People just fall prey to attractive images carrying false information on Facebook and other social media. They, in turn, copy those images and become accessories to propagating the untruths.
For example, the above image I came across on Facebook today. The caption in Tamil says:
“The amount of pesticides in the soft drinks you consume.“
I have my doubts about this post. I don’t think these soft drinks have pesticide in them as depicted in the image.
But some soft drinks do have harmful chemicals that may impair our health.
Within the European Union and Switzerland, substances used as food additives are coded with E numbers. The “E” stands for “Europe”. The E numbers on food labels are common throughout the European Union.
Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate
Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are widely used as food preservatives, with E numbers E210 and E211 respectively.
Benzoic acid (E210) has the chemical Formula C7H6O2 (or C6H5COOH). It is a simple aromatic carboxylic acid. It is a colorless crystalline solid and occurs in nature at low levels in apples, cinnamon, ripe cloves, cranberries, greengage plums, and prunes.
Sodium benzoate (E211) has the chemical formula NaC7H5O2. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water.
Most soft drinks have added sodium benzoate in permissible amounts that act as a preservative which are in most cases harmless.
However, it is advisable to drop from your diet all benzoates if you have any health problems, especially if you are suffering from: any Cancer, any autoimmune disease or disorder, skin diseases & disorders like: psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, acne, folliculitis, KP, any Intestinal disorders like Ulcerative Colitis, constipation, Crohns Disease, IBD, IBS, Candida, SIBO, body odour, Allergies, Asthma, etc.
Acids in soft drinks
All citrus flavoured and grape flavoured soft drinks have organic acids found in nature to provide the characteristic fruity tang. The citrus flavoured soft drinks contain citric acid (E330) and grape flavoured soft drinks have tartaric acid (E334)..
According to many studies, what is harmful is phosphoric acid added to cola drinks.
It is true that Phosphorus-containing substances occur (0.1%-0.5%) in foods such as milk, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, and egg yolks. But phosphoric acid per se is harmful.
Phosphoric acid is a mineral (inorganic) acid having the chemical formula H3PO4. It is also known as E338, orthophosphoric acid, and phosphoric (V) acid. It is a clear, colorless, odorless liquid with a syrupy consistency.
Food-grade phosphoric acid is a mass-produced chemical. It is available in large quantities at a low price.
Studies on phosphoric acid
Due to the use of phosphoric acid, cola is actually more acidic than lemon juice or vinegar! The vast amount of sugar acts to mask and balance the acidity.
In some epidemiological studies, phosphoric acid, used in many cola drinks has been linked to chronic kidney disease and lower bone density. A study by the Epidemiology Branch of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, concludes that drinking two or more colas per day doubled the risk of chronic kidney disease.
Between 1996 and 2001, a total of 1672 women and 1148 men took part in a study using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. To collect dietary information, the study used a food frequency questionnaire with specific questions about the number of servings of cola and other carbonated beverages. It also differentiated between regular, caffeine-free, and diet drinks.
The results, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provide evidence to support the theory that women who consume cola daily have lower bone density. Though the total phosphorus intake was not significantly higher in daily cola consumers than in nonconsumers, the calcium-to-phosphorus ratios were lower.
However, in 1998, a study titled “Increased incidence of fractures in middle-aged and elderly men with low intakes of phosphorus and zinc” published in Osteoporosis international: a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA 8 (4): 333–340, suggests that insufficient intake of phosphorus leads to lower bone density. The study does not examine the effect of phosphoric acid, which binds with magnesium and calcium in the digestive tract to form salts that are not absorbed, but rather studies general phosphorus intake.
In 2001, a study by R. P. Heaney and K. Rafferty titled “Carbonated beverages and urinary calcium excretion” published in The American journal of clinical nutrition 74 (3): 343–347 states that using calcium-balance methods they found no impact of carbonated soft drinks containing phosphoric acid on calcium excretion.
The authors conducted their study among 20 to 40-year-old women who drank three or more cups (680 ml) of a carbonated soft drink per day. The effect of various soft drinks (with caffeine and without; with phosphoric acid and with citric acid), water, and milk on the calcium balance was compared in the study.
