagger and prism. He did this by distracting them with the prism. Once baffled, he would kill them and take their money. He too, joined the mystic in the quest for Oryx.

Sorcerer : The sorcerer was the most powerful magic-user in the world; he used his scepter to bring down his enemies. He wore a similar robe to that of the necromancer, but his was red. His scepter was much more powerful than any wand or staff. He was famed in his country for his mastery and magic skills.

So when Oryx showed his ugly face, the king looked directly towards the sorcerer for help. The sorcerer was told to go to meet the trickster, mystic, huntress, necromancer, assassin, paladin, knight, warrior, rogue, wizard, priest, and archer, who were all prepared to defeat Oryx at his kingdom.

Ninja : The ninja was a young 16-year-old boy when he learned his superior fighting skills. Unlike any other class, he was the only one of his kind living in the world. He turned evil after some of Oryx’s minions hypnotized him.

Even though he had turned to the dark side, he always helped the people in need. He made sure that his face was hidden, to hide his identity. He wielded a razor-sharp katana and a throwing star. He lived in the sewer and only was seen at night.

One day, the king’s man asked him to help the sorcerer, trickster, mystic, huntress, necromancer, assassin, paladin, knight, warrior, rogue, wizard, priest, and archer who waited for him to help join the king’s army and take Oryx down. He agreed.

The group was now complete. They were a team now, and they were ready to fight Oryx. The king gave them a ride to Oryx’s castle gates, and gave them all farewell high five. Sweet. They looked at each other, for possibly the last time, and gave a war-like yell as they charged the castle.

 

Oryx : Oryx is actually more than one figure. Oryx refers to a line of evil warlords, each hand picked and trained by the Oryx before him. The first Oryx set up this system in order “live forever”. Oryx is always looking for an adventurer willing to make the sacrifices to replace him. Usually, he takes a necromancer under his wing: the dark masters of death magic, who always seem to be drawn to Oryx’s power.

 

Brute of Oryx : One time, while Oryx was battling those who were in his castle, he captured a knight.

The rest couldn’t save the knight because Oryx left the battle, and quickly destroyed the realm, killing the rest and sending them back to the Nexus. Oryx used the knight as bait for others to come to his castle. However, the knight wouldn’t cooperate at first. Oryx had to mentally torture him so that he would talk. Oryx dug up old, bitter memories from the knight and made his bad experiences seem a thousand times worse. This drained the purity from the once chivalrous knight. He was now pure evil. The knight looked back upon his memories of his fellow warriors making fun of him, and he wanted revenge. Oryx saw this and decided on a new plan, he would make this knight a powerful minion. He used dark magic to make him much stronger. He then looked upon his inventory of black, thick armor. Oryx gave him the strongest armor he could find. When his allies came to save the knight, they saw him at the beginning of the castle incredibly strong and pulsing with clouds of dark, evil magic. Because the knight looked so badass, Oryx decided to duplicate him using his magic.

 

 

Distracted Driving

Does our state do enough to prevent distracted driving? Arkansas does not do enough to prevent distracted driving. There are so many drivers that get injured due to using the cell phone and driving. Preventing distracted driving is a very difficult task, but more should be done to try to prevent it. Just asking drivers to be aware or fining the driver is not enough to convince people what they’re doing is wrong. According to the Arkansas legislating, in 2012 there were over 200 accidents in Arkansas because of distracted driving. Is distracted driving something law enforcement can control, or is it an individuals’ decision? Can we ask our state to do more?

Arkansas could do a lot more to prevent distracted driving, but it would result in an increase in taxes. If Arkansas was to try to increase the amount of officers throughout the state, those officers would need paid. Many may not realize that officers are paid with taxes that we pay. Although, Arkansas does have one of the lowest tax percentages, we also have a very low fatality rate of distracted driving.

There have been many new laws put in place to prevent distracted driving. Every year there are more laws passed. When laws were first being developed, some government officials tried to say that making these types of laws were an invasion of privacy. Other officials disregarded what was said and passed the laws anyways. Currently, the restrictions are all drivers found texting and driving can be fined up to $100. Drivers under 18 are completely prohibited from using cellular devices while driving and can be fined up to $50. School bus drivers are completely prohibited from using the phone while driving. Arkansas legislation is trying to pass a new bill. The new bill would consist of a $50 fine (first offense), a $150 fine (second offense within two years), and a $200 fine and a one-year suspension of license (third offense). This new bill would also completely prohibit teens from distracted driving resulting with consequences of suspension of license.

Although, some may wonder is adding all these laws makes a difference. Making these laws does make a difference. Officials stated that enforcing these laws have decreased fatal accidents caused by distracted driving by about three percent. That may not seem like a lot, but it really is. In 2012, Arkansas had about 200 accidents caused by distracted driving with about 17 fatalities. If Arkansas were to pass the new laws, imagine how many less accidents would occur. I have noticed, being a young driver myself, that it is mainly people ages 16 to 25 that text and drive. If law enforcement were to crack down, a majority of the distracted drivers would have suspended licenses. According to Arkansas police, in 2009 about 787 accidents were caused due to electronic devices.

Lastly, if the law enforcement cannot control distracted driving completely, perhaps the car manufacturers or cell phone companies could make a difference. It has been found (dmv.org) that car manufacturers can make it to where cars will not start if the drivers’ phone is on. The manufacturers could even make it to where cellular devices will not work within the car. Doing this could be the most effective way to prevent distracted driving. Cell phone companies can also regulate the use of cell phones within a vehicle. Cell phone companies can make it to where cell phones will not transmit or receive calls, text, or any other notifications while the vehicle is in motion. This option is already being offered by Sprint and T-Mobile. Although, taking this approach would make many wonder what capabilities they have to do this. Also, another downfall would be calling for help if there has been an accident.

As many government officials are unsure on what approach to take to prevent distracted driving, these are some of the choices they are presented with. Many drivers get injured or killed due to distracted driving, but Arkansas is doing what can be done to prevent it. Arkansas does not have full control over distracted driving, but making new laws has made quite the impact.

Works Cited:

“Arkansas: Cell Phone Laws, Legislation.” Hands Free Info. 17 Dec. 2008. Web.

6 Apr. 2015. <http://handsfreeinfo.com/arkansas-cell-phone-laws-legislation/>.

Beaty, Richard. “Who’s Responsible to End Distracted Driving?” DMVorg Articles.

20 Nov. 2012. Web. 6 Apr. 2015. <http://www.dmv.org/articles/whos-responsible-to-end-distracted-driving/>.

“Distracted Driving – FindLaw.” Findlaw. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

<http://traffic.findlaw.com/traffic-tickets/distracted-driving.html>.

Hickman, Charles. “Do Bans on Texting and Distracted Driving save Lives?” LifeSafer

Ignition Interlock. 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.

<http://www.lifesafer.com/blog/texting-distracted-driving-bans-actually-save-lives/

Blade Shapes, Steels, and Their History

Blade Shapes and Their Steel Composition

It is not humanly possible to know every fact in the universe by yourself. That is why we have spread our vast knowledge over many people, books, and other various resources. There is only one of me. This is why I’m going to zero in on a lone topic: Blade Shapes and Their Steel Composition. I am fairly versed in this subject, as knife collecting has been a long time hobby of mine. The basic outline of the metal knife has been around for more than 5000 years. Over this span of time, the shapes of the blade(s) have changed, and different steels have been used. Knives have helped and will continue to help mankind through the past, present, and future. Different blade types have been used for different tasks. To better understand the knife, is to better understand history.

 

The word knife comes from the ancient language of Norse. In Norse, blade means knifr. But, blades have been around much longer than a single language. In fact, blades are believed to be more than 2.5 million years old. 5 times older than spoken word. This is backed up by the finding of Oldowan tools. These tools are the oldest known tools in existence; and blades are at the heart of it. The process of making tools, say for instance, obsidian tools, is very interesting. The process is known as flint-knapping. In flintknapping, you start with a rock that is similar in shape to whatever you’re creating. For example, a flint-knapper interested in forming a knife as a finished product would pick a rock in the shape of a blade. From there, the craftsman would strike the rock with a harder material. such as another rock. Eventually, the process will yield a chipped triangle. This chipped triangle is a blade.

point

Flintknapped arrowhead

While flintknapping produces primitive tools, the tools are still highly applicable. Microscopes reveal that blades crafted 2.5 million ago are sharper than those today. This is because flintknapping yields a sheared edge. A sheared edge is sharper than a sharpened edge.

But, while primitive blades are sharper, they are, as the name suggests, primitive. Stone-age tools do not hold a usable edge for long. With a single glance on something harder than they are and they are rendered useless. It wasn’t until the bronze age 5000 years ago that blades that could be resharpened appeared. These new tools could be resharpened because they were made of a soft, malleable steel. When blades hit rock and bone, they didn’t shatter, they bent. Blades appearing at this time began to have the recognizable geometry that we call knives today.

