Category Archives: living journal

The Things You Should Know About Your Online Home Business

The web gives the greatest commercial center the world has ever observed. It’s the ideal place for new and experienced business people. An online domestic venture can help you to create a clean salary chipping away at something that is all yours in an industry that you really like working in.

Yet, before you begin there are 5 things that you have to know.

1. What Are You Going To Sell?

It’s horrible beginning an online household undertaking in the event that you don’t comprehend what your business will offer. On the off chance that you don’t have any thoughts search online for motivation. Take a gander at Google Trends, Amazon.com and eBay Pulse to perceive what’s hot right at this point. You need a reasonable thought of what will offer, as well as who you need to pitch it to. The size of the web implies that your online home online business can contact individuals from everywhere throughout the world, however regardless you need to have an item or administration that individuals will need to purchase.

2. By what means Will You Build Your Website?

Keeping in mind the end goal to do any sort of business on the web, you’ll need to have a site. Building your first site is not as in fact testing as you may think. There are various distinctive site building stages that make the entire procedure simple. In the event that the greater part of this fair appears like excessively, you can employ somebody to make it.

3. What Content Will You Put On Your Website?

Substance is the binding together subject behind each effective online business. Data is the explanation behind the web. In the event that your site doesn’t give data, it has no an incentive to your guests. Substance can be perused, watched, tuned in to and shared. It can be an article, a blog entry, a report, an eBook, an online course, a video or a sound.

4. Consider the possibility that You Don’t Have Any Products of Your Own.

You may know the sort of items or administrations that you need to offer however you won’t not have the capacity to deliver them yourself. That is not an issue since it’s feasible that another person has as of now made a comparable kind of item. On the off chance that that item proprietor has an associate program, it implies that you can offer that item for the benefit of the item proprietor and for each deal you make, the item proprietor will pay you a commission. There are a practically boundless number of items and administrations you can offer as an offshoot.

5. In what manner Will You Drive Traffic To Your Website?

Your online business needs guest activity. Without it, you have no business. Site activity can be produced in two ways. You can utilize free site movement showcasing strategies like blogging, web-based social networking promoting and video advertising. Or, on the other hand, you can pay for your site activity promoting like pay per snap or flag publicizing. It’s well worth having a blend of both free and paid strategies for your online household venture.

Decide On Whether To Employ In House Or Outsource

Each Entrepreneur setting up a Home Based Business dreams and longs for dangerous development and fabulous benefit inside the most brief time conceivable.
Obviously this ought not out of the ordinary if the Entrepreneur has set aside the opportunity to plan extremely a long time before the dispatch of the Home Based Business. By satisfactory arrangement, I anticipate that the Entrepreneur will have gone for Business Management Training with a specific end goal to secure the vital abilities and apparatuses to enhance the achievement capability of the Home Based Business.
Another imperative stride I anticipate that the Entrepreneur will embrace is to set up a Bankable Business Plan that will urge Investors to see the prospects and capability of the proposed business and acquire the vital capital.
Indeed, even your Bank Manager will be very much arranged to hear you out when and in the event that you approach the Bank for monetary help.
All stated, I compliment you on the effective Launch of your Home Based Business. Everything so far is going on fine. Clients are demonstrating enthusiasm for your items/benefits and you’re seeing the outcomes in the day by day returns.

At the point when To Decide On Whether To Employ Or Outsource
Obviously the perfect time to settle on whether to utilize or outsource is the point at which the business is hinting at sound development with more noteworthy request being made on your individual. This is the point at which you understand that you need to settle on whether to utilize or outsource if just to keep up your rational soundness and maintain a strategic distance from a breakdown.
Presently, you must be watchful on the grounds that uncontrolled development and absence of assets have been distinguished as a portion of the explanations behind Home Based Business disappointment. In this manner you need to designate your assets ideally and guarantee your business proceeds on the way of solid development.
The Home Business Owner is actually anticipated that would be a Jack of All Trades however we as a whole realize this is not basically conceivable.

As your business is developing, you should settle on the most ideal approach to empower you maintain the business ideally and lessen the weight on you so you can utilize your time all the more effectively.

