Monday, 18 February 2013

Conservatism



Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to retain") is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were". The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution. 

The term, historically associated with right-wing politics, has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus, conservatives from different parts of the world - each upholding their respective traditions - may disagree on a wide range of issues.

Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish politician who served in the British House of Commons and opposed the French Revolution, is credited as one of the founders of conservatism in Great Britain. According to Hail sham, a former chairman of the British Conservative Party, "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Digestion

Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into a blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones.

When food enters the mouth, its digestion starts by the action of mastication, a form of mechanical digestion, and the contact of saliva. Saliva, which is secreted by the salivary glands, contains salivary amylase, an enzyme which starts the digestion of starch in the food. After undergoing mastication and starch digestion, the food will now be in the form of a small, round mass, called a bolus.

It will then travel down the esophagus and into the stomach by the action of peristalsis. Gastric juice in the stomach starts protein digestion. Gastric juice mainly contains hydrochloric acid and pepsin. As these two chemicals may damage the stomach wall, mucus is secreted by the stomach, providing a slimy layer that acts as a shield against the damaging effects of the chemicals. At the same time protein digestion is occurring, mechanical mixing occurs by peristalsis, which are waves of muscular contractions that move along the stomach wall. This allows the mass of food to further mix with the digestive enzymes. After some time (typically an hour or two in humans, 4–6 hours in dogs, somewhat shorter duration in house cats), the resulting thick liquid is called chyme.

When the pyloric sphincter valve opens, chyme enters the duodenum where it mixes with digestive enzymes from the pancreas, and then passes through the small intestine, in which digestion continues. When the chyme is fully digested, it is absorbed into the blood. 95% of absorption of nutrients occurs in the small intestine. Water and minerals are reabsorbed back into the blood in the colon (large intestine). Some vitamins, such as biotin and vitamin K (K2MK7) produced by bacteria in the colon are also absorbed into the blood in the colon. Waste material is eliminated during defecation.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Abeliophyllum


Abeliophyllum (White Forsythia) is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the olive family, Oleaceae. It consists of one species, Abeliophyllum distichum Nakai (Korean Abelialeaf), endemic to Korea, where it is endangered in the wild, occurring at only seven sites. It is related to Forsythia, but differs in having white, not yellow, flowers.

It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are opposite, simple, 6–10 cm long and 3-4.5 cm wide, pubescent both above and below. The flowers are produced in early spring before the new leaves appear; they are white and fragrant, about 1 cm long, with a four-lobed corolla. The fruit is a round, winged samara 2–3 cm diameter.
It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in Europe and North America.