Facts about Nearsightedness

 

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common type of refractive error in which close objects appear clear but distant objects appear blurry.

According to a report published in the journal Ophthalmology in 2016, the number of people affected by nearsightedness is rapidly increasing. By 2050, approximately half of the world's population (about 5 million people) is expected to be affected by this condition. Researchers attribute the situation primarily to a rapid change in lifestyle that includes increased use of smartphones, laptop computers, and decreased outdoor activities.

The eye in myopic people is slightly longer from front to back. This means that when you look at a distant object, the light rays will focus in front of your retina rather than on it. As a result, a blurry image is formed and transmitted to the brain, rendering the distant object blurry for you.

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, begins to develop between the ages of 6 and 12. Teenagers' eyeballs continue to grow, so if the child or teen has Myopia, it tends to worsen quickly at this age.

Nearsightedness is characterized by difficulty seeing distant objects or by blurred vision when looking at distant images or objects. You have myopic vision if you can see closely held objects clearly or read books without straining to see things when compared to distant objects. You may have difficulty seeing images or words on notice boards, televisions, and movie screens. As a result, poor work performance or a drop in performance at school and other tasks may result (driving or playing sports).

If you notice that your child squints or frowns when looking at distant objects, complains of headaches, and holds books and other objects close to his or her face, he or she may have Myopia.

Nearsighted children may gravitate toward TV screens or show a lack of interest in sports and other outdoor activities that require clear distance vision.

Take your child to an eye specialist if he is having difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. It is critical to diagnose and treat nearsightedness as soon as possible. It's because, without better visual skills, your child may struggle with schoolwork and other activities that necessitate seeing distant objects.

When you focus on an object for an extended period of time, the focusing muscles in the eyes, also known as the Ciliary muscles, lock up. As a result, your eyes grow longer. Nearsightedness occurs when your eyes are overly elongated.

Myopia can be inherited. This means that if both parents are Myopic, their children are at a higher risk of developing nearsightedness.

According to a study conducted by Kathryn Rose, a visual disorders researcher at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Health Sciences, a lack of sunlight can also cause myopia in children. Another study, conducted by the University of Western Australia, discovered that a lack of outdoor time is a risk factor for the development of nearsightedness.

People who read a lot are more likely to develop nearsightedness.

According to Professor Ian Morgan, a researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, children become nearsighted when they spend more time in front of computers or doing activities such as reading books, watching television, or reading books.

Nearsightedness was found in 31.3% of first-year students in a study conducted by researchers at Complutense University in Spain. On the other hand, 49% of final-year students were nearsighted. According to Dr Rafaela Garrido, the research author, students usually spend a long time doing intensive near work with their eyes. People who use a computer or a microscope are doing a lot of work with their eyes. This causes severe strain on the eye, resulting in nearsightedness.

Several procedures may be used by the eye specialist to determine how your eyes focus light and the power of optical lenses that may be required to correct the problem vision.

The eye doctor will ask you to identify the letters on the chart. This test determines your visual acuity, which is typically expressed as a fraction such as 20/20. The fraction's top number represents the standard distance over which your test was conducted (for instance, 20 feet). The fraction's bottom number represents the smallest letter size that you have read. If your visual acuity is 20/40, you will need to get within 20 feet of a letter or letters that a person with normal vision can see clearly at 40 feet. Normal visual acuity distance is 20/20; however, people may have 20/15 vision, which is obviously better.

A phoropter may also be used by the eye specialist. An optometrist or eye specialist will place several lenses in front of your eyes. A Retinoscope will be used to measure how your eyes focus light. The eye specialist may also use an automated machine to assess your eye's focusing power. The power is then refined based on your eyes' responses to determine the lenses that will provide you with the clearest vision.

Before performing these tests, many eye specialists use eye drops. They may, however, perform this test without using any eye drops. They do this to see how your eyes will react under normal lighting conditions. The eye drops are used to keep your eyes from shifting focus while testing.

Your optometrist will determine whether you have myopia based on the information obtained from the test, as well as the results of other tests. The power of lens correction required for clear vision will also be determined by the optometrist.

Using Eyeglasses: For many people with myopia, this is the primary method of correcting their vision. Depending on the severity of your myopia, your doctor may advise you to wear glasses only for certain activities, such as driving or watching a movie. If you are extremely nearsighted, you may need to wear glasses all of the time.

The doctor will usually prescribe a single-vision lens to provide you with clear vision at all distances. However, if you are over 40 years old, or if the patient is a child or an adult whose myopia is caused by the stress of near-vision work, your eye doctor may recommend a bifocal or a progressive addition lens. These multifocal lenses provide different powers throughout the lens to help you see clearly at all distances.

Contact Lenses: Some people with nearsightedness use contact lenses to improve their vision. Contact lenses have a much wider field of vision than glasses. However, because you will be wearing contact lenses directly on your eyes, it is critical that you take proper care of the lenses to ensure your eye health.

Laser procedures: If you suffer from nearsightedness, your doctor may recommend laser procedures such as LASIK (Laser in-situ Keratomileusis) or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). By removing a small portion of your eye tissue, a laser beam is used to reshape your Cornea. The amount of myopia that these procedures can correct, however, is determined by the amount of corneal tissue that can be safely removed from your eyes.

LASIK involves the removal of tissue from the inner layers of the Cornea by an eye surgeon. The surgeon does this by lifting a section of the outer corneal surface and folding it back to expose the inner tissue. The eye surgeon then uses a laser to remove a certain amount of corneal tissue that is required for reshaping your eye. The flap is then returned to its original position. All of India's top hospitals offer LASIK eye surgery.

In the case of PRK, the doctor uses a laser to remove a thin layer of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to change its shape and refocus light entering your eye.

Facts about El Salvador

 

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is a Central American country. It shares borders with Honduras on the northeast, Guatemala on the northwest, and the Pacific Ocean on the south. San Salvador is El Salvador's capital and largest city.


El Salvador is Central America's smallest country. It has an area of slightly more than 21,000 square kilometers, which is roughly the same as Wales.


El Salvador is the most densely populated country in the Americas, with a population of nearly 7 million people.


It is the only Central American country without a Caribbean coastline.


The official language is Spanish.


El Salvador has tropical weather. May to October is the rainy season, and November to April is the dry season.


On September 15, 1821, El Salvador declared independence from Spain.


64% of the population lives in cities.


It is Central America's third largest economy, trailing only Costa Rica and Panama.


Despite this, nearly one-quarter of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day.


From 1979 to 1992, the country was engulfed in a bloody civil war.


According to some estimates, up to 80,000 people died during the war.


Coffee grown in the western part of the country is famous throughout the world.


Cerro El Pital, at 2,730 meters, is the highest point in the country.


On January 13, 2001, the country experienced its largest earthquake. It had a Richter scale magnitude of 7.7 and caused a tsunami.


Volcano Santa Ana is El Salvador's highest point, rising 2,381 meters above sea level.


Tourism is the Salvadoran economy's fastest growing sector.