Heaney and Rafferty found that, relative to water, only milk and the two caffeine-containing soft drinks increased urinary calcium. The calcium loss associated with the consumption of caffeinated soft drinks was about equal to that found previously for caffeine alone. Phosphoric acid without caffeine had no impact on urine calcium, and did not increase the loss of urinary calcium related to caffeine.
Because studies have shown that the effect of caffeine is compensated for by reduced calcium losses later in the day, the authors concluded that the net effect of carbonated beverages—including those with caffeine and phosphoric acid—is negligible, and that the skeletal effects of carbonated soft drink consumption are likely due to dietary milk displacement.
Other chemicals such as caffeine (also a significant component of popular common cola drinks) were also suspected as possible contributors to low bone density, due to the known effect of caffeine on calciuria.
Remove rust with phosphoric acid
By the way, phosphoric acid can be used to remove rust from articles.
The following video shows a person removing rust using Coca-Cola. Many prefer the Diet Coke instead of regular Coke because the former is not sticky like the latter.
In the ancient days to convey their viewpoint across to their listeners orators used metaphors, similes, and analogies. Now, to explain complex ideas we use simple and humorous images and share them using the internet.
The various anecdotes that start with the saying “You have two cows …” refer to a form of political satire. They involve variations of a scenario, where eponymous cows are used to demonstrate the functioning of some political systems.
A column titled “The Class in Political Isms” in The Chicago Daily Tribune of December 3, 1938, attributes a version involving socialism, communism, fascism and New Dealism to an address by Silas Strawn to the Economic Club of Chicago on November 29, 1935.
A Canadian writer and journalist Bill Sherk mentions that such satirical snippets circulated throughout the United States since around 1936 under the title “Parable of the Isms”.
In the collection of humour in “Vox Lycei 1939-1940” compiled by the Lisgar Alumni Association the following snippet appears on page 71 :
FORMS OF GOVERNMENT
Socialism: You have two cows. You give one to your neighbour.
Communism: You have two cows. You give both cows to the Government which lets you buy part of it back.
American New Deal: You have two cows. The Government shoots one cow, buys the milk from the other cow and pours it down the sewer.
Nazism: You have two cows. The Government shoots you and takes the cows and sells the milk.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Social Credit: You ‘shoot the bull’.
As early as 1944, the humour of this type attracted the attention of scholars in the United States. An article in The Modern Language Journal lists the following classical ones some of which are similar to those in “Vox Lycei 1939-1940” :
Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbour.
Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
In the late 1960s, comedian Pat Paulsen on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour appended this comment to capitalism: “…Then put both of them in your wife’s name and declare bankruptcy.” Later on, he used this material as an element of his satirical US presidential campaign in 1968 and was included it on his 1968 comedy album “Pat Paulsen for President“.
Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
Grownups can sometimes be so thick, it is not easy to explain some facts to them.
In this video, this little girl Olivia Kendall (played by Raven-Symoné) is having a hard time trying to explain to the doctor for women (Bill Cosby) how babies are born.
This is How Babies are Born!
Doctor: And this is my office
Olivia: What do you do?
Doctor: I am a doctor for women.
Olivia: What do you do with them?
Doctor: I deliver their babies.
Doctor: When the woman has the baby inside of her, then I go in and I take it out.
Olivia: No you don’t. Everybody knows that the stork brings the baby.
Doctor: Who, who told you that?
Olivia: My daddy.
Doctor: Okay. Well, the stork puts the baby inside of the mother… and then I go in and I take it out.
Olivia: Ah, aah. The stork brings the baby to the hospital, drops it in the bassinet.
Doctor: So you’re saying that the baby is not inside the mummy? Then why is it that the mother gets real big?
Olivia: Because she eats a lot of food.
Doctor: Now let me get this straight. You say that the stork carries over, puts the baby in the bassinet, and the mother is real big because she eats a lot of food?
Olivia: You got it!
Doctor: I see. Well, then why is it that the mother has to go to the hospital?
Olivia: The stork brings the baby to the hospital, drops it in the bassinet. The mummy goes to the hospital and gets it.
Doctor: If the stork does all that, why doesn’t the stork just bring it to the mummy’s house?
Olivia: Because it’s too far. His wings will get tired.
Doctor: Where does the stork get the babies from?
Doctor: Okay. There is a zillion skillion babies in Heaven. How does the stork know what baby goes with what mother?
Olivia: They are in a line. You know, like you go to the baker and get a number.
