Excerpt from the Journal of Columbus

Thursday, 11 October. Steered west-southwest; and encountered a heavier sea than they had met with before in the whole voyage. Saw pardelas and a green rush near the vessel. The crew of the Pinta saw a cane and a log; they also picked up a stick which appeared to have been carved with an iron tool, a piece of cane, a plant which grows on land, and a board. The crew of the Nina saw other signs of land, and a stalk loaded with rose berries. These signs encouraged them, and they all grew cheerful. Sailed this day till sunset, twenty-seven leagues.

After sunset steered their original course west and sailed twelve miles an hour till two hours after midnight, going ninety miles, which are twenty-two leagues and a half; and as the Pinta was the swiftest sailer, and kept ahead of the Admiral, she discovered land and made the signals which had been ordered. The land was first seen by a sailor called Rodrigo de Triana, although the Admiral at ten o’clock that evening standing on the quarter-deck saw a light, but so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land; calling to Pero Gutierrez, groom of the King’s wardrobe, he told him he saw a light, and bid him look that way, which he did and saw it; he did the same to Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, whom the King and Queen had sent with the squadron as comptroller, but he was unable to see it from his situation. The Admiral again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land. But the Admiral held it for certain that land was near; for which reason, after they had said the Salve which the seamen are accustomed to repeat and chant after their fashion, the Admiral directed them to keep a strict watch upon the forecastle and look out diligently for land, and to him who should first discover it he promised a silken jacket, besides the reward which the King and Queen had offered, which was an annuity of ten thousand maravedis. At two o’clock in the morning the land was discovered, at two leagues’ distance; they took in sail and remained under the square-sail lying to till day, which was Friday, when they found themselves near a small island, one of the Lucayos, called in the Indian language Guanahani. Presently they descried people, naked, and the Admiral landed in the boat, which was armed, along with Martin Alonzo Pinzon, and Vincent Yanez his brother, captain of the Nina. The Admiral bore the royal standard, and the two captains each a banner of the Green Cross, which all the ships had carried; this contained the initials of the names of the King and Queen each side of the cross, and a crown over each letter Arrived on shore, they saw trees very green many streams of water, and diverse sorts of fruits. The Admiral called upon the two Captains, and the rest of the crew who landed, as also to Rodrigo de Escovedo notary of the fleet, and Rodrigo Sanchez, of Segovia, to bear witness that he before all others took possession (as in fact he did) of that island for the King and Queen his sovereigns, making the requisite declarations, which are more at large set down here in writing. Numbers of the people of the island straightway collected together. Here follow the precise words of the Admiral: “As I saw that they were very friendly to us, and perceived that they could be much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means than by force, I presented them with some red caps, and strings of beads to wear upon the neck, and many other trifles of small value, wherewith they were much delighted, and became wonderfully attached to us. Afterwards they came swimming to the boats, bringing parrots, balls of cotton thread, javelins, and many other things which they exchanged for articles we gave them, such as glass beads, and hawk’s bells; which trade was carried on with the utmost good will. But they seemed on the whole to me, to be a very poor people. They all go completely naked, even the women, though I saw but one girl. All whom I saw were young, not above thirty years of age, well made, with fine shapes and faces; their hair short, and coarse like that of a horse’s tail, combed toward the forehead, except a small portion which they suffer to hang down behind, and never cut. Some paint themselves with black, which makes them appear like those of the Canaries, neither black nor white; others with white, others with red, and others with such colors as they can find. Some paint the face, and some the whole body; others only the eyes, and others the nose. Weapons they have none, nor are acquainted with them, for I showed them swords which they grasped by the blades, and cut themselves through ignorance. They have no iron, their javelins being without it, and nothing more than sticks, though some have fish-bones or other things at the ends. They are all of a good size and stature, and handsomely formed. I saw some with scars of wounds upon their bodies, and demanded by signs the of them; they answered me in the same way, that there came people from the other islands in the neighborhood who endeavored to make prisoners of them, and they defended themselves. I thought then, and still believe, that these were from the continent. It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion. They very quickly learn such words as are spoken to them. If it please our Lord, I intend at my return to carry home six of them to your Highnesses, that they may learn our language. I saw no beasts in the island, nor any sort of animals except parrots.” These are the words of the Admiral.

Earth Hour

Did you turn the lights off for Earth Hour? During that hour, did you ponder your reliance on energy, its use in your life, and perhaps ways in which you could be conserving energy every hour of every day, and not just once a year. Watch the videos below.

What strikes me most in these videos, is not how amazing it is that everyone around the world has come together to turn off the lights for an hour (although that is amazing), but the sheer quantity of light emanating from each city before they turn their lights off. Do buildings that operate 9 to 5 need to be lit 24 hours a day? Do landmarks need to be cast under spotlights? Do we need to be advertised to in neon? How do we change our relationship to “light” in a world trying to conserve.

Tag your blog post earthhour to aggregate our entries.

Earth Hour 2010 Video

Earth Hour 2009 Video


What do you think is the message this film maker is trying to impart in Papiroflexia. Watch the video. What if the film ran in reverse? What if the film started with trees, and mountains and meadows, that were then folded into buildings and roads. Are you worried about the inhabitants of the buildings?

Watch the film again, and then blog about what you believe this short film is trying to tell us.

Wavin’ Flag :: Young Artists For Haiti

After watching the video of K’naan’s song, “Wavin’ Flag,” what do you think the message behind the song is? In other words, why do you think all these artists came together to sing this song? How does it make you feel? What do you think it does for other people?

Have a look at Miss Hornich’s example:

After watching the video “Wavin’ Flag” sung by the Young Artists for Haiti, I felt hopeful. It was inspiring to see so many different musicians come together to work on one song. Together, their voices were very strong and powerful. I think that this was done in order to demonstrate strength and support for the people of Haiti.

Energy Timeline

Below you will find a timeline created on a site called dipity. This site allows us to create collaborative timelines. The grade 6 science curriculum requires us to “evaluate the impact of the use of electricity on both the way we live and the environment”, and “demonstrate an understanding of the principles of electrical energy and its transformation into and from other forms of energy”.

Using the timeline, your task is to contribute five events that examine one or both of these overall expectations. These events can explore past milestones in the energy sector (the invention of a different source of energy), environmental concerns (disasters relating to the creation or distribution of energy), the process of converting a specific form of energy into a distributable resource, or potential future energy sources.

Each one of your events must include a title, a date, a description, and at least three of the available four content fields:

Make note of the events you add. Once you have added five events, you will create a blog entry explaining their importance and justifying their inclusion on the timeline. You will need to create a username on dipity before you are able to start contributing content. Once you are a user, you will be able to create content using the “Add an Event” button in the top left corner of the timeline.

Energy on Dipity.