But some archaeologists and historians are taking the latest claim that Noah's ark has been found about as seriously as they have past ones—which is to say not very.
"I don't know of any expedition that ever went looking for the ark and didn't find it," said Paul Zimansky, an archaeologist specializing in the Middle East at Stony Brook University in New York State.
Turkish and Chinese explorers from a group called Noah's Ark Ministries International made the latest discovery claim Monday in Hong Kong, where the group is based.
"It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it," Yeung Wing-cheung, a filmmaker accompanying the explorers, told The Daily Mail.
The team claims to have found in 2007 and 2008 seven large wooden compartments buried at 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level, near the peak of Mount Ararat. They returned to the site with a film crew in October 2009.
Many Christians believe the mountain in Turkey is the final resting place of Noah's ark, which the Bible says protected Noah, his family, and pairs of every animal species on Earth during a divine deluge that wiped out most of humanity.
"The structure is partitioned into different spaces," said Noah's Ark Ministries International team member Man-fai Yuen in a statement. "We believe that the wooden structure we entered is the same structure recorded in historical accounts. ... "
The team says radiocarbon-dated wood taken from the discovery site—whose location they're keeping secret for now—shows the purported ark is about 4,800 years old, which coincides roughly with the time of Noah's flood implied by the Bible.
Skepticism of the new Noah's ark claim extends to at least one scholar who interprets the Bible literally.
Biologist Todd Wood is director of the Center for Origins Research at Bryan College in Tennessee, which pursues biology in a creationist framework.
As a creationist, Wood believes God created Earth and its various life-forms out of nothing roughly 6,000 years ago.
"If you accept a young chronology for the Earth ... then radiocarbon dating has to be reinterpreted," because the method often yields dates much older than 6,000 years, Wood said.
Radiocarbon dating estimates the ages of organic objects by measuring the radioisotope carbon 14, which is known to decay at a set rate over time. The method is generally thought to reach its limit with objects about 60,000 years old. Earth is generally thought to be about four and a half billion years old.
Across the board, radiocarbon dates need to be recalibrated, Wood believes, to reflect shorter time frames.
Given this perceived overestimation in radiocarbon dating, the wood the Noah's Ark Ministries International team found should have a "traditional" radiocarbon date of several tens of thousands of years if the wood is truly 4,800 years old, Wood said.
"I'm really, really skeptical that this could possibly be Noah's Ark," he added. The wood date is "way, way, way too young."
Wood thinks Noah's ark will never be found, because "it would have been prime timber after the flood," he said.
"If you just got off the ark, and there's no trees, what are you going to build your house out of? You've got a huge boat made of wood, so let's use that," he said. "So I think it got torn apart and scavenged for building material basically."
Source: National Geographic
Becoming physically active is about incorporating exercise into our daily routine (talked about later) and increasing cardiovascular fitness, strength, endurance and flexibility. This section is about how to start exercising to improve fitness.
There are some basic principles of exercise which will ensure that you gain the maximum benefit from your exercise and that you exercise safely. These concern how often you should exercise, for how long and how difficult it should be. Exercise should also include a warm up, a cool down and stretching of the muscles that you are going to use. Furthermore, having some understanding about exercise will make it more enjoyable and help keep you motivated.
Warming up and cooling downDepending on your exercise, your warm up and cool down could be the same activity, but performed at a less intense level. For example, if you planned a walk, walk at a slower pace for your warm up and cool down.
- increases the blood flow to the muscles;
- decreases the chances of injuries to the muscles or joints;
- should be for 5 - 10 minutes at a very low intensity.
- prevents blood pooling in your extremities, e.g. your legs;
- should be about 5 minutes, gradually reducing intensity level.
StretchingYou should stretch your muscles after your warm-up and cool-down. Stretching is very important: it reduces risk of injury and stiffness, makes your muscles more able to perform the exercise and improves flexibility. A common mistake is to stretch muscles before they are warm. You must warm up first, then stretch your muscles. Stretching cold muscles could injure them. Stretch the muscles you are going to use in your exercise.
- Breathe in and slowly and gently elongate the muscle you are stretching until you feel tension. Breathe out. (If the tension is uncomfortable find a tension which is comfortable, but aim to feel the stretch). Maintain slow, deep breaths. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Slowly and gently come out of the stretch. Never bounce at any stage and stop immediately if you feel pain.
