Archimedes of Syracuse

by Joey from Greendale

Theories, Screws and Burning Things
A picture of Archimedes working at his desk (wikipedia)
A picture of Archimedes working at his desk (wikipedia)

Death is a not so great way to begin a day is it? Well, it’s a great start to a paper. So with that being said, they went against orders and they killed him. What? When the Romans invaded Sicily, the orders were to keep Archimedes alive, the Romans then didn’t recognize him and killed him.

So I looked up what Archimedes invented that is still used today. I found out that the water screw, the lever and the compound pulley are still used today. If you say that people don’t use them anymore then the next time you go to a science museum, a dock, a construction site or heavy weight movers, ask them if they use pulleys. Whether you like it or not people use levers and pulleys all of the time. Me? I use them all of the time when I am building on my fort with my friends. Enough with the intro though, you're probably bored.

Who was Archimedes? He was smart, famous, dedicated and helpful. Let's start with smart though. You know that you need to do research on whoever you're doing, right? So I figured that I could find a home page of sorts. Google is great, has anyone ever told you that? I typed in “Archimedes homepage” and up popped up the “Archimedes home page,” the home page of inventors. Without further ado I looked at it and clicked on something called the cattle problem. Now I take this straight from the website, no lie:

“If thou art diligent and wise, O stranger, compute the number of cattle of the Sun, who once upon a time grazed on the fields of the Thrinacian isle of Sicily, divided into four herds of different colours, one milk white, another a glossy black, a third yellow and the last dappled. In each herd were bulls, mighty in number according to these proportions: Understand, stranger, that the white bulls were equal to a half and a third of the black together with the whole of the yellow, while the black were equal to the fourth part of the dappled and a fifth, together with, once more, the whole of the yellow. Thou wouldst not be called unskilled or ignorant of numbers, but not yet shalt thou be numbered among the wise.”

The solution is at least twice that long, maybe three times, and I took a lot out of that problem. You could be like yeah, so this isn’t writing less but I haven’t got there yet so hold your horses. Well, What happens when a really hard math problem comes along and you want to quit? What keeps you going? Maybe it’s stupidity, maybe it's the thought of your hero wanting to keep going. Are you in Honors Algebra? If so you know that the test on Thursday the 23 of September was impossible but I have part of the hero person in me and I decided that because Archimedes can do that cattle problem, I can figure anything that algebra throws my way.

The second trait was helpful remember? Well he invented a screw that could draw water for you by turning a handle, not dragging bucket by bucket of water from a river. Archimedes got this idea because he thought that Egyptian slaves worked too hard and it gave him an idea. Now who thinks of the slaves? Well Archimedes did and we still use his design today, even though we don’t have slaves. You could be saying all inventions are to make your life easier, but I say they weren't originally for a slave to make life easier. I try to be helpful by having my invention make things easier for people. For instance, when building on my fort I made a pulley system so that when I lift things onto the roof for construction there is no grunting and swearing but things are nice and controlled and easier to lift.

For the dedicated I could say a couple of things and then change your mind like magic but instead I’ll tell you a story. Once upon a time Archimedes discovered the theory of water displacement in the tub. He then ran out of the house shouting “Eureka!” which means "I have found it!" in Latin. Remember, he was in the tub (and how many clothes do you wear in the tub?) and he ran outside immediately. You tell me who else runs through the streets naked? He also starved himself and didn’t sleep until his problem was solved. I sometimes do the same thing and it gets me in trouble in school because I am not focused.

My conclusion is this: you can put whoever you want in my hero's place and it would be the same. You would have the arguments to back it up and examples in your life to prove it. All I am saying is that take my opinion and welcome it. You can maintain your opinion but at least take a look at mine first.

Related Links

Site of Inventors - The Cattle Problem website

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