 

knife tang drawing

Tangs

Tangs also began to appear along with ricassos and new grind angles. But first, what is a tang? A tang is the back of a knife that the handle is attached to. Generally speaking, the longer and wider the tang, the less likely it is for a blade to separate from the handle.The separation of a handle from a blade destroys the knife, and is dangerous to use. If it weren’t for tangs, if you stabbed something, the blade would travel up the handle, cutting and/or severing your hand. There are full, half, partial, push, and rat-tail tangs. A full tang is the widest and longest. A half tang is wide, but short. A partial tang is long, but skinny. A rat-tail tang is similar to a partial tang, but is generally a little skinnier. A push tang is the shortest and skinniest of the bunch. While full tangs are heavier than their smaller brethren, full tangs are much stronger and are less susceptible to a fractured blade. A full tang also helps balance a knife, which is helpful in knife throwing and fighting. Personally, I prefer full tangs, as they are very useful. Because they are strong, you can use the butt of the knife to pound tent stakes, mince roots, hammer nails, and much more.

 

 

Knife_anatomy

Anatomy of a knife

A ricasso is the flat part of the blade before the sharpening starts. In primitive times, there wasn’t much of a flat spot to hold on to if you wanted to “choke up” on the knife. Choking up on a knife gives you more precision in your cutting, as your hand is closer to the edge. This closeness helps the knife act like a natural extension of the arm. When blacksmithing brought forth hammer forging, ricassos began to show up more. In the stereotypical weapon of the bronze age, a sword, ricassos are not needed. Why you ask? A swordsman doesn’t need the carpenter-like-control when he’s swinging a massive hunk of steel through the air at his foes. However, while ricassos weren’t used for swords, they were extremely useful and will continue to be useful in smaller knives in the 6-12 inch range. It is almost impossible to find a knife these days without a ricasso. This is because ricassos are deeply seeded in the history of knife geometry.

 

When soft, malleable steel was first used during the bronze age, flintknapping blacksmiths realized that the rock no longer picked the angle that the edge plane was on; they could choose it for themselves. Angles of all kinds were used. From 90 degrees down, edge planes were experimented with. At first, chisel ground blades were made. Chisel ground blades have a flat side and a slope. This means that a chisel ground blade is easy to sharpen, keeps a sharp edge, and is easy to make. But, this is at the cost of edge retention. Many centuries later, better geometric shapes began to appear. Namely the “V”. The V grind is, as the name suggests, a V. The grind is double beveled, meaning that the edge has two slopes, instead of one. The angles are split between the two slopes, creating a more obtuse edge. An obtuse edge keeps a sharp edge longer, and is very easy to sharpen, but this comes at the price of peak sharpness. Peak sharpness is how “sharp” a blade can get. For instance, a splitting maul has a very obtuse angle. This blade (axe) would not be very good at shaving with, but a razor with an acute edge excels at this task because of its smaller angle. However, the maul with its obtuse edge will hold that edge more consistently for a longer period of use. The sharper, acute edge will not. Modern day axes and machetes keep their angles between 35-45 degrees. Pocket knives and small fixed blades keep their angles between 20-35 degrees. Personally, I prefer an 22.5 degree angle. This creates a very sharp edge.

 

 

ph-0

Arab sword

Fast forward a few hundred years. New changes have happened to the knives. There are better steels, bellies, recurves, and blades are now stronger. The knives are stronger because of improved blacksmithing techniques that make the atoms of the steel line up better to create a solid piece of blade. Heat treating begins to be more popular at this time. Instead of casting knives like ingots, knives are forged with hammers in a process called hammer forging. Hammer forging goes hand in hand with heat treating. First a steel bar gets red hot in a furnace. The steel is more malleable when its hot. A hammer or cold chisel is used to cut and shape the blade. The blade is dunked in ice cold water to realign the molecules of steel into a tighter weave. This process is done multiple times to create a tempered blade. A tempered blade is not as brittle as one cast from an ingot and sharpened.

 

A belly is the convexly curving part of a knife. It can be at the tip, or in multiple places on the knife. Bellies make it easier to slice material. Slicing is better than hacking because less force is wasted through unnecessary movements like raising your axe over your head like Paul Bunyon to cut vegetables. Simply add some belly and slice away. A recurve is the concavely curving part of the knife. It is most always near the handle, or in the middle of the blade. Recurves help when hacking is absolutely necessary, like in battle. The recurved part of a knife is sharper than the belly. This added sharpness helps the blade hack through medium like bone and flesh easier. I prefer a knife with lots of belly and minimal to no recurve.

 

The stage set is of the 18th century. America is young, and is full of young migrant workers. Because they’re young and hardworking, they find that day to day, they keep losing grip of their folding knives. That’s right, FOLDING. In the past fixed blades were used because no-one could create the tight tolerances needed for folders. It wasn’t until the last thousand or so years that technology got to the point to where folders could be made. Anyway, workers dropped their knives often, so two countermeasures to this problem were launched: jimping and lanyard holes.

 

 

Jimping is the micro grooves cut into the spines of many modern folders for added hand traction on the blade. Lanyard holes were simply holes drilled through the knife that allowed a string to pass through. This string could be attached to your wrist, so that if the jimping didn’t give you adequate traction, and you dropped your knife, the knife would still be attached to your body, and you wouldn’t lose it. At this time, it is also notable to mention that knife steel experienced a leap in technology. This is partly due to the industrial revolution that caused a spike in steel production. Because more steel was made, more experiments were done with it. Basic carbon steels recognized today emerged from the fiery hell of molten 18th century steel.

 

ed forging

Forging

A couple of centuries later in the 20th century, knife steel began to be a big deal. Marketing in America was a big deal. You had to sell your product to another person so that you could support yourself and your family. If you didn’t have a good product, you didn’t get paid, and as a result, you and your family went hungry. In the past, old files and leaf suspensions from cars were heavily used in the cutlery industry. It was fairly common to be cutting your steak with a knife that was made days ago from springs that were on a wrecked car. Businessmen realized that these springs and files had potential to become sharper and hold that edge for longer. So, they recruited a bunch of scientists to make cutlery steel better. Steel companies like Crucible Industries boomed. All kinds of new steels were made; the newer better than the last. Without realizing it, America had just created a battle with Japan that has not ceased to end to this day. The Americans and Japanese have fought for over 150 years on who can create a better tool steel. Both sides realized that if they could create, say, a sharper drill bit, production costs could be cut nationwide. Literally.

 

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Carbon vs Stainless (Carbon on top)

This is where we end. The present day. Supersteels of the 21st century are prevalent in many modern folders and fixed blades. Stainless steels have overtaken the venerable carbon steels of the past. But, what is a stainless steel? As the name suggests, a stainless steel is a steel that, well, stains less than a carbon blade. What I’m talking about is rust. The carbon blades of the past required maintenance. If you didn’t want a rusty knife, you had to oil it at the end of the day. Carbon knives exposed to salt water on ships quickly degraded and had to be replaced often. Stainless sounds good on paper, but it comes at a price. Toughness. A simple carbon knife can actually cut through its softer, stainless counterpart.

If you don’t believe me, take that old file in your garage and go ham on a knife. You can saw right through it! Stainless steel is not very tough, but it’s maintenance free. Kinda. While you don’t have to oil the blade up as often, stainless steels can pit, which is worse than the surface rust of carbon blades. Pits dig into the metal, compromising its structural integrity. Not that important to a cook, but it may be a matter of life and death if you were, say, trapped in a burning car, and the jaws of life that are to save you, snap because they were pitted. This is a very extreme example of what pitting can do. In fact, I doubt that the average consumer will ever notice pitting on their blades. Steels are just that good these days. But, there are a large number of people who can’t stand the stainless crowd. They have good reason too. Carbon blades can get sharper and hold that sharper edge for a much longer time that stainless steels. But, as technology gets better, so will stainless steels. Personally, I prefer stainless steels because I like my knives to be rust free and stay pretty. Rust is a serious issue if you have more knives than you know what to do with.

 

Knives in my opinion, are the most useful invention in the history of mankind. If it weren’t for knives, everything around you (manmade) wouldn’t exist. Think about it. The clothes on your back had to be cut somehow. The roof you’re under had to be cut and shaped. The car you drive, and its’ million odd nuts and bolts had to be machined somehow. How were those machines made? On a lathe. With a cutting tool. How was the lathe made? With another cutting tool. If you don’t think that knives are useful, try making a Boeing 747 with your fingernails. Face it, knives are pretty darn useful. And now that you know more about them, perhaps you’ll be a better consumer. And maybe, you’ll end up being a collector like me.

FBLA

Future Business Leaders of America

What is FBLA?

FBLA is a high school club that reaches out to students of the United States and other countries as well to help them prepare for the business world. FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America. It is a nonprofit organization that helps young adults in high school prepare for their future career in business, and also have a fun and happy experience in high school as well.

