The Timurid Empire

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

The Timurid Empire was one of the largest empires in its time, and its leader, Timur, was a ruthless emperor who showed no mercy to those who opposed him.File:Timur orders campaign against Georgia.jpg

Timur (also known as Tamerlane) was reportedly born in 1336,and was taken prisoner early in his life by an invading Mongol army. Timur soon built a coalition of allies, and repelled another Mongol invasion army. Timur himself claimed descent from Genghis Khan himself (and married a descendent of Genghis Khan), but this claim was never proven. Timur called his growing empire the beacon of Islam, and set out to extinguish the other Islamic nations. There were three other major Islamic empires at the time, but Timur dispatched them one by one. Persia was undergoing a dynastic crisis, and Timur was able to come in and annex the country. The Golden Horde, the remnant of Genghis Khan’s former empire, turned on its ally and was subsequently broken up by Timur, never again to re-gain its former status. Timur then focused his attention on the very wealthy Delhi Sultanate in India, capturing Delhi itself in 1398 in one of his greatest victories. The Ottoman Empire under its sultan Beyezid I was the last empire that Timur sought. Beyezid was sieging Constantinople (the final remnant of the Byzantine Empire) at the time, but was forced to break off the siege to engage Timur’s invading army. Beyezid was captured in this battle and forced to be a slave of Timur, enduring public humiliation until his death a year later.

After Beyezid’s death, the Ottoman Empire was in disarray and in dynastic chaos. However, revolts closer to home forced Timur to return to his own borders, and he died shortly afterwards in 1405. Timur had conquered three empires and defeated another, and his territory extended from Southeastern Turkey to the Chinese border. Timur was the ruler of the Middle East for sure. He truly had achieved “greatness,” but only in one respect. Timur was widely known for his ruthlessness. When Baghdad revolted against him in 1402, he announced that every soldier of his was to bring him two severed heads to prove to him that the city was his again. The civilian death was massive, and some soldiers resorted to killing members of their own family to spare themselves from Timur’s wrath.

However, Timur proved to be over-ambitious. The greatness of the Timurid empire disintegrated shortly after Timur’s death. His descendants proved less adept at ruling his once-mighty empire, and soon it was no longer an empire. By 1507 it had completely disappeared from the maps of the world. What might possibly have been the most ruthless era in History was over, yet much changed due to Timur’s ambitions. Three empires disappeared, and one former empire was saved, the former Byzantine empire, which hung on to Constantinople only. It would not be until 1453 that the Ottomans had enough strength to once again siege it, and this time win.

Pi Day

Tags

, , , ,

Today is Pi Day. That might sound weird to you, but it’s Pi, not Pie.

 

File:Pi pie2.jpg

A Pi Pie, just in case you weren’t already confused!

 

However, eating Pies and throwing them is still a tradition for Pi Day. Pi Day was even officially recognized by the U.S. Government in 2009! Pi Day occurs on the 14th of March, making the holiday appear on 3/14, a very fitting date since Pi’s numbers start with 3.14. The symbol of Pi is π,an Ancient Greek letter. Pi is often used to help determine       the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. While math isn’t exactly my favorite subject, I wouldn’t mind celebrating the day with my favorite type of pie- pumpkin.

Whether it be for Pi or Pie, Pi Day could be considered proof that people are running out of Holidays to make! So on this Tuesday, celebrate Pi and all it has to offer.

Birthdays

Tags

, ,

Birthdays are very important, though many celebrate them differently. My Birthday was two days ago (I am now 15 years of age), and I had a wonderful time!

Birthdays have been around for a very long time, though in the Bible only one Birthday is mentioned: The Egyptian Pharaoh in Genesis 40:20. Even back then there were Birthday celebrations! Some people have parties with friends, others have a private celebration with family, while some don’t celebrate their Birthdays at all. I had the former two. I had a Marvelous birthday party with my friends, and then a family celebration where we went to some of my favorite restaurants, including Panera, Rubio’s, and Islands, plus a little dessert at Yogurtland. I opened up a few presents, and was very happy with the coins and Dorito bags I received!

Birthdays are a very specific time of the year that reflects the anniversary of someone’s Birth, and is a symbol of the individuality of that person. How do you celebrate your Birthday?

Anthem

Tags

, , , ,

No, I am not talking about the United States National Anthem. I am talking about the book Anthem by Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand is better known for her works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She was well-known for promoting the Objectivist Movement, and her works received mixed reviews by literary critics. However, she has a legacy for her works and for Anthem, which was first published in 1938.