The most effective method to Decide On Whether To Employ Or Outsource
When you close as the proprietor of the Home Based Business that it’s presently time to choose whether to utilize or outsource, it’s informational to contemplate a few variables before taking that choice.
You have to consider the sort of business you’re running. Is it the kind of business that requires space for stock? Or, on the other hand possibly you’re a temporary worker and your specialists need to gather on your front yard each morning before embarking for the day’s task?
Is it true that you are included in an entirely Web Based Internet Business and all you may require is a Laptop with great web association? You might be an On Line Course supplier and all you may require is to outsource your Administration and Sales to Freelancers.?
I specified every one of these circumstances keeping in mind the end goal to Stress the point that the way of your sort of business will, all things considered, decide how conservative it will be for you to either utilize or outsource
Business Processes That Are Easily Outsourced
Some business procedures are more effectively outsourced than others. Exercises like Book keeping and Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Human Relations, Inventory Management and Office Cleaning are effectively prepared for outsourcing.

Do You Employ Or Outsource?

On the off chance that you choose to utilize, you should take awareness of the cost ramifications of keeping a worker. All things considered, everything boils down to how it influences the main issue. You’ll have to give suitable sitting space and possibly do some preparation for the new worker.
On the off chance that the worker falls sick, regardless you’ll pay him and deal with his wellbeing needs not at all like outsourcing where you don’t make a big deal about such duties.
On the off chance that the worker takes some time off, you’ll need to pay him/her and furthermore search for somebody to carry out the occupation amid this time of nonappearance. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you outsource this employment, you won’t need to make a big deal about such expenses.
So What Do You Do?
In the last investigation, the choice whether to utilize or outsource lays solidly on your shoulders. It’s an imperative choice you’ll need to make. As the proprietor of the Home Based Business, you’ll choose what suits your situation in the wake of contemplating the need to allot accessible Scarce Resources ideally. This is the place experiencing an all around organized Business Management Training Program turns out to be extremely useful.

This Is What I Did In My Own Home Based Business
At the point when my Home Based Business began developing, I took a gander at my choices – whether to Employ or Outsource
first Action – I chose first to use the administrations of relatives living in the house and as a type of consolation, I gave them stipends. At the point when relatives got included, it turned into a kind of Happy Time around the house.
second Action – As the business kept on developing, I then chosen to outsource a portion of the authoritative and advertising forms

Wrapping Up
I trust that for a Home Based Business that is getting a charge out of development, it’s ideal to outsource first and later start to utilize in-house.
When you outsource, you appreciate the abilities and fluctuated involvement of the Freelancer or Contractor at no expanded cost to your primary concern.

The Parthenon Principle and How it Can Help Build Your Business

The Persian War, fought between the Persian Empire and Greek citystates in the 5th century, resulted in the destruction of many buildings in Athens, the Greek Acropolis. When the war ended in 479 BC, the citizens of Athens began the process of rebuilding their city. One of their most important buildings was the Parthenon, a temple constructed to honor the goddess of wisdom, Pallas Athena, who is also the city’s patron. The Parthenon became the most magnificent representation of Greek engineering in the Classical era, surviving intact for the next 2,000 years until it suffered damage in the mid-17th century when a war broke between the Venetians and the Turks.

A remarkably stunning building and the largest of the temples on mainland Greece, the Parthenon is kept upright by more than 150 pillars. Its magnificence and the values that it stood for has made it a modern metaphor for business success. As important as your business is to you, so was building the Parthenon to the people of Greece. Its completion demanded meticulous planning, hard labor and time. The same demands are expected from you if you wish to build a business that is successful and enduring.

To build one of their greatest contributions to the world, the Athenians had to have a strong, constant commitment to complete the task. If you want to start your own business, you should have the same unwavering dedication.

Your business, like the glorious Parthenon, is also supported by columns or pillars — each one as vital and fundamental to ensure its reliability and endurance. When the Parthenon was built, it was meant to last for ages. Your business, too, should be built upon the same principles.

The Parthenon Principle

Imagine what would happen if each pillar of the Parthenon increased in strength. This will have a direct effect on the general integrity of the structure itself, adding stability and vigor. Even small changes in every pillar will result to a significant transformation in the whole structure. This same principle will apply to your business. This effect is what we know as the Parthenon Principle:

Incremental improvements in several different areas can result to progress.

Small steps

Let’s use as an example the human body. It is made up of several ‘pillars’ or systems, each one giving support to the body. Develop one and improvement in the person’s health becomes noticeable; improve all pillars by a tiny increment and the individual will experience considerable vigor and optimum health. This explains why fitness programs are designed to cover all of the body’s most important systems. With each system strengthened, improvement becomes significant, leading to improved physical health and wellbeing.