In FBLA, you develop your business etiquette through the competitions the district, state, and national leaderships provide. There are many competitions, and a variety of what type of business you would like to do. My competition I chose to do was an electronic career portfolio. And in this competition I have to chose a career that I will pursue in the future, and will describe it, and my personal advancement towards an opportunity that will lead me to the occupation I have planned. My electronic career portfolio describes me in many ways. It shows the clubs I have participated in, the jobs I have had in the past and the present, it shows pretty much my resume in general.

I am a mature high school student that would like to obtain a part-time internship to help advance my knowledge towards hospitality management for my future. I am seventeen years old, and currently working at Devil’s Pool Restaurant at Big Cedar as a hostess. I started Big Cedar in March 2014 after I resigned from McDonald’s in Hollister, Missouri. I started McDonald’s July 2013 when I was fifteen years old after my mom had passed. I worked there up until late February of 2014 and began my new job at Big Cedar and have enjoyed it a lot better there than at McDonald’s.

2nd Job!

 

At McDonald’s, my job duties as a cashier were to replace inventory, take customer orders. greet customers and also sanitize all kitchen areas, and as well as dining room areas. At Devil’s Pool Restaurant, I was originally hired as a Server’s Assistant, then was advanced to a closing hostess. My job duties as a server’s assistant was to bus and clean tables, help server’s out, and so much more. Now, as a hostess, I am in charge of providing proper seating requirements, making reservations, assisting room service when needed, and helping guest with any conflicts that the guests could possibly have.

Some business programs I have taken and worked with  to help advance me towards an opportunity in this occupation field would be: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Access. These will help me in Hospitality Management, because it is something I will have to use throughout the career for multiple reasons, such as, making schedules, presenting new business ideas, etc. Some clubs that could help towards this as well, would be FBLA, and FCCLA. I have already mentioned what FBLA is, but FCCLA stands for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. FBLA prepares you for this on the business side of the occupation, but FCCLA prepares you for the Community feeling and family as well. By this, I mean that when you go in a restaurant, you expect it to make you feel welcome, and kind of at home (But better). FCCLA focuses on the family and community, so it would be a good idea to join these two clubs, if you plan on going into the Hospitality Management field.

Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America

What is Hospitality Management? It is a part of the service industry. Which means, that it is filled with companies and organizations, such as resorts and restaurants, that help provide accommodations, and food and drink as well to people who are away from their home. It has four different sections, depending on which part of the service you would like to do. There is Food and Beverage, Lodging, Recreation, and last but not least,  Travel and Tourism. The Food and Beverage section is the one I would like to pursue, mostly because I have already worked in that area before, The Food and Beverage sections consist of a business that provides food for guest and customers. Lodging management is the management is just a place where people sleep for more than one night when they are away from home. Recreation Management is in charge of any activity that people do for enjoyment or rest. Then, Travel and Tourism are the businesses that provide services for people who are traveling. These four different sectors are all very important to the hospitality management field. The objective for this field is to make guest feel welcome, but also ensuring that the budget is met and contained.

To obtain a career in this field, you need at least an associate’s, a bachelor’s and/or a Master’s.  When studying for your associates degree, some course topics you might go through would be: Beverage Service, Sanitation, Marketing, Lodging Industry, and Event Planning. Some popular career options with an associate’s degree would be a dining room supervisor, a banquet manager, a guest services manager, and an assistant food and beverage manager. Then, for your bachelor’s degree you would study all of the associates topics, as well as food safety and sanitation, food and beverage cost controls, food service production and marketing, hospitality accounting, hospitality industry law, and customer service  management. And, some career options would be a catering supervisor, a school meal planner, and a restaurant manager. Then, for your master’s degree you need to take all of the above coursework and, decision making and leadership, corporate managerial finance, event planning, event marketing concepts and analysis, and tourism issues and strategies. With a master’s degree, you could receive a job as a director of special events. lodging manager, event producer and a meeting and convention manager.

Since I would like to be a food and beverage manager, I feel that I should tell you some facts about what they do. The average summary of pay is $47, 960 a year, and the expected growth rate from 2012-2022 is 2%. This is not a very high rate of employment, but in some cities there could possibly be more job opportunities.

To also help me get more advancement in this career, I job shadowed my General Manager, Ryan Hughes, to see what he does throughout the day as a restaurant manager, Most of the time, his job duties were to assist all employees in the restaurant when needed. He also had to give discounts, and comps as well if there are any mess ups on food for the guest. They also have to give those out as well if they don’t feel as if their dinner night went great. His job as a manager is to ensure that they guest are pleased and happy with their stay at the Devil’s Pool Restaurant.

I also job shadowed the Food and Beverage Manager of Big Cedar Lodge. He is in charge of all of the food outlets that are at the resort. His job duties are to make sure that all managers are doing their jobs at their restaurant, make sure that budgets are met, in charge of scheduling, and also knowing all the job duties of every employee at every restaurant. This is a very important job to the restaurants, and to the lodge as whole.

This is a description of what I do in FBLA. I feel that the Future Business Leaders of America club has helped me improve my knowledge and business skills. I am very thankful that I joined this club. It has helped me gain knowledge on a career I would like to pursue in life later on in the future, I could not thank Mrs. Perry (Our club facilitator) for getting me to join this club, and to help me make the dream of placing at state come true. Joining Future Business Leaders of America would be a great idea to do when you get in high school, and I strongly advise it, especially if you plan on having a career in business. Join FBLA!

“Careers in Hospitality Management.” – Hcareers. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

“Career Information for a Degree in Hospitality Management.” Study. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

“Hospitality Management Studies.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

Schweitzer, Karen. “Hospitality Management – Business Majors Description.”Business Majors. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

“Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.

Are There Still Dinosaurs Among Us?

Are there still dinosaurs among us?

Most people would just laugh or call you crazy if you told them that dinosaurs were still alive today. But do dinosaurs still live on planet Earth? I’m not talking about crocodiles or birds or any such things that have perhaps survived and evolved into lesser creatures than they were over time. I am talking about real live dinosaurs. Could there really be a Loch Ness monster? Or perhaps reptilian beasts in the Congo? Or how about sea serpents in the depths of our oceans?

How could this be possible? How could these creatures of imagination still be here in the flesh? How with all the present day technology and resources at our disposal not been able to locate such creatures? Is it somehow possible that in the most secluded and remote places in the jungle where few to no explorers have ever set foot that there could actually be dinosaurs living there?

You may be asking yourself right now, could this really be possible? The answer is yes, it is possible. There are many parts of the jungle in Africa that have not been explored and even parts that tribes don’t inhabit. Some of the local African tribes, however, tell stories of large creatures that lurk in the jungle. Researchers have showed the tribal members pictures of large animals that are both alive today and pictures of dinosaurs that have been thought to have been extinct for many, many years. They have pointed to the dinosaurs.

Many explorers and cryptologists have ventured into the deep jungle of the Congo in search of evidence of real, live dinosaurs but always come up short. If not for the numerous eyewitness accounts of a great beast that many villagers call Mokele Mbembe, we wouldn’t even have to question the possibility of the existence of dinosaurs.

From pictures of dinosaurs and many descriptions, the villagers seem to believe that Mokele Mbembe is a creature that eats vegetation but is also extremely dangerous. They believe that Mokele Mbembe is extremely territorial. It will attack humans if they come too close and is known to kill hippos if they invade its territory. With all of this evidence, this dinosaur sounds like a type of sauropod. While some sauropods grew to extraordinary sizes, even a small sauropod would be very large compared to modern animals. Could this creature, this sauropod of some type, really be Mokele Mbembe?

Image result for mokele mbembe

On May 1, 1983, biologist Marcellin Agnagna and his exploration party stumbled upon a Mokele Mbembe. It was standing in the waters of Lake Tele deep in the jungles of the Congo. Agnangna described the creature as having a wide back, a long neck, and a small head. The upper end of the Mokele Mbembe was brown whereas towards the back it appeared to be black. It was in the shallow water of the lake and the part of it that protruded above the waterline was thought to be approximately five meters (sixteen feet.) To quote Marcellin Agnagna he stated, after witnessing firsthand the sighting of Mokele Mbembe, “It can be said with certainty that the animal we saw was Mokele Mbembe, that is was quite alive, and, furthermore, that it is known to many inhabitants of the Likouala region.”

Mbielu mbielu mbielu is yet another creature to have reported sightings by villagers. It is described as a large herbivore with large, jagged planks on its back. This sounds like a type of dinosaur that many people are familiar with. A dinosaur is known as a stegosaur. According to many researcher, the stegosaur could have very easily adapted to the aquatic conditions and made the jungles of the Congo its home.

Image result for stegosaurus

Two large creatures that could possibly still be living among us with the label of dinosaur. Pretty hard to believe isn’t it? Could there possibly be a third? According to villagers in other parts of the Congo, Nguma monene is yet another creature of extreme proportions to have been spotted. Nguma monene is described as a gigantic lizard with a ridge on its back. Villagers describe this huge lizard as being some thirty feet in length with a low stance. This doesn’t sound like any animal known to be alive today. This could be shrugged off an extremely large snake or even a large crocodile but the problem is that neither of these creatures would have a large, unmistakable ridge across its back.

