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Author: Jacqlyn Floyd

Saint Patrick’s Day

Every year on March 17th, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, the arrival of Christianity and Irish culture. St. Patrick’s Day has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures – but despite his fame, his life remains a mystery.

According to the Confession of Patrick, he was captured by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland as a slave – where folklore states he tended to pigs and sheep on Slemish Mountain in County Antrim. During this period, it is said he developed a profound Christian faith. After six years, Patrick claimed he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home and that his ship was ready. Fleeing his captors, he travelled to a port 200 miles away, where he persuaded the captain of the ship to let him on. After three days of sailing, they landed in Britain, where Patrick walked for 28 days. Eventually, he returned home to his family before moving to France to study for the priesthood. Patrick was then ordained a priest and then a bishop. He returned to Ireland and played a big part in converting the country to Christianity. Patrick is said to have died on March 17th in the year 461.

 

 

Valentine’s Day

St Valentine’s Day happens this Tuesday on February 14. It’s a day where people show their love and affection for another person- usually in the form of cards, flowers, gifts and messages.

It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring an early saint named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

What’s Cupid got to do with it all? Cupid is also known in Latin also as Amor (”Love”) . His Greek counterpart is Eros and he is just one of the ancient symbols associated with St Valentine’s Day, along with the shape of a heart, doves, and the colors red and pink. Cupid is portrayed as a small winged figure with a bow and arrow which he uses to strike the hearts of people. People who fall in love are to be ‘struck by Cupid’s arrow.’

 

2016 Hottest Year on Record

Sixteen of the seventeen hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.

-UN World Meteorological Organization

2016 set a global heat record for the third year in a row. Climate scientists say that greenhouse gas pollution, which humans are creating by burning fossil fuels and chopping down rain forests, contributed to the 2016 record, but the biggest contribution is pollution and its long term effects. A pollutant is a substance that when in the environment, poisons our air, land and water and it’s chemicals have poisoned all of the world, harming humans, wildlife, and plant life, on land, sea and air.  

NASA recently released a video of the earth as it appears when scanned through carefully placed sensors all across the globe. It shows that while our home is known as the “blue planet,” it hardly has any blue (cold spots) remaining on it. It is mostly covered in bright yellow hues marking moderately warm temperatures and red zones indicating extremely hot temperatures.

If this trend continues, it is uncertain what the future holds for this planet. This is why the topic of global warming continues to be one frequently discussed today, and a hot button issue with the new president.

”Global warming has never ‘paused’ and we are anticipating an acceleration of temperature changes within a few decades.”

-Dr. Gavin Schmidt

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