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January 22, 2020

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January 17, 2020

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January 14, 2020

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November 27, 2019

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November 25, 2019

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November 20, 2019

Addiction to Emailing and Texting


The growing trends of use of information technologies are introducing dysfunctional behaviors. Indeed, an addiction to mailing and texting has the potential to destroy business relationships, individualÔŅĹ??s psychological well-being and the families. This paper claims that the statement is true by providing supporting arguments in favor of the thesis statement.
Impact on business relationships
When a person is addicted to emailing and texting, there is the possibility that business relationships can be destroyed. Problems in professional relationship occur in case the employee uses the email and text message services to communicate with the people, who are not workmates, and thus does not concentrate on the workplace activities. When the companyÔŅĹ??s management discovers that the person is involved in non-work-related activity, the issues arise. Firstly, management may assume that the employee is not loyal to the organization. Secondly, the managers may lose trust that the person can deliver results on his/her duties. As a reaction to extensive use of technology for private reasons, the management may restrict the person from accessing email services or abolish the use of mobile phones at work. The restrictions result in employee dissatisfaction, and he or she can become disloyal and uncooperative with the company.
Another example of destruction of business relationship is when the person uses the work email to send job applications to other companies while being employed. The management of the company where he/she is working can observe this as a demonstration of uncooperativeness and unwillingness to continue employment with the company. In addition, an employee can be labeled as the one to expose business secrets to outsiders or even make a conspiracy to steal from the company. Thus, there may be various restrictions such as non-use of emails and text messaging while at work. In certain situations when the employee persists in the habit of technology use for personal reasons after caution from management, the leaders will treat this behavior as disloyalty and disrespect to the organizational regulations. As an outcome of the conflict situation the person may be laid off.
The addiction to text messaging during work hours can also contribute to the inability to concentrate on the job tasks. The employees can focus on personal issues such as communication with friends instead of performing job duties. The inability to fulfill the assigned duties result into disruption of the companyÔŅĹ??s activities, and the management will have to take corrective measures for the behavior. Moreover, the employee will lose his/her respect in the organization and have reputation of immature not trustworthy person. The conflict may also have an impact on the relationship with the top management, who can prevent an employee from benefits at work such as salary increment, allowances or job promotion.
Psychological impacts
There are various ways in which addiction to email and texting can impact psychology of a person. Consider a person, who uses email to find the job opportunities and apply for the positions. In the process of job hunting, his or her psychological well-being may be affected because a person is dependent on email as the main source of employment opportunities. Moreover, the individual may be disappointed when most applications did not yield positive feedback. An applicant may experience serious disappointment or even feel despair. The trauma caused by the e-mail dependency may result into a feeling of trying to punish that addiction. As a result the person may be involved in some self-destructive activities or even attempt suicide.
In another situation, a person may rely on the use of text messaging as a means of communication with friends and colleagues. Thus, the person may feel insecure and unsafe when the mobile device is not available or when he or she cannot text. The insecurity is based on the personÔŅĹ??s perception that the device is his closest companion. A person may feel lonely when the device is not available, which leads to the negative feelings such as discontent, isolation and loneliness.
The use of mobile texting and email may also be seen by some people as an image of being more advanced and modernized. Thus, a person may opt to use technological communication in order to be a modern person, who is on track with modern communication methods. E-mails and texting may look like high literacy, fashion a symbol of young lifestyle. Thus, a person may become addicted to the use of email services and mobile texting, so that he can get the respect from friends and community. However, addiction to email and mobile texting can result into psychological issues. For example, when these devices are not available or when the person is in remote areas he or she can face challenges with other forms of communication. The person with technological addicted may feel lonely and out of fashion when he does not access these services.
Impact on Families
Addiction to email and mobile texting can have great negative impacts on families. An example of serious dependency on technology for communication is couples, who communicate with their friends and relatives through mobiles and e-mails. The couples can they lose touch with each other; and when they are in the house, they cannot communicate their desires, interests and needs to each other. As a result, family problems can arise, which are based on communication issues and are related to home management or the responsibility for the children.
In another case, a person may tend to use emails and mobile texting as a method of getting in touch with family members who stay far away. Consequently, he or she may see that there is no reason for either visiting or inviting them to his/her place. Thus, there may be an impact on family ties, and the person may lose touch with other relatives and family members, who are far away.
Furthermore, the relationship of the couple can be seriously affected by the technology. For example, the married couple may depend on these devices to the extent where they go to bed, but still use text messaging to communicate with friends and colleagues. Thus, it is impossible to maintain intimate relationship with each other. The problems in the bedroom result into the lack of emotional ties between husbands and wives. Lastly, the possibility separation and divorces of the families becomes high because of the technology addiction.
Lastly, the use of text messages and email can lead to the exposure of family secrets and sensitive private information to other people. For instance, a husband may text his friend about insufficient financial funds and asks for a loan. When his wife discovers these messages, she may feel offended because the man decided to solve the problems with the friends rather than communicate with the wife. Thus, there may be quarrels and disagreements in the family. In other cases, people in a marriage may use emails and text messaging as a method of explaining the differences between each other and discuss domestic problems with friends. Thus, other people know the secrets of the family and the family may be viewed negatively by friends and the extended family.
Another situation where the addiction to emails and text messaging may result into negative impact on a family is when a person communicates matters of relationship outside marriage through technology. For instance, a person may use email or text messaging as a method of communicating to a colleague of opposite sex at work. However, if this interaction extends at home, it causes marital problems, fights and disagreements.
Lastly, in certain circumstances, one spouse can access to another personÔŅĹ??s email if left open or read love messages from the colleague. This discovery results in fights, dishonesty and less commitment to the needs of the family. Consequently, the spouse may take measures that are not favorable to the family, such as the decision to file for a divorce as a result of unfaithfulness. Thus, the family may experience unrest as a result of addiction of the man to emails and text messaging.

