Why Volunteering Can Make You Happy

“Anywhere I see suffering, that's where I want to be, doing what I can.” – Princess Diana There are a lot of benefits one can gain from actively participating in social causes through non-governmental or charity organizations. More and more research have associated improved health and overall wellbeing with volunteering. Well, there are other reasons…

“Anywhere I see suffering, that's where I want to be, doing what I can.” – Princess Diana

There are a lot of benefits one can gain from actively participating in social causes through non-governmental or charity organizations. More and more research have associated improved health and overall wellbeing with volunteering. Well, there are other reasons why you should join one.

Broadens your outlook on life

Doing social work poses you to completely new experiences. Apart from colleges, you get to meet new people and gain their perspective on life based on their stories. These interactions do not only broaden your own perspective about life, it also helps you connect deeply with them. This connection can serve as a source of motivation for the bumpy times in future.

You get to change the world

Social work through volunteering lets you affect positively in your local community, creating ripple effects on the world in general. By donating time, gifts, ideas and money to a cause that is close to your heart, you are solving problems – empowering people and changing lives. When you speak up about injustice or harmful practices, you influence people to do the right thing. Paraphrasing social activist, Robert Silberstein, if we all do one thing for a better world, together we make a world of difference.

Build skills and make new connections

Doing social work also gives you a platform to prune your existing skills and learn new ones. For instance, persuasive selling skills can be developed through participating in fundraising activities. Other soft skills such as communication, leadership, time management as well as social skills can be developed from interactions with co-volunteers and applied to other aspects of life. There is also an opportunity to make new friends, network and build strong connections. You will also create bonding memories when you volunteer with family and loved ones.

Gives you a sense of purpose

Reports say that helping other people is a two-way street. That it even favours the volunteer much more than it does the people she chooses to help. Volunteering ultimately gives a sense of purpose, which results in feelings of self-confidence, fulfillment and satisfaction. It simply adds vigour to life!

There are a lot of causes you can support. Find out what social cause you are really passionate about and join registered organizations genuinely involved in it. In as much as making financial contributions is a welcome step, try to participate in other ways, considering what constants you might have. If we make a habit of actively improving our communities through social work, we make a better environment to live in for future generations to come, and us.

How Thomas Jefferson Saved the Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson played many important roles in our nation's early history: third president of the United States, author and signer of our Declaration of Independence, and prime minister to France. This list of who this patriot represented is by far not complete. Among his many accomplishments, Jefferson saved the Library of Congress' collection of books…

Thomas Jefferson played many important roles in our nation's early history: third president of the United States, author and signer of our Declaration of Independence, and prime minister to France. This list of who this patriot represented is by far not complete. Among his many accomplishments, Jefferson saved the Library of Congress' collection of books that burned to the ground in 1814 by the British.

Among Jefferson's numerous passions, collecting and reading books was one of the most important. This certainly rings true since he owned the largest collection of books in the United States. Throughout his life, books were important to Jefferson's education and well-being. Although he did not travel much, Jefferson acquired a broad knowledge of the contemporary and ancient worlds with his books. This can not be said of his contemporaries which knowledge had mostly been obtained through personal experience.

Jefferson started collecting books at an early age. He lost almost his entire collection to a fire in 1770 that burned down his first house in Shadwell, Virginia. Two years later, after he built and opened his new home, known as Monticello, in Virginia, he had already collected a staggering number of books in such a short time.

During the War of 1812, British forces entered Washington, DC and burned down many important buildings. The Capitol building which housed the 3,000-volume collection of books in the Library of Congress was particularly heartbreaking for Jefferson. In 1815, he sold 6,500 volumes of his 10,000 volume collection of books from his bookshelves at Monticello. The Library offered the rare collection for almost $ 24,000, which would be today's equivalent of roughly a billion dollars. The total number of books Jefferson sold was twice as many the Library owned before the fire. Before transferring the books from Monticello to Washington, Jefferson arranged and numbered each book which kept them in order for the 118-mile journey between the two historic sites.

The packing and shipping of part of Jefferson's library had been loaded on ten full wagons for transfer from Monticello to Washington DC After the exchange was completed, Jefferson wrote a letter to newspaper publisher, Samuel H. Smith on May 8th, 1815 commenting that “an interesting treasure is added to your city, now become the depository of unquestionably the choicest collection of books in the US, and I hope it will not be without some general effect on the literature of our country. ”

Included with the books, the Library holds approximately 27,000 papers, written by Jefferson himself. The Library of Congress Manuscript Division consists of the largest collection of original Jefferson documents in the world. The “Thomas Jefferson Papers” website contains 83,000-page images, including correspondence, memoranda, notes, drafts of documents, and more. Also available is a rare set of volumes documenting the early history of Virginia from 1606-1737, which was part of Jefferson's personal library.

Thomas Jefferson became an integral part of rebuilding the Library of Congress by selling twice as many volumes of books before the British burned it in 1814. Today, the Library of Congress boasts one of the largest book collections in the world thanks to this patriot and bibliophile's dedication.

The Longest Overdue Library Book in American History

Many readers visit the library to peruse the bookshelves and find a few good books to read, knowing that those books must be returned usually within two or three weeks. However, if the book is late, it falls on the library's responsibility to send a late-due reminder. However, quite often, the borrower tricks to turn…

Many readers visit the library to peruse the bookshelves and find a few good books to read, knowing that those books must be returned usually within two or three weeks. However, if the book is late, it falls on the library's responsibility to send a late-due reminder. However, quite often, the borrower tricks to turn them back in by the due date, even if they received a notice, resulting in a monetary penalty. The later the book is returned, the greater the patron reader will have to owe.

