Insanity (?)

In my previous posts, I’ve gone into depths of certain things that relate to insanity, as well as the word itself.  What does this do for you, however, in terms of telling you what insanity, what the essence of this word is?  There are so many literal and figurative meanings behind it, from disease to acts to personality to insults.  To truth to insanity is, in fact, that there is no truth to insanity.  Would you call somebody who sacrificed a human being, who built stone behemoths to protect the dead, or who worshiped animal Gods?  In the future, will they call those who called fish eggs a delicacy and used oil as a fuel insane?  Who is to truly say?

Many words are relative: normalcy, intelligence, strength, etc.  This is especially true for a word such as insanity.  Insanity is a word defined by the society that is currently using it, and as that society progresses and changes, so does the word insanity.  Today, for example, insanity is no longer an acceptable medical diagnosis, due simply to its relative nature.  Any disease of the mind is now called a mental illness (shocking) because it does not make one “insane,” it simply impairs mental functions.

hen using the term insanity, one must always be careful.  Maybe they are insane, maybe you are insane, maybe I’m insane.

“The good thing about weirdness is there is always somebody weirder than you.  You’re all saying, ‘At least I’m not as weird as this guy!’  And I’m saying, ‘At least I’m not as weird as the people in the loony bin!’  And the people in the loony bin are saying ‘At least I’m an orange!'” – Jim Gaffigan

Advertisements

The Energy Entity

Energy is such a diverse word…I’ve already written about how it can be a scientific idea,  a thing that people should conserve, a description of a state of being…but the word energy is the same in all of these ideas.  The thing is, how did people come up with a term for something that you can’t see, or hear, or taste, or touch.  Energy is such an abstract concept, how did people decide it even existed?

People first recognized energy in the stone age, by making fire.  During the middle ages, people began using water wheels to gather energy.  Water was succeeded by steam, steam by electricity, and electricity by gasoline, and new, “reusable” biofuels.  Energy has been around forever.

The first person to really define energy was Gottfried Leibniz, a Latin scholar.   Thomas Young, in his 1802 lectures to the Royal Society, was the first man to make energy a topic of discussion. Benjamin Franklin made an energy contribution when he did his kite, key and lightning experiment.  Of course, Thomas Edison and Einstein paid their respects to the study of energy, too.  Thomas Edison hugely contributed to the commonality of energy through his lightbulb expiriments.

Presidents have contributed to ideologies about energy.  In 1992, 2005, and 2009, the Presidents have made new Energy Acts.  Each of these differ slightly.  The fact that two out of three of these acts have been composed in the past 7 years suggests that America is becoming much more energy aware.

 

Synonyms and Antonyms

There are many words that can be connected to uncertainty. The Antonyms, synonyms are very numerous in fact. However, the homonyms were extremely hard to find. And alas, I did not find any. Instead, I will focus on the synonyms and antonyms, which I find kind of interesting.

When I first looked up synonyms and antonyms of uncertainty, I found just a list of each:

Synonyms:   ambiguity, ambivalence, anxiety, bewilderment, concern, confusion, conjecture, contingency, dilemma, disquiet, distrust, doubtfulness, dubiety,   guesswork, hesitancy, hesitation,   incertitude, inconclusiveness, indecision, irresolution, lack of confidence,   misgiving, mistrust, mystification, oscillation, perplexity, puzzle, puzzlement, qualm, quandary, query, questionableness, reserve, scruple, skepticism, suspicion, trouble, uneasiness, unpredictability, vagueness,   wonder, worry

Antonyms :certain, definite, resolved, settled,   sure, unequivocal

Main Entry: ambiguity
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: uncertainty of   meaning
Synonyms: anagram, double   meaning, double-entendre, doubt, doubtfulness, dubiety,   dubiousness, enigma, equivocacy, equivocality, equivocation,   incertitude, inconclusiveness, indefiniteness, indeterminateness, obscurity,   polysemousness, polysemy, puzzle, tergiversation, uncertainty,   unclearness, vagueness
Antonyms: certainty, clarity,   clearness, definiteness, explicitness, lucidity
Main Entry: ambivalence
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: equivocation
Synonyms: confusion   dilemma, doubt, fluctuation, gingerliness, haze,   hesitancy, hesitation, iffiness, inconclusiveness, indecision, irresoluteness, muddle,   quandary, tentativeness, uncertainty , unsureness
Antonyms: certainty,   decisiveness

 

Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: conflicting
Synonyms: clashing, contradictory, debatable, doubtful,   equivocal, fluctuating, hesitant, inconclusive, irresolute, mixed,   opposed,   uncertain , undecided, unresolved, unsure, vacillating, warring,   wavering
Antonyms: certain, definite, resolved, settled,   sure, unequivocal

 

I find this really interesting how two letters can make sure a difference. Some of the synonyms, I have to admit, are ones that I would have never have thought of in the first place. For example, I would have never thought that a synonym for uncertainty might be “bitting nails” or “jumpy”. There are just so many more synonyms and antonyms then I expected. It just shows how we have so many different words that are connected- and thus describe the same thing. We have an advanced set of emotions, that our language had to keep evolving to fit all of our emotions. Two words that mean almost the exact same thing or are synonyms to each other, might not be used in the manner. They can have the same text written definition, but the implied meaning or the way that we use it might be different. It is just interesting to see how evolved and more complicated the English is than I thought.

