Blonde Ashley

Sometimes it's good to be a little weird

Western Civilization: Final

1. Mario Vargas Llasa’s essay Questions of Conquest presents the question: how in the world could a few Spaniards defeat the grand empires in the Americas such as Aztecs and the Incas. Today’s people often assume that the Aztecs and Inca Indians were primitive. Actually they were very sophisticated empires. However they missed something important, they lacked individualism. When you’re a civilization with daily human sacrifice, people with a collective system and mindset is required. Once the Spaniards destroyed the government the common people had no idea what to do because they had no sense of individualism and had no sense of self government.

2. Today Christopher Columbus is thought of as a brave person who sailed into the unknown despite people warning him that he’ll reach the end of the earth and fall off. Most people today think that it was a common belief that the earth was flat. Most people back then believed the earth was/is a sphere. The flat earth belief was developed in the nineteenth century and was taken as fact by some. And while Columbus was brave, the reason that the European monarch was hesitant to fund Columbus was because they were scared that he miscalculated the size of the earth and would run out of supplies before he reached Asia.


Western Literature: Final

Both Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were written during the early Renaissance. Written during the 14th century after the Black Death devastated Europe and killed one-third of the population. So many deaths completely changed European Society. So much death changed peoples outlook on life; this lead to the beliefs of the people being closer to those of the Greeks and Roman. This lead to them all but abandoning, those of the long lived Hebrew and Christian based lifestyle.

During the Renaissance many works of literature switched from having the Christian God in authority to having the Greek/Roman gods of Fortune and Nature in authority. Since the plague affected people randomly they couldn’t see any other person or being having that much authority over life in that way. The thing that is the most distinct about the Decameron and Canterbury Tales is that they seem to have no hope for the future.

In Greek literature the sovereign figures are the gods of Olympus and the gods of the under world. Zeus is the god of the underworld and the furies rule the underworld. In addition to these, Fortune and Fate play a major part. The Greeks believed that under the authority of the god, man ruled the earth. Man was under the authority of the gods but you could choose which gods rule you complied to and the gods had different sets of rules.

Roman literature and Greek literature have a lot in common. In the Roman works the sovereignty is Jove ( the Greek God Zeus), and again Fortune and Fate are major. Men changed history and could potentially become a god after death. They believed great people such as Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar would become immortal after death. The gods could tend to be unjust and immoral. If a human angered a god the god could turn them into an object or animal. They asserted Rome as immortal however they expressed a decline in morals. However, Roman literature expressed hope for the future.

Hebrew literature is different from Roman and Greek literature in the way that Hebrew literature only has one God. Man kind has dominion over creation, the righteous and obedient will receive eternal life in heaven. The Hebrew’s literature focused on God’s  Kingdom.

Christian literature is largely based on Hebrew literature. It’s mainly focused on monotheism. The Christian God is sovereign over everything and everyone. Like Hebrew literature it has positive and negative sanctions. The righteous will receive the kingdom of heaven and the will go to hell.

In examining all of those we see that Renaissance literature in particular Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucers Canterbury Tales

Western Civilization: Marsilius of Padua and the Catholic Church on the Eve of the Protestant Reformation

1. In Marsilius’ writing Defensor Pacis, he stated that he believed that the state and religious authority should be separate. During the struggle between Louis of Bavaria and Pope John XXII he came out in support of Louis. Though Louis had been voted emperor of the Holy Roman Empire the pope refused to crown him. Louis then tried to go to Rome to allow the people to crown him instead. During this time Marsilius views on church and state became very evident.

2. To say the least the morality of the Pre-Protestant Reformation church was lacking. The mortality of the clergy was greatly declined, gambling, a strong desire for money, and overall corruption. Although some clergy were devoted to the faith, many just held the positions for money. Although church attendance decreased piety increased.

Biology: Bone Marrow

Bone marrow is found in the long and flat bones in our body. There are two kinds of bone marrow, red and yellow. Red marrow produces blood cells in our body. Blood marrow is also a barrier that keeps young blood cells from going through the epithelial blood vessels. Yellow marrow is made of mostly fat and it supports the activity of red marrow.

Western Civilization: The Italian War and Louis XI

1. The Italian War 1494-1498 while Charles VIII was ruling France. It started when Charles VIII stated that the Italian state in Naples because he supposedly had royal blood. He easily captured Naples. He sets out with the intention of claiming other states and endangers Milan. Other states felt threatened and forced him to retreat in 1498. That’s also the year he died of a head injury, therefore Naples got independence.