The only type of dinosaur that this description points to is a spinosaurus. Could this creature, a creature that was known as the villain in the movie Jurassic Park III, be the same creature that is subsiding in the darkest parts of the notorious Congo? Hopefully time will expose the creature and with it evidence that dinosaurs really do exist.

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Another of the living fossils has been named Emela ntouka. The name Emela ntouka means “killer of elephants.” That gives this ghost of the Congo a pretty ferocious name. It has been described as similar in size to a rhinoceros with a single horn on its face and a long tail to go with it. The long tail makes this beast seem much more like a dinosaur of the past than some mammal of the present. Could this possibly ceratopsian dinosaur be related to the well known triceratops?

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Not all dinosaurs have been reported to live in the jungles of the Congo. A mysterious creature named Ngoubou has been said to live in the Savannahs. Again, said to be slightly smaller than a rhinoceros, eyewitnesses say that Ngoubou has many different ferocious looking horns and has a frill around its neck. It apparently has a very nasty temper and will charge literally anything that comes close regardless of size. It has been seen charging elephants that are much, much larger than it. A dinosaur that matches the description of Ngoubou is the styracosaurus.

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Aside from dinosaurs in the Congo or even on land for that matter, what about the legends of sea monsters? In old legends, stories are told of seamen that have seen sea monsters or had their boat attacked by said sea monsters. These were men that were on the sea every day and it is very possible that, assuming there are such serpents or monsters of the sea, that they saw one!

But it isn’t just the legends where stories are told of sea monsters. In China, there were claims from more than a thousand people in two different sightings on Lake Sayram located in Xinjiang. One person reporting to have seen a sea monster is easy enough to shrug off but how about a thousand eyewitness accounts? A bit harder to chew isn’t it?

Everyone has heard of the sightings and the stories of the Loch Ness monster. You have probably even seen the picture of Nessie herself, although it is unknown whether or not the picture is a fake. Regardless of what you think or how you feel about the existence of the Loch Ness monster, on one hot June morning Mrs. Edna MacInnes reported seeing a creature she described as fifteen feet long and with a neck like that of a giraffe in the ever so eerie Loch Ness. Whatever your position on the mystery of the Loch Ness monster, Mrs. MacInnes will never forget the morning that she saw the Loch Ness monster.

Canadian Professor P. LeBlond from the University of British Colombia told many zoologists about the sightings of “Caddy.” Caddy is short for cadborosaurus. The cadborosaurus, or Caddy as it has been nicknamed, has been sighted many times off the coast of British Colombia and has also been seen off of the coast of Oregon. The remains of a three meter long young Caddy have been found in the belly of a whale. Evidence as solid as this is very hard to ignore. The cadborosaurus is what most would refer to as a sea serpent. It looks basically like a gigantic snake that lives only in the ocean and can grow to amazing lengths.

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Evidence of dinosaurs is much more convincing than campfire stories isn’t it? That’s what a Canadian Eskimo found in 1987. While working with a university out of Newfoundland, the Inuit found a very interesting, and fresh might I add, bone that was later identified as part of the lower jaw of a duckbill dinosaur! How’s that for exciting evidence?

Also found in the cold north, in 1981 a group of scientists identified bones that had been found in Alaska while they were fresh 20 years beforehand, as dinosaur bones. The bones were so fresh upon discovery that the geologist who had found them had thought them to be bison bones. Only later to be identified as duckbill dinosaur bones, horned dinosaur bones, and also bones of small carnivorous dinosaurs. That’s a pretty big slap in the face to scientists isn’t it?

What an experience it would have been to have been workmen for the railway in 1856 in Culmont, France! While blasting away rock to make a tunnel, they disturbed what was described as a huge bat-like creature. The creature had a long neck and sharp teeth. It looked like a bat, but it had thick, oily skin. Soon after the sighting, the creature died and it had a measured wingspan of 3.22 meters, which translates into 10 feet and 7 inches. A naturalist present recognized the huge creature a pterodactyl. Its bones were matched to that of known pterodactyl fossils. It is encounters such as these that tell us to always be prepared to accept the possibility of anything.

American Indians also tell tales of the ones they call “thunderbirds.” The descriptions that have been drawn in caves as well as passed by mouth from generation to generation points to the pterodactyl. Is it somehow possible that these dinosaurs could persevere because of the ability to fly? Modern day evidence and written evidence from just a century ago point to the answer, yes.

In the Likouala swamps of Africa, a monkey eating bird has been identified as well as a species of giant turtle. He also reported an unknown species of large crocodile that also lives in the swamplands of Likouala. Could this monkey eating bird and this especially large species of crocodilians be the last of a dying breed? A breed that has somehow endured for thousands of years?

So now that we have proven science wrong, in accordance to the existence of dinosaurs today, what does the Bible have to say about dinosaurs? Well, if you look in the fortieth chapter of the book of Job it reads, “Behold now Behemoth … he eateth grass as an ox. Know now his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of the stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass, his bones are like bars of iron… He lieth under the shady trees, in the cover of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about… His nose pierceth through snares.”

As you can see clearly in the fortieth chapter of Job, what Job is describing in this passage is a sauropod. The tail like that of a cedar and eating the grass and also the trees that it lays under all correspond with that of the environment of a sauropod. This is too obvious and detailed to possibly be a coincidence. Therefore, the Bible backs up the existence of the dinosaurs at least around the time that this was written which was much less than sixty-five million years ago!

With the evidence that I have presented to you throughout this article, I think it would be hard to side with science and deny the fact or even the possibility that dinosaurs still exist today. From the Mokele Mbembe of the Congo to the Loch Ness monster, evidence has been compiled over the years that leave the thoughts of unimaginable creatures roaming through our minds. So I leave you with the question, do you believe in dinosaurs among us?

Sources

“Dinosaur Sightings: Are Dinosaurs Still Alive Today in Africa?” HubPages. Web. 6 May 2015.

“Strange & Unexplained – Dinosaurs That Are Still Alive?” Strange & Unexplained – Dinosaurs That Are Still Alive? Web. 6 May 2015.

“Are Dinosaurs Alive Today?Where Jurassic Park Went Wrong!” Are Dinosaurs Alive Today? Web. 6 May 2015.

Parker’s History of the United States’ Flag

George Washington wanted a flag created so that we could have a flag just like all the other countries to show we are united as one. There are many things to our flag you may not have known. There a things that most people do not know about the history of our flag, the meaning of the design and colors of the flag, or that there is a way to properly hold a flag. There is also a US Flag code that most people do not hear of and also the national anthem was written because of the flag.

The very first flag for the United States to have was the Grand Union Flag, in the years 1775-1777. The design of this flag was thirteen red and white stripes, with the red cross of St. Georgia, England along with the white cross of St. Andrew, Scotland in a blue field. The final split between the between the colonies and Great Britain brought the removal of the British Union from our flag. Shortly after came the stars on a blue field. By June 14, 1777 the Flag Resolution was passed, which is now known as Flag Day. Which basically said that the United States flag had to have thirteen stripes being red and white; that the union have 13 stars that are white with a blue field. Then, came Francis Hopkinsons design of the United States Flag. Which was thirteen, six pointed stars arranged in rows with the thirteen red and white stripes. But, we can not forget the so called Betsy Ross version of our flag. Which was thirteen, five pointed stars arranged in a circle with the thirteen red and white stripes.

The colors used on our United States Flag are red, white, and blue. But the colors are a certain red, white, and blue. The colors are taken from the CAUS Standard Colored Reference of America, edition 10. The colors are specifically called White, Old Glory Red, and Old Glory Blue.  If you were using the absolute lab colors the coordinates for white would be L: 88.7, a: -0.2, and b: 5.4. For red the coordinates would be L: 33.9, a: 51.2, and b: 24.7. For blue the coordinates would be L: 23.2, a: 13.1, and b: -26.4. If you were using the relative lab colors the coordinates for white would be L: 100.0, a: 0.0, and b: 0.0. For red the coordinates would be L: 39.9, a: 57.3, and b: 28.7. For blue the coordinates would be L: 26.9, a: 11.5, and b: -30.3.There actually is not a meaning behind the colors used on the American Flag, but many historians have a theory on the colors used. Some historians say that the red stripes could very much stand for blood, war, and courage; white standing for purity; and blue standing for justice and freedom. Other historians believe that George washington had his own idea for the colors. They thought that the stars were taken from the sky, the red was influenced from the British colors, and the white demonstrated withdrawing from the home country. As for the book “Our Flag”  the white means purity and innocence, red means hardiness and valour, and blue means vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

The design of the flag however does have a meaning. The stars symbolize the heavens. Having fifty of the stars, represents the fifty states of the United States today. The stripes symbolize the rays of sunlight radiating from the sun. Having thirteen of the stripes, represents the thirteen colonies that proclaimed independence from Great Britain to form the United States.