I also found that there are many more synonyms then there antonyms, which is kind of interesting. There are more of the same than of the opposite- though if you were to click on the antonyms, there are probably just are many synonyms for them as there are uncertainty. Shouldn’t those synonyms of the antonyms of uncertainty, be antonyms of uncertainty? That might not have made sense or is confusing, but I just have a feeling that dictionary.com just got a little lazy and did not feel like putting all of the antonyms. They just wanted to you to have the general idea. But I guess this means that words are more connected than I realized- or more connected than the internet makes it seem.

http://thesaurus.com/browse/uncertainty?__utma=1.351163200.1319166036.1330014971.1332856449.6&__utmb=1.4.8.1332856453279&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1319166036.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=209418002 All synonyms and references, I got my this site.

The Power of Music

People have long known that music can trigger powerful memories, but now a brain-scan study has revealed where exactly this happens in our brains. Cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California Petr Janata has recently conducted studies supporting this idea. Janata works under the Davis School of Medicine, one of the most prestigious neurological schools in the country.

The part of the brain known as the medial pre-frontal cortex sits just behind the forehead.

“What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.” said Janata.

“It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye.”

Janata began to support the relation between music and memory when he saw that this part of the brain actively tracked chord and key changes. He had also seen studies which showed the same region lighting up in response to self-reflection and recall of autobiographical details, and so he decided to examine the possible music-memory link by recruiting some of his students.

They went under a brain scanner and listened to 30 different songs randomly. These songs came from the Billboard “Top 100” music charts from years when the students were kids (roughly 8-18 years of age). They signaled researchers when a certain 30-second music sample triggered any autobiographical memory, as opposed to just being a familiar or unfamiliar song.

“This is the first study using music to look at [the neural correlates of] autobiographical memory,” Janata told LiveScience.

Janata saw that tunes linked to the strongest self-reported memories triggered the most vivid and emotion-filled responses – findings corroborated by the brain scan showing spikes in mental activity within the specific part of the brain he wanted to focus on.

The brain region responded quickly to music signature and timescale, but also reacted overall when a tune was autobiographically relevant. Basically, music tracking activity in the brain was stronger during more powerful autobiographical memories.

This latest research could explain why even Alzheimer’s patients who endure increasing memory loss can still recall songs from their distant past.

“What’s striking is that the prefrontal cortex is among the last [brain regions] to atrophy…” 

He pointed to behavioral observations of Alzheimer’s patients singing along or brightening up when familiar songs came on.

**To see the text better, click on the graph. The types of music include: Haydn, Metallica and White Noise. The blue bars indicate memories for true items, while the yellow bars show memories for false items.

Janata’s research merely tried to establish a neuroscience basis for why music can activate memory. He voiced the hope that his and other studies could encourage practices such as giving iPods to Alzheimer’s patients – perhaps providing real-life testament to the power of music.

“It’s not going to reverse the disease,” Janata said. “But if you can make quality of life better, why not?”

It really is amazing when you think about how and why certain things can help our memory. There is so many aspects of memory that are unknown to us, rather philosophies or hypotheses about how it works. The fact that something as simple as music, instead of any sort of medical therapy or treatment is fascinating. Like Janata said, it may not cure disease, but it will improve quality of life. In the long run, that’s all that matters. Music is manipulated to become a medicine to the mind. This contrasts the world of medicine, how we are racing to find the most complex and newest medicines, vaccines. We should take a step back, and realize there’s more (or less) to medicine than pharmaecuticals and drugs. Memory, as complex as it is, can be treated with natural phenomena, like music.

 

The Tolerance of Society

In today’s society, it seems as if we live in an enviornment in which you are judged and viewed based upon the path you have taken and the path you choose to take . It does not matter whether this path be career, education, or desire. What matters is that in the end, you are more successful than the person competing next to you. Pressure is a major aspect these days and sometimes, when faced under pressure, we tend to decide to do what we wish to do.

