Have you heard of the Paralympics?

As the Olympics came to an end about a week ago, the Paralympics will soon start. The Paralympics are just like the Olympics but are for people with disabilities. Most of the events are the same but some are altered due to their disabilities.

On July 29th of  1948, the day of the Opening Ceremony of the London 1948 Olympic Games, Dr. Guttmann organised the first competition for wheelchair athletes which he named the Stoke Mandeville Games, a milestone in Paralympics history. They involved 16 injured servicemen and women who took part in archery. These games later became the Paralympic Games which first took place in Rome, Italy in 1960 featuring 400 athletes from 23 countries. Since then they have taken place every four years. In 1976, the first Winter Games in Paralympics history were held in Sweden, and as with the Summer Games, have taken place every four years, and include a Paralympics Opening Ceremony and Paralympics Closing Ceremony. Sounds just like the Olympics right?

The word “Paralympic” derives from the Greek preposition “para” (beside or alongside) and the word “Olympic”. Its meaning is that Paralympics are the parallel games to the Olympics and illustrates how the two movements exist side-by-side. Some events are wheelchair rugby, boccia, wheelchair tennis, powerlifting, wheelchair fencing, goalball, and wheelchair basketball.  

Paralympics sound pretty cool right? The Paralympics were kind of like to let people with disabilities dream or let them do what they want to do. Jody Cundy, a cycler, has already been and competed in the Paralympics and wrote this ”It is just a bike race, but it is probably the most important bike race I have ever raced in. No one’s died, it just feels like they have.”  I normally don’t watch the Paralympics but I think I will this year.

The Great King

If you were a leader or a normal person in your time, would you like to have ‘‘the great’’ in your name? Me too. Alexander the Great did some pretty great things while he was a leader, he came upon many challenges like his fathers death and the Persian army. He also created a legacy after his death as we study it today. We are actually studying it in Social Studies. We just started learning about him last week and this is one of the projects we did (to the right).

In 359 B.C., Alexander’s father, Philip II became the king of Macedonia. When he became king one of his biggest goals was to defeat the Persian Empire. Many of you reading this probably has goals for this year like Philip and steps to accomplish them. He first had to unite the Greek city-states and put them under his rule and then he could take his strong army to fight as one against Persia. Philip took control of the city-states one-by-one by defeating/bribing them and others joined on their own will. An Athenian lawyer, Demosthenes, warned the Greeks that Philip threatened the freedom of them. Philip controlled most of Greece before Demosthenes could get followers.

Before Alexander’s father could conquer the Persian Empire, he was killed. Alexander took over at 20 years old ready to accomplish his father’s goal, conquer Persia. His father had put him in the Macedonian army when he was very young so he was in many battles and by the age of 16, he was serving as a commander. Anyways, in 334 B.C. Alexander invaded Asia Minor with 40,000 soldiers and calvary (the strongest and the ones on horseback). His calvary crushed the Persian army at the battle of Granicus. In 333 B.C. he defeated the Persians at Issus which then forced the Persian king, Darius Ⅲ, to run away. Then in 331 B.C. Alexander conquered Egypt and built the city of Alexandria (after himself) there becoming one of the most important cities of the ancient world. Later that year, Alexander defeated Darius’s forces at Gaugamela and then took over the rest of the Persian Empire.

Alexander wasn’t named “the great” for any reason. He created many legacys while being a great leader to his army. In 327 B.C. he and his army marched to India until his soldiers got tired and Alexander decided to lead them home. On their way, the army crossed a desert and there wasn’t very much water. When his soldier’s found some water they put it in a helmet and gave it to Alexander, but he was willing to suffer the same thirst his soldiers were by pouring it on the ground. His health was a wreck when they returned home and then died at age 32. Alexander was a great and brave military leader that would lead his army anywhere and they would follow. One reason we can call him Alexander the Great is that when he died, Alexander was the most powerful ruler in the ancient world. Also, his legacy was a world that knew about Greek culture. Wherever Alexander’s army went, they spread the Greek language, ideas, and art. That is another reason why we call him Alexander the Great.

