On an ordinary afternoon in St. Augustine, Fla., a group of extraordinary people met at a local restaurant for a single purpose - to celebrate their accomplishments, share inspiration and encourage each other while enjoying a meal. They came for their weekly Friday lunch from all walks of life: parents and realtors, mortgage brokers and doctor's assistants, life coaches and flower shop employees. Many represented their own entrepreneurial ventures such as jewelry making, business coaching, spas and health clubs. Regardless of where they came from, they were there for each other, to spend an hour in support and fellowship. These weekly luncheons are held in five other cities, sponsored by the organization Women Celebrations and attended by both men and women. Each luncheon has a theme that suggests the independence and success to which all people aspire, according to founder Sheryl Lynn. Themes have been as varied as "magnificence," "confidence" and "work." At an "applause" themed gathering, each attendee explained to the group why he or she deserved applause. Members talked about moving from out of state and changing careers, business successes and personal joys. Each of the speakers received heartfelt applause as they took a moment to "stand in their power," Lynn's expression for people's ability to find success and empowerment within themselves. It was the need to celebrate everyday things that inspired Lynn to create Women Celebrations. Despite success as a mother of three and an entrepreneur, at the end of the day she felt exhausted and disheartened. "I was not patting myself on the back upon the completion of these marvelous things. And certainly no one else was either," Lynn said. In starting Women Celebrations, she created an environment in which support and encouragement played a vital role. Today, Women Celebrations has a strong presence in northern Florida and more chapters, or "loops," are appearing across the country. The organization is open to everyone wishing to celebrate their lives, share their experiences with others through positive interaction and build a sense of community.
More recently however there has been a revival in anchor tattoos and there are many new designs that are full of brilliant colors and new design motifs for anchor tattoos. There has been a revival in more traditional tattoos. As always history, symbolism and meaning provide an interesting overlap of cultures and times. If you are thinking about getting an anchor tattoo it helps to know the background on them and do some research to find out the different meaning and symbolism of anchor tattoos. Some common designs in ankle tattoos are a tribal symbol, a floral arrangement or an initial. An ankle tattoo can be small enough that it isn't noticeable unless the person is very close. Many professional women choose this type of tattoo because it isn't overbearing and at the same time it allows them to carry something personal on their bodies always. Once you have decided on a design and coloring for your ankle tattoos you'll want to visit a reputable establishment that does tattoos. Looking through the yellow pages is one route but if you know anyone who has a tattoo you should ask them about their experience. Quite often they'll be happy to share with you and they may recommend a place for you to visit. After deciding on a tattoo parlor you'll want to discuss with the artist your concept. If you come there without a design in mind they will be able to show you a range of images that you can choose from. Most people prefer a smaller design for ankle tattoos and if the artist feels that yours is too large, they will work with you to bring it down to a scale that is more appropriate. Getting a tattoo involves piercing the skin, and so there is going to be some pain involved, no matter how small the tattoo and no matter where it is on your body. The amount and type of pain experienced is highly variable depending on each individual's tolerance to and acceptance of pain. While tattooing, the needles puncture the skin at a very fast rate and at a variable depth. The outline is usually the most painful work, because the needles are being used to create a nice solid black line that will define the tattoo, and so it is inserted deeply and carefully to ensure complete and effective coverage. The shading is usually not as painful, but this also depends upon the depth of penetration and the desired effect. The pain you feel is generally as a slight burning or hot scratching sensation. Generally, the tattoo is more painful if applied to areas of the body where there is less muscle and fatty tissue covering bone, like wrists, ankles, chests, and other normally sensitive body areas. Upper arms are usually the least painful, while the ankles and sternum can be quite sensitive. The tattoo pain is certainly not unbearable, here are some tips for coping with and minimizing the pain: Find a reputable tattooist that you feel comfortable with to get the tattoo work done, the confidence you get from a tattooist can minimize your pain to the highest. Don't show up drunk or on drugs. Go in with some determination and accept the fact that a few hours of discomfort without giving the tattooist a hard time will help ensure that you get a first-rate tattoo. If you feel you can't take the pain anymore, tell your tattooist. Take a short break, or come back in a few days. Tattoos don't have to be applied all in one sitting. Break up your session if needed. Listen to music or let your imagination go wild during the procedure, a certain degree of distraction set by your self will help you put less concentration on the pain.
Have your ever had an experience you thought was a coincidence, but a nagging feeling made you feel there was more meaning to it? Those nagging feelings may be the very seeds of your own psychic ability waiting to be cultivated. Your psychic sense can be compared to the bubbles that surface on a quiet pond. As you quietly stare into a still pond, you will soon notice the movement of the water. When you continue to focus your attention into the small body of water, you will eventually see tiny ripples of water and small bubbles emerge from the depths of the quiet pond. That’s exactly the way your sixth sense will respond, when you pay attention to the “psychic bubbles” of insights that surface from the depths of your mind. How can you develop your psychic ability naturally? Set aside time to do nothing but experience your senses. Absorb everything you observe or feel around you. When an image flashes into your mind or a feeling runs through your body, don’t be quick to dismiss it. Instead, allow yourself to savor it as you would a delicious dessert. If it is an image, observe the details of it but also pay attention to the way the image makes you feel. If it’s a feeling, try to make it into an image. Imagine it as a sound or a smell. Try new activities and do old things in new ways. Loosen your focus on goals and try being flexible enough to stimulate your mind by doing something out of the ordinary. Follow your impulses and lean toward the unusual. As you do, you will be exercising your mind to function psychically. Studies show that the brain waves of subjects change when they’re introduced to new materials or experiences. A person who is receptive to new experiences, new information, and has been exposed to unusual and varied life experiences, will find it easier to develop the ability. Therefore, act like sponge! Soak up as many experiences as possible to feed your mind the subliminal stimuli necessary to cultivate your psychic ability. Exercise your extra-sensory mental muscle naturally with these five simple tips: - Travel as much as possible and observe everything. - Change your routine by driving a new way to work or in some other way. - Try an exotic food and savor the experience. - Talk to someone you think you have nothing in common with. - Solve a problem by listening to a “hunch” or “gut instinct”. Developing your psychic sense is a natural as learning how to exercise. One is for body fitness and the other is for mental fitness. Both give you the tools to reach your full potential and the ability to create an even better life than you have now. To develop your sixth sense naturally set aside time to accomplish nothing. Instead just experience the moment through your senses and become aware of everything as though you were just born.
3 Arrests in 8 days in one small town, the first arrest an engineer, the second arrest was a Doctor, and the third was a 26 year old. All three of them were using the Internet to lure teenage girls into meeting with them for the express purpose of molesting them. "The message is, I hope the parents of children will start monitoring what their activities are on the Internet. There are a lot of pedophiles preying on these children," said Johnston. (James Johnson is a police officer in Ardmore, Alabama). "Check your caller I. D. Know who your kids are talking to. If you can, go into the history on your computers. Know what times they are talking to these people. They always want to talk when their parents are gone," he said. This is such a serious problem that the FBI admits to playing catch-up when it comes to combating clever pedophiles using the Internet, and Law Enforcement agencies plea for more money to combat this growing threat. The Bottom line is this; try as they may the government can’t stop pedophiles or keep online pedophiles away from your children, it’s up to you to keep them safe and the good news is that there are methods that can be used to not only stop online predators from harming your children, but protect yourself as well since many predators also threaten families if the victim talks. One of the methods available is called Blocking software, this software works by blocking objectionable content from ever showing up, the software is updated frequently, often daily with a list of sites (called blacklisted), places that cannot be accessed by the computer, using either a web browser such as Internet Explorer, or an instant messaging client and whenever someone tries to access an Internet page the site is compared to the blacklist and the site/chat room is either allowed or not. The other method is keylogging, this method work by recording everything that is typed on the keyboard or clicked by the mouse. One of the advantages that is provided by this approach is if your child has been approached online they generally will not come out and tell you since an online pedophile almost always threatens the child or their family if they talk, and many times the child feels guilty or somehow responsible for the pedophile’s approach in the first place. Unfortunately the online pedophile knows this and capitalizes on guilt, shame or fear this is all part of the grooming process that the offender uses to ease the child into an abusive relationship. Blocking software has its place, and is generally better used for young children since it will keep unwanted material from ever showing up, but it’s use is apparent, that is anyone over the age of 8 or perhaps even younger will know that they are being redirected to a safe website, as a parent or guardian you are definitely the best judge of your child and what they should be allowed to see, and where they should go. Which brings us to key logging software, there are many key loggers available some of them will even email you when a certain word or words that you choose are used. Please remember that child predation is the most underreported crime in the United States, and although the statistics vary greatly depending on the source and many other factors, but the fact remains that as a parent or guardian something should be done.