Everyone has their own personal defintion of what sucess means to them. Whether it be becoming the next President of the United States or simply taking on the family business, what makes you happy will be your idea of sucess. With society making it seem like the only “right” sucess is to be on top, we often find ourselves judging what others are doing and questioning what could be so pleasant about doing that? You see, this is where tolerance must come into play. Your perfect sucess might be to win the loterry while the person standing right next you idea might be to become the worlds greatest lawyer.

It does not matter who has “the right” path to sucess because to be honest, there is no “right” choice of sucess to make. All that really matters is that we are tolerant of what others are doing and that we truly understand that what they are doing is making them a happy person and giving them that positive outlook that we all must have on life.

This generation is beginning to mess with our vision of tolerance and is actually showing us that poor judgement is a better trait to take on. Society and the people within it will find that everyone’s idea of sucess can be different yet equal if we all learn to take the tolerance we learn everyday and apply it to the understanding of others.

Once this is accomplished, the constant competition that is found throughout the world, will simmer.

 

 

Impressionism

The Impressionism Period was a movement in art culture that occurred in the 1870’s and 1880’s. The movement began in Paris and soon spread through many of the major artists of the time.

Characteristics of Impressionist Paintings:

– small, thin, visible brush strokes

– open composition

– emphasis on light and the accurate portrayal of light

– often show the passage of time

– common, ordinary subjects

– movement as a crucial element

– unusual visual angles

The Impressionist Movement was named after a painting done by Monet called, Impression, soleil levant, which is pictured below.

How to Make a Good First Impression

Making a good first impression is an important part of any interview or meeting. First impressions are the single most important thing that determines the outcome of either of these events. One of the most shared facts by professionals who teach leaders how to interview and speak well is that in meeting a new person we, as individuals, make judgements about them within the first ten seconds. Ten seconds! That’s it. For us in FFA, making a good first impression is something we are trained to do. We know to come to an interview well groomed, professionally dress, and, for us girls, with our hair tied back so it’s easier to remember our face. These simple tricks are all an important part of making those very first ten seconds count, then through an interview we are able to solidify a great first impression.

Here are some tips on making a good first impression:

1. Stop Talking

In an interview it is extremely important that you let the conversation be directed by the interviewer- not the interviewee. Do not overwhelm the person with personal stories and small talk. Be polite, give short, concise, and well though out answers. Be personable but not overbearing. Make the other person comfortable with enough talking to generate a smooth conversation, but not so much that the person becomes bored and disconnected.

2. Be Yourself

One of the worst things to do in an interview is to come off as an obnoxious shining star. Interviewers hate that. You want to show off your accomplishments while still mentioning minor flaws and quirks about your personality. Be real, not the embodiment of all those nice things you put on your resume to look good- they already read that, now they’re looking for the person behind the paper.

3. Do not ever (ever, ever, ever, ever, ever) forget their name

Say it, repeat it, say it again, bring it up in conversation, compliment them on it, ask where it is from but DO NOT EVER FORGET IT. One of the worst things to do is forget someone’s name. Make sure you say it out loud and then repeat it in your head while still focusing. Also, make sure to get a business card, then you’ll never forget and you’ll have an easy way to send a follow up letter or thank you note.

4. Don’t be self absorbed

Make sure that if some one is interviewing you, you don’t take all the credit for things that they asked you about, unless it is absolutely, positively, solely all done by you. Give people who helped you out the credit they deserve and don’t come off as overly confident. Be humble about things you’ve had help with, or people who have helped you become who you are. Make your flaws real, honest things- not selfish things like, “I work too hard.” That’s crap and nobody wants to hear it because while it can be true, it isn’t honest because really, it’s not about you.

5. Be completely interested in what’s going on

Make eye contact! Smile, and make sure you never zone out or look bored. This interview or meeting is about you and therefore you should give the interviewer your full attention and respect, because they took time out just to talk about you and that’s a really big deal.

Honor. COURAGE. Commitment. USMC

The Marine Corps recognize three core values: honor, courage and commitment. These values make up the bedrock of the character of each individual Marine. They are the foundation of the corps. These three values have been handed down from generation to generation, and have made U.S. Marines the Warrior Elite.

Core Values

Simply state, courage is honor in action — and more. Courage is moral strength, the will to heed the inner voice of conscience, the will do what is right regardless of the conduct of other. It is mental discipline, an adherence to a higher standard. Courage means willingness to take a stand for what is right in spite of adverse consequences. This courage, throughout the history of the Corps, has sustained Marines during the chaos, perils, and hardships of combat. When other principles are tested, it’s courage that prevents them from crumbling. It isn’t ignoring fear, but being stronger than fear. Courage is the guardian of all other values. It is there when times are toughest, when difficult decisions have to be made. It takes the form of mental, physical and ethical strength, and is found in the backbone of every Marine.

