Saturday, 23 April 2016

History report - conclusion

How did Christopher Columbus' discoveries mark the entry into the modern era?

He showed that it was possible to find new lands that were completely unknown and inspired generations of explorers. Although the islands he discovered were in fact not in Asia as he had imagined, they nonetheless led to the unparalleled riches of the New World, which far exceeded expectations once gold was discovered in areas such as Peru and Mexico. Every other European power which did not ally with Spain had to compete with a rich and rapidly expanding empire from this point onwards.

New maps; though he didn’t provide the inspiration for the name, virtually all subsequent maps would refer to what Columbus discovered as “America” There's even a laboratory on the International Space Station called the Columbus laboratory. Columbus’ name has become synonymous with discovery, and 1492 is widely regarded, for good or bad, as the point when Europeans changed the face of the world forever.

He found the way to what is now the superpower of America, and his legacy lives on strongly in Latin America particularly. His discoveries provided the basis for the growth of an empire that stretched from Louisiana to Chile. People in Latin America still speak Spanish, which has become the world’s largest language after Mandarin Chinese with about 470 million native speakers.

Although some people, namely the Vikings, had reached the Americas before Columbus, none had a permanent effect. After Columbus sustained contact began between the New and Old Worlds, often detrimental to the former and beneficial to the latter. Columbus died holding the belief that the islands he had discovered (he never made it to mainland America) were off of the Asian coast, but nonetheless the pioneers and explorers who followed in his footsteps changed the face of the planet; crops and foodstuffs previously unknown to Europeans, such as cocoa, tomatoes and potatoes, were brought back. Politics changed forever, with Spain conquering much of South and Central America and other powers such as Britain and France following suit. Thus, Columbus has the distinction of marking the shift from the Classical and Medieval Worlds into the Modern era.

Satellite colonisation arguably began with Columbus. The previous “colonisers” of Rome and Greece did not seek to take land far away, rather they wanted to settle nearby; the furthest Greek colony was what is now Marseilles, which is still Mediterranean. But the Spanish and Portuguese wanted trading outposts which were as far away from older possessions as possible, so long as they were well-placed for trade or settlement (ideally both) The Spanish also tried to make people such as the Aztecs subjects of the Spanish Crown directly, through their consent, but smallpox made this impractical quite quickly, as it spread through and killed the native population regardless of if they were allied to Spain or not. The reason the Aztec Empire fell relatively easily to Spanish forces was largely due to the native allies (such as the Tlaxcalla) that the Spanish used against them.

The Columbus laboratory:

Most of this was based on my previous documents and their sources. Feel free to read the other posts. 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Cunt cup - First month

My menstrual cup, that I've affectionately named the cunt cup arrived the 28th of March. The day after my period stopped. I ordered it ten days before and it had arrived the 19th but was nowhere to be seen. I had to contact the seller and get it resent. 

So I've been waiting all month to use it and my period is a week early. Sod's law. The one time I'm excited to get my period it shows up early. 
Actually this is my shortest cycle to date. 

Day one
Just after midnight and I'm thinking of going to bed. I quickly go to the toilet and there's the red stain. Balls.

Inserting the cup was a breeze. I used the C fold and got it inserted in a way that feels correct first try. 

I went to bed and woke up around 8am. It hasn't leaked but I was feeling paranoid so grabbed my things and ran down to the bathroom for a shower. I actually took the cup out in the shower because I was more comfortable with getting blood there than on the floor and toilet. It was fine. Came out first try. 

After getting out the shower I had a hard time putting it in. It kept sitting too low. I did eventually get it in comfortably. 

I then went out as normal and I have a cough. While walking if I cough I can feel it which is strange and makes me wonder if it's in okay. 

I emptied it early afternoon and it was a faff to get back in. Once I'd flushed the toilet the blood was still there so I had to flush again. The cup was fairly full but his is normally my heaviest day. I didn't really stop to look how full.

I think the real reason why I can feel it when I cough is because I had such a bad cough. I seem to have a chest infection. 

For the evening I had another shower. All the housemates were downstairs for a party and I didn't want to spend fifteen minutes down in the bathroom attracting suspicion... Out. In. No mother. About 1/4 full. 

Off to bed with no underwear because I've not yet had a leak.