India is not far behind as the statistics shows it has over 90 million disabled persons, barely one percent of whom are employed. The disability rights debate is not so much about the enjoyment of specific rights as it is about ensuring the equal effective enjoyment of all human rights, without discrimination, by people with disabilities. The non-discrimination principle helps make human rights in general relevant in the specific context of disability. Non-discrimination, and the equal effective enjoyment of all human rights by people with disabilities, is long-overdue reform in the way disability and the disabled are viewed throughout the world. The process of ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy their human rights is slow and uneven. But the good thing is it has started taking place, in all economic and social systems. It is inspired by the values that underpin human rights: the inestimable dignity of each and every human being, the concept of autonomy or self-determination that demands that the person be placed at the center of all decisions affecting him/her, the inherent equality of all regardless of difference, and the ethic of solidarity that requires society to sustain the freedom of the person with appropriate social supports. Global Scenario Over the past two decades a dramatic shift in perspective has taken place from an approach motivated by charity towards the disabled to one based on rights. In essence, the human rights perspective on disability means viewing people with disabilities as subjects and not as objects. It entails moving away from viewing people with disabilities as problems towards viewing them as holders of rights. Importantly, it means locating problems outside the disabled person and addressing the manner in which various economic and social processes accommodate the difference of disability - or not, as the case may be. The debate about the rights of the disabled is therefore connected to a larger debate about the place of difference in society. The shift to the human rights perspective is also reflected in the fact that national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world have begun to take an active interest in disability issues. This is important since these institutions help in providing a bridge between international human rights law and domestic debates about disability law and policy reform. National institutions are strategic partners in the process of change, and their increasing engagement on the issue of human rights for persons with disabilities is a highly encouraging sign for the future. People with disabilities themselves are now framing their long-felt sense of grievance and injustice into the language of rights. Isolated injustices need no longer be experienced in isolation. NGOs working with disability issues such as the collaborative project Disability Awareness in Action are beginning to see themselves also as human rights NGOs. They are beginning to collect and process hard information on alleged violations of the human rights of persons with disabilities. While still relatively limited, their human rights capacities are growing. A similar process of self-transformation is under way within traditional human rights NGOs, which are increasingly approaching disability as a mainstream human rights issue. This is important, since these NGOs have highly developed structures, and the development of a healthy synergy between disability NGOs and traditional human rights NGOs is not only long overdue, but inevitable. States parties are demonstrably moving in the direction of the human rights perspective on disability. Recent research shows that 39 States in all parts of the world have adopted non-discrimination or equal opportunity legislation in the context of disability. States parties’ dialogue with the human rights treaty bodies is constructive in the context of their efforts to secure disability reform; a significant amount of good practice now exists on a worldwide basis, which can be usefully propagated through the human rights treaty system. The Indian Experience The human rights movement in India has boldly and categorically shifted the attention of policy makers from the mere provision of charitable services to vigorously protecting their basic right to dignity and self-respect. In the new scenario, the disabled are viewed as individuals with a wide range of abilities and each one of them willing and capable to utilize his/her potential and talents. Society, on the other hand, is seen as the real cause of the misery of people with disabilities since it continues to put numerous barriers as expressed in education, employment, architecture, transport, health and dozens of other activities. In a country like India the numbers of the disabled are so large, their problems so complex, available resources so scarce and social attitudes so damaging, it is only legislation which can eventually bring about a substantial change in a uniform manner. Although legislation cannot alone radically change the fabric of a society in a short span of time, it can nevertheless, increase accessibility of the disabled to education and employment, to public buildings and shopping centers, to means of transport and communication. The impact of well-directed legislation in the long run would be profound and liberating. One out of every ten people in India suffers from one form of disability or the other that is they possess physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more of major life activities. In other words, 90 million of our countrymen live with, and learn to overcome in their own individual ways, problems which non-disabled can seldom understand. The law should enable not only one in ten people but also nine out of every ten people to lead their lives to their fullest potential. The law declares that disability need not be an insurmountable handicap as long as it can be properly understood and catered for. The law attempts to eradicate factors which produce low self-esteem in disabled people and empowers them to confront the insensitivity and ignorance of others. The Legal Framework A comprehensive Act known as Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 (Act 1 of 1996) was unanimously passed by both the houses of Parliament on 22nd December 1995, which got the assent of the President on 1st January 1996. The Act has 14 chapters and seeks to: a) Spell out the state’s responsibility towards prevention of impairments and protection of disabled people’s rights in health, education, training, employment and rehabilitation; b) Work to create a barrier-free environment for disabled people c) Work to remove discrimination in the sharing of development benefits d) Counteract any abuse or exploitation of disabled people e) Lay down strategies for a comprehensive development of programmes and services and for equalization of opportunities for disabled people; and f) Make provision for the integration of disabled people into the social mainstream. The Act has been in effect from 7th February 1996. Enforcement One of the weaknesses of much of the legislation has been that the enforcement of their provisions has been left to the Courts of Law without specifying summary procedures to be followed in the event of proceedings under the respective legislations. This makes it difficult for persons with disabilities who usually have limited resources and legal knowledge to participate in complicated, lengthy and expensive legal process. At the same the definition of disability as given in 1995 Act needs to be widen to protect the rights of people suffering from HIV, leprosy and internal organ failure. Currently the Act gives protection to those suffering from, blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impaired, mental retardation, mental illness and locomotor disability. There are 600 million people in the world, nearly ten percent of the world’s population, who suffer from one disability or the other. Of these, 90 million are from India. However, even then, the total percentage of the disabled people in India is just six per cent of its population while in the developed nation like USA the disabled population’s percentage is nine percent. This is not because there are more disabled persons in USA but because the definition of disability is wider in USA. Besides limited scope, there are some other lacunae in the act too. There are no guidelines and no deadlines set for non-adherence. Most government and semi-government organisations do not strictly follow the guidelines to reserve three per cent jobs for disabled and yet they go unpunished. Also, as per the Act the compensation is to be awarded to a disabled as per the financial capacity of the employer. The employers often take advantage of this clause. Also, a provision to award some temporary relieves, till the case is decided, to the affected (disabled) employee needs to be incorporated. In the age of growing consumerism and glamour this is how we view them, “Customs duties on semi-precious stones and raw cultured pearls is 5 percent while the duty on hearing aids is 15 percent. If cordless phones are charged only 15 percent duty, the disabled shell out 25 percent as surcharge on crutches and artificial limbs.” Conclusion The act has come a long way since its inception and the real danger now is that those who had been vigorously demanding its enactment might become complacent and think that the job has been done. The Act must be implemented in schools and colleges, in factories and workplaces, in transport and shopping centers. People with disabilities, and those who care for them, must ensure that discrimination is outlawed and barriers are removed as much from the physical environment as from the attitudes of ordinary people. The real battle for the right to full citizenship and active participation of disabled people is ahead. The Act is comprehensive but must be enforced with sincerity and determination. “What is disability – your frame of mind is the real disability”. Let us change our attitudes and help to change others. Make a commitment to end unfair and unfounded prejudices. Open minds and doors to people with disabilities. Repeat in speeches, writings and films three words: Disability, Equality, Liberty. Listen to disabled people. Serve disabled people. Work with disabled people. Travel with disabled people. Shop with disabled people. Have them as friends. Mere changing the Acts and passing legislation’s will not help. The need is to change the attitude of the society.”