The value of courage as a Marine, it’s physical, it’s moral; there’s more to it than just the word. It’s definitely what’s deep down inside of you. There’s gonna come a point in time when you’re gonna have to rely on on the courage and the courage alone.Courage isn’t the absence of fear but it’s the will to push through that fear.

Global Warming

Though many people specially seek out warm locations in order to enjoy their vacation time on a hot beach or an iceless landscape, warmth is not welcome on all ends of the globe. Climate regulates its inhabitants’ ability to survive. When that climate is threatened, we see a dramatic decrease in survival on specific animals. Polar Bears have been threatened by Global Warming due to thinning ice and glaciers. While the temperatures of the massive bodies of water continue increase, ice also continues to melt and threatens the existence of Polar Bears. Melting ice and Polar Bears cannot coexist, one must go. With warmer water temperatures and thinning ice comes with many issues for the Polar Bear. For starters, Polar Bears are not swimmers. They are able to swim for short periods of time while hunting seal and other prey, however, they are not equipped to swim in large bodies of water for long periods of time. With melting ice, Polar Bears will have no platform or solid foundation to rest and live on, Polar Bears are faced with the possibility of drowning due to exhaustion. Also, with a decrease in solid ice surface Polar Bears will experience a shortage of food. Seals become less accessible to the bears because the resting ground for seals is ice. If the ice melts, the seals will have to reside in the water or search for land in other places; leaving Polar Bears with a shortened hunting season as well.

Warmth can be both a positive and negative experience. For Polar Bears, greenhouse gases will cause a rapid decrease in ice. A previous Nasa study found a 2.9% decline in total Arctic sea ice extent over the last decade. The bears will be either forced into extinction, or must migrate otherwise.

Warmth can be a positive survival technique for many other animals though. Many animals depend on warmth in order to live. Many reptiles, that are cold blooded, depend on the sun’s warmth to revive them after a cold swim or not being in the sun for a while. Otherwise, they would die due to lack of warmth.

Human beings are the same way. Most humans enjoy warm weather as opposed to cold weather. Warmth is more comforting to us. From the first moments of life in the womb we experience warmth and comfort. We are warm blooded animals, therefore, we seek out warmth.

Unfortunately for the Polar Bears, who do not seek out warmth, it is being thrust upon them and threatens their very existence.

Shine on, you Crazy Diamond

Syd Barrett

In an earlier post, I had compared the use of the drug LSD to symptoms of the mental illness schizophrenia, and how the two can relate.  The connection between this disease and illicit substance is best illustrated through the life of former Pink Floyd member and founder, Syd Barrett (1946-2006).

Interestingly enough, the unique sound of the band Pink Floyd is often attributed to Barrett and his drug obsessed lifestyle, but too often do people forget that he only had a short stay with the band, lasting fewer than ten years.

Rock and roll never seems to mix well with drugs, and all too often do bands get split apart because of addiction.  In Barrett’s case, however, the problem was not any sort of addiction (while a drug, there is no addictive quality to acid itself, though some people rely on the hallucinations produced to a point that they mimic an addict).  As the band progressed, Barrett began to act eccentric, skipping rehearsals and constantly showing up late to concerts, as though he was unaware of the band’s existence.  One night, the members of Pink Floyd simply chose to go on without Syd, replacing him with their newest member David Gilmour.  Barrett hardly seemed to notice.

Barrett’s musical career was far from over, however.  He had many solo albums, each seeming more trippy and otherworldly than the last.  Eventually, it became evident Barrett was suffering from a mental breakdown when he was hospitalized.  It was not too long after when he was a diagnosed schizophrenic.  The cause was proven to be the result of his drug abusive past, and the effects were irreversible.

Barrett’s last public appearance was in the Abbey Road music studio during the recording of Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here.  Barrett had gained a great deal of weight, shaved off all hair on his face (head, facial hair, eyebrows) and spoke in incoherent ramblings.  The band members, shocked at what they saw, produced three recordings in memory of their old friend: Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt. 1 & 2, and the song that would later provide the name for the album.

A great mind is truly a terrible thing to waste.

Feminist Courage in the 15th Century

Joan of Arc was born into the world on 6 January 1412 to Jacques and Isabelle d’Arc in the village of Domremy of eastern France. At the time Joan of Arc was born into the world, the truce between France and England was still in effect. However, an internal war had erupted between two factions of the French Royal family, which would enable the English to invade more easily.

One side of the French Royal family, known as the Orleanist and Armagnac faction, was led by Count Bernard VII of Armagnac and Duke Charles of Orleans. Their rivals, known to the world as the Burgundians, were led by Duke John-the-fearless of Burgundy. As the French remained divided, diplomats failed to extend the truce with England. King Henry V promptly invaded France in August 1415 and defeated the Armagnac-dominated French army at the Battle of Agincourt on the twenty-fifth of October. In 1417, the English returned and gradually started conquering northern France and gaining the support of Burgundy in 1420. The new Burgundian Duke, Philip III, agreed to recognize Henry V as the legal heir to the French throne while rejecting the rival claim of the rightful successor, Charles of Ponthieu. Charles of Ponthieu was the last heir of he Valois dynasty which had ruled France since 1328.

