Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of just about everything. He is the national saint of Russia and Greece and churches named after him number in the thousands - more than 400 in Great Britain alone. He is the patron saint of judges, murderers, pawnbrokers, thieves, merchants, paupers, scholars, sailors, bakers, travelers, maidens and poor children. Saint Nicholas was born in the Middle East about 350 miles northwest of Bethlehem in the fourth century. Perhaps the most famous story of all tells how he helped three unfortunate young sisters who all had suitors but had no dowries because their father, a poor nobleman, could not raise the money. So they could not marry. Now the bishop Nicholas was a shy man and did not like to give money directly, so he thought of a way to give it anonymously. When the first daughter was ready to marry, the good bishop tossed a bag of gold into the house at night. Later, when the second daughter and third daughter prepared to marry he did the same thing. But when the third daughter prepared to marry, the poor nobleman was determined to find out who had been so generous. So he kept watch and saw the bishop drop another bag of gold into the house. It has been said that Saint Nicholas climbed on the roof and dropped the third bag of gold down the chimney where it landed in a stocking hung to dry, giving us a reason to hang up Christmas stockings today. Nicholas begged him to keep the secret, but, of course, the news got out. From then on, whenever anyone received an unexpected gift, they thanked Nicholas. Six hundred years later, the Russian Emperor Vladimir visited Constantinople and heard all the wonderful stories about Bishop Nicholas and decided to make him the patron saint of Russia. The stories even spread to the Laplands - to the people of the reindeer sleds. Statutes and pictures had shown him holding the three bags and when taken as the patron saint of the merchants, the bags became gold balls, representing moneylenders and today, pawnbrokers in Italy. The anniversary of Nicholas' death, December 6th, either 345 A.D. or 352 A.D., is so close to Christmas that, in many countries, the two merged.
I think Saint Nicholas is the helper of all that lives; from criminals to babies. Anyone who needed help he would help.Like the three sisters he helped when they had suitors but no dowries. He gave them money to go get them.
Saint Nicholas was not left to rest in peace after his death, for in those days the bodies of holy men were of great value, not only spiritually but commercially. News leaked that the Venetians were coming to carry off the saint's body. The merchant seamen of the port of Bari in southeastern Italy were determined to divert them. On May 9, 1087, they made a raid on Myra, took the Saint's remains and carried them back home to Bari, where they are to this day in the beautiful Basilica of Saint Nicholas, which was built to house them. During the Reformation all saints fell into disrepute in parts of Europe that took to the Protestant faith. In 1545 Martin Luther's children received gifts from the "Holy child," after previous receiving them from Saint Nicholas. Parents quickly began using these "visits" to encourage good behavior from their offspring. It was also known that bad children received switches from Saint Nicholas. Dutch children were told that Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, sailed from Spain with a Moorish helper. They filled their shoes with hay and sugar for his horse and woke up to find the shoes filled with nuts and candies. Black Peter walks along with Sinterklaas. He wears animal skins or sometimes the colorful clothing of the medieval Moor and gives a switch to parents of bad boys and girls. Some say the bad children are taken away in the sack that Black Peter carries on his back.
I think that he should have been left to his rest. But he was taken by the Venetians to his own private housing in beautiful Bari. I also think that was a easy way to make the children behave. That is what I think about it.
12-17-2001 Entry# 3
Santa is indeed a very popular figure around the world. To Christians in the African Republic of Ghana, Father Christmas comes from the jungle. In Hawaii he comes by boat. On the Nerang River in Australia he rides water skis, wears a white beard and red bathing trunks. In Brazil Grandpapa Indian, Vovo Indo, brings gifts. In China, Santa Claus is called Dun Che Lao Ren, which means Christmas Old Man. He brings presents to good children. Being a culturally diverse and worldly fellow, Santa has many interpretations: Ghosts of the field" cleared the way for Saint Nicholas in parts of the Alps. Behind them came a man wearing a goat's head, and a masked demon with a birch switch. In Germany's Berchtesgaden district, twelve young men dressed in straw and wearing animal masks danced along after Saint Nicholas, ringing cowbells. The German Saint Nicholas also comes with a helper. He has different names in different parts of Germany: Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus in southern German; Pelzebock in the northwestern part of the country; and Hans Muff in the Rhineland. Swedish children wait eagerly for Jultomten, a gnome whose sleigh is drawn by the Julbocker, the goats of the Thor, the god of thunder. He dresses in red and carries a bulging sack on his back. In Denmark the gift bringer, Julemanden, also carries a sack and is drawn by reindeer. Elves called Juul Nisse are said to come from the attic, where they live, to help Julemanden. In Poland the children's gifts are said to come from the stars and in Hungary angels bring them. In Syria children's gifts come from the youngest camel on January 6th, which is Three Kings Day. Italian children also receive gifts on Three Kings Day, but the gift bearer is La Befana. La Befana refused to go to Bethlehem with the wise men when they passed her door because she had not finished her sweeping. In Russia the same ageless wanderer is called Baboushka. She gave the wise men the wrong directions and on the eve of Three Kings Day she wanders from house to house, peering into the faces of children and leaving gifts. English children wait for Father Christmas, known to their ancestors as Christmas itself. In France gifts are also brought by Father Christmas, Pre Noel, or the Christ Child himself. In Austria and Switzerland the Christkindl bears gifts. In some towns Christkindl is a beautiful girl-angel sent down from heaven to give gifts.
