Mostrando las entradas de enero, 2009


PHILLIS WHEATLEY (1753-1784) A slave ship brought Phillis Wheatley from West Africa to Boston in 1761. John Wheatley, a wealtliy tailor, and his wife, Susannah, purchased her and gave her an American name. Her first poem appeared in print in a Newport, Rhode Island, newspaper in 1767. In 1773, thirty-nine of her poems were published in London as Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. This, her only collection of poems, was the first published book by an African-American. She was freed in 1778 and married a freedman, John Peters, but the marriage turned out badly. Abandoned by Peters, she lived in penury in Boston. She had already lost two children, and a third lay mortally ill, when she died and was buried in an unmarked grave. See also: philip-freneau


GANDHI, MOHANDAS (1869–1948), political leader, social reformer, and religious visionary of modern India. Although Gandhi initially achieved public notice as a leader of India’s nationalist movement and as a champion of nonviolent techniques for resolving conflicts, he was also a religious innovator who did much to encourage the growth of a reformed, liberal Hinduism in India. In the West, Gandhi is venerated by many who seek an intercultural and socially conscious religión and see him as the representative of a universal faith. RELIGIOUS INFLUENCES ON GANDHI. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born into a bania (merchant caste) family in a religiously pluralistic area of western India—the Kathiawar Peninsula in the state of Gujarat. His parents were Vaisnava Hindus who followed the Vallabhācārya tradition of loving devotion to Lord Krnsa. His father, Karamchand Uttamchand, the chief administrative officer of a princely state, was not a very religious man, but his mother, Putalibai, becam

Darwin, Charles Robert

Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–1882) Charles Robert Darwin, the British biologist whose theory of organic evolution revolutionized science, philosophy, and theology, was born at Shrewsbury. He atended the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge but was not attracted by his medical studies at the first or by his theological studies at the second. Near the end of his undergraduate days he formed a friendship with J. T. Henslow, professor of botany at Cambridge, “a man who knew every branch of science” (Autobiography of Charles Darwin). This association, together with an enthusiasm for collecting beetles and a reading of works by Wilhelm von Humboldt and John Herschel, generated in him “a burning zeal to contribute to the noble structure of Natural Science.” The opportunity to do so on a large scale arose when Henslow secured for him the post of naturalist “without pay” aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, then about to begin a long voyage in the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, between 1831 and 1836

Julian and Gregorian Calendars

The Julian calendar, also called the Old Style calendar, is a dating system established by Julius Caesar as a reform of the Roman republican calendar. Caesar, advised by the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, made the new calendar solar, not lunar, and he took the length of the solar year as 365¼ days. The year was divided into 12 months, all of which had either 30 or 31 days except February, which contained 28 days in common (365-day) years and 29 in every fourth year (a leap year, of 366 days). Because of misunderstandings, the calendar was not established in smooth operation until AD 8. Further, Sosigenes had overestimated the length of the year by 11 minutes 14 seconds, and by the mid-1500s, the cumulative effect of this error had shifted the dates of the seasons by about 10 days from Caesar’s time. This inaccuracy led Pope Gregory XIII to reform the Julian calendar. His Gregorian calendar, also called the New Style calendar, is still in general use. Gregory’s proclamation in 1582 r

Poverty 1534

Chronology of Poverty until 1534: 10th century B.C.E.: The first use of the word poverty surfaces in the biblical world, referring to landowners who forced peasants to sell land. 495–429 B.C.E.: Under the rule of Pericles, Athens undertakes large-scale public works projects as a means of providing employment for the poor. 550 C.E.: Pope Gregory I of the Roman Catholic Church establishes the world’s first orphanage in the city of Milan, Italy. 1349: King Edward III of England issues the Statute of Labourers, giving greater power to feudal lords and prohibiting begging and giving, except for senior citizens and the physically disabled. Edward made a distinction between the “worthy poor,” which included widows, dependent children, and the disabled, and the “unworthy poor,” which included able-bodied adults. 1351: Pedro the Cruel of Castile orders all able-bodied, unemployed men in his kingdom to be flogged. 1381: Wat Tyler leads a peasant revolt against King Richard II of England.

30.000-13.000 aC prehistoria

30.000 aC, prehistoria : Los arcos y flechas aparecen representados en las pinturas rupestres[i] a partir de este año; obviamente por ser de madera no aparecen ejemplos reales. Derivación necesaria de las pinturas rupestres es la creación de las primeras brochas, la más simple de las cuales hubo de haber sido una ramita mascada en un extremo para separar las fibras o tal vez atados de plumas o cerdas de animal. También en esas pinturas rupestres vemos que usaban ya las cuerdas (ejemplos reales de las mismas son muy difíciles de hallar porque se podrían pronto); pero en Lascaux hay evidencia además en una impresión en arcilla. 28.000 aC : Esta fecha puede ser un promedio; ya que sabemos que las primeras viviendas se construyeron alrededor del año 30.000 aC (BCE). En Dolnl Vestonice, República Checa, arqueólogos hallaron restos de casas construidas en piedra, madera y huesos de mamut que datan del año 25.000 aC . 27.000 aC : En lo que actualmente llamamos Alemania, un escultor