At the age of twelve, Joan began to experience visions which she described as both verbal communication as well as visible figures of saints and angels which she could see and touch. Her own testimony as well as a Royal document say that on at least two occasions specific other persons could see the same figures. Joan identified these visions as St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Margaret of Antioch, the Archangel Michael, Gabriel, and other large groups of angels. The Archangel Michael, was the only vision with definite relevance to the military situation as he had been chosen in 1422 as one of the patron saints of the French Royal army and as a patron of the fortified island of Mont-Saint-Michel.

It was at this moment that an unexpected turn of event began to unfold. Joan of Arc said that for some time, prior to 1428, the saints in her visions had been urging her to go to France and drive out the English and Burgundians. They explained to Joan that God supported Charles’ claim to the throne, supported Orleans’ captive overlord Duke Charles of Orleans, and had taken pity on the French population for the suffering they had endured during the war. When Baudricourt received confirmation of the predicted defeat, he promptly arranged for an armed escort to bring Joan through enemy territory to Chinon. Her escorts dressed Joan in male clothing, which would offer an added measure of security. Eleven days later, Joan of Arc arrived at Chinon and was brought into Charles’ presence. She was able to convince Charles,’ however, he wanted her to be examined by a group of theologians in order to test her orthodoxy.

After providing Joan with a suit of armor that was made exactly for her body, they brought her to the army at Blois, which was approximately 35 miles southwest of Orleans. Her arrival had brought forth reformation to the soldiers; requiring them to go to church and confession, give up swearing, and refrain from looting and harassing the civilian population. Men who would otherwise have refused to serve Charles’ defeated cause now began to volunteer for the campaign, as word that a saint was now at the head of the army began to change minds.

On May 4, Joan and her troops made it to Orleans. Within a few hours of their arrival, an assault was launched against an English-held fortified church called Saint Loup. The position was carried after Joan rode up with her banner, encouraging the troops up and over the ramparts. The English causalities totaled 114 dead and 40 captured. The French troops were sent over a pontoon bridge around nine in the morning, and induced the English to abandon St-Jean-le-Blanc without a fight. The fortress was then stormed and overrun with few losses. This placed Les Tourelles within striking range: during the course of the next morning’s assault, Joan herself was wounded by an arrow while helping the soldiers set up a scaling ladder. She returned to the field near dusk in order to encourage the demoralized troops to one final effort which met with success. Orleans was the English high-water mark: never again would they come so close to achieving a final victory against Charles, who would soon be anointed as King Charles VII.

After a minor action at La-Charite-sur-Loire in November and December, Joan traveled to Compiegne the following April to help defend the city against an English and Burgundian siege. A skirmish on 23 May 1430 led to her capture, when her force attempted to attack the Burgundian’s camp at Margny. When she ordered a retreat into the nearby fortifications of Compiegne after the advance of an additional force of 6,000 Burgunidans, she assumed the place of honor as the last to leave the field.

 

Uncertainty of the Rainforest

     In the two weeks that I was in the rainforest, my understanding of uncertainty has been completely redefined, because I experienced uncertainty from the moment I boarded the plan to Costa Rica. I was uncertain of what I was doing- I did not think I could survive and really be happy in the rainforest. When actually in the rainforest, every step I made I was uncertain because the soil was so unstable and eroded and clay-like, that with every step I took, I could slip so easily. There was one point, on the hike back, that literally slide about 100 meters or so down a slope that was completely made of clay. Any move I made, I did not know what was going to happen next. I thought uncertainty thus can be defined as being not knowing what was the next step or not always feeling balanced in a situation. I never thought that uncertainty could be uncertain that something will exist in the future. This was a new meaning that I learned- uncertain of something’s existence or life.

     While in Costa Rica, I studied Migratory Birds. There is no way to describe what its like to hold a little chestnut sided warbler in your hand- a bird that lives three months out of the year in Connecticut, and then nine months out of the year in Costa Rica- and feel its heart beat start to match your own. There are no words that could describe the sadness I felt, when I realized that this adorable and amazing bird, might not have a home anymore. The uncertainty of this bird’s future existence broke my heart- because its song is just amazing. This was just one example of a moment during my trip, where I stopped and realized how quickly the amazing life and existence of so many different organisms could be destroyed in an instant. What would happen to so many different organisms- birds, reptiles, insects, jaguars, all of them. Would they just simply disappear? This was a new reality that I had to face while in the rainforest. It is a reality that completely broke my heart.