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November 17, 2019

Freedom of the Press


Despite the fact that the Constitution of the United States of America does not expressly guarantee the right to privacy, it is universally acknowledged as one of the fundamental rights of a person. However, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America secures freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Therefore, there appears a conflict over these rights, and the balance between them is very unsteady.
Nowadays one can notice the drastic change in people‚??s attitude towards privacy. People tend to share a considerable amount of personal information in social networks. Today it is perfectly possible to trace a person‚??s relatives, friends, address, and phone number as well as to create a psychological portrait based on the individual likes, dislikes and statements, expressed, for example, in a personal blog. However, despite the modern trend to share personal information, there are still some areas of private life that people want to protect. As a rule, public persons, with the exception of some celebrities such as actors or models, are less inclined to expose their personal lives.
Public persons draw a lot of attention due to people‚??s natural curiosity. Most people are interested in learning new information even if it does not concern them. Thus, no matter how insignificant new facts about famous people are, they create widespread public debate, giving ordinary people food for thoughts and topics for communication. As a consequence, the increasing demand for all kinds of information is the cause of the development of mass media industries. To satisfy the demand for news, the press tends to use every possible means of acquiring information even if the ethical aspect is doubtful. Therefore, sometimes, individuals abuse freedom of the press in order to give the audience some sensational or scandalous facts. In most cases, such abuse is manifested through the publication of public people photos without their knowledge and consent, their phone calls wiretap or the use of drones to spy on them from above.
Nowadays there is a diffused opinion that famous people are not entitled to a personal life because they are not able to hide from the public gaze, enjoying the benefits of fame. However, as any other people, celebrities have the right to protect their privacy. In fact, these people require more protection from the media than people who are less involved in the public life. One of the reasons why public people should be more concerned about their privacy is the fact that they take much higher risks than ordinary people since their recognition, success and lives can be destroyed. History knew many examples when someone revealed facts that ruined people‚??s careers in a blink of an eye. For example, political careers of Bill Clinton and Dominique Strauss-Kahn took a serious hit after the world had learned some piquant facts they wanted to hide. In this way, journalists are known to play the indispensable role in exposing abuses of power. Therefore, when a public person commits a crime, freedom of the press renders a valuable service to the society, preventing the concealment of a crime.
Another reason why public people need better protection of their privacy is the possible threat to their health and lives from mentally unstable people. Celebrities draw immense attention that is why there is a higher risk for them to become targets of stalkers or other types of obsessive fans or envious people. For that reason, public people have to spend a considerable amount of money for security service as well as to transform their houses into fortresses. However, sometimes, these measures cannot prevent the tragedy, as evidenced, for example, by the deaths of John Lennon or Princess Diane.
No matter how popular a person is, there are always areas of life that the person wants to protect from the public. Freedom of the press is the essential democratic right; however, it conflicts with the people‚??s right to privacy. The press often invades personal lives, hence threatening the person‚??s safety and causing many other troubles. In this regard, those people who are often in the public gaze should be more protected from undesired attention. The press must realize the consequences of privacy exposure and be prepared to take responsibility for their deeds.
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November 15, 2019

Is Skype Helpful?


Nowadays technology has become an integral part of human life. The development of technology has affected many spheres of human activity, namely education and science, housekeeping, entertainment, the media, and communication. The increasing role of social media in human life is by all means an ambiguous issue. Globalization and dehumanization are the negative effects of the increasing role of social media in human life, while rapidness, covering the great distances, and user-friendly interface are the advantages of social and media networks. Skype is a computer program that offers its users a wide range of facilities, such as message and file exchange, video conferencing, and chat, which means that Skype enables the computer users to establish contacts in a fast and convenient way. However, the negative effects of social network and the media apply to Skype as well as a program providing the services for Internet communication, which is especially just when the issue concerns the excessive use of it. Without doubt, Skype is helpful in many spheres of human activities. It provides a wide range of facilities for immediate and effective communication, such as chat, message, voice message, file exchange, and video conferencing. Skype is beneficial for education and conducting business.
Considering the positive features of Skype as a social media networking tool for online communication, Tom Blanchard comments on the following ones: possibility, an option of smartphone, tablet PC adjustment to the number of applications and versions available, making and receiving phone calls. Skype is especially convenient when you travel abroad and have to stay in contact with someone. Skype program was invented in 2003 for the purposes of getting over the problems of online communication. ‚??Skype began as a free software program that could be used to connect people over the Internet, through text, voice, and/or video‚??. Skype is a free program, which means that the users do not have to pay for downloading Skype and running it; Skype is user-friendly, which means that it is easy to use; it is mobile, which means that it is possible to download Skype to smartphone or any other gadget equipped with front-facing camera, thus, a user can keep in touch wherever and whenever it is possible, necessary, and convenient. Moreover, Skype offers the possibility of direct communication. Mobility, simplicity, and multi-functionality are advantageous with regard to exchange of educational materials (tasks, exercises, electronic course books) and dealing with them.
Reflecting upon the issue of using Skype for educational purposes, Patricia Bruder informs of Skype in the Classroom service.
‚?¶targeted use of Skype can bring pedagogical benefits, whether it makes students
conduct research necessary for a video presentation more seriously, encourages
instructors to focus on broader concepts instead of individual problems because tracing
and fixing student work directly is more difficult, or exposes students and teachers to
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Keith Ferrel from the Ed Tech Ideas admits the technocratic nature of modern society and states the fact that children should be prepared for integration into a modern technological world. Keith Ferrel admits the issue of technopanic, a groundless worry over the excessive use of technical tools and global networks. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, in her turn, distinguishes between the following options of applying Skype to education: broadening the outlook and developing social consciousness, staying in touch, reporting live/streaming from events and places, getting or sharing information about the nature of courses and exchange of materials, training oneself to speak in front of the audience, keeping in touch with the best qualified specialists in a particular sphere of knowledge, and communicating with the witnesses of some important event and/or associating with outstanding people. Operating the Skype program, students learn how to behave in front of the camera, how to use web-camera and microphone (which raises the student‚??s technological awareness), how to be convincing, how to visualize the ideas and thoughts, how to prevent the background obstructions (an issue of obstacles and how to deal with them). Thus, the students develop their scope, technological competence, train their artistic abilities, and learn how to overcome fears and be prepared to speak in front of the audience. Skype is also used for the purposes of
- career education, which occurs when parents introduce their children and children‚??s classmates;
- after-school help, which occurs when a student requires extra attention and/or care;
- student inclusion, which occurs when a student cannot visit classes because of illness;
- volunteering, which consists in establishing contacts between different schools for their students‚?? educational and cultural benefit.
Application of Skype in business sphere has some specific features. The peculiar features of Skype and its advantages in business sphere rest upon the same characteristics that were already mentioned, namely mobility, simplicity, and multi-functionality. One of the main advantages of Skype for business sphere is covering the great distances; the Skype program allows one to arrange a meeting or a video conference for people who live in different regions across the globe. Considering the issue of the benefits of Skype for small business, Gabriela Warren enumerates the following advantages of this program: price, ease of use, it is where you are, reliability, and call quality.
The issue of price means the following. If a person is using the Skype program for personal purposes, namely for interpersonal communication by means of making a Skype call to another user, this option is free. In this regard, the only negative feature Gabriela Warren admits is that a person can have a free video conference with one user at a time. According to Tom Blanchard, a yearly fee is ‚??of around $60,‚?? which means that paying this sum, a user is guaranteed to get a phone number assigned, which enables one to get the phone calls directly using a computer or smartphone application. Ease of use means that the Skype program is not difficult to download, install, and operate. Creators and developers of Skype service have already provided a number of versions for personal and office computers, laptops, tablet computers, and smartphones. Having downloaded Skype on a gadget, the only thing a person should do afterwards to run the program is to connect to the Internet. Skype is the latest tool based on Voice over IP technology. It is a mechanism that allows phone calling through the Internet. Being the latest creation in VoIP technologies, Skype offers its users good quality, which, in its turn, indicates professionalism. Skype services are improving constantly, and the customer‚??s demands, needs, and remarks are taken into consideration. Quality and professionalism are important in terms of establishing business contacts and carrying on business. Therefore, one can emphasize the quality of services provided by the Skype program. This way, the author justifies the idea of reliability of Skype program. Reliability is another important feature for establishing business contacts and running business.
The negative effects of Skype program are most noticeable as far as the issue of interpersonal communication is concerned. The negative effect of Skype on interpersonal communication consists in dehumanizing it. Communication is by all means an art; it is an art of motivating, encouraging, comforting others, an art of persuasion and reasoning. Motivation, encouraging, comforting, persuasion, and reasoning are the five possible ways of influencing the others. In the process of face-to-face communication each of these influences is expressed more vividly if compared to a distant online conversation. Face-to-face communication is more natural. Modernization and technological approach have made communication a means of entertainment. Communication, in its turn, is something far more important. Another thing which is more common among young people is that they become addicted to the Internet in general and social networks and the media in particular. Briefly, the only conclusion that can be made in regard to the negative effects of social networks and the media in general and Skype program in particular is that people should benefit from the time they spend in front of computers. It means that people should explore the Internet in order to get some information, but not just for entertaining purposes. That is why people should control themselves while exploring social networks and the media. When one understands the usefulness and helpfulness of Skype program, the negative impact of social networks and the media is reduced to zero. The only fact that matters is what people use social networks and the media for.
Taking all the aforementioned facts into consideration, it is possible to assume that Skype has already affected people‚??s life and interactions. The issue has both positive and negative aspects. The negative effects of Skype, a tool for online communication, are especially just when the issue concerns the excessive use of it. Positive features of Skype as a social media networking tool mostly deal with education and business. Skype is beneficial for both business and education because it is easy to use, accessible (available for free), and reliable. It saves time and efforts while organizing a meeting or conference and makes distance communication possible and effective.
Taking all the effects of social network, the media and Skype program particularly into consideration, it is possible to claim that the Skype program is useful by all means. Skype is helpful due to the number of options, services, and functions available, namely text and voice messages exchange, video conferencing, and file exchange. Text and voice messages exchange as well as video conferencing are important for business, while file exchange is more important for educational purposes. It helps to deal with the course materials, such as readings, tasks, and exercises, course objectives, and many other issues connected with education.

