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Many of the sports which the ancient Greeks practiced and which made up a part of their own Olympics still survive in some way or other in the sports which we practice today. Their motivation, however, was for practice for war and it is in such motivation that one can understand the emphasis on martial skills such as wrestling, Pankration, boxing, the javelin and running, while still including such less directly applicable sports as discus and jumping. Overtime, as interest grew in sport and competition alone, new sports were added, but it was these core sports, which stood the test of time, and which have continued to be practiced, in similar form, right up to the present day. 

Wrestling must be regarded as the most important sport practiced in ancient Greece; the very name palaestra “wrestling school” must indicate its importance in Greek life. Nor need we be surprised at this for all over the world in cultures far-distant from each other, one can find styles of wrestling and fighting, for it is a useful skill in war. 

There was one major style of wrestling, the one that was found in ancient Greek competition, so-called upright wrestling. It is difficult to draw an accurate picture of the rules and the manner in which it was conducted, but nevertheless some conclusions can be drawn based on evidence and reasonable guesswork. 

Upright wrestling was conducted in a jumping pit-style arena, a type of round or oval building with an open space with rising seats in the middle. The aim was for one of the wrestlers to throw his opponent on to the ground so that he landed on a place such as his hip, back, or shoulder. To land on one of these areas would suggest that one has been thrown into a prone position and is, therefore, at the mercy of one’s opponent. It is not unreasonable to assume , therefore, that this was counted as a well-executed throw and might score a “point” accordingly. If both wrestlers fell together then we must assume that either no point was scored or both scored. Either way, neither competitor gained an advantage. To gain victory, in competition at least, then it appears that one of the competitors had to amass three points or correct throws. It must have been a long and tiring contest. 

While there are depictions of certain throwing techniques in art they are inevitably fail to fully explain wrestling techniques. However, it is not unreasonable to assume that such techniques were similar to techniques one might find in martial arts such as Judo or Ju-Jitsu, after all, there are only a finite number of ways that one can throw an opponent.

There is also another style of wrestling which did not exist on its own but which was part of the Pankration. In this style the struggle was continued on the ground till one or other of the combatants acknowledged defeat. For the Greeks wrestling was both as science and an art and great importance was attached to the manner in which one conducted oneself in the ring. To throw one’s opponent was not enough, it had to be done stylishly and in good style. 

While this may have been a common held view by the Greeks this in no way detracts from the physicality of the sport and thus its usefulness in training the body for the exertions of combat.  

World War II

To continue our discussion on women’s roles in our society, I want to talk about the effects of World War II on women's employment in the United States Compared to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, 1938-1948. The period commencing with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) and ending with the completion of World War II had a great impact on women's employment in the United States. 

Prior to this period employers, government and national sentiment held that there were jobs appropriate for women and those which were inappropriate because women were not capable of fulfilling the tasks involved in such work. Propaganda reinforced these notions as the popular image of women had them, for instance, as housewives or living glamorous lives, but almost always dependent on men. The War years provided women of Mt. Vernon and the nation as a whole with an opportunity to break this trend. 

Women took this chance to prove that they were almost every bit as capable as men in the traditionally male work sphere. There were no lasting effects on women's status in the work force resulting from the War. In the War's aftermath, women returned to jobs they had held traditionally, provided they were of the working class. 

At the same time, many women who had not worked prior to the War returned to their homes and house-work. Mt. Vernon was much like many of the major war industries cities such as Detroit and San Francisco, although there were some key differences. In population size it was small. Its economy at the time was predominantly agricultural although there were three major industrial plants - Cooper-Bessemer (a producer of diesel engines), Mt. Vernon Bridge and Steel (produced Landing Ship Tanks) and Shellmar (produced protective capes and gas masks for soldiers). Factories such as these are what made Mt. Vernon similar to the major war industries cities. 

Likewise, making Mt. Vernon comparable to the rest of the nation was the role women played in such industrial work by filling in for men who left to fight. To recruit women into the labor force, propaganda in magazines, advertising, radio programming and films was used for this was the most efficient method of encouraging women to take a war job. 