     Walking the seven mile hike down from Rara Avis down to the cities of Costa Rica just proved to help make sure I understand this uncertainty of the rainforest. This is because I literally saw the slow degeneration of the rainforest. I saw the pure and beautiful rainforest slowly become wasteful and useless farmland, which then became land that literally had no purpose what so ever, and then that land become little towns of poverty and poor life. We walked on just open grassland where there literally were no farm animals, for miles. There literally was no purpose for the land- and those rolling hills used to be filled with so much life and an amazing world that so few people know about. All for nothing. What would happen to the world if all of the rainforest were to just disappear? The rainforest produces a large portion of the oxygen we breathe. What happens if that source of oxygen is gone? Where does all of that life go? All of those species and organisms that contribute to overall ecosystem of the world? These are questions without answers. And thus my definition and understanding of uncertainty- how uncertain one can be of the future existence of something as beautiful as the rainforest and the world in general- was completely reestablished in two weeks in which I was gone.

An example of one person’s experience in Rara Avis, Costa Rica:

Courage…

Courage by definition, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, difficulty or fear. The first known use of the word courage was in the fourteenth century. The word courage comes from Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, and from quer and coer – meaning heart in Latin.

Etymology: c.1300, from O.Fr. corage (12c., Mod.Fr. courage) “heart, innermost feelings; temper,” from V.L. *coraticum (cf. It. coraggio, Sp. coraje), from L. cor “heart,” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength. In M.E., used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination. Replaced O.E. ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.”

Synonyms include: bravery, courageousness, daring, daringness, dauntlessness, doughtiness, fearlessness, gallantry, greatheartedness, guts, gutsiness, hardihood, heart, heroism, intestinal fortitude, intrepidity, intrepidness, moxie, nerve, prowess, stoutness, valor, virtue

Antonyms include: cowardice, cowardliness, cravenness, dastardliness, poltroonery, spinelessness

Related Words include: backbone, fiber, fortitude, grit, gumption, mettle, pluck, pluckiness, spunk, temper, determination, perseverance, resolution, endurance, stamina, stomach, tenacity, audacity, boldness, brazenness, cheek, effrontery, gall, temerity

Near Antonyms include: cold feet, faintheartedness, fearfulness, mousiness, timidity, timorousness; feebleness, softness, weakness, impotence, ineffectualness, hesitation, indecision, indecisiveness, irresolution

Memory in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Unlike Morrison’s Beloved, Margaret Atwood takes the concept of memory in a different direction in The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, this post is going to be on the shorter side, due to the fact that we are still relatively in the beginning of the book. In Beloved, Sethe is ashamed and destroyed by her past. Slavery had, and always would, haunt her. Although she didn’t necessarily like physically talking about it, the memories engraved into her mind were there to stay. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred brings up certain times from her past that make her happy. Her memories make her long for the past, and realize how dreadful the present is.

Through Sethe and Offred, we see how memory manipulates the present…manipulates the emotional and psychological welfare. For Offred, memory forces her to almost be stuck in her own past, causes her to lament for what was and realize what is. In Sethe’s situation, memory drives her away from the past and teaches her to love and appreciate the present. Different emotions come from these situations as well. Offred for example, feels love and excitement and wonder. She mentions how she would pace in a hotel room waiting for Luke before he was still married:

The knock would come at the door; I’d open, with relief, desire. He was so momentary, so condensed. And yet there seemed no end to him. We would lie in those afternoon beds, afterwords, hands on each other…” (51).

 

So. I explored this room…I didn’t want to do it all at once, I wanted to make it last…I saw the stains on the mattress. Like dried flower petals. Not recent. Old love…when I saw that, the evidence left by two people…I covered the bed and lay down on it…I wanted to feel Luke lying beside me…I wanted to feel Luke lying beside me, but there wasn’t room” (52).

At this point in the book, we are completely aware of the fact that expressing any sort of emotion as a woman is not acceptable. You could almost think of memory in Offred’s situation as manipulative. Unable to erase her past of being content, in love, with a family (etc), Offred is forced to go against the law of society. The way she describes waiting for Luke illustrates young love. It excites the reader. When Offred gets a flashback in this case, she is again in the hotel room. Her memories of Luke and her love come back when she examines the bed. It was a good flashback, but it was a flashback that exemplified how Offred’s past was so much better than her current situation. She laments, she can almost picture the whole scene with the two of them in the bed together again. Why? Because it had happened once, and then many times after that. The feelings she remembered from that experience drove her to want it all over again. She “wanted to feel Luke lying beside” her. To be able to literally re-create her past.