All of us have returned books late, even very late. Would you believe George Washington, himself never returned two books he checked out from the New York Society Library on October 5, 1789. Washington? God-fearing first president and founding father of our nation? Yes. Even the best of us forget to do the mundane things in life. Their titles were: Law of Nations by Emmerich de Vattel and Vol. 12 of the 14-volume Commons Debates , containing transcripts from Britain's House of Commons.

Both were supposedly to be turned in a month later in November of 1789, but there was no sign of Washington the date they were due. Under the rules of the library, the books should have been handed back by November 2nd of that same year, and their borrowers and presumably, his descendants have been liable to fines of a few cents a day ever since.

Law of Nations was finally returned to the New York library on May 20, 2010. Although the books had been lost for 221 years, the library staff never twiddled their thumbs, waiting for the distinguished patriot or his descendants to return the books. As a matter of fact, it was not until 1934 the library made the discovery that his books were overdue. There was no fine, but if Washington had returned the book, years later, the total amount he would owed owed would have totaled $ 300,000. But the library did not fine anyone, even old George's descendants.

Other prominent leaders returned books to the same library before or on their due dates. How could Washington forget? He had three weeks to return the books. It should be noted that he became president in April 1789 until 1797. Washington checked out those books early in his term when he was actively serving his country. Perhaps he was never informed that the late books were past due, but I guess we can forgive old George for not returning a couple of library books.

The Frail Man Who Defined Infinity

“1729” – The taxi sped away. “Boring, is not it, that number 1729?” remarked Hardy to Ramanujan. “Aha,” Ramanujan replied, “1729 is the smallest number which can be expressed as the sum of two cubes, in 2 dissimilar ways.” 1729 = the cube of number 1 + the cube of number 12 = the cube…

“1729” – The taxi sped away. “Boring, is not it, that number 1729?” remarked Hardy to Ramanujan. “Aha,” Ramanujan replied, “1729 is the smallest number which can be expressed as the sum of two cubes, in 2 dissimilar ways.”

1729 = the cube of number 1 + the cube of number 12 = the cube of number 9 + the cube of number 10, is now famous as the Hardy-Ramanujan number or the Taxi-Cab number.

Ramanujan, the man who defined infinity, hardly had any formal education in mathematics. The main source of information and inspiration he acquired, was from the “Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure Mathematics” by George S. Carr. This book contained the theorems with only the results, and hardly any information relating to the methodology, waiting for Ramanujan to devise their work, on his own.

Born in a poor Brahmin family on December 22, 1887, at Erode, Tamil Nadu, India, the young Ramanujan shown potential for genius right from the outside. By age 12, at Kumbakonam Town High School, Ramanujan would devour the information contained in the mathematical books in the library. He worked through the arithmetic series, geometric series, cubic equations and discovered his own method of solving quartic equations.

He credits all his discoveries to the Goddess Namagiri. He used to get visions while taking rest in the temple courtyard. One such vision, he described as follows:

“As I was dosing off, I experienced an unusual incident. I imagined a red background formed by flowing blood. I was observing it. Suddenly, a hand began writing on the screen. integrals. They got imprinted in my mind. As soon as I woke up, I wrote them down. ”

In 1904, obsessed with mathematics, he failed his non-mathematical exams and was denied his scholarship, which has had avenues to study at the Government Arts College at Kumbakonam. After a series of failures, and on a hungry stomach, he continued on his path of devotion to mathematics producing very original and advanced work, despite very little formal education.

Lady Luck finally loved him. He got a job as an accounting clerk with the Madras Port Trust, where his works astounded Ramaswamy Aiyar, who worked there, and also happened to be the founder of the Indian Mathematical Society. Sir Francis Spring, Chairman of the Madras Port Trust, pressed for him to be appointed to a research job, at one of the great British Universities.

A number of rejections later, GH Hardy received a letter from Ramanujan in 1913 with 9 pages of mathematical notes. He and JE Littlewood, another prominent mathematician of his times, poured over them, and concluded that he was a genius.

Ramanujan reached Cambridge in 1914, and studying the works produced between 1903-1914, Hardy concluded that he had never met his equal, and that he was in the same class as Euler or Jacobi, erstwhile mathematicians of excellence.

Many of his theorems were so complex, that scientists even today work on solving them, and their applications have found their way into the many realms of science, including the String Theory of physics. His Theta function lies at the heart of the String Theory of physics.

What is the explanation for this genius, of a lad from a small town in India, with little access to a formal education, who stretched the boundaries of mathematics to the limits? Hardy believed that Ramanujan relied heavily on his intuition.

He contracted Tuberculosis while in England, and died at a very young age a few years later. In that era, he was known as a genius to his fellow mathematicians, but remained relatively unknown to the outside world.

Professor Bruce C. Berndt of the University of Illinois, who presented a lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras stated that over the last 40 years, almost all of Ramanujan's theorems have been proven right-works now pervading the many areas of modern mathematics and physics.

Three books and sheets of paper of mathematical work, and 96 years later, his credibility has been enhanced further.

The man may have departed, but his achievements would have been further immortalized in the newly released film “The Man who Knew Infinity”. . . and may I add, “whom infinity could not define.”