Whether in movies or books or in life, it is human nature to be curious about “what happens next”, what the future holds in store. Because of this curiosity divination methods were developed, some even centuries old. There are several tools and ways to divine the future. Forms popularized by gypsies (as related in tales) are crystal (ball) gazing, tarot card reading, palmistry, tea leaves, bones, etc. Divination is anything but an exact art or science. People who have the gift of divination are often called fortune tellers. This is actual a mislabel, because it really isn’t fortune that the diviner sees but possibilities of a person’s future live, love, finances, etc. All these based on decisions that a person makes now. In the Filipino language, diviners are called manghuhula which literally translates to “guessers”. Essentially, this means that fortune tellers are supposedly just guessing. Amazingly, their guesses hit the mark often enough that divination became a thriving business. Despite its many forms, the one that appears to be most trusted is astrology. There are different types of astrology but the ones most popularly known are the Chinese astrology (one of the oldest divination techniques created centuries ago) and the western astrology (created by Babylonian astronomers). Chinese Astrological signs change on an annual basis, based on the cycles of the moon. Hence, their year starts with the first full moon of the year. The Chinese zodiac is based on 12 animals. Your animal is based on the year of your birth. The twelve animal signs are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar. The zodiac that people are more familiar with is the one that changes by the month. Depending on your birth date you could fall under the sign of Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, or Capricorn. Nowadays divination nuts (whether diviners or those who want to have their future read) seem to be everywhere! From the cafй at the corner, to bookstores, to the funny section in newspapers, to radio, to TV, to websites, and even, yes, to call centers. Psychic hotlines have been all the rage for many years now. One notable personage to get on the band wagon is Dionne Warwick and her psychic circle of friends. Diviners who use astronomy employ a lot of math and research before they give their predictions. The result depends on the position of the stars and the alignments of the planets plus the date and time of your birth for them to feel that they can come up with a more or less accurate prediction. The diviners of the 21st century are more than fortune tellers. They also act as counselors or advisers to their clients. They provide more than advice; they also provide comfort, and an attentive ear at a very affordable price. Your favorite diviner becomes a part of your life and at times transforms from being a simple diviner to a good friend.
When we say find, we do not mean about simply using a search engine and waiting for the generated results. With Finders Tellers, you are invited to post your listing and say to others (or better yet describe) the things you are looking for. In due time, you can check the responses posted and see if any of them are useful. They are the tellers and you can become one yourself. Tellers provide all the information you need to know about the product or service in question, including links and additional details for your own benefit. Using this service will allow you to search for things, ideas, places or services. You can search for news, music or video strips, waiting feedback from other interested users. In fact, the number of categories included increased on a daily basis. They have antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, plus baby products and beauty. You can enter your request in any of these categories. Books, clothes and food related stuff – all you can search for, waiting for the tellers’ response. If you are interested in garden products, music, photography, pottery, real estate or technology, this is place where you should go and ask for it. Online, at Finders Tellers, you can see a few examples of other’s people requests and even post a response for them (in case you have useful info). The listings include a photo of the product, with a short description and there is even a potential reward. You can proceed to reading the detailed information. For example, let’s say someone is trying to find a book on the politics of the Middle East. The category is books, non-fiction and history. You will see the name of the user who has posted that request and also his/her status. The detailed description includes questions about where are the best books on this subject to be found. The user also inquires about the existence of book presenting Arabic religious beliefs, asking for a well-put compilation of facts. For someone interested in finding a specific product, this is the best resource ever. Let’s say you want to find TV converter boxes, after you heard about the possibility of getting them for free. The one thing you have to do is ask and you will soon receive a response from one of the tellers. The category is technology, television and you can always vote if the response was helpful or not. As a response to that question, the user might decide to offer you URL links and also some free advice, like taking the coupons and using them at the local store. As you can see for yourself, this service is useful, highly functional and really popular. And how about someone posting a request for a wedding dress? That lady might want a unique wedding dress, with specific custom designs. With this particular service, she can ask for what she needs and even offer a reward. Specialized vendors, using the same resource, will promptly answer to her request and provide the future bride with the much desired dress. Thus, users have the great advantage of finding buyers. Is ‘Finding Made Easy’ or what? As a general conclusion, you have to remember that the Internet presents some of the greatest opportunities for searching. You can always use a search engine but for more specific and positive results, a service like this one is more indicated. The tellers provide helpful responses and you will certainly find what you were looking for. Moreover, vendors have the definite advantage of browsing diverse categories and check out the latest trends. Someone who sells wedding dresses can see current tendencies by browsing that specific category. And plus, it’s a lot of fun!
A centuries-old mystery has crossed my path again ... I mentioned in a recent article that there was a dispute in many academic quarters regarding the actual Viking deity being honored by the name, 'Friday.' The cold, hard fact is that unless someone unearths a runic stone that confirms the issue --- and that's not likely --- only a preponderance of circumstantial evidence is going to carry the day in any such debate. So, while others while away their time contemplating world peace, I've returned to the search for Friday's inspiration. If you'll recall, four of the seven days of the week are named after Norse gods: - Tuesday is for Tyr, the god of truth and war, - Wednesday is for Odin, the Allfather of Viking gods, - Thursday is for Thor, the god of thunder, - Friday, however is cloaked in ambiguity. I'd always heard the day's name-origin came from Frigg, Odin's elder wife --- he had more than one --- and this is supported by the most scholarly of English references, such as the Oxford dictionary. Others say it was for either Frey or Freja, who were brother and sister in the Vanir clan. Frey was the god of fertility, so it was considered essential to keep him happy; Freja was the goddess of love and beauty, so it didn't hurt to keep on her good side, either. Frigg's duties were to be the goddess of the sky. It was a subtle job, but someone had to do it. Turning to cyberspace for resolution, I happened on an excellent guide in Norse matters, The Viking Answer Lady. She is so meticulous in her material that I felt the possibility of her bringing light to the issue was quite good. So, I contacted her. To say she did her research is an understatement. Here's her reply to me: "Since Western Europe all originally derived from Indo-European tribes, we find that there were a lot of correspondences between the various branches --- not exact, one-for-one identity, but concepts are clearly related. So it's no real surprise to find that the naming and symbolism of the days of the week, and the number of days in a week, might be pretty much the same in all the descendants of the Indo-Europeans. "You can see the day-name correspondences in other languages that descend from Indo-European: "Ancient Greek has: hemera selenes (moon day), hemera Areos (Ares' day), hemera Hermu (Hermes' day), hemera Dios (Zeus' day), hemera Aphrodites (Aphrodite's day), hemera Khronu (Chronos' day), hemera heliou (sun day) "Latin: Lunae dies (Moon-day, Monday), Martis dies (Mars-Day, Tuesday), Mercurii dies (Mercury's day, Wednesday), Jovis dies (Jove's day, Thursday), Veneris dies (Venus' day, Friday), Saturni dies (Saturn's day, Saturday) or alternatively Christian Sabbatum or Sabbati dies (Sabbath day), Solis dies (Sunday)or alternatively Christian Dominicus dies (Lord's day) "Unsurprisingly, the Romance languages clearly derive their day names from Latin, except for Portugese, which numbers the days: "Italian: lunedi, martedi, mercoledi, giovedi, venerdi, sabato, domenica "Spanish: lunes, martes, miйrcoles, jueves, viernes, sбbado, domingo "French: lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi, vendredi, samedi, dimanche "Romanian: luni, marti, miercuri, joi, vineri, sоmbata, duminica "Portugese: Segunda-Feira (2nd day, Monday); Terзa-Feira (3rd day, Tuesday); Quarta-Feira (4th day, Wednesday); Quinta-Feira (5th