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Posted by      Emily R. at 7:03 AM MST
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  milan joy  says:
Skype is used to connect people over the internet. It offers video call facility through which we can outsourcing benefits and risks communicate so easily. This software is used by various companies to make communication and transfer data. Thank you so much for the details shared here.
Posted on Fri, 13 Dec 2019 7:48 AM MST by milan j.
  sara khan  says:
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Top 22 places to visit in Rajasthan Tour


Rajasthan is well known for its rich culture of ancient Indian history, dramatic folk dances, elegant royal sceneries of the grand palaces, forts and the simplistic lifestyle of some villages reveal a lot about Rajasthan makes the state attract a swarm of tourists from all over the world. If you were planning for Rajasthan tour, then the best time to visit Rajasthan would be in the winter from October to March. This is the definite time to witness the wildlife, endure the pleasant weather and take part in the cultural tours offered by several Rajasthan tourism packages at Sushant Travels. From desert tours and camel rides to artistic handicraft shopping in the liveliest marketplaces.

Here is a list of things to do in Rajasthan:

1) Hawa Mahal: Visit Hawa Mahal, the most distinctive monument of Jaipur is a particularly captivating destination spot, painted with radiant hues of pink portraying delicate and honeycombed gathering that is peaked at a great height. Built by a noble ruler Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799, Hawa Mahal was constructed to allow the household women of the superior and royal family to witness the processions and life of the place.

2) The City Palace: It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Rajasthan. It is a palace in Jaipur that houses the popular Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. The Chandra Mahal is one of the most attractive tourist places in Rajasthan.

3) Jal Mahal: It is one of the most peaceful and tranquil places to visit in Rajasthan located amid the wild city of Jaipur. Jal Mahal is asymmetric deep surge royal mansion which was once a shooting toll house for the Maharajah. The bright sand blended with the stone walls of the gorgeous architecture Jal Mahal defines to be an evident contrast to the cerulean waters of the inland lake.

4) Birla Temple: This temple in Jaipur is profoundly studied and inspired by the fine art or artwork of modern architecture. The design adorned on the Birla Temple is said to have inspired by a Scottish castle artwork. The major three arches in the complex represents three crucial religions that are followed in our country.

5) Jantar Mantar: The Jantar Mantar is found in Jaipur. It is a compilation of structural astronomical instruments. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the well-preserved among all the memorials that have been included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

6) Lake Pichola: It is an artificial lake which has been named after the Picholi village and was built in 1362 AD. It was built to meet the irrigation and drinking requirements of the local people. There are four islands on the lake and palaces have been created on these lakes to provide a better view of the region of the lake. The four islands and the palaces built on them are Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir and Arsi Vilas.

7) Kumbhalgarh Fort: It is located in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. It is known as the birthplace of the greatest warrior of India, Maharana Pratap. The fort was built during the 15th century. The fort is now open to the public and is lit up in beautiful lights every evening.

8) Fateh Prakash Palace: It was established in the early 20th century and is titled after Maharana Fateh Prakash, who was the king during the development of the palace. The palace has now been transformed into a hotel. The Fateh Prakash Palace is still owned by the Mewar Royal Family of Udaipur.

9) Mehrangarh Fort: It is one of the biggest forts in India, located at a height of 440 feet from the city. The fort is surrounded by high and resolute walls and embeds several palaces and temples within. The Mehrangarh Fort is pretty famous among tourists. The Fort also has a museum which is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan.

10) Bishnoi Village: It is a village which allows the tourist to traverse the rich cultural beauty exhibiting the ethnic customs in and around Marwar. Bishnoi Village portrays the true essence of Rajasthan. Therefore, if you are zealous to encounter the venture of the tribal village culture, then you must surely visit Bishnoi Village.

11) Umaid Bhawan Palace: Originally known as the Chittar Palace, is one of the world‚??s greatest private residences. A part of the palace is still used by the Jodhpur Royal Family, another part has been hired by the Taj Group of Hotels and handled as hotel. The palace is divided into three parts, One part of the palace is the royal residence, the other part is a heritage hotel and the third part is a museum. The museum showcases the 20th-century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family. The museum gallery showcases the automobiles owned by the royal family.

12) Osian Village: It is one of the popular places to visit in Rajasthan. Osian is known as a place where tours and outings can be carried out. Experiential things like camel riding, overnight safaris, and dune camping are popular in Osian Village.

13) The Jaisalmer Fort: It is one of the most magnificent forts in the world. It is termed - the Sonar Qila in the regional language as it is made of yellow sandstone. The Fort takes on a yellow hue in the sun rays and turns a beautiful honey-gold colour at sunset.

14) The Sam Sand Dunes: It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Rajasthan. It is the place where you can completely lose yourself in the stunning beauty of the Thar Desert. From this point, there is only a vast stretch of dunes with rare or no vegetation. Sam sand dunes safari and jeep safari are activities that should not be missed in Rajasthan tour.

15) Dilwara Jain temple: The beautiful temple is located near Mount Abu. The temples are known for their exquisite architecture and elaborate carvings. The temples were constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries by Chalukya.

16) Guru Shikhar: It is one of the peaks in the Arabuda Mountains of Rajasthan and also the highest point in the Aravalli Range, Rajasthan. Guru Shikhar extended to a height of 5,676 feet. There is a temple devoted to Dattatreya and Lord Vishnu, at the top of Guru Shikhar in a cave.