Lake Coatepeque is a massive crater lake in western El Salvador.


El Salvador's official currency is the US dollar.


El Salvador's society is conservative.


Salvadorans only use their first names when addressing family and friends.


When you've finished your meal, it's considered polite to leave a small amount of food on your plate.


Friends hug and kiss each other on the right cheek.


Visitors are served first.


Salvadorans enjoy socializing and are friendly and welcoming.


Joya de Ceren is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. When the Laguna Caldera volcano erupted, it buried a pre-hispanic farming community under ash.


Cihuatan, Joya de Ceren, San Andres, Casa Blanca, and Tazumal are the five archaeological parks in El Salvador.


The opening hours and admission fees for all five parks are the same. Tuesday through Sunday, 9.00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Foreign visitors must pay a $3.00 entrance fee.


El Salvador International Airport was named the Best Airport in Central America and the Caribbean Region at the World Airport Awards in 2014.


The airport, also known as Comalapa International Airport and Cuscatlan International Airport, is Central America's third busiest.


The country is well-known for its surfing.


The region is known as the "Land of Volcanoes" because it contains more than twenty volcanoes. Two of them are currently in use.


Salvadorans are referred to as "guanacos."


El Salvador's staple foods are tortillas, rice, and beans.


Metrocentro is Central America's largest shopping mall. It was built in 1970 and is based in San Salvador.


Despite the country's tropical climate, snow has been seen on Cerro El Pital's peak.


El Salvador has one of the highest cell phone densities in the world, with 125 phones per 100 people!


Playa El Tunco's beach destination has some of the best sunsets in the world!


The national soccer team has participated in two Fifa World Cups. The first time was in 1970, and the second time was in 1982.


Because of its beautiful beaches, the country has hosted international surfing competitions.


Magico Gonzales, a Salvadoran soccer player, is widely regarded as one of the best players in history.


El Salvador has never won a medal at the Olympics.


El Salvador has lost nearly 85% of its forest cover since the 1960s.


Its primary forest area is less than 6,000 hectares.


Worryingly, more than half of the country is unsuitable for food cultivation.


El Salvador's national bird is the Torogoz, also known as the turquoise-browed motmot. We saw a lot of birds in Belize, but no motmots in El Salvador.


El Salvador's coast is home to four different species of sea turtles.


On chicken buses, music is blasting at full volume. It can be so loud that you have to shout to be heard by the person next to you!


In 1969, El Salvador launched a military attack on Honduras. This coincided with rioting between the two countries during a FIFA World Cup qualifier. The war was short-lived, and the conflict became known as the 100-Hour War. It's also known as the Football War, despite the fact that it had nothing to do with soccer!


In Spanish, the name El Salvador means "the Savior."


The white stripe on the country's flag represents peace, while the blue stripes represent the sea.


Up to the ninth grade, education is free.


El Salvador's official name is the Republic of El Salvador.


El Salvador's capital city is San Salvador.


It is one of only a few countries that still cultivates indigo.


It is estimated that there are up to three million Salvadorans living in the United States of America.


El Salvador is bounded by Guatemala and Honduras.


El Salvador is primarily a Roman Catholic country.


It has one of the world's highest murder rates.


Facts about Dinosaurs

 

Dinosaurs are a type of reptile that has existed on Earth for approximately 245 million years.


Sir Richard Owen, an English naturalist, coined the term Dinosauria in 1842, derived from the Greek deinos, which means "fearfully great," and sauros, which means "lizard."


Fossils of dinosaurs have been discovered on all seven continents.


All non-avian dinosaurs became extinct approximately 66 million years ago.


There are approximately 700 known extinct dinosaur species.


Because they share a common ancestor with non-avian dinosaurs, modern birds are a type of dinosaur.


Paleontologists are like detectives who investigate the evidence left behind by extinct animals. Fossils—the ancient remains of an organism, such as teeth, bone, or shell—or evidence of animal activity, such as footprints and trackways, contain clues to what dinosaurs were like.


All of our knowledge of non-avian dinosaurs comes from fossils, which include bones, teeth, footprints, tracks, eggs, and skin impressions. People all over the world have been discovering amazing fossilized bones and footprints for centuries. Early discoveries sparked legends and fairy tales, with people believing the bones belonged to giants or huge monsters.


Barnum Brown, who began his career at the American Museum of Natural History in 1897, is regarded by some as one of the greatest dinosaur hunters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1897, he began his career at the American Museum of Natural History. Many of his most important discoveries, including the first Tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever discovered, are on display in the Museum's dinosaur halls.


Paleontologists now use new technologies to solve unanswered questions about dinosaurs and other fossils, in addition to patience and keen observation skills. CT scans, for example, enable paleontologists to see the three-dimensional structure of fossils without having to remove the matrix.


Paleontologists incorporate biomechanics research, using physics and engineering principles to reconstruct the biological movement of non-avian dinosaurs. Scientists can model how non-avian dinosaurs may have moved using information from fossil bones as well as observations of the movement and musculature of living animal species.


During the Triassic Period, the first known dinosaurs appeared (approximately 250 to 200 million ago). Dinosaurs evolved into a diverse group of animals with a wide range of physical characteristics, including modern birds.


Contrary to popular belief, dinosaurs did not all live during the same geological period. Stegosaurus, for example, lived around 150 million years ago during the Late Jurassic Period. Tyrannosaurus rex lived around 72 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. Stegosaurus had been extinct for 66 million years before Tyrannosaurus walked the Earth's surface.


During the Mesozoic Era (more than 180 million years, including the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods), a non-avian dinosaur evolved into an avian dinosaur. This avian dinosaur was the first bird and forerunner to all other birds. Non-avian dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago.


There are several hypotheses as to what caused the mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs and other species at the end of the Cretaceous Period. It is almost certain that a massive asteroid or comet collided with Earth during this time period, causing a dramatic shift in the Earth's climate. Some scientists believe that this impact had catastrophic effects on Earth's life. Other factors, such as rising sea levels and large-scale volcanic activity, may have also played a role in this mass extinction.


Paleontologists use fossil evidence preserved in ancient rock to learn about the lives and behaviors of long-extinct animals.


In most cases, a fossilized bone is a mineralized rock with no trace of the original bone material.


The discovery of dinosaur eggs and nests provided evidence for some dinosaur behavior.


Paleontologists can learn about the growth of some dinosaurs by comparing the skulls of Protoceratops of different ages (as shown in the image above).


Paleontologists look for clues preserved in ancient rocks to learn about ancient organisms' lives, such as fossilized bones, teeth, eggs, footprints, teeth marks, leaves, and even dung.


Jaws, teeth, and dung provide important information about what non-avian dinosaurs ate.


Trackways, or series of fossilized footprints, reveal some intriguing evidence about dinosaur behavior and locomotion.


Until recently, feathers were thought to be unique to birds. Recent discoveries, on the other hand, have revealed evidence for feathered non-avian dinosaurs.


Paleontologists searching for dinosaur fossils begin by surveying areas for Mesozoic-era sedimentary rock. Finding the ideal location necessitates experience and a keen eye.