In the same manner, your business has multiple interrelated systems. The Mastermind Mentoring Program with Ronnie covers the seven core systems or pillars:

– Sales

– Services

– Pricing

– Promotion

– Referrals

– Productivity

– Profitability (Cost Controls)

In the same way that improvements in the human body leads to overall benefit, so does progress in any one of the above areas will result to significant improvement in your business. Since this type of improvement is cumulative, it can develop exponentially. With just 10% improvement in every area of activity in your business, you could already expect twice the profitability and productivity in your business.

Area of Activity Performance Improvement Cumulative Affect

1. Sales 10% 1.10 x

. Services 10% 1.21 x

3. Pricing 10% 1.33 x

4. Promotion 10% 1.46 x

5. Referrals 10% 1.61 x

6. Productivity 10% 1.76 x

7. Profitability 10% 1.94 x

Use these seven pillars in your venture and encourage your employees to utilize them as well. With team effort, small improvements can be performed. Ask yourself: how can we increase sales, improve service quality, marginally raise prices, ensure effectiveness of promotional campaigns, attract more referrals, improve productivity, reduce cost and increase profitability? Using the above column as a reference, you can see that an improvement of just 10% in every pillar can double your business’ productivity and profitability.

Allow Students to Choose Physical Education Activities: The New And Advantageous Way To Teach

Imagine, it's 11 AM and you are in high school. You just finished your second class of the day and you are heading towards the gymnasium. During this three minute walk towards the gymnasium you stop and talk to your friends, say hi to an old teacher, and try and come up with a good excuse to get out of playing softball today. You hate softball and are even more upset because you are forced to play this game by your teacher. You arrive to class with a poor excuse and are forced to change for class. You go into the locker room, change for class, and walk into the gym dismayed at the fact that yet another day in physical education is spending doing something you do not enjoy.

This is a thought running through many average teenager's minds on an every day basis. Many students do not like what they are learning in physical education and refuse to participate in something they have no interest in. Many teachers are content with allowing students to sit out or just stand around during class and let it affect their grade. Is this doing any good? Is the job of a teacher really getting done? Absolutely not, the job of a teacher, specifically a physical education teacher, is to teach students different healthy and active things that they can do as a part of their lifetime fitness. Of course they are their to get their "required fitness time" in, but are they really doing anything about their fitness as they sit and watch half the class play a game they do not like? Are teachers helping fight the growing obesity rates by allowing students to not participate and let their grade suffer?

The solution to combating the plague of students sitting out of physical education is adopting the style of Elective Physical Education. Elective Physical Education is exactly what it sounds like it is, Elective. The students get to choose which activity they want to participate in for that specific unit. The teachers get together and lay out a certain amount of different activities that the students can choose from to participate in during that time period. Then on the first day of each unit, the activities are all explained and the students choose which activity they will participate in. Now instead of students feeling forced into participating in something they do not enjoy, they have a choice of what they want to do, and what they will actively participate in.

There is a concern about how to make sure a broad variety of activities are covered by each student and to make sure they get proper exposure to different skills, athletic events, and fitness techniques. Each unit should have a specific theme such as team sports, individual sports, lifetime fitness, cardiovascular fitness, leisure activities and much more. By laying out multiple choices within each unit allows for teachers to maximize time on task. Students will be more involved in the lesson, and teachers will spend less time trying to get everyone involved.

A major emphasis should be put on allowing the student to find something he or she likes and getting them involved. This is especially important when talking about lifetime fitness activities because this is where our teaching is going to affect the student the most. If every student can attend a class that they enjoy participating in and gain a new found love for a lifetime fitness activity, then as Physical Education teachers we have done our job in helping to keep our population healthy and active.

Social figure heads, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, have taken it into their own hands to help fight obesity in the United States. The first lady conducted a fitness day in which hundreds of students joined her in participating in a physical activity to help fight obesity. It is in using Elective Physical education that this can really make an impact on fighting obesity. We want every student to learn about how to stay healthy and how activity can help burn calories and keep them in a healthy physical shape. For one specific unit each activity can focus on checking one's heart rate, calculating calories burned per class, and measuring other health factors that are important to our physical fitness. Many students think that the only way to burn calories is to walk or run around the block. They need to be shown that while playing tennis they burn so many calories, or while they participate in express dance their heart rate reaches eighty percent of their maximum heart rate. Showing students that while participating in a variety of activities can be beneficial to their health is very important. Giving the students to choose the activity is even more important because they will then have an interest in this subject area and will hopefully continue to participate int his activity outside of the gymnasium at their high school.

