Saturday

Montilla (Spain)


Montilla Geography:
  • Town & municipality of southern Spain.
  • Located in the province of Córdoba.
  • Found 32 miles south of the provincial capital, Córdoba.
Montilla Important Facts:
  • Olive oil is an important product in the area.
  • Flavour of the wine of Montilla which gives its name to the sherry Amontillado.
Montilla History:
Image Credit - by Hameryko Wikipedia PublicDomain

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Saint Francis Solanus (Franciscan Monk) 1549-1610


Francis Solanus Demographics:
  • Name - Francis Solanus (Spanish: Francisco Sánchez-Solano Jiménez) pictured opposite.
  • Born - 10 March 1549 (Montilla, near Córdoba, Spain).
  • Died - 14 July 1610 (Lima, Peru)
  • Occupation - Spanish missionary in South America (Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscans).
  • Parents - Matthew Sanchez Solanus & Anna Ximenes.
Francis Solanus Important Facts:
  • At the age of 20 years, he joined the Franciscan Order at Montilla.
  • Solanus was recorded as performing the 16th century miracle of curing a young virgin Joanna Francisca Hurtado of bubonic plague.
  • He was later sent to the convent of Arifazza (as master of novices).
  • Solanis sailed from Spain to the Americas in 1589.
  • He went to Peru on the Pacific side of the Panamanian isthmus.
  • Solanus was said, in 1610, to have predicted the 1618 earthquake of Trujillo, Peru.
  • Solanus also apparently foretold his own death, which occurred in 1610 at Lima, Peru.
  • He was beatified by Pope Clement X in 1675, & later canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.
  • Was a talented violinist-musician as well.
Francis Solanus Evangelical Career:
  • Francis Solanus worked at evangelizing the vast regions of Tucuman (present day northwestern Argentina) & Paraguay.
  • Solanus had a skill for languages & succeeded at learning many of the regions' native tongues in a fairly short period of time.
  • He also played the violin frequently for the natives, this helping as an ice-breaker.
  • Later elected to guardian of the Franciscan convent in Lima, Peru.

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Marchione di Coppo Stefani (Florentine Chronicler)

Marchione di Coppo Stefani Demographics:
  • Name - Marchione di Coppo Stefani
  • Birth - 1336 (Florence)
  • Died - not known
  • Residence - Florence, Italy
  • Nationality - Italian
  • Occupation - Chronicler
Marchione di Coppo Stefani Other Facts:
  • Wrote a first hand account about the 1348 Black Death in Florence (in the Florentine Chronicle).
  • The Florentine Chronicle was written in the late 1370's & early 1380's.
  • The account gave valuable information about:
    • What people did during the plague.
    • How they protected themselves.
    • How they survived.
    • How many people died in Florence (96,000).
  • Without the writings of Stefani, and others, we wouldn’t know as much of the detail about the struggles during the plague.
Marchione di Coppo Stefani Quotes:
"In the year of the Lord 1348 there was a very great pestilence in the city and district of Florence. …. Almost none of the ill survived past the fourth day. Neither physicians nor medicines were effective… there seemed to be no cure. …. And it was not just that men and women died, but even ….dogs, cats, chickens, oxen, donkeys sheep showed the same symptoms and died of the same disease."

"Child abandoned the father, husband the wife, wife the husband, one brother the other, one sister the other.…And those who died had neither confessor nor other sacraments. And many died with no one looking after them. And many died of hunger because when someone took to bed sick, another in the house, terrified, said to him: "I'm going for the doctor." Calmly walking out the door, the other left and did not return again."

"Now it was ordered by the bishop and the Lords [of the city government] that they should formally inquire as to how many died in Florence. When it was seen at the beginning of October that no more persons were dying of the pestilence, they found that among males, females, children and adults, 96,000 died between March and October."

"At every church, or at most of them, they dug deep trenches, down to the waterline, wide and deep, depending on how large the parish was. And those who were responsible for the dead carried them on their backs in the night in which they died and threw them into the ditch, or else they paid a high price to those who would do it for them. The next morning, if there were many [bodies] in the trench, they covered them over with dirt. And then more bodies were put on top of them, with a little more dirt over those; they put layer on layer just like one puts layers of cheese in a lasagna."

