Jul 26, 2015


Capitalism is an economic system in which most of the industries and businesses in a country are owned privately, rather than by the government. Capitalists are people who use their own wealth (or other people's money) to make more wealth. The extra money they make is their profit. Some capitalists manufacture things to sell at a profit. Some are store owners who sell goods at a profit. Others are financiers or investors who lend their money in the hope of getting more back.

No matter what their business, the aim of capitalists is to make a profit. But this does not mean that they can charge very high prices or sell bad goods. If they do, they will probably lose business to others who sell better goods or have lower prices. Competition forces capitalists to sell the best possible goods at the lowest possible price. Competition is an important feature of capitalism. The profits made by individual capitalists in free competition benefit the economy of a whole country. As capitalists make profits they can expand their businesses and put more people to work.

Early Capitalism
In the Middle Ages, Europe had a feudal agricultural system. Land belonged to the church and to the nobles and was worked mainly by serfs. Few people were free to own and control their own businesses except in the cities.

Jul 19, 2015

Why We Ask "Why?"

Sometimes as the fog of sleep lifts, the mind becomes aware of its traffic. Like commuters on an expressway, messages speed across the corpus callosum, a thick bridge of 200-250 million nerve fibers spanning the brain's two hemispheres. More will follow in a continuous stream of hubbub going in both directions. The brain is a duet of specialists which produces a single experience that's part enterprise, part communion, but all process, all motion.

The right brain is the strong silent one. It can see and act, but not report. Only the left brain talks, and it jabbers all day long, in a self-styled monologue and running commentary on the world, punctuated by conversations with other folk blessed (or cursed) with equally gabby left brains. What's more, the two sides specialize in different facets of mind, with the left excelling at speech and language and the right better at visual-motor skills. Heavy lifting is fine, but don't ask the right brain to solve knotty verbal problems. Which is not to say that the right side doesn't process language - it does, but weakly compared with the eloquent feats of the left. Damage the left hemisphere and language becomes a night- mare, especially for men (women generally recover better from left hemisphere injuries). But people vary greatly and the brain is resilient, so, fortunately, some victims with injured left brains do manage to regain speech. Mind you, that doesn't necessarily mean they can write. As it happens, writing isn't much related to speaking. A relatively recent invention, it's not part of our evolutionary heritage, but more like a sophisticated team sport with changing equipment and rules.

Jul 12, 2015

The Corinth Canal in Greece

The Corinth Canal in Greece is a deep-ditch ship canal, connecting the Ionian and Aegean seas. Built between 1882 and 1893, the canal is only 4 miles (6.3 kilometers) long. But for most ships, it saves a 202-mile (325-kilometer) voyage around southern Greece. The canal has no locks because its entire length is at sea level. 
(The Book of Knowledge encyclopedia)

Jul 5, 2015

1867: The formation of the Dominion of Canada

In 1864, the "Fathers of the Confederation" met in Quebec to discuss the union of Britain's North American colonies. Three years later the Dominion of Canada was founded. The Provinces that were part of Canada in 1867 were: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. 
(Adapted from ‘The Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia and http://www.worldatlas.com)