The book’s setting is that of a futuristic Utopian dark age, where new technology and individualism are rejected by a World Council that determines the Earth’s affairs. In this Utopian society everyone works “for the Greater Good”, and are forced to use the word “we” to describe themselves. The protagonist of the book is a young man named Equality 7-2521, who yearns to learn more about the Earth’s mysteries, and believes that the World Council has led the Human Race astray from the truth. He re-discovers electricity, but the Council rejects it and attempts to arrest him. Equality flees to a forest nearby, and is followed by a friend, whom he simply calls “The Golden One”. Equality and The Golden One discover what it is like to say the word “I” and be individuals, not slaves to a Utopian society, and Equality plans to return and bring his fellow friends with him to the forest to start a new civilization that is free from Utopia.

Rand emphasized several themes in her book Anthem, the main one being individualism over society. Rand believed that people should be individuals instead of one society, and Anthem is a prominent example of Dystopia, or Anti-Utopia. However, Rand also believed that man is not supposed to live for others, but only for oneself. She did not believe in being any brother’s keeper. I believe that, as a Christian, I am supposed to love my neighbor like myself, and I am my brother’s keeper. Rand also believed that one must be selfish to have love, but she did not realize that unconditional love is unselfish, and that God has an unconditional love for us.

While Anthem may not be the most thought-provoking book ever made, it does have one important point I can agree with: Don’t try to be like everybody else. You are special, and you are an individual, not part of a group that does not care about you. God cares about you. Jesus died on the cross for you. If that’s not unconditional love, I don’t know what is.

President for a Day

Tags

, , ,

“Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” artist Andy Warhol famously stated. Imagine if you were the President of the United States of America for one day? Well, one man might have been.

David Rice Atchison was born on August 11, 1807, and became the Democratic President pro tempore of the United States Senate on August 8, 1846, and would remain so until December 2, 1849. Here are the events that led up to Atchison’s “Presidency”; Zachary Taylor was elected President of the United States in the election of 1848. In those days, the Presidential oath of office was taken on March 4th instead of January 20th. However, March 4th of 1849 fell on a Sunday, so Taylor decided to take it the next day on the 5th instead. As the President pro tempore at the time, Atchison theoretically would have become Acting President of the United States until Taylor took the oath of office. Atchison spent his day of fame and power sleeping. After his “term,” Atchison would remain as President pro tempore of the Senate, and would briefly join the army of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War as a Brigadier General. Atchison died on January 26, 1886.

While some believe Atchison to have been “President for a day”, most historians and scholars dismiss this claim. It must be pointed out that the Constitution of the United States does not require a President to take the oath of office in order to become president, just to execute his powers. Furthermore, even if the laws permitted Atchison to become Acting President, his own Senate term expired on that day, and he would not be re-elected as President pro tempore of the Senate until March 5th himself.

While he may not have been the technical “President for a day”, Atchison still gained recognition and fame for both what happened (becoming “President”) and what he did (slept) during his supposed Presidency.

President’s Day

Tags

, , ,

Today is Monday, usually a time for men to go to work and children to go to school. However, it is a holiday, and my family gets a break from work!

File:Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg

George Washington

 

President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday of every February. It was created to honor George Washington’s birthday. Some think Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is also included, but it is not. In 1951, the first attempt to make President’s Day  a federal holiday occurred, but it failed. However, many states adopted it as a local holiday for March 4th. The term President’s Day was popularized in the 1980’s.

It is nice to have a holiday break once in a while, and to honor our presidents, who gave us the freedom we needed.

The DeVos Vote

Tags

, , , , ,

On November 23, 2016, Donald Trump nominated Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, a controversial choice for some.

Of course, it was a fight to confirm DeVos into office due to her outspoken support of School Choice. On January 31, she was confirmed by the Senate committee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions 12-11, bitterly along partisan lines. In the Senate, her nomination was shaky. However, Vice-President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote, as the vote was 50-50. This is probably the longest time it ever took for the Senate to confirm an American President’s nominees for his cabinet. The irony is that the Democrats prolonging this process and not confirming Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General quickly sabotaged their attempt at denying DeVos her cabinet position! The vote was 50-50, and Senator Sessions voted in DeVos’s favor. If Sessions had been confirmed to office earlier (and therefore leaving his position in the Senate), DeVos probably would not have been confirmed to office, as the vote would have been 50-49 against her.