Fieldwork accounts for only a small portion of what paleontologists do. They also work in the lab, where they examine the specimens they've discovered as well as fossils collected years ago. They devote a significant amount of time to classifying specimens, examining their characteristics, and determining biological relationships.


Tyrannosaurus and other theropod dinosaurs had teeth that were pointed, slightly curved backwards, and serrated. The serrations helped slice the meat by catching and tearing muscle fibers as the sharp points pierced it. Meat eaters ate whole chunks of meat rather than chopping or grinding it.


Plant-eating dinosaurs had teeth of various shapes that were tailored to their diets. For example, Triceratops had hundreds of teeth that formed a solid "wall" with sharp ridges. The teeth were used to cut vegetation off. Anatotitan and other plant eaters had wide flat teeth that they used to grind up tough vegetation. Long-necked dinosaurs, such as Diplodocus, had long pencil-like teeth for raking leaves off branches. The dinosaurs ate the leaves whole. They also ingested small stones known as gastroliths, which were most likely used to grind up food in their stomachs, much like modern birds such as parakeets and chickens do today.


Scientists can estimate the height of a dinosaur based on a single footprint. Multiplying the print length by four yields a rough estimate of leg length.


A footprint can also reveal information about the type of dinosaur that left it. A three-toed, sharp-clawed footprint indicates that the creator was most likely a theropod—typically a carnivore. A three-toed print with rounded toes belonged to an ornithopod dinosaur, which was a herbivore. And pairs of unequal-sized prints were most likely created by sauropods, a group of herbivorous dinosaurs with four legs, long necks, and long tails.


Avian dinosaurs, or modern birds, have skeletal features that are nearly identical to some non-avian dinosaurs.


Feathers evolved before flight and could have served as insulation to keep dinosaurs warm or as a means of display to attract mates.


Facts about ISIS

 

It began as a splinter group of al Qaeda.


Also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Syria (IS).


ISIS seeks to establish an Islamic state known as a caliphate across Iraq, Syria, and beyond.


The group uses Sharia Law, which is rooted in eighth-century Islam, to create a society that reflects the region's ancient past.


ISIS promotes reactionary politics and religious fundamentalism through modern tools such as social media. As their leaders preach a return to the early days of Islam, fighters destroy holy sites and valuable antiquities.


ISIS earns money through oil production and smuggling, taxes, ransoms from kidnappings, the sale of stolen artifacts, extortion, and crop control.


The group announced that the leader of ISIS has been Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi since March 2022, but this is thought to be an assumed name. Al-Qurashi ascended to the throne following the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who served as leader from 2019 until his death in February 2022.


Abu Musab al-Zarqawi establishes al Qaeda in Iraq in 2004. (AQI).


2006 - Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Zarqawi, attempts to incite a sectarian war against the Shia majority.


Zarqawi is killed in a US strike on June 7, 2006. Abu Ayyub al-Masri succeeds him as AQI leader.


Masri announces the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and appoints Abu Omar al-Baghdadi as its leader in October 2006.


After Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Masri are killed in a joint US-Iraqi operation in April 2010, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi takes over as leader of the ISI.


April 2013 – ISI announces the incorporation of Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda-backed militant group in Syria. Baghdadi claims that his organization will now be known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).


ISIS seizes control of Falluja in January 2014.


After months of infighting between al-Nusra Front and ISIS, Al Qaeda renounces its ties to ISIS on February 3, 2014.


According to the London-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIS kidnaps more than 140 Kurdish schoolboys in Syria and forces them to study radical Islamic theology.


ISIS seizes Mosul and Tikrit on June 9-11, 2014.


ISIS seizes control of Al-Qaim, a border town with Syria, as well as three other Iraqi towns on June 21, 2014.


June 28, 2014 – Iraqi Kurdistan restricts refugee border crossings into the region.


June 29, 2014 – ISIS declares the establishment of an Islamic caliphate (Islamic state) that abolishes all state borders, making Baghdadi the self-proclaimed ruler of the world's estimated 1.5 billion Muslims. The group also announces a rebranding as the Islamic State (IS).


June 30, 2014 – The Pentagon announces that the United States will send an additional 300 troops to Iraq, bringing the total number of US troops in the country to nearly 800. Troops and military advisers are sent to Iraq to assist Iraqi security forces and to protect the US Embassy and Baghdad International Airport.


ISIS seizes Syria's largest oilfield and a gas field in Homs Province in July 2014, storming the facility and killing dozens of workers. Militants seize control of a 90-mile stretch of Syrian towns stretching from Deir Ezzor to the Iraqi border. They blow up Jonah's tomb in Mosul, a holy site dating back to the eighth century BC.


ISIS fighters launch an attack on the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, which is home to the Yazidis, a religious minority group. Over 30,000 Yazidi families have become stranded in the Sinjar Mountains. According to a Yazidi lawmaker, 500 men have been killed, 70 children have died from thirst, and women are being sold into slavery.


Two US jet fighters bomb ISIS artillery units in Iraq on August 8, 2014. If necessary, US President Barack Obama authorizes "targeted airstrikes" to protect US personnel and prevent potential genocide against minority groups.


ISIS posts a video of the beheading of US journalist James Foley, who has been missing in Syria since 2012.


ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff on September 2, 2014. The apparent executioner has the same British accent as the man who allegedly murdered Foley.


September 11, 2014 – The CIA announces that the number of ISIS fighters may be three times higher than previously estimated.


ISIS posts a video showing the apparent execution of British aid worker David Haines on September 13, 2014.


The United States conducts airstrikes against ISIS on September 23, 2014.


ISIS releases a video showing the apparent beheading of British hostage Alan Henning on October 3, 2014.


On November 3, 2014, the Iraqi government announced that ISIS militants had executed 322 members of a Sunni tribe.


The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria concludes that ISIS committed war crimes and crimes against humanity on November 14, 2014.


ISIS posts a video purporting to show a dead American hostage, Peter Kassig, on November 16, 2014.


According to US diplomatic officials, coalition airstrikes have killed an estimated 6,000 ISIS fighters.


January 24, 2015 - An ISIS video and audio appear to show the beheaded body of Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa.


ISIS releases a video purporting to show the decapitated body of a second Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto, on January 31, 2015.


ISIS appears to have posted video and still images of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh being burned alive while imprisoned in a cage on February 3, 2015.


Jordanian fighter jets launch airstrikes over Syria, reportedly targeting ISIS training camps as well as arms and ammunition depots in Raqqa. ISIS claims that the airstrikes killed American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller the next day. ISIS posts a picture of a collapsed building and claims Mueller is buried beneath it.


Mueller's family announces her death on February 10, 2015, after receiving confirmation from ISIS, and includes a photo of her wrapped in a burial shroud.


Obama asks the US Congress to formally authorize the use of military force against ISIS on February 11, 2015.


ISIS releases a video in which militants appear to behead more than a dozen Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach on February 15, 2015. The following day, Egyptian warplanes attack ISIS targets in Libya.