Day two
I emptied the cup when I got up in the morning and is not leaked. I did some gardening and knitting during the day and didn't empty it again until the end of the afternoon. I'd leaked a very small amount. 

The cup is never very full, under a teaspoon each time I empty it. Really puts into perspective how little blood women lose each cycle. 

Changed the cup again before bed and it was almost empty. I'm wondering if this is another three day bleed. 

Day three

I got up in the morning, and when I emptied the cup it was empty! Two day bless are awesome. I've had short bleeds of three days but they're fairly rare. Normally I'm on four or five days. I'm thinking this is because this months cycle was so short. 


I'm pretty happy with that cup. It was very simple to use. A little weird when I coughed and could feel it. 

There is definately a learning curve. Emptying it in public is a bit scary. But then so we're pads when I started using those. 

I'd say it's better than tamping and has an edge over pads by being discrete. Comfort was very high. And I will be using it again. And again. And again. 

My cunt cup arrived

It came! After getting lost in the post and being resent it came. The Cupissima Menstral Cup. It's a French one and cost approximately 15€ from Amazon by the time I included delivery. Discreetly delivered in a regular envelope with a cotton pic and a detailed sheet explaining how it works and how to use it. 

And it only got here a day after my period ended!

It came in a plastic ziplock bag, in a cotton pouch and with instructions. The instructions are in French but they're all standard. 

I seteilised it by boiling it in water for ten minutes but the instructions said five. And because they're safe to use on light days I thought I'd try it to see if it was comfortable and snip the dreaded stem if nesscery. 

Now, I hadn't put too much thought into this bit. I'd seen what the things look like, a few of the many folds that exist. And I assumed after two vaginal births I'd have no real problem with the C fold. 

It didn't want to fold out. So I had to remove it and start over. A few times

I like this. It has loads of examples.

Eventually I took a deep breath, relaxed as much as possible and used a mirror. No problem. I think it's like using tampons, I've not used those since I was around 12... You have to know the angle and where you're aiming and it's easy but until you've memorisers that you'll struggle. 

There was no real discomfort but the stem was too long. And I'm thinking that I could probably have got away with the small considering the large was having trouble folding out. 


I kept it in for about an hour. Took it out. Washed it throughly with pH neutral body wash, dried it. And put it in the pouch to wait. 

Getting it out was no trouble. I squatted, and kind of bore down with my muscles. Pinched the base of the cup as it came low and gently pulled. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

History report - Notes #3

The question I'm trying to answer is How did Christopher Columbus' discoveries mark the entry into the modern era?

The astrolabe, pictured above, is quite an ancient instrument (its invention is thought to date back to 120 BC) and had been in use by Arabs for centuries by Columbus’ time.The exact image is Yemeni/Arabian in origin. However, Europeans only started using it when they began exploring uncharted waters off of the coast of Africa, with the first documented use being around 1481. It was typically used onshore, as it was a difficult instrument to use in a rolling and rocking boat, requiring steady hands to hold. Once in the user’s hands, an astrolabe should be held perpendicular to the ocean, to ensure its accuracy; then, sunlight should shine through a pinhole in the device, if this lines up with the second pinhole it is an accurate measurement. Then reading from the scale on the device’s circumference would allow the pinpointing of your location.

The Quadrant is a relatively simple tool which was used from the beginning of the Age of Discovery. Its name derives from the Latin word “quad” as it is a quarter of a circle. Simply put it's use was to measure the angle of a star, typically either the Sun or Polaris, although it had its non-navigational uses (it could be used to help aim a cannon at a rival’s fortress, for example) Early sailors used it mainly to locate Polaris, which was known to be a few degrees off of the North Pole; this was important for navigation because it was discovered that the height of Polaris changed depending on a person’s latitude, which is their distance above or below the equator. Knowing how high Polaris was above a certain city or port would thus be a tremendous help for navigators. 

Sources :
On Columbus and celestial navigation:
On the Astrolabe specifically:

Monday, 11 April 2016

Being Frugal - serving yoghurt

I've not been uploading 10€ a week. I did a fortnight where I just wasn't hungry and didn't eat, and a week where I was mainly eating at work. 

I'm eating now, and where I'm stocking ln staples like pasta, rice and the like I can then get nicer things when I go to the shops. 