Oral history provided much information about the status of women workers before, during and after the War in Mt. Vernon. Interviews with women who lived in Mt. Vernon during the period answered questions concerning womens' work status. Questions were asked about entire work histories which showed how many working class women took higher paying industrial jobs during the War after having received lower wages in other work sectors. There were also questions about domestic lives because several of the women never worked and one goal was to find out why they had not. 

The end of the War and changes it brought to Mt. Vernon's female work force was another issue probed. How did women feel about relinquishing their jobs to returning soldiers? Another aim was to learn more about how effective propaganda was. Did it have any effect at all, or was it more a subconcious matter that they could not answer (which was often the case)


We don’t ask ourselves where languages come from because they just seem to be there: French in France, English in England, Chinese in China, Japanese in Japan, and so forth. Yet if we go back only a few thousand years, none of these languages were spoken in their respective countries and indeed none of these languages existed anywhere in the world. Where did they all come from?

 In some cases, the answer is clear and well-known. We know that Spanish is simply a later version of the Latin language that was spoken in Rome two thousand years ago. Latin spread with the Roman conquest of Europe and, following the breakup of the Roman Empire, the regional dialects of Latin gradually evolved into the modern Romance languages: Sardinian, Rumanian, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish, and Portuguese. A language family, such as the Romance family, is a group of languages that have all evolved from a single earlier language, in this case Latin.

 But while the Romance family illustrates well the concept of a language family, it is also highly unusual in that the ancestral language - Latin - was a written language that has left us copious records. The usual situation is that the ancestral language was not a written language and the only evidence we have are its modern descendants. Yet even without written records, it is not difficult to distinguish language families. Similarities among certain languages in the word for "hand" allow us to readily identify not only the Romance family (Spanish, Italian, Rumanian), but also the Slavic family (Russian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian) and the Germanic family (English, Danish, German). There are, however, no written records of the languages ancestral to the Germanic or Slavic languages, so these two languages - which must have existed no less than Latin - are called Proto-Germanic and Proto-Slavic, respectively. 

If we examine words other than "hand," we find many additional instances where each of these three families is characterized by different-looking roots, just as in the case of "hand." But we also find, from time to time, roots that seem to be shared by these three families; that is, the same root is found in all three families. What is the meaning of such roots? In fact, similarities among language families such as Romance, Germanic, and Slavic have the same meaning as similarities among languages in any one family - they imply that these three families are branches of an even more ancient family. In other words, a language that existed long before Latin, Proto-Germanic, or Proto-Slavic first differentiated into these three languages and then they, in turn, diversified into the modern languages of each family. This larger, more ancient family is known as the Indo-European family and it includes almost all European languages (but not Basque, Hungarian, or Finnish), and many other languages of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. 

The Language Families of the World chart shows that the Indo-European family has, in fact, thirteen branches; in addition to Romance, Germanic, and Slavic; there are also Baltic, Celtic, Iranian, Indic, Tocharian, Anatolian, and three single languages that are by themselves separate branches of the family: Armenian, Greek, and Albanian.The thirteen branches of IndoEuropean are connected to one another by numerous words and grammatical endings. Let's take a look at some examples of this now.The Exploratorium. "The Evolution of Languages." 1999. (August 10, 2001)


The platypus is one of the two animals in the order Monotremata. It is the only member of the mammal family Ornithorhynchidae. Platypus is from the Greek platys meaning “broad” and “pous” meaning foot, referring to the animal's webbed foot. 

The platypus has several reptilian characteristics which include using the same opening for reproduction and eliminating waste products, the ability to lay eggs, cervical ribs, and local ascorbic acid synthesis in the kidney. Even though the platypus has these reptile characteristics, it is overall much more mammalian than reptilian. This unique animal has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. 

The platypus is about the size of a household cat. The male platypus's body is about 50 - 60 centimeters long and the female is about 40 - 50 centimeters long. An adult male platypus weighs about 2 kilograms and a female platypus weighs about .9 kilograms. The platypus has a thick covering of waterproof hair all over its body except for the feet and bill. The outer hair is a dark brown with yellowish hair on its underside. There are about 800 hairs per square millimeter. This is denser than the fur of the river otter or polar bear. The platypus has two layers of hair. The top or longer layer is a shiny guard fur with a woolly short fur undercoat. The thermal qualities of the fur allow the platypus to withstand cold temperatures. 