ISIS releases a video purporting to show at least 21 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in cages being carried down Iraqi streets on February 22, 2015.


February 26, 2015 - Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Londoner, has been identified as Jihadi John, the disguised man with a British accent who appeared in ISIS videos as the executioner of Western hostages. ISIS releases a video of its fighters destroying antiquities at the Mosul Museum on the same day.


ISIS posts images of a man being thrown off a building in Raqqa, Syria, in March 2015. He was accused of being gay. There have been at least a half-dozen documented cases of ISIS killing gay men.


ISIS releases 19 Christian prisoners on March 1, 2015. Except for one, they are said to be from a group of 220 Assyrians apprehended in northern Syria.


March 7, 2015 - Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based radical Islamic group, pledges allegiance to ISIS in an audio message purportedly from leader Abubakar Shekau. After a few days, an ISIS spokesman claims the caliphate has spread to Western Africa.


Iraqi forces retake the majority of Tikrit on March 12, 2015. ISIS blows up the Iraqi army headquarters north of Ramadi in western Iraq, killing at least 40 Iraqi soldiers.


Iraqi forces, aided by Shiite militiamen, seize full control of Tikrit on April 1, 2015.


According to Iraqi Kurdistan officials, ISIS has released over 200 Yazidi women and children, as well as the sick and elderly.


ISIS releases a video purporting to show militants beheading two groups of prisoners in Libya on April 19, 2015. According to the Ethiopian government, 30 of the victims were Ethiopian citizens.


According to US officials, a key ISIS leader was killed during a US Special Operations raid in Syria on May 16, 2015. His wife is apprehended, and the raid yields valuable information about ISIS's structure and communications.


May 17, 2015 – ISIS seizes control of Ramadi, the largest city in western Iraq, following the withdrawal of government security forces from a military base.


May 21, 2015 – ISIS seizes control of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Syria. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it was the last border crossing between Syria and Iraq under Syrian control.


The US State Department issues its annual terrorism report on June 19, 2015, declaring that ISIS is becoming a greater threat than al Qaeda. According to the report, the frequency and ferocity of ISIS attacks are concerning.


June 24, 2015 – According to the Syrian government, ISIS militants have destroyed two Muslim holy sites in Palmyra. The group allegedly attacked a 500-year-old shrine as well as a tomb where a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed's cousin was buried.


A gunman kills at least 38 people at a beachfront Tunisian hotel on June 26, 2015, and a bomb kills at least 27 people at a mosque in Kuwait. The attacks have been claimed by ISIS.


ISIS launches simultaneous attacks on five Egyptian military checkpoints on July 1, 2015, killing 17 Egyptian soldiers and injuring 30 others. The Egyptian military claims that 100 terrorists have been killed in the fighting.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports receiving a video showing ISIS militants executing 25 captives in Palmyra on July 4, 2015.


July 17, 2015 – As Iraqis in Khan Bani Saad celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Ramadan fast, ISIS detonates an ice truck bomb in a crowded marketplace, killing at least 120 people and injuring at least 140 more.


ISIS destroys Palmyra's nearly 2,000-year-old Baalshamin temple in August 2015. The destruction of the temple is considered a "war crime" by UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural organization.


The Obama administration announces the deployment of US Special Operations forces to join the fight against ISIS in northern Syria on October 30, 2015. According to the White House, fewer than 50 troops will be deployed to Syria. An additional 450 American troops will be sent to Syria over the next 14 months to help train local anti-ISIS forces.


The Pentagon announces a remote control drone strike targeting Emwazi, also known as "Jihadi John," on November 12, 2015. ISIS later confirms Emwazi's death.


On November 12, 2015, two suicide bombers detonated in the Bourj al-Barajneh district of southern Beirut, killing over 40 people and injuring hundreds more. The attack has been claimed by ISIS.


After two days of fighting, Kurdish forces liberate the Iraqi town of Sinjar from ISIS on November 13, 2015. The Kurds had the support of coalition air power.


On November 13, 2015, three teams of ISIS suicide bombers with guns attacked six locations in Paris, killing at least 130 people and injuring 494 others.


December 10, 2015 – A US-led coalition spokesman confirms that ISIS Finance Minister Abu Saleh was killed in an airstrike in late November in Iraq.


According to an Iraqi military spokesman, Iraqi troops retake the city of Ramadi from ISIS on December 28, 2015.


ISIS releases a video purporting to show the final messages of the Paris attackers on January 24, 2016.


Multiple attacks in Homs and southern Damascus kill at least 122 people and injure many more, according to Syria's state-run SANA news agency. ISIS has taken responsibility.


March 22, 2016 – Attacks on a Brussels airport and a subway station kill over 30 people and injure over 270 more. ISIS claims the attacks were carried out by its "fighters."


The Pentagon confirms the death of ISIS' finance minister, Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, on March 25, 2016.


June 26, 2016 – A senior Iraqi general declares on state television that the battle for Falluja is over, as Iraqi troops retake the city's final ISIS stronghold.


On June 28, 2016, three attackers arrive in a taxi at Turkey's Istanbul Ataturk Airport, open fire, and then blow themselves up, killing at least 44 people and injuring more than 230. US officials believe Akhmed Chatayev, a terrorist from Russia's North Caucasus region and a well-known ISIS lieutenant, directed the three attackers.


On July 1-2, 2016, attackers stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in a diplomatic enclave of Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital. Before authorities raid the restaurant and end the nearly 11-hour standoff, gunmen kill 20 hostages and two police officers. Although ISIS claims responsibility for the attack, Bangladeshi officials claim it was carried out by homegrown militants. After photos purportedly showing the inside of the cafe and dead hostages were posted on an ISIS-affiliated website, US officials focused on ISIS as the perpetrator.


On July 3, 2016, a suicide car bomb detonates in Baghdad's busy shopping district, killing at least 292 people and injuring 200 more. It is Iraq's deadliest single attack since 2003. ISIS has taken responsibility.


ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani was killed in the Aleppo area of Syria, according to a statement from the terror group and its Amaq news agency. Without confirming Adnani's death, the Pentagon confirms that coalition forces conducted an airstrike targeting him in al Bab, Syria.


September 16, 2016 – Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirms that a US air strike targeted and killed ISIS's chief spokesman, Wael Adel Salman, aka Abu Muhammad al-Furqan. According to Cook, Salman was the ISIS minister of information, in charge of overseeing the production of "terrorist propaganda videos showing torture and executions."


October 17, 2016 – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issues a televised statement announcing the start of the mission to retake Mosul, Iraq's last remaining ISIS stronghold.


Suicide bombers attack sleeping cadets at a police training academy in Pakistan on October 24, 2016, killing 61 and injuring 117. ISIS claims responsibility, releasing a photo of the three alleged attackers, but Pakistani military leaders believe the attack was carried out by a Pakistan-based group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.


ISIS claims responsibility for two deadly bombings targeting Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday. The blasts have killed at least 49 people and injured 119 others.