DeVos was confirmed, as were many of Trump’s cabinet picks, but it has caused a division. Even though I fully support DeVos being the Secretary of Education, I feel sad that no one can agree on anything, and that we must fight so hard for what we believe in.

Super Bowl LI

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday I watched the 51st Super Bowl, featuring the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Records were broken, and the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time occurred!

My blog is obviously about history, but you might have noticed the lack of Sports in my posts. I am not crazy about sports, and this Super Bowl is the first one I spent more than 5 minutes watching! I guess I WAS missing something, because I thought this Super Bowl was entertaining and fun to watch. I watched the Super Bowl at a friend’s (the Harndens, who are in the same Boy Scout troop as I) house, and almost everybody there (including my family and me) were rooting for the Falcons due in part to the Deflategate Scandal on the Patriots’ side, and also because the Falcons were the underdogs.

The Falcons’ appearance at the Super Bowl was a big surprise for many, as this was only their second Super Bowl ever. The first time was in 1999, when the Falcons lost to the Denver Broncos. The Falcons were under the leadership of head coach Dan Quinn, and their quarterback Matt Ryan earned the NFL MVP title in 2016. The Falcons achieved a surprising comeback after failing to qualify to play in the playoffs for the last three seasons, and were looking for their first Super Bowl victory. The Patriots’ appearance at the Super Bowl was no surprise. Despite quarterback Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension after Deflategate, the Patriots still made an NFL best 14-2 wins, and under head coach Bill Belichick, were ready for their ninth Super Bowl appearance.

The 51st Super Bowl began with Luke Bryan singing the National Anthem of the United States, and with former President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush doing the coin toss, allowing the Falcons to start first. Both Bushes had been in the hospital recently- George Bush for Pneumonia. The halftime show was headlined by Lady Gaga. The first quarter of the Super Bowl resulted in no scoring by either team, but during the second quarter the Falcons dominated, sending the teams to their locker rooms with a score of 21-3 in favor of Atlanta. During the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Patriots overcame the deficit and eventually tied the game, 28-28, forcing the Super Bowl to go into overtime for the first time in history. The Patriots won the coin toss, with the result being that James White for the Patriots barely managed to get the ball across the touchdown line, giving the Patriots the victory. The end result may have been decided by the coin toss, and I knew the Patriots would win as soon as the coin was called for them.

The Super Bowl was very close and therefore, very interesting. I’m sure many people were on the edge of their seats towards the end! Many records were also set. The Patriots won their 5th Super Bowl championship under the leadership of quarterback Tom Brady. Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for the 4th time (even though he was sacked 5 times. Brady  said post-game that James White should have been MVP), an NFL record. Super Bowl LI was also the Patriot’s 9th Super Bowl Appearance (another record), their second in three years, and their 7th under the leadership of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The Patriots set another record by overcoming a 25-point deficit, and Super Bowl LI was the first Super Bowl to go into overtime as well.

Overall, I felt that both teams deserved to win. The Falcons were the leading team during the first half of the game, but the Patriots rallied to win 34-28 during overtime. This was a Super Bowl to remember!

The Truth Behind the Election

Tags

, , , , , ,

Yes, let’s talk politics. When anybody speaks that sentence nowadays, it seems like everyone in the room puts headphones on, as if they anticipate you raging one way or another. However, I have a very large interest in politics, and what happened recently is even more intriguing. I may be slightly biased during this post, but I need to make a point.

First, let’s get to the truth by putting the election in a different perspective. Liberals refer to many Republicans as having Wall Street connections. Exactly the opposite is true: Democrats are the ones that are the bosses behind the big cities. If the electoral college voted based on which candidate won the most counties in the states, Republicans would have dominated. If you look up the results by county for every U.S. presidential election, the only Democrat who would have been elected since 1944 would be Lyndon B. Johnson, and he would not have even won because he only became president due to Kennedy’s assassination, and Kennedy would have lost the 1960 election if it had been based on counties and not the popular vote. Therefore, Johnson would have never become president in the first place.

In the 2000 election, Al Gore almost became president, with 266 electoral votes, even though he only won 20 states (mostly tiny states in the Northeast) compared to Bush’s 30. However, county-wise, Bush would have won in a landslide! Gore would only have won a few small Northeastern states, and not even New York! In 2008, Obama would have lost to John McCain by carrying only California, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa, and a few small Northeastern states. Same thing for 2012. And in 2016, Trump would have been the undisputed victor, winning New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Maine, and New Hampshire in addition to his previous state victories. Trump won about 10 counties for every 1 for Hillary Clinton.

