Monday, December 5, 2016

The 1950's

The 1950's was an era where many things were accomplished. Polio was defeated, integration was partly successful, and the structure of DNA was discovered.

During the 1950's, many white American people believed in segregation. They

wanted to be separated from the black race. For example, blacks and whites, at the time, had

separate water fountains, bathrooms, and schools. This system was called Jim Crow's laws.

African-Americans felt that they were being taken advantage of. They were getting paid less

money although they were working just as diligently and as long as white people. This was

simply because they were black. Many others were getting beaten and killed if they made even

a minor mistake. Surprisingly, policemen allowed them to be beaten. Some African Americans

were brave enough to stand up for their rights. They protested that they wanted to be treated

equally to white people. Many contacted lawyers to help them fight for equality. Sadly, it barely

made a difference. A while later, a brilliant woman changed that. Rosa Parks was that woman.

She was a respected woman among the African American community and was working to

make Mountrygoumey a better place for black people. One day, a tired Rosa Parks collapsed

on the back seat of a bus. As the bus gathered more people, she

was asked to stand up and allow a white to take her seat. She refused. The bus driver called

the police and had her arrested. When Rosa Parks was at the police station, fellow African

Americans busted her out. This started the Montgomery bus boycott. Almost every black

person participated in this act. Instead of riding on the buses that took them to work, they either

walked to their destination or were carpooled by other African Americans. Over the year that

they did this, they caused the bus company to go out of business. This was

a successful start to the end of segregation.

Rosa Parks when she was arrested.

Polio and a Cure

An unfortunate staple in the 1950's was a raging summer epidemic that, when caught,

would cripple and paralyze a person. Polio was the disease that many Americans were so

desperate for a cure to. Two scientists, Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk, dramatically helped the

discovery of polio's cure. They had the same goal, however, were on opposite sides; Sabin

experimenting with a dead virus, and Salk rooting for a live one. Although both were hard-

headed men, Jonas Salk won the battle of polio's cure when he successfully discovered what

he called the Salk Vaccine. Thanks to Salk, polio is now a thing of the past.

Jonas Salk, the discover to polio's cure.

                                                           Fidel Castro

Dying just one day after Thanksgiving 2016, Fidel Castro, was for many years, the dictator of

Cuba. Earlier in his lifetime, Fidel was a strangely caring man who believed strongly in rights for

the poverty-stricken people. He even went so far to overtake Fulgenicence Batista, an earlier

dictator of Cuba. Fidel eventually became the Cuban president, because of his hard work and

the Cubans' love for him. Later in his life, he abused his power by nationalizing businesses and

participating in murders. After many years of dictating, Fidel stepped down and gave the

position to his younger brother. Raul Castro.

Fidel Castro

 DNA’s Discoverers                                                      
                                                                  By Karis
Starting off as just James Watson’s dream, DNA’s discovery was a giant leap in the biological world. Watson literally saw DNA because of his dream, in which he dreamt up DNA’s spiral formation. Besides James Watson and Francis Crick, who are commonly credited for its discovery, there are actually many scientists who uncovered DNA. Inwardly erected of deoxyribose, a phosphate molecule, and four different nitrogenous bases, DNA is like a minuscule twisted ladder, although its shape is technically a double-helix.
Of the earlier people who discovered deoxyribonucleic acid, or at least heredity, was a man named Gregor Mendel. Differing from DNA, heredity is the passing on of physical or mental characteristics from generation to generation, almost like whisper down the lane, a popular children’s game where a word, or a person’s DNA, would change slightly as it is passed on. Mendel was a 19th-century monk. Curiously, he recognized heredity because of his pea plants.  After examining and breeding them, he noted that the results of growth varied. Although his work is somewhat unknown, he kept a notebook of his discoveries which helped scientists of the future figure out heredity and DNA more clearly.
Fast forwarding to the 1950’s, Crick and Watson had just discovered the solution to heredity. When the two scientists began on the project they recognized much of DNA’s structure. Snapping and studying photographs was another keen scientist of the time, Rosalind Franklin. Her photos were much clearer because of a more detailed microscope. The X-ray crystallography. Against Rosalind’s wishes,Crick and Watson used her photos for their discovery, and when they later received the Nobel Prize for their discovery, Rosalind’s name wasn’t mentioned.  Probably this was so because she died of cancer four years earlier, and unfortunately didn’t receive her proper recognition. DNA was like a key to heredity and opened up a whole new world in biology. Thanks to the many scientists who discovered or helped discover it, we now know what and how DNA makes people and things who they are.