The US military drops its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on an ISIS compound in Afghanistan on April 13, 2017. An Afghan official later told CNN that the blast killed 94 militants.


May 26-28, 2017 - More than 200 civilians are killed by ISIS militants in Mosul, according to the UN.


May 26, 2017 - Buses carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt are attacked by assailants, who fatally shoot at least 29. ISIS claims responsibility.


July 10, 2017 - Mosul is liberated from ISIS.


October 17, 2017 - ISIS loses control of its self-declared capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa. US-backed forces fighting in Raqqa say “major military operations” have ended, though there are still pockets of resistance in the city.


The Pentagon announces that there are 5,200 American troops in Iraq and 2,000 troops in Syria as of December 6, 2017. According to the Pentagon, troop levels are declining as Iraqi and Syrian Democratic Forces liberate approximately 97% of the territory and people in ISIS's declared caliphate.


The Iraqi military claims to have "fully liberated" all of Iraq's territory from "ISIS terrorist gangs" and retaken full control of the Iraqi-Syrian border. It took more than three years and approximately 25,000 coalition airstrikes to defeat ISIS in Iraq.


According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Syria, at least 166 people were killed in a suicide bombing and other attacks in the southern Syrian province of Suwayda on July 25, 2018. ISIS has taken responsibility.


ISIS claims to have released an audio message from Baghdadi on August 23, 2018. In the 55-minute video, a man admits that ISIS groups are losing and urges his followers to keep fighting.


According to provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani, the leader of ISIS in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed Orakzai, and ten other ISIS fighters were killed in an airstrike in Nangarhar province on August 25, 2018.


December 19, 2018 – With a tweet falsely claiming that ISIS has been defeated, US President Donald Trump sets the stage for a rapid withdrawal of American troops from Syria. Although coalition forces have been successful in retaking territory once controlled by ISIS, militants still control a small swath of land near the Euphrates River. Estimates of how many ISIS fighters remain in Syria vary. According to a Defense Department inspector general report, the number of ISIS members in Iraq and Syria could be as high as 30,000.


On January 16, 2019, a deadly explosion in the Syrian city of Manbij kills four Americans and at least ten others. The attack has been claimed by ISIS.


March 23, 2019 – The Syrian Democratic Forces declare that ISIS has lost its last stronghold in Syria, effectively ending the so-called caliphate declared in 2014.


April 2019 - ISIS claims to have released a new video message from Baghdadi for the first time in five years.


The Pentagon issues a report claiming that ISIS is "resurrecting" in Syria on August 6, 2019. Glenn Fine, the principal deputy inspector general, writes in an accompanying message to the report, "The reduction of US forces has decreased the support available for Syrian partner forces at a time when their forces require more training and equipping to respond to the ISIS resurgence."


October 31, 2019 – ISIS issues an audio message confirming Baghdadi's death and naming al-Qurashi as its new leader.


January 5, 2020 – The US-led military coalition fighting ISIS announces that it will temporarily suspend counter-ISIS operations to focus on protecting Iraqi bases and coalition forces from Iranian-backed militias.


On July 21, 2020, the US military launches an airstrike against ISIS fighters in Somalia. The fighters had attacked local forces backed by the US and advised by US troops.


In a counterterrorism mission in northwest Syria on February 2, 2022, US Special Forces kill ISIS leader al-Qurayshi.


July 12, 2022 – A drone strike in northwest Syria kills Maher al-Agal, the leader of ISIS in Syria.


On October 6, 2022, US forces assassinate Abu 'Ala, the deputy leader of ISIS in Syria, and Abu Mu'Ad al-Qahtani, an ISIS official in charge of prisoner affairs. The airstrike comes one day after an ISIS smuggler is killed in a US raid.


Facts about Tobacco

 

Tobacco is the common name for several plants in the genus Nicotiana of the Solanaceae family, as well as the umbrella term for any product made from the cured leaves of these plants. There are over 70 tobacco species known, but the most important commercial crop is N. tabacum. N is the more potent variant. In some countries, rustica is also used.


Tobacco contains both nicotine, a highly addictive stimulant alkaloid, and harmala alkaloids. Tobacco use is a cause or risk factor for a wide range of fatal diseases, particularly those affecting the heart, liver, and lungs, as well as many cancers. Tobacco use was named the world's leading preventable cause of death by the World Health Organization in 2008.


Dried tobacco leaves are primarily used for smoking in cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and shishas. They are also available in snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, and snus form.


The tobacco epidemic is one of the most serious public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people each year, including approximately 1.2 million deaths from second-hand smoke exposure.


Tobacco in all forms is harmful, and there is no safe level of tobacco exposure. Cigarette smoking is the most common type of tobacco use in the world. Waterpipe tobacco, various smokeless tobacco products, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis, and kreteks are examples of other tobacco products.


Over 80% of the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries, which bear the greatest burden of tobacco-related illness and death. Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending away from necessities like food and shelter and toward tobacco. 


Tobacco use has significant economic costs, including significant health-care costs for treating diseases caused by tobacco use, as well as lost human capital due to tobacco-attributable morbidity and mortality.


The smoke emitted from the burning end of a cigarette or other smoked tobacco products (such as bidis and water-pipes) and the smoke exhaled by the smoker constitute second-hand tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals, and there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.


The Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) has concluded, based on scientific evidence, that 100% smoke-free environments are the only proven way to adequately protect people's health from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke. Smoke-free laws are popular because they protect the health of nonsmokers while also encouraging smokers to quit.


Tobacco kills up to half of those who use it.


Every year, tobacco kills over 8 million people. More than 7 million of those deaths are caused by direct tobacco use, while approximately 1.2 million are caused by nonsmokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.


More than 80% of the world's 1.3 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.


In 2020, 22.3% of the global population, 36.7% of men, and 7.8% of women used tobacco.


In 2003, WHO Member States adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to combat the tobacco epidemic. This treaty has currently been ratified by 182 countries.


The WHO MPOWER measures are consistent with the WHO FCTC and have been shown to save lives as well as reduce costs associated with avoided healthcare expenditure.


Tobacco taxes are the most cost-effective way in many countries to reduce tobacco use and health-care costs, particularly among youth and low-income people, while increasing revenue. The tax increases must be significant enough to cause prices to rise faster than income growth. Tobacco price increases of 10% reduce tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and about 5% in low- and middle-income countries.


Tax evasion and avoidance undermine the efficacy of tobacco control policies, particularly higher tobacco taxes. Tobacco companies and others frequently argue that high tobacco product taxes lead to tax evasion. However, experience from many countries shows that even when tobacco taxes and prices are raised, illicit trade can be successfully addressed.


When tobacco users learn about the dangers of smoking, the majority of them want to quit. However, nicotine in tobacco products is highly addictive, and without cessation support, only 4% of smokers who try to quit will succeed. Professional assistance and proven cessation medications can more than double a tobacco user's chances of quitting successfully.