- When you stretch properly, the longer you hold the stretch, the less you will feel it. If you do begin to feel your muscle tighten, relax it.
Labels: Health and Fitness
As Her sister Goddess Cunina is specifically concerned with infants in cradles, it would seem that Cuba is in charge of protecting young children who have graduated to using a bed and who are no longer infants.
She is associated with other protective Goddesses of childhood such as Educa, who blesses children's food, and Potina, who blesses their drink; and She is said to be the sister to both Cunina and Rumina, the Goddess of Breastfeeding. The fact that there are several minor Goddesses dedicated to specific issues of childhood is not a sign of the triviality or absurdity of ancient pagan thinking (as St. Augustine would have it) but rather an indication of what a precarious time childhood in the ancient world could be, before the days of vaccinations and antibiotics when more than one in four children did not live through their first year.
Another meaning of cuba is "to be [lying down because one is] sick" or even "to be [lying down because one is] dead", and it is likely that Cuba was also prayed to to help sick children get well (which does usually involve a lot of rest) and to avoid death. Perhaps then Cuba is not just a guardian angel-type Who protects children as they sleep, but a healer Goddess Who helps sick children get better through the powers of bed-rest and sleep. Cuba is sometimes linked with Juno, either as an aspect of that Goddess or as one of Her associates; Juno, as the Roman Mother-Goddess, was especially concerned with childbirth and healthy children.
Source: Obscure Goddess Online Directory
Women's History Magazine
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
By W.B. Yeats
In her day, the emperor Wu Ding pushed the Shang empire to its zenith by extending his realm of power through the cultivation of loyal collaborators. Many local tribes came over and pledged allegiance to him. In good faith Wu Ding married one woman from each such tribe, and Fu Hao was one of those wives. Nonetheless, she has gone down in history not so much as a stateswoman and an outstanding strategist, in her own right.....
It can be seen from ancient historical records that the major functions of the state at that time fell into two categories: to conduct sacrificial and divination ceremonies and to do battle. The records show that Fu Hao played an important part in a series of wars during the reign of Wu Ding.
As the mere size of an army often determined the outcome of a battle, especially when fairly primitive weapons were in use, the Shang regime rulers paid much attention to recruitment, and in keeping with the spirit, Fu Hao drew soldiers form within her own country and from neighboring tribes as well. It is found in the records that Fu Hao led generals and a huge army of ten thousand soldiers in battles. The two big yue, or battle-axes, found in her tomb weighing 9 kilos each, and two smaller ones are bearing the inscription of Fu Hao, are indications of her military authority.
The Shang territories were surrounded by hostile tribes. The Tus inhabited about one thousand li north of the Shang capital and repeatedly violated the Shang borders, seizing men and materials. Shang emperors prior to Wu Ding fought them many times but could not defeat them. History tells us that they were at last forced to surrender by Fu Hao in a single decisive battle, after which they became compliant.
The Yis, to the southeast, were not very strong but sometimes also made incursions into Shang territory. Under Wu Ding's order, Fu Hao's troops defeated them easily. Her force also repulsed the attacks of the Qiangs from the northwest. The Bafangs in the southwest were also a belligerent people. Wu Ding made a surprise attack, forcing them to flee right to the hands of Fu Hao's men who were waiting in ambush.
The Shangs suffered considerably after the death of Fu Hao. The Gongfang to the north took to battle against the shangs, threatening the latter’s very existence. Worried, Wu Ding made repeated appeals and sacrifices to the spirit of Fu Hao in the hope that she would help him defeat the invaders.
Source: All-China Women's Federation
Women's History Magazine
12. Happy Chinaman
Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America with observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha. This Hotei lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself a Zen master or to gather many disciples about him. Instead he walked the streets with a big sack into which he would put gifts of candy, fruit, or doughnuts. These he would give to children who gathered around him in play. He established a kindergarten of the streets.
Whenever he met a Zen devotee he would extend his hand and say: "Give me one penny." And if anyone asked him to return to a temple to teach others, again he would reply: "Give me one penny."
Once he was about his play-work another Zen master happened along and inquired: "What is the significance of Zen?"
Hotei immediately plopped his sack down on the ground in silent answer.
"Then," asked the other, "what is the actualization of Zen?"
At once the Happy Chinaman swung the sack over his shoulder and continued on his way