The platypus's sensitive, pliable bill is a blue-gray, blackish color with the two nostril holes near the tip. The location of the nostrils allows the platypus to breath while the rest of the body remains under the water surface. The lower bill is smaller than the upper bill. The lower bill is held in place by two elongated dentary bones which is found in all mammals. The bill contains an electro-receptor system which has approximately 850,000 electrical and tactile receptors. When the platypus goes underwater or drives for food, it closes its ears, eyes, and nostrils. Its electro-receptor system detects the electric currents created by the muscle activity of small prey and may even help the platypus detect the electric field created when water flows over prey hidden under rocks, mud, and small debris. As the platypus gathers food in its mouth, it moves the food to its cheek pouches. When it returns to the surface, it pushes the food from its cheek pouches up to its mouth. It then grinds it with its grinding pads. 

The ear openings or grooves are on either side of the platypus's head. The platypus does not have external ears. These openings are closed when diving or swimming under water. Out of the water, these ear openings are very sensitive to sounds. The small, beady eyes are very sensitive to movement. Cone cells have been found in the retina. This indicates the possibility of color vision for the platypus. Its eyes are well placed for scanning river banks. 

The platypus has four legs which extend horizontally from its body. This arrangement makes it walk on land with a shuffle like a lizard. The front feet have large webs of skin which help to propel the platypus through the water.


 Meteors are small particles of matter in the solar system that are only directly observable when they fall into the earth’s atmosphere. A meteorite is a meteor that reaches the surface of the earth without being vaporized. Meteorites are particularly valuable geologic specimens because they represent samples of planetary bodies (mostly asteroids) which we have not yet obtained through either manned or unmanned space missions. Neither is it likely that samples of these bodies will be available by any other means than fortuitous falls for at least a generation. Thus, as a scientific resource, meteorites provide us with some of our first glimpses of the diverse array of planetary material scattered throughout the inner solar system. 

The oldest meteorite specimens are remnants of the very first geologic processes to occur in our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. (The origin of the solar system should not be confused with the origin of the universe, commonly known as the Big Bang, which occurred at least 9 billion years ago and possibly as long ago as 20 billion years.) Our solar system formed when a cloud of interstellar dust and gas collapsed. Because the interstellar cloud had been slowly spinning, the result was a nearly flat rotating disk which we refer to as the solar nebula. Much of the dust and gas in the disk moved to the center of the nebula where it fed a growing protostar which eventually became our sun. 

The dust and gas remaining in the nebula was incorporated into primitive planetary material. Initially, nebular dust stuck together (or accreted) to form small, loosely-bound dustballs. In some regions of the solar nebula these dustballs encountered violent, high-temperature events and were melted, forming molten silicate and metal droplets (like lava). Henry Clifton Sorby, a geologist of the 1800's and one of the first to examine these droplets with a microscope, described them as having once looked like fiery rain. Because the high-temperature events were brief, the molten droplets cooled quickly in the nebula and formed millimeter-sized spheres of rock called chondrules. Meteorites containing these objects are called chondrites. 

Sometimes the temperatures rose so high in the solar nebula that dust began to evaporate, leaving behind refractory residues. At other times, the temperatures became so low that new dust condensed from the nebular gas (like snow from the air). Over time, chondrules, evaporative residues, and condensates collided with each other and accreted to form nebular sediments and eventually larger bodies called planetesimals (a few to several tens of kilometers in diameter). Our most primitive meteorite specimens are samples of these complex, yet primitive, mixtures of nebular (pre-planetary) material. In many cases these meteorites are so primitive they contain traces of interstellar dust which survived thermal processing in the solar nebula 

The small planetary bodies from which primitive meteorites come formed throughout a large portion of the inner solar system. Within these vast distances material was apparently distributed unevenly and affected by different amounts of thermal processing. Thus, meteoritic parent bodies produced in different regions of the solar nebula had slightly different chemical and structural properties. The three principal groups of primitive chondrites representing these variations are the carbonaceous chondrites, enstatite chondrites, and unequilibrated ordinary chondrites. 