Facts about Oregon

 

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is bordered by Washington, Nevada, Idaho, and California. To the west, Oregon is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. With 98,381 square miles, Oregon is the ninth largest state in the United States. It is the 27th most populous state, with approximately 3,899,353 residents, and the 39th most densely populated state in the United States. Native Americans lived in the area prior to European settlement. It is believed that English and Spanish explorers visited the area in the 1500s, and Captain Robert Gray claimed the area for the United States in 1792. The British and Americans shared control of the area until the Oregon Treaty in 1846, when Britain relinquished all claims. Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state in 1859.


Interesting Facts about Oregon:


The origins of the name Oregon are unknown, but one theory is that it is derived from the French word ouragan, which means "hurricane." Another theory is that the name refers to a mythical western river called Ouragon.


The Beaver State is Oregon's state nickname.


The state motto of Oregon is Alis volat Propriis, which translates as "She Flies on Her Own Wings."


'Oregon, My Oregon' is the state song of Oregon.


Oregonians are people who live in Oregon.


Oregon's capital city is Salem, and its largest city is Portland.


The only state flag with designs on both sides is Oregon's. It was made official in 1925.


The western meadowlark is the state bird of Oregon, and the Oregon swallowtail butterfly is the state insect.


The American beaver is the state animal of Oregon, and the Chinook salmon is the state fish.


The Oregon grape is the state flower of Oregon, and the Douglas fir is the state tree.


Oregon's state mushroom is the Pacific golden chanterelle, and the state nut is the hazelnut.


The Snake River, John Day River, Willamette River, Deschutes River, and Columbia River are all major rivers in Oregon.


Crater Lake and Upper Klamath Lake are two of Oregon's most important lakes.


Timber, paper, mining, electronics, and computer equipment are all major industries in Oregon.


Wheat, cattle, onions, seed, peppermint oil, and Christmas trees are all important crops in Oregon.


Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state in the United States.


Many windsurfers believe that the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon is the best place in the world to practice their sport.


Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States, formed by the remains of an ancient volcano.


Only Oregon and New Jersey do not have self-service gas stations.


The International Rose Test Garden in Oregon has over 500 different types of roses that have been grown continuously since 1917.


The Seaside Aquarium in Oregon was the first in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity.


Hells Canyon in Oregon has the deepest river gorge in North America. It's 8,000 feet down.


Florence, Oregon is home to the world's largest sea cave. It was found in 1880.


Valentine's Day and Oregon's state birthday both fall on February 14th.


Facts about Fall

 

Autumn is one of the four temperate seasons on Earth. It is also known as fall in American and Canadian English. Outside of the tropics, autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, occurring in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphere) (Southern Hemisphere). Autumn is the season when the daylight hours become noticeably shorter and the temperature drops significantly. As the season progresses until the Winter Solstice in December (Northern Hemisphere) and June (Southern Hemisphere), day length decreases and night length increases (Southern Hemisphere). One of its most noticeable features in temperate climates is the dramatic change in color of deciduous tree leaves as they prepare to shed.


Fall is the only season that has two names: spring, summer, and winter each have only one, whereas fall is also known as autumn. The season also had a third name in 12th and 13th century Middle English: "haerfest," which was the act of taking in crops. It was eventually dubbed "harvest" because the full moon closest to the autumn equinox is known as the harvest moon.


Because there is less sunlight in autumn, the days are shorter and the nights are longer.


Autumn begins with the Autumn Equinox. Autumn lasts until December's Winter Solstice. 


On the Autumn Equinox, the sun rises perfectly in the east and sets perfectly in the west.


Seasons are opposite in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. In the Southern Hemisphere, this means that autumn begins in March.


Autumn does not exist for people who live near the equator. The temperature remains nearly constant throughout the year.


The harvest moon occurs near the Autumn Equinox. Its bright moonlight assisted farmers in harvesting crops before electricity was available.


The weather cools down in autumn. This is why it is referred to as "sweater weather."


Trick-or-Treating was inspired by a medieval tradition. People would dress up in spooky costumes and put on entertaining performances in exchange for treats. The eerie costumes were also thought to confuse and repel demons.


Scarecrows have been used to protect crops for thousands of years.


The first frost can arrive in autumn. This is when water from the air falls to the ground and freezes. A frosty morning foreshadows how lovely the upcoming winter weather will be.


Acorns are oak tree fruits that contain a single seed. They begin to fall in September and October.


Animals alter their behavior in the autumn to prepare for winter.


Hibernating animals such as bears, bats, skunks, chipmunks, and groundhogs will consume a large amount of food. Their extra body fat keeps them warm and gives them energy.


Snakes look for dens to live in during the winter in the autumn. To keep warm, different types of snakes will even share a den.


Furry animals' fur thickens in autumn to keep them warm during the winter. This is referred to as their winter coat.


Fall is a busy time for bees. They must produce and store enough honey for the winter.


In the autumn, monarch butterflies will migrate from the United States to Mexico.


During the autumn season, you may notice more spiders, which may appear larger. That's because the spring-hatched baby spiders have matured. Spiders are more active and scampering around during their mating season in autumn.


Owls hoot louder in the fall as they look for a place to nest during the winter.


When squirrels hide nuts for the winter, their brains grow larger. This aids in their memory of where they hide their food.


All of the hidden nuts that squirrels can't find contribute to forest regeneration.


Bodies of water begin to cool down in the autumn. Fish can begin to explore areas of water that have been too warm all summer.


In the autumn, birds migrate to warmer climates. They migrate because cold weather means fewer seeds and insects to eat.


Trees that lose their leaves in the fall have a unique name. They are known as deciduous trees.


The chemical chlorophyll gives leaves their green color. In autumn, leaves receive less sunlight and stop producing chlorophyll.


The leaves finally turn their true colors in autumn. In the spring and summer, the true colors are hidden behind the green.


Because of the sugar, autumn leaves are also different colors. Sugar from the tree accumulates in the leaves. More sugar results in more vibrant red and purple colors.


Fall leaf colors are caused by the same pigments that give vegetables their various colors, such as orange carrots.


Climate change also has an impact on leaves. They do not change colors as quickly if the temperature remains too high.


It is beneficial to spend time in the presence of trees. Spend some time admiring the beautiful autumn leaf colors or stepping on crunchy dry leaves.


The dead leaves on the ground protect seeds during the winter. They also aid in the protection of underground bee nests.


Pumpkins are used to commemorate autumn. Many people enjoy eating pumpkin pie, going to pumpkin patches, carving pumpkins, and smelling pumpkin-spice scented candles.


Many popular fall fruits contain a lot of air. This explains why pumpkins, apples, and cranberries float in water.


Pumpkins are squash, and all squashes are fruits. That means pumpkins are actually a type of fruit.


Apples are a popular fall fruit because they are harvested in late summer and early autumn.


Flowers give rise to pumpkins.


Cranberries are another popular autumn fruit. Farmers flood the cranberry field to harvest the berries. The water is stirred and the berries are knocked off the vine using special equipment. The cranberries then float to the surface.


The Autumn Equinox occurs around September 22nd and marks the beginning of the days becoming shorter than the nights.


Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is celebrated in October or November with family and friends gathering around food and fireworks.