2. Louis XI ( 1461-1483) of France is most well known for his success in centralizing France after The Hundred Years’ War with England. He did this by showing his authority over land lords in the form of taxes. At first they rebelled, including his brother Charles, a duke. In 1465 he granted Charles Normandy, though he soon got it back. Louis ruled with a firm and reasonable hand. He even had spies keep an eye on politics in England. By the time he died in 1465 he had successfully centralized French government.

Western Literature: The Pardoners Tale

One of the stories in The Canterbury ” The Pardoners Tale.”  In this story a con man convinces people to purchases fake indulgences. In his sales pitch he tells a story of three drunken men trying to kill death.

The story  begins with a dead corpse being carried to a grave. The three drunk men saw this happening and went and asked what happened. He told them that the man had been killed by death, which he referred to as if death, which he referred to as if death was a person. The drunkards then made a packed to one day track down ” death” and kill him. One of the men thought that he might know where death lived, so they set off to try to find him. When they got there they met an old man that stated that death would never take him. He told them that death was under the tree at the end of a crooked path. When they got there death wasn’t there, but there was a lot of gold. When they saw this they broke their packed and took the gold.

Later while they were celebrating getting the gold they decided to play a game of chance; to see who had to go to town and steel wine for their celebration. The youngest of the three lost and had to go get the wine. While he was gone, the other two hatched a plan to stab the third to death so they didn’t have to split the gold with him. Little did they know that the third had a plan,too. While he was in town he bought poison and poisoned the wine so that the other two would die and he didn’t have to share the gold with them. When he got back they stabbed him to death then took the wine and toasted their triumph, then they died,too.

I think the old man was death. I also think that he gave the men wrong directions because he knew what was gonna happen.

Western Civilization: Renaissance Papacy and High Renaissance Artist

1.Though there were some popes during The Renaissance suited their position, many started having a decline in their morals. Many let political power go to their head. Some engaged in nepotism, broke celibacy, and neglected church reform.

Humanist popes such as Nicholas V and Leo X were so focused on collecting arts and cultivating scholarships that they practically neglected their duty as a pope. Many practiced nepotism, whenever you appoint family members that are unworthy of the position. Innocent VIII and Alexander VI both had affairs and children during their reigns. Martin V, Pius, Paul II, Sixtus IV, and Julius II had some more morals but still had the tendency to be war oriented.

2. Probably the Renaissance artist that you’re most familiar with would be Leonardo DaVinci. He was an architect, sculptor, and painter. We can see his beautiful works such as, The Last Supper, The Virgin of the Rocks, and most notably The Mona Lisa.

Raphael was portrait painter. He is most well known for having painted fifty portraits of Madonna and The Entombment of Christ.

Michelangelo was a great sculptor who carved the 17 foot tall sculptor of David and The Pieta. But what he is probably best known for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Western Literature:Which Is More Gripping

In Boccaccio’s Decameron a piece of Renaissance literature. It marks the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. It begins with Boccaccio describing the Black Death and how it affected society. He uses this to set the stage for his fictional stories. Then switching to the fictional he introduces seven young women and three young men. These people runaway and tell each other stories. The book then switches to all the stories they told each other.

The themes in these stories are reason, fortune, and sincerity in faith. Many of the stories involve someone who has really bad luck. Then they end up having really good luck in the end. Though in these later stories it seems as though Boccaccio might be replacing God’s sovereignty with natural law and reason.

I found them about equally gripping. Though reading about the plague was very sad, I found learning about how it affected society interesting. And while reading the stories I found it interesting to learn about how the Renaissance charged the way of thinking.

Biology: Marine Animals

Fish that live in saltwater only drink saltwater. They get rid of extra chloride ions through the gills or kidney. Extra sodium follows the chloride, this way they never have too much salt in their bodies.

Fresh water fish on the other hand have to work to make sure they have enough salt. Since they drink little water and the water they drink doesn’t really have salt they have to eat food that has salt.

Salmon are an example of osmoregulators, they can live in both. Their bodies work like other fresh water animals in fresh water. Then when they are in salt water they produce cortisol. This makes the chloride cells grow; the bigger chloride cells secrete more salt and the salt will leave through the gills of the fish.

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