Now imagine its 3 PM, you are getting into your moms car on the way home from school and she asks you how your day was. You tell her about the A you got back on your math test, and the project you have due in history, then you tell her about how much fun you had in physical education. You tell her it is because you got to choose the activity you are going to do for the whole week and in doing that you learned how beneficial this activity is to your health. You tell her how you can not wait to walk to class tomorrow at 11 AM and go right back to were left off today.

Curiosities From the World of Sports

There are so many things you can find out about sports, there being a lot of curiosities which can stir anyone's interest. You should look into this kind of things whenever you have the chance because not only do they enrich your general knowledge, but these details are also very interesting.

First of all, you should know that football is the most beloved sport in the whole world. There is no other sport which has achieved the same performances when it comes to the number of amateurs of a particular sport. Then, you might want to know that boxing used to be an illegal sport, but it was legalized in 1901. Then, another interesting thing is that Jean Genevieve Garnerin was the first woman who preferred parachuting, being the first one to jump from a hot Air balloon in 1799.

975 was the year when the first woman reached the top of the Everest Mountain, this woman being Junko Tabei from Japan. Larissa Latynina is the female gymnast who won the largest number of medals. She was a Russian gymnast who won eighteen Olympic medals in only three editions of the Olympic Games. The three editions were organized between 1956 and 1964.

The first edition of the ancient Olympic Games was won by Corubus and the first modern edition was held in Athens in 1896. Three hundred eleven men took part into the games and there was no woman involved. As for the modern ages, you might be curious about how many tennis balls the organizers of the Wimbledon Grand Slam Tournament change. If you are, you might be surprised to know that they change forty-two thousand balls in one edition. Last but not least, it is very interesting to know that golf was the first sport which was played on the Moon.

Socrates And The "Examined Life"

Socrates was a man of very strong conviction. A conviction to live his life for the pursuit of knowledge, true wisdom, piety, and God's will. In Plato's Apology, Socrates delivered a passionate defense for the way of life he had chosen. He believed that this way of life was not only right in every sense of the word, but prosperous for him and the people who came into contact with him. This is appropriate when he states "Indeed, men of Athens, I am far from making a defense now on my own behalf, as may be thought, but on yours, to prevent you from wrongdoing by mistreating the god's gift to you by condemning me ; For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me "(35, 30d).

Socrates' begins his arguments by turning the general belief of what true knowledge is upside down. Socrates busied himself by asking questions to hose who were thought to be very wise. He does not claim to have this knowledge himself, "Certainly I would pride and preen myself if I had this knowledge, but I do not have it, gentlemen" (25, 20c), but he does argue that this knowledge is not true wisdom , And does not lead to an "examined life". "What has caused my reputation is none other than a certain kind of wisdom" (25, 20d). The fact is, Socrates believes in a true wisdom that is fed by curiosity. The wisdom that he has been gained through examining his life and the lives of others. He does not occupy himself with personal gain and "knowledge" like those who are considered the wisest of all. Instead he is steadfastly rooted in the will of god, and takes on his quest for the examined life selflessly. For example, Socrates believes that he is wiser, in that he knows nothing knows, while others believe they know when they do not, "I am wiser than this man … he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser … "(26, 21d).
Socrates drives home his argument with a statement telling the jurors that he would rather be as he is, with neither knowledge nor ignorance than to be like the "wise" people and have both, "I asked myself … whether I should prefer to Be as I am, with either their wisdom now their ignorance, or to have both. The answer I gave myself and the oracle was that it was to my advantage to be as I am "(27, 22e). Finally, he tells the jurors of the oracle and interprets the oracle's message as putting Socrates forth as a model for other people, "as if he had said: 'This man among you, mortals, is wisest who, like Socrates, understands that his Wisdom is worthless' "(27, 23b).