Doctor: Why when I put my hand on the mother I can feel things moving all around?
Olivia: That’s not a baby.
Doctor: What is it?
Doctor: Well, thank you for explaining it to me.
Olivia: You’re welcome, but you still didn’t tell me what you do.
Doctor: I’m in charge of gas.
William Henry “Bill” Cosby Jr. (born July 12, 1937) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and activist. Cosby’s start in stand-up comedy began at the hungry i, originally a nightclub in North Beach, San Francisco. It was followed by a starring role in the 1960s television show I Spy. Beginning in the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in The Cosby Show, a television sitcom, which aired from 1984 to 1992. It was rated as the number one show in America for five years, 1984 through 1989. The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an affluent African-American family.
Raven-Symoné Christina Pearman (born December 10, 1985) is an American actress, comedian, model, singer, songwriter, dancer, television producer and a talk-show host. She first appeared on television in 1989 on The Cosby Show as Olivia Kendall.
In early December 2014, I wrote a six-part series of articles titled “To Bathe, or Not to Bathe“. Then, I was not aware of the existence of R. David Whitlock, a chemical engineer and a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who had not showered in the past 12 years.
Whitlock claims that he has not taken a shower in over 12 years because soap and bath gels affect and deplete the natural balance of the skin microbiome.
Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford, regards the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial inhabitants.”
According to Published research for every one human gene, there are 100 associated genes within our microbiome. And so, more than 100 trillion microorganisms live in and on our body. They live in our mouths, tongues, guts, mucosal surfaces and on the surface of our skin.
These microbes perform various beneficial functions relevant to supporting life. They help to digest food, prevent disease-causing pathogens from invading the body, and synthesize essential nutrients and vitamins.
Changes in the microbiome can trigger changes in human cellular activities, resulting in disease or contribute to its progression.
Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB)
In the late 1990s, when David Whitlock went on a date with a young woman, she asked him why her horse liked to roll in the dirt.
Unable to answer her, Whitlock read books on biology. He gathered soil samples and grew bacteria in his basement. After reading hundreds of papers, he concluded that it must be important for the horses to roll in the dirt.
He learned that sweat of the horse is abrasive to its skin and causes equine acne that starts as a small, oily black plugs in the skin and may develop into red, itchy inflamed bumps.
He found ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the soil. He realized that ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the soil must be helping the horse to clean itself by converting urea and ammonia found in sweat into nitrite and nitric oxide.
Nitrite fights most bad bacteria while nitric oxide has anti-inflammatory properties.
In the following video, Dr. Larry Weiss, MD, a Key Member and Chief Medical Officer of AOBiome LLC talks about AOB.
From his study of the behavior of the horses, Whitlock concluded that useful bacteria once colonized on human skins too, and with the advent of knowledge in Chemistry and modern hygiene, humans eradicated them by sterilizing their bodies with soaps, lotions, and antiseptics, leaving our skin more susceptible to challenge.
Whitlock believed that by restoring the appropriate AOB levels, a range of human health conditions could be impacted.
In 2000, to test his hypothesis, Whitlock began adding AOB to water and dousing himself daily. He avoided using soaps because they kill the microbes. For the past 12 years, Whitlock did not shower. He found that the bacteria kept him clean and odor-free. His skin looks fresh, and he smells nice.
Though Dave Whitlock does not shower, he takes an occasional sponge bath to clean off the accumulated grime on his skin.
On August 10, 2001, Dave Whitlock presented his application papers for obtaining a patent for compositions, including ammonia oxidizing bacteria to increase production of nitric oxide and nitric oxide precursors and methods of using same. He obtained the patent US7820420 for same on October 26, 2010.
A method of enhancing health through the generation in close proximity of a surface of a subject, nitric oxide and nitric oxide precursors using bacteria adapted to oxidize ammonia and urea derived from perspiration is described. Local and systemic effects are described including a reduction in vascular disease, enhancement of sexual function, improved skin health, and reduced transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
NitroCell BioSciences LLC
In 2012, Dave Whitlock co-founded NitroCell BioSciences LLC as a pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company focused on getting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for bacteria-based prescription therapies for acne, eczema, rosacea, wound healing, and more.
In March 2013, NitroCell BioSciences LLC changed its name to AOBiome, LLC.