17) Junagarh Fort: Originally named the Chintamani Fort which is not built on a hilltop. The Junagarh Fort is placed in central and the city of Bikaner has expanded around it.

18) Karni Mata Temple: Solemnly devoted to Karni Mata located at Deshnoke, Rajasthan. Popularly known as the Rat Temple. It is the home for around twenty-five thousand black rats that are worshipped daily in the temple.

19) The Keoladeo National Park: It is also known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, was previously known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. The park plays host to a large number of migratory birds during the winters, it is also been added in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

20) The Chittorgarh Fort: It is the largest fort in India. The fort, which is also called Chittor, was the place of power of the rulers of Mewar. The fort was attacked three times between the 15th and the 16th centuries and was captured by enemies. The fort is emblematic of the spirit and values of the brave Rajput rulers who ruled over Mewar.

Garadia Mahadev Temple: It is located at around 500 feet at a distance from the sea level near the canyon through which the Chambal river runs. On either side of the temple lies colossally large massive cliffs. Ranthambore National Park: One of the famous national parks in Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is the main tourist attraction. Ranthambore National Park is deemed to be a popular hunting grounds especially discovered for the Maharajas of Jaipur. Best time to visit Ranthambore National Park is open for the tourist every year on between 1st October to 30th June. Rest of the time it remains closed.

Sushant Travels - Rajasthan Tour Packages, India Tour Packages
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Posted by      joy m. at 1:53 AM MST
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  leah melda  says:
Posted on Fri, 6 Dec 2019 4:13 AM MST by leah m.
  milan joy  says:
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November 13, 2019

Symbolism in ‚??A Doll's House‚?? by Henrik Ibsen


‚??A Doll's House‚?? is a remarkable example of socio-psychological drama focused on the spiritual struggle of the main heroine Nora Helmer. The principal female character in Ibsen's play is a loving and caring wife of an authoritative bank employee Torvald Helmer; the woman initially seems to be a naive and helpless child who does not even imagine the outer world behind her house. Nevertheless, Nora's small displays of rebellion show that she is not as happy in her marriage as she appears. As the play progresses, the heroine demonstrates her true self through progression from an ignorant woman to thinking and independent person. Therefore, Nora's sacrificial role of the wife in her golden cage, her discharge from the familial obligations, and eventually understanding of the conception of freedom manifests through the deep symbolism of the play that raises an important social issue of female oppression.
Nora Helmer herself is a symbol of a socially oppressed woman who is not aware of her sad part. The heroine is a doll in the eyes of her husband who treats her as if she is a toy. Nevertheless, it is difficult to find out the reason of such marital relationship, because Nora represents a beloved wife of a man of high moral ideals who is stormily devoted to his family. Nora Helmer considers herself fortunate and demonstrates her deep honor to her husband through worship and sacred believe in him. Thus, a woman loses her own individuality and sacrifices her life to the husband. Being treated as a doll by her father, Nora continues to be a toy in Torvald's hands: He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls. And when I came to live with you ‚?? I mean that I was simply transferred from papa's hands into yours. Furthermore, Nora completely depends on Torvald ‚?? she is not educated to be responsible and cannot control her own money without her husband's authorization. In the world of male dominance, women were deprived of rights, and those who have been unhappily married could not divorce due to social stigma, and thus had to accept their miserable fate. Thereby, marriage has become a trap to Nora without hope for the liberation; she would rather sacrifice her life to be accepted than to be judged. Additionally, the symbol of Nora's sacrifice shines a spotlight on the problem of female oppression.
Nonetheless, Nora's rebellious nature begins to emerge unconsciously through her behavior. For instance, the tarantella conveys an important hidden meaning ‚?? it is a symbol of Hora's inner desire to live a full life, but Torvald does not approve her attempt. Therefore, the dance is the only way for Nora to show her true self ‚?? not perfect and obedient Victorian wife, but a free, fiery, and passionate woman. Although Nora performs the tarantella to please Torvald, he is not loyal and thankful to the wife: I shall go into the inner office and shut the door, and I shall hear nothing; you can make as much noise as you please. Thus, Nora's husband does not support her passions even when she tries to do something for him; Torvald takes his wife for granted thereby suppressing her more and more. Thereby, Nora's inner world has to struggle with reality through the wild dancing. In addition to this, macaroons is one more symbol of Nora's inner passion ‚?? although she is commanded not to eat them, the woman disobeys her husband and secretly ate them being alone in the living room. Macaroons represent Nora‚??s hidden desires that are revealed through her disobedience and deceit within the marriage.
In addition to this, the actions of the play unfold during Christmastime ‚?? the time of hope for better future for everyone. Nora and Torvald look forward to the start of a new happier life in the new year. However, both of them see the nature of the desired changes differently, because they both became new people and face unexpected challenges in their lives. The beginning of the new year for Nora is not only the crucial change of the way of living but, what is more important, the radical change in the way of her thinking. Moreover, the New Year is a symbol of Nora's enlightenment and understanding of the conception of true freedom. Although Christmas is never regarded as a religious holiday throughout the play, it brings Nora Helmer a real miracle liberating her from the familial obligations and unjustified indulgence to the husband who does not deserve it. Torvald ‚?? it was then it dawned upon me that for eight years I had been living here with a strange man, and had borne him three children. Nora realizes that her husband has been a stranger to her during the entire marriage, as well as she has been to him. Therefore, Christmas time is a symbol of Nora's complete spiritual awakening and rebirth from the pitiful existence in the doomed marriage.
‚??A Doll's House‚?? conveys a topical message about the female ability to become free from marriage oppression and male ignorance. Henrik Ibsen has made Nora's liberation from her golden cage possible due to the set of symbols that represent character's inner and outer struggle with social injustice. Thereby, symbolism plays a crucial role in the play, because it forces Nora Helmer to transform from a passive, naive and childish heroine into a dynamic character who can critically think and independently build her own life.
About the author: Jessica Sanders is a bachelor in English philology and sociology at California University. Jessica is currently working as one of the best writers at https://essayswriters.com/ She also studies feminine psychology.
Posted by      Jessica S. at 4:44 PM MST
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Uncovering the Genuine Meaning and Definition of Philosophy


In daily life conversation, people often use the word combination philosophy of life, but they do not think over the genuine meaning of the word philosophy. What does this really mean? Is it a lifestyle, or major moral principles, according to which they live? There are many variations of this concept, but all of them could be right. In fact, philosophy of life could also be presented as a range of biases, beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, and even stereotypes, which are accepted in a certain social context by writing services https://bestwritingservice.com. At the same time, this conception should not be confused with the word philosophy. It is used in academic disciplines and by great philosophers in the history because their deliberations on the sense of life are much broader and deeper. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between these two terms to understand the spectrum of the meanings and undercurrents produced by one word. To be more exact, the word combination philosophy of life is a modernized form of understanding social and individual norms accepted in a narrow social circle. Philosophy as a discipline is represented as an art of developing critical thinking and crafting viable arguments.

As the majority might know, the word philosophy is of Greek origin and means literally love of wisdom. The necessity of understanding this combination can shed light on deeper roots of the discipline. The greatest philosophers of ancient times were the first teachers of critical and argumentative thinking. In this context, philosophy should not be confused with social sciences of physiologies. The discipline focuses on the underpinning of individuals believes and outlooks on the world. Hence, the way a person thinks and supports ideas with arguments could be considered as a part of activities which are used in philosophy.

