Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season

Late dawn. Early sunset. Short day. Long night. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. 

It’s when the sun on our sky’s dome reaches its farthest southward point for the year. This year, the Northern Hemisphere has its shortest day and longest night of the year today - Wednesday, December 21.  Meanwhile, the Southern Hemisphere, on the day of the December solstice has its longest day and shortest night.

A solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis, and its motion in orbit around the sun. Because the Earth doesn’t orbit upright, but is instead tilted on its axis by 23-and-a-half degrees, Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly. The tilt of the Earth – not our distance from the sun – is what causes winter and summer. At the December solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is leaning most away from the sun for the year.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many
barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education. The aim of the Day is to create a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.

 By promoting empowerment, real opportunities are created. Empowerment involves investing in people - in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. The theme for 2016's Day is: Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want, which provides a frame for considering how people with disability are excluded from society by promoting the removal of all types of barriers; including those relating to the physical environment, information and communications technology (ICT), or attitudinal barriers.

“Yes I can, if ……..” Will Pike

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The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month ..........

19,240. Study that figure for a moment. That’s the number of soldiers killed on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. That is not the final death toll. This is just a single day. The first day.

Since 1815 the balance of power in Europe had been maintained by a series of treaties. In 1888 Wilhelm II was crowned ‘German Emperor and King of Prussia’ and moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive position.  These actions greatly concerned Germany’s neighbours, who quickly forged new treaties and alliances in the event of war. 

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It's International Infection Prevention Week

The history of the world is intertwined with the impact that infectious diseases
have had on populations. Evidence of smallpox has been found in 3000-year-old Egyptian mummies and Egyptian papyrus paintings depict infectious diseases such as poliomyelitis. Hippocrates wrote about the spread of disease by means of airs, water, and places, and made an association between climate, diet, and living conditions. And the Black Death of the 14th century had been the deadliest disease in history – until only recently being overtaken by AIDS.

In 1962 control and prevention measures, including the use of antibiotics and the development of vaccines, had decreased the incidence of many infectious diseases.  It therefore seemed entirely logical for the Nobel prize winner Sir Macfarlane Burnet to state ‘By the end of the Second World War it was possible to say that almost all of the major practical problems of dealing with infectious disease had been solved.’

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