Now, AOBiome, LLC develops skin products based on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). The company’s products are used to restore the natural balance of skin microbes that have been lost due to modern living practices, including the use of soaps and shampoos. It also develops AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist, a cosmetic product to improve the look and feel of skin.
According to Jasmina Aganovic, an MIT graduate and AOBiome’s general manager for consumer products, as humans, we need to reconnect with our environment. “We’ve confused clean with sterile. … We’ve taken the dirt out of our lives. We don’t spend as much time outdoors as we used to — even as little children.”
So, AOBiome, LLC has created and launched “Mother Dirt” to add a little dirt back into our lives. AOBiome is the first cosmetics company to market a product that contains live bacteria. The company claims their products do not cause illness, even if ingested.
The Mother Dirt products set themselves apart from all other scientific skincare items that have flooded the market in recent times.
The Mother Dirt AO+ mist specifically contains live ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) that’s sprayed on the skin twice a day. It has no odor and feels like water. There’s aMother Dirt shampoo and cleanser that doesn’t contain bacteria, but Jasmina Aganovic says it won’t interfere with it either.
Though Dave Whitlock still doesn’t shower, he uses Mother Dirt every day and hopes the rest of the world will join him. He said: “I would like a billion people a day to use this.”
Aobiome officials believe in the health benefits of these live bacteria. They are not making any scientific claims right now, but they will soon begin clinical trials on inflammatory skin conditions like acne.
Yes. They call themselves Muslims, adherents of Islam wherein religious concepts and practices that include the Five Pillars of Islam, the five basic concepts and acts of worship – the foundation of Muslim life – are obligatory!
The third Pillar “Zakāt” or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving based on accumulated wealth.
The word zakāt can be defined as purification and growth because it allows an individual to achieve balance and encourages new growth. The principle of knowing that all things belong to God is essential to purification and growth.
Zakāt is obligatory for all Muslims who are able to do so. It is the personal responsibility of each Muslim to ease the economic hardship of others and to strive towards eliminating inequality.
Zakāt consists of spending a portion of one’s wealth for the benefit of the poor or needy, like debtors or travelers.
A Muslim may also donate more as an act of voluntary charity (sadaqah), rather than to achieve additional divine reward.
The centuries-old Hindu, Buddhist and Jain scriptures trace the use of footwear in India way back to 200 BC. Coins of the Kushan period (130 BC to 185 AD) and the Gupta period (320 to 550 AD) feature kings wearing boots.
From ancient times, wearing leather footwear was taboo in India because the Hindus consider the cow as sacred; and so, the use of sandals made of wood, plant fibres, and metals was in vogue.
In the 11th century Sun temple at Modhera, Gujarat, the sun god wears a distinctive West Asian belt and lengthy footwear. And, in the 13th century Dakshinaarka temple at Gaya in the state of Bihar in India, the presiding deity Dakshinaarka, the Sun God wears a jacket, a waist girdle and high boots in the Iranian tradition.
The term paduka is a compound word made up of two Sanskrit words Namely, “pada” (foot) and “ka“, a diminutive ending literally meaning “small”.
The paduka has a sole with a post and knob. The wearer of the paduka grips the post and knob between their big and second toe to keep the foot in place.
Since the paduka do not have straps of any kind to keep them adhered to the feet, it must have been difficult to walk wearing them. The wearers would have dragged their feet along the ground accompanied by funny movements of their hips.
Fine teak, ebony and sandalwood went into the making of the paduka for the affluent embellished with leather and fur. Large floral and leaf motifs were carved and embedded or inlaid with beads, stones, crystals, ivory, and metals such as copper, bronze and iron.
The paduka took on a variety of forms such as the actual shape of feet, or of fish (a symbol of fertility and plenty in India), or animals.
In ancient times, decorated and expensive paduka formed a part of an Indian bride’s trousseau.
Some commoners too wore paduka, but of a simpler design.
Even today, a few Hindu and Jain ascetics and mendicants wear the paduka.
Some masochistic Hindu ascetics wore spiked paduka for inflicting pain on themselves as an aid to performing penance.
Paduka in Hindu mythology
On certain occasions, the paduka became the object of veneration in Hindu mythology. It is significant in the epic Ramayana.