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Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA)

LUCA - Important Facts:
  • Also known as the 'Last Universal Ancestor' (LUA); and also cenancestor (from the Greek root cen. together) proposed by Fitch in 1987.
  • The most recent organism from which all living organisms on Earth descend.
  • It is also the 'Most Recent Common Ancestor' (MRCA) of all life on Earth.
  • Estimated to have lived around 3.5 billion - 3.8 billion years ago (Paleoarchean era).
  • New evidence suggests that LUCA may have had a primitive RNA genetic code which would have been more sensitive to increased environmental temperatures compared with DNA. [1]
  • It was only later that DNA was incorporated into the ancestors, perhaps via viruses, allowing cells to survive in more extreme environments.
Was there a LUCA?
  • We do not know.
  • We may never know, because there may not have been a single ancestor.
  • Some experts believe that LUCA may actually be a mess ('cellular mist') of different gene-swapping early cells.
Common Features Found in Living Organisms:
  • Genetic code is based on DNA.
  • Genetic code is expressed via RNA intermediates.
  • Proteins are expressed from the genetic code.
  • The proteins are made from amino acids by translation of an mRNA by ribosomes, tRNA and a group of related proteins.
  • There are only 20 amino acids that are used.
  • ATP is used as an energy intermediate.
  • A lipid bilayer (cell membrane) surrounds the cell.
  • There is a ionic gradient inside the cell for sodium and potassium.
  • The cell can multiply by initially duplicating its contents, followed by cellular division.
References:
  1. Bastien Boussau, Samuel Blanquart, Anamaria Necsulea, Nicolas Lartillot, Manolo Gouy. Parallel adaptations to high temperatures in the Archaean eon. Nature, 2008; 456 (7224): 942 DOI: 10.1038/nature07393

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Alone (Poem by Maya Angelou)


"Alone" Facts:
  • Poem by Maya Angelou (pictured).
  • No human being can live on their own in this world, we all need some other person to share our life with.
  • Maya Angelou, earlier in her life particularly, had to cope with rasicm and other of life's difficulties.
  • This poem reflects about what Maya has learned from her life.
  • She is warning us with the 2 lines 'storm clouds are gathering', and 'the race of man is suffering'.

Alone

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

by Maya Angelou


Alone




Image Credit - by zsrlibrary (cc)

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Kings Play Chess On Funny Green Spaces (Mnemonic)


Kings Play Chess On Funny Green Spaces (KPCOFGS) is another mnemonic for remembering the classification of living organisms. See other Kings Play Chess mnemonics.

Kings - Kingdom
Play - Phylum
Chess - Class
On - Order
Funny - Family
Green - Genus
Spaces - Species

Related Links:

Image - Green Space by Benderish (cc)


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Orange (Citrus Fruit)


Orange Botanical Facts:
  • Name - Citrus aurantium ssp. sinensis, Citrus sinensis
  • Appearance - Small flowering tree.
  • Size - grows to about 10 m tall.
  • Leaves - Evergreen leaves, arranged alternately, of ovate shape with crenulate margins.
  • Fruit - orange fruit is a hesperidium (a type of berry).
  • The fruit of Citrus aurantium ssp. sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange.
Orange History:
  • Now generally believed that oranges originate from Northern or North Eastern India.
  • The orange tree is an ancient hybrid possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and tangerine (Citrus reticulata).
  • The first oranges were brought to Europe by the Moors, probably already available in the 9th century, though these were not sweet oranges.
  • The name is thought to have been derived from the Dravidian & Tamil word for the orange tree, after passing through a number of languages.
Orange - Other Names:
  • Chinese (Cantonese) - Chaang
  • Chinese (Mandarin) - Guang gan, Tian cheng
  • Dutch - Sinaasappel "Chinese apple"
  • German - Apfelsine "China's apple"
  • Hebrew - Tapuz, Tappuah zahav
  • Spanish - Naranja, Naranja china
Orange Varieties:
  • Blood orange
  • Navel orange
  • Persian orange
  • Valencia orange

Inage Credit - by gem66 (cc)

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