day, Thursday); Sexta-Feira (6th day, Friday); Sбbado (Sabbath, Saturday); Domingo (Lord's Day, Sunday) "The Celtic languages have taken and preserved the Latin names of the days, and also borrowed heavily from Christian concepts: "Welsh: Dydd Llun (moon/Luna day), Dydd Mawrth (Mars' day), Dydd Mercher (Mercury's day), Dydd Iau (Jove's day), Dydd Gwener (Venus's day), Dydd Sadwrn (Saturn's day), Dydd Sul (sun day) "Gaelic: Di-luain (moon day); Di-mбirt (Mars's day); Di-ciaduinn or Di-ciadaoin (day of the first fast of the week - Friday being the second fast); Diardaoin (the day between the two fasts of Wednesday and Friday); Di-haoine or Dia-aoine (day of the fast) Di-sathuirn (Saturn day); Di-dуmhnuich (Lord's day) "Irish: Dй Luan (moon/Luna day); Dй Mairt (Mars' day); Dй Cйadaoin (day of the first fast of the week); Dйardaoin; Dй h-Aoine (the day between the two fasts of Wednesday and Friday); Dй Sathairn (Saturn's day); Dй Domhnaigh (Lord's day) "The Germanic languages, however, are also related. Ares/Mars was equated with Tэr as a warrior god. Zeus/Jupiter was equated with Thуrr as the god who hurled lightnings. Mercury was equated with Урinn, since both had a role as psychompomps, the one who leads the dead to their afterlife. Aphrodite/Venus was equated with Frigga and Freyja. "German: Montag (moon day), Dienstag (Tэr's day), Mittwoch (Mid-week), Donnerstag (Donner's/Thуrr's day), Freitag (Freyja/Frigga's day), Samstag (derived ultimately from Latin Sabbatum), Sonntag (sun day) "Dutch: maandag (moon day), dinsdag, woensdag (Woden's/Урinn's day), donderda (Donner's/Thуrr's day), vrijdag (Freyja/Frigga's day), zaterdag (Saturn day), zondag (sun day) "Norwegian and Danish: mandag (moon day), tirsdag (Tэr's day), onsdag (Урinn's day), torsdag (Thуrr's day), fredag (Freyja's/Frigga's day), lшrdag (washing day), sшndag (sun day) "Swedish: mеndag (moon day), tisdag (Tэr's day), onsdag (Урinn's day), torsdag (Thrr's day), fredag (Freyja/Frigga's day), lцrdag (wash day), sцndag (sun day) "Old English: mondжg or monandжg (moon day); tiwesdжg (Tiw's day, Tэr's day); wodnesdжg (Wotan's/Урinn's day); thunresdжg (Thуrr's day); frigedжg (Frigga's/Freya's day); sжterdжg or sжternesdжg (Saturn's day); sunnandжg (sun day) "Middle English: monday, moneday, or monenday (moon day); tiwesday or tewesday (Tiw's day, Tэr's day); wodnesday, wednesday, or wednesdai (Wotan's/Урinn's day); thursday or thuresday (Thуrr's day); fridai (Frigga's/Freya's day); saterday (Saturn's day); soneday, sonenday, sunday, sunnenday (sun day) "North Frisian: monnendei (moon-day); Tirsdei (Tэr's-day); Winsdei (Wotan's/Урinn's day); Tьrsdei (Thуrr's day); Fridei (Frigga's/Freyja's day); sennin (sun-evening); sennedei (sun day) "Etymologically, it's impossible to tell for certain whether the 'Friday' words derive from Frigga or Freyja (at least so I am told, I am not a philologist or linguistics expert). We can tell by the cognates that the name is from a goddess equated with Venus and Aphrodite. "We get into further problems in that 'Freyja' is derived from roots meaning simply 'lady' while 'Frigga' comes from roots related to 'beloved.' There have been several scholars who insist that Frigga and Freyja are just different titles for the same goddess. "None the less, undoubtedly 'Friday' comes from the name of one of these two goddeses, and not from the name of the god Freyr." Now, that's the sort of studied thoroughness that can achieve Master's degrees. It's a preponderance of evidence that can carry the day in a court of law. Even though she only eliminated one of the three contenders to the title of Friday's Namesake, the Viking Answer Lady has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide me with the information I requested. I'm sure glad I didn't tell her I was just trying to win a bar bet.
When I was a nineteen-year-old high school student and budding poet – two years after my diving accident – many factors adversely affected my creativity. My trips in a special bus to school and back home, my courses, and my assignments, though I was spared a lot of writing and was mostly tested orally, all this was time-consuming. More often than not, my obligation to study took priority over my desire to compose poetry. To tell the truth, I had plenty of free time. That I spent much of it uncreatively showed evidence of frivolousness, laziness, and cowardliness. I usually preferred to take my mind off things, or to daydream, rather than to express myself through poems. The satisfaction I could derive from achieving this expression seldom induced me to try. The deterring elements were the difficulty of trying and the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of my efforts. A poem – assuming one is concerned about writing beautifully – is indeed no cinch. It requires a poet who is talented, skilled, and determined. My poetic ability was fickle; my grammar and style were faulty; my will was faint. I lacked the courage of my creative desire. This lack was not absolute. Now and then, when I felt compellingly inspired, I resisted my temptation to trifle – which amounted to taking the easy way out – and endeavored to compose a poem. I had to repeat this endeavor, over and over, to grow more capable and confident, less discouraged by the challenge at hand. I am afraid young individuals similar to the young man I was then are not a rarity. The prospect of success turns them on; effort and the risk of failure turn them off. The contradiction is apparent, and the result predictable: Since effort and the risk of failure are essential for success, the avoidance of them precludes this success. Of course everyone knows this. The trouble is that many refuse largely to accept it. This is proof that knowledge is powerless in itself; it needs a strong will to be effective. Young individuals, who know the rules of success, can be failures inasmuch as they fail to accept these rules. Wisdom includes this acceptance (the exclusion of which is thus foolish). It must be distinguished from knowledge. Wise people are also brave people who put their knowledge into practice and become successful for that reason. The obvious holds good in every way: Life without courage is like a bird without wings; it cannot take off. Why is it hard to want both the end and the means? Precisely because the means are hard, not to mention the fact that they are hazardous, you might answer. If you are right, then why do some actually thrive on this hardness and hazardousness? The key to this mystery is their attitude: They regard these opposing elements not only as obstacles but also as opportunities for merit and excitement. Just as they were young once, spoon-fed and sheltered from the evils of the world, they eventually outgrew their attachment to easiness and developed a taste for challenge. In conclusion, what characterizes them is their maturity, by contrast with the infantilism of others. Between these two extremes there is a mediocre compromise, partly mature, partly infantile. It consists in taking charge of one’s life while taking the easy way out. Small principles, small realizations, far below one’s potential for greatness, they are poor excuses for wisdom and success. Potential, that is the operative word. There can be greatness in apparent smallness and smallness in apparent greatness; the truth resides in the great or small actualization of one’s potential, whatever it is. How does one discover what it is? By making the effort to actualize it in the ever-renewed and multifaceted act of living. This entails that one push oneself hard, at the risk of going too far. Measure is an empty abstraction for anyone who has never exceeded it. Limits should be experienced, not invented. This experience demands a serious and courageous commitment to greatness. Steer clear of frivolousness, laziness, and cowardliness; do not fall prey to them as I did so many times. They are strong temptations that can assume the form of a cunning philosophy that is unique to losers. Beware of this snare. Life is a demanding character test; come death, you will have ample time to rest! Nostalgic for the old days at the rehabilitation facility when I wrote anyhow about anything, I once conveniently believed in spontaneous writing as a guarantee of genuineness. Fortunately I was foolish yet not a complete fool. After some denial, which involved some nonsense in justification of my foolishness, I admitted sullenly that my sacrosanct pursuit of genuineness was in fact a vile indulgence in idiocy. There is nothing spontaneous about the intelligent conception and intelligible expression of one’s true self, which is everything but simple. It is a tissue of desires, feelings, ideas, and memories, caught in a whirl of interactions between the mind and the world. Either one goes to great lengths to elucidate and formulate the truth about oneself, and one hits the bull’s-eye, or one talks bullshit – please forgive my language. Some people shine at off-the-cuff speeches, as though they were so brilliant they could avoid saying idiocies when forced to be spontaneous. Make no mistake; their brilliance is merely one side of the equation. They have spent years polishing their manner of thinking and speaking, while their knowledge waxed through learning. Their spontaneity is studied. It is a product of numerous rehearsals, like the performance of an actor. Nothing great ever comes easily to anyone, including those who are the most gifted among us. Superior luck is not human greatness, only a steppingstone toward it. The stone is given; the stepping is done by the sweat of one’s brow and is made of a million steps, uphill. To work one’s way up to greatness is comparable to conquering Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas. It is an outstanding achievement with a sense of pride to match.