The Advent Christian Church is an evangelical denomination that arose in the United States during the mid-1800s. The church was formally established as the Advent Christian Association in 1860 by a group of former Millerites—followers of WILLIAM MILLER who had predicted Christ’s literal return for October 22, 1844. Advent Christians were distinguished from most other adventist groups by their belief in conditional immortality, and from the conditionalist SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS by the Advent Christian’s Sunday observance and the decision not to recognize the prophetic ministry of ELLEN GOULD WHITE. Conditional immortality, the view that immortality is granted to the righteous only through the grace of God at the resurrection, is a belief the Advent Christian Church still holds and was originally advocated by George Storrs. Two related doctrines are that of “soul sleep,” the view that death is a state of unconsciousness lasting until the resurrection; and annihilationalism, the belief


Al-Qaeda (pronounced al KYE-dah; Arabic for “the base”) is a worldwide terrorist network of organizations and individuals dedicated to jihad (“struggle” or “holy war”) for the cause of Islam. Its goal is to rid Muslim countries of what it perceives is the corrupting influence of Western culture and to install fundamentalist Islamic regimes—governments that rule according to a literal interpretation of the Muslim sacred texts (the Koran and the Hadith) and enforce sharia (Islamic law). Al- Qaeda is only one of a number of closely linked Islamic terrorist and insurgency groups. The size of al-Qaeda is not known, but estimates run between several hundred to several thousand members. Some scholars believe, however, al-Qaeda is actually a small group that has received undue publicity for acts that have originated with other, connected terrorist groups. Al-Qaeda became notorious in the United States for its actions in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when members of the group hij


AYYASH, YAHYA (1966–1996) aka the Engineer . Palestinian Yahya Ayyash, a notorious Hamas commander, is said to have been as greatly loved by Palestinians as he was hated by Israelis. Ayyash achieved a near-mythical status as a man who always escaped detection by Israel’s intelligence service. He is said to have masterminded multiple suicide attacks in Israel that killed nearly 70 civilians and injured more than 300. Ayyash was assassinated on January 5, 1996, by a booby-trapped cellular phone allegedly planted by Shin Bet, Israel’s security service. Nearly 100,000 people, about 11 percent of Gaza’s population, marched at Ayyash’s funeral. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat gave him a 21-gun salute. The son of a farmer, Ayyash was born in Rafat, a village in the West Bank highlands. He studied electrical engineering and chemistry at the Bir Zeit University in Ramallah, Saudi Arabia. In the first large attack allegedly planned by Ayyash, in 1994 a Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up near

Guerra biológica, siglo XV

La historia de la guerra biológica [1] en la antigüedad, hasta el siglo XV, se escribió con muchos muertos. Sabemos que los hititas, entre el 1500 y 1200 AC, expulsaban a las víctimas de la peste a los campos enemigos. De los asirios se decía que conocían un hongo de centeno, el ergot (Claviceps purpurea) cuyos efectos serían semejantes al LSD; de lo que no hay pruebas concluyentes es que lo hayan empleado para envenenar las fuentes de agua de sus rivales. Según Homero, en su tiempo se envenenaban las puntas de las flechas cuando sucedió la guerra de Troya. Llegado el 590 AC, sabemos que Grecia conocía una variedad de plantas para envenenar las fuentes enemigas, la helleborus. Durante el siglo IV AC los escitas lanzaban flechas envenenadas a las que untaban de heces de tal forma que las heridas causadas se infectaran. En el 184 AC Aníbal hacía lanzar ollas llenas de víboras en las cubiertas de los barcos enemigos, etc. Durante la edad media las víctimas de peste bubónica eran catapul

Artes liberales

“El sistema educativo de la Antigüedad tardía griega y romana y de la Edad Media, propio de los «hombres libres» (puesto que eran las ejercitadas por la razón) en oposición a las artes serviles, o manuales, propias de los siervos (ejercitadas con el cuerpo). Agustín de Hipona las denominó artes saeculares, enumerando entre ellas la gramática, la retórica, la dialéctica, la aritmética, la geometría y la astronomía. Esta denominación partía de la acepción del término arte entendido como conjunto de reglas idóneas para dirigir una determinada actividad, es decir, como sinónimo de una de las acepciones del término técnica, no en el sentido contemporáneo de actividad orientada a la belleza. El primero en fijarlas en número de siete (septem artes liberales) es, no obstante, Marciano Capella, en el s. V. Esta división sirvió para establecer los estudios durante la Edad Media. Así, a partir de la reforma de las enseñanzas efectuada en el siglo XI por Alcuino, las tres primeras artes liberale