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887 AD – 1920 AD)

Allama Muhammad Iqbal Is a National Hero

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was the great philosopher-poet of Asia. He was also a great politician and thinker of Pakistan. He was born on 9th November 1877 at Sialkot, Punjab province of Pakistan. His father's name was Noor Muhammad. He descended from a family of Kashmiri Brahmans who had embroidered Islam about 300 years ago. Allama…

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was the great philosopher-poet of Asia. He was also a great politician and thinker of Pakistan. He was born on 9th November 1877 at Sialkot, Punjab province of Pakistan. His father's name was Noor Muhammad. He descended from a family of Kashmiri Brahmans who had embroidered Islam about 300 years ago. Allama Muhammad Iqbal received his early education from his native town. He was very talented / intelligent from his childhood. He did his BA in 1897 from Government College, Lahore and MA (Master of Arts) in Philosophy from the said college in 1899. He was appointed as a lecturer of the said college. He wrote his first book “Bang-e-Dara” at that time. This book was quite different from other poems. Soon he resigned from government service and proceeded to Europe for further higher education. He got a degree from Cambridge, then he got LLB from London and secured Ph. D. from Munich University respectively. His thesis was Philosophy of AJAM.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal returned to home in 1908 and started practice as a Barrister. He also continued to write poetry beside teaching and law practice. He wrote poetry under inspiration. At the time when these poems were written there was a move in India for inter-communal unity. But soon Iqbal realized that narrow minded nationalism was against the teachings of Islam. This thought great change in his views and become a poet of Islam. Iqbal wrote poems in Persian mostly. But soon he realized that the common man in India could not understand Persian. Therefore, he began to write in Urdu. The poetry of Iqbal is the great message of life which joins the readers.

Islam was passing through a critical phase at that time and the Muslims were being quickly dominated by the Hindus in India. Iqbal foresaw their downfall and warned them against its serious results. Moreover, Muslims were not in better condition in other parts of the world. Turkey, Egypt, Persia and Afghanistan were Muslim states only in name. Their politics, economy, education and above all their religious ideals were being influenced by Western thinking. Allama Muhammad Iqbal foresaw all these things and warned his people against this culture suicide. He called the Muslim youth back to the Holly Quran and Hadith through his poetry, lectures and speeches. His famous lectures on different aspects of Islamic philosophy, which he delivered at Madras and Aligarh, brought a revolution in the thinking of young generation. Allama Muhammad Iqbal presented the theory of separate homeland (Pakistan) for Indian Muslims. He was the originator of two nation-theory. He was clearly referred to the partition of India in his Presidential Address at the All-India Muslims League Conference held at Allahabad, in 1930. His poems too expressed this idea in a very forceful way. He put a new life into the youth of his nation and looked forward to a new era of freedom and achievements.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was not only a great poet but also a great philosopher, moralist, a reformer and an educationalist. He placed before the people his philosophy of self-realization. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was died on 21 April 1938. Iqbal is our national hero.

Understanding the History and the Degrees of the Knights Templar

Fully understanding where the Knights Templar came from and what relevance its degrees hold help any aspiring and current member understand what their Knights Templar regalia truly stand for. The Knights Templar, or the Order of the Temple of Solomon, is considered as possibly the most romantic of the suggested ancestors of Freemasonry. Although it…

Fully understanding where the Knights Templar came from and what relevance its degrees hold help any aspiring and current member understand what their Knights Templar regalia truly stand for.

The Knights Templar, or the Order of the Temple of Solomon, is considered as possibly the most romantic of the suggested ancestors of Freemasonry. Although it derived its name from the military unit in the Crusades, the Order does not claim any direct line descent from the historical Knights Templar.

While the Knights Templar exists either as an order of the York Rite or as a separate organization, it departs with the standard degree system in Freemasonry. In the York Rite, it bestows three orders and one preparatory measure: the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, the Passing Order of St.. Paul, the Order of the Knights of Malta, and the Order of the Temple. As an independent, only three degrees are administrated: the Degree of Knight Templar, the Degree of Knights of St.. Paul, and the Degree of Knight of Malta.

The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross emphasizes the lesson of truth. It is usually considered as the transitional degree from Royal Arch Masonry to Chivalric Masonry. Its insignia is a green 7-pointed star. Within it is a golden ring with the motto “Magna est veritas, et praevalebit” or “Great is truth and it will prevail”. Inside the ring is a red Greek cross with a letter on each arm representing Deity, Truth, Justice and Liberty.

As a prerequisite to the Knight of Malta, the pass order of Knight of St.. Paul is conferred. Also known as the Passing Degree of the Mediterranean Pass, the degree introduces the lesson of the faithful martyr of Christianity. The Order or the Degree of the Knights of Malta highlights the lesson of faith. It is often historically associated with the Knights Hospitaller, a monastery brotherhood of knights who tended to the ill and wounded Christian Pilgrims during the Crusades. Its symbol is the Maltese cross.

The Degree of Knight of the Temple or the Order of the Temple symbols the lessons of self-sacrifice and reverence. It is, as stated beforehand, most commonly associated with the traditions of the medieval Knights Templar as one of the most skilled units in the crusades. Its motto is “In Hoc Signo Vinces” or “In this sign you will conquer”. Its emblem is the Cross and Crown, a symbol of the reward in heaven coming after the trials in life.

The Knights Templar requires every member who bears each piece of Knights Templar regalia to be professed Christians, and is often criticized for being more of a Christian rather than a Masonic organization. Its regalia are usually described as the classic Templar robes. These are long, white or sand-colored robes decorated with a red cross on the left shoulder. The Modern Era had preserved the historical roots of the regalia by adopting the sand-beige color and making use of a red waistcoat as reminiscent of the medieval red cross.

Mastering the Different Masonic Rituals

Masonic craft regalia are often used in different Masonic rituals and ceremonies. This explains why all these regalia should be held in high regard. After all, improper care of the different regalia used in their rituals would mean a complete disregard of the rituals as well. What rituals are involved? Learning the Basics Considering the…

Masonic craft regalia are often used in different Masonic rituals and ceremonies. This explains why all these regalia should be held in high regard. After all, improper care of the different regalia used in their rituals would mean a complete disregard of the rituals as well.

What rituals are involved?

