‘Utterly horrifying’: ex-Facebook insider says covert data harvesting was routine

It has been painful watching, because I know they could have prevented it

From The Guardian
Hundreds of millions of Facebook users are likely to have had their private information harvested by companies that exploited the same terms as the firm that collected data and passed it on to Cambridge Analytica, according to a new whistleblower.

Sandy Parakilas, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012, told the Guardian he warned senior executives at the company that its lax approach to data protection risked a major breach.

“My concerns were that all of the data that left Facebook servers to developers could not be monitored by Facebook, so we had no idea what developers were doing with the data,” he said.

Parakilas said Facebook had terms of service and settings that “people didn’t read or understand” and the company did not use its enforcement mechanisms, including audits of external developers, to ensure data was not being misused.

Parakilas, whose job was to investigate data breaches by developers similar to the one later suspected of Global Science Research, which harvested tens of millions of Facebook profiles and provided the data to Cambridge Analytica, said the slew of recent disclosures had left him disappointed with his superiors for not heeding his warnings.

“It has been painful watching,” he said, “because I know that they could have prevented it.”

Asked what kind of control Facebook had over the data given to outside developers, he replied: “Zero. Absolutely none. Once the data left Facebook servers there was not any control, and there was no insight into what was going on.”

Parakilas said he “always assumed there was something of a black market” for Facebook data that had been passed to external developers. However, he said that when he told other executives the company should proactively “audit developers directly and see what’s going on with the data” he was discouraged from the approach.

He said one Facebook executive advised him against looking too deeply at how the data was being used, warning him: “Do you really want to see what you’ll find?” Parakilas said he interpreted the comment to mean that “Facebook was in a stronger legal position if it didn’t know about the abuse that was happening”.

He added: “They felt that it was better not to know. I found that utterly shocking and horrifying.”

Parakilas first went public with his concerns about privacy at Facebook four months ago, but his direct experience policing Facebook data given to third parties throws new light on revelations over how such data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the information supplied by Parakilas, but directed the Guardian to a November 2017 blogpost in which the company defended its data sharing practices, which it said had “significantly improved” over the last five years.

“While it’s fair to criticise how we enforced our developer policies more than five years ago, it’s untrue to suggest we didn’t or don’t care about privacy,” that statement said. “The facts tell a different story.”

‘A majority of Facebook users’

Parakilas, 38, who now works as a product manager for Uber, is particularly critical of Facebook’s previous policy of allowing developers to access the personal data of friends of people who used apps on the platform, without the knowledge or express consent of those friends.

That feature, called friends permission, was a boon to outside software developers who, from 2007 onwards, were given permission by Facebook to build quizzes and games – like the widely popular FarmVille – that were hosted on the platform.

The apps proliferated on Facebook in the years leading up to the company’s 2012 initial public offering, an era when most users were still accessing the platform via laptops and computers rather than smartphones.

Facebook took a 30% cut of payments made through apps, but in return enabled their creators to have access to Facebook user data.

Parakilas does not know how many companies sought friends permission data before such access was terminated around mid-2014. However, he said he believes tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands of developers may have done so.

Parakilas estimates that “a majority of Facebook users” could have had their data harvested by app developers without their knowledge. The company now has stricter protocols around the degree of access third parties have to data.

Parakilas said that when he worked at Facebook it failed to take full advantage of its enforcement mechanisms, such as a clause that enables the social media giant to audit external developers who misuse its data.

Legal action against rogue developers or moves to ban them from Facebook were “extremely rare”, he said, adding: “In the time I was there, I didn’t see them conduct a single audit of a developer’s systems.”

Facebook announced on Monday that it had hired a digital forensics firm to conduct an audit of Cambridge Analytica. The decision comes more than two years after Facebook was made aware of the reported data breach.

During the time he was at Facebook, Parakilas said the company was keen to encourage more developers to build apps for its platform and “one of the main ways to get developers interested in building apps was through offering them access to this data”. Shortly after arriving at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters he was told that any decision to ban an app required the personal approval of the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, although the policy was later relaxed to make it easier to deal with rogue developers.

While the previous policy of giving developers access to Facebook users’ friends’ data was sanctioned in the small print in Facebook’s terms and conditions, and users could block such data sharing by changing their settings, Parakilas said he believed the policy was problematic.

“It was well understood in the company that that presented a risk,” he said. “Facebook was giving data of people who had not authorised the app themselves, and was relying on terms of service and settings that people didn’t read or understand.”

It was this feature that was exploited by Global Science Research, and the data provided to Cambridge Analytica in 2014. GSR was run by the Cambridge University psychologist Aleksandr Kogan, who built an app that was a personality test for Facebook users.

The test automatically downloaded the data of friends of people who took the quiz, ostensibly for academic purposes. Cambridge Analytica has denied knowing the data was obtained improperly, and Kogan maintains he did nothing illegal and had a “close working relationship” with Facebook.

While Kogan’s app only attracted around 270,000 users (most of whom were paid to take the quiz), the company was then able to exploit the friends permission feature to quickly amass data pertaining to more than 50 million Facebook users.

“Kogan’s app was one of the very