Thursday, May 31, 2012

Russian Constructivism Essay

Russian Constructivism Essay

Russian Constructivism or Avant Garde is the artistic expression of Bolshevik ideology. It challenges the foundations of so called “Borgeous” art with its art for the sake of art nature. As testimony to the early socialist era the movement represents an artistic expression of the practical application of art in everyday life. This is characterized by the application of design and artistic expression into the creation of everyday objects such as worker clothing, posters, etc. Two of the movement’s most prominent representatives are the photographer, painter and graphic designer Alexander Rodchenko, and El Lissitzky who was involved in architecture and typography as well as in photography and design. Both Rodchenko and El Lissitzky believed that art had the power to influence and prompt a change in society and should be used as a powerful and practical tool.
The work and life of these two artists has been the object of study and analysis. They are amongst the most prominent representatives of the unique concept that is Constructivism (Encyclopaedia Britannica), the concept of a utopian state in which equality and cooperation reign over individualism and material supremacy. To understand the essence and significance of the two artists as well as of Constructivism as a whole we will examine two studies of their work. One is the work of Victor Margolin entitled “The Struggle for Utopia” and the other one is “Imagine No Possessions” by Christina Chiaer. Both writers offer a comprehensive analysis of the constructivist philosophy.

In his work “The Struggle for Utopia” Victor Margolin focuses on the work of Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and Moholy-Nagy. The book is a collection of essays which analyse issues connected with one or more of the artists. The writer stresses that the study aims to provide a better understanding of the issues included in the book. He does not provide a conclusion of the artistic and political choices and practices of the artists analysed (Margolin, The Struggle for Utopia,4). According to Margolin the ideology of the three artists is based on the beliefs that artists are at the forefront of driving social change and as such should make the characteristics of utopian society apparent, that art is not an isolated practice, and that visual statements should be based on precise and objective forms (Margolin, The Struggle for Utopia,5). The reality of the artists is without a doubt inspired by their time. This is cause for ideological similarities and a somewhat common range of messages incorporated into their work. “The Struggle for Utopia” tries to distinguish and characterise each of the representatives of the constructive era with their own particular style and ideas while stressing that the ideology of the soviet avant garde was often subject to revision due to the severity of reality during Bolshevik rule. The book offers an overview of the epoch beginning with the initial euphoria caused by the transition to socialism in the Soviet Union which empowered many artists to search for ways in which to expand the area of influence of their art. There is an essay dedicated to El Lissitzky’s experience in the much less revolutionary reality of German Constructivism, where it was up to the artists themselves to define the degree of social influence their art would have on society: “At issue was the question whether Constructivism was to revolutionise social relations as a whole or to operate on the terrain of art” (Margolin, The Struggle for Utopia,45). This branch of the constructivist movement was one o Another focus of the book is Rodchenko’s work and his declination of painting in favour of design and his later interest in photography via which he approached reality through any angle, except the conventional one.

Another portion of the book deals with the introduction of further measures of limitation for the artists after the introduction of the five year plan in 1929. This measure provided a new set of difficulties and constraints for Rodchenko and El Lissitzky the latter of which returned to the Soviet Union at that time (Margolin, The Struggle for Utopia,6). As opposed to the focus on the overall career of artists and the meaning of their life’s work which “The Struggle for Utopia” provides, Christina Kiaer’s “Imagine No Possessions” takes a closer look at the purely utilitarian activities of the constructivists. She analyses the idea that objects should be viewed as “comrades”, associates in the struggle toward a socialist ideal, rather than as an object to be possessed and used. Kiaer states that the pleasure of possession of items should not be replaced with austerity and renunciation, but by incorporating “the material object as an active, almost animate participant in social life” (Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions,1).This belief is central to Rodchenko’s philosophy and to that of all constructivist artists. The author of the book affirms that the role of constructivists is rather one of production designers who adapted their production to the modern historical conditions by giving art a practical expression applicable to reality.

The author presents objects produced by artists of the constructivist era. She examines Rodchenko’s packaging and advertisements as well as his design of a worker’s club (Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions, chapter 4). Rodchenko is also represented as a designer of clothes. Reference is made to a photo of him posing in his designer worker clothes which are in unison with the message of the usefulness and partnership between objects and workers. (Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions,chapter 1). A chapter in the book is dedicated to Rodchenko’s work in Paris. He was the arranger of the Soviet part of the International Exhibition of Decorative and industrial art. As such he was to reconcile Paris’s commodity world with its overload of sights and sounds with the constructivist alternative of “the object as comrade” (Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions,chapter 5).

El Lissitzky’s work is also featured in the book by Kiaer. He is referred to as Russia’s most highly regarded modernist constructivist artist of Russia (Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions,chapter 5). Although his work does not have a central part in the study reference is made to his stage and costume designs, photography, and his work “Beating the Whites with the Red Wedge”, among other works. El Lissitzky’s philosophy and the focus of his work is represented by his work “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge”. This lithography gives a sharp idea of constructivist art’s role. The representation of the workers penetrating the white circle of capitalist materialism is one of the symbols of the constructivist idea included in the book.

El Lissitzky’s stage designs, particularly that for the play “I Want a Child” are also mentioned in the book. The play by Tretyakov is about a cultural education worker (Milda) who decides to have a child. The costume for Milda as well as the stage design are a work of El Lissitzky. The main character being an embodiment of female Bolshevism the play serves the purpose of classic constructivist ideas, which makes the design of props a domain of constructivist art (Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions, page 36).