Alexander definitely lived up to his name. He had a long journey that created an even longer story. From accomplishing his father’s biggest goal to leading his army back home. His legacy changed Greek culture and other places Alexander and his army traveled through. Alexander the Great believed he could conquer his father’s goal and lead his army with him while spreading ideas/language.

Image from http://www.greece-is.com

McDowell’s Electronic Machinery

     What kind of technology do you get to use in your school? Chromebooks, VR (Virtual reality) headsets, phones, textbooks, desktops, netbooks, etc. McDowell Middle School still uses textbooks and others might use a computer as their resource, and some schools might not even have computers.

     McDowell Middle School has a technology class where a student can use VR headsets, school phones, a green screen,  3D printer, and even a desktop. The desktops can be used just like any other computer and the green screen gets used for school news/videos of the technology class. The school phones are used for the VR headsets in which a student can see almost any place. One of the latest pieces of technology that McDowell has is the 3D printer, the technology teacher lets the students create a design or idea for the printer to make. The printer can print in any color (that he has) and any size as long as in fits in the printer. In the other classrooms there are chromebooks or  netbooks, a smartboard, textbook, and even someone’s phone. Some classrooms may not have advanced technology and have to rely on new or out-of-date books. In 2015, about 3.2 million people in the world were connected to the internet but today some people may have had internet in schools and now the natural disasters have taken that away from them. Another school near the area has more advanced computers, apple computers, which are newer and nicer but can not be transferred from room to room as easily as chromebooks/netbooks.

     McDowell has some of the latest technology of the past few years. Including a green screen, phones, chromebooks/netbooks, a 3D printer, and smartboards. Some schools may not have any newer technology but they may have textbooks or older computers.  What kind of technology do you have in your school?

Image from https://www.laptopmag.com

Natural Disasters

    Over the past few months, weeks, days, there have been many natural disasters. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires have caused massive destruction in North America. You are probably wondering what has caused these disasters and different scientists have different theories.Related image   One of the first of the many natural disasters of this year were hurricanes. The first hurricane was Hurricane Harvey. Harvey made landfall on the evening of August 25th as a category 4 hurricane on the United States. It was the first category 4 hurricane since Hurricane Charley in 2004. The storm brought raging winds, heavy rainfall, and a powerful storm surge while hitting the Gulf Coast of Mexico, Texas, and its surrounding states. Experts were estimating up to $180 billion in damages. The second hurricane was a category 5 hurricane also known as Hurricane Irma. It hit Florida the morning of September 10th ripping off roofs, flooding coastal cities, and knocking out power to more than 6.8 million people. The damage estimate was up to $100 billion. The last hurricane I’m going to talk about is Hurricane Maria. Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20th as a category 4 storm. As of October 2nd, the island was still without power as food and water supplies decrease, flights in and out are extremely limited, and hospitals are damaged. Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years and the damage estimated from $40 billion to $80 billion in debt. Scientists believe that the hurricanes were caused by human-caused climate change.                                                                                                                               The last two natural disasters that have happened recently are earthquakes and wildfires. In Mexico City, on September 19th a 7.1 magnitude earthquake toppled dozens of buildings. At least 60 buildings collapsed or were greatly damaged, according to officials. Before the earthquake, the residents requested inspections of their homes but did not receive them. Now after the earthquake, officials have recruited engineers and architects to inspect structures around the city. Some buildings were massively destroyed and others had only problems of broken windows or walls with holes and cracks. In Northern California, on October 8th wildfires broke out destroying many homes, towns, and people. According to the California Department of Forestry this wildfire is one of the deadliest in state history and they are doing everything they can to stop it. One method they used was controlled fire. The firefighters created a line of controlled fire to try to control the wildfire which makes it easier on the fighters to stop it. Another method they used was hotshots and water. Hotshots or smoke jumpers are used to clear a large path or big circle so the blaze is contained in a ring of dirt to starve the fire. These were the most major disasters in 2017, some people have even set up donation websites like American Red Cross , Brother’s Brother Foundation and Global Giving.         

Image from protect-your-home.org