However, the United States has had many different designs of the flag. With more states being added, it would be difficult to not create new flag designs. In the year 1795 Vermont and Kentucky were added, which caused the stars and stripes to raise to 15 instead of 13. In the years 1796 through 1817 the states Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi joined the United States. Then the Act of April 4, 1818 called for 13 stripes and a star for each state. December in the year 1818 Illinois joined, which added another star to the flag. In 1819 and 1820 two states were added, adding two more stars. In August 1821 Missouri joined, adding another star. In the year 1836 Arkansas joined. In 1837 Michigan joined. In 1845 Florida and Texas joined. In 1846 Iowa joined. Wisconsin joined in 1848. In the year 1850 California joined. Eight years later Minnesota joined. 1859 Oregon was added. Kansas joined in 1861. West Virginia joined in the year 1863. A year later Nevada joined as a state. three years later Nebraska joined. In 1876 Colorado joined. The years 1889 through 1890 North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming joined. Utah joined in 1896. In 1907 Oklahoma joined. In 1912 Mexico and Arizona joined, giving us a total of 48 stars on the flag. Alaska joined in 1959 and was also the 49th state. Finally on August 21, 1959 Hawaii joined giving us a 50 star flag. Up until this day our flag remains the 50 star flag.

Folding the flag is also very important. There are thirteen separate folds to folding the flag. The sequence to folding the flag is 1) Straighten out the flag to full length, then fold it lengthwise once. 2) Fold it lengthwise again, but make sure the union of the stars stays outward in full view. 3) Make a triangular fold, starting by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge. 4) Turn the outer point toward the inside, aligned to the open edge, to form a second triangle. 5) Continue doing the triangular fold, until the entire flag is is completely folded. You should only be able to see a field of triangular blue stars, when you are finished.

The Folding-Flag script #4 distinctly provide the meaning behind each fold, which are the following: The first fold is a symbol of life. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as Americans trusting, it is to him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country is dealing with other countries may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through our Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our Republic. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.  The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The twelfth fold in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. The thirteenth fold: When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our Nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.” After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

There is also a US Flag Code, which not many people know about. The US Flag code is a US federal law that institutes advising rules for displaying and caring of the flag of the United States. The code shows how to display the flag indoors and outdoors, parading and saluting the flag, pledging and singing the anthem to the flag, in mourning, and much more. It is stated by the United States Senate what to do when displaying the flag in these situations. Here is what they have stated, “When displaying the flag from a staff, the union should be at the tip of the staff, unless the staff is a half- staff. When the flag is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag, the flag of the United States must always be at the top. When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the street runs north-south, the stars should face east. For streets running east-west, the stars should face north. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building and the stars facing away from it.When the United States flag is displayed with the flags of states of the union or municipalities, and not with the flags of other nations, the federal flag, which represents all states, should be flown above and at the center of the other flags. The other flags may be the same size but none may be larger.No other flag should be placed above it. The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation in time of peace.The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset, although the Flag Code permits night time display “when a patriotic effect is desired” and the flag is illuminated.Similarly, the flag should be displayed only when the weather is fair, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is longer.”

Did you also know that our national anthem was because of our flag? On September 14, 1814, United States soldiers at Fort McHenry raised a big American flag to celebrate their victory over the British during the war of 1812. The sight of the flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write the “Star-spangled Banner”. Which eventually became the United States national anthem. The sight of the flag that day inspired all of the song, especially “broad stripes and bright stars”.

Since the creation of the American Flag there has been many names that it has been called. The nicknames that the flag has been called are, “Stars and Stripes”, “Old Glory, and “The Star-spangled Banner”. William Driver gave the flag the nickname “Old Glory”. “Old Glory” was made by Drivers mother and some other women and was presented to him, so that he could fly it on his ship. “Old Glory” was served has his flag throughout his voyage on a trip around the world.

In my opinion I think all of these reasons for our flag is very needed. Without our flag it would show that our country is not united as one. We would not have all of these things to back up our flag. The United States Flag Code shows that the senate, people in our military, and many others have respect for our flag. The nicknames of the United States Flag show that the flag has been with many people throughout our country. Our flag has been through much more than what anyone could imagine. The United States Flag has always been there for people to look up to, for someone to have hope in our country. The flag has been here for our forefathers, veterans, the ones who serve today. Everyone has their own opinion about our flag and mine is that I will always look up to our flag and never disrespect a single thing about it. There is a lot of respect for the flag in all kinds of ways. Whether it’s at a funeral, on the battlefield, in museums, on postage stamps, on uniforms, or even on vehicles. No one disrespects the United States Flag or ever has. I think this showing of respect just shows how far we have come as a country. The United States Flag is a shows that we are in fact “one nation, under god”. We have many things to look forward to just because of the protection of our flag. I will always look up to our flag with pride and joy at how far we have come today because of it. The flag brings many people peace at heart, joy of the next day, and pride in our country. One thing I can say is that all americans have one thing in common and that  is the respect for our nation’s flag.

 

The Discussions of Sports Today

Ray Allen, for three! You can categorize the man as a 3-PT specialist, Money, a record breaker, or in the other teams case, trouble. He can get on fire real quick. The man has the most threes made in a career. He was part of Boston’s Big Three. Along side Garnett and Pierce they were a dominating force. He shows up early everyday for his pregame shoot-around ritual. In our world today, the media has a huge grasp on our lives. One of the biggest influences the media has to the public is through sports. When you think of sports you think of the athletes. What athletes do you think of? Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, or Lebron James? The next thing you think of are your role models, the people you want to be just like, the real reason you love a sport, a team, or the player. This person could be an ex-player, an active player, even someone who just sits on the bench. The media is great at showing you the coverage for these athletes. The media also allows us to see the coverage on college athletes getting paid. Should they? It’s a great topic to discuss. Allow of the sports athletes, and analyst say they should, but college students say that they shouldn’t. The students say that they already get scholarships, which not all of them actually do, but students get scholarships too. They even let you know the most famous or looked up to athletes in our country. Some of those athletes are Lebron James, Tim Tebow, and Tom Brady.

In the sports world today, we all have a hero. Someone we want to be. You may want to be like Mike, or you may want to be the Hometown Hero, but of all the athletes there are, you want to be like one of them. In the US, the most looked up to athlete, surprisingly to some, is Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow isn’t just known for his playing, or Tebowing, but his behind the scenes life. He has his own ministry and is spreading his faith to people all over the world.Not only does he do that, but he has been a sports analyst since playing football. Also, another very awesome thing is that Tim Tebow was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be getting another shot to play in the NFL. Another athlete you think of is Tom Brady who has been in the NFL forever. He’s won a lot of games and is really good. He just won the SuperBowl. The man is the heart of Boston, alongside “Big Papi” David Ortiz. The heart and soul of New York is Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter played for the New York Yankees, and he retired at the end of last year. Derek Jeter was the heart of the Yankees and he was New York’s hero. He will be in the Hall of Fame before you know it. Everyone from the “Big City” loves Jeter. That’s why you would always see his commercial on tv. It was the Jeter cherishing his moments in New York and not only what New York meant to Jeter, but what Jeter meant to New York.

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Ray Allen is pictured above with his son. Ray Allen doesn’t just devote his life to basketball, but to his family. Ray’s son is his pride and joy.

Ray Allen, is one of the most respected NBA players in basketball. I don’t just praise the man on the court, but what he does off is amazing. His son has type 1 diabetes. Everyday they monitor what he eats and drinks. They give him insulin shots, sometimes up to ten at a time just to get his blood-glucose level in a safe range. After getting him to bed you probably think he’ll be good until morning, but he’s not. While asleep his blood sugars could come crashing down to scary levels and send him into a coma. So every night they have to wake him up every two hours to check his blood pressure. Due to his son’s diagnosis, he has opened a charity to find a cure to defeat type 1 diabetes. I already loved Ray Allen for his playing on the court, but once I really looked into his life, I found out about his son and his struggle everyday. So whenever the question of whether or not that we look up to athletes as role models is no question. We do, and they play a major effect on our lives.

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This quarterback plays for Northwestern. Currently, Northwestern is in a pending trial on athletes getting paid.