Queen Kaikeyi, mother of Bharata, at the behest of Manthara, the ugly hunchbacked, antagonistic maid, beseeched her husband, King Dasaratha to exile her step son Rama, whom she loved dearly, for 14 years and crown her own son Bharata as prince-regent.
Prince Rama, his consort princess Sita, and his step-brother, prince Laksmana went into a forest to spend their period of exile. But the good prince Bharata, who loved his older step-brother Rama, did not want to become the prince-regent. So, he met Rama on his way to the deep forest and entreated him to return to Ayodhya. When Rama told Bharata that he will return only after completing his fourteen years in the forest, Bharata requested Rama to give him his paduka to serve as an object of veneration for the subjects of the kingdom.
Bharata carried Rama’s pair of paduka with great reverence by placing them on his head as a mark of respect and obedience to his elder brother. Bharata installed Rama’s pair of paduka on the throne and ruled the kingdom of Kosala as Rama’s proxy.
High-heeled footwear now known as platforms did not come into our lives in the 1970’s. Our ancestors wore them in India several centuries before.
At the archaeological site at Chandraketugarh, about 35 km north-east of Kolkata, footwear with raised heel and floral motifs used around 200 BC were found.
The sculpture at the Ramappa Temple in Warangal
The Ramalingeswara temple also known as Ramappa gudi is located 77 km from Warangal and 157 km from Hyderabad. Here one can find 850 years old sculptures.
The above sculpture in the Ramappa Temple exemplifies the fact that fashionable ladies in India wore high-heeled paduka.
The elevated paduka must have helped the ladies to give the illusion that they were much taller than what they were!
Again, there could have been a more practical reason – to keep their feet and clothing clean!
The elevated paduka must have helped the ladies to give the illusion that they were much taller than what they were!
Again, there could have been a more practical reason; maybe to keep their feet and clothing clean!
By the way, from ancient times, Sudras, the low caste people in India, were not allowed to wear any type of footwear on public roads. They had to carry them in their hands. One can see this phenomenon even now in many villages in India.
Lepakshi is a small village in the Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is about 9 miles (15 km) east of Hindupur and about 75 miles (120 km) north of Bangalore.
This village is historically and archaeologically significant. It has three shrines dedicated to the Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra built during the period of Vijayanagara Kings (1336–1646).
The famous 16th-century Veerabhadra stone temple constructed in Vijayanagar style has about 70 pillars, but only one of these pillars is best known as the Aakaasa Sthambha (Hanging Column). It is a tribute to the engineering genius of the temple builders of medieval India. The pillar does not rest on the ground fully.
A cloth can slide smoothly underneath this Hanging pillar.
During the British era, a British engineer tried to move it to uncover the secret of its support. His attempt was unsuccessful and the pillar got slightly dislodged from its original position.
The lithosphere is the rigid, outermost shell on Earth. It comprises the crust and the part of the upper mantle that has an elastic behavior on, timescales of thousands of years or greater.
The scientific theory of plate tectonics describes the large-scale motion of Earth’s lithosphere. The geoscientific community accepted the theoretical model of plate tectonics developed during the first few decades of the 20th century based on the concept of continental drift. The concepts of seafloor spreading developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The Earth’s lithosphere, the rigid outermost crust and upper mantle, is broken up into seven or eight major tectonic plates and many minor plates.
These massive slabs of the earth’s crust forever creep, slip, lock up and then jolt again. The typical annual lateral relative movement of the plates varies from zero to 100 mm.
Almost all creation of mountains, earthquakes, volcanic activity, and the formation of oceanic trenches occurs along these tectonic plate boundaries.
The islands that compose the Japanese nation sit on or near the boundary of four tectonic plates: the Pacific, North American, Eurasian and Filipino plates.
Also, Japan lies on the “Ring of Fire” also known as the circum-Pacific belt. – The Ring of Fire is a horseshoe-shaped band of fault lines in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, associated with a continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and tectonic plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes and has over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes. A large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in this region.
Sendai Nuclear Power Plant
The Sendai Nuclear Power Plant, owned and operated by the Kyūshū Electric Power Company, is in the city of Satsumasendai in the Kagoshima Prefecture. It is located near five giant calderas, a cauldron-like volcanic feature usually formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption, with the closest one about 40 km away from the plant.
