Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Why You Should Read 'The Chronicles Of Narnia'

Along with Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit," C.S. Lewis’ "Chronicles of Narnia" has profoundly influenced how people regard fantasy and children’s literature in the modern age.  It is the author’s best-known work, and its rippling effect on literature and aspects of Christian faith cannot be underestimated.

First published between 1950 and 1956, the books have been adapted many times (complete or in part) for radio, television, the stage, and film.  Starting off with "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," this series explores a magical world filled with wondrous mythical beasts who can speak.  We follow a group of children who find themselves transported to the land of Narnia, called upon by Aslan the lion to help save the magical realm.  

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Lewis manages to incorporate in "Narnia" themes of religion and myth that were previously absent from children’s literature (certainly not prominent in Tolkien’s work).  There are distinct traditional Christian allusions here, as well as ideas from Greek, Roman, and Irish mythology.  

Interestingly, C.S. Lewis was a former atheist, and writing this series of books was his way of embracing Christianity.  What’s good for both young and old readers is that there is no heavy-handed and self-righteous approach in the books’ depiction of morality.  We get immersed in a world where the children are empowered and make decisions not because of blind faith nor impositions.  

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The impact of "Narnia" on the genre can be easily seen in more recent fantasy books and films, including Rowling’s "Harry Potter" series.  

The name’s John Eilermann, comparative literature student from St. Louis, Missouri. The program I’m in follows a multidisciplinary approach that allows students to have minor courses in disciplines such as philosophy, politics and culture, history, arts, and science. More on my hobbies and interests here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Four Historical Wwii Sites In Europe

World War II is a fascinating subject. And for those glued to WWII documentaries in Netflix or the History channel and have read countless of articles and books about the Allied tactics on the European fronts, a visit to the most prominent sites should be your next step in your historical education.

1. Jewish Historical Museum

Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, this museum was established in 1932 and shows the culture, history, and religion of the Jewish community during the war.

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2. The Reichstag

Reichstag in Berlin, Germany was set on fire by the Nazis to allow them to pass appalling laws in order to get rid of communists, among other things. The building was mainly used to put forward propaganda projects.

3. American Cemetery - Colleville-sur-Mer – France

10,000 crosses have been put up in this cemetery to honor the American soldiers who came to fight with the French. The American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer was gifted to the US – a small piece of land in the heart of Normandy.

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4. Omaha Beach, France

The famous beach has seen some of the bloodiest skirmishes of the war. It was named by American soldiers to talk about the beaches they would land on to help free the European from the Nazi regime.

Hi there, John Eilermann here. I’m deeply interested in WWII memorabilia since my father joined the US army at the start of the war. Follow me on Twitter for more updates.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ten Facts About the Bombing of Pearl Harbor

The attack, which drew the U.S into World War II, was executed in the early morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed the U.S naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Japanese thought it would neutralize the American forces, allowing Japan to dominate the Asia Pacific.

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Here are 10 interesting facts to know about the Pearl Harbor bombing.

1.The attack commenced at 7:55 AM.
2.The attack lasted 110 minutes.
3.The Japanese attacked the base in two waves, approximately 45 minutes apart.
4.The Japanese attacked the U.S. without warning.
5.When the Japanese Commander Mitsuo Fuchida called out, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” (“Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!”) upon flying over Pearl Harbor, it was a message saying the Japanese caught the Americans entirely by surprise.
6.The Japanese had to travel 3,400 miles across the Pacific to execute their attack on Pearl Harbor.
7.The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with a total of 353 planes.
8.The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they believed the Americans would be more relaxed, and thus less alert, on a weekend. Many U.S. service personnel were still in their pajamas or eating breakfast when the attack commenced.
9. There were eight battleships at Pearl Harbor that day, which was the whole US Naval fleet, except for one, the Colorado.
10.All eight battleships either sunk or were damaged. Amazingly, all but two (The Arizona and the Oklahoma) were able to return to active duty.