Having said this, even this sort of happiness is a product of positive thinking and positive action, with good fortune lending a helping hand. In short, it is a product of will in relatively favorable circumstances. But isn't it peculiar to imply that happiness can be of one sort or another? Are there not simply happiness and unhappiness? I think not. The sort of happiness that the sage talks about is compatible with misfortune. It is preeminently a doing from within – while without, the only prerequisite for it is that the sage be alive and capable of thought. It is a feeling of serenity, of being at peace with his situation and his conscience, as a well-adjusted and fully committed servant of life, of humanity, of God as he sees them. However conscious he is of the subjectiveness – i. e., the individual limitations and hence the imperfection – of his view, he does live by it with utmost faithfulness, if also with a willingness to reevaluate it critically when he catches himself out in a misstep. His wisdom is forever a work in progress; it is always laced with some form of foolishness, which leaves him open to ridicule. Humility and compassion, plus humor are therefore qualities that he cultivates. He mocks and forgives himself, and above all strives to improve. He shows no complacency, but an acceptance of his humanness that he is intent on bringing to the highest possible degree of truth and nobility. And this delicate blend of resignation and struggle alone – in any situation, favorable or not – is indeed the secret of his happiness, which admittedly is a dry manner of joy that fills the mind rather than the heart. It follows that this happiness leaves something to be desired: happiness in the fullest sense of the word (a state of fulfillment, when everything is going our way, in terms of results as well as efforts), which is a joy, ever so sweet, that fills both the mind and the heart. When the sage experiences this supreme happiness, he rightly feels blessed, and knows how precarious it is. Furthermore, he accepts this precariousness, or the fact that suffering and ultimately death loom ahead. Only battles are won in the war of life that will inevitably – despite every valiant effort to prevail – end in defeat. Some will say that happiness in its so-called fullest sense leaves something more to be desired: the power to make this happiness infinite: immeasurably great and unlimited in duration. Among them, some will choose the path of faith, which allegedly leads to a heavenly afterlife, whereas some will choose the path of reason, which admits of no rosy belief based on wishful thinking and unbridled trust. This path leads nowhere as far as the beyond is concerned, or rather somewhere that is unknown – presumably so different from what is known that it totally exceeds our ability to conceive of its nature. I count among these proponents of reason, these infidels, to whom the only source of meaning is not a paradisiacal destination, whose existence is supported by no credible evidence, but the journey itself, a rugged and uphill journey to be sure, with an abundance of twists and turns, some of which are propitious, others not. This journey is well worth the trouble, in my opinion. It is so independently of the above-mentioned destination, which people are free to pursue blindly or regard with skepticism (and with detachment to boot, in the best case scenario). It is all about the dignity of living and loving and the pleasure of succeeding in these difficult assignments. From this perspective, the purpose of life is none other than life itself, in partnership with our fellow creatures; and happiness is made possible – within certain limits – by our striving to achieve this worthy, albeit humble purpose. The limits imposed upon worldly happiness may initially stick in our craw, but after due consideration, as we realize that life without these limits would be death, we accept them, and better still we welcome them. Life is by definition a dynamic state that presupposes a perpetual tension between desires and their satisfaction. Render this satisfaction absolute, you resolve this tension and consequently reduce life to nothing; i. e., something as inert as a stone. And this nothing – this inert something – is death, as I just pointed out. Not a brilliant prospect in the eyes of a life lover!
: We all enjoy decorating our homes as beautifully as possible, especially when it comes to statues or small sculptures that depict various symbols. Powerfully attracted by the complex history of Buddhist idols, a lot of people have discovered an entire array of objects presented online, included in the gold collection. For them, these religious murtis (idols) are just what they needed for beautification and adoration at the same time. Each idol is unique but any of the Hindu God idols that you choose represent ideal objects for adoration, worship and they can adorn any temple (also known as mandir). The 24k gold plating is definitely a plus, especially since such religious statues are given at special occasions. Some are offered at weddings, traditional festivals like Diwali (festival of lights), as a new-house present or even for welcoming a baby into life. The incredible thing about these objects is that they can fit into any culture, being an expression of religion and a gift that will be for always cherished. Indians have a very rich and deep culture, particularly when we are speaking about religion. They pray and worship these religious idols, showing their respect at every festival and cultural event. Such products are widely purchased when the festival of lights is approaching, the legend saying that Ganesha and Laxmi gold idols should be bought. Ganesha is known to be the God that takes care of all things to run smoothly, eliminating obstructions and imparting wisdom. Many people choose to worship Ganesha by having religious idols in their temples or even in their homes, especially when they plan on starting new projects. The Internet is today the best place where you can search for religious murtis and receive the most detailed offers, not to mention the best prices. You can enjoy the greatest diversity for the gold collection, including Radha Krishna (symbol of love in the Indian culture) but also a lot of other religious statues that are not so easy to get hold of, particularly Sai Baba, Bal Gopal, Ambemata, Kali or Shiva (one of the three major divinities in the Hindu temple). If you are not satisfied with the gold religious murtis, you can always search for the silver collection. You will definitely be impressed with the choices you are given. Attracted by the incredible culture, many people have become ardent collectors of Hindu God idols. They have learned more about Indian mythology and religious beliefs, most of them being even interested in expressing their confidence in these deities. For them, the silver collection presents a number of interesting opportunities, especially if we were to take into consideration the depiction of the Ganesha idol. Ganesha is indeed among the most prized religious statues, being often offered as a gift but also being kept for worship. If you are interested in Krishna gold, Sai Darbar gold, Ganapati silver or Ganesha silver idols, you can definitely find what you are looking for online. You can offer a wonderful gift to someone who is just as curious about the Indian culture or you can always add a new religious gold or silver idol to your growing collection!