I think Santa is popular person around the world. I think he brings presents to children all over because no matter what religion you are. He has different names like; Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus in southern German; Pelzebock in the northwestern part of the country; Hans Muff in the Rhineland; Jultomten in Swedish; Julemanden in Denmark.
The 2001 United Way campaign has been so successful that officials project donations will surpass their $369,050 goal. "I'm excited about what Tangipahoa Parish did through the United Way, considering the attention the Sept. 11 attacks received," said Pam Hemen, United Way administrative assistant for Tangipahoa and St. Tammany parishes. Most corporate donors, like Southeastern Louisiana University, met and exceeded their goals. Southeastern topped its record with a $25,000 donation. United Way also benefited from tremendous boosts from some of the existing donors like the United Parcel Service and the city of Hammond, she said. Most of those donations from the city came from the fire and police departments. An additional, unexpected donation of $65,000 came from the Wal-Mart distribution center in Robert. So far, United Way officials have received $293,621 in donation pledges and are projecting that they can exceed the goal by raising at least $384,000. About 23,000 people in Tangipahoa Parish used the local United Way or the local United Way agencies this past year.
I think that the United Way is a good company and gathering money for the right reasons. I also think that them reaching their goal of that amount was a big triumph for them.
12-17-2001 Entry# 5
Jennifer and Chad Robertson of Tickfaw rang in the New Year with the birth of their first child, Morgan Leigh Robertson, the first baby born at North Oaks Hospital in 2002. Born at 12:45 p.m. on New Year's Day in the North Oaks Women's Pavilion, she weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and measured 20 1/2 inches long. The new mother is a kindergarten teacher at Roseland Elementary, and the new dad works at Wal-Mart in Denham Springs. Labor pains began on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. The nurses and doctors told the Robertsons that unless an unforeseen event occurred, their baby would most likely be the New Year's baby. Many people have wanted to come by to see the baby, the new mom said, adding that Morgan looks like her Daddy. They named Morgan after Jennifer's maiden name, Morgenthaler. Leigh is a twist on Chad's middle name, Lee. For the baby born on a special day, the new parents hopes she will be healthy and happy. "I hope she succeeds in all endeavors," Chad said. The couple, which will be married two years in July, said their special New Year's resolution is to be good parents.
I think that the baby was lucky to be born on New Years Day. I additionally think that the parents were lucky to have a child on that day.
Entry # 6
A ninth-grade biology student in Marine learns that tuna nets have been needlessly capturing and killing hundreds of thousands of dolphins each year. As a result of public pressure such as this, within months the nations three leading tuna companies pledge to stop the practice that kills so many dolphins. A group of New Hampshire tenth grade become concerned that their lunch trays are made of Styrofoam. People around the world are choosing to tackle the earth environmental problems. As the example above shows, a kid can play a major role in this effort. It is estimated that Americans generate enough trash each year to fill a line of trash trucks that would stack halfway to the moon. You yourself may have thrown away 60 pounds of plastic each year. An astounding 80 percent of all trash goes straight to landfills where waste is buried between layers of Earth. Much of trash will sit there for hundreds of years.
Even though he is just a child he never gave up trying to get them to stop the practice on killing dolphins.
Entry # 7
In 1957, Osama Bin Laden was born one of 52 siblings of a Saudi Arabia Billionaire. In the 1980s, bin laden left Saudi Arabia to go to Afghanistan to take in the Islamic and soviet war. Bin Laden became a rebel leader and war hero. When he returned, he declared the ruling Saudi royal family Insufficiently Islamic and advocated the use of force to overthrow it. He aligned himself with the other radical Muslims who support terrorism against the U.S. Today, bin laden reportedly funds a network of terror with a personal future estimated to be about $250 Million.
I think even though Bin Laden was one of 52 siblings he tried to rule all. Because he toke over Saudi Arabia saying it was insufficiently Islamic.
Entry # 8
To help prevent further attacks, the bush administration recently asked congress to adopt
broader, tougher counter terrorism measures. The antiterrorism act of 2001, the bush administration proposal calls for more than 50 provisions that the government said are needed to combat terrorism. Many lawmakers and civil libertarians urged caution in
passing new antiterrorism laws. Historian David M. Kennedy called the past-attack period a potentially dangerous moment for lawmakers. In times of war or national emergency, Kennedy added, the U.S government has passed laws that seemed vital at the time but in his sight violated citizens rights.
I think they should have done something earlier after the first attack. I also think that the antiterrorism act is a good thing to start.
As cars circle the track in Indianapolis, Indiana, each year, another, quieter race is talking place. The drivers are young; some are high-school students. One year, drivers raced from Albany, New York, to the finish line in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Although the cars can reach speeds of almost 70 miles per hour, they spent five days traveling the 250 miles between the two cities, a snails pace compared to the Indy 500. The name Tour De Sol offers a clue to what the annual race is about. Sol means sun in Latin, and the young drivers rely on energy from the sun. Lift the hood of a tour de sol car, and you will not find a methanol or gasoline engine.
The countries of Southwest Asia obtain water from different sources. In Saudi Arabia, the wealth of the nations oil resources helps fund the desalination plants along the Persian Gulf. Without desalination, there would be little fresh water available for cities or irrigation farming. Many other countries in the region, however, do not have the money to build and run such plants. Israel, either vast expanse of desert, depends on several methods to obtain fresh water. Since1964, much of Israels water has been supplied by a pipeline called the National Water Carrier, which carries water from the Sea of Galilee to tel Aviv and down the coastal plain toward the Negev Desert. Israel also relies on Desalination plants and conserves water in agriculture through the use of drip irrigation
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