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My name is John Eilermann. I’m a sports enthusiast from Chicago and a big supporter of the baseball team St. Louis Cardinals. I am also a history buff. Visit my blog for more WWII reads.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Soccer’s Funniest Moments

If you’re a fan of soccer, you know it has some of the most epic goal celebrations in sports. And along those epic moments come the funny ones. With so much riding on football matches these days, there are a few moments where players and officials can comically entertain.

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Below are some of the funniest moments of football:

The funniest goal celebrations of all-time

Stjarnan FC has slowly gained the reputation of having the best goal celebrations ever. I don’t if it’s a technique they use to distract the opponent, but they sure crack me up!

Khalid Askri's Oversight

Goalkeeper Khalid Askri comedic moment happened during a Moroccan Cup match between MAS Fes and FAR Rabat. After making a great stop, he turns to salute his fans, only to turn around and see the ball spinning towards the goal line. Check it out here.

Comedy duo Didier Drogba and Jens Lehmann

Flopping and cheating in soccer are what football fans hate the most. But when two controversial players did it blatantly and comically, fans can’t help but chuckle.

Robbie Savage Condensed

Robbie got his own slot for being the center of so many funny moments throughout his career. This clip generally tells the tale of Robbie’s knack of attracting a calamity.

Video Source: YouTube

Hi, John Eilermann here. I’m a sports enthusiast. I’m also deeply interested in WWII facts and memorabilia. Visit my blog for more info.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Battle of Midway: 10 interesting facts

Fought near the Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean, the Battle of Midway was one of the most crucial battles in WWII for the Americans. It was considered the turning point in the Pacific battle between Japan and America. Here are 10 interesting facts about this pivotal moment in our history:

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 1.Yamamoto, the principal architect on the attack on Pearl Harbor, planned the attack on Midway to destroy the American aircraft carriers 

 2.Midway was attacked due to its strategic location and importance to U.S. 

 3.The aid by U.S. intelligence breaking the Japanese code played a critical role in the battle. 

4.Chester W. Nimitz led the American fleet. 

5.The Battle of Midway shifted in favor of U.S after its dive bombers sank three Japanese carriers. 

6.Japan lost all its four large aircraft carriers involved in the battle. These carriers were engaged in the six-carrier force that had successfully bombed Pearl Harbor. 

7.The only American aircraft carrier that was destroyed was USS Yorktown. 

8.America lost 300 men in the battle; Japan lost 3000. 

9.The Battle of Midway was considered the turning point in the Pacific War. 

10.Japan didn’t use their two most advanced carriers in battle. 

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Hi, I’m John Eilermann. I live in Chicago and am a fan of the Hannover 96 soccer team. Follow me on Twitter for similar updates.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Amazing tech that was born from WWII

As terrible as they were, large-scale wars that affected the planet contributed significantly to the advancement of technology. And as far as wars go, no war in the history of man was as terrible, or as large-scale as the second World War. 

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Fresh from the destruction caused by the first World War, or the Great War, the minds behind World War II were quick to improve on whatever technology that had come out of the previous war. 

Since World War II has been the biggest war to date, it’s only natural that the tech advancements then were unparalleled in terms of scale and application. It should also be noted that the tech that had been developed in the middle of the war was so mind-blowing that both sides did all they could to steal or copy from each other. 

The technological jump that occurred in World War II encompassed almost everything you could think of, from weapons and support (logistics) to communications technology and medical equipment. Vehicles such as heavy duty tanks, submarines, and jet fighters were created. New ways of communicating were developed. It was a great time to be an innovator. 

Unfortunately, one of the final and most awe-inspiring inventions also turned out to be most destructive, as the atomic bomb was used to end the war by devastating Japan. 

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John Eilermann loves learning about World War II. For fascinating historical articles, check out this Twitter page.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Key Events That Led to WWII

War doesn’t just start on whim.  It always comes to a tipping point, but before this, there are key events leading up to its outbreak.  World War II was no different.