Memory is manipulative, almost torturous for Offred, as well as for Sethe, but for different, obvious reasons. Offred’s memories soothe her, comfort her, yet make her long to live what her life once was. Yet, despite the fact that Offred can almost feel being in the bed with Luke, touching him, loving him, she knows she cannot. Sethe’s memories torture her, emotionally destroying her. When she looks at the present, she is content, for the most part. She escaped slavery, violence, death, and by remembering those emotions, she comes to the conclusion that the present is better. It’s almost as if Sethe’s memories work to her benefit.

Both Atwood and Morrison integrate memory, weave memory, into their main characters. It is interesting as the reader to interpret and then come to an understanding about what memory is doing in each. The power and control memory has on both characters physical actions and emotions is rather significant. For Sethe, the manipulation of her memory works with her, benefits her. Offred’s memory manipulates her into realizing how horrible her life truly is. She remembers the old, and wants to go back. Although not finished with The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred’s flashbacks and memories of her past are sure to have a lasting impact on how she behaves as a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead.

Warmth in the Household

The warmth of the home is a very significant and comforting necessity that most children cling to as adolescents until adulthood and beyond. Books that represent the warmth of the household have been published all around the world. Having a safe haven that you can always return to is extremely comforting to most individuals. After a long, and possibly unhappy day, a home is always the place you can return to in order to feel physically and mentally warm in your element. Unfortunately, household warmth does not exist in every home. Domestic abuse can occur in many families which turns the elements safety and comfort of a place to return to after a long day into a terrifying and horrible experience to come back to. Once the warmth and comfortability of that household has been shattered, it is very difficult to restore that safety for a child. These books talk all about the importance of including warmth in your family’s typical routine and home.

Warmth in the household can also be thought of as physical warmth. Having a roaring fire, comfortable temperature, and a nice cup of tea and a blanket can do wonders for a person’s mood and temperament. Mentally, having a loving and caring family around will always comfort you and make you feel like you belong.

Tolerance in the Courtroom

Throughout the world, there are many jobs that require tolerance in order to achieve greatness. When this first comes to mind, most people would think of the teaching profession. But, no one ever stops to think about the job of a lawyer. Lawyers need and display tolerance throughout the everyday work place. Whether they are presenting themselves in a courtrrom, or simply just at their desk reviewing a case, tolerance is highly needed.

Lawyers must be tolerant of more than what others may see. In order to bes tthe best they can be, lawyers must be tolerant of;

  • The client’s view/belief
  • The client’s actions
  • Society

The most crucial aspect that is mentioned on the list above is that lawyers must be tolerant of “Society’. At all times, the lawyer is being jusdge by their own personal client as well as the decisions and actions that they take in order to win a case. Especially with all of today’s new rules and regulations that are being presented, it is very easy that society may see a lawyer as breaking a law or simply going against what is considered “right”. The field of law is a major field under the eyes of society. In cases, people are worried as to what may seem wrong or right and what they are capable of doing that will make themselves seem like a better person.

We may not see it, but lawyers are showing tolerance everyday. In an actual courtroom setting, a lawyer must be tolerant of the judge, the plainttiff, the defendant, and all that they have to say. Even though it is a constant battle, every member of a specific case must be willing to hear what others have to say and take that into consideration when attempting to support themselves. Although everyone is trying to go against each other, fellow lawyers and judges are able to come to their ending conclusion based off of what someone may have stated before them. Lawyers are always working together and this would not be possible without the practice of tolerance.

The Little Engine That Could

A little steam engine with very little excess energy had a long train of cars to expend energy on.

She had enough energy till she came to a steep hill. But then, no matter how much energy she expended, she could not move the long train of cars.

She used her energy and more energy. She puffed and she puffed. She reserved her remaining energy, rested, and tried using all of her available energy again. Choo! Choo!

But no! the cars did not have enough forward energy to go up the hill.

At last she left the train and with no remaining energy, slowly crawled the track alone. Do you think she had stopped releasing energy? No, indeed! She was going for help.

“Surely I can find someone to help me,” she thought, and the hope helped her find a little reserve of energy.

Over the hill and up the track  the little steam engine expelled energy. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo!

Pretty soon she saw a big steam engine standing on a side track. He looked like  he had a large amount of energy. Running alongside, she looked up and said:

“Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and heavy I don’t have enough energy to get it over.”

The big steam engine looked down at the little steam engine. The he said:

“Don’t you see that I am through using energy for the day? I have been rubbed and allowed to sit so that I may reserve energy to be ready for my next run. No, I cannot expel energy for you,”

The little steam engine was sorry, but she wasted her energy and went on, Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo!

Soon she came to a second big steam engine standing on a side track. He was puffing and puffing, as if he had used up all of his energy.

