The author of the Sinews of War: Ancient Catapults Sarafina Cuomo argues that science and technology were very significant in the ancient society in addition to theory and practice. This was supported by the existence of the skills that the catapult engineers had which made them to apply science and mathematics to manufacture superior weapons during that time. This was an evidence of the inexistence of the unattainable divide. Before the discovery of the gunpowder, the ancient people used the stone throwers that were able to stones across a distance of about 50 meters. There were others that were able to throw about 75kgs, the Archimedes engines. Cuomo argues that the manufacture of belopoietics and mathematics was very vital in the in the ancient times. Due to their importance in the society, the governments developed strong interests towards the catapults and they supported their production and use. The author argued that the ancient engineers had cumulative skills and knowledge that consisted physics, geometry and technology which were important in the enhancing the ancient kings’ power and the welfare of the ancient cities. The engineers were able to proof that science and technology were significant in the ancient society against the people’s stereotypes.
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Cuomo said that the Greek catapult was one of the catapults that were produced by the ancient engineer and it rested on the user’s belly. The users were able to enlarge the catapult in order to make it stronger during war time. The said that the engineers especially those who worked for Philip II made improvements to the original catapults by replacing the arms with the springs (sinews bundles) which were fixed to the release systems. When these springs were twisted by the users, they could exert large amount of force when the wooden arms inserted into the springs were released. Cuomo argued that these spring torsion weapons could be used in throwing arrows and heavy particles. Further, the author said that numerous changes were made to the catapult in order to improve its efficiency. Philo of Byzantium said, “The ancients … did not reach a conclusion…, because their experience did not arise from many facts; but they did reach the heart of the matter they were looking for. Those after them examined the question on the basis of former mistakes, [used] subsequent experiments as a guide, and introduced the basic principle of construction.”(pg771). The standardization of the catapults was facilitated by mathematics which assisted in establishing the table for appropriate specifications and in the reduction of the catapult sizes. To deal with the problem of size, Hero of Alexandria came up with a solution of making use of the moving ruler. Cuomo argued that Philo put more interest on the cost, durability and structural strains of the catapults and due to the market demands, he proposed for the engines that could throw the projectiles for long distances. He further said that the engineers at Alexandria obtained support from their kings who had an interest in craftsmanship. An example was a king called Hiero who spurred Archimedes. The king’s catapults were used until the 212 B.C.
Cuomo argued that the catapults were very significant in the military activities. Because of their significance, he said that they were used to mark the graves of the soldiers whose life emblems were catapults. Also, the he argued that the catapults were offered as thanksgiving by the engineers to the goddess. The evidence for this was the pieces of the catapults that were found by the archeologists who grained the pool in the year 1979. Cuomo argued that the social significance and the technical knowledge of the engineers were objected by the ancient people but the political aspirations led to increased demand of the weapons in the end of 4th century B.C and the immergence of superior catapults raised the status of the involved engineers who finally became proud of their advancements. The author argued that the catapult engineers became more vocal in the society and some of them such as Hero claimed that catapults were very important in enhancing the security of the city. Finally, he argued that the rise and use of catapults was the start of looking for more superior ways of throwing projectiles such as missiles. He supported the existence of the ancient engineers who played a significant role in the society more especially in the political field.
Difficulties of defining the term “GM”
There was a limitation that resulted when different genes were combined through crossing, selfing and back crossing. The problem was eliminated by Agrobacterium which was coined with the term GM whose understanding is associated with genetic engineering and led to immergence of different meanings of GM. In his letter and based on Fedoroff perspective, Paul Grun argued that the GM distinctions were to be made between the traditional techniques and biotechnology that was based on DNA. Grun said that Fedoroff defined GM in a way that includes the prehistoric domestication of plants. For instance, Fedoroff described how the selective breeding led to the high yield of corn by about 4400 years ago in the United States. The writer said that Fedoroff defined the genetically modified organism as the one that was modified through the use of contemporary molecular techniques which created new crops that were markedly faster as compared to ones produced traditionally. On the other hand, Ramsay argued that the definition of GM only applied to the plants that were modified through molecular techniques. The writer of the letter disagreed with Grun and Ramsay and said that the distinction is acceptable and the contemporary techniques were unnatural and rapid. Further, the writer argued that the gene transfer through Agrobacterium was not facilitated by human invention as the bacteria transferred the genes naturally without damaging the crops. He argued that the target gene was supposed to be identified and isolated and changed by molecular ways and finally introduced to the plants without any physical damage. However, the writer argued supported the assertion made by Grun that GM had economic implications and it influenced whether the crops produced through it were accepted or not. Finally, the writer argued that Africa could not use the GM technology because it could limit the access of market by the Europeans in the future.
“Physics First” and High School Teachers
In response to the to the question asked about the factors that made the teachers to reject physics first idea, according to the research that show that 61% of teachers rejected physics, the writer of this letter supported the teachers by arguing that they had the hardest responsibility in the society saying that the teachers he met at the workshop were ready and willing to try the new ideas. The writer further argued that the research was out of date and recommended for the new research which he expected to have different outcomes.
Research on Contraceptives
In his response to the “Grand challenge in global health”, Hannon recommended the effective and timely birth control program saying that it was of benefit as it affected everybody in the entire society. He called for bill gates and NIH to accomplish their goals in their plans and the bill & Melinda Gates responded accordingly. He argued that the frontiers in contraceptive research laid out a plan for the development of new contraceptives which considered the immediate demands of people with different settings. He expected that the report could guide all the research institutions to achieving the worthy.
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