Learning the Basics

Considering the number of rituals and the depth of history and beliefs that come with them, it takes years before one can really become proficient in all the ceremonies involved. A progressive line is followed as every Mason ascends to each chair in the lodge. And with each level, a new series of rituals is to be learned and memorized as well.

The best way to learn all the rituals is to observe lodge meetings and taking close note as to how each role and part is played. From there, further research can be done to study the more intricate parts. One may also find out more about where each ritual comes from and what they symbolize for better understanding.

As an Entered Apprentice or a Fellow Craft, it is not required for you to learn ritual work just yet. These are only performed by Master Masons. However, if you have hopes of one day becoming a Master Mason yourself, it is best that you start observing during lodge meetings. You may also request for a Masonic Mentor who can guide you through each process so that when the time comes for you to rise in rank, you will be readier than ever.

Degree of Master Mason

Once you reach the degree of the Master Mason, it is time for you to start taking further steps in finding out more about the rituals, from the proper use of Masonic craft regalia all the way to the more specific parts.

  • Masonic Mentors

Each lodge has designated mentors who can share their knowledge with you. It is the Worshipful Master who asks these mentors to share what they know. They are usually Past Masters who have mastered not only the rituals, but the history of the lodge and the brotherhood as well.

  • Ritual Teams

There are ritual clubs or teams within each lodge that you can join. This is often the fastest way for one to accumulate all the knowledge needed to rise through the ranks.

  • Warden's Club

Although not every lodge has one, Warden's Clubs are especially helpful if you want to master the different Masonic rituals. The club consistors of different officers, from Junior Wardens to Worshipful Masters. They practice the different rituals associated and allow interested parties to observe and learn from these practice sessions.

Considering the great importance of finding out more about each ritual, it is also imperative that the proper regalia is used. This is why only a trusted Craft Masonic regalia supplier has the right to provide for the lodge's regalia needs. For without the proper regalia, the entire ritual can be affected.

Ashoka Samrat – The Great Emperor of Mauryan Dynasty

There are only two rulers who are justified as great emperor in the history of Indian Subcontinent, Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great and Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great. Ashoka (from 304 BCE to 232 BCE) was the third ruler of the famous Mauryan dynasty, built one of the largest empires at his time and became…

There are only two rulers who are justified as great emperor in the history of Indian Subcontinent, Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great and Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great. Ashoka (from 304 BCE to 232 BCE) was the third ruler of the famous Mauryan dynasty, built one of the largest empires at his time and became a fabulous model of kingship on the Buddhist custom. Buddhism started to prosper and dissolve all over the world during his rule.

As a son of a royal family, Ashoka acquired military training during his childhood and grew up an excellent hunting skill. There is a myth about Ashoka is; he alone killed a lion with only a wooden rod. Although his way of conquering throne was not easy, his step-brothers became his biggest enemy and competitor. Ashoka's father Emperor Bindusara nominated his elder son Susima as his inheritor but due to Susima's arrogance, cruelty, and impudence he was not supported by the ministers. An important minister named Radha Gupta played a vital role to establish Ashoka as an emperor, and later he became the chief minister of Ashoka's Government.

In the early stages, Ashoka ruled the empire just like his grandfather founder of Mauryan Empire emperor Chandragupta did, in an efficient manner but brutally. He formed a vicious army and used it to enlarge his empire. To punish the criminals he created a prison called “Ashoka's Hell” where prisoners were tortured in a sadistic way.

In the 8th year of coronation, Ashoka invaded a feudal province named Kalinga, which is famous as “Kalinga war” in the history. The Mauryan army two thousand two hundred years ago was as well organized as any that came before it or after. The chain of command was well forged. Day and night the generals passed to draw a battle plan to deliver to Ashoka for his review. Six soldiers in a circle protected a horseman; five horsemen circle a war elephant. So disciplined was that army that when it charged it charged as one. As an outcome, this war became one of the bloodiest and ruthless war in the history. The people of Kalinga tried their best and offered a tough resistance to save their honor, their motherland. But their strength was far beyond the Mauryan army. About 100,000 were killed, and 150,000 were hospitalized. The whole Kalinga turned into a graveyard.

After Kalinga war, Ashoka became the master of all what he saw and much beyond. He conquered almost the entire Indian subcontinent except the extreme southern province of India which he could have easily taken, but he did not. The destruction of Kalinga war made a huge impact on his mind and was unable to justify the distinction between victory and defeat. He abandoned his expansion policy and decided to win his people's mind, make his empire prosperous and peaceful.

Ashoka soon adopted Buddhism and distributed the message of kindness, love and peace. Ashoka built thousands of educational institutions, hospitals, roads. He improved water transit and cultivation system as well as trade and agriculture. He made rules to enrich the values ​​of the society. He carved inscriptions describing his legacy and culture on pills and rocks which are seen until today.

After successfully ruling 40 years, at the age of 72 Ashoka took his last breath. When Ashoka died, no one could take his place with none to lead it. His great empire collapsed under its own weight.

The Judgment of Gideon

Today, Gideon is most associated with an international Christian association that provides free Bibles and Biblical teaching on every continent. Their symbol is an urn or pitcher with two handles, claimed to be filled with lamp oil, feeding a flame. The symbol is a reminder of an implementation used by Gideon to execute his successful…

Today, Gideon is most associated with an international Christian association that provides free Bibles and Biblical teaching on every continent. Their symbol is an urn or pitcher with two handles, claimed to be filled with lamp oil, feeding a flame. The symbol is a reminder of an implementation used by Gideon to execute his successful plan to deceive his enemy.