“That big steam engine may help me,” thought the little steam engine. She quickly expelled energy to get alongside and asked:

“Will you help me bring my train of cars over the hill? It is so long and so heavy that I don’t have enough energy to get it over.”

The second big steam engine answered:

“I have just come in from a long, long run. Don’t you see how much energy I have lost? Can’t you get some other engine to use energy for you this time?

“I’ll try,” said the little steam engine, and off she went, using more energy. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo!

After a while she came to a little steam engine just like herself. She ran alongside and said:

“Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and so heavy that I don’t have enough energy to get it over.”

“Yes, indeed!” said this little steam engine. “I’ll be glad to help you, if I can muster enough energy.”

So the little steam engines used energy to get back to where the train of cars had been standing. Both little steam engines went to the head of the train, one behind the other.

Puff, puff! Chug, choo! Off they started to use energy!

Slowly the cars began to receive a forward energy. Slowly they used energy to climb the steep hill. As they expelled massive amounts of energy, each little steam engine began to sing:

“I-think-I-have enough energy! I-think-I-have enough energy! I-think-I-have enough energy! I-think-I-have enough energy! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I think I can – I think I can – I think I can I think I can–“

And they did! Very soon they were over the hill and going down the other side.

Now they were on the plain again; and the little steam engine had enough energy to pull the train herself. So she thanked the little engine who had come to expel her energy, and said good-by.

And she went merrily on her way, singing:

“I-thought-I-had enough energy! I-thought-I-had enough energy! I-thought-I-had enough energy! I-thought-I-had enough energy

See, even little kids learn very early on how important energy is.

A Very Energetic Artist

Energy is everywhere, and people have started to realize and embrace this fact.  Instead of being an abstract concept, energy has become a tangible, definable medium of expression.  The Energy Art Movement is one of the biggest expressions of a defined energy.  The collection of artists that participate in this movement come from all over the world, and have large art shows in Europe and the states.  They all have one goal: capture energy in a visual form.  The description of the movement, from the Energy Art website, sums everything up very nicely:

“Some paintings vibrate with energy. Impressionists like Monet tried to capture light. Futurists like Boccioni portrayed motion and speed. Expressionists like Van Gogh conveyed emotions. These qualities – light, speed, emotion – are variations of energy. Energy is one of the most ephemeral qualities to depict.

Energy may be indefinable but it is a universal concept. Some feel energy as a connection with another human being; some perceive it as the brightness or the heat of the sun on an astounding day. Others label energy as a destructive force while still others see it as the genesis of life. We all have an innate sense of the impact of energy.

Energy Art is the depiction of energy using color, form, and composition to create inventive and expressive works of art that resonate with impact and feeling. These are those works that pulsate with a mysterious force, whether it is a force beyond us or part of our own elemental humanity.”

These are some of the most popular energy art pieces:

 

 

 

 

 

Six Insane Approaches to Insanity

Six Insane Approaches to Insanity

There are six main approaches to Psychology and, with insanity having it’s roots in mental disorders, six different approaches to understanding the term.

First is the Neurobiological approach. This approach is solely based on medical observation and would see insanity as simply a mental disorder. Their approach is to determine the specific medical cause and then prescribe any medications deemed necessary.

Next we have Psychoanalysis. Here it is believed that any mental problems can be traced to repressed memories or painful occurrences locked in the unconscious, causing severe distress on one’s mind. Therapy and introspection or the cure to insanity here.

Third is Humanism. They believe everyone is secretly good and everything is just honky-dory. So who cares if you’re insane? I’m sure things will work out fine!

Fourth is the Cognitive approach, where all thought is a series of deductive processes used to solve everyday problems. Insanity, according to them, is most likely the result of faulty cognitive abilities or an extreme approach to problem solving. Best distract the insane with a Rubix Cube.

Fifth is Behaviorism. Here, all human thoughts, emotions, and processes are a result of what we learn, making us a product of our environment. Therefore, traumatic experiences, bad parents, or a history of violence will lead to insanity. Brainwashing always does the trick here.

Finally we have Sociocultural, where behavior is the result of societal expectations and regulations. So if you’re insane, chances are everybody else is too.

Tips On Doing Impressions

Like I explained in my very first post, the word impression can also be a verb. Doing an impression is acting just like somebody else. There are even instructions on how to do this.

1. Find a person you want to do an impression of
2. Get your voice in tune
3. Go more in depth into the person’s personality
4. Analyze the person’s cadences

Doing an impression of someone can be done to poke fun at someone or to make others laugh. Impressions are done by mimicing the voice and mannerisms of the chosen person. Impressions have been done throughout history, and doing an impression is one of the most simple forms of acting.

Here’s an awesome video of some really well done impressions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbIqL-lN1B4&feature=youtube_gdata_player