: Hip-Hop has historically existed as a male-dominated industry. Being a reflection of urban life and struggle, past Hip-Hop artists have been forced to maintain a certain level of masculinity in order to be accepted by their urban communities. Old school rappers who talked about love were often viewed as soft or corny. Because of this perception, the existence of love in Hip-Hop is a fairly new concept. As the movement has gained support and recognition throughout the world, love has become an increasingly common theme in Hip-Hop music and poetry. However, the taboo still exists. Even today, Hip-Hop artists and poets present their love stories in a manner that allows them to maintain socially acceptable identities. Hip-Hop stories about love must still meet the masculine ideology in which the movement is rooted in order to be perceived as real and true. The purpose of this study is to analyze Hip-Hop love narratives and how artists present these love stories in order to construct socially acceptable identities. I believe personal narratives are closely tied to the construction of identities. It is through personal narratives that people can recount life-changing events, realize socially acceptable behavior and create individual identities. I have researched and studied several Hip-Hop love songs and analyzed the lyrics as text and poetry. In my research, I have found five common narrative forms used by Hip-Hop poets to tell their love stories: contrasting, perceptual, spiritual, conversational and metaphoric. These five narrative forms are used not only to present the story correctly, but also to maintain positive perception among a society that might view this sensitivity as weak or disrespectable. I plan to demonstrate each of these narrative forms and show how the poets use them to tell their love stories while establishing acceptable identities. The Contrasting Narrative One of the most common forms of Hip-Hop love stories is the contrasting narrative. Many artists use Hip-Hop music and poetry to tell stories about the negativity surrounding their urban environments. The contrasting narrative allows the poet to express his or her love story as a contrast to this negativity while constructing an acceptable identity because that negativity is real and understood in urban communities. A great introductory example to the contrasting narrative would be the following passage from Method Man’s “All I Need”: Back when I was nothin’ You made a brother feel like he was somethin’ That's why I'm with you to this day boo no frontin’ Even when the skies were gray You would rub me on my back and say "Baby it'll be okay" In this song, the poet uses the contrasting narrative to show his love for someone who stood by him when “skies were gray.” He speaks of his love interest as someone who helped him get through troubled times, thus providing a positive contrast to his negative surroundings. Another example of the contrasting love narrative can be seen in this passage from Guru’s “All I Said”: This world is crazy, she's supposed to help me stay sane Supposed to help with the pain, supposed to help me maintain In this song, Guru uses the contrasting narrative to share his view of what love should be. He admits that his “world is crazy”, and that his love interest is the one person who can make it bearable. In “She Tried”, Bubba Sparxx uses the contrasting narrative to tell a story that actually recalls his love being there for him when he was in trouble with the law: A fly country girl, just workin’ them gifts She's my queen, was a virgin I guess But I ain't never ask and I ain't never tell But Betty had the cash every time I went to jail This song further illustrates the use of contrasting narratives to express love. Though the poet confesses spending a lot of time in jail, Betty was always there to bail him out, again acting as a positive contrast to his troubles . The Perceptual Narrative Another common narrative form of Hip-Hop love stories is the perceptual narrative. Like the contrasting narrative, the perceptual narrative is based around the negativity that surrounds the poet’s life. But instead of presenting this love as a contrast to that negativity, the poet uses this narrative to explain how that love changed his or her previously negative perceptions. This narrative form also allows the poet to construct a socially acceptable identity due to the acknowledgement of the negativity of urban life. In “Jazzy Belle”, Andre of Outkast uses the perceptual narrative to tell of how his love changed his former perception of women: Went from yellin’ crickets and crows, witches and hoes to queen thangs Over the years I been up on my toes and yes I seen thangs … Now I’m willin’ to go the extra kilo- Meter just to see my senorita get her pillow On the side of my bed where no girl ever stay House and doctor was the games we used to play But now it’s real Jazzy Belle... In this song, Andre talks about a personal change of perception caused by love. He admits that at one time he thought of women as “witches and hoes.” But “now it’s real”, and he has a new perception of women as “queen thangs.” Another great example of the perceptual narrative can be found in the following passage of Black Star’s “Brown Skin Lady”: I don't get many compliments, but I am confident Used to have a complex about, gettin’ too complex You got me, willin’ to try, looked me in the eye My head is still in the sky, since you walked on by In this example, the poet admits to having relationship issues, but tells of how love helped him to overcome these issues. The poet’s love interest helped him to change his perception of love and fear of “gettin’ too complex” . In “Ms. Fat Booty”, Mos Def further illustrates this point by demonstrating the perception of other men and speaking to his love on how he is different: Yo, let me apologize for the other night I know it wasn't right, but baby you know what it’s like Some brothers don't be comin’ right I understand, I'm feelin’ you Besides, ‘Can I have a dance?' ain't really that original In this song, the poet uses the perceptual narrative to acknowledge that some men “don’t be comin’ right”, but that he has a different perception of women than these other men. In “Come Close”, Common uses the perceptual narrative to express how love has made him change from his old ways: I want to build a tribe wit you Protect and provide for you Truth is I can't hide from you The pimp in me May have to die with you Although the poet used to be a “pimp”, an urban term for a man who romances a large number of women, he tells of how his love interest has changed his actions and perceptions. The Spiritual Narrative A third common form of Hip-Hop love stories is what I like to refer to as the spiritual narrative. The spiritual narrative relies on the poet’s characterization of love as a kind of godly being, spiritual force or royalty, often with the feeling that the story teller has to protect that force. The spiritual narrative allows the storyteller to construct an acceptable identity by characterizing love as spiritual or perhaps even predetermined. A great example of the spiritual narrative can be found in this passage of The Roots’ “You Got Me”: Somebody told me that this planet was small We use to live in the same building on the same floor And never met before Until I'm overseas on tour And peep this Ethiopian queen from Philly Taking classes abroad Here, the poet uses the spiritual narrative to describe the time, place and emotions that his love was founded on, speaking of them as if they were somehow meant to happen. He also refers to his love interest as “this Ethiopian queen from Philly”, using the royal characterization so common in spiritual love narratives. In “Love Language”, Talib Kweli also uses a spiritual narrative form and refers to his love as a kind of royalty: Now if they call you out your name Then that's a different thing Anything but Queen I'll go to war like a King This example shows the protection aspect of common spiritual love narratives. The poet feels it is unacceptable for anyone to “call you out your name”, or in other words, use derogatory language toward his love. If someone were to do so, he would “go to war like a King”, thus maintaining his masculinity. In “Mind Sex”, Dead Prez uses the spiritual narrative to talk about love introductions: African princess, tell me yo' interests Wait, let me guess boo, you probably like poetry Here's a little something I jotted down in case I spotted you around So let me take this opportunity In this song, the poet uses the spiritual narrative to tell a story about the introductory conversation he had with a love interest. He refers to her as “African princess”, once again showing the tendency of poets who use the spiritual narrative to refer to their love interests as royalty. The Conversational Narrative The fourth common form for Hip-Hop love stories is the conversational narrative. The conversational narrative allows the poet to recite or recreate a conversation with his or her love and present it as play-like story about a specific love experience. Conversational love narratives are typically characterized by introductory speech and compliments, and are most commonly used as tools to tell a story about a first meeting or impression. These narratives allow the storyteller to construct an acceptable identity mainly because they often include many smoothly-structured compliments, and make the poet look like a cool ladies man. A great example of the conversational love narrative can be found this passage from Dead Prez’ previously mentioned “Mind Sex”: Pardon me love but you seem like my type What you doin’ tonight? You should stop by the site We could, roll some weed play some records and talk I got a fly spot downtown Brooklyn, New York In this example, the poet is reciting the conversation between himself