Additionally, philosophy could also be presented in form of argumentation that aims to find the truth. The latter is probably the utmost goal of the discipline because many philosophers argue the pursuit of the truth. In contrast, daily life is also full of philosophical questions, but they are not always confined to the search of the truth, but to the search of other values in life, such as happiness, success, career, or self-actualization.

While deliberating on the main components of philosophy, it is essential to consider it as a humanistic discipline. A humanistic conception of philosophy is scientism philosophy should certainly be interested in the sciences and some philosopher may well be involved in them. Indeed, it is evident that philosophy is the foundation of all other scientific disciplines because all of them are premised on logic and argumentation. In contrast to another concept of philosophy, it should be stressed that people rarely think over the scientific underpinnings of their moral assumptions and principles, but on personal experience and the opinion accepted by the majority in society. Hence, philosophy as a discipline and mindset ground for other sciences and. Therefore, many philosophers are interested in cognizing the ancient art of argumentation to contribute to the study of other related disciplines to establish the objective of claims and knowledge.

In conclusion, the word combination philosophy of life differs from the actual meaning of philosophy as a discipline, but still there are similarities. Both terms are contextual and relate to the art of ethical thinking and making assumption. Nonetheless, philosophy as a discipline relies on scientific argumentation and produces a deeper understanding of important questions of being, knowledge acquisition and truth. Therefore, there should be a clear distinction between the lifestyle and a set of attitudes and assumptions, as well as between the art of critical thinking and argumentation.
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November 8, 2019

Food and Mood


It is widely known that food and its various supplements greatly impact on people‚??s moods. However, not every person can discover the exact connection between food and mood. People in modern society are known to become more and more aggressive, anxious, irritable or depressed in life. As a result, not only scientists but also ordinary people get concerned about their state of mind. They all want to become happier, healthier and, in some cases, thinner. Therefore, many theories evolve, and research is conducted in the process of investigating the relationship between food and mood.
The majority of people are awaiting the answer to the question, ‚??What is that magical relation?‚?? As a matter of fact, this is connected with the micronutrients, which are vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for neurotransmitters ‚??specific chemicals in charge of people‚??s moods. Evidently, there is a direct connection between the food people eat and the mood they are in. Some products and supplements really tease the organism‚??s chemistry and cause certain emotions and feelings. For instance, foods rich in carbohydrates provoke the brain to release serotonin, sweets raise endorphins secretion, and chocolate is connected with phenylethylamine and anandamide.
Moreover, nutritionists recommend eating certain foods and supplements to reduce the probability of development of various psychological disorders including depression, stress, anger, and anxiety. In his book, Jack Challem advises following his dietary recommendations, in particular eating high-quality proteins, high-fiber vegetables, avoiding sugar and deep-fried foods, and reducing the amount of alcohol and caffeine consumed. This will help to control the level of sugar in one‚??s blood and thus prevent sudden mood swings. As stress increases, the level of NPY in one‚??s brain experiences the lack of serotonin, which can be increased by consuming foods rich in carbohydrates. For maintaining a healthy brain, a person should remember to include in a diet such as efficient components as fatty fish, whole grains, lean protein, leafy greens, and yogurts with active cultures. The listed products help reduce the symptoms of depression, hyperactivity, anxiety, and stress hormones, which is crucial in mental disorders treatment.
In addition to the great effect of special food consumption in therapy, one should not forget to follow the right diet as a part of a healthy lifestyle. A great number of people today show inertia in their habits and food cravings ‚?? they simply resist changing something for the sake of improvement. However, if a person wishes to become healthier and happier or lose weight, some particular steps are to be taken. In order to improve one‚??s quality of life and mood, one needs to become aware of the problem and understand its impact on life, to be willing to act according to this knowledge, and to actually work on the undesirable moods or behavior. Moreover, to get a complex result, changes are to be made in four directions: taking the right supplements, following the right diet (e.g. include super mood foods to a ration), exercising regularly, and trying to gradually change lifestyle.
In conclusion, a path to a happy and healthy life is hard and it accepts no tricks. Thus, every person willing to change must develop useful habits. It is clear that a relationship between food and mood affects people‚??s lives resulting in various reactions, either expected or not. Therefore, one should obligatorily control his/her food cravings to gain a desirable state of mind.
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July 23, 2019

Legitimate Help with dissertation formatting services


As students are about to graduate, they are required to come up with a dissertation that is used to assess the students. These dissertations usually take time to complete as they are very complicated. Formatting of the dissertations is very important and this is used as part of the assessment. Many students usually find it very hard to format their dissertations appropriately and this usually leads to the examiners giving them poor grades. You can take help from online companies that could offer you help with formatting a dissertation paper. It is however not that easy to get a company that will guarantee you an affordable service. We are the best dissertation formatting services Company that formats dissertations to assist you in completing your work so that you get the best grades in your academics.

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June 28, 2019

Who Owns Your Body Parts? by Kerry Howley


Who Owns Your Body Parts? by Kerry Howley
Organ transplantation as a treatment for severe patients is of great social importance since it can not only prolong life, but also ensure its higher quality. The most common type of human tissues transplantation is removal of organs and (or) tissues from a dead body. However, this type of transplantation also creates the great variety of issues, the most important of which is the appearance of money problem, i.e. the unfair allocation of finances in the donor-intermediary-recipient chain. In 2007, Kerry Howley in her article Who Owns Your Body? presented a comprehensive research on where from and where to the transplantation industry money goes, and what the donors (or their relatives) get from the tissue donation. The results were astonishing the donors in most cases receive nothing. Here, the real problem is that the donors relatives are blinded by their grief and funeral-related problems to such an extent that they forget to pay proper attention to the financial side of the donation, as well as to follow the destination of the tissue.
Howley did a great job studying the economic side of tissue donation. She tells a story of Alistair Cooke body, which was dissected for bones removal for the transplantation purposes. Obviously, bone tissue was removed illegally, without the recipient (his daughter, in this case) permission. The author claims that Cookes case is not nearly unique. The funeral business of removing body tissues and even utilizing the whole bodies has very furcate structure. Michael Mastromarino, who is to be blamed in this case, sold the Cookes bone to biotech industry companies that earn fortunes from every corpse coming into their hands. In fact, Mastomatino played a tiny role in the human tissue market. It is a multibillion industry involving both huge biotechnical companies and laboratories and funeral industries all over the world.
The Cookes story was only a trigger point for an international scandal. The fact the human tissues are used for bioengineering primarily undercover, i.e. without the recipients permission, opened a financial side of the question. Usually, the donor does not know where to his/her tissues are going. Indeed, one will doubt to give an organ to transform it into someones enlarged lips or the piece of synthetic skin for phalloplasty. In addition, the big concern is that the human body will become only the set of spare parts if the recipient will know the price of this or that tissue. That is why modern legislation carefully regulates the matter even changing the economic language of transplantation market. Meanwhile, the market is growing, and profits are rising.
The point raised by Howley is of especial importance nowadays. From the time the article was written, the transplantation market had only grown, and the issue of financial gain from tissue removal became even more acute. Problems of transplantation, as the fight against organized crime, drugs, or terrorism, are beyond one state. Transplantation becomes the sphere of international cooperation and is of interest for international organizations. It is true especially concerning the issue of dead body usage for bioengineering purposes. The main problem here is that the relatives are not even informed that some tissues are removed from their family member's body. However, in someone's nursing home essay I have seen this information.
Perhaps, what really surprises is the answer of authorities. The first rule of the tissue market is don't talk about the tissue market. In other words, they do not want to face the fact that tissue market exists beyond the desired boundaries and prefer to change names than really regulate it. Obviously, changing names in the tissue industry does partly help the relatives to overcome the grief and console themselves after the loss. On the other side, renaming does not change the essence of the matter. Using human tissues for marketing does exist, and some steps should be taken towards its regulation. It is obvious that existing legislation is not able to cope with expanding financial empire of human tissue use for bioengineering.
The other side of this coin is that knowing the prices and destinations may lead to uncontrolled consequences. For example, Howley claims, many bioethicists worry that payment will create a two-tiered system, in which the bodies of the poor are repurposed to serve the rich, and she is right. Knowing the price for the body parts may become the only way for the poor to earn money. It is much easier to sell a kidney (knowing that a person can live with one) or skin for a huge sum of money than to work hard and earn scantily. Knowing that the majority of tissues turn into cosmetics and other commercialized spheres and being familiar with the prices, the sold tissues by poor people would become the raw material or spare parts for the rich.
In conclusion, speaking about the whole industry of tissue transplantation it is clear that the purpose of its creation was positive and no one can deny that tissue donation has saved and is saving many lives and served as research material, helping scientists to make steps towards the treatment of complex diseases. On the other side, as many things in the modern world, the initial useful purpose turned into an instrument to earn money. Hiding behind the noble purpose of tissue donation, they make money on dead people and their relatives, infringing their rights and limiting their freedom of choice. Kerry Howley exemplified only one case of illegal tissue usage. However, the schemes employed in tissue market are far more complicated and, unfortunately, involve great variety of people that are related to the medicine in this or that way.
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May 31, 2019