Socrates believes that the examined life is one seeking internal and spiritual wisdom, asking questions and examining the lives of others, and seeking the best possible state of the soul, "For I go around doing nothing but persuading both young and old amongst you not To care for your body or your wealth in preference to or as strongly as for the best possible state of your soul "(34, 30b). He questioned those who thought they had wisdom and helped them to see that what they were looking for in life was not the way to true wisdom and satisfaction.

This statement made by Socrates about the unexamined life not being worth living makes sense from one point of view, but it is untrue if taken from the point of view of someone who is oblivious to this kind of wisdom and lacks the motivation to look for it . It is the same principle as saying ignorance is bliss. People can lead very happy lives, however simple, even without asking the questions that people like Socrates dare to ask. When it comes to those who do have an intrinsic desire to understand and have that passion about true wisdom like Socrates, however, to not pursue that desire would be very unfulfilling. So from Socrates' point of view, the statement makes perfect sense and should be true for those who have that curiosity, but from the point of view of many others, it simply does not apply. There could be an argument that a life lived by one who is oblivious to true wisdom is still leading a worthless life, but only from the point of view of someone looking in from the outside. To the person living it, his life has all the meaning in the world. It just depends on which point of view is taken. This statement is so bold that it is impossible for everyone to agree with it. I think that Socrates is thinking purely from the point of view of someone who has this knowledge, and not considering the possibilities of one who does not bother with curiosity.

Essay 4: The Clash Between "Just" and "Right"

Socrates makes a couple of very strong arguments in the dialogues of the Apology and the Crito. In the Apology, he states that if he were to be let free, he would still continue to live the lifestyle he was living. He believes with all his heart that what he is doing by asking questions and seeking answers and true wisdom is the right way to live. It was given to him by God and he is simply fulfilling his duty. Socrates argues that he must do what is right and if this meant going against the law, then he would certainly have to do so, for what is commanded by God is more important than what is commanded by the state, or the laws. Nothing should come before what is right, and Socrates believes that this overrides what the people who govern say is just.

Later in the Crito, Socrates is met by Crito who suggests that he run away and escape. In this dialogue, Socrates argues that it would indeed be wrong for him to break the law, even if his conviction was not just. In this situation, the law comes before anything else. He is saying that if he were to run away, he would be living as a poor example of what he believed and that he would rather face his death than live a life in which he was a coward, or at least where he would be labeled As a coward. Crito suggests several reasons why it should be right for Socrates to escape. He mentions his own reputation, and the fact that he would be forever looked down upon as someone who valued money more than he valued his friends. He also brought up the fact that he believes those who are accusing him and putting him to death are in fact his enemies. He should do what he can to keep from benefiting them, and so should escape to defy them. Finally Crito tells Socrates that he is careless for refusing because he is abandoning his own sons. His sons are the ones who should convince him to stay, because they need a father figure in their lives to bring them up properly. Socrates listens to each of these reasons for escaping intentionally, but in the end, still refuses to run away. He argues that to break the law is not right, no matter how unjust the law seems to be.

So, in the Apology, we have an argument that tells us we should do what we know is right and at all costs. This means that since Socrates believed his way of life was commanded by God, he should follow that path no matter what. On the other hand, we have an argument in the Crito that tells us that to break the laws, even if they seem to be unjust would be wrong. He backs up these arguments in their own situation. In the first instance we have the reasoning that correctness in leading the way of life is ordained to him by god overrides everything else, and in the second situation, it is wrong to go against your government even if the conviction is unjust.

After reading through and observing each of these situations and examining the words of Socrates in both instances, it is conclusive that they are inconsistent with each other. In the Apology, Socrates speaks of the evils in politics and the corruption. He states, "Do you think I would have survived all these years if I were engaged in public affairs and, acting as a good man must, came to the help of justice and considered this the most important thing? Far from it, men of Athens, nor would any other man "(37, 32e). As Socrates makes points about the justice system being corrupt, he defends the fact that what he is doing with his life is simply what was commanded of him by God. He refuses to live his life any other way, even if it means giving up his life. Later in the Crito, Socrates makes statements saying that it would be wrong for him to leave and escape death because he would be going against the law. He also makes it clear that his values ​​and principles have not changed. He says that he still holds true to the things that he has said in the past and defends those values ​​the same now as he did then. This is made clear when he states, "I can not, now that this fate has come upon me, discard the arguments I used; they seem to me much the same. I value and respect the same principals as before …" (48 , 46b).

