May 28, 2009

My favorite Croatian scientist

Have you heard of him?
My favorite Croatian scientist

Faust Vrančić was born in 1551 in Šibenik and he died in 1617 in Venice, he was buried on Prvić Island by his own request.
He was a Croatian bishop, humanist, philosopher, historian, diplomat, linguist, lexicographer, and inventor.
In older sources, he's also known as Fausto Veranzio and Faust Verantius.

When he was younger, Vrančić was interested in science. He attended schools in Padua (Padova) and Venice, where he focused on physics, engineering and mechanics. At the court of King Rudolf the II in Hradcany in Prague, Vrančić was Chancellor for Hungary and Transylvania often in contact with Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. In 1598 he got the title of bishop of Csanad.
After his wife's death, Vrančić left for Hungary and later for Venice to join the brotherhood of Saint Paul (barnabites) in 1609, where he committed himself to the study of science.

Technical research
Vrančić's book on mechanics, Machinae Novae (Venice 1595), contained 40 large pictures depicting 56 different machines, devices, and technical concepts. The sensational book was soon translated into Italian, Spanish, French and German.

Vrančić had examined Leonardo da Vinci's rough sketches of a parachute, and set out to implement a parachute of his own. Twenty years later, he implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from a tower in Venice in 1617. The event was documented some 30 years after it happened in a book written by John Wilkins, the secretary of the Royal Society in London.

His areas of interest in engineering and mechanics were broad. Mills were his main point of research, where he created 18 different designs. He envisioned windmills with both vertical and horizontal axes, with different wing construction to improve their efficiency. The idea of a mill powered by tides incorporated accumulation pools filled with water by the high tide and emptied when the tide ebbed, simply using gravity; the concept has just recently been engineered and used.

By order of the Pope, he envisioned and made projects needed for regulating rivers, since Rome was often flooded by the Tiber River. He also tackled the problem of the wells and water supply of Venice, which is surrounded by sea. Devices to register the time using water, fire, or other methods were envisioned and materialized. His own sun clock was effective in reading the time, date, and month, but functioned only in the middle of the day. The construction method of building metal bridges and the mechanics of the forces in the area of statics were also part of his research. He drew proposals which predated the actual construction of modern suspension bridges and cable-stayed bridges by over two centuries. The last area was described when further developed in a separate book by mathematician Simon de Bruges (Simon Stevin) in 1586.


May 26, 2009


Science and scientists, inventions and modern technologies are changing our world and us. How? For the better or for the worse?
Share with us your thoughts about "landmarks of science", write about your favourite gadget or just tell us your opinion on how different our world is now from a hundred years ago and how different you think will be in a hundred years or even nearer future.

What makes Croatia a unique country? (task 2)

Dear students,
We gathered a lot of photos and I felt we could tell our friends around the world more about where in the world we live.
That is how I got this idea - to create a voicethread with the photos of some beautiful places in Croatia.
Now you can post your comments. Which or these places have you visited? Which of the photos is the most beautiful or represents Croatia best? What did we forget to include? Share your stories and your thoughts.

May 25, 2009

What makes Croatia a unique country?

I asked my students what makes our country, Croatia, unique.
The first task was to answer the question using only one word or phrase and a photo of a beautiful part of Croatia.
I put together the photos and my students' opinions and made this animoto.

May 8, 2009

English- language of the 21 century

English is the most spread and important language in the world.It is world language,and it is spoken by more than 309 milion people.English language is used in most states and it plays a very important role in the cultural,political and economic sphere of society.

English language is derived form the Germanic tribe.It all started in the 5th century.The language was developing slowly,but one big step was made when English come to the USA.The language pushed the language of tribes of Indians,and now in the 21 st century Indian language barely exists.Since then English has taken the world.

I live in Croatia,a small but beautiful country.Most of people in the world have never heard of Croatia,but of course we heard about them.I have been studing English since th 5 grade of elementary school,and that language just fascinates me.It is always in use,and it is always important.It is a language that connects all people,and it is just amazing. If I want to speak with somebody from other countries there is a bigger chance that we will talk in English than any other language.If I want to work outside my country,I must speake English perfectly.If I want to work as a travel quite,English must be like my mother tongue.

Some people hate English ,some people adore it,but I think that all people should know at least basics of English and there life will be easier to them.Because it is the strongest language of the World.It is the language of the 21 st century.

May 3, 2009

English teachers

I,personally, have been learning English since kindergarden. I don't quite remember learning it at kindergarden, but I do remember that at that time I spoke English more than Croatian. When I was, for example, happy I would express it with English words. As probably every second kid in the world I used to watch Cartoon Network every day and eat a sandwich in front of the TV. In primary school I had five teachers and they were totally diffrent. The first one was old and we just had to learn what was in the book and we would have good grades.The second one was very young and very kind person. We used to communicate a lot about every day things, religion, countries and other stuff. She had private Italion lessons and I really wanted to attend because I wanted to learn another language with her and I know it would be easy. My third teacher had lived in London for five years before she came to our school. She was a very creative and intelligent teacher at the same time. I think you should be creative if you want to be an English teacher in other countries because if te lessons are monotonous, the kids would learn just things that you need for a good mark and kids would not learn words out of their lessons. The third teacher was my favourite because she had at the same time the knowledge to learn us how to learn English and the creativity to give us some motivation to learn English just like my English teacher in high school. You never know what she will give you today and Ilike her because of that.With her I've gain confidence with learning English and I had to because English is the most influencial language and everyone knows it. In the end my opinion is that English teachers have to be creative,they need to have experience with English culture and mentality, also they need to be patient with their students.I was lucky with my teachers and I think Croatia has many good English teachers.