H6 W33 – Two Church Fathers

In the past week I learned about five different church fathers and the two I cover today are Augustine and Ambrose.

Augustine was a very young man when he converted, and he converted because of a  boyish chant he heard of “take up and read”, and when he took up his bible and read the first verse he saw, he converted.  The a little while later he was chosen as one of the candidates to be the bishop of Hippo and therefore took the priest Valerius’ place when he died.  While in this position he was able to write a coule books – one, called Confessions, was about his early life, and  he also wrote a book called City of God which contrasted the holy Heavenly city against an earthly one.

Ambrose is the other man.  He held a very high position later in life after he followed his father into politics and converted.  He actually converted vry young as he was born into a Christian family in 340 AD, and while he was young a swarm of bees landed on his face and left a drop of honey when they left.  His father took this to mean that he would have a tongue/ speaking style as sweet and smooth as honey.  Later on he followed his dad into politics and therefore gained a lot of populatrity, thus gaining him the ability to be named Pope of Milan, and then he wrote his books.

Both of these men were voluminous writers, founding fathers of the church, and very influential up to today.  See you next essay!


S6 W4 Review – Cocoa Diseases & Pests


Vascular-streak dieback (VSD)

  • caused by the fungus known as Oncobasidium theobroma
  • distinguished in the 1960s
  • caused heavy losses of trees in mature plantations
  • chlorosis of one leaf on the second or third flush behind the tip
  • restrict transport

Witches´ Broom


  • attacks only actively growing tissue
  • sensitive to light and drying


  • Moniliophthora perniciosa
  • disease in the region of Bahia caused a decrease in production of almost 70%



  • major insects that affect cocoa worldwide
  • recognized as a serious pest since 1908
  • Distantiella theobroma and Sahlbergella singularis, Helopeltis spp, Monalonion
  • can reduce yields by as much as 75%.
  • clones with low water content in their stems are unattractive to mirids

Cocoa pod borer (CPB)

  • Conopomorpha cramerella
  • noted in 1841 as a serious threat
  • developing genotypes with harder walls in their pods

S6 L46 – The Health Benefits of Chocolate

          In today’s lesson I learned about the cocoa plant, from which the actually very healthy chocolate is made.  Oh, and I’m not taking about the regular everyday milk chocolate – I’m talking about dark chocolate, unprocessed pure dark chocolate.  This stuff may be a bit bitter but you get used to it after a while.  Anyways, this drug can apparently decrease risk of heart and brain problems, protect the brain from strokes, and relieve anxiety, and none of this would have been found had the ancient Aztecs invented the first chocolate – Xocolatl.  When you pronounce it right it sounds something like chocolate. 

          The powerful properties contained by the chocolate can be received by eating about 7 grams of chocolate a day for two weeks.  The first of the properties is the decreasing of risk of heart disease or brain problems.  This is activated by the proteins and good acid in the chocolate, eating the bad stuff.  The second is the protection of the brain.  The chemicals in the chocolate are many, but one of them, called epicatechin, simulates a neurological pathway in your brain, which the brain sees as a signal to get ready for some type of attack on the brain, and therefore saving a lot of sadness on the part of the victim’s family. And no one really knows how chocolate relieves stress.

          But that’s the three powerful health benefits of eating dark chocolate. See you in the next post!

S6 L45­ – Greens Salad

            All you need is a can of spinach, a small box of cherry tomatoes, and two fistfuls of baby greens (your choice of greens), a cutting knife (I used a 5” Santoku), a cutting board, and four bowls to feed four people with this delicious recipe. First, take handfuls of the spinach and cut in strips one way, then turn it perpendicular to the first cuts and cut strips that way.  This will give you small squares of spinach.  Then take the tomatoes and slice them each in half parallel with the top and bottom.  Then, with the baby greens, cut perpendicular to the direction they’re arranged, in my case it was left-right so I cut front-back.  Now you’ll have little cuttings of baby greens.  After that take even scoops of each ingredient and evenly disperse them throughout the four bowls and mix.  The salad is done & I hope you enjoy it!

H6 W30 – Roman Houses

In this lesson I learned about Roman houses; how they were built, how they were organized, and Plebian apartments.  The rich Patricians also had nice little summer retreats like those in Pompeii, which I posted about a little while ago.

The rich patrician houses were huge and luxurious with large yards in the middle of their houses, with a colonnaded vesta around it.  This yard could have a pool, or fountain, or statue, but it always had something in it.  This vesta always supported a second floor as well, containing the bedrooms and closets.  The stairs up were normally very inconspicuous, so they would have to show you the way upstairs.  The first floor around the vesta contained the kitchen, which Romans never really used[1], the living-room, and the guest reception area, as well as the dining area.  A little fun fact about meals in this dining-room is that when the slaves took away the course the guests just finished, the slaves take away the whole table.  When they came back they came back with a new table and the new course.

Now for the Plebian houses.  These were between looking like a train-wreck to an almost clean room, depending on how low the Plebe was.  Note I only say “room”, not “rooms”.  This is because the Plebes lived their lives pretty much in one room.  They also couldn’t use cooking fires as these oftentimes got out of control, burning whole city blocks.  This meant that they had to pay for hot food at a street vendor’s.

The rich peoples, however, also had a nice little villa out in the country, where they could get their minds off politics and do a little work for themselves.  They could also come out there and just take a break from the city.  They normally had their own little baths in their houses, giving them relaxation time.  The houses normally had only one floor, and on that they had a bathroom, a reception room, a dining-room, a kitchen, and a wellhouse.

These well-designed houses were weather resistant, strong, and comfortable, though sometimes small.  Some were long, some were round, some boxy, and some domed.  The architecture of the places itself is interesting, and this makes it all the more fun to study.

[1] Because cooking fires weren’t permitted; you can’t really cook anything without some type of heat source

S6 L34 – Photosynthesis

          Photosynthesis is a complex food-making plant process that only uses CO2, sunlight, and some nutrients.  This process is so complex that scientists still haven’t figured out the whole process.  All we know is that when clorophyll panels absorb sunlight, they vibrate rapidly, spouting charged electrons, which are carried along and compressed into little batteries by proteins.  These batteries are then sent off a “carbon-stitching machine” which pulls carbon out of the air and turns them into sugar and starch, which are used to grow.  These processes give off water vapor and oxygen, which we breathe.  Breathing this out again as CO2 restarts the whole process.  The plant is constantly doing this and so produces a small flow of air.