Gideon was an Old Testament Biblical figure who was a Judge, or Chief (in times of threat) of a tribe of the Jewish people, during a time when Jews were loosely connected (no central government). Thus, one can find Gideon's story in the book of the Bible called Judges. His principle fame was to defeat an enemy army while he commanded only three hundred men. Does that sound familiar? A similar tale comes from Greek Mythology. Three Hundred Spartans (a Greek tribe) held off tens of thousands of Persian soldiers at the Hot Gate.

The difference between the two stories is that God instructed Gideon to conduct his will, whereas the Spartans set an example for the other Greek tribes, buying them time to unify against the massive attack of a spectacular foe. I find the story of Gideon's battle interesting because he devised and successfully used a military art called Deception.

Today, Gideon is remembered as a man who was faithful to God, a humble man who denied the title and trappings of king offered to him by the grateful Jewish people, and perhaps most important, as a man with a low tolerance for bullXXXX (my definition). He encountered situations of charismatic false leaders within the Jewish tribes who were able to turn large numbers of tribal members away from God and toward idolatry. During his time, Gideon was the one to raise a force to support God by smiting the unfaithful. It is this decisive action of Gideon, a judge, that has condemned in our use of the word judge today as one who decides right from wrong and delivers punishment to the guilty.

My Celebrity Encounters: Robert F Kennedy

In the first weeks of summer vacation, my neighborhood friends and I would plan a lot of bicycle excursion around the town we lived in. We would try to see as much of southern California as we could before the sweltering days of July and August were up us. On one of our early trips…

In the first weeks of summer vacation, my neighborhood friends and I would plan a lot of bicycle excursion around the town we lived in. We would try to see as much of southern California as we could before the sweltering days of July and August were up us. On one of our early trips we decided to head west on Valley Blvd., which was one of the main roads through town (and the road that I lived on). We made our way to the huge Valley Shopping Center, which was home to a large supermarket, several smaller department stores, a drug store, two shoe stores and my all time favorite toy store.

We would search for empty glass pop bottles along the way, which we would return to the store for the deposit money. Back then, if I remember correctly, the deposit was five cents per bottle. We would also check pay phones for any unclaimed return change. This activity would usually net our group two or three dollars in cold, hard cash. As we rode along the store fronts, we noticed a lot of campaign posters for several political candidates. Someone in the group (I'm not claiming or denying responsibility) suggested we spend some of our new-found fortune on some marking pens.

We returned to the drug store, which just happened to be at the beginning of the poster “exhibit”. We purchased pens and some double scoop ice cream cones, and went outside to discuss some design ideas. We were working on our third poster (I was just finishing up an amazing handlebar moustache), when a black car folded up, and three men got out. The taller of the group came up to us and said “I do not think what you are doing is very nice.

As he was talking, I realized he was one of the guys from the posters. I said “Hey! You're one of the guys from the posters!”. He said “my name is Robert, who are you?” We told him our names, and he said if we put up new posters, he would not get the police involved. At the mention of the word “police”, we were all eager to do whatever he asked. We dropped down the altered posters and he gave us new ones to put up in their place. After we were done, he handed us each a handful of buttons, bumper stickers and other campaign material. As he got into the car he laughingly said “stay out of trouble and do not forget to vote!”

A few days later, while watching the news on television, I saw that Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed at the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, not too far from my home. I immediately recognized a photo of Mr. Kennedy as the man we had talked to. He was very nice to us, and it made me very sad to know he was gone.

Okies: Pride and Perseverance

Did you know not all Okies are from Oklahoma? And not all Okies migrated west during the Great Depression. I'm an Okie. An Oklahoman, and proud of it. I grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Reckless farming practices in the early decades of the 20th century had stripped the region of the grasslands which once…

Did you know not all Okies are from Oklahoma? And not all Okies migrated west during the Great Depression.

I'm an Okie. An Oklahoman, and proud of it. I grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Reckless farming practices in the early decades of the 20th century had stripped the region of the grasslands which once protected the soil. Without moisture or cover crops, never-ending windstorms whipped across the prairie to create the ecological disaster of the Dust Bowl.

John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath, made the term a nationwide epithet. Set in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the story focuses on a family migrating from Oklahoma to California to escape the hardships of the larger Drought that contained the Great Plains during the Depression. A celebrated Hollywood film version, starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford, was made in 1940. Both the novel and the film have become iconic murals of the challenges endured by Oklahomans during the Great Depression.

Out of that time of debt, desperation, and despair, hundreds of thousands of impoverished people of not only the plains states but also the eastern seaboard migrated west as the Great Depression deepened. And many of them came to be tagged as Okies. Literally.

It happened this way … Newly elected Governor “Alfalfa Bill” Murray mandated the creation of the Oklahoma Tax Commission in 1931, with a vehicle registration division. Other states had not enforced their vehicle registration laws, so thousands of travelers arrived at the OK state line tagless.

OK cops began stopping any vehicle without a tag, regardless of residency. For the privilege of crossing Oklahoma en route to the Golden West, pay a fee-get your tag. No tag, no go. And that, my beloved, is how many Tarheels, Tennesseees, Mudcats, Georgians, and the like, came to be labeled alike.

When I made my exodus to Oregon in 1968, I was surprised that some of the locals reported to ramshackle settlements as Okie towns, “Okieville,” for example. Really, they did not know who they were talking about.

Most of those who moved west were indeed poor whites, hoping to find a better life. Some saw the migrants as quitters; but many native Oklahomaans have relatives who made the trip down Route 66, and most are proud of their kin who made good out west. My half-brother was a toolpusher on a drilling rig off the Santa Barbara coast.

Okies became known by their Oklahoma twang, their pride in being different, and their perseverance and grit in the face of obstacles that would stop others. That toughness formed the backbone of what later became known as The Greatest Generation.