The question now is: If the Republicans dominated these election county-wise, how on earth did the Democrat’s few counties trounce the Republican’s so many times? Democrats have the big cities, and they have them overwhelmingly. New York City alone can give a popular vote victory in New York to the Democrats, and New York City has not gone Republican since 1924. So I’ll leave it up to you: Who, in fact, IS the party boss party? from my point of view, it’s the Democrats, who now have less legitimacy than the Republicans.

Also, Trump issued a controversial temporary immigration ban from several predominantly Islamic countries just days ago, and fired his acting Attorney General for disobeying his orders to enforce it. America got what it voted for, and this WAS a Trump campaign promise, yet America elected him anyway, so obviously it has some support. However, Liberals are crying up a storm. Conservatives have put up with Obama for 8 years without being violent and tearing apart friends and families. By comparison, Trump does one small thing  and liberals are ready for a Civil War! This has little difference from the war of 1861, when we were fighting to free the slaves. Now we are fighting to save the country, and I am on Jesus’s side. I believe it wrong to kill innocent, living babies, who did not have a chance in this world. I believe it to be treason to burn the American Flag in protest, and I believe it sinful to try to incite division. If you think my attack on the liberal side is too dramatic and harmful, you should see the liberals talking! I feel like no matter what I do, it is never enough, because I play fair. I have a reason to: I have peace because of Jesus Christ. What do the liberals have? I pray for all of them, and their decisions. Not all liberals break windshields, but I pray that those who don’t condemn these outrageous acts!

America, stop whining, everyone is sick of it! Violence is not the key, and violent acts and yelling at your family does not make your cause look any better! Conservatives took 8 years of Obama, and liberals can’t take two days of anybody else! Let us be reasonable, and let God decide. That is my reason to stay calm even when things are not going my way. I don’t block freeways and burn flags, I trust in the Lord, and anything that ever happened happened for a reason.

A Minecraft Story

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Sssay.. Thats’ss a nice housse you got there. It would be a sshame if ssomething were to happen to it…  These words are what players imagine the dreaded creeper says, the last hiss you hear before the beautiful house you spent 2 hours building becomes a hole in the ground as the creeper explodes in your face. For those of you who play Minecraft, you know what I am talking about. If you don’t play Minecraft, however, here is some information on the very addictive video game.

Minecraft is one of the most popular games of all time. Few can deny that the World simply loves this addictive game, which has only been surpassed in video game sales by the puzzle game Tetris.

Minecraft was created in 2011 by the company Mojang (purchased by Microsoft in 2014) and its game programmer Markus Persson, a.k.a. Notch, the creator of Minecraft. Minecraft was also developed by Jens Bergensten, who took over designing Minecraft from Notch. Minecraft is, as of January 2017, on update 11.2 for the PC version. Minecraft is a three-dimensional sandbox game, and a very addictive one. There is so much to this game, including mobs (creatures besides the player, some of which are deadly), Creepers (a mob and the scary icon of Minecraft), and yourself as a player. Minecraft can also be educational, as there are lots of tools and uses for the items used in-game! There is no official end to the game, either, so there are endless opportunities to explore the nearly infinite world Minecraft provides. It is a very fun way to pass the time, and multiplayer servers make it so much more fun! Servers are created by like-minded Minecraft lovers who want to make their “own” game, to play outside of the

minecraft-skin-front

My new Minecraft skin

original game. My favorite such server is Mineplex.com. There is also a spin-off game titled Minecraft: Story Mode, and many books were made on the subject.

I play Minecraft a bit with my brother Morgan. We were first introduced to it shortly after it came out by our cousin, Alex. We were immediately interested in the game, and since then, my brother has conducted numerous experiments on Minecraft, as well as making fortresses and traps for me and friends to try to escape.

There is also another part of Minecraft: your skin. The “skin” is what your player looks like to other players. The default skins are “Steve” and “Alex”, boy and girl. My account, DarkNightmareX, ironically looked like “Alex” for a long time… I understandably wanted to change the skin, and I eventually did so by creating my own on NovaSkins.com.

It’s true; Minecraft isn’t for everybody (like my parents, for instance). However, it continues to fascinate many young men and women, and will hopefully entertain many generations to come.