Sunday, July 26, 2015

Himalayas

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   In the whole world there are only five mountains more than five miles high. They are all in the Himalayas. Mt. Everest is the highest of them. It measures just over 29,000 ft.

   Until 1953 no one had ever been able to climb Mt. Everest although many had tried. On May 29 of that year Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norkay of Nepal reached the top.

   Mt. Kanchenjunga is the most beautiful of the five great peaks. It is about 1 ,000 feet lower than Everest. A British expedition led by Charles Evans climbed to six feet from the top of this mountain in 1955. To please the natives they did not climb the last few feet.

   The Himalayas are in central Asia. They form a great wall between Tibet and India. For hundreds of miles this wall cannot be crossed on land. Many of the peaks are more than three miles high. During World War II the Himalayas were called "the Hump." Planes flew over the Hump to carry supplies from India to China.

   Some mountains are playgrounds. But not the Himalayas. The southern slopes are very rainy, and dense forests grow on them. The northern slopes are bleak and bare. In winter the weather is bitterly cold. "Himalaya" means "home of snow."

   In a story about the Himalayas called Lost Horizon, there was a valley named Shangri-La. It was a beautiful valley in the midst of the bleak, snow-covered mountains. Shangri-La has now come to mean a lovely place hidden away in some distant part of the world.

   The Himalayas are young mountains. They are not many million years old. They were pushed up at the same time that the Alps were made. They are much younger than the Rockies and the Andes and much, much younger than the Appalachians.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What does Hindu mean?

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   Many people think that everyone in India is a Hindu. Calling everyone in India a Hindu is like calling everyone in America a Christian. For Hinduism is a religion just as Christianity is.
   Actually most of the people of India are Hindus. For when the old India was divided into the two countries of India and Pakistan, most Indians who were not Hindus settled in Pakistan.

   Here are some of the Hindu beliefs:
   There are many gods. Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva are the greatest.
   The cow is sacred. It must not be killed.
   After death everyone is reborn in another form. He may be reborn as an animal. He may be reborn higher in the scale of human beings. Everything depends on the kind of life he has led.
   The Ganges River is sacred. If a Hindu dies on its banks or if he dies elsewhere but has his ashes thrown into the river, he earns a rest from being reborn.
   Within the Hindu religion there are different beliefs, just as there are different beliefs in the Christian religion. Some Hindus, for instance, call all life sacred. They wear cloths over their faces to keep from swallowing tiny insects.
   Along with the Hindu religion a caste system developed. All Hindus were divided into classes called castes.    Rules were made for each caste. A person 'lost caste" if he did not obey these rules. Now the caste system is breaking down.
   In Hindu temples there are many images of the Hindu gods. Some of them have several arms. These arms show that the gods have many powers.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What is Optometry?

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   Optometry is a profession specializing in the protection and improvement of vision. The optometrist is one who practices the art and science of vision care. He is trained and licensed to make tests to determine the person's visual skills, especially in relation to his specific needs. When visual errors are found, he prescribes and provides any corrective lenses or visual training needed for adequate and comfortable sight.
   The roots of the profession of optometry lie in the development of research in physics, mathematics, and optics, as well as in physiology and psychology. Modern optometry, however, really dates from the 19th century, when such men as Thomas Young, Herman von Helmholtz, Eduard Jaeger, and others, were busily engaged in Europe in measuring the eye and inventing instruments for testing sight. The results of their research are found in the applications used today. Development in the field of refraction led to the refractive testing of the eye, or optometry, as it is now known.
   The word "optometry," in the sense of "diagnosis of refractive error" first appeared in 1870, and in the next thirty years optometry slowly evolved as a specialized vocation.

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