Indigenous Peoples Day honors and celebrates Native Americans and all they have contributed to American culture.


Halloween originated as an ancient harvest season celebration.


Carving pumpkins evolved from an Irish tradition of carving turnips or potatoes. The tradition was brought to America by Irish immigrants.


The first Thanksgiving was three days long. The first Thanksgiving was held to commemorate the first successful corn harvest of the pilgrims.


Facts about Isabel Allende

 

Isabel Angélica Allende Llona (born 2 August 1942 in Lima) is a Chilean writer. Allende, whose works occasionally contain elements of the genre magical realism, is best known for commercially successful novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espritus, 1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias, 2002). Allende has been dubbed "the world's most widely read Spanish-language author." She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004, and she received Chile's National Literature Prize in 2010. President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.


Allende's novels are frequently based on her personal experience and historical events, and they pay homage to women's lives while weaving elements of myth and realism together. She has lectured and toured many colleges in the United States to teach literature. Allende, who speaks English fluently, was granted US citizenship in 1993 after living in California since 1989, first with her American husband (from whom she is now divorced).


Allende was born in Lima, Peru, to Francisca Llona Barros (the daughter of Agustn Llona Cuevas and Isabel Barros Moreira, both of Portuguese descent) and Tomás Allende, a second secretary at the Chilean embassy at the time. Her father was a first cousin of Chilean President Salvador Allende, who served from 1970 to 1973.


Isabel's mother moved to Santiago, Chile, with her three children in 1945, after Tomás had abandoned them. Allende's mother married Ramón Huidobro in 1953, and the family moved frequently after that. Huidobro served as a diplomat in Bolivia and Beirut. Allende attended an American private school in Bolivia and an English private school in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1958, the family returned to Chile, where Allende was briefly home-schooled. She read a lot when she was younger, especially William Shakespeare.


Huidobro was appointed ambassador to Argentina by Salvador Allende in 1970.


Allende completed her secondary education in Chile and met engineering student Miguel Fras, whom she married in 1962. They were the parents of two children, a son and a daughter.


"Allende married young, into an Anglophile family and a kind of double life: at home, she was the obedient wife and mother of two; in public, she became, after a spell translating Barbara Cartland, a moderately well-known TV personality, a dramatist, and a journalist on a feminist magazine," according to the article.


Allende worked for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Santiago, then in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe, from 1959 to 1965. She also worked as a romance novel translator from English to Spanish for a short time in Chile. She was fired, however, for making unauthorized changes to the heroines' dialogue in order to make them sound more intelligent, as well as changing the Cinderella ending in order to allow the heroines to find more independence and do good in the world.


Paula, Allende and Fras's daughter, was born in 1963 and died in 1992. Allende returned to Chile in 1966, the year her son Nicolás was born.


Salvador Allende was deposed in a coup led by General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Isabel found herself arranging safe passage for people on "wanted lists," which she did until her mother and stepfather were assassinated. When she was added to the list and received death threats, she fled to Venezuela, where she remained for 13 years. During this time, Allende wrote her first novel, The House of the Spirits (1982). "I don't think I would have been a writer if I had stayed in Chile," Allende said, "because I would have been trapped in the chores, in the family, in the person that people expected me to be." Allende believed that because she was a woman in a patriarchal family, she was not expected to be "liberated." Her history of oppression and liberation is a recurring theme in much of her fiction, in which women challenge patriarchal leaders' ideals. She was a columnist for El Nacional, a major national newspaper in Venezuela. She began a temporary separation from Miguel Fras in 1978. She spent two months in Spain before returning to her marriage.


In 1987, she divorced her first husband, Miguel Fras. During a book tour in California in 1988, Allende met her second husband, California attorney and novelist William C. Allende. Gordon, "Willie." In July 1988, they married. She was the first woman to be awarded the Gabriela Mistral Order of Merit in 1994. Allende is from San Rafael, California. Her son, his second wife, and her grandchildren live just down the hill in the house she and her second husband left behind. She divorced Gordon in April 2015.


She was one of eight flag bearers at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin, Italy, in 2006. At TED 2007, she gave the talk Tales of Passion. Allende received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from San Francisco State University in 2008 for her "distinguished contributions as a literary artist and humanitarian," and the honorary degree Doctor of Letters from Harvard University in 2014 for her literary contributions.


She married New York lawyer Roger Cukras in 2019.


Although she was not as openly political as some of her contemporaries, she expressed her disdain for Donald Trump and his policies after his election in 2016, and she later endorsed Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. She has also frequently defended her father's cousin, Salvador Allende's, record.


On December 9, 1996, Allende established the Isabel Allende Foundation in memory of her daughter, Paula Fras Allende, who was hospitalized due to complications from the disease porphyria. Paula died in 1992 when she was 29 years old. The foundation is "dedicated to supporting programs that promote and preserve women's and children's fundamental rights to be empowered and protected."


Allende joined the editorial staff of Paula magazine in 1967 and the children's magazine Mampato from 1969 to 1974, where she later became editor. She wrote two children's stories, "La Abuela Panchita" and "Lauchas y Lauchones," as well as an article collection, Civilice a Su Troglodita. From 1970 to 1974, she worked in Chilean television production for channels 7 and 13. She once sought an interview with poet Pablo Neruda as a journalist. Neruda agreed to the interview and told her that she had too much imagination to be a journalist and that she should instead be a novelist. He also suggested that she publish a book of her satirical columns. She followed through, and this became her first published book. El Embajador, Allende's play, was performed in Santiago a few months before she was forced to flee the country due to the coup.


From 1976 to 1983, Allende worked as a freelance journalist for El Nacional in Caracas, and from 1979 to 1983, she was the administrator of the Marrocco School in Caracas.


In 1981, while in Caracas, Allende received a phone call informing her that her 99-year-old grandfather was on the verge of death, and she sat down to write him a letter in the hopes of "keeping him alive, at least in spirit," and the letter evolved into a book, The House of the Spirits (1982), which sought to exorcise the ghosts of the Pinochet dictatorship. Numerous Latin American publishers rejected the book, but it was eventually published in Buenos Aires. The book quickly went through more than a dozen editions in Spanish and was translated into a number of languages. As a writer in the magical realism style, Allende has been compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Although Allende is frequently referred to as a practitioner of magical realism, her works also contain elements of post-Boom literature. Allende also follows a strict writing schedule. "I always start on 8 January," Allende stated, "a tradition she began in 1981 with the letter she wrote to her dying grandfather that would become The House of the Spirits." She writes on a computer, working Monday through Saturday, 09:00 to 19:00.


Paula (1995) by Isabel Allende is a memoir of her childhood in Santiago and the years she spent in exile. It is written in the form of an anguished letter to her daughter. In 1991, a medication error caused severe brain damage, leaving Paula in a persistent vegetative state. Allende sat by Paula's bedside for months before learning that the brain damage was caused by a hospital mishap. Paula was transferred to a hospital in California by Allende, where she died on December 6, 1992.