Another thing that the media brings to our attention is whether athletes should or shouldn’t get paid. This topic brings a whole lot of debate. Of course athletes argue that they should, but a lot of the college students say that they should not. The biggest argument that the students use is that athletes were given scholarships to play and it’s not fair that they should get extra money. A big counterargument is that college students can earn scholarships as well. So the only thing that they can really argue about is them getting payed for the games. They will argue that college students have to get a job and go work, but being an athlete, really you can’t work. Being a college athletes, you practice all the time. You have morning practice, you go to class, noon practice, more class and breaks, then evening practice. You have no time to put in their to work a job. So really they should be getting paid. They don’t have the opportunity to go and work because their daily schedule is filled with their sport. Another consideration to look at is how much money ESPN makes broadcasting a game. They make a whole lot, and honestly, the players should get a fraction of that income. They are the ones being recorded, and televised worldwide. Even if it’s barely anything, it’s something. College students don’t really care how much they get, because they really don’t have money at all. Really, most of the money they have is what their parents send to them. So college athletes should be getting some sort of income for playing sports. It should be perfectly okay. Analyst and marketers say yes, that they should. The totally agree to these men who work everyday in their sport to get paid for it. One of the biggest arguments that has taken place is Northwestern v. National Labors Relation Board. The National Labors Relation Board announced that Northwestern players were under the labor law, not the student law. Being under the labor law, this gave the students can get medical benefits and unionize. Northwestern has appealed the decision. This brings in the Kessler case, which is a lawsuit arguing against the NCAA its price-fixing when the NCAA sets the amount for grant-in-aid, tuition, room, and books. Price fixing, or when competitors decide to buy or sell something at a fixed cost, is illegal under section 1 of the sherman antitrust act. Which if Sherman wins this case, then the NCAA is most likely done. Once this would be lifted, then colleges will be giving payment packages. Basically, colleges will be throwing money at players, but this could work out. It’s a 50/50 chance. If it is to happen it will take a whole lot of effort, work, and luck.

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Derek Jeter, “The Captain”. RE2PECT was what Jeter offered. He is loved by all of New York. If you want to talk about a hometown hero, Jeter is your guy. This is the mark he made on New York.

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Tim Tebow Foundation, was founded by Tim Tebow. Tebow leads a lot of mission trips not only in our country, but various countries around the world. His ministry is one of the many reasons people think highly of Tim Tebow.

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Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is loved by Wisconsin. He is a phenomenal athlete, and continues to express the sports world each year. He is one of the very best, and most consistent quarterbacks in the NFL.

A lot of people look out to the media for news and information on players. That being said, the top 10 most looked up athletes are in 10th, Tiger Woods, in 9th, Lebron James, in 8th, Aaron Rodgers, in 7th, Gabby Douglas, in 6th, Drew Brees, in 5th, Peyton Manning, 4th is Derek Jeter, 3rd is Lindsay Vonn, 2nd is Michael Phelps, and your winner, in 1st place, is Tim Tebow. Tiger Woods is known for golfing. He has won quite a few tournaments and has been pretty successful. Recently he hasn’t been winning like usual, he’s in a rough patch into his career, but he could come out of it. Now we go into our next athlete, Lebron James. Lebron James, also called King James, is an NBA star. A lot of people love and praise this man. The whole town of Cleveland loves him. In all seriousness, Lebron is one of the best basketball players known to mankind. He is a really great player. Honestly, I find it hard for him to be in the top ten though. Yes he is great, but the guy is cocky, and really arrogant. At the beginning of the playoffs two weeks ago, though were holding an interview with him. He was asked about his teammate Kevin Love, and whether or not Lebron takes responsibility in making sure he plays good. Lebron says yes he does. This isn’t nothing arrogant, but what he says next is. Lebron then starts talking about how when he doesn’t step in, Love plays horrible, but when he puts Love under his wing, he plays great and that he is the reason Love plays so well. Just listening to that made me so ticked. Love is a great player and right now the relations between Lebron and Love are horrible, but he has made the 9th in the top ten athletes. Now we go to Mr. Discount Double Check, Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers is 8th overall and I think 8th is a great fit. He is an amazing quarterback. If you look at his ratings they are some of the best. If you play fantasy football, you love having him on your team because each week you get lots of fantasy points. In our country there are a lot of cheeseheads, and the cheeseheads love there Aaron. Not only is he featured in football, but through commercials. That’s where you see Hanz and Franz pumping Aaron up, and him tanking them later. Now we’ve reached 7th place which is the one and only Gabby Douglas. Gabby Douglas is part of the fierce five and is known for her gymnastics. She’s pretty talented. At age 16 she won 2 gold medals in the 2012 gymnastics. She is just phenomenal. The young lady is just so talented. She even has movie about her going into the Olympics and winning the medals. To be that young and go to the Olympics and do so outstanding is amazing and it’s because of her hard-work and talent that she has made the top ten. For the 6th place spot we get to go down to the bayou where we meet Drew Brees. Who dat? Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. He is the all out leader of the New Orleans Saints. He’s been there forever and every rajun cajun loves him. He is the heart and soul of the cajuns. He is a great player, but for him to be number 6 is a little surprising. That being said, it’s not just my opinion, it’s America’s. Now we are halfway there at number 5, Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning started his career with the Indianapolis Colts. He played 14 seasons with the team. He’s a five-time league MVP. He led the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI. He later injured his neck his 14th season with the Colts. This was his third neck surgery in 18 months and this one costed him his season. After being midway through the healing process he was released by the Colts. Peyton was devastated. Things got better though, because he was then picked up by the Denver Broncos. His first year with the Broncos he took them to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they lost to the Seattle Seahawks. Manning has played a total of 16 seasons so far and he’s still pushing strong. This year will be number 17. Now in 4th place is “The Captain”, Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter was the 6th pick in the 1992 amateur draft picked up by the New York Yankees. He made his MLB debut in 95, against Seattle. Jeter was a 14-time All-Star. Now when you want to talk about a player who is the heart of a team, Jeter is one of those players, if not, THE player. Derek Jeter was phenomenal. If you wanted to label anyone in baseball with the word “Respect” it was Derek Jeter. Last season you saw his commercial, it was on all the time. One day instead of driving to the stadium he decided to walk through town. He went by all the stores, talked with fans, just saw everyone. It was a great commercial. It really showed you who Jeter was. The man is a future hall of famer. So with all the respect and love for Jeter, it’s so easy to understand why he is 4th in our country. It wouldn’t even be surprising if he was 1st. With all his respect, he is valued by many. So he certainly deserves the spot. Now we have reached the top three. In 3rd place is Lindsay Vonn. In all honesty, I had no clue who that was so for her to be 3rd is a little surprising. That being said Lindsay Vonn is an American World Cup alpine ski racer. She has won four World Cup Championships. Lindsay Vonn is known as the most successful female ski racer in the world. She is the only woman to ever capture downhill gold at the Olympics and she is also the only woman with four World Cup titles. Exactly six weeks after she turned 20, she won her first World Cup victory. Looking at all of her championships, World Cup gold titles, wins, etc. it’s no shocker she is number three. She has won a whole lot. The girl is phenomenal. Not really knowing anything about her, I looked her up and saw her videos, and pictures and she’s amazing. The girl has skill and that’s definitely why she won has done all the winning. With her being a woman, I can also see that a lot of her position in the top ten comes from women all over our country just wanting to be her. Girls don’t want to be the next Lebron or Manning, they want to be the next Gabby Douglas or Lindsay Vonn. So with all of Vonn’s success, I can totally see where young girls, teen girls, even women, look up to her and all of her accomplishments. She’s really set the tone and has totally inspired a lot of women in our country. So it’s a well deserving place for the Lindsay Vonn.  In 2nd is a very talented swimmer, Michael Phelps. Michael Phelps is not only an American competition swimmer, but the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 22 medals. Michael Phelps is a beast, but it would probably make more sense if I just said fish. He was born to be in the water. The guy is so fast. With gold medals, comes a lot of attention, so for him to be 2nd I can understand it. Being the most decorated olympian this just helps with his fame. A lot of kids look up to him because of his talent. Swimming is a pretty big sport. It’s not one that’s all over the tv but it is one that is very popular. The only thing that I could see putting a damper in this is the photo of him holding the joint. If they had anything to do in affecting the pole, it makes you question whether or not it could’ve put him in first. Other than that, Michael Phelps is very talented and his accomplishments are come with great acknowledgement being second. Now finally we are at the 1st place position. The man who holds that position is totally deserving of it and honestly I look up to the guy. That man is Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow played for the Denver Broncos and in his first season he took them to the playoffs. He is an astounding athlete and he has also just been signed to the Philadelphia Eagles. Being signed to the Philadelphia Eagles, he has great potential to be their starting Quarterback. It’s not just his football abilities that give him this position. It’s what he does off the court. Tebow is really involved into a his very own Christian Organization group. He goes around and does a lot of mission trips, and spreads his faith to a lot of people. And these are the top ten most looked up to athletes in America.

In conclusion, the media has a grasp on our lives when dealing with sports. When thinking of sports, you think of the top athletes, the heros, your role models, your idols. Then they bring to you the latest news on college athletes getting paid, whether it should be right or whether it should be wrong. The media covers a lot of different things and it is great about bringing it to the front of your attention.

“Athletes: Should They Be Role Models?” Bleacher Report. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://bleacherreport.com/articles/131588-atheletes-are-these-the-people-we-should-look-up-to>.

Ziemer, Tracy. “Study Says Kids Emulate Athletes.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 13 Oct. 2000. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/story?id=100296>.

US News. U.S.News & World Report. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-ncaa-athletes-be-paid>.