The Discovery Of DNA Over A Decade
By Lexi
The structure of DNA was discovered by two scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick. They were scientists at Cavendish Laboratory which is in Cambridge, United Kingdom. They won, along with Maurice Wilkins, the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine for finding the structure of DNA. Maurice Wilkins was a DNA scientist. These three men obviously weren’t the only people to discover and learn about DNA. Rosalind Franklin was also a big help with it even though she was not recognized for her assistance. Because she was a woman, she wasn’t credited for all for the work that she put into finding information about DNA. She had provided a photo of the structure of DNA which was as clear and exact as a sunny day. Without her permission, Watson and Crick took her photo of DNA and used it to help them solve its structure. Unfortunately, Rosalind died a couple of years before the men received the Nobel reward, and she never got the credit that she deserved. Later, Watson and Crick tried to make amends when they wrote a book and thanked her for her generosity.

In his early life, Francis Crick, who was an Englishman, took physics in college and then turned to studying biology. Eventually, he went to Cavendish Laboratory. On the other hand, James Watson was an American. He dwelled in Chicago, Illinois.  When he was a boy, he was an extraordinarily clever child prodigy. During the year 1947, James was 15 years old and he attended the University of Chicago. Later, when he turned 23, he went to Cavendish Laboratory and met his soon-to-be scientist partner, James Watson. Even though these two men had different beginnings, they soon worked together as well as peanut butter goes with jelly.

DNA, which is in the form of a double helix, is a thin molecule made out of nucleoids. The nucleoids are Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine. Astonishingly, they are stuck together like glue by hydrogen bonds. Adenine always pairs with Thymine. Cytosine naturally always goes with Guanine. While the sides of DNA are called backbones, they are made out of two groups. They are a sugar and phosphate group. In the 1860s, the discovery of DNA began. It  was a process that involved many smart scientists over a period of decades.

James Watson (left) and Francis Crick (right).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


                          The French Revolution 

At the start of The French Revolution, France was divided into three main categories of people, known as Estates -- clergy, nobles, and the commoners. The Revolution was started by the commoners of France who were revolting against the king, Louis XVI and who wanted to destroy the monarchy of France. 

      Several years prior to the French Revolution, King Louis XVI and France was in debt. He had lent money and soldiers to America's Revolution and had been in a war of his own, The French and Indian War. Also the King's wife, Marie Antoinette, spent money frivolously on her extravagant parties, jewels, and clothing. The King was not much better. Louis XVI was a slow-witted person and was not even interested in possessing the throne of France. As we will discover later, there were many protests, which Louis XVI blatantly ignored. The fourth and finale contribution to the beginning of the French Revolution, was a severely poor harvest.  

      The people of France had become angry at their King's ignorance. To show their wrath, they stormed the French prison, the Bastille, freed prisoners, and gathered multiple weapons. In the process, they severed the Bastille's prison guards' heads and speared them on pikes. This occurred on July 14, 1789, the official start of the French Revolution. 
  A month later, in August, 1789, the Rights of Man and Citizen was established. This was an important document of the French Revolution and in the history of human and civil rights.  Because the commoners' need for food was not met, on October 5, 1789, the women of France marched to the palace of Versailles and demanded bread for their famished families. The Women's  Bread Riot, as this was called, was accepted by King Louis XVI, and he granted their wish.

     Although King Louis XVI had granted the peasants' wish, they were still angry at him. To add to their vexation, King Louis attempted to flee France with his wife and children. They were disguised as servants to their real servants, who played as nobles. According to legend, they were discovered by either Louis XVI's distinguished nose, or the stench of the queen's perfume. Either way, they were captured, and dragged back to Paris, France. The commoners had suspected his plan of contacting Austria to help destroy the Revolution and restoring the monarchy back to his power. By the way, Austria was being ruled by Queen Marie Antoinette's brother. They locked away the whole royal family into the Temple, which was being used as a prison until they decided what to do with them. A bit later, the Revolution supporters put Louis XVI on trial. Once votes were taken, it was shown that between exile and death, there was a mere 50 vote difference. The death votes won. Robespierre scheduled King Louis XVI's death on January 21, 1793.  Soon enough Marie Antoinette, wife of King Louis XVI, was also beheaded. 