Well today I got myself a 1kg tub of yoghurt. It's very thick yoghurt and I've noticed the cheaper ones are thicker. I also picked up some cheap musli. The total was around 3€20. 

Jam I had on hand, I pay about a euro for a 400g jar that lasts me a fortnight. Sugar too.

So for serving, I put three or more handfuls of musli in a bowl. 

Followed by yoghurt. Enough to cover the cereal.  

Finally I put two teaspoons of jam, a little bit of sugar because it eat it very sweet, and I mix the top layers together. 

Then when eating I scoop up a bit from the button. Musli and all. And I eat the whole thing on my own. 

For the evening as a desert I would use a glass, not a bowl. I did this for my lunch. You could do this for any portion size and with most cereals, rice puffs, corn flakes. It all works. 

And if I were serving his to a child I'd mix the whole thing together rather than keeping the layers. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Running away to become an alcoholic, lesbian hippy

I've been threatening to run away to the Scottish highlands to become an alcoholic, lesbian hippy because of recent events. 

I'm done with people is regularly said. 

And I wanted a hippy handbag crocheted for me by my mother. That's still not happened.

However Amazon has decided I'm already there. 

Friday, 25 March 2016

History report - notes #2

How and why did Colombus' discoveries mark the entry into the modern era?

This is the question I'm tying to answer in a three page history report. 

I present my second document. A map showing where Christopher Columbus sailed to and which trip it was. 
Columbus made four trips to and from the Americas between 1492 and 1498. 

First voyage. 

In August 1492 the first three ships left Spain, he found the Bahamas but was convinced that he'd found Japan. He also found Cuba, which he assumed was China, and Hispaniola where he found gold. 

On these islands the natives he met were described as friendly. Columbus observed them and their lifestyle. One of the ships ran around on Hispaniola and ended up being abandoned. The natives gave him permission to leave 39 men behind and that started a settlement called La Navidad. 

He then returned to Spain, arriving in March 1493. When he got there he treated the King to the new items he'd found, tobacco, turkies, gold, pearls and pineapples.

He was instructed to maintain friendly relationships with the natives. 

Second voyage. 

Colombus left Spain in September 1493. This time he had a much larger fleet. 

In November he landed on a new island that he named Dominica. He sailed up though the Lesser Antilles, although some people debate this, and on through the Greater Antilles. 

At the end of the month he returned to La Navidad on Hispaniola. The settlers had fought with the locals and been killed. A new settlement called La Isabella was started where gold had been found. But this was a poor settlement and struggled to flourish. 

He spent more time exploring Juana which he thought was a Chinese peninsula. And many other islands. 

He was taken sick during this voyage, as were many settlers. He proposed to enslave natives because the Spanish were complaining that the quantity of gold had been exaggerated and the trade route wasn't profitable. Also because the natives were seen as aggressive and enemies. This petition was refused but he still transported slaves to Spain. Only for them to die of sickness or released and taken home. They were badly treated in the islands and in the end eight million died because of torture, forced labour and other factors. 

It was during this time people started settling Las Americas and the gold rush brought them over. 

He left for Spain in March 1496.  

This second voyage meant Spain got a foothold in the newly discovered parts of the world and started colonialism in the Americas. Many important people went with Columbus on his second voyage and contributed importantly to history in the years after. 

Third voyage. 

This trip was mainly to restock the cononlists and search for a trade route with Asia. Columbus had been banned from taking slaves so needed to find another way to finance his explorations. He left for the new world in May 1498. 

Columbus was replaced by Francisco de Bobadilla because of his tyrannical rein and rumours of him improperly gathering wealth. In 1500 Columbus was arrested and shipped back to Spain. Columbus was freed not long after though. 

This disaster of a voyage almost ended the Columbus era. Some explorers believed he had found new lands but Columbus held firm that he'd found the easted edge of Asia. People started to say Columbus was mad. 

Forth voyage. 

In May 1502 Columbus left again to explore incharted lands around the Caribbean. He also explored parts of Central America. 

Because of a hurricane and termites his ships fell apart and he spent a year stranded in Jamaica before being rescued and returned to Spain in late 1504. 

He died in 1506. He was convinced he found Asia but most of Europe had already accepted that this was a new world. 


Some information on the second voyage.

These four links are great about all four of the voyages. I highly recommend them because they're short and concise but still informative.