and a love interest. As with many conversational narratives, it is based around meeting someone for the first time. The poet is telling a story about a girl he met that “seem[ed] like my type”. He then inquires “What you doin’ tonight?”, and follows with a list of charming speech in an attempt to create a social relationship with the girl. In a similar narrative, “Beautiful Skin”, Goodie Mob uses the following conversational narrative to retell the first phone conversation he had with his love interest: This is Carlito from a couple of days ago, you sound tired Forgive me if I've called you too late But what better time to relate mind-states? Where could I begin? Has anyone ever told you ‘You got beautiful skin’? This example further illustrates the use of introductory language in conversational narratives. The poet asks his love interest if she would like to “relate mind-states”, or get to know each other. He then tells her that she has “beautiful skin”, an often successful introductory complement given to women. Cee Lo uses the following conversational narrative in “Slum Beautiful”: Look at you, unbelievably, brilliant beautiful you You're looking deliciously divine darling you really and truly do The very thought of has got me running at the speed of love Exploring everything about you from the ground to the God above In this song, the poet uses the conversational narrative to speak directly to his love interest through the song. Note the wide range of compliments offered in this passage, as well as the charm, again illustrating a common aspect of the conversational narrative. The Metaphoric Narrative This fifth form of Hip-Hop love stories is possibly the most fascinating. It is the metaphoric narrative. The metaphoric narrative is used when the poet speaks of love in a metaphor of some kind. The most popular and socially acceptable form of metaphoric narrative is using Hip-Hop as the metaphor. Many followers of the movement view Hip-Hop as a driving force of love and happiness in their lives. Thus, many metaphoric love narratives revolve around Hip-Hop itself. A good example of such a metaphoric narrative is the following passage from Black Eyed Peas’ “Rap Song”: Yo, she got hips to hop And she ain't goin’ pop She like a record that I wanna rock When I'm rollin’ in my ride cruisin’ down my block In this example, the poet actually uses a unique play on words and speaks of a love interest as a Hip-Hop metaphor. He relates this person to “a record that I wanna rock”. The group further extends the metaphor in the following passage: She like a beat that makes me wanna grab the mic She like the lyrics that I wanna recite She like the old school mic with the cable You can bring your records and I'll bring the turntable Again, the poet relates his love interest to other things he and his audience love, including “old school mic with the cable”, reciting lyrics and spinning records on a turntable. Another great example of the metaphoric narrative is in The Roots’ “Act Too … Love of My Life”: Learnin’ the ropes of ghetto survival Peepin’ out the situation I had to slide through Had to watch my back my front plus my sides too When it came to gettin’ mine I ain't tryin’ to argue Sometimes I wouldn'ta made it if it wasn't for you Hip-Hop, you the love of my life and that's true This passage is unique because it utilizes both the metaphoric and contrasting narrative techniques. The poet refers to Hip-Hop as “the love of my life”, while simultaneously showing how that love created a positive contrast to the tough “ropes of ghetto survival”. The poet admits that he “wouldn’ta made it if it wasn’t for you”, showing that his love for Hip-Hop was and is a driving force in his life. And that leads us to the most popular metaphoric Hip-Hop love narrative of our time. In “I Used to Love H. E.R.”, Common Sense uses the metaphoric narrative to express his love for Hip-Hop. He starts off the narrative with the following passage: I met this girl, when I was ten years old And what I loved most she had so much soul She was old school, when I was just a shorty Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me In this example, the poet starts off telling a story about a girl he met when he “was ten years old”, and how she was always there for him. The poet continues to use the metaphoric narrative to speak of this girl, including the good times and hardships they faced together. Not until the end of the poem does the listener actually realize that the entire song is a metaphor. The song ends with the following passage: I see rappers slammin’ her, and takin’ her to the sewer But I'ma take her back hopin’ that the stuff stop Cause who I'm talkin’ bout y'all is Hip-Hop In this song, the poet used the metaphoric narrative to tell a story about the love of his life, the struggles she faced, and his desire to save her. In the end, he admits that this love is not a real person, but instead his love of Hip-Hop. The presentation of Hip-Hop love narratives is a very difficult task. In order to talk about love and still construct a socially acceptable urban identity, artists tend to implement one of the five successful love narrative forms. I believe that our society’s analysis of Hip-Hop music and culture is lackluster at best. The Hip-Hop love narratives presented above could provide a great basis for linguistic and sociolinguistic studies. Not only are they presented in a variety of styled narrative forms, but they also include deep thought, perception and analysis of the urban environment that characterizes an increasing majority of American society. Through the analysis and study of these love narratives, linguists could come to a greater understanding of and appreciation for the Hip-Hop vernacular, literature and, ultimately, culture. Works Cited / Discography A Tribe Called Quest. People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Jive Records, 1990. Black Eyed Peas. Bridging the Gap. Interscope Records, 2000. Black Star.
Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star. Rawkus Records, 1998. Bubba Sparxx. Deliverance. Interscope Records, 2003. Common.
Electric Circus. MCA Records, 2002. Common Sense. Resurrection. Relativity Records, 1994.
Dead Prez. Let’s Get Free. Relativity Records, 2000. Goodie Mob. Still Standing. La Face Records, 1998.
Guru. Jazzmatazz Streetsoul Vol. 3. Virgin Records, 2000. Method Man. Tical. Def Jam Records, 1994. Mos Def. Black on Both Sides. Priority Records, 1999. Outkast.
ATLiens. La Face Records, 1996. Outkast. Stankonia. La Face Records, 2003.
Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek. Train of Thought. Rawkus Records, 2000. The Roots. Things Fall Apart. MCA Records, 1999.
Those who pride themselves on their honesty should also concern themselves with this principle: The effectiveness of honesty depends on a person's willingness to face the truth, which may conflict with this person's desires and provoke denial. In such a case, how can one promote this willingness, despite this conflict? The answer to this question could prove useful to anyone who seeks to be effectively honest with people in denial. Ultimately, it could benefit these people, whose denial is contrary to their best interest. I go on the assumption that truth, or the conformity of thought to reality, is the sine qua non of vital efficacy. Health, pleasure, successful careers, and harmonious relationships require that we know the needs and capabilities of our nature, and the workings of the world. The absence of this knowledge leads to accidents, illness, suffering, failure, and death. Therefore, the first object of our desires should be truth, or the knowledge of ourselves and the world around us. Why then are people often unwilling to face it? I believe there are two reasons for this unwillingness. Firstly, the desire to know the truth, which originates in the desire to live happily, spontaneously degenerates into the desire to be right, to avoid the insecurity and shame associated with error and ignorance, and also to avoid the effort to learn. Thus fear, pride, and laziness are obstacles to the pursuit of truth and happiness. People are unlikely to admit they are wrong when they are, unless they possess courage and humility. Whoever takes their good to heart should help them develop these virtues. Secondly, the truth may be known from experience about a happy way of life. The desire to know the truth then turns into the desire to see the truth last. Mental inertia becomes the law, proportional to the force of attraction exerted on the mind by this happy way of life. Any upheaval that breaks the status quo is denied: "I cannot believe it; this cannot be happening." Reality is deemed unreal because it no longer tallies with the desired truth. Denial can therefore be regarded as a deviant process that conforms facts to ideas, instead of the opposite. Reason is overthrown and emotions reign, as one strives to prove reality wrong to spare oneself the loss of a happy way of life and the pursuit of another, this loss and this pursuit being associated with grief, strain, and doubt, or even despair. To help a person acknowledge an undesired truth about a radical change in reality, one has to couple honesty with wisdom to heighten this person's awareness of the human capacity for adaptation. This capacity is best illustrated by the example of people who have suffered a terrible misfortune and progressively discovered a new outlook and a new happiness, more enlightened and satisfying than the old ones. In addition, one has to stimulate the will of this person, who is left with a formidable challenge: to start her or his life over. Lastly, this heightened awareness and this stimulated will may weaken at times, calling for reinforcement. All in all, against the unwillingness to face the truth, the effectiveness of honesty is always difficult and uncertain.
Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964), the author of the James Bond 007 novels, was the grandson of a Scottish banker and the son of a Conservative MP (Member of Parliament). His father died in the first world war. In his will, he bequeathed his property to his widow on condition she never remarries. Ian's youth was inauspicious. He was expelled from Eton following a sexual liaison with a girl. He left Sandhurst without obtaining an officer's rank, having been caught violating the curfew. He continued his education in Kitzbuhel, Austria, in Munich and in Geneva where he studied languages. But the chain of disappointments continued apace. He failed in a Foreign Service exam and had to join Reuters as a journalist. There he successfully covered a spy trial in Russia (1929-32). He then joined a British investment bank as a stockbroker and moved to live in a converted temple in Belgravia, a fashionable district of London, where he entertained the members of the Le Cercle Gastronomique et des Jeux de Hasard. In 1939, Fleming took on an assignment for The Times in Moscow - in effect a cover. He was spying for the Foreign Office and later for Naval Intelligence where he attained the rank of Commander. During the second world war, he worked from room number 39 in the Admiralty building in Whitehall as assistant to Admiral John Godfrey. He was involved in the evacuation of Dieppe in 1940, in the smuggling of King Zog out of Albania and in setting up the Office for Special Services, the precursor of the CIA. As commander of the 30th Assault Unit, he sometimes operated behind the German lines, trying to secure important documents and files from destruction. But, mostly, he directed the Unit's operations from London. When the war was over, he built a house - Goldeneye - in Jamaica. He worked for the Kemsley group of papers and vacationed every winter in the island. While awaiting the divorce of one of his numerous paramours - the pregnant Lady Anne Rothermere - the 44 years old Fleming wrote "Casino Royale" published in 1953. It was the first of 12 James Bond thrillers, translated to 11 languages and with total sales of 18 million copies. James Bond novels are now being authored by a new generation of writers. In 1961, John F, Kennedy, the newly elected president, listed a James Bond title as one of his favorite books. Many movie plots were loosely based on Fleming's novels and have grossed, in total, more than $1 billion. The 007 trademark was merchandised and attached to everything, from toys and games to clothes and toiletries. But Fleming was also renowned for his non-fiction: tomes like "The Diamond Smugglers" and his "Atticus" column in The Sunday Times where he served as foreign manager (1945-9). He successfully branched into children's literature with "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1964), also made into a movie. Ironically, his mother died and left him a fortune in 1964 - when Fleming was already wealthy and dying. The trip to her service may have done him in. His son committed suicide in 1975 and his wife died in 1981. He left behind one heir: James Bond.
Are beliefs not often the children of ignorance and fantasy? Consider the heavenly view of the world that young souls entertain at the height of their innocence, when their youth has been surrounded by love and filled with happiness. Hear their laughter. Dreams expand in a vacuity of knowledge like a laughing gas and induce the blindest, the purest joy. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, because it spares us the mental restraints associated with knowledge (which reveals the limits of reality and hence the impossibility of our fantasies). It is the ultimate playground where the mind can build castles in the air, create a wonderland, and live delightedly in this kingdom of reverie. It paves the way for the reign of error, as it leaves us to believe whatever we like. Everything that is desirable is realizable, if not real, until we find evidence to the contrary. Santa Claus eventually dies of our old age – when we are no longer so young, so green, that we are easily fooled by a tall story. In truth, however wise we may be, we are still at risk. We spontaneously indulge in fantasies about the world here below, which is never totally known, or the beyond, which is unknowable. We are always tempted to believe that our health, our relationships, our career, or any other part of our life, will be wonderful, or that our death will not be an end, but a passage from here to a paradisal hereafter. This temptation is irresistible for many when they discover a charismatic fortuneteller or spiritual leader who professes this belief, which remains unproven nonetheless. Our believing is then the result of ignorance and fantasy, plus faith. An example of self-deceit that concerns young idealists and betrays their warm-blooded aspiration for perfect love is the illusive passion they often experience toward attractive members of the opposite sex whom they little know. By perfect love I mean a complete and durable harmony at every level – physical, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual – between two lovers. It involves friendship to a high degree, as the words “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” suggest. While it includes lust, it transcends and transfigures it. Pop songs are common vehicles for this ideal, which entices many young souls. I am thinking of young men in particular, who are usually quick to fantasize about pretty young women and fall madly in love with them, or rather with a fantastical image of them. This quickness is typical of their ardent and imprudent youth. It needs nothing more than a few smiles and nods, a few gracious words of agreement, to make these young men imagine they have found a soul mate, as they pour out their inner self – their sense of what is good, true, right, or sacred. A few auspicious signs and, voilа, they take the pretty young women for dream girls and are besotted with them! A few misleading signs, in fact. Every charm hides a cause for alarm. If, in the struggle for survival and happiness, society is a cure for individual limitations (an imperfect cure to be sure, with side effects), it is also a pill hard to swallow. Civility is a smooth sugar coating that eases the swallowing. Give thanks to those who phrase their discontentment with delicacy and embellish it with a compliment and an encouragement. No nagging, no gagging. Sometimes civility excludes honesty and amounts to well-meaning or self-serving hypocrisy. It turns into servility through a mix of kindness and weakness, or through pure selfishness. One way or another, some people are fooled, kept in the dark, while they should live wisely, in the light of knowledge. They are denied truth: the opportunity to conceive of their true situation and achieve their true purpose. Young men, among the fantasizers I referred to earlier, are often lured by the social graces of pretty young women. The poor fish take the hook and eventually discover they have made a mistake, like many others in the same boat. The dream girls were ordinary maidens or vixens who first behaved and talked infinitely sweet, and later proved lovable in a limited way or revealed their sour temper. A long intimacy is a good test of a couple's true nature. It always strips relationships of the silky appearance they sometimes have initially, when seduction overrides every other consideration. This appearance is superficial and deceptive like the outer layers of an onion. Once it is removed, after a succession of changes that marked a gradual return to naturalness, conflicts arise. The truth is uncovered; tears are shed. Many young fantasizers part from their lovers at this point. They embark on another relationship until the next disillusion, the next dissolution, then embark on another relationship, and so forth. They do the same in other areas of life, starting this or that with high expectations and quitting upon the first difficulties, time and again. They never settle for less than perfection; they never build anything to speak of. Some of these fantasizers stop this nonsense after a number of disappointments and finally change into brave realists. Their bravery distinguishes them from other disenchanted souls who give up hope to give in to laziness with a clear conscience. These defeatists confuse their attitude with realism and suffer nullity or mediocrity rather than fight for excellence, which is possible, unlike perfection. In their view, humans are in their element only when fantasizing, like fish when swimming. In fact, humans – who are adaptable – are closer to amphibians than to fish. They can come back to earth without dying of frustration, and even better, with a chance to live happily, thanks to a blend of struggle and resignation that yields joy and serenity. Brave realists know and accept the conditions and limitations of happiness. They think it all the more precious as it has a high cost and is bound to be lost sooner or later. They also understand that although one may indulge in a fickle existence for a while, one must eventually commit and apply oneself to a particular relationship, study, or career, in spite of imperfections and difficulties, if one wishes to achieve something worthy of mention. Nothing good can come from a search for better that always leaves one thing for another.