     One of the staples of the French Revolution was the Reign of Terror. This lasted from September 5th 1793-July 28th 1794. In summary, this terrible time period consisted of the mass killings of aristocrats, who were nobles of France. The leader of this cruel time was Maximilien Robespierre. He thoroughly believed that there shouldn't be a king of France.  Although Robespierre was liked and followed by the commoners at the beginning, they later disliked his over-the-top executions, and eventually voted for his execution. Robespierre was led to the guillotine on July 28th 1794. His death symbolically ended the Reign of Terror.

    After many of the main figures of the French Revolution were dead, Napoleon seized power of France, and declared himself emperor. Thus, the French Revolution came to an end.  It is an important piece of French history because it completely changed the  political and social structure of France. 

King Louis XVI 


Queen Marie Antoinette. 

The guillotine killing Ariosto.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Big Three: Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt

       There were many brave leaders and tyrants in World War Two  and as many of us know about Adolf Hitler,we shall share some information about some of the other important people in this horrible war. We shall focus on Winston Churchill, FDR ( Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Joseph Stalin. 
The Big Three: Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill

                                                     Winston Churchill   
           Born on November 30th 1874,
Winston Churchill was a determined and inspiring leader all his years, and he led many great attacks, as well as several failed missions. One unsuccessful mission ,in particular, kicked Winston from his chair; out of the political game.
 Churchill was the First Lord Admiral and very respected, until he launched one of his great plans. The Gallipoli mission. That mission failed miserably, and thus the Admiral was demoted.
 During those days when he was deprived of his title, Winston served as an army lieutenant colonel until 1916.
 Because Churchill lived in England, he oversaw Neville Chamberlain, the current Prime Minister. Neville was clearly a weak leader to Churchill and, taking advantage of that, Winston became popular again.  Eventually, he was voted in as Prime Minister in Chamberlains place.
 In time, Winston Churchill befriended F.D.R. and their friendship lasted until Franklin's death, on April 12th, 1945.
 Before the 2nd world war ended, Winston Churchill was oddly voted out.
 Churchill died on January 24th, 1965. 

                                                           Joseph Stalin   

The world had many dictators that were thirsty for complete domination of the world 
but thankfully no one has reached there yet.  One man in particular got the point of ruling a huge area of land. This piece of land was called the Soviet Union, but now we recognize it as Russia. 

   This usurper was evil at first; but then he helped the Allies win the war by helping them defeat Japan. This man is identified as Joseph Stalin.
            He was  born on December 18, 1878 and had a very difficult childhood. In his early years as an adult, he overtook the Tsar of Russia and that was the beginning of his dictatorship. He joined in World War Two with neighboring tyrants including Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito.
            One thing that Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler did together was invade Poland. Soon enough, Poland surrender and it was occupied by both Germany and Russia. The Axis Powers only then consisted of the Germans and Russians but soon more tyrants would follow. 
             After a couple of years, Adolf Hitler wanted even more power even if it meant getting it from his Axis partners. Hitler soon invaded Russia in order to receive what he wanted. But he did not get it because of the harsh Russian snows that kept him behind.

        Because of this sudden attack coming from Germany. Stalin joined the United States of America and Great Britain. They worked together to end the war by the Russians helping the Allies fight off Japan and the Allies helping Stalin defeat Germany. 

         Soon the war ended and Joseph Stalin died from cerebral hemorrhage on March 5,1953. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

            One of the unrivaled and most respected presidents of the United States of America was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He led us through two devastating events that caused hardships and much suffering,The Great Depression and World War Two.    
           He was born on January 30th, 1882 and became a remarkable leader. The 2nd Great War began for the U.S.A. when Japan unexpectedly bombed the naval base, Pearl Harbor. That was the last straw. The United States of America declared war on Japan. Soon enough, they also declared war on Germany and Italy. The whole world was basically at war and Franklin Roosevelt helped the Americans fight stronger than they ever fought before. As the Americans were getting stronger and winning the war, unfortunately FDR was getting weaker. 
         He passed away on April 12, 1945. The Americans were heartbroken because their brave and  great leader died just a couple of months before the war ended. But thankfully, Roosevelt knew that the United States of America would win the war. 

       Here is Franklin Delano Roosevelt talking at one
of his famous fireside chats. 

  A pact was formed between Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt, and together, if Stalin would help the Allies fight the Japanese, then Americans would help destruct Adolf Hitler. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Bard of all Eras; William Shakespeare


       William Shakespeare is the most famous playwright in history for a reason. He has penned some of the most famous plays in the world including Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet , and A Midsummer Night's Dream. 
       Although not much is recorded of his early life, we do have a few facts. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, the earliest records of the famed play write are of his christening. People believe he was born just a few days  before that ceremony.      

