magnificent sites of the world

Writing Assignment: CD-ROM reaction paper*Chartes Cathedral*Inca ruins*Venice*Egyptian pyramids*The Great Wall of ChinaInitially, prehistoric graves were simple burials covered with a mound of sand or stones and wind blew the sand away, creating a need for a more secure burials (CD-ROM Egyptian Pyramids). Imagine the what ifs? What if there were no scavengers capable of digging through sand and stone? What if the people who buried their dead accepted the scavenging as a part of nature, a part of life? Would the great pyramids of Egypt be envisioned, much less built? The pyramids amaze me. I know this sounds like Im sucking up to get a good grade, but just looking at the pyramids and spynhx, not to mention the fortresses and buildings gives me a funny feeling. Ive only seen pictures, but the ones that really take my breath away are the ones that show by comparison just how massive these structures are. I have a hard enough time building a sandcastle, and thats with modern technology.It is scary to think that a civilization c.2700B.C. could build such wonders without even electricity. From the CD-ROMs, I also gathered that it is not sure whether they had the knowledge of ramps and levers either. So what I do is try to imagine what the ancient Egyptians could do now, if we could bring them to this century, to see what they could do with our technology. Would they continue to ensure their pharaohs after-life in the stars?Or would they become like us, lazy because everything is too easy. Technology has made our lives much more comfortable, such as heating or cooling our houses, travelling, and entertainment. So, you would think that with our advances, we should have gone further than just making our computers faster and our compact discs clearer.We should look back at the men who by the thousands built the most amazing symbol of what man can do if what they are doing is important to them.That in its self is an achievement. Maybe they were right about the deceaseds soul rising to heaven through the pyramids, Id love to stand right smack in the middle of one, look up and imagine. The pyramids are one of the places Id like to explore before its my time to join the stars. If my realtor told me that the house I was interested in was sinking at the rate of one inch every five years, the pilings holding up the hose were rotten and there was a dire threat of flooding due to the rising of the Adriatic sea, Id say no problem-o pal. We are after all talking about Venice!I can imagine my self sitting in my palazzo, waving at the passing gondolas while reflecting on the mirror image of my house on the water. No noisy cars with their horns blaring and brakes screeching. I cant see from movies, t.v and magazine layouts, how anybody could not love Venice? From the CD-ROM, I gathered that some people had been disappointed after touring there.I dont care about all the minor things; its not the superficial things that I would fuss over. Even tough I am not of any religion, Id love to see the churches in Venice, but what I would really like to see is the Sistine chapel. I wouldnt go in looking for God, but viewing such beauty such as the stained glass that has so much history inside its self would leave its mark on my soul. Its not all that amazing that the Great Wall of China has withstood the tests of time, it all comes down to craftsmanship.The work ethic back in ancient China was a lot different than now. Back then, if your work were deemed substandard, youd be put to death, and buried in the wall. All of this would be marked with a simple plaque bearing your name. Today, when we look at labels in our clothes and it says made in China, we laugh; its a joke. But I dont think the families of the workmen put to death were laughing. Building a wall today is hard enough. I remember when our house was being built. The last thing to do was to put in the moss rock wall. It was maybe only four feet high in its highest spot and only went down the length of our house. It took 5 workmen 4 weeks to complete it. Thats with big trucks to deliver the stones and levelers to make sure it was straight and also tools to make sure there were no spaces between the rocks. Its weird when I read about the Great Wall, its main purpose was to keep marauders out, but I didnt realize that was the only reason the wall was constructed. Transportation of supplies and an excellent vantagepoint are also valid points, but those are still connected to keeping the empire safe.We built our Great Wall to keep Musubi, my dog in the yard. So from the construction of a wall that some even speculated could be seen from the moon, to the small task of erecting our wall that can be seen from the street, I guess that all things are relative. The Chinese didnt want Genghis Khan in their territory, and we didnt wasnt Musu out of ours.If Genghis Khan got in, thousands of people would have perished, but it would have had little or no effect on my life now in 1999. But if Musu had gotten out and got hit by a car and died, that would have been an event that would have an impact on not only me but also my whole family. A dogs life compared to thousands of human lives, I feel awful looking back at what I just wrote, it actually stopped me for a moment, but it was honest and I think that is what you wanted out of this assignment. To make us think of ourselves not as ourselves, but as a part of history, and how we are all to responsibly play out our roles. Whether its Indiana Jones hacking through dense jungle foliage, or Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner seeking the Jewel of the Nile, movies have long romanticized treasure hunters. Im not sure where the settings of these movies actually took place, but the premise is the same. Rumors of temples that had walls covered in sheets of gold, idols 100 ft. in the air adorned with precious jewels. That alone is worth trekking through the hazardous jungle, although those things are long gone, theres still much more to marvel at the Inca ruins.

Those things are gone, but the most amazing things are still there. I found the fact that the Incas used not only one type of building material, but also three, interesting. Another thing that I marveled at was the way that they placed the stones so that mortar was not needed. Cutting a stone equally in half is almost impossible without breaking it on a fault, but how about cutting the stone with as many as 10 facets? Without mechanical saws and levelers, I cannot imagine cutting something as unpredictable as solid rock. Not too long ago, if you were to put up 2 pictures, first, a temple covered in gold and second, a building made out of intricately cut stones that were placed together with only the skill of the mason holding it together and asked me which was the greater achievement, Id probably say the temple. Only because its gold, its precious and its beautiful. But, gold is worth a goats ass when an earthquake hits and shelter is whats important. I guess its like when I was younger, the only thing that mattered was me, so things like shelter were of no importance, my parents took care of that. They made sure that I neednt worry about things like that so I could go about being completely self-centered. I dont need to provide for myself, so foolish things like gold and silver amused me with their shine. But as I get older and started to think about starting my own family, things that shine arent so important. What will matter in the long run is that I make sure that my family is protected and can sleep soundly through the night. So my daughter can go off in search of her own shiny things, and it will start all over again.

I would like to find out more about the possible link between Chartres Cathedral, Solomans Temple and the Pyramids of Cheops. I dont know what these places are exactly, but thats the fun part. I like the way the setting of Chartres Cathedral is described as a small active place, which feels both industrious and yet serene. Modern life goes on in the shell of a much older past (CD-ROM Chartres Cathedral).

That reminds me of Lahaina, Maui. As I walk along Front Street, I look toward the ocean and think about the whalers coming to port, what are they bringing back, and what tales of the sea will they bring. My mom is originally from Lahaina, and she tells us that its changed a lot, but not really. She can still see some of the old buildings that were old when she was a youngster, and my grandmother who still lives in the house fills in the gaps where my mothers memories taper off. My uncle who is an architect that had worked on some of the restoration of Front Street years ago told me that there were very strict guidelines that had to be kept. The architecture would not be new and shiny, but along the same lines as the older buildings. The ones with history attached to them. I know that I was reaching in that comparison, but I really did envision old Lahaina when I read those sentences.


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