An argument to saying these two claims are inconsistent may be to say that one simply undermines the other. In other words, Socrates only uses breaking the law hypothetically in thinking about what would happen if he were let free on the terms that he does not speak as he does. The other situation in the Crito is more potent in the fact that what he is saying about following the law is actually right and just, and is in fact, the actual situation he is in. I believe the argument that they are simply inconsistent makes more sense, because they are two very extreme statements that boldly contradict each other. It does not seem correct to say that the government is secondary in one argument and then to say that the government is the core of justice and should be followed in another.

The History of Franklin and Marshall Clothing

Franklin and Marshal Fashion Clothing were inspired by the prestigious college of that name. It is a private Liberal Arts college located in Lancaster Pennsylvania US. It is a residential college and is co-educational. There are about 2,120 full time students and 175 faculty members.

The fashion company was founded by two Italians Andrea Pensiero and Giuseppe Albarelli. They found a classic sweat shirt from the University in a London second hand clothing store in 2000. They based their line of fashionable sports apparel on this design. At this time they did not realize that there was a college of this name.

Once the college discovered the fashion company using their name and design they informed the company and worked out a license deal in 2003. The college gets a percentage of all the US sales of the clothing. However they do not get anything from international sales. The clothing company recently decided to offer a scholarship to the University but have not worked out the details yet.

At this time the company has 6 stores around the world, including Athens, Tokyo, Paris and Milan. The brand has become so popular in the Middle Eastern countries that the company plans to build 3 more stores in Kuwait and Dubai. At the end of 2011 it is estimated that the company's annual sales totaled around 61 million dollars. The brands sell out quickly overseas, but the customers have rarely heard of the Franklin and Marshal College, where the brand originated. This still does not deter younger people from buying the brand and staying in fashion.

As they are a designer brand the clothing is of high quality. This clothing is in fashion in Europe, Japan and the Middle East. Sales do not do as well in the US and 92% of the clothing is made in Italy. Perhaps this is the reason that it is more popular in the UK and Europe. There is also a lot of University brand clothing competing with this brand in the US which may be a factor as to why the product may not have done so well here. It does have a unique style which draws attention in Europe.

At this time the college is unsure whether the public of the clothing company has increased admission. However both the University and the Franklin and Marshal clothing company are helping each other's brands to become more popular.

The Geology of the Taygetos Mountains

INTRODUCTION

Greece records the highest level of seismic activity in Europe, and is an area where the geology is young and dynamic. Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence, and have shaped the course of Greek civilization and culture. Titanic, subterranean forces have molded some fascinating and unique geological features, sculpting rugged mountain ranges and precipitous, tumbling valleys.

THE FORMATION OF GREECE AND THE PELOPONNESE

200 million years ago, the area that would become Greece lay under the Tethys Ocean, trapped between the ancient super-continents of Pangaea and Laurasia. During the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, calciferous marine organisms caused and sank to the sea-floor, typically forming thick sedimentary deposits of dolomite and limestone.

As these two super-continents rotated towards each other, the entire Tethys Ocean was subordinated to slow and irresistible pressure. The huge stresses caused by this gradual squeezing deformed the earth's crust, and led to a steady uplifting and buckling of the sedimentary rocks. Intense heat and pressure metamorphosed the parent limestone and sandstone, into marble and quartzite, respectively.

This huge area of ​​uplifting stretches from the Alps through to the mountains of Iran, all of which are, geologically speaking, very young ranges. The boundary regions of these tectonic plates are complex and changeable; Greece occupations the Hellenic plate, which is slowly stretching, in a north-east / south-west direction. This micro-plate is spreading out over the descending African plate to the south-east, and the Turkish plate to the east.

The underlining geology is extremely complex, and the spreading Hellenic plate has created a series of horsts and grabens. These form the backbone of the area, giving rise to the jagged mountains and steep sided valleys. Constant kneading, and squeezing, of the bedrock has caused high levels of tectonic and volcanic activity in the area, influencing the underlying fabric of Greek culture and history.

For example, the volcanic explosion of c1644 BC, at Thera (Santorini), destroyed the cultured Minoan civilization on Crete. Ancient Sparta was leveled, in 464, and the aftermath of this destruction led to the first Peloponnesian war against Athens. More recently, Kalamata suffered serious damage in 1986, necessitating a complete rebuild of the city.