       William was raised in a wealthy household, and because of that, it is thought that he was able to attend school.  
This is Shakespeare's home: 
Because his father got in debt, the next years to be recorded are knows as the "Lost years" because nothing is written or known about Shakespeare in this time period.   We do know, however, that Mr. Shakespeare wed Anne Hathaway when he was eighteen. Anne on the other hand was 26 years old. They had three children : Hamnet , Judith , and Susanna.  


      In his whole life, William Shakespeare created 38 plays and 154 sonnets. Sonnets are poems that have 14 lines with each line being composed of 10 syllables. The last word in each line has to have a rhyming word, but it depends upon the rhyme scheme.  We learned that the Shakespearean Sonnet has a rhyme pattern of ABABCDCDEFEFGG.  Here is an example of one of Shakespeare's sonnets: 

Sonnet XII

    When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves 
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go, 
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
    And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
    Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence. 

       Almost all of Shakespeare's plays are difficult to understand because of the language used back then including thee, thou and  ye . We read some easy-to-read books based on William Shakespeare's plays to fully understand them. One of the plays that was really amusing was A Midsummer Night's Dream . We then went to a performance of it at a theater which did an awesome job giving it a modern touch. The play is full of lovers and hysterical actors. 
   Besides writing plays and sonnets, Shakespeare wrote his will and possibly his gravestone's saying:  

"Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, to dig the dust enclosed here.                                        Blessed be the man that spares these stones.                                                                                   And cursed be he that moves my bones."            

     No one knows the reason he died but, he left the Earth on April 25, 1616, and was buried at the Church of Trinity, in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016


                                                                                                                 Pirates are treasure-thirsty criminals that would do anything                  to get their way, even if it meant killing someone or                                                   sawing off a finger.  

                 Most people think, when they hear the word "pirate"  they think of pirates as handsome, eye patched , wooden legged, and have hooks as hands but as this may have been true sometimes most pirates are dirty and smelly. Many people turned to piracy for many reasons maybe because they were dirt poor, mistreated, and runaways.Many pirates were men but a couple of women were on the ships too. The most well known women pirates are Mary Read and Anne Bonny. The only way women could get aboard is by acting and dressing like a man.
Pirate captains needed about 200 men or more to run a ship because many of them were expected to die on sea from battle or deadly sicknesses.Scurvy, was one of the most common disease on the sea, it is from  lacking vitamin C which is in fruits and vegetables. If a pirate is caught not much hope is left for him or her. They will most likely be hanged to death or if they can pursue the judge that the were forced into piracy then they would most likely dropped from the hook aka spared.There were many infamous pirates that ruled the sea and we will talk about two of the most mighty pirates in history.


By Lexi 1-2016

Many people know Blackbeard as a ferocious, bloodthirsty pirate but what was his life like before he became a pirate?  He was originally named Edward Teach and was a young sailor on a privateer ship during Queen Anne’s War.  (2) After, the war was over he settled down in New Providence, The Bahamas but destiny had a better plan for him. Edward stumbled into Captain Benjamin Hornigold and joined his crew becoming a captain of one of Hornigold’s ships.   An odd relationship connected the two men because they both participated in acts of piracy. A couple of years later Hornigold decided to retire from piracy but Edward Teach  who was slowly turning into a terrorizing beast that will have the name Blackbeard continued to steal from merchant ships. He will become the most deadly and feared pirate ever in history.

            Blackbeard‘s appearance could easily scare anybody so much that they would surrender without a fight. The sailors who encountered Edward perceived him as a frightening person, one that they didn’t want to mess with. His coat was studded with three pistols, a cutlass, and a dagger. (2) But what made Blackbeard even scarier was the smoke that encircled his cold evil eyes because he stuck matches under his hat and had them alight during battle. Although he already looked scary, he had his hair and beard braided and tied with colorful ribbons which made him look rather more alarming. Blackbeard used his appearance to get what he wanted unlike most pirates who used cruelty. Blackbeard rarely used violence but once he wanted a ring so badly, but the person refused to give it to him, so with a sharp knife and a persistent attitude he cut off his finger.  The result was that Blackbeard was happy with his stolen ring and the man was screaming and had one finger less.  Blackbeard‘s trick to use his appearance instead of violence was affective and he gained way more ships and money using his appearance instead of using savagery.

