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How the Ancient Greeks Designed the Parthenon to Impress—And Last

July 16, 2019 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

This icon of classical architecture perched atop the Acropolis has dominated the Athens skyline for 2,500 years—thanks to advanced engineering.

Few monuments in the world are more recognizable than the in Athens showcases some of the finest examples of Greek architecture.

View the 11 images of this gallery on the original article

An Interrupted Construction

The Acropolis was inhabited as far back as the Bronze Age, when the Mycenaeans built a large walled compound there to house one of their leaders. In 490 B.C., the Athenians began building a large temple to Athena on the site, but they were still working on it when Persian forces sacked Athens a decade later, destroying the temple-in-progress along with nearly every other structure in the Acropolis

In 447 B.C., after Athens led a coalition of Greek city-states to victory over the Persians, the great Athenian general and statesman Pericles ordered new construction at the citadel to begin.

“Athens under Pericles wanted to promote itself as the greatest of Greek cities,” says Jeffrey Hurwit, a professor emeritus of art history and classics at the University of Oregon and author of The Athenian Acropolis. Over some 50 years, the Periclean building program produced not only the large temple to Athena Parthenos (“Athena the Virgin,” in Greek), but the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis, as well as two smaller temples, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike.

“There were several different Athenas who were worshipped on the Acropolis,” Hurwit explains. “The Erechtheion is really the last temple to Athena Polyas, or Athena the guardian of the city. The Temple of Athena Nike is devoted to Athena in her role as a warrior goddess who defended Athens. It’s still the same goddess, but she was worshipped in different ways and in different guises.”

The Gloriously Deviant Parthenon

Construction of the Parthenon began in 447 B.C. Its design is credited to two architects, Ictinus and Callicrates, as well as the sculptor Phidias. Ancient and modern observers alike have marveled at the sophisticated techniques used to construct the temple, which mixed the Doric and Ionic styles of classical Greek architecture to stunning effect.

View and plan of the Parthenon.

Though the Parthenon looks perfectly straight and symmetrical, in fact it is subtly curved, beginning at the foundation and running up through the steps, colonnade and even the roof. Rather than a settling of the blocks …read more


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See Photos of How Astronauts Trained for the Apollo Moon Missions

July 16, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

How do you prepare to send someone to a place no one has ever gone before? For NASA in the 1960s, the answer was to create simulations that mimicked aspects of what astronauts could expect to encounter.

Take gravity, for example. Gravity on the moon is about one-sixth of what it is on Earth. To simulate the moon’s gravity, NASA scientists suspended research subjects sideways at an angle and had them walk along a tilted wall. They took detailed notes about the subject’s ability to walk, jump and run when they performed these simulations at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. This helped them get a sense of how reduced gravity might impact an astronaut’s ability to move on the moon.

But before astronauts could walk on the moon’s lower-gravity atmosphere, NASA needed to figure out how to land them there. For this task, NASA and Bell Aerosystems designed the

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Timeline: From Liftoff to Splashdown

Why Civil Rights Activists Protested the Moon Landing

How Many Times Has the U.S. Landed on the Moon?

Watch a preview of Moon Landing: The Lost Tapes. The all-new HISTORY special premieres Sunday, July 14 at 10/9c.

Preview: Moon Landing: The Lost Tapes (; 0:20)

…read more


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The Democrats Plan to Nationalize Land, Democratic Socialism in Action

July 16, 2019 in Economics

By Steve H. Hanke

Steve H. Hanke

A Wall Street Journal editorial of July 10th lays out what the House Democrats’ most recent socialist scheme (H.R.3195 – Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act) is all about. In June, the Democrats who sit on the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R.3195, which is currently winding its way through the House. This bill mandates permanent funding of $900 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) each year. This would be a whopping two and a half times greater than the Fund’s average annual expenditures over the past 15 years. Just what does the LWCF do? The Fund was created in 1964. It is primarily funded by federal oil and gas drilling royalties. Its main activity has been to gobble up private land (read: nationalize) and put it under government ownership, management, and political control. Among other things, this means that the newly nationalized lands will be poorly managed.

The government’s poor land management practices should come as no surprise. After all, Adam Smith diagnosed the problems associated with government ownership of land in his classic treatise, the Wealth of Nations (1776). Smith concluded that “no two characters seem more inconsistent than those of the trader and the sovereign” since people are more prodigal with the wealth of others than with their own. In that vein, he estimated that lands owned by the state were only about 25% as productive as comparable private holdings. Smith believed Europe’s great tracts of crown lands to be “a mere waste and loss of country in respect both of produce and population.”

As the Wall Street Journal indicated, the Democrats in the House are not the only ones who favor more nationalization, political control, and bureaucratic management of land. For example, two Republicans are on board: Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and Montana Senator Steve Daines.

What a difference a few decades make. Indeed, it brings back memories of my work with President Reagan and Nevada’s late, legendary Senator Paul Laxalt in the early 1980s, when I served on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. It was then that President Reagan tasked me with the job of developing a program for the privatization of federal lands. Reagan was in an anti-socialist sell mode, not a socialist buy mode.

The program I developed proposed privatizing commercial grazing lands and timberlands. The president endorsed my program, which was subsequently outlined …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Trump's Asylum Ban Will Only Worsen Problems at the Border

July 16, 2019 in Economics

By David Bier

David Bier

President Trump’s latest effort to undo U.S. asylum law bans
asylum to immigrants who cross through any other country before
entering the United States. As of Tuesday, only immigrants who have
officially lost their asylum bids in another country or have been
victims of “severe” human trafficking can apply for
asylum in the United States if they have traveled through any other

The rule will likely prevent the vast majority of asylum claims.
Regardless of its legality, the rule is bad policy. If it is
implemented as the president envisions, it will create worse
problems than the ones that already exist.

The main problem that the rule is supposed to address is the
large number of people entering the country illegally along the
southwest border with Mexico, but this rule change will not
significantly reduce the number of crossers. It will encourage them
to hide, making them less likely to be caught.

The problem the president
and Congress need to address is the lack of other legal ways to
migrate from Central America. They should not take away immigrants’
only viable option to do so.

Previously, the vast majority of asylum applicants, families and
unaccompanied children sought out Border Patrol agents and turned
themselves in so that they could receive an asylum hearing. So far
this year, fully 70% of Border Patrol “apprehensions”
were of people who were not trying to evade
U.S. government detection, according to Acting Homeland Security
Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

That’s astounding. In the early 2000s, nearly all border crossers tried to sneak into
the country. Today that has become a relatively minor problem. The
share of apprehensions occurring within a mile of the border
has exploded since 2012 because immigrants make
no effort to avoid contact with the government.

Immigrants have largely stopped sneaking in because they have a
rational expectation that they will receive asylum after a lengthy
court process. About 1 in 5will be granted asylum. Even if
their claims fail, they can live and work legally in this country
for years while the process plays out without having to make the
more dangerous treks required to avoid border guards.

From a security perspective, this system is far from ideal. But
overall, it is better than the alternative. Processing asylum
seekers certainly takes time and resources. Rather than having to
chase down and forcibly apprehend them, however, agents can
peacefully process immigrants as if they were waiting at customs at Los Angeles
International Airport. This is safer for the agents and the

Immigrants who request asylum receive medical screenings,
background checks …read more

Source: OP-EDS