THE FORMATION AND GEOLOGY OF THE TAYGETOS MOUNTAINS

The complex uplifting of the whole Eastern Mediterranean formed the inspiring mountains of the Peloponnese, and the area is crossed by a complex web of inter-connected fault-lines. Gradual deformation of the Hellenic plate has created many localized faults within the peninsula, which is constantly slip and shear. The Taygetos and Parnonas Mountains are large horsts, with deep grabens on either side. Thus, the mighty Taygetos range is sandwiched by two faults, causing the large tremors that frequent the area.

ROCK FORMATIONS IN TAYGETOS

Due to its turbulent geological history, the Taygetos Mountains possess some interesting rock formations, primarily consisting of limestone and dolomite, formed when the area was under the Tethys ocean. Veins of quartz are embedded within this matrix, and many quartz based crystals are found in the area, including citrine and amethyst.

The Parnonas mountains, on the other side of the Evrotas Valley, contain Lapis Lacedaemonium, a rare type of serpentine porphyry found only around the village of Krokees. This semi-precious stone was one of the major exports of Ancient Sparta, and was extentionally quarried by the Romans, who used it to adorn their villas and public buildings.

THE DIROS CAVERNS

The Diros caverns, near Areopolis, are one of the longest cave systems in Greece, and are popular with casual tourists and speleologists alike. This hidden gem is ranked as the third most important cave system in the world,. The cave system itself was known in ancient times, and was referred to as an entrance to the underworld.

The sheer extent and scale of the caves was first discovered by I. Petrocheilos and his wife, Anna, in 1949. 1971 saw the start of a systematic cave diving and mapping process, and this research is still ongoing. The explored length of the network is 6.2 km, but there is a huge amount still to be uncovered. Scientists believe that the whole Peloponnese peninsula is honeycombed with a huge, and interconnected, network of caves.

The Diros caves are extremely beautiful, containing many interesting rock-formations and a series of awe-inspiring caverns. The Glyfada River runs through the calcium carbonate rocks, carving out a multitude of channels, and sculpting cathedral-like caverns. Steady infiltration by rainwater, when the river level was lower, created many beautiful and interesting stalagmite and stalactite formations.

MOUNT TAYGETOS

It is impossible to visit the Taygetos region without notice the pyramidal Mount Taygetos. The mountain actually consists of five peaks, known locally as the Pentedaktylos (Five Fingers), and the highest, Prophet Ilias, rises to 2410 meters. The mountain is an imposing sight, and looms ominously over the city of Sparta.

Taygetos was the site where Ancient Sparta executed criminals, cruelly throwing transgressors to their death. Sometimes the peak glistens in the sun, at other times a blanket of clouds caresses the summit. Throughout the winter, it is covered in a layer of pure, white snow, the pyramid standing out starkly against the crisp blue sky.

The Life of Socrates

Socrates was born 469BC and died 399BC. He lived through a turbulent time in Athenian history and is credited with making an authentic contribution to the development of philosophical ideas. He never wrote his ideas down as works of literature to be studied. Instead he seems to have influenced his followers through dialogue and discussion which has later been written down by his students. His most famous student was Plato and he offers a contemporary biased view of his teacher.

Socrates' mother was a well known midwife in Athens. This was one of the few paid jobs a woman could do outside her home and good midwives were well respected. Having such a constant parent may have given Socrates a less conventional outlook on life compared to his peers. He married a much younger woman known as Xanthippe who was probably from a high status family. It may seem remarkable that he married a very young bride, however in 5th century BC Athens the normal marriage age for a man was about 30 years and a girl 12 years old. No written sources allude to his employment, however if Xanthippe was from a good family she would have brought a good dowry into the marriage which may have enabled Socrates to free himself from the need to work. They had three sons and may have had daughter, although in ancient times children were not always noted by written sources. He later did military service and it believed that the statesman Alcibiades gained alongside him and also became his lover. Thus far, Socrates lived in the normal way.

He became involved in politics, which was a duty all freeborn Athenian men were expected to do. He showed that he was a person who stood by his principals when he refused to condemn to death eight Athenian generals who had abandoned their comrades while fighting the Spartans in the naval battle of Arginusae 404BC. The Athenians had been successful, however some of their ships were damaged and a number of men wounded. The eight generals were responsible for bringing these men home to safety, though a storm preverted them from carrying out their rescue mission and they left the men to their deaths. Socrates did not believe that these men should be put to death, seeing such punishment as an absolute last resort rather than something that should happen to please the mob. He did not make himself popular when making these sorts of decisions. Athens briefly came under the control of thirty tyrants. Socrates managed to stay true to his morals and not do as the tyrants had ordered him and other prominent Athens to do.