“Imagine No Possessions” is a journey through the world of the object in constructivist art. It provides an overview of the material representation of design, advertisement, and other forms of “applying” art to everyday life. It looks primarily at the output of artists and provides a very strong graphical example of art forms. Both books are concerned with the area of Constructivism in art. They give a different view in terms of the arguments and examples which they provide. While “The Struggle for Utopia” focuses on the work of three artists and provides a strong ideological background, while “Imagine No Possessions” is a visual as well as an ideological journey through the subject with a focus on the works of many artists. Constructivism suggests that there is a necessity for art to be a part of social life not only in itself and for its beauty, but rather as a tool for driving social change. This is supposedly the natural position of art in society, especially in the controlled environment of socialism. There was a necessity for the movement in its time. Social forms were on their way to change and artists expressed their support of the new ideas in a practical form. As is usually the case with major artistic movements, there was a need for art as an expression of values and ideas representing the new socialist order. However art is an ever evolving and changing form which cannot be limited to the design of purely utilitarian objects. In all its forms art is meant to make us feel, to produce a certain strong reaction, which means that it should be free to use all possible “language” no matter what the message it is looking to express is. While a workers uniform is a very strong manifestation of a specific ideology, the texture and feel of it are unlikely to provide its user with an emotional response. People are inclined to add meaning to the purely material, but it is hardly appropriate to limit art to it or to any one form in particular.

The constructivist movement is a call to action toward art. It is an attempt to add a new dimension of social impact to the previously “Bourgeois” artistic world. The Constructivists were undoubtedly captured by the idea of a new social order in which art would be an invaluable helper for the establishment of a better world. This seems to be a common desire within humanity and especially for those of us concerned with the creation of beauty. It is natural for an artist to be inspired by the proposition of a better world, and perhaps if the Constructivists had been allowed to freely develop their ideas instead of being limited by the system they might have succeeded in having the social role of change drivers that they so desired.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Essay on General Motors

Essay on General Motors

1. What is the author's main idea or ideas? 
In the past few years, GM has been struggling to make profits in this turbulent economy. Unfortunately, things got much worse for it last year with bankruptcy procedures, restructuring and the government bailout. (GM, 2009) In the 2005, Fortune Magazine article, Susan M. Kaufman asserts that GM is in a big bind right now and even though there are plenty of hurdles in the future, GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner seems like the man that can help GM overcome its setbacks.

2. What important facts (in the article) support the author's idea(s)? 
Wagoner has taken upon himself great tasks in order to reverse GM’s declining revenue. He pointed out many problems that need to be addressed in order to fix the struggling company. One of the major things that he needs to work on and something that the author mentioned more than once, was the need for renegotiating contracts with the United Autoworkers Union or UAW. The healthcare benefits the company was expected to pay out was approximately $5.6 Billion to current and retired employees and their families. (Ryan, 2005)
Wagoner was also interested in knowing how the compnay and it’s employees are doing from the inside, so he initiated 90 minute sessions with employees from within the company to get a better idea of what is going on. Of course a company cannot be successful without cars that will be a hit with the consumers, and he encourages some innovation when it comes to green tech cars, but is still a bit cautious.

3. Does the author's idea(s) agree with or disagree with the concepts and ideas set forth in the text?
For the most part, the authors are on the right track with respect to what the text describes.

4. Which of the author's ideas do you agree with? WHY?
The biggest thing they go into is the fact that health care is costing the company exuberant sums of money and that is an issue that needs to be dealt with. Granted, the healthcare industry in The States is out of control and the costs for employers are skyrocketing; nevertheless, GM should have done more to stay ahead of its competition like its former CEO fifty years ago who acted as though his competitors were breathing down his neck. (Ryan, 2005) The thing the authors mentioned, which I find interesting, is that Wagoner can just hope for demographics to do its job and let the older pensioners die-out so the company can save some money in health care.

5. Which of the author's ideas do you not agree with? WHY?
I do not agree with the fact that the author mentioned Wagoner’s skepticism of hybrid automobiles. I think that the Japanese have done a tremendous job marketing and manufacturing them, and sales have shown that it is a great investment for any automotive company. (III, 2006)

6. Does any of this article relate to your experiences? HOW?
With respect to innovation, in my experience, and studying different business cases, it has been shown that the companies that survive fierce competition are the ones who streamline themselves and innovate. By becoming the industry leaders in the product they sell, a company can leave its competitors in the dust, yet it still must look back at what they are doing in order to maintain their lead. Taking a company like Apple, for example, it has something like $11 Billion in Cash, no debt, and assets as well. It is an industry innovator, which streamlined itself very well and is very efficient with new products and ideas. Granted these are two different industries, but being on top for so long, maybe GM just closed its eyes to the innovative ideas of its competitors.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Natural Monopoly Essay

Natural Monopoly Essay

This paper studies monopoly as an economic category. The research is mainly focused on the distinctive features of natural monopoly as a type of monopolistic structure of the market economy. The author came to the conclusion that the concept of natural monopoly remains to be a disputable issue, since in spite of all advantages of the productive efficiency, in the absence of competition there is a high probability of the abuse of monopoly for the purpose of profit maximization.

In the beginning of new millennium the development of infrastructure, international commercial relations, and information networks inexorably involves creation, and development of the huge international companies. The turnover of the biggest of them exceeds even the gross domestic product of some countries. And there is nothing strange, that such companies hold leading positions on national and international markets, and at times, excluding competitors, become monopolists.
Company has a monopoly, if it is the only supplier of a product, and if it does not have any substitutes. The principal reason for the occurrence of monopoly is barriers at the admission to the market, which do not allow other companies to compete with a monopolist. Such barriers appear in following cases: only one company owns a key resource of manufacture; a government has given exclusive rights for manufacture of certain production to one company; because of the production costs the highest efficiency of output is only possible in the presence of one manufacturer on the market.

The monopolistic market is considered to be the market of the seller. The profits of the manufacturer are in this case guaranteed by the production volume, and by the high prices. Actually, in the given conditions the buyer is always forced to accept the price, which is considerably above cost.

There are very few examples of pure monopoly. It is rather one of the ideal concepts, as far as all companies aspire to full monopoly, but cannot reach it, or reach it only for a certain period. Though, this rule has one exception- natural monopolies. In case of natural monopoly the scale effect allows one monopolist to serve all market, having costs lower, than in the presence of two or more competing managing subjects in the given market. Such monopolist uses its resources the most effectively. Being a large enterprise, it possesses high technical equipment and big capacity. These factors conduct to the higher labor productivity and the decrease of the product unit costs. Thanks to the lowest possible cost price of the manufacture of the given goods, natural monopoly is a desirable phenomenon for a society. Otherwise the government interferes for the purpose of regulation of the monopolists activity. Practically, the natural monopoly can be resulted by availability of unique property (power supply systems, pipeline and rail transport, unique natural resources, post), necessary for branches, where long-term average costs are minimum only in case, when the market is served by one manufacturer.

The naturalness of monopoly can be determined by its attitude, or to be more precise, by its fear of competition. Genuine natural monopoly knows, that size matters, and if competitors enter the market, they will not manage to seize the greater share. A typical example of all mentioned above are railways in Sweden. The government of this country conducted a classical vertical division into an infrastructure and rail transportation, and the free competition in the market of transportation was allowed. For 10 years the new companies managed to win from monopoly only about 10 % of the market. The scale effect protects monopoly better than any entry restrictions.

Monopolies have natural advantages in those markets, where the action of entire branch as a single mechanism is important. Though, such situation can has its disadvantages. Companies have no stimulus for self-restriction of monopolistic abuse, since the client cannot leave them for other competitors on the market. It often leads to such inevitable consequences, as overpricing, uneconomical treatment of expenses, indifference to the requirements of the clients, artificial understating of the production volume, and a full set of other consequences of the monopoly, accompanied by ultrahigh monopolistic profit earning. Such conditions indicate the classical fiasco of the market, the contradictions, which the market is not able to overcome without state intervention. For this reason in all countries natural monopolies are either state companies, or are under tight state control.

World practice of the state regulation of natural monopolies has more than a century of history. In the USA, first federal control commissions were set up in ХІХ century. For example, the Federal Power Commission was organized in 1930. Today in the USA under the state regulation remain such spheres of natural monopolies, as railway, aviation and other types of transport; a number of fuel and energy manufactures (gas supply, power generation); rendering of numerous public services. State regulation concerns mainly those aspects of business activities in these areas, which make a direct impact on the interests of the consumers: price-level, production volume, bounds of the outlets, requirements to the quality of the goods and services. The most widespread method is that the prices of certain goods and services are established by state structures.

Natural monopoly in the market economy is considered to be a contradictory phenomena. As a type of monopolistic structure, it combines all negative displays of market monopolization, and can result the abuse of the unlimited market power. At the same time, acting as a necessary element of the production process, and representing socially significant branches of the national economy, the natural monopoly plays the important positive role in the market economy. The state regulation of natural monopolies should be aimed first of all at the termination or control of price growth of the natural monopolies production on the domestic market, and simultaneous preservation of these prices at the level, which allows extended reproduction. In this case the national policy can ensure further prosperity of both monopolies and citizens of the country.

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Essay on Canadian Immigration

Essay on Canadian Immigration

This essay will answer the question whether immigration to Canada is a mistake or worthwhile experience. It is my personal conviction that moving to a country like Canada is a suboptimal decision for three main reasons: firstly, newcomers experience severe and debilitating culture shock; secondly, there is a scarcity of good jobs in the country, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis; and last but not least, immigrants have to grapple with language and communication barriers, which have a bearing on two previous arguments preventing them from adapting to the new way of life and finding gainful employment.

Culture shock, which can be best described as stress caused by moving to a completely new environment, is very likely to be experienced by newcomers to Canada. A culture shock occurs “when our own culturally determined behaviors, some of which we may not even be aware of, do not get us the results we expect; this produces a sense of psychological disorientation” (Canadian Bureau for International Education, 2009, para. 4).
In Canada, cultural differences with countries that are most likely to serve as immigrants’ point of origin – those located in Africa and Asia – are indeed significant. While Canadian values might seem very attractive and laudable, such as gender equality, concern for the environment and a firm belief in personal liberty, they are not shared universally around the world. For instance, a Muslim woman coming to Canada might be shocked by Canadian girls wearing mini-skirts and revealing tops.

Another reason why not to immigrate to Canada is the gloomy perspectives for immigrant job-seekers. While Canada is considered to be a classical model of social welfare state, the situation is being reversed now. With the recent liberalization of Canadian economy, the unique social system of that country can be destroyed, and many welfare benefits previously available to Canadians and immigrants will be scrapped. Immigrants are likely to rely on welfare to a larger extent than the country’s citizens, since it takes a much longer time for them to find a suitable job. Immigrant job-seekers have to learn a language and get socialized into Canadian culture. Furthermore, they have to deal with tacit discrimination some employers can implicitly manifest. Even if immigrant job-seekers succeed in finding a job, it is usually low-paid, often part-time, and sometimes illegal altogether. Moreover, there is a constant pressure from new incoming immigrants, who might be so desperate to find a job that they offer lower price for their services, creating a downward pressure on wages. Immigrants who have been in employment already are faced with a choice to accept lower pay or be fired. Overseas job-seekers also might encounter difficulties adapting to Canadian business culture. For example, in many countries of the South as opposed to the North, the importance of personal relationships is very high (Katz, 2006). People coming to Canada from Southern countries might fail to understand that using personal relationships or gifts in business life it totally unacceptable; they might be accused of nepotism and bribery and even pressed legal charges against.

As concerns language and communication barriers, there is an opinion that Canada has traditionally been a cosmopolitan country, ready to accept and accommodate people from different parts of the world and cultural backgrounds. As an immigrant nation, it had to embrace diversity and multiculturalism. The Canadian values are most frequently associated with social cohesion, empathy, and tolerance; the country’s underlying values are believed to be peace, neutrality, and consensus-based conflict resolution. It is true that for many decades “Canada had been among the most tolerant and accommodating countries to its immigrants in the world, and where celebration of diversity for its own sake had been made almost an official fetish” (Dalrymple, 2000, para. 2). However, this might be changing now. Immigrants are no integrated as easily in the mainstream society as they once were. A phenomenon of Chinese or Somali ghettoes is becoming more and more widespread. Immigrants from particular regions living compactly together do not mingle with Canadians or other ethic groups and therefore do not learn the language and do not get socialized into the mainstream culture. This, in turn, causes inter-ethnic relations to sour; immigrants feel they are isolated from the rest of the society and start to build resentment.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Lighthouse Keeper Essay

The Lighthouse Keeper Essay

There are many ways to view the social order in today’s world. The variety of roles and structures which exist in our society make it a complex and ever changing play, in which we are both the audience and the actors. Sociology attempts to step aside and view the field of social interaction from the point of view of a spectator. What role, assuming that he or she has no sociological ambitions, can we assign to the lighthouse keeper?

According to the paradigm of Structural Functionalism each participant in the social order has a given role and contribution to society, but we are all so called “empty vessels” (R. Keel 2009). This way of thinking suggests that although everyone may have a part and personal objectives, we ultimately serve the needs of the social system as a whole. People adapt their goals to society and ultimately end up fulfilling the tasks needed in order to maintain the system in motion.
This idea leads back to the role of the lighthouse keeper and his part in the functioning of society. As we can clearly see, the job of the lighthouse man or woman is both full of difficulties, such as the fierce waves splashing the sides of the partly submerged building, and monotonous, the lighthouse is always there fulfilling its duty as a guiding and warning light. Although it is clear that there is need for this position in society, we cannot help but ask ourselves whether this role is brings joy for the lighthouse keeper. Does the guide to lost or wondering sailors reach only outward or does it bring satisfaction to the keeper and happiness into the atmosphere of the lighthouse itself.

The truth is that although there is a need for everyone in the system of social interaction, and everyone finds a way to bring something toward the its proper functioning, people often find themselves lead astray by their social roles. Once having occupied a place in society it is difficult for individuals to step aside and act as observers of their own lives. Too often we hear of people who seem to have everything – a family, a job, and social contacts, but are nevertheless unhappy. It is a common mistake to lose oneself in the everyday machine that is live and forget about what is really important. The view of the lighthouse keeper and the sea surrounding him may seem like paradise from the outside but it could represent the trap of society and its function imposed on the individual.

Although it may be true that we are all part of a system, play, machine or however else we could call the social environment, this view could be a highly limiting one in terms of our opportunities, and future development. If we chose to view our role in society as a set one we often become so involved in the day to day that we forget to appreciate ourselves, our uniqueness and the wonder of the world around us. The beauty of the individual should be maintained. Happiness comes when we have the opportunity to step aside and see ourselves, realise our desires and are given the strength to break free of the role assigned to us.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Essay on Adam Aircraft

Essay on Adam Aircraft

Adam Aircraft was founded by Rick Adams, when he started developing his plan for introducing a new plane to the market in the early 90s. A500 twin piston and A700 jet were the very first and extremely successful planes that had brought many changes to the aircraft industry.

One of the opportunities, which Rick has discovered was very few twin-engine aircrafts on the market at that time. The manufacturers were still using old designs and the price of the aircraft was way too high. For this reason, used aircrafts were much more popular than new ones, due to the lower cost.
Another important factor was rapidly developing computing power in the 1990s. New design and modeling software made it possible to work on the development of the aircraft saving time and money significantly.

Finally, all the manufacturers in the aircraft industry were mostly trying to improve the performance of their planes, while pilots were waiting for new and impressive products on the market. Innovations were very rare in this industry at that time and the twin-engine area was hardly developed.

Obviously, in the process of creating an innovative aircraft and running this complex business, Rick was constantly facing many challenges. Since the main Rick’s idea was to introduce something new to the market, his major difficulty was the technical part of the project. Customers needed speed, comfort, safety and lightness, and Rick was supposed to combine all these qualities in one plane.

Right after the establishment of Adam Aircraft home base at Centennial Field in December, Rick was faced with a new problem. He realized that for being successful in this market, Adam Aircraft has no other choice but to introduce something completely new due to little time and high costs. In order to raise the money needed for the project, the company had to cut its development costs by at least 75 percent.

Another serious problem for Rick’s company was Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). FAA was responsible for checking the products before letting them reach the market. A lot of money and time were involved in this process. Since Adam Aircraft did not have none of the above mentioned, the management team had to find the way to speed this process up.

Despite of all the difficulties Adam Aircraft had faced during the development of its planes, Rick and his team succeeded in introducing fast, comfortable and affordable plane to the market. Soon the story of Adam Aircraft’s success appeared in almost all the business publications and its planes on the covers of aviation magazines.

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Essay on Autism Spectrum Disorder

Effective educational practices for students with autism spectrum disorders

The article suggests six elements of effective instructional programs for students with autism spectrum disorders. These elements are (a) individualized supports and services for students and families, (b) systematic instruction, (c) comprehensible/structured learning environments, (d) specialized curriculum content, (e) functional approach to problem behavior, and (f) family involvement.

The article starts with a comprehensive literature review of previous studies that researched elements that are crucial for success of students with ASD. The limitation of the study, typical for any meta-analytical research, is that it relies solely on secondary data: recommendations put forward in the article have not been tested empirically.
The authors rely on two methods: analysis of systematic reviews and analysis of primary studies. For systematic reviews are compared along the lines of their coverage of the following issues: supportive and structured learning environments, family involvement, early intervention, specialized curricula focusing on communication and social interaction, integration with typical peers, predictability and routine, functional approach to problem behaviors, planned transitions between preschool and kindergarten/ first grade, individualization of supports and services, systematic, carefully planned instruction, intensity of engagement, and developmentally appropriate practices.

For each empirical study dedicated to any of the aforementioned components, age of engagement, target behavior, and appropriate intervention were discussed.

The article has discovered that the following target behavior can be achieved by specific interventions:

Individualized supports and services 
Increase social engagement with peers: Functional use of children’s unique obsessive behaviors as play themes
Increase engagement in tasks and schedules: Picture activity schedules and graduated guidance
Develop individualized plans to increase engagement and support inclusion in general education kindergarten: Individualized assessments of levels of behaviors and targeted instruction for specific needs
Decreasing rates of disruptive behavior and increasing engagement in instruction: Task interspersal (difficult/easy); least-to-most prompting; progressive time delay
Self-initiation of question-asking and generalization: Motivational procedures (incorporation of preferred items, natural reinforcers)

Systematic, carefully planned instruction Increase on-task behaviors and school performance / Reduction of inappropriate vocalizations and increase in engagement and independence:
Self-management Increase discrete behaviors (language, social behaviors, motor skills, etc.):
Intensive discrete trial training compared to eclectic treatment
Increase acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of grocery shopping skills:
Combination of in vivo training, constant time delay, and pictorial storyboard simulation
Specialized curriculum: Social skills Increase social behaviors:
Peer mediation (pivotal response training) Increase appropriate play with toy skills: Self-management package Increase joint attention, play, and language: Peer-supported integrated play groups

Functional approach to problem behaviors
Decrease challenging behaviors and increase appropriate/communicative behaviors: School team-based functional behavior assessment; differential reinforcement and consequential strategies; functional behavior assessment and social stories; functional analysis and antecedent manipulations

Family involvement
Assess the effects of different parent training interventions on parent interaction styles: Parent training of functional behavior assessment; pivotal response training compared with discrete trial training

The article provides an in-depth explanation of each of the six core elements with clear objectives attached to them. For example, individualized supports and services for students and families should increase social engagement with peers, enhance engagement in tasks and schedules, decrease rates of disruptive behavior, and result in higher self-initiation of question-asking and generalization. Comprehensible/structured learning environments imply organizing the instructional setting, providing a schedule of activities, planning and providing choice making opportunities, providing behavioral support, defining specific areas of the classroom and school settings, providing temporal relations, and facilitating transitions, flexibility, and change. The article also specifies age brackets for each of the target. Coming back to the first example, engagement with peers is crucial for students who are 5-7 years old, while engagement in tasks and schedules is essential for students who are 7–9 years old.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Political Corruption Essay

Political Corruption Essay

Political corruption is a very dangerous phenomenon, since it violates the basic tenets of democratic governance. Our Constitution grants all citizens equality before law, and preferential treatment should not be given to anybody who can buy or coerce public officials into it. However, corruption remains a reality even in the world’s most developed countries. It can exist at all levels, from federal to municipal. In the city of New Orleans, corruption has existed historically and has not been eradicated yet. During the 19th century, prostitution and gambling flourished in the city. Political competition between Scalawags, the Southerners, and Carpetbaggers, the Northerners, also entailed a great deal of manipulation, corruption and cronyism (Gore, 2008).
In more recent times, the surge in corruption cases has happened after Hurricane Katrina struck the city. USA Today reports that between 2003 and mid-September 2007, almost two hundred people in the metropolitan area have been indicted for public corruption, such as bribery and fraud (Jervis, 2007). This should hardly elicit surprise, given that billions in federal assistance were channeled there in the aftermath of Katrina, and the temptation to misuse or embezzle this money was high. One of high-profile cases was that of Oliver Thomas, who sat on the New Orleans city council. He pleaded guilty to taking nearly $20,000 in bribes from a city hall vendor (Jervis, 2007). Another one is Glenn Haydel, Mayor Marc Morial’s uncle, who served as a manager of the Regional Transit Authority and was accused of diverting $550,000 in RTA funds into his person accounts (Gore, 2008).

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Essay on Circumstances

Essay on Circumstances

Many different characteristics come together in a story to make the characters who they are. It can be education, family, economic and social status, the direct environment in which they live, and even their actions throughout the story. All of these things make the main character come to life. For a moment, the character is real to the reader. This brings the reader to feel they're a part of the story also.

In Cather's "Paul's Case", Paul is a teenager that has a horrible outlook on life and feels everyone around him isn't good enough to be in his company. He is in high school but, that is the last place he wants to be. In his opinion, he doesn't fit in. He seems to get into trouble at school quite a bit and he has no respect for the school staff or his father. Maybe he wouldn't be as troubled if his mother was still alive. The only thing that makes Paul happy is the time he spends at Carnegie Hall. When that is taken away, Paul lashes out.
After his escapade with the stolen money, Paul is overwhelmed with thoughts of what is waiting for him at home. Paul was determined to get a taste of the good life if only for a moment. He wanted a place to fit in and it had to be as close to wealth as possible. In his eyes, the life he led was dreadful. In the end, this young boy felt there was no other alternative but suicide. His father's punishment was fatal for him. In my opinion, Paul needed room to make his own decisions but special attention because an underlying problem was evident.

In Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers", the main character is someone we don't even hear directly from. We learn about Mrs. Wright from a group of other people. It has been found out that Mr. Wright has died, murder most likely. Mrs. Wright is the main suspect. Her friend Mrs. Hale makes the comment about how much she has changed. Mrs. Hale believes it was due to the past twenty years of living with Mr. Wright. Mrs. Wright never had any children and her husband is described as not being a happy or pleasant person to be around. Considering these factors, I believe Mrs. Hale wouldn't have been surprised if Minnie had killed her husband. Many reasons were there as far as motive. Mrs. Hale kept saying she didn't think Minnie did it but, in my opinion, she did. She did it out of spite for having turned into such a cold, alone, and isolated person.

In Jackson's "The Lottery", it is unclear to me who actually is the main character. I'm going to take a chance and say Mrs. Hutchinson is. The whole story was interesting but strange. When Mr. Hutchinson's name is drawn in the lottery, Mrs. Hutchinson is filled with panic. She lives in a small town of 300 people where everyone knows everyone. This didn't matter when her husband's name was drawn. Denial rushed over her and she swore her husband didn't have enough time when it was his turn to draw. I'm sure Mrs. Hutchinson was relieved her children weren't picked but, I wonder if she would've rather her husband drawn the black dot. Since she knew there was no other choice, Mrs. Hutchinson went ahead and took her place in the center of the Square. This was very brave and wise in my opinion.

In Gaines "The Sky is Gray", James is the main character and he is a young boy. He lives in poverished conditions ever since his father was drafted into the Army. James is extremely sensitive and loving on the inside. His lack of expressing it is because his mother thinks it is a sign of weakness. Oh, how he would love to embrace his mother! It's sad to see James want to be close to his mother but hold back for fear of rejection. I believe his mother's reasoning for her strict distance from him was to help him become a man. James hunger for affection was never satisfied. He was without a father and most likely felt like a mother too.

The characters in these stories are very different. One aspect is the same: They bring the reader into their story and make them feel like they are right there. It's exciting to imagine being them and wondering what they will do or think next.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Essay on Desdemona

Essay on Desdemona

At the commencement of Shakespeare's play, Othello, Othello is portrayed as a rational and incredibly trusting individual, who thinks calmly and logically. However, throughout the play, Iago masterfully and maliciously corrupts Othello, using his virtues against him to transform Othello into a paranoid and bitter man, who is simply Iago's pawn.

The first passage portrays Othello as a fully rational and considerate husband and lover. An effusive and impassioned tone is created as Othello expresses his undying affection for Desdemona. Hyperbolic language is used to shape this tone, by exaggerating Othello's immense joy at reuniting with Desdemona. He exclaims, "If it were now to die, twere now to be most happy." This, and other exaggerations of the sea reaching as high as Mount Olympus and as low as hell combine to express Othello's abundant joy and exuberance.
Othello's enthusiasm is also reflected by Shakespeare's use of syntax. Throughout the passage, Shakespeare uses longer syntax, with more drawn out thoughts. This creates a largo rhythm, which adds to the idea that despite Othello's excitement, he is still somewhat dignified and cultured. This idea is also furthered by Shakespeare's use of periodic sentences. By separating the subject and verb, Shakespeare gives Othello a more scholarly and insightful language, by speaking in complex sentences.

However, this rhythm is broken by an apostrophe, when Othello cries out, "O, my soul's joy!" This phrase is particularly effective in emphasizing how deeply Othello loves Desdemona, and how enthusiastic he is about their reunion. Further reflecting Othello's character at this point in the play, gallant imagery is used to reinforce his valor and courage as a general, as he challenges a tempest to strike him. Finally, the use of soft, blowing consonants create a whispering sound to the passage. This both mirrors the imagery of strong winds throughout the tempest, but also works to emphasize Othello's contentedness and satisfaction with his wife, by speaking somewhat softly and gently to her. Thus, after the first passage, the reader imagines Othello as a gentle, logical, trusting, and loving husband and general.

This image of Othello is completely destroyed by the second passage's portrayal of his darker side. In this passage, Othello is portrayed as vengeful and irate. A malicious and condemnatory tone is developed as Othello denounces Cassio and Desdemona for betraying him. In distinct contrast to the more formal and picturesque language of the first passage, Othello slips into more colloquial and informal language by the second passage. This is particularly effective because it reflects the idea that Othello is no longer thinking rationally or logically, and is simply expressing his true, unrestrained emotions. Such simpler language is also mirrored through the shift from periodic to loose sentences. The loose sentences employed in the second paragraph are simpler, with the subject and verb at the beginning, followed by a longer and more detailed description. This creates a sort of ranting style in which Othello expresses his ideas abruptly, and then continues to belabor his point.

Furthermore, Shakespeare switches to a shorter syntax, which continues to emphasize Othello's lack of rationality in comparison to his logical and methodical way of thinking in the first passage. The choppier and more disconnected thoughts are enhanced by use of many apostrophes throughout the passage. For example, when Othello shouts, "Arise, black vengeance from thy hollow cell," the phrase expresses his malicious and furious emotions, since Othello has been driven to the point of summoning evil itself. Moreover, the use of such imperative, commanding sentences which are contained in the apostrophes emphasizes Othello's enormous power, both over those in direct contact with him, and over his society through his position as general. However, it is indicated that Othello will misuse his power, since his authority in the second passage is use for revenge and destruction. Also, in contrast to the softer sounds of the first passage, Shakespeare utilizes explosive consonant sounds in the second passage, which makes Othello sound almost as if he cannot stand the taste of the words and thoughts he is presented with, and is ranting in disgust. These sounds, in combination with Shakespeare's use of shorter syntax create a staccato and disconnected rhythm, further emphasizing Othello's inability to think clearly. By the end of the second passage, Othello has proven himself to be thoroughly instable and downright dangerous.

The importance of language and syntax in these two passages is evident through their portrayal of Othello's moral disintegration. He evolves from a loving and gentle husband and logical general in the first passage to a frenzied and malevolent madman in the second paragraph. This abrupt contrast gives the reader a sense of uncertainty and impending doom, since Othello is proven to be unstable and almost neurotic.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur Essay

J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur Essay

The genre of essays dates back in its popularity to the first years of American colonies. Already then, skillful writers, mostly European journalists, started to track down their observations in series of letters or essays. Today these literary works can be used as perfect guides that can give an insight into the life new Americans had led centuries and centuries ago. Such literary works also help Americans learns how their country has been created.

Letters from an American Farmer is series of essays written by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur who emigrated from Europe to North America. In fact, J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur was the only American author who was well received and afterwards, respected and valued by the Europeans.

To begin with I would like to state the main themes of each of the twelve letters. After that I will talk about each of these themes in details and show how these themes had been developed. In the first of the twelve letters the author introduces the readers to the narrator. This way we learn that the author is actually a farmer who is writing his letters to a fictional journalist in England. The farmer puts together this information for him in order to enlighten the European about the life in the colonies. The second letter talks about the life of an average American farmer. The third discusses the cultural diversity present in the middle part of the future United States. This essay also lists various advantages the new country has got to offer to the immigrant. Succeeding letters talk about the Quaker settlements on Nantucket and Martha's Vinyard, and the presence of slavery in the Charleston district. The tenth and eleventh letters are rather unusual, talking about the nature of North America and not only its flora, but also its fauna, particularly snakes, and the hummingbirds. Finally, the last letter presents the fear of the American farmer of the outburst of a conflict between the colonies and Great Britain.

I believe that the above separate topics of the twelve letters can be summarized into two main themes that are developed in the essays. These themes are: presentation of American to be a country filled with opportunities and liberty for all (American dream), and idealization of American nature and American farmer’s simple unpretentious way of life. In addition, both of these themes, being carefully developed, help form an image of who a real American should be.

In fact, these two main themes are developed one from another.

To begin with, the author presents American nature as something pure and untouched. We see that he is longing for this nature and that for him the sound of a small stream or noise made by moving grass are the sweetest things in the world. This romanticism in the essay, is of course brought about by the tendencies of such European authors as of Richardson, Rousseau, and Burns. It seems that the author is fed up with European pretentiousness, finding happiness in living within nature.

We also see that the author admires how one in America has a chance to work on his simple craft and enjoy living. This brings us to the second main topic – a topic of the American dream. This is a dream for a larger and fuller life possible for everyone, not regarding social and educational status, in the new unknown and undeveloped land. That is why J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur tries to motivate the Europeans to emigrate to America, where they would have economic, social, and psychological stability and freedom.

The discussed work greatly reflects the thinking of that time. As I have already mentioned above, the author talks about the advantages of being a simple farmer and how fulfilling and satisfying simple lifestyle can be. Such thoughts are usual for the neo-classical era. An era, during which the social order was undergoing great change, and the middle class was rising in power. We can also trace deism in J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s work. Though, deism is not present in Crevecoeur’s work in its usual form. It seems to me that Crevecoeur sees nature as something godly. Thus, he puts nature in the centre of the letters. The way Crevecoeur is amazed by the nature he is amazed by availability of freedom, also the religious one. He notes that various religious groups are mixed together in the new country. He also believes that this religious groups will soon cease, melting into one religion, suitable for Americans. Other than that there is no reference to god or godly present in the Letters of an American Farmer. Nonetheless, I believe that by placing the relationship between nature and humans to be the centre of the narrative, Crevecoeur follows deistic trends.

I have already mentioned that the Letter of an America Farmer set a very special place in the world and especially American literature. The latter cannot be argued by anyone that is why most of the critics regard the Letters to be a masterpiece. Nevertheless, Crevecoeur’s work has been the subject of extended critical debate. Most of the debate was regarded to the genre, into which the work should be classified. First, the letters were considered to be autobiographical. Though, later different authors emphasized different things in this work, thus taking it far beyond the status of autobiography.

For example, Manuela Albertone, an author of The French moment of the American National Identity; St. John de Crevecoeur’s Agrarian Myth points out how according to Crevecoeur America was supposed to be an agrarian nation. Analyzing and reassessing Crevecoeur’s work Albertone sees that, originally, America’s current political and economic status is very different from the one intended. In fact, Albertone thinks that America has not become an agrarian state because of the small amount of French participation in the creation of the American character. She also portrays Crevecoeur to be an agrarian more than he is an intellectual, referring to him as to a naturalist rather than a journalist. This view is rather unusual, knowing that Crevecoeur was a well recognized European journalist and writer (Albertone).

The article Propaganda, Pre-national Critique, and Early American Literature published in American Literary History collection sees the Letters of an American Farmer in a different light. Mainly, the work is seen as a propaganda text, one of many, circulating around the enlightened European circles and within the colonies. Though, what has to be remembered is that the author of the letters is not a revolutionist. He is attached to the country, he is devoted to the principles of democracy and equality for all. Still, it is clear from the text that Crevecoeur himself is not a fighter. Rather he is scared of the possible war. Also, it has to be mentioned, that Crevecoeur does mention the dark side of America that is slavery. It is interesting that the discussed article considers that Crevecoeur’s optimism is genuine, though being rather propagandist. While many other critics think that Crevecoeur is being ironic in his work.

Another interesting aspect of the work is pointed out by Christine Holbo in Imagination, Commerce and the Politics of Associationism in Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer. Holbo views the narrator of the work as a two-faced character: a simple farmer and an enlightened intellectual. She also sees the Letters as a literary compromise made on the Enlightenment principles between the optimistic Farmer and the pessimistic French journalist Crevecoeur. This duet is not peaceful, but is rather in constant tension. Holbo also refers to authors who have traced the changed that occurs in the style of the letters as the Farmer breaks free of his illusions (Holbo). It is interesting that while for Holbo and many other critics the disappointment in denouement is clear, for others the work continues to be more romantic and propagandist.

When it comes to my interpretation of the work I can say that in some way these letters can be looked at as a propaganda pamphlet. The language used by the author as well as what he is saying about the country is bright and emotional. It seems that every word in the Letters agitates one to move to America to see the wonder the “American farmer” is describing. At the same time one cannot overlook the adorable way in which the author describes America from all sides: as a framer he pays attention to the nature and agriculture, as a thinker he tries to see what opportunities this land has got to offer for those coming all the way from Europe.

Additionally, I see the importance of the work for our times. This work provides useful information and understanding of the way America used to be centuries ago. This work is also maybe the first place where the unique American identity is tried to be created. This is also a first time when America’s innocence and simplicity is celebrated. Finally, Crevecoeur is the first writer to explore the concept of the American Dream and put forward the question about “Who an American is?”

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R. Buckminster Fuller Essay

R. Buckminster Fuller's Elementary Geometries

1. Elementary Geometries 
Geometry is a branch of mathematics concerned with figures and deal with questions of their shape, size and relative position. Further explorations of geometry also deal with properties of space. Geometry is considered to be one of the oldest sciences, with earliest recorded beginnings developed in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the India as early as 3000 BC.

Presumably in 3rd century BC, Euclid, a prominent Ancient Greek mathematician, systemized available body of knowledge on figures and own developments in treatise named “Elements” consisting of 13 books. Although many of the theories included in Euclid's “Elements” were developed and discussed by earlier mathematicians, Euclid's “Elements” represents the earliest known systematic discussion of this subject, which has been one of the most influential works in science. This work is also valuable as a methodological guide, as Euclid showed how a small set of intuitively appealing axioms can be fit together into a comprehensive deductive and logical system, proving many other propositions (theorems).

For more than two thousand years, the term “Geometry” was applied to the Euclid’s development and later derivatives of his work. Only in 19th century such prominent scientists such as Gauss, Bolyai, and Lobachevsky, demonstrated that properties of space, as set out in conventional, Euclidean geometry, represent only one possibility. Since then, geometry is often divided into two broad classes: Euclidean Geometry (also referred to as Ordinary Geometry or Elementary Geometry) and non-Euclidean Geometry. Although non-Euclidean geometries are an important step for the science, Euclidean geometry and its derivatives is dominantly important for architecture and design.

Traditional architecture is primarily based on conventional rectangles and in small degree makes use of other geometric elements. However, as example of Buckminster Fuller and his followers shows, it is not the only option.

Fuller explored the properties of new geometries in the building design. Fuller’s famous geodesic domes represent lattice shell structure, which can provide required rigidness and stability, while being light. The core principle behind this design is tensegrity (“tensional integrity”) being ability of the structure to maintain integrity due to synergy between balanced tension and compression of its elements. Elements of this structure may be tetrahedrons, octahedrons and other 3-D elements packing closely to form a sphere. Notably, these elements can be formed by even simpler (more “elementary”) geometries, such as triangles, which contributes to the properties of these forms. Properties of these elementary geometries, has been studied by scientists for many centuries, however ability to create more complex, yet simple, design with outstanding properties was to the large extend overlooked. Fuller in his search for alternative solutions in architectural design, explored synergy between elements, which lead to invention of such innovative solution as geodesic domes and related designs. In his studies, Fuller often went beyond architecture, considering synergy being one of the Universal principles with many applications.

2. R. Buckminster Fuller
Richard Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was a prominent American architect, designer, inventor, author, and futurist. Fuller developed numerous inventions, mostly related to architectural designs, among which probably the best known is the Geodesic Dome. He published more than thirty books, on architectural design, science and philosophy.

He was born on July 12, 1895, in Milton, Massachusetts. Much of his youth he spent on Bear Island, Maine, where he demonstrated his natural talent and love to designing and construction, for example he experimented with designing a new mechanism for small boat propulsion by a person. For his experiments often used materials found in woods and sometimes constructed required tools himself. Later, Fuller admitted that his early age experiments not only provoked interest in design in him, but developed a habit of getting familiar and knowledgeable with properties of materials, which aided in his later projects (Pawley 1990). He often made items from materials he brought home from the woods, and sometimes made his own tools. He experimented with designing a new apparatus for human propulsion of small boats.

In 1913, at the age of 18, Fuller, in line with family tradition, was sent to study in Harvard. However, Fuller demonstrated disinclination for orthodox education and was expelled for irresponsibility and packed off to Canada to a group of cotton-mill machine fitters, which he did with great enthusiasm. He was returning to Harvard, as a result of his diligence, but was expelled again for sustained lack of interest. He abandoned formal education and start working at Armour & Company in various New York and New Jersey branches, where he started with lugging beef. Eventually, studying refrigeration, marketing and accounting he received the post of assistant cashier in two years.

During World War I Fuller succeeded to be accepted for the Navy in 1917, at the age of 22, where he served for two years till 1919. In Navy he enjoyed dealing with ballistics, navigation and the mass tonnage movements logistics, which required applied knowledge of mathematics. There he made his first two practical inventions: a seaplane rescue mast and boom and the design conception of a vertical take-off aircraft. After army, he continued his on job education in meat packing industry, acquiring experience in management. And in 1922 together with his father-in-law, he founded a company producing innovative fibrous concrete building blocks for construction of light-weight, weatherproof, and fireproof housing. However, this company failed and by the age of 32, in 1927, Fuller became bankrupt (Pawley 1990). Bankruptcy and death of his daughter lead him to alcohol abuse and depression. However, at some point, he decided to embark on "an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity" (Patton 2008).

The year 1927 becomes the central pivot of Fuller's life. He publishes "4D" and "4D Timelock" essays. These publications sum up Fuller’s massive intellectual stocktaking at this time as he outlines many of the basic propositions of his future design philosophy. Notably, Fuller demonstrates comprehensive and elaborate approach: each of the developments proposed by him is based on considerations of deep, most universal context, and only then goes details. One of the most remarkable illustrations in "4D Timelock" is a “World Town Plan sketch”. This sketch presents multi-deck housings located around the globe, forming a global shelter service maintained by air. Fuller underlined that underlines that solutions for world housing problem must embrace universal requirements, satisfying a broad range of human functions. Fuller housing design was lightweight, i.e. required less materials, and cheap, according to his calculation, standard twelve-deck version should weight 45 tons (including even such auxiliaries as swimming pool, gymnasium, library decks and accessories) at a cost of $23 thousand, if mass-produced (McHale 1962). Needless to say that such solution was and is still quite ahead of its time. But Fuller believed that the volume of production required to meet current and future demand can only be achieved through quite advanced scientific and industrial solutions (McHale 1962). After two years of designing some of his concepts were implemented in the prototypes.

During his middle period of (1927-46) Fuller focused on the theme of studies in structural principles, industrialized housing, logistics and economic planning (macro level), with respect to realization of his housing ideas. Simultaneously with his research and practical studies, Fuller lectured and worked in different. In late 1944, he served in U.S. Foreign Economic Administration and there he developed a plan for the postwar conversion of the aircraft industry for housing construction purposes.

In 1949 Fuller completed construction of his first geodesic dome – an icosahedron building with diameter of 4.3 meters made of aluminum aircraft tubing and a vinyl-plastic skin. Importance of his work was recognized by the U.S. government and employed he was employed to make small domes for the army. Fuller managed construction of thousands of such domes around the globe for a few following years.

For almost a half of the century since his first dome construction, Fuller developed many ideas, inventions and designs in the field of practical and cheap shelters and transportation. He received international recognition after construction of a huge geodesic domes during the 1950s. Fuller lectured for many years around the world and taught in various universities, notably in Washington University in St. Louis (1955-59) and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1959 to 1970). He received many honorary doctorates and in 1968 he gained full professorship in the School of Art and Design. His developments and publication with respect to the future of the humanity lead to a recognition as a Humanist of the Year in the 1969 by American Humanist Association. In 1983 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President Ronald Reagan.

Fuller died at the age of 87, on July 1, 1983, being widely acknowledged as guru of the architecture, design, futurism and 'alternative' communities.

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