Food and Culture


Today, the diet of the USA population is a combination of numerous cultures and cuisines. Currently, Mexican Americans, Asian Indians, and African Americans are among the most widely spread and numerous ethnic groups of the US society, defining American nutrition. African Americans make over 15 percent of the total population of the USA. African Americans have their traditional nutrition habits, which are mostly different from the typical American diet. Nutrition traditions are best understood through the prism of the cultural context. Simultaneously, a better understanding of African American nutritional habits may provide avoidance of ethnocentric assumptions. In this regard, traditional nutritional habits of numerous minority groups of the USA, their common food habits, and interaction between the chosen cultures have to be examined in detail.
Traditional Food Habits
The nutrition habits of modern African Americans are based on certain health beliefs traced from generation to generation since their early settlement on the territory of the USA. Traditional African American food, which is also called "soul food", has been developed on the basis of numerous practices and traditions. Core commodities of the African American diet are represented by cornmeal, pork, and molasses, along with wheat flour and lard. Representatives of this ethnic group use flour for baking their traditional biscuits. However, flour has become cheap enough for regular purchases just recently. The most popular type of pork is commercially packed bacon, but a fat one.
Some families prefer to cook simple meals. For example, they slice a bacon or salt pork thin and cook it in fireplaces. Mixing bacon grease with molasses, they make a so-called "sap", which is eaten with meat and cornbread. Cornbread is made of cornmeal and water and baked on a griddle. In most cases, African Americans bake bread and fry meat. The preference for meat frying is usually given due to a short time of cooking; in summer, this feature is rather practical. Sometimes, in winter or late autumn, African Americans eat sweet potatoes and pork. Some families cook an opossum dinner. The carcass is seasoned with red pepper and baked with sweet potatoes in a pot. People of this ethnic group prepare crackling bread by frying it till a brittle condition. Then, they mix it with water, cornmeal, salt, and soda and bake it all. Oftentimes, African Americans eat turnips or cabbage boiled with pork fat.
Talking about spices, it should be mentioned that most African American dishes are heavily seasoned and salted. Members of the African American community widely use chilies and hot peppers, along with garlic, curry, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and sesame seeds. Seasonings made of ground seeds (for example, cotton and melon) and dried mushrooms are also rather common in the African American food. In the African-American community, breakfast meals are commonly light and lunch is usually represented by fast food. The dinner meal usually consists of one or several traditional dishes. Studies have shown that African Americans have from four to five meals per day with the largest one in the afternoon.
African Americans brought to the USA some foods, which are associated with superstitions. For example, the African diaspora brought black-eyed pea to the New World. Until today, a celebration of the New Year without black-eyed peas is deemed inferior and at least not lucky. Dried black-eyed peas have two physical properties, which symbolize good things: a significant increase in size when cooked and the guarantee of germination when planted. For historical reasons, eating black-eyed peas ensures good fortune, as stated in the Jewish Talmud.
Besides their beliefs into the good fortune of some products, modern rural African Americans also believe that some foods are capable of healing various illnesses. For example, in order to treat diabetes, they consume such dietary products as vinegar, lemon juice, teas made of roots and leaves, and herbal supplements from healthy food shops. Vinegar and lemon juice, for instance, are applied in order to reduce the level of sugar in the blood. Besides, many other natural remedies are used by African Americans for the treatment of numerous diseases. In order to treat the urinary tract infection, bearberry is used. Rheumatism, menstrual pain, and discomfort are eliminated by means of black cohosh or black snakeroot, while blue cohosh is appropriate for uterine contractions during work. At seizures, it is advised to use wild comfrey in the African American community and chamomile is used for poison ivy treatment and sleep aid. Sweet potato provides nausea relief during pregnancy.
Being an ancient ethnic group, African Americans have their own feasts and holidays, for which peculiar celebratory dishes are characteristic. For example, dishes containing peanuts, seeds, collard greens, sweet potatoes, and spicy sauces are traditionally cooked for Kwanzaa, one of the major non-religious holidays intended to honor African culture and inspire African Americans, whose labor has made a great contribution to the progress of the USA. In addition, the celebratory table also contains vegetables, fruits, and nuts symbolizing the harvest, which nourished the African people. African Americans also cook appetizers from black-eyed peas, peanut soup, fruit salads, and coconut pie and drink green tea with mint or ginger beer.
Undoubtedly, understanding of the interconnection between religion and food can help better understand the African American community, especially taking into account the fact that African Americans are very religious Christians and Catholics. Scientists mark that Christian faith makes significant transformations in their diet habits of the African American community. For example, eating crackers is an important part of Christianity because they are transformed into Christ's body. The Christmas Day breakfast usually contains such traditional for this ethnic minority dishes as eggs, ham, biscuits with butter and syrup, grits, and sausages. Other core dishes served for religious holidays usually include baked ham, green vegetables, candied yams, baked macaroni, baked chicken, cornbread, rice, and fruitcakes or apple pies for a dessert.
Adaptation of African American Diet to the USA
Several studies have shown that in the African American community the process of acculturation to the USA culture plays a crucial role in shaping their attitudes, cultural behavior, and, undoubtedly, dietary habits. Scientists have noticed that acculturation to the American culture is associated with unhealthy diet behaviors among African Americans. Acculturation to the American culture has led to shifts from traditional healthy foods containing whole grains, meats, and vegetables to more sugary, processed, and high-fat foods, which are currently rather popular and widely spread in the U.S. community.
Acculturation to the U.S. dietary style was not a difficult process for a long time. From the beginning, acculturation was inhibited by the elderly generation of African Americans who honored and highly valued their native traditions. However, new generations of the African American community strove to adapt to the cultural environment they were born and lived in. As a result, African Americans' acculturation to the U.S. dietary habits supposed partial or total acceptance of foods classified as "American". Thus, eating fast-food, for example, pizza or hamburgers and frequent ignorance of traditional long-cooked dishes, has become a consequence of these ethnic minority members becoming American and assimilating to their peers.
Experts argue that the dietary habits of African Americans are likely to take a turn for the worse due to the increase of the African Americans' length of residency on the territory of the USA. Eventually, African American ethnic minority groups will assimilate with the U.S. culture because with the course of time they obtain a broader variety of food options, thus becoming more likely to eat both healthy and unhealthy native and American foods. Moreover, African Americans have obtained more opportunities to expand their traditional menu and try exotic foods, which were unavailable for them in their motherland. Nonetheless, African Americans are likely to change their dietary behavior if they are limited in access to ingredients required for cooking their national dishes. As a result, they will slowly assimilate to the American unhealthy diet, straying away from homemade meals.
Food and Health Relations
The preference for a certain type of diet, a so-called "soul food", has caused numerous health problems among African Americans. Soul food usually includes a lot of fatty meats, sugar, and fried foods served with rich gravies, regular consumption of which leads to high rates of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and obesity. In comparison to the white American population, the African American ethnic group is characterized by higher incidences of hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer. High incidences of cancer among African Americans are caused by low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Thus, obtaining lower amounts of vitamins, magnesium, and calcium and consuming a great number of calories from the saturated fat, members of this community have the highest rates of obesity in the USA. Moreover, some studies have shown that African American men experience the most frequent incidences of hypertension and prostate cancer in the world.
Like any other diet, soul food has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, this type of food is rich for nutrients since it contains leafy yellow and green vegetables (collard greens, for instance), potatoes, legumes, rice, and beans. In most cases, many products required for cooking traditional African American dishes are cheap enough in the USA and, thus, available to African Americans with different levels of income. Having brought many local products with them during slavery times from Africa to the USA, African Americans have contributed to the expansion of the U.S. food market supply. On the contrary, soul food is poor in fiber, potassium, calcium and has a high level of fat. High levels of fat and cholesterol cause numerous diseases, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks, etc. Moreover, not all ingredients necessary for this diet are easily accessible on the territory of the USA or in particular states. Experts recommend to boil or bake some products instead of frying in order to decrease the fat amount. Focusing on fruit can help to enrich an organism with fiber and necessary vitamins, hence saving human health. Moreover, some heavily available ingredients can be replaced with other products with lower prices that are healthier and easily accessible.