Allende's novels have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold approximately 74 million copies. Her memoir, The Sum of Our Days, was published in 2008. It focuses on her family life, which includes her grown son, Nicolás, her second husband, William Gordon, and several grandchildren. Island Beneath the Sea, a novel set in New Orleans, was published in 2010. El cuaderno de Maya (Maya's Notebook) was released in 2011, with the setting alternating between Berkeley, California, Chiloé, Chile, and Las Vegas, Nevada.


Facts about Fort Ticonderoga

 

During the French-Indian War and the American Revolutionary War, Fort Ticonderoga was a pivotal location. It was once known as the "Key to a Continent." It also became an important part of American history when Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold led the capture of the British forces and took their ammunition and artillery, which aided Americans greatly during the Revolutionary War.


Ticonderoga is derived from an Iroquois word that means "where two waters meet" or "between two waters."


Fort Ticonderoga is located on Lake Champlain's western shore. It provided access to Canada as well as the Hudson River. The fort's location served as a vital link between the Colonies and the northern provinces.


Following their defeat at the Battle of Lake George in 1755, French settlers built Fort Ticonderoga in 1756. It was given the name Fort Carillon.


It was constructed on the orders of Marquis de Vaudreuil, Governor-General of New France. The fort was a 7-foot-high, 14-foot-thick wall based on the famous French engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban's old-star-shaped design.


Despite the fort's geometrical shape, its location and size were disadvantages. The fort could only hold 400 garrison troops and was visible from several hills.


British forces led by Maj. Gen. James Abercrombie attempted to attack the fort with over 15,000 men on July 8, 1758. He ordered a frontal assault on the French entrenchment by mistake and suffered a heavy loss.


On July 26 and 27, the following year, British Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Amherst returned with 11,000 men and defeated the French garrison with only 400 men. The British victory was extended when they captured Fort Carillon, allowing them to conquer Canada and end the Seven Years War.


Because of its small size, the newly captured fort was named Fort Ticonderoga by British forces. It eventually fell into disuse.


When fighting broke out between colonial militiamen and British soldiers in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, in 1775, Fort Ticonderoga had fewer than 50 men.


Benedict Arnold, a young military officer at the time, had heard that Fort Ticonderoga, which was not heavily fortified, housed a large number of British cannons and artillery.


He persuaded Cambridge's Massachusetts Committee of Safety to lead a campaign to seize Fort Ticonderoga.

They agreed, but he could only bring 400 men from Massachusetts.


During the Seven Years' War, Ethan Allen, a member of the Litchfield County militia, acquired land in the New Hampshire Grants. When the need arose to defend the New Hampshire Grants, he formed the Green Mountain Boys and was given command of them, naming their leader colonel commandant.


The group's goal was to defend their land against colonial New Yorkers attempting to claim it in the Green Mountains. The New Yorkers were physically intimidated into leaving the area by the group.


Allen and his group proposed political independence for their district prior to the American Revolution. Later, it was changed to independence from Britain.


The Green Mountain Boys were formed across Lake Champlain in Vermont.


In late April, Allen received a message from an irregular Connecticut militia asking for his assistance in capturing Fort Ticonderoga. He gathered 60 men in Massachusetts and Connecticut, knowing the significance of the fort's location.


In May 1775, Benedict Arnold and his 400 men stopped in Vermont on their way to Fort Ticonderoga. They met Allen's group, who were also preparing for the siege, when they arrived at Hand's Cove, two miles below Fort Ticonderoga.


Arnold, assuming he would lead the siege with the Green Mountain Boys, handed their leader a copy of his commission from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. Allen's men refused to accept Arnold as their leader, forcing him to step down and become second in command.


On May 10, 1775, Allan and Arnold rowed across Lake Champlain with 80 men in silence. They were able to enter the fort without firing and even surprised the sleeping guards. The group went inside, finding more British militia sleeping and surrendering without a fight, including the fort's commandant, Captain William Delaplace.


The siege was the Thirteen Colonies' first significant victory without having to fire anyone or spill any blood.


With the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the Americans secured the entrance to Canada and used it as a base to take the nearby British fort of Crown Point.


The colonists also took British artillery, which helped them overcome one of their challenges in preparing for the revolutionary war.


The Red Coats surrendered to the Americans 78 cannons, six mortars, three howitzers, and a massive amount of ammunition.


George Washington directed that many of the captured guns be transported to Boston by American Colonel Henry Knox. They used them to lay siege to the town, forcing the British to flee in March 1776.


British General John Burgoyne planned an attack on Fort Ticonderoga in July 1777. Knowing the fort's weakness, the general captured Mt. Defiance and directed artillery at it.


American General Arthur St. Clair prepared for the attack and directed his troops to hold the fort as long as possible.


He ordered his men to abandon the fort on July 6, 1777, knowing that the British would attack from the hills surrounding their garrison, risking his reputation.


However, after Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga on October 17, the Redcoats permanently abandoned the Fort in November. They destroyed a large portion of their artillery and fortifications, rendering them useless to the Americans.


No military regiment occupied Fort Ticonderoga after the Revolutionary War. The fort served as a base of operations for scouting parties and raiding detachments. George Washington visited the ruins in 1783 while waiting for the official declaration of peace and the end of the Revolutionary War.


Stephen Pell, a history buff, restored Fort Ticonderoga and turned it into a tourist attraction in 1908.


Facts about Zinc

 

Zinc (Zn) has thirty protons in its nucleus and has an atomic number of thirty. It is a metal, but it is an essential nutrient in both plants and animals.


Zinc is the twenty-fourth most abundant element in the Earth's crust.


It accounts for approximately 75 parts per million, or.0075%, of the Earth's crust.


Zinc is also found in seawater at approximately thirty parts per billion.


Zinc is commonly found in combination with other elements such as copper.


It has five stable isotopes that occur naturally.


Zn-64 is the most common stable isotope of zinc.


Zn-64 has such a long half-life that it has almost no radioactive properties.


Workmen and artisans have been using it since at least 1000 BC.


One prehistoric statue made of more than 87% zinc was discovered in modern-day Romania.


Writings dating back to 400 BC mention a silvery metal used to make brass, most likely zinc.


Paracelsus most likely gave zinc its name.


Andreas Sigismund Marggraf is widely credited with discovering zinc's pure metallic form in 1746.


Many scientists were said to have worked on zinc and zinc oxide experiments as early as the late 1600s.


Zinc is used to make brass, which is alloyed with copper, and many other alloys.


Because of its non-corrosive properties, it is also used in plating iron.


Zinc is a hard metal that becomes very malleable at temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius.


After cadmium and mercury, it has the lowest melting point of all transition metals.


Zinc is a fairly strong reducing agent, and it tarnishes very quickly.


Zinc produces a bright blue-green flare.


Zinc compounds are in short supply.


Zinc is the fourth most commonly used metal in industry, following copper, aluminum, and iron.


Today, nearly 70% of zinc is mined and 30% is recycled.


Almost all of the zinc mined (95%) comes from sulfide ore deposits.