             Edward Teach had a horrifying figure but his death is also well known One time, after capturing a ship of riches Blackbeard and his crew celebrated with alcoholic beverages and stories. As happy as they were they didn't know that their captain would die that very same day. Not that far away from them a ship was coming their way. It belonged to Robert Maynard a fearsome pirate hunter. Being drunk, Blackbeard shouted a few nasty words as well as a cannon at Maynard’s ship. Smoke filled the air. (vss) Smartly, Maynard ordered his men to hide causing Blackbeard to be baffled and to believe that he destroyed everyone on the ship except for Maynard. Blackbeard and his crew jumped on his rival's ship and then Maynard’s men bolted out of their hiding spots and started to attack. The battle was a gruesome one with Blackbeard and Maynard fighting and trying to kill each other. Blackbeard was the one who fell and died from five pistol shots and twenty hideous slashes from a cutlass. Blackbeard most likely died from being unfocused from the over usage of rum. Maynard hacked at Blackbeard’s head and hung it on the ship telling people that he destroyed the most powerful man on the sea. The legend is that Blackbeard’s headless body swam around the boat three times before sinking to the bottom. Blackbeard was a man of the sea that had a spine-chilling mien that made everybody fear him. He will always be the first pirate that comes to mind because of his unique way of getting what he wants. 

This is an image of Blackbeard's flag that he flew on his ship to terrorize merchant ships even more then just his appearance. This flag is a skeleton holding a hour glass telling people that they are running out of
time and the spear piercing the heart is saying
you will die if you don't surrender.


By Karis 1-2016
                                                    Black Bart, the most successful buccaneer of the (2) Golden Age of pirates, started off as simply John Roberts. Before his swashbuckler days, Roberts served in the navy for a quarter of a century, and was paid only 3 dollars a month, a pitiful payment. He ended his 25 year navy job because of his low wage and instead joined the crew of the Princess as 3rd mate. The Princess was a slave-ship. John Roberts’s life on the slave-ship isn't extremely recorded of except one thing. One day, the Princess was overtaken by pirates. After snatching the Princess's hearty treasures and goods, the successful pirates gave the sailors the choice to either die, or join the crew as another pirate. John Roberts pointedly refused the offer. The pirates, who observed him as a needed person, forced Roberts into piracy.

 John Roberts dressed up his name a little by changing it to a more ferocious (Barth-all-a-mew) Roberts when he unwillingly joined the pirate crew which would be his home for the next four years to come. He proved to be an excellent pirate and his shipmates elected him new captain after only six weeks of life aboard the pirate ship. The last pirate captain died in a recent battle. Captain Roberts was a positively unique captain. Oddly, Bartholomew was not a fan of alcohol; he preferred a gallon of spiced tea, sipped from pretty, stolen teacups. He was most-likely the only teetotaler pirate ever, which made him very different from his often-drunk crew. Considered a gentleman, Roberts held peaceful Sunday services which were enjoyed by the crew. Also to attain order, the captain carefully penned the "Pirate Articles." Those set of rules were to be much-used by other pirates after Roberts put pen to paper. He was able to construct the pirate articles because he had been unusually educated to read and write. Bartholomew's successes mount up to 470 captured ships and all the treasure totals to over 50 million dollars worth of coins, gems, and goods, including (2) the ships. About 4 years that took.

The successful pirate ships that captured those treasures are all fringed with at least one terrifying flag. One of Robert's two flags sports a pirate grinding two skulls beneath his feet and the right arm grasps a deadly sword. This is his flag.                                                
Robert's treasure-hunting life ended completely when he was brought down by a grape cannon. A grape cannon is a regular cannon loaded with small balls bunched together to form a sort of clump which resembled a bunch of grapes. These (2) metal nuggets struck his neck leaving it somewhat sieve-like. After the famous pirate's death, people granted him the name Black Bart. The reason for that names is because of his dark hair and skin, instead of his gruesome tortures which most people would think was the reason that name was given to him. The result is everyone now recognizes John Roberts, a studious, quiet man as the evil, torturous, pirate, Black Bart. There is a chance, however, that Black Bart was not a man at all. Black Bart's face was always clean-shaven without a trace of a beard. Also he insisted on complete privacy, an unusual request. In preparation for his death, he told his crew to directly toss him overboard instead of usually sewing the body up in his hammock. If that's true, the most successful pirate ever in the world could have been a woman.