“Economists Argue It’s ‘unfair’ That College Athletes Aren’t Paid.” USA TODAY College. 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <http://college.usatoday.com/2015/02/18/economists-argue-its-unfair-that-college-athletes-arent-paid/>.

 

“College Athletes Should Not Receive Payment for Playing.” College Athletes Should Not Receive Payment for Playing. Web. 7 Apr. 2015. <https://star.txstate.edu/node/660>.


“Top 10 Most Influential Athletes of America.” WondersList. N.p., 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.

Basketball

“Basketball is not only a game of skill, but a game of intelligence.” – Bill Russell.  One of the most famous basketball players known to man said this when he retired after winning his eleventh world basketball championship.  Most say he is what started the game of basketball, or that he revolutionized it into what we know today as basketball.  But what actually started the game of basketball?


The game of basketball is one of the few sports known to man that has it’s own originality to it.  What I mean by this is that it was made up originally, it wasn’t a cluster of other sports and rules thrown in to make basketball.  Basketball was one hundred percent original!  Most people don’t know, but basketball was first thought up in Springfield Massachusetts.  James Naismith was the person to give credit to for finding one of the most international sport in history, basketball!  He came up with the original thought because he wanted something fun to play, but less injury-prone than that of football.  Most people think basketball was thought up by a person throwing apple’s or peaches in a basket, and this was the original thought of the making of basketball.  This is just a myth.  To an extent this is a true statement, but for the most reason it is a folk lore.  A story that overtime got exaggerated.  The actual story behind the thought of basketball goes along the lines of a few guys wanting to have some fun, and had a basket nailed in the air, and they threw some soccer balls in it.  They quickly realized that getting the ball out of the basket was a very good workout, but tiring.  So instead, they cut a hole out of the bottom so the ball could come back to them. I’m not quite sure what ball was used, but my sources tell me that it was more than likely a soccer ball, and overtime the basketball brand grew to make their own ball.  The soccer ball theory makes sense, because the soccer ball was the only bigger ball that would be big enough to play with.  To Naismith’s surprise the game of basketball came to be one of the top sports played by the twentieth century!  Not only was it made up originally and not a bunch of sports combined, but it grew fast!  It didn’t take long until the game of basketball would become one of the most competitive sports known to man.  It not only grew fast on the streets, but in schools as well.  Schools started to incorporate the game of basketball into their student’s scholastic journey’s!  Then it “boomed” from there.  Going to colleges, to around the world, and then to the National Basketball Association.

The first recorded official basketball game was on the 21st of December in 1921.  This game was not for competition, but the game would eventually become one of the most competitive athletic sports in history.  Technically the game started to get competitive on the streets, but that was just to see who was top dog of the neighborhood.  When it really started to boom is when schools started to implement it into their schedule.  When’s schools started making teams, everyone knew that basketball was a big thing!  Once schools did it, colleges did it,  Then the NBA showed up,  Other wise known as the National Basketball Association.  Not only is this super competitive, but people would pay a lot of money to see these people play basketball.  Only the best of the best got to the NBA.  Studies show that only one percent of all college players go to the NBA.  That is a really small amount.  That’s like putting a rabbit into a one hundred acre corn field, and telling a kid to find it.  You’re the rabbit, and the kid is the NBA.  You are more than likely not gonna be found, until it’s too late.in

Click here to watch what other people think about how the game of basketball has changed    When the game of basketball was first introduced, it was simple.  A lot more simple than it is nowadays.  Today’s understanding of basketball is much more complex than that of when it was first established as a sport.  LIke I said, it was simple.  There were two teams of five.  A coach for each team, and behind the coach were the assistants/trainers.  Each team had a goal, or a hoop if you will.  The object of the game was to put the ball into the hoop.  The other team could stop you.  The rules were easy to remember.  All you had to do (without getting a penalty called on you/your team) is dribble, not physically render the opposing team too bad, and score.  Each basket you would make is two points.  Simple right?  Now you have all kinds of different names for fouls, and if you shoot from a far enough distance you get three points.

The game of basketball has been revolutionized to the extreme!  It’s like a teenage girl, which puberty hit her like a train.  LIke I said, the game used to be simple.  Now it is complex.  Takes more memory and dedication to know the actual game of basketball.  One reason it has been revolutionized is the way we play now.  Back in the old days, there was one tactic. SCORE!  Of course you would try to stop the other team from scoring, but your main focus was to score.  In today’s game of basketball there are thousands of tactics a team has.  You have plays, trick plays, set plays, all kinds of things!  Just to put the ball in the basket!  Also since every basket, no matter the distance, was two points, teams would rush as hard as they could at the opposing team to get the closest to the basket as possible.  The closer you are, the easier it is to score.  Now, with range comes more points.  This is called the three point line.  Implemented in the eighties.  This changed the game tremendously.  Used to whoever had the biggest player would win, because you could just feed him the ball when he is close to the basket, and score.  Now, whoever can shoot it the best from the three pointer wins, since it is worth more points.  This relates to roles.  In the earlier years of basketball there were a couple of roles that were assigned to players on the court.  The roles would consist of someone bringing the ball down the court, preferably one who could see the whole court and pass with decent accuracy.  Then you would have someone who would do the majority of the scoring.  The other guys on the floor would just do whatever they could to help out the team in any way possible.  Whether that is snatching a rebound or hustling after loose balls.  The revolutionary way of playing basketball consists of many more roles than this.  You still have the main two roles, scoring and dribbling the ball down, but now there are many more.  You have: defensive specialists, three-point specialists, sixth men, role players, post presence, and the list goes on and on.  Just to show you how  slow the game has gotten over the years, and how back in the day it was about who could get down the floor the fastest and score: one December 13 1983 was the highest scoring game in history with the Detroit Pistons beating the Denver Nuggets 186-184.  That is a lot of, not only points, but running down the floor!  Even though now we have a three point line worth more points, there are different tactics teams try to play, which slows the game down tremendously.  WIth the result being less points, and less running required.  Now teams struggle just score one hundred points, even though more points are offered to them!  It is crazy to think it’s harder to score now even though there are more points to take!  It does not logically make sense!

Not to be racist or anything, but basketball has mainly turned into an African-American sport.  Which, by me, is perfectly fine.  Not only professional basketball here to watch and learn to be a better player yourself, it is also here for entertainment.  That is why is more a black sport.  Black people are scientifically more athletic than most white people, therefore they make it more fun.  Nowadays, it is all about who looks the coolest out on the court, dunk the best break the most ankles, pass the flashiest, and blacks show the ability to do these things on a more consistent basis than us plain ole white folks.

In 1936 is when basketball was a renowned international sport.  All countries across mother earth was competing in the game of basketball.  IT was such a big sport to play, they entered it into the olympics!  To see which country was the best.  Of course, the United States of America win it almost everytime, since ya’ know, it is an American sport and all!

Basketball now is one of the biggest international sports in history. It is played by nearly 250 countries. Thats the second most played sport in history, behind soccer. But no one likes soccer, so we can just say that basketball is number one.

During my research, I decided to interview one of the oldest basketball players I know to tell me a little more about how basketball used to be played.  Silas Jack Peden was born in 1952, and told me “I practically came out of the womb playin’ basketball!”  After a minute of laughs and giggles, we got back to seriousness.

“How was basketball like back then, versus now?”  The answer he gave me was a lot similar to what I explained earlier in this article.

“Well, son, in the stone ages where I am from, all we did was run up and down the court.  We constantly worked our butts off.  If we didn’t, coach would have our ass.  Now days, in the younger generation of basketball seems like anyone could care less.  Seems like kids don’t care anymore.  Like your mom said when she was a coach, it’s like parents just put them in basketball so someone will babysit their kids.  If the kids don’t care, their not going to try.  When I still played ball, basketball was all we had.  We had work, women, and basketball.  No one wanted to do the first one.  Women, their for doing in the night, (at this moment I could do nothing but chuckle) and basketball was all we had left.  Every second of spare time we had, everyone was playing.  So to answer your question, people when I played cared about the game.  Now, seems like very few kids care anymore.  It hurts my heart, because the game means so much to me.”

“So how has the game evolved over time?”

“Oh my, honestly doesn’t even seem like the same game!  We didn’t have a three point line, half court line, nothin’ compared to today!  All we had was a court, a few bleachers, and some basketballs.  Teams now days have all this technology and stuff, big stadiums, but realistically that is not going to make your team better.  So why spend all that money, ya’ know?”

These were just a few questions I had with Silas.  Take it from the veteran, basketball has changed tremendously.  Whether it’s a good thing or bad, that’s your choice.