Taking into account the above-mentioned information, it should be noted that the African American diet represents a combination of numerous cultural influences. As a result of stable acculturation, soul food has turned from healthy dishes for early slaves to an unhealthy diet for modern African Americans. African American foods contain a lot of fat and are mainly cooked by means of frying, resulting in numerous diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, etc. Nonetheless, some products are widely used for the treatment of numerous diseases. African Americans have many dishes associated with religion, superstitions, and traditional celebrations. Thus, soul food is a cultural heritage of the people who have saved its traditions until today despite a strong influence of the U.S. community.

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December 6, 2011

Mirror Neurons Allow the Blind to "See!"


By watching the actions of others and comprehending the intent conveyed through the acts, individuals constantly learn from their social interactions and adapt accordingly. In humans a specific class of neurons, known as mirror neurons, comprise a system believed to be a factor in the understanding of actions and intentions, as well as in language procurement, learning by imitation, and development of empathy. It has been well established that the mirror system shows greater activation during observation of familiar movements, and can even be activated through listening to familiar sounds alone without any accompanying visual cues. While this clearly indicates that visual perception is not a requisite for activation of mirror neurons, it does not preclude the possibility that activation is ultimately due to visually based mental imagery that has been triggered by the auditory stimuli. So is functional sight vital to the activation of mirror neurons and thus to the ability to learn through imitation and interact successfully in the external world? Or can the visually impaired still retain use of their mirror neuron networks, and thereby learn from and effectively "see" the actions of others? Emiliano Ricciardi of the University of Pisa, in conjunction with his colleagues, designed a novel experiment in order to ascertain the correct answer.

The study consisted of eight blind participants and fourteen participants with normal vision. Of the eight blind participants, seven were congenitally blind and one lost vision at the age of two, yet had no memory of any visual experience. Each subject was asked to listen to twenty aural descriptions of hand-motor actions and ten environmental sound samples, such as of a rainstorm. The participants were also asked to perform motor pantomimes of specific actions upon hearing a spoken explanation of the movements and the items involved. Upon completion of the task, participants were asked to identify the sounds they heard, and rate their competency in performing the associated actions. The sighted participants were additionally asked to view action or environmental images, as well as pantomime action words that appeared on the screen. During all phases, every participant was imaged using fMRI technology, in order to observe changing brain activity throughout the tasks. Both groups of participants demonstrated equal capabilities in correct execution of the given motor movements and recognition of the various auditory stimuli.

The imaging results from Ricciardi's study revealed an overlap of brain activation between specific areas when participants listened to action sounds and when the actions were physically performed. This overlap isolated a left-lateralized mirror neuron cortical network that was comprised of premotor, temporal, and parietal areas in both blind and sighted subjects. Auditory presentation of familiar actions and movements caused greater overall activation of the mirror system network in both subject groups, compared to the activation elicited by unfamiliar sounds/actions.

These results were incredibly significant as they provided evidence that the mirror system can normally develop without vision through processing of non-visual information concerning actions. Individuals who were born sightless, and thus were never exposed to any visual stimuli, still possessed functioning motor-based mirror neuron networks that were triggered by auditory cues describing actions. Thus, blind individuals can in essence "see" the actions of others, in the sense that cortical activation of identical areas occurs in them as does in sighted people in response to observation/interpretation of action. This implies that mirror neuron networks are based upon abstract and supramodal sensory portrayals of actions, thereby allowing sightless individuals to understand external actions and learn through imitation of others as successfully as those without impaired vision. Ricciardi has achieved the seemingly impossible and presented the blind with the gift of sight... at least from a cortical perspective.

Original article can be found at: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/31/9719.full?sid=948c8b50-3d40-470f-b0dd-ca5c939b2ec0
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Want to Ace the Final? Eat Protein, Not Sugar


We've all heard the saying "you are what you eat," but new research suggests "you think what you eat." A subset of neurons in the hypothalamus called orexin/hypocretin (orx/hcrt) cells are known to regulate energy, reward, and wakefulness and they are stimulated by protein and inhibited by sugar. So eat a protein rich mean before the final to ensure you stay alert and energized!