Nocturnal animal, the bat

Good afternoon. In this lecture, we’ll focus on a common nocturnal animal, the bat. There are two types of bat: micro bats, or true bats, and mega bats, also called fruit bats. Let’s start with mega bats. Size wise, mega bats are from two to sixteen inches in length. Mega bats have extremely sensitive sight and smell. This helps them locate the flowers and fruit upon which they feed. It is while eating that mega bats play a important role in the distribution of plants. Like bees, mega bats serve as pollinators. When they lick nectar or eat flowers, their bodies become covered in pollen which they, in turn, carry to other trees and plants thereby acting as pollinators. In fact, many of the fruits and vegetables on our tables, such as bananas and peaches, would not be there if mega bats did not pollinate plants and trees. Next are micro bats. As the name implies, micro bats are quite small, about the size of a mouse. To find food, micro bats use echolocation, high frequency sounds they bounce off insects. The most common micro bat is the vesper or evening bat. Like mega bats, micro bats play an important role in the environment. The average vesper bat, for example, can eat one thousand mosquitoes in one night. By doing so, they control the mosquito population.

A: So, Joan, your roommate told me that you had a meeting with Dean Metzger this morning. B: Well, actually it's later this afternoon. I'm meeting her at 4:00 today. Well, I'm sure you've been hearing and reading about the cuts and the university budget, right? Well, the budget for the university debate team was really slashed. In fact, it was cut more than in half and it was already a bare bones budget. To tell you the truth. I don't know if. Well, I don't really think we'll be able to keep debating. Really. So how do you what does the debate team spend its money on? The coaches salary or no? As a matter of fact, my friend Kurt Wyndham is our coach and he volunteers his time. Curtsy graduate student now, but when he was an undergrad he was a debater himself. So then, how do you spend your money? Well, mostly we spend it on travel expenses. We take four or five trips of semester to other campuses and we need money for bus fares or gas money, hotel rooms, meals, things like that. Well, I I kind of hate to say this, but would it really be the end of the world if the debate team couldn't keep going? I mean, does anyone really? Care all that much about debate? The people on the team do. Most of us have been debating since high school and it's really important to us. And you know, it can be really good career preparation. You learn research skills, you learn well to communicate, to think on your feet. You learn teamwork. My father's a lawyer, you know, and when he was in college, he went to college over in England he was involved in. Debate. And he says it was a wonderful way to train for the courtroom. He's the one who talked me into joining the team. Well, I'm just saying, except for a few people on the team, how does having a debate team really benefit the university? Oh, don't even get me started. For one thing, there's the whole matter of school tradition. I mean, did you know that this school has had a debating team for over 100 years, and over the years we've won a dozen or more regional tournaments and a couple of national tournaments? Then there's the prestige we haven't had a good football or basketball team for. For years. But our debate team is always one of the best in the region. A good debate team attracts people who debated in high school, and they're always some of the top students. And you know, a lot of famous people are on college debate teams. President John F Kennedy, for one. And OK, OK, you've sold me. And we're not even asking for that much. It's like a a millionth of what the school spends on football and basketball. I mean, I don't have anything against sports teams, but still, I can't see why you're going to talk to Dean Metzger. She's, she's Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. She's not in charge of the university budget. No, I know, you're right. And we tried to get an appointment with President Fisher, but his assistant kept saying he was too busy right now and wasn't able to meet with us. So Kurt came up with the idea of talking to Dean Metzger. He said Dean Metzger's fair. She has that reputation anyway, and she's, you know, willing to listen. So I don't know, maybe if we can convince her. Then she can persuade President Fisher and the board of Chancellors not to cut our budget so much. Well, if anyone can convince her, you can. I'll tell you, though, if I were you, I'd keep trying to get a meeting with President Fisher. Talking to Dean Metzger won't hurt, but really, President Fisher is the person whose mind you have to change.