 

Fiji

Fiji Facts
The facts that make Fiji what it is today has been molded by its rich history of immigration, its separation from Britain, and its beautiful island.
Geographic area.  Fiji consists of 332 islands in the South Pacific and about 110 of those islands are inhabited. The total area is 7,054 sq miles. Fiji is filled with mountainous terrain and mostly dormant volcanoes. The larger islands are the solidification of the molten lava and rocks erupting from the volcanoes is responsible for the formation of the islands. However, the smaller islands of Fiji are made of coral reefs.
Population. The total population of Fiji is 903,207 people. Government structure. Fiji’s government is republic. This country took independence on October 10, 1970. Demographics
Natural Resources.  Main natural resources of Fiji include timber, copper, gold, fish, offshore oil and hydro power.
Exports. Sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, mineral water and coconut oil are Fiji’s main resources. Other domestic exports that have increased for the past five years are ginger, flour, taro and sweet biscuits. The main export destinations are USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other Pacific island countries. The main import items are manufactured goods, machinery, petroleum products, food and chemicals from Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, NZ and China.
Imports.  Fiji mainly imports fuel, telecommunications equipment, recreational vehicles, rice, cane sugar, wheat, pharmaceutical products, meat and natural gas. Fiji’s main imports partner is Singapore (accounting for around 57 percent of total imports). Others include New Zealand, United States, Thailand, Japan, China, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Agricultural products.  Agriculture, which was once a major factor of Fiji’s economy, now is only 8.9% of the nation’s GDP. More than three-quarters of all Fijian households used to be evolved in agricultural-related activities, but now many of those workers have switched over to the growing service industry. Sugarcane is Fiji’s most important agricultural industry, which is over one-third of all of Fiji’s industrial activity. Indigenous Fijians own most farmland and local residents of Indian ancestry farm on that land The farmland produces about 90% of all sugarcane, which is then processed into raw sugar and molasses in the Fiji Sugar Corporation, which is predominantly owned and run by the government. The European Union is the largest export market for Fiji’s sugar. Coconut and copra, the dried meat of the coconut, are also important agricultural products that are widely used and exported from Fiji. There was a ban on exporting copra until 1998, and since then a new copra-buying company has emerged, raising the price of copra considerably. Bananas, pineapples, watermelons, cereal, rice, corn, ginger, cocoa and tobacco are all apart of what Fiji grows and also exports.
Foreign exchange. One Fijian Dollar equals 0.54 US Dollars.
Currency. The Fijian dollar has been the currency of Fiji since 1969 and was also the currency between 1867 and 1873. In 1969, coins were introduced in denominations of 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢ & 20¢. Then the 50¢ coin issued in 1975. On 15 January 1969, the government introduced notes in denominations of 50 cents, $1, $2, $10, and $20 although the $5 note was not issued until 1970. The Central Monetary Authority took over the issuance of paper money in 1974, issuing the same denominations, although the 50¢ note was replaced by a coin on 3 March 1975. In 1986, the Reserve Bank of Fiji began issuing notes. The $1 note was replaced by a coin in 1995. The $50 note was introduced in 1996, followed by a $100 note on 10 April 2007. If visiting Fiji, make sure to bring enough money!

Culture
Language.  Fijian, Hindi, and English became the official languages after independence in 1970, and linguistic autonomy was guaranteed by the constitution of 1997. English is the language of inter ethnic communication, administration, government, trade and commerce, and education. Fijian and Hindi often are spoken at home and are used in religious contexts and on radio and television.
Food.  In a culture of gift giving, feasting on special occasions is a common practice among ethnic Fijians. The offering of food in substantial quantities, or magiti, is an essential aspect of traditional community life. Ceremonial foods may be offered cooked or raw and often include entire pigs, oxen, or turtles as well as everyday foods such as canned fish and corned beef. The offering of ceremonial food often is preceded by the presentation of a “lead gift” such as whale’s teeth, bark cloth, or kava. Among Indo-Fijians, feasting is associated with marriages and religious festivals somewhat like here America. Kava and alcoholic drinks may be drunk on these occasions. Today, seafood, beef, poultry and pork are essential foods in Fiji. Some of the most commonly-used ingredients that are used in Fijian cuisine include breadfruit, cassava, yam, taro root and different leaves. Many beverages, soups, salads and appetizers. Those are prepared with commonly found fruits in Fiji, such as mango, banana, guava and pineapple. Coconut milk can also be used with these fruits to make sweet, salty and/or spicy dishes.
Religion. A multi-racial, multi-cultural nation, Fiji is represented by all the major religions of the world. This is quickly obvious to any visitor who will see Christian churches, Mosques, Sikh and Hindu temples in towns and the countryside. More than half of Fiji’s population are Christians (52.9%), Hindus (38.1%), Muslim (7.8%), Sikhs (0.7%), Others (0.5%).
Industry.  Most industrial production involves tourism, sugar, clothing, and gold mining. In 1994, over three hundred thousand tourists and seventeen thousand cruise ship passengers visited the islands. Most hotels are situated on secluded beaches and offshore islands; individual thatched tourist cabins are loosely modeled on village architecture. The largely government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation has a monopoly on sugar milling and marketing. There is a rum distillery at Lautoka.

Travel
Documentation.  A passport is necessary for everyone entering Fiji. The passport has to be valid at least three months beyond the intended date of departure from Fiji. However, it is recommended that travelers have a passport that is valid for six months beyond the date of departure. Most countries, including Fiji, also require that you have blank pages in your passport with an adequate amount of space for the necessary stamps that you may need when entering or departing the country. It is recommended that you have at least two free pages in the visas section of your passport before traveling to any international country. A Visa is not required if you are coming from the United States, visitors without Visa can stay up to 4 months, with a possible 2 month extension.
Modes of transportation.  Fiji offers multiple ways to travel within its country such as:
1. Bus
2. Taxis
3. Rental Car
4. Ferry
5. Plane
6. Helicopter
7. Seaplane
9. Scooter
10. Bike

Image result for transportation in fiji
Transportation cost.  Fiji has a very good transportation system, so you can choose from several options on how you would like to explore and get around these beautiful islands. In cities, buses and taxis are the main modes of transportation, though there are many other ways of getting around, too. Buses run regularly between cities and towns on the main island of Viti Levu. Taking the bus is an inexpensive way to get around the islands. It costs only F$12 to take the express bus along the Queens Highway, which takes approximately four hours. Taxis are another inexpensive mode of transportation. In Suva, a taxi ride generally costs up to F$5, though it can get you a long way. Around Nadi, it can cost F$8-10 to get to the town from the airport. Taxis are especially convenient to get around at night. It is not advised to walk through the cities alone at night, as muggings have been reported. If you want to travel Fiji at your own time and pace, renting a car is a good idea. Renting from name brand companies are best, as although they are more expensive. Ferries are an excellent way to see the beautiful sights if you have enough time to spare. The ferries are able to carry vehicles and cargo, plus snacks, food and drinks are sold on board as well.  However, most ferries do not arrive or leave at the time that is appointed, so if you need to get somewhere at a particular time, traveling by ferry might not be the best mode of transportation. If you want to get somewhere quickly or want to travel between islands, flying is an excellent choice. Fiji offers different ways to travel including riding a light airplane, a helicopter, and sea planes. Flights are up to F$400 return from Nadi to the northern islands and up to F$300 return from Nadi to the southern islands. The resort islands of Malolo Lailai and Mana in the Mamanucas are visited daily with 10-minute flights costing around F$80 return.  Motorcycles, scooters and bikes are other fun ways to get around Fiji on your own terms. Drivers in Fiji also do not have much driving education and are not accustomed to cyclists on the road, so take caution if you are riding on roads, and avoid biking at night when visibility is low. Thrifty Car Rental offers motorcycles and scooters at around F$35 to F$60 per day for scooters and 125cc for motorcycles.

Customs
Clothing.  The dress code in Fiji is quite strict and conservative. Wearing bathing suits, short shorts and tank tops in public is seen as a lack of respect. Revealing too much skin in Fijian villages is considered very offensive. Men should always wear shirts in town, and women should wear skirts or dresses that cover at least the upper legs while seated.
Tipping and bargaining.  Tipping is not customary in Fiji, so leaving a tip is up to the customer. Bargaining is common in smaller shops. Once an item is purchased, it can not be returned. Sales are final.

I would encourage anyone to visit the wonderful islands of Fiji! It is such a beautiful country. Fijian’s are known as one of the nicest people in the world. What is there not to like?

Bibliography

Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 12 September 2014.

“Countries and Their Cultures.” Culture of Fiji. Web. 12 September 2014.

“Fastest Growing Exports.” Investment Fiji :. Web. 12 Sept. 2014.

“Fiji Agriculture.” Fiji Agriculture. Web. 12 September  2014.

“Fiji Geography.” Fiji Geography. Web. 12 September 2014.

“Fiji Imports 2009-2014 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast | News.” Fiji Imports. Web. 12 September 2014.

“Fiji.” : Maps, History, Geography, Government, Culture, Facts, Guide & Travel/Holidays/Cities. Web. 12 September 2014.

“Fiji Population 2014.” – World Population Review. Web. 12 September 2014.

“Getting Around in Fiji.” Getting Around in Fiji. Web. 12 September 2014.