Before the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, and the nuclear disasters that resulted from it, Japan had generated 30% of its electrical power from nuclear reactors. It had planned to increase electrical power production to 40%.
Nuclear energy was a national strategic priority in Japan, but there had been concern about the ability of Japan’s nuclear plants to withstand seismic activity.
The earthquake and tsunami of on March 11, 2011, caused the failure of the cooling systems at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Japan then declared its first-ever nuclear emergency. This caused the evacuation of around 140,000 residents within 12 miles (20 km) of the plant.
On May 6, 2011, Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered the shutdown of the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant as an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher is likely to hit the area within the next 30 years.
Also, many other nuclear power plants, including the Sendai plant stopped generating electricity.
In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan set new safety standards for its nuclear reactor plants.
On September 10, 2014, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) declared the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant safe for operation.
On August 11, 2015, Kyushu Electric Power Co., restarted its operation by bringing online the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai power station according to the new safety standards. Now it is providing power to the nearby towns again. Sendai is the first of Japan’s nuclear power plants to be restarted.
The Sakurajima Volcano
Sakurajima is an active composite volcano (stratovolcano) 990 km southwest of Tokyo. It is a former island in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan. It is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and erupts all the time. The lava flows of the 1914 eruption caused the former island to be connected to the Osumi Peninsula. The volcanic activity still continues, dropping large amounts of volcanic ash on the surroundings. Earlier eruptions built the white sands highlands in the region.
The Japan Meteorological Agency on its website said that it believes that a larger than the usual eruption could be in the offing since it detected multiple earthquakes in the area on Saturday morning. So, on Saturday, August 15, 2015, the agency raised the warning level for the volcanic island of Sakurajima from Level 3 to an unprecedented Level 4 (red). It has warned the residents in the villages on Sakurajima and has advised them to evacuate since stones could rain down on areas near the mountain’s base.
The Kagoshima prefectural government has formed an emergency response team.
The Kyushu Electric Power Company says a possible eruption on Mount Sakurajima will not affect the operation of its Sendai Nuclear Power Plant. The company made the comment after raising the alert level to 4. They said that they will collect the relevant data while proceeding with work to increase output as planned.
The Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) also says any possible eruption of the Sakurajima volcano will not affect the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant.
Greek geographers used the ancient Greek word Ιβηρία (Ibēría) to refer to the land mass known today as the Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain and Portugal). Hecataeus of Miletus (c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC), an early Greek historian was the first to use this term during the time of the first Persian invasion of Greece which began in 492 BC.
In Europe, after the Scandinavian and Balkan peninsulas, Iberia is the third-largest peninsula, located in the southwest corner of Europe.
Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula. The modern name España derives from Hispania.
Roderic, the last king of the Goths
In 711, an army of Muslim Moors composed of North African Berber soldiers with some Arabs, under Tariq ibn-Ziyad and other Muslim generals, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and landed at Gibraltar. The Islamic army began its conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania ruled by King Roderic, known in the legends as “the last king of the Goths“.
According to the Chronicle of 754, a Latin-language history in 95 sections composed in 754 in a part of Spain under Arab occupation, Roderic immediately upon securing his throne gathered a force to oppose the Moors raiding in the south of the Iberian peninsula.
Since there were just a few freemen among the Goths, Roderic gathered together an army of unwilling slave conscripts. He made several expeditions against the invaders led by the Berber general Tariq ibn-Ziyad.
The early modern historian al-Maqqari, in his “The Breath of Perfume,” places the following long sermon to the troops in Tariq ibn-Ziyad’s mouth before the Battle of Guadalete:
“Oh my warriors, whither would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy. You have left now only the hope of your courage and your constancy. Remember that in this country you are more unfortunate than the orphan seated at the table of the avaricious master. Your enemy is before you, protected by an innumerable army; he has men in abundance, but you, as your only aid, have your own swords, and, as your only chance for life, such chance as you can snatch from the hands of your enemy.
If the absolute want to which you are reduced is prolonged ever so little, if you delay to seize immediate success, your good fortune will vanish, and your enemies, whom your very presence has filled with fear, will take courage. Put far from you the disgrace from which you flee in dreams and attack this monarch who has left his strongly fortified city to meet you. Here is a splendid opportunity to defeat him, if you will consent to expose yourselves freely to death.