Socrates is famous for asking the Delphic oracle if he was the wisest person in Athens. The answer from the oracle was that he was the wisest. He was skeptical of this answer and set about testing it (believing that he could prove it wrong). He asked different Athenians for their opinion of their own wisdom. They all believed that they were very knowledgeable and wise. He realized that this common satisfaction at one's own wisdom preceded a person from the quest to know more and question what happens around them. He was acutely aware of his own lack of wisdom, which was something the people around him did not realize about themselves. He concluded that for this reason the Delphic oracle was indeed right and he was the wisest person in Athens. He also in a very unconventional manner openly open two women as highly influential as his teachers. The first was Diotima, a priestess from Mantine who tried him about eros (erotic love). The second was Aspasia, the mistress and later wife of the great statesman Pericles. He said that she taught him rhetoric. This was exceptionally unusual in a time that generally did not see any purpose in educating women beyond a basic level if at all.

Socrates also strongly supported the ascetic lifestyle. He was known to parade around the agora (marketplace) of Athens naked, having realized that clothes were possessions. For a long time the only thing he had with him was his drinking cup. When someone pointed out that this was a possession he thread it away. The ascetic lifestyle was the ultimate philosophical idea – to leave worldly things behind to develop true wisdom. He believed that he was a messenger to mankind from the gods which may explain his ascetism. Such a lifestyle became increasingly popular further east in Jerusalem, with many ascetics living without possession in the dessert as an ultimate expression of divine inspiration. The most famous of these ascetics would be Jesus.

Socrates made many enemies in Athens due to his unusual views and lifestyle, which included an admiration of the Spartan lifestyle (Athens had been fighting Sparta for thirty years). Finally charges were put together accusing him of corrupting the youth of Athens. He was seen as a heretic and someone who disturbed the nomos (good laws / good order) of society. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.

The Athenians did not expect Socrates to accept this punishment, but instead although he would see the punishment as a clear sign that he was not welcome and leave. His prison was not locked and a boat was moored nearby ready to take him away into exile. Socrates held true to what he believed in, which was the Athenian state and the laws of the people. Good laws were integral to a functioning society and for society to work well everyone had to obey these laws, even if they were not always to an individual's liking. The day came for execution and Socrates accepted this without argument and drunk the hemlock poison given to him. The poison worked slowly, numbing his legs and working up towards his heart. He died according to his principles in 399BC.

To find out about other historical figures from ancient Greece visit http://www.mythologyhellenic.com

Brief Summary of the Black Plague

In the year 1347, an epidemic disease arrived in Europe. Close to a century before, soldiers from the Mongolian Empire raided China, and upon their return, they unwittingly brought back foreign fleas carrying deadly bacteria embedded on their horses. Within decades, the virus began to take form and spread throughout the Silk Road, a merchant route running to the Black Sea. The Pandemic swept into Europe through rats and fleas which carried the deadly virus.

Several factors made the expansion of the virus possible. The flea that carried them lived on common rats that people generally see in their homes and cities. Trade ships entering northern Europe from the Mediterranean carried these rats into every port. Finally, the disease spread swiftly in Europe because of the heavily condensed population there.

The plague spread west from Constantinople and slowly went north. From Sicily, it infected France and crossed into the English Channel. Finally, it turned east, back towards Scandinavia and Russia. The Black Plague killed nearly 90 percent of all people it came in contact with. The exact number of deaths caused by the plague is not known. Historical records were not reliable and not always stored, but it is believed that nearly one-third of the entire population of Europe was exterminated.

Within a decade after this epic disaster, the human population came went through a rapid recovery. Though the plague was not over, birth rates were significantly high. In 1361, the plague returned but it particularly affected the younger generation, as they were never exposed to it before. Over the next century, the plague reoccurred every 5 to 10 years. Although they killed fewer people, it had stumped the human population and as a result, there was a decline in population between the 1350 and 1450. The Black Plague nearly prevented population growth and caused massive suffering. But, in a few decades, the population would rise back to its previous size.