There are 20 different amino acids coded for by the human genome. They form the basis of all our proteins. In the November 17th issue of Neuron, a study lead by Dr. Denis Burdakov from the Department of Pharmacology at Cambridge shows that amino acids stimulate orx/hcrt cells while glucose depresses them. Interestingly, fatty acids did not affect the firing of orx/hcrt cells. People with defects in these cells have narcolepsy and weight gain, highlighting their importance in wakefulness and healthy metabolism.

The study used in vitro and in vivo techniques to test amino acid's effect on orx/hcrt neurons in mice. The mice were transgenic for orx/hcrt-eGFP, meaning eGFP was expressed only in orx/hcrt cells so they could be easily identified. The in vitro work was done using whole-cell patch-clamp experiments on brain slices, where amino acids clearly depolarized the cells, even in the presence of blockers of ionotropic glutamate, GABA, and glycine receptors. Live rats were force fed the same amino acid mixtures tested in the whole cell recordings and then researchers used an immunocytochemical assay to determine c-Fos expression, a marker of active cells. This proved that amino acids eaten do reach the lateral hypothalamus to stimulate orx/hcrt cells.

Next the researchers wanted to investigate the effects of combining glucose and protein into one experiment. They had previously shown that glucose depresses the same orx/hcrt cells that amino acids excite. In fact the glucose showed a higher inhibition level on its own than the amino acids had shown excitation. Therefore expected results from mixing glucose and amino acids were either to cancel each other or produce a slight inhibition due to glucose. Unexpectedly, the mixture depolarized (excited) the cell. Placing glucose alone on the same cell produced the characteristic hyperpolarization, so these results were puzzling. They used pyruvate, a breakdown product of amino acids, to examine if amino acids were changing the cell's response to glucose. Pyruvate did reduce the glucose response in a dose dependent manner, indicating that amino acids suppress glucose response in orx/hcrt cells resulting in depolarization/excitation instead of inhibition.

It's 3 pm and you just ate a bag of gummy bears and drank a soda. An hour later you begin to get sleepy. Why? The glucose is inhibiting orx/hcrt cells, causing a depression in energy and wakefulness. The best replacement for your sugary afternoon snack is something with protein, since amino acids can competitively compete with glucose, mediating a wakeful and energy producing stimulation. Diet is inexorably tied to brain function, a fact we should take heed of when studying for a big exam or trying to stay awake during lecture.


Karnani, M., Apergis-Schoute, J., Adamantidis, A., Jensen, L., Lecea, L., Fugger, L., Burdakov D. ( 2011). Activation of Central Orexin/Hypocretin Neurons by Dietary Amino Acids. Neuron, 73(4): 616-629.
Edited by      Amanda W. at 9:06 AM MST
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December 5, 2011

Baseball IQ


The use of performance enhancing drugs by MLB athletes has, for a long time, been the most distinct way in which players attempt to gain an advantage. By combining these drugs with physical training methods players have reached new levels of strength and endurance.

However, pure physical strength is not the only attribute that players must possess to succeed at the sport. Hand-eye coordination is key; you must have the exceptional ability to physically react to a visual stimulus in a matter of seconds.

What this means is that the best players owe their success to the ability of their brains as much as they do to their bodies. The brain is responsible for identifying a stimulus (baseball), deciding whether it will be in or out of the strike zone, and then sending a message to the muscles to swing/not swing. Considering that pitchers are reaching speeds of 95 mph consistently, it is extremely remarkable that this process can occur with success in such a short time frame.

Researchers have recently begun to study how the brain takes and decodes this type of visual in formation. In a paper titled An Oculomotor Decision Process Revealed by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging used fMRI to determine the brain structures involved in such a task.

The researchers had subjects do a go/no go task while their brains were scanned. They had the subjects to judge whether a moving target would cross a particular ‚??strike zone‚??. The target was viewed head on, similar to what a pitch would look like from a batter‚??s box. In the subjects field of vision was a circular target, which was the eventual strike zone. The task was simple. They had two buttons: one representing a target ‚??hit‚?? and one representing a target ‚??miss‚??. The subjects were asked to judge the outcome as quickly as possible and brain imaging was recorded as patients watched the entire flight of the ball.

They found the most activity in the supplementary eye field, frontal eye fields, and bilateral superior lateral lobule. The right prefrontal ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was especially active during go trials during a target hit as apposed to a target miss. They believe that this suggests that theses areas are involved in rule-based decision making. When, based off the trajectory of the object, the brain decides it will hit the target, a cascade of neurons fire resulting in the patients choosing a ‚??hit‚??. The same goes for a miss.

The interesting application of this in sports is that these areas could potentially be improved. Quicker neuron firing rates could result in quicker determination of go vs. no go, or in the case of baseball swing vs. no swing. It is entirely possible that the controversial performance enhancer of the future won‚??t have anything to do with brawn but with brains.

If this type of enhancement does play out it will be interesting to see the reaction of the fans and the media. Will this be considered to be on the same level of cheating as steroids? It is hard to say, but it seems to be an inevitable problem that baseball will have to face.
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Neuro-Anthropology: A step backward or forwards?


Neuroscience is an incredibly broad subject. The world that we live in is touched by the brain in so many ways; it is the brain that allows us to experience and investigate the world itself. The new field of Neuro-Anthropology hopes to find the link between how people interact with their environment, and each other, and the biological processes within the brain. How does the brain, in conjunction with the environment, affect what decisions we make and what we do? This seems like a mighty task, bringing together the ethical issues inherent to both fields and once again grappling with the age-old question: Nature or nurture? Interestingly, in his paper, "Humans, Brains, and Their Environment: Marriage between Neuroscience and Anthropology?" Georg Northoff reiterates the argument that the separation between nature and nurture is not applicable to the brain; that it transcends both to form a synthesis because it connects to the world in such an intimate way.
Northoff also summarizes a somewhat worrisome study by Gutchess et al., 2006 in which the neural activity of people in western and eastern cultures was compared. They found differences in the way that people processed information based on whether they lived in an individualist or collective culture. This is very interesting and highly relevant to the idea that the nature of our minds is influenced and synthesized to the nurture of our surroundings. But, such research also makes me worry about the focus on the differences between us. Throughout the history of cultural anthropology racist arguments have been made based on the idea that people from opposing cultures are inherently different and therefore "savage" or in need of "civilizing". I don't think that similar arguments could hold up in today's society but does knowing that someone in another society is fundamentally different all the way to the level of brain functioning change how we relate to one another? Does it make differences seem more acceptable since they are part of the internal biological function of the brain? Or, does it make our differences seem even greater and unapproachable?
Also, this new coalition between anthropology and neuroscience makes me think about the limits of the field. Does neuroscience really have the ability and power to describe things as complex as entire cultures. Can it explain why people act how they do, why they create their world in specific ways under different conditions? Does it have the ability to look out at such a macroscopic level? I feel like it might be stretching it bounds a little too far. Can the firing of Action Potentials really tell us this much?
Of course, these are the same tasks that anthropology, as a field, has been trying to tackle for a very long time. So perhaps, it isn't such a pipedream after all. It is, at the very least, a very interesting marriage between two very broad fields.

Source: http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(10)00141-8
Posted by      Megan M. at 10:19 PM MST
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