Experience the Essence of a Culture

Listen to the arousing heart-pounding beat of the drums, now queue the reverberation of haunting falsetto singers that echo along the shores of the grand river. It's Pow-Wow time on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario. Bordering the towns of Caledonia, Hagersville, and Brant county, the rich cultural heritage tradition of these First Nations people,…

Listen to the arousing heart-pounding beat of the drums, now queue the reverberation of haunting falsetto singers that echo along the shores of the grand river. It's Pow-Wow time on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario. Bordering the towns of Caledonia, Hagersville, and Brant county, the rich cultural heritage tradition of these First Nations people, known as Haudenosaunee, host an annual extra event featuring over 400 live dancers, singers, scores of traditional crafters, and over 30 unique food vendors.

Although not my home town, I had a distinct yet unique opportunity to live within and amongst a very deeply engrained culture rich with tradition and folklore. My mentor was my father-in-law, George Beaver – a well respected educator on the Six Nations reserve and author of First Nations books and native pageant plays, he once told me that you can not see the wind but you can see and hear what it does; like the drumbeat of a heart, rhythm is all around us. The eyes and ears of your heart catch the waves of sound that surround us to comfort or call us into action; dance. From the snows of the Arctic, down across the vast shifting landscape of the East to the Northwest forests, First Nations musical traditions express lessons in life and represent not one entity but various sound-scapes from Region to Region and Nation to Nation.

Ageless Tradition

The Champion of Champions Pow Wow is a great flowering of cultures which encompasses ageless traditions starting with a series of large concentric circles to specifically define areas of respect and etiquette. The core is a center circle, called the Dance Arbour, where the dancers perform their specialized dances for the sentences. Outside the main circle is another large circle where the master of Ceremonies, drum groups, and sitting area for the dancers and their families. Spectators are welcome to sit in the third circle which encompasses the Dance Arbor.

Grand Entry

Considered a sacred event, each Grand Entry is impressive. Rich in tradition, every Pow-wow starts with a Grand Entry song from the host drum with the Eagle Staff leading the way followed by both the Canadian and American flags, important guests, elders, officials, and other dignitaries. Dancers, wearing distinctive ceremonial dress known as 'regalia', enter in specific order where the youngger dancers always follow their elders. First to enter are the men's traditional dancers; Known for their authentic design distinguished by a single or no bustle, and high kicking step movements. Next enter the Men's Fancy Dancers who have vivid regalia renamed for their two bustles and move with dramatic leaps and spinning which are always the largest crowd pleas. Next are the Grass Dancers who have long flowing fringes and designs reminiscent of grass blowing in the wind. Their method of dance movements are more elaborate than traditional dances but less theatrical than the fancy dancers. Now the women enter the sacred circle starting with the Traditional dancers. Beautiful regalia with authentic design signified with eagle feathers in their hair and an eagle fan in their right hand. They are majestic and poised with very precise, highly controlled movements. Next are the Women Fancy dancers with brilliant colors, long fringed shawls who perform rapid swirling spins and elaborate dance steps. Finally, the Jingle Dress Dancers, who move with light footwork and wear dresses with hundreds of small tin cones that make noise as they dance. Originally from the Ojibwa nation, these dancers are considered healers as they heal the people of all nations. All the dancers move to the tempo of the drum with the smallest competitors following behind in this sacred event and after everyone is in the Arbour, there is a flag song and then an ending with a victory song. The Opening prayer is offered by a local in their language before special honors, presentations to Elders and other activities wrap up before the competition begins.

Singers & Their Drums

Since ancient times the First Nations people have held social and practiced shamanistic rituals marked by the inspiring beat of a drum as the voice for the soul while the dancer is the spirit who moves as a single entity articulating valuable morals and core beliefs but the bond lies within the singers. The unison of singers through what's known as Earth song vocables – no word chants, symbolizing strength and clarity as one voice keep the tempo for the dancers. The combined voices heard at a Pow-wow have been described as singing that resembles the haunting cries of a coyote. Each group of singers have their own flair and their own unique technique. As modern life affected the Nations, the drum, central in symbol, epitomize a tempo to honor the beat of tradition with respect for the land and spirit. It is still apart of community communities, and tourist events today. No two drums are the same. Each overlap the culture in which it was made, has its own distinct structure in which both its spirit and life are substantially influenced by the hands of its maker.

Outside Looking In

Thousands of guests experience this cultural dance exhibition every year and the atmosphere is truly alive with great energy. At various points during the competitions, spectators are invited to come join dancers in the arena for a song or two called and intertrial dance. Open to all ages and abilities. A great chance to stretch your legs after being mesmerized by the range and grandeur of each dance competition. Artisans are accessible daily with a variety of unique offering Native crafts like stone and bone carvings, dream catchers, medicine wheels, traditional clothing, original paintings, unique jewelery, and more. Embraining the culture fully will also mean experiencing a few gastronomic anomalies like buffalo or moose burgers and Indian Taco from one of the many food vendors. As with all things in life, everything has an end. The end of the competition at a Pow Wow means rewards are handed out and closing ceremonies begin with the retiring of the flags as competitors dance out the flag in a degree approach.

Pow Wow Etiquette

If you plan to attend a Pow Wow, leave your pets at home; service animals exempt. Bring your camera but keep in mind this is a sacred event for Natives and you should not video tape or photograph during the Grand Entry, closing ceremonies or anyone in their regalia unless you get explicit permission. Bring extra cash for souvenirs and meals, have water with you at all times to avoid dehydration in the hot weather, and most importantly, no alcohol is allowed.

