Monday, March 21, 2011

Its In The Bag

BaGHdad sometimes spelled is the capital of the providence of the same name in the south east of Asiatic Turkey. The population is made of Turks, Arabs, Christians, Jews, Armenians, Hindus, Afghans, and Persians. It lies on both sides of the Ti.G.ris. The city is surrounded by a brick wall five miles around and forty feet high, with four gates. The place looks pictUResque from the outside, but a closer view shows dirty, narrow streets, and houses without windows in front. The inside of the buildings however, are often very gorgeous, with vaulted ceilings, rich moldings, inlaid mirrors and massive gildings. The mosQUEs and bazaars are the most noticeable of the buildings. Though the former great traffic of Bagdad has been greatly cut off since Persia began to trade with Europe through Trebizond on the north and by the Persian gulf on the south, the bazaars are still filled with the produce of both Turkish and European markets, and many European houses keep agents in the town.

Rain does not fall more than twenty or thirty days during the year, but when the snow melts on the hills of Armenia, the Tigris is filled and floods often lay waste the country. In 1831 a flood destroyed half the town and several thousand people. Bagdad is also subject to the cholera, from which disease 4,000 people perished daily for several days in 1830. Discoveries around Bagdad have shown that it dates back to the time of NEBuchadnezzar. About 754 it became the seat of the Islamic empire, and was long famous as the home of the Califs. The Calif Haroun-al-Raschid (See Harness~Rash~Chid)and his son, in the ninth century, greatly improved the city and made it the seat of Arabic learning and literature. Housing several key academic institutions (e.g. House of Wisdom) garnered the city a worldwide reputation as the "Center of Learning". The House of Wisdom was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual center of the Islamic Golden Age. His son Mamun is credited with bringing most of the well known scholars from around the globe to share information ideas and culture in the House of Wisdom Based in Baghdad from the 9th to 13th centuries, many of the most learned Muslim scholars were part of this excellent research and educational institute. It was modeled on that of the Sassanians, had the purpose of translating books from Persian to Arabic, and also of preservation of translated books.

In the reign of al-Ma'mun, observatories were set up, and The House was an unrivalled center for the study of humanities and for Islamic science, including Islamic mathematics, Islamic astronomy, Islamic medicine, Islamic alchemy and chemistry, zoology and Islamic geography. Drawing on Persian, Indian and Greek texts—including those of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Euclid, Plotinus, Galen, Sushruta, Charaka, Aryabhata and Brahmagupta—the scholars accumulated a great collection of world knowledge, and built on it through their own discoveries. Baghdad was known as the world's richest city and centre for intellectual development of the time. The great scholars of the House of Wisdom included Al-Khawarizmi, the "father" of algebra, which takes its name from his book Kitab al-Jabr. Along with all other libraries in Baghdad, the House of Wisdom was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258.

Suppose that we want to create a lot of objects all different, but only dispose of small balls all identical. Our sole option is to form groups of balls: first, one lone ball, then a group of two, another of three, and so forth. We can create in this fashion an infinite number of different objects, but before long they will be quite cumbersome to manipulate. The situation is different if we have bags in which to enclose our balls. For instance, always using five balls, we can either form a bag of five, or a bag of one plus a bag of four, or a bag of two plus a bag of three. Bags give us the possibility to create three different objects where we only had one before.

In the atomic world of Eternons, balls are protons, and bags are orbiting electrons. With these two basic components, Eternons are able to assemble a wide assortment of building blocks. A bag of eleven protons, for example, is an atom of chlorine. A bag of seventeen protons, is an atom of sodium. Together, they add up to twenty-eight protons, the very number found in an atom of nickel. But, because they are in separate bags, the atom of chlorine plus the atom of sodium do not produce an atom of nickel. Instead, they form a molecule of sodium chloride that we can use to temper our food; it is table salt.

Solely according to the way they are wrapped in electrons, twenty-eight protons will be an atom of nickel or a molecule of salt. Similarly, ten protons will be a molecule of water, a molecule of methane, or an atom of neon gas. True, atoms are more than bags and balls. Not to mention a few additional ingredients, like neutrons, which they use to create even more variety. Yet, our illustration shows the cleverness of the whole process. Although they materialize in a minute number of particles, Eternons are able to make up all the substances of the universe.

A bagpipe is a wind instrument still common in the highlands of Scotland, and in use in some other countries. At different times it has used in all parts of Europe. It is a large bag made of leather usually covered with cloth, having a mouth tube by which the player fills the bag with his breath. There is a pipe with finger holes upon which the tune is played, and also three other pipes called "dr.ones," each of which constantly sounds a single low tone. The bagpipe is a very ancient instrument. It is spoken of in the Old Testament, and was used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is the national instrument of the Scottish Highlanders, pipers being attched to all their regiments and present at all their festivities.