Date Archives

March 12, 2015

The Life

[ish_blog_media tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_headline tag_size=”h2″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ align=”center”]Life[/ish_headline]

Life is a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes (such as signaling and self-sustaining processes) from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate. Various forms of life exist such as plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. The criteria can at times be ambiguous and may or may not define viruses, viroids or potential artificial life as living. Biology is the primary science concerned with the study of life, although many other sciences are involved.

The smallest contiguous unit of life is called an organism. Organisms are composed of one or more cells, undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, can grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce (either sexually or asexually) and, through evolution, adapt to their environment in successive generations. A diverse array of living organisms can be found in the biosphere of Earth, and the properties common to these organisms—plants, animals,fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria—are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information.

[ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_gallery images=”353,442″ thumbnail_size=”theme-large” columns=”2″ animation=”slide” nav_align=”left” nav_color=”color1″ prevnext_color=”color3″ border_width=”1″ tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ ratio=”rectangle16″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_headline tag_size=”h3″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ align=”center”]Materialism[/ish_headline]

Some of the earliest theories of life were materialist, holding that all that exists is matter, and that life is merely a complex form or arrangement of matter. Empedocles (430 BC) argued that every thing in the universe is made up of a combination of four eternal “elements” or “roots of all”: earth, water, air, and fire. All change is explained by the arrangement and rearrangement of these four elements. The various forms of life are caused by an appropriate mixture of elements.

Democritus (460 BC) thought that the essential characteristic of life is having a soul (psyche). Like other ancient writers, he was attempting to explain what makes something a living thing. His explanation was that fiery atoms make a soul in exactly the same way atoms and void account for any other thing. He elaborates on fire because of the apparent connection between life and heat, and because fire moves.

[ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_headline tag_size=”h3″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ align=”center”]Hylomorphism[/ish_headline]

Hylomorphism is a theory, originating with Aristotle (322 BC), that all things are a combination of matter and form. Biology was one of his main interests, and there is extensive biological material in his extant writings. In this view, all things in the material universe have both matter and form, and the form of a living thing is its soul (Greek psyche, Latin anima). There are three kinds of souls: the vegetative soul of plants, which causes them to grow and decay and nourish themselves, but does not cause motion and sensation; the animal soul, which causes animals to move and feel; and the rational soul, which is the source of consciousness and reasoning, which (Aristotle believed) is found only in man. Each higher soul has all the attributes of the lower one. Aristotle believed that while matter can exist without form, form cannot exist without matter, and therefore the soul cannot exist without the body.

[ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_headline tag_size=”h3″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ align=”center”]Vitalism[/ish_headline]

Vitalism is the belief that the life-principle is non-material. This originated with Stahl (17th century), and held sway until the middle of the 19th century. It appealed to philosophers such as Henri Bergson, Nietzsche, Wilhelm Dilthey, anatomists like Bichat, and chemists like Liebig. Vitalism included the idea that there was a fundamental difference between organic and inorganic material, and the belief that organic material can only be derived from living things. This was disproved in 1828, when Friedrich Wöhler prepared urea from inorganic materials.[34] This Wöhler synthesis is considered the starting point of modern organic chemistry. It is of historical significance because for the first time an organic compound was produced from inorganic reactants.

During the 1850s, Helmholtz, anticipated by Mayer, demonstrated that no energy is lost in muscle movement, suggesting that there were no “vital forces” necessary to move a muscle. These results led to the abandonment of scientific interest in vitalistic theories, although the belief lingered on in pseudoscientific theories such as homeopathy, which interprets diseases and sickness as caused by disturbances in a hypothetical vital force or life force.

[ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_quote author=”Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate” size=”h4″ align=”center” color=”none” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″]”Always be Honest and Truthful, even though it might hurt or create conflicts.
Be in sync with your personal values, and make choices based on what you believe, and not on what others like. Live the life with Honesty, Truth and Integrity.”[/ish_quote]

Mountains of Valais

The Canton of Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland, situated in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of theRhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is simultaneously one of the driest regions of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley and among the wettest, having large amounts of snow and rain up on the highest peaks found in Switzerland. The canton of Valais is widely known for the Matterhorn and resort towns such as Saas Fee, Verbier, and Zermatt. It is composed of 13 districts (hence the 13 stars on the flag) and its capital is Sion.

[ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_blog_media tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_headline tag_size=”h2″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ bottom_margin=”no” align=”center”]Geography[/ish_headline][ish_headline tag_size=”h4″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ align=”center”]The canton of Valais lies in the southwest of Switzerland.[/ish_headline]

To its south lies Italy, to the southwest France. To the north the canton is bounded by the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Bern; the cantons of Uri and Ticino lie to its east.

The wide, glacial Rhône valley dominates the area. There are many side valleys which branch off the main valley. These vary from narrow and remote to reasonably populous and popular. At the head of the Mattertal valley liesZermatt, a pretty tourist village dominated by views of the Matterhorn (4,478 m). Fifty of the mountains exceed 4,000 m with the highest, Monte Rosa, reaching 4,638 metres (15,217 ft), and there are numerous glaciersincluding several of the largest in the Alps.

The Rhône drains almost the entire canton and flows in the main valley from east to west down to Martigny, then in a right angle north to its mouth in Lake Geneva. After the small town of Saint-Maurice, the north-eastern banks of the river belong to the canton of Vaud. However two areas are located on the south side of the Alps and are drained by the Po river: the valley south of the Simplon Pass and the small area south of the Great St. Bernard Pass. The main valley is bounded by the Bernese Alps in the north and the Pennine Alps in the south. Other ranges situated partially in Valais are the Chablais Alps, the Mont Blanc Massif, the Urner Alps and theLepontine Alps. Only about half of the total area is considered productive.

[ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_quote author=”Richard Milhous Nixon” size=”h4″ align=”center” color=”color5″ tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″]”The greatness comes not when things go always good for you. But the greatness comes when you’re really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you’ve been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”[/ish_quote][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_gallery images=”349,358,447″ thumbnail_size=”theme-large” columns=”3″ animation=”slide” nav_align=”left” nav_color=”color1″ prevnext_color=”color3″ border_width=”1″ tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ ratio=”square”][ish_gallery images=”444,441,440,20,19″ thumbnail_size=”theme-large” columns=”5″ animation=”slide” nav_align=”left” nav_color=”color1″ prevnext_color=”color3″ border_width=”1″ tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ ratio=”square”][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_text_separator tag_size=”h1″ text_color=”none” icon_align=”left” tag=”div” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″][ish_headline tag_size=”h2″ color=”color5″ icon_align=”left” tag=”h” tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″ bottom_margin=”no” align=”center”]History[/ish_headline][ish_divider tooltip_color=”color1″ tooltip_text_color=”color3″]

The Romans called the upper Rhône valley Vallis Poenina. The Vallis Poenina was won by the Romans after a great fight at Octodurus (Martigny) in 57 B.C., and was so thoroughly Romanized that both the Celticoriginal inhabitants and the Germanic Burgundian invaders of the 5th century, became Romance-speaking peoples. According to a tradition which can be traced back to the middle of the 8th century, the Theban legionwas martyred at Agaunum (now Saint Maurice) about 285 or 302. From 888 onwards the lands were part of the kingdom of Jurane Burgundy.

Valais formed part of the kingdom of Transjurane Burgundy, which fell to the Holy Roman Empire in 1032. It became part of the duchy of Burgundia Minor, which was held from the emperors by the house of Zähringen (which went extinct in 1218). In 999, King Rudolph III of Burgundy gave all temporal rights and privileges to the Bishop of Sion, who was later styled praefect and count of the Valais and is still a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The count-bishops then struggled to defend their area against the Zähringer and then the dukes of Savoy, so that the medieval history of the Valais is inextricably linked with that of the diocese of Sion. The Dukes of Savoy, however, succeeded in winning most of the land west of Sion, while in the upper part of the valley (Upper Valais) there were many feudal lords, such as the lords of Raron, those of La Tour-Chatillon, and the counts of Visp.

About the middle of the 13th century, the large communities (Zenden or tithings) began to develop independence and grow in power. The name Zenden or tithings probably came from a very ancient division of the bishop’s manors for administrative and judicial purposes. In the same century the upper part of the valley was colonized by Germans from Hasli in the Canton of Bern. The locals became German speaking, though many Romance local names still remain. In 1354 the liberties of several of the seven Zenden (Sion, Sierre,Leuk, Raron, Visp, Brig and Conches) were confirmed by the Emperor Charles IV.