‘The Bearded Lady’ and Her Amazing Escape From the Tower of London in 1716

Guy Fawkes is not the only person to try to overthrow the ruler of his day. He is also not the only one to fail and be sentenced to death. Another person set to suffer this fate is the Jacobean, William Maxwell, better known as Lord Nithsdale. His crime is to have supported and played…

Guy Fawkes is not the only person to try to overthrow the ruler of his day. He is also not the only one to fail and be sentenced to death. Another person set to suffer this fate is the Jacobean, William Maxwell, better known as Lord Nithsdale. His crime is to have supported and played a significant role in the Catholic led, Jacobite rebellion of 1715 that supports the Old Pretender's attempt to seize the throne back from its Protestant King for himself. The Jacobite forces initially have some successes but at the Battle of Preston in Lancashire they are soundly beaten. In the consequent aftermath Lord Nithsdale is arrested on the 14th November of 1716 and moved to the Tower of London.

His future prospects look bleak. Rather forlornly he pleads guilty at his trial and begs the King for a pardon on the basis that he felt pressurized into joining the rebellion against his will. The King is in no mood for granting mercy and so in January 1717 he sentences him to death for high treason on 24 February. Such is the King's displeasure that Lord Nithsdale is ordered to suffer the indignity and horror of being hung, drawn and quartered.

In most instances this would be the end of the story as the prisoner reluctantly accepts that there is little they can do to change their fate. However what makes this story different is the dogged resolve of his wife, Winifred, the Countess of Nithsdale. She simply can not accept life without her husband and is prepared to go to any length to help him.

As soon as she hears the news about her husband she races from York to London. When her carriage gets stuck in snow she simply switches to horseback for the rest of the journey. Finally she arrives in London and immediately visits various Lords to encourage them to petition the King. It is all for waste because as the King disdainfully ignores the petition for Nithsdale and refuses to see her.

Undeterred Winifred and her servant Lady Nairne ride to St. Louis James Palace. She is absolutely determined to meet the King and plead with him to save her husband. When she finally does meet him she throws herself at the feet of King George I, forgiving the skirt of his coat and begs for her husband's life. It is at this point that his blue riband servants belatedly intervene. One grabs her by the waist while the other releases her grip on his coast. The King is not best pleased by this act. As far as he is concerned Lord Nithsdale has directly challenged his life and regal status so he feels no sympathy for him.

The situation is now dire and yet the indefatigable Winifred refuses to give up. In desperation she comes up with an all together more dangerous plan. On the evening of 23 February Lady Nithsdale visits her husband before his intended execution alongside her faithful friend, Mrs Morgan, her landlady, Mrs Mills and her maid Cecila Evans.

This is no ordinary visit for Winifred has concocted an elaborate plan to make use of visitor regulations to help her husband. The rules for visiting Lord Nithsdale's cell are that only two visitors at a time are allowed to enter it. However Winifred thinks up a way around this making herself and her friends go back and forth into and out of the cell on the pretext that each will share some last intimate moments alone with the broken man. The aim is to confuse the guards as to who is inside and outside. She also takes the further precaution of plying the guards with money, drink and urgent restraint on their part by stipulating that the petition has been passed in the Lord's favor in the Houses of Parliament.

Once inside the jail Winifred pulls out a spare cloak and puts some make up (powder and rouge) on her husband so as to disguise him as one of the visitors. Lord Nithsdale quickly puts on a dress identical to that worn by Mrs. Mills. Lady Nithsdale then calls out to her friend, loud enough for the guards to hear, to bring her maid, who she requires to carry a last minute plea for mercy to the King. Mrs. Mills is then brought into the cell, suitably distraught and with her face buried in her handkerchief. Lord Nithsdale then dons her hood (same color of Mrs Mills hair) and is led out by his wife, also clutching the handkerchief to his eyes. This is a cruel component of the disguise as otherwise the guards will notice that one of the women has a long beard!

Winifred then returns to the cell and pretends to be in a deeply emotional and intimate conversation with her husband. After a suitable period of time has elapsed for her husband to leave she leaves the cell and buys some time for herself by telling the guards that her husband is praying and should not be disturbed. This is a clever ruse as it allows the escape to go unnoticed for a longer period of time than otherwise.

Finally just to complete the clever escape and appear suitably distraught when they leave they give a tearful goodbye to the empty cell walls and are escaped sobbing from the Tower. Later the couple reunite in a small cottage just opposite the guardhouse. Here they enjoy a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread before Lord Nithsdale heads on to the Venetian embassy. He lays in wait here for a few days and then (dressed in Venetian living) as a servant of the Venetian Ambassador he travels to Dover and from there to France.

When the king hears of his escape next morning, he observes that “it was the best thing a man in his condition could have done”. He is not so objective though in his comments about Lady Nithsdale. He complains that she has “given him more trouble and anxiety than any woman in Europe”.

Lady Nithsdale though is not finished with all her business. She is worried that her son's legacy will be exstinguished since she believes that as a punishment the Lord's land might be disgraced. So at still greater risk to herself she decides to travel on horseback to Traquir in Scotland where the estate papers are kept before returning to London. As justification she writes “as I had once exposed my life for the safety of the father, I could not do less than hazard it once more for the fortune of the son”. From London she then travels to Rome to meet up with her husband once again. Here she stays for another thirty three years until the end of her life.

Nietzsche’s Descent

The story often told is: Nietzsche was causing a ruckus in the streets of Turin, Italy, as he made his way to the Piazza Carlo Alberto. Upon arriving, he found a man whipping a horse. Nietzsche ran to the horse and threw his arms around it, to protect the animal. At that moment, he collapsed…

The story often told is: Nietzsche was causing a ruckus in the streets of Turin, Italy, as he made his way to the Piazza Carlo Alberto. Upon arriving, he found a man whipping a horse. Nietzsche ran to the horse and threw his arms around it, to protect the animal. At that moment, he collapsed under the weight of his own philosophical beliefs.

