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How the Tropics Got Their Names

The Naming of The Tropics

The Naming of The Tropics
  • The Tropic of Cancer. It was so named 2000 years ago because the sun was positioned in the Cancer constellation during the June solstice.
  • The Tropic of Capricorn. It was so named at the time because the sun was in the constellation Capricorn during the December solstice.

The sun is no longer in those constellations at that time of year. The sun is now in Taurus at the June solstice, and in Sagittarius at the December solstice.

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Vitamin D and sunshine

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and many other biological processes. Lower levels of Vitamin D increase the rates of almost every disease like cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cognitiv...

Vitamin D supplementation

Getting vitamin D through supplementation shows zero benefits. A study over a period of 5 years found supplementing with Vitamin D had no impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

A number of researchers now argue that people with high vitamin D levels are healthy not because of the vitamin, but because they get plenty of exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is just a marker of that fact.

Sunlight is good for you

A dermatologist discovered our skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a molecule in the body that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

He exposed volunteers to the equivalent of 30 minutes of summer sunlight without sunscreen. The result? The nitric oxide levels in the volunteers went up, and their blood pressure lowered. Because of the connection of high blood pressure to heart disease and strokes, this discovery can prevent millions of deaths globally.

Special powers attributed to gems
Special powers attributed to gems

Many legends from different cultures share the idea that jewels are of divine or superhuman origin.

  • The Amythyst was said to have been created from the tears of the ...
Exploitation of jewels

The power of jewels has been exploited by diplomats, traders, and lovers. The famous marketing slogan of De Beers is 'a diamond is forever' and creates the idea that all engagement rings must have a diamond.

However, a big sparkly diamond is not what makes jewellery so unique. People desire to have something more individual and affordable.

Environmental Determinism and Early Geography
  • Strabo, Plato, and Aristotle used climatic factors to explain why the Greeks were more developed than societies in hotter and colder climates.
  • Aristotle developed a climate classif...
Environmental Determinism and Modern Geography
  • In the late 19th Century, environmental determinism was revived by the German geographer Friedrich Rätzel. He was heavily influenced by evolutionary biology and the impact a person's environment has on their cultural evolution.
  • Rätzel's student, Ellen Churchill Semple, introduced the theory in the United States in the early 20th Century, where it grew in popularity.
  • Another student of Rätzel, Ellsworth Huntington, also worked on expanding the theory, which led to a subset of environmental determinism, called climatic determinism. He said that the economic development in a country could be predicted based on its distance from the equator.
The Decline of Environmental Determinism

Environmental determinism's popularity began to decline in the 1920s as its claims were often found to be wrong. Critics claimed it was racist and perpetuated imperialism.

Carl Sauer said environmental determinism led to premature generalizations about an area's culture. From this critique, geographers developed the environmental possibilism theory to explain cultural development.