World War II was an effect of the turmoil left by World War I.  The Treaty of Versailles concluded the war between Germany and the Allied Powers.  However, since Germany lost, the treaty was rather harsh against the Germans.  They were required to pay reparations, but since they lost, the German economy was in ruins, making the burden too difficult to bear.

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In the period before World War II, Japan was expanding rapidly.  But since it was an island nation, the Japanese did not have the natural resources to support their growth.  As an empire, they invaded the likes of Manchuria and China.

Other countries were taken over by dictators who formed fascist governments, with the only objective being creating the biggest empire possible.  Franco took over Spain, Mussolini took over Italy, and Hitler took over Germany, wherein the Nazi party ruled with such power and influence.

Soon enough, Hitler took over Austria, and then Czechoslovakia.  By means of appeasement, other big European countries, like France and Britain, who were interested in keeping the peace thought it would be wise to make Hitler happy, rather than try to go against him.  It turned out that they were wrong, because it only made Hitler bolder.

This imbalance was the perfect condition for war to erupt.  The Axis powers were formed, and soon enough Pearl Harbor was bombed.  That was the beginning of what remains to this day as the biggest devastation known to man.

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Largely because his father served in World War II, John Eilermann became a huge World War II aficionado.  Learn more about war history by following him on Twitter.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vasily Zaitsev: Legendary Sniper

Some of the most adored heroes of World War II have risen from the ranks. One particularly interesting true to life story is that of Vasily Zaitsev, one of the most famous snipers out of the Russian Army.

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Vasily started as a humble shepherd boy who used to help out his grandfather in the snow fields of Siberia to tend to their flock. There were many predators around that would often sneak up on sheep. In particular, wolves frequented the area. This was when Vasily’s grandfather taught him how to use a rifle at a very early age.

This knowledge and early experience easily made Vasily a natural when it came to handling a long range gun. He easily found his way to the Russian army because of his skill.

It was in Stalingrad where Vasily Zaitsev served his country with the best that he knew. This was in the middle of the war between Russia, and the Adolf Hitler-led German army. Stalingrad was a messy warpath, having recorded about 2 million lost lives in a span of eight months.

Zaitsev wasted no bullets. For him, it was one shot, one kill. From his crude training in the Siberian snow, he obviously learned well from protecting sheep against the wolves. But in Stalingrad, he seemed to be the predator. In his first ten days with his Mosin-Nagant rifle as a sniper for the Soviet 1047th Rifle Regiment, he shot down 40 Nazis from long distance.

By the end of his service, he had 242 confirmed kills under his belt, including Berlin’s sniping champion, who was a cold-blooded killer himself. Lieutenant Vasily Zaitsev eventually gained the Soviet Union’s top award for bravery and skill. He won the hearts of the rest of the world too.

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Because his father served in World War II, John Eillerman has become a huge World War II aficionado. Learn more about his interests by following him on Twitter.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

WWII facts you can teach to your kids

WWII is an important part of our history, but it can be a sensitive topic to teach your kids. And though it’s one of the darkest times of our past, teaching the younger generation about this part of our history is a crucial part of learning about the present. 

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Here are WWII facts you can teach your kids. 

The battle between two groups 

Though WWII started in Britain, almost half the world was involved. It was a battle between the Allied and Axis powers. The Allied Powers were Britain, France, Russia, China, and the United States. The Axis Powers were Germany, Italy, and Japan. 

When and where 

WWII started in 1939 with Germany’s unprovoked invasion of Poland. Britain and France responded with a declaration of war on Germany. The war in Europe ended with Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945, while the war in the Pacific ended with Japan’s surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. The war started from Europe and spread throughout the world, with the most damage done Europe and Southeast Asia. 

The role of US 

Many Hollywood movies depict the U.S. as the country that won the war against the Axis Powers. However, the US didn’t join the war until 1941 when Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The war was won by the collective efforts and sacrifices of the men and women of the Allied Powers. 

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Hi, I’m John Eilermann from Chicago. I love sports and mostly watch baseball and soccer. My favorite teams are the St. Louis Cardinals and the Hannover 96, respectively. Visit my Twitter page to know more.