Do not believe that I desire to incite you to face dangers which I shall refuse to share with you. During the attack, I myself will be in the fore, where the chance of life is always least. Remember that if you suffer a few moments in patience, you will afterward enjoy supreme delight. Do not imagine that your fate can be separated from mine, and rest assured that if you fall, I shall perish with you, or avenge you.
You have heard that in this country, there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings.
The Commander of True Believers, Alwalid, son of Abdalmelik, has chosen you for this attack from among all his Arab warriors; and he promises that you shall become his comrades and shall hold the rank of kings in this country. Such is his confidence in your intrepidity. The one fruit which he desires to obtain from your bravery is that the word of God shall be exalted in this country and that the true religion shall be established here. The spoils will belong to yourselves.
Remember that I place myself in the front of this glorious charge which I exhort you to make. At the moment when the two armies meet hand to hand, you will see me, never doubt it, seeking out this Roderick, tyrant of his people, challenging him to combat, if God is willing. If I perish after this, I will have had at least the satisfaction of delivering you, and you will easily find among you an experienced hero, to whom you can confidently give the task of directing you. But should I fall before I reach to Roderick, redouble your ardor, force yourselves to the attack and achieve the conquest of this country, in depriving him of life. With him dead, his soldiers will no longer defy you.“
On July 19, 711, Tariq ibn-Ziyad defeated Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete / Río Barbate. Roderic and much of the Visigothic nobility were killed in the battle and aftermath.
Facing no further strong resistance, Tariq swept north toward Toledo, the Visigothic capital.
Al-ʾAndalūs, the Islamic Iberia
In an eight-year campaign, the Moors brought most of the Iberian Peninsula under Islamic control. In 719, they crossed the Pyrenees and took control of Septimania, the last province of the Visigothic kingdom. In 721, the Moors tried to conquer Aquitaine from their stronghold of Narbonne, but suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Toulouse.
At no point did the invading Islamic armies exceed 60,000 men.
The invading Moors gave the Arabic name Al-ʾAndalūs (الإندلس) to the region under their control, maybe to mean “Land of the Vandals“. The Islamic rule lasted 300 years in much of the Iberian Peninsula and 781 years in Granada.
From their stronghold of Narbonne, the Moors launched raids into the Duchy of Aquitaine, a fiefdom in western, central and southern areas of present-day France to the south of the Loire River.
After establishing a local Emirate, Caliph Al-Walid I, ruler of the Umayyad caliphate, recalled many of the successful Muslim commanders to Damascus including Tariq ibn Ziyad, the first governor of the newly conquered province of Al-Andalus. Musa bin Nusair, his former superior replaced him.
Governor Musa’s son, Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa, married Egilona, Roderic’s widow. He established his regional government in Seville. Under the influence of his wife, Egilona, he wanted to convert to Christianity. He was then accused of planning a secessionist rebellion, and Caliph Al-Walid I ordered his assassination.
By the year 1100, local Iberian converts to Islam, the so-called Muladi formed the majority of the Iberian population. The term ‘Moor’ was the generic term used to refer to the Islamists that composed the initial Arabs and Berbers and the converted Muladi. The Iberian Peninsula transformed from a Romance-speaking Christian land into an Arabic-speaking Muslim land. However, pockets of Arabic and Romance-speaking Christians called Mozarabs and a large minority of Arabic-speaking Jews survived throughout Al-ʾAndalūs.
In the chronicles and documents of the High Middle Ages the Christians used the terms Spania, España or Espanha derived from Hispania in reference to Muslim controlled areas. King Alfonso I of Aragon (1104–1134) says in his documents when in 1126 he made an expedition to Málaga he “went to the lands of España.“
During the Middle Ages, the Iberian peninsula housed many small states, including Castile, Aragon, Navarre, León and Portugal.
Towards the end of the 12th century, the whole Muslim and Christian Iberian Peninsula became known as “Spain” (España, Espanya or Espanha). The term “the Five Kingdoms of Spain” referred to the Mussulman Kingdom of Granada and the Christian kingdoms of Aragon, Castile, Portugal and Navarre.
The Muslim caliphs competed with each other in the patronage of the arts. From the 8th to the 15th century, the Iberian Peninsula incorporated into the Islamic world became a center of culture and learning, especially during the Caliphate of Cordoba. It reached its height under the rule of Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III.