It's a great story about a man that was so distorted by his own philosophy that it ever crushed him. The only problem is this: it's most likely not true. There is no doubt that Nietzsche collapsed on January 3rd, 1889. His friend, Overbeck, was immediately notified of Nietzsche's collapse and wrote about the incident. In the journal, Overbeck makes no mention of the horse, only that Nietzsche was in the throes of some kind of madness.

The story about the horse whipping came from a tabloid style newspaper called the Nuova Antologia. The article was written one month after Nietzsche's death, on September 16, 1900 – eleven years after the event.

Adding further suspicion to this story is the statue in the piazza itself. In this park, there is a large equestrian statue with Carlo Alberto on top, sword drawn high, as if he might smack the horse with it. The story in Nuova Antologia looks to be based on what is in the piazza, not on any relevant testimony.

There is no doubt that Nietzsche's actions were becoming erratic. He showed signs of mental illness through most of his life. Some believe that he had syphilis, though the duration of his madness indicates otherwise. There is evidence that he had a tumor in his brain, which is now thought to be the cause of his death (previously, it was assumed he had a stroke). One thing is for certain: after his collapse in Turin, he was very mentally ill.

There are several letters written by Nietzsche shortly after January 3rd that contain bizarre ramblings. He usually signed these letters as Dionysus and sometimes as 'the crucified one'. His mind drifted between states of psychosis and dementia to catatonia. During this time, Nietzsche was juggled from one psychiatrist clinic to another until his sister, Elisabeth, care for him.

Elisabeth wanted to understand her brother's work. She hired Rudolf Steiner as a tutor but Steiner gave up this endeavor after a few months. He declared that it was impossible for her to learn anything about philosophy. This did not discourage Elisabeth. She continued to compile and re-write his unpublished notes for The Will to Power. She published the work after Nietzsche's death, which included her revisions. Because of her meddling, the work became popular in Nazi circles. Nietzsche himself promoted radical individualism through his life. The idea of ​​his work becoming associated with fascism in any way would have been enough to drive him to madness.

When I look back at Nietzsche's life, I am saddened by how truly horrible it was. Although a topic for another article, from an early age onward, he suffered. There is no doubt that his circumstances led him towards nihilism. His life, and particularly his end, was an exposure of his philosophy.

The Damned Human Race – A Critical Analysis

'The Damned Human Race' by Mark Twain is a satire on the man mind that reflects how it has ended up into a state worse than that of the animals. The writer aims to highlight the darker side of the coin of morality which according to him, like any other value, carries its own vices.…

'The Damned Human Race' by Mark Twain is a satire on the man mind that reflects how it has ended up into a state worse than that of the animals. The writer aims to highlight the darker side of the coin of morality which according to him, like any other value, carries its own vices. He makes use of argumentative, cynical and indignant tones through his essay and shows an admirable coherence in it. The language is kept moderately easy with fairly lengthy sentences and very few jargons. His audience is the entire human race which is expected to reconsider its actions and reflect over them. The essay has successfully attracted its readers towards the purpose and is very thought provoking.

The writer tells that how his studies of behaviors of animals and humans have made him conclude that humans have descended from the higher animals. The use of irony during the comparison, in the introductory paragraph, draws the readers quite effectively. The writer then clearly describes how his conclusions are not based on mere assumptions or guesses, but indeed are the results of the scientific method. He then specifics the human race to one distinct group of specie and moves on with his experiments.

The writer then argues how an earl killed seventy buffaloes just for his pleasure, in contrast to which anacondas did not attack calves in excess to their requirements. He then uses deductive reasoning to determine that not anaconda but man himself has descended from these animals which is an irony in its nature and is directly in contradiction to Darwinian Theory. The reader may find himself opposed to the writer's status initially, but the writer tries his best to leave no gaps for his reader to not be persuaded in later paragraphs.

He connotes the conduct of this earl to the common behavior of human race who 'lust for more' has no end to it. The writer's efficient use of descriptive tools has added beauty to the essay and has made it more captivating. He states that his experiments on squirrels and bees have given quite astonishing results and have proven that animals do not accumulate extra food even when persuaded to do so. It is only man that is found stockpiling millions of money not even needed.

Further he keeps that it is only man that keeps hatred alive in his heart and keeps coldness within. It is only he who can impose himself on other fellow members and enchain them for his own benefits. Vulgarity and insult are man's ownventions too. The writer gives examples from history all over the world to prove the wrong use of power by man himself. The way in which he cites all the incidents is very persuasive and the rhetoric is well maintained.

Sadly, man is also the only animal that attacks in groups and wars war on its fellow human beings. The writer gives examples of Hessians and Napoleon to support this argument and shows how man is involved in robbery and other crimes which animals can not commit. Man is also the only religious animal. The writer again uses satire and symbolism to explain the status of man in the world. He attributes him of killing his brothers in the name of religion with an unbelievable ease and refer to the cases of Caesars, French revolution and Mary's day in England.

The writer shows cynicism while calling man foolish for not being able to learn tolerance which animals would do when tamed. He compares the two groups as control groups of a scientific experiment and logically proves how his results show that men can not learn acceptance like animals. The symbolic use of people of different regions in the exemplar evokes an emotional response in the reader and creates a contemporary relevance for them.

Twain then concludes that the actual reason behind this behavior of humans is its morality. Had man never distinguished evil from good, he would have never inclined towards it. The writer makes use of logos appeal in the essay and his own understanding of the idea is unquestionable despite the fact that the topic still remains debatable. He is seen maintaining a liberal and unbiased point of view throughout the essay with a tone that also turns bitterly true at various points. My personal views are in accord with that of the writer's and It would not be wrong to say that the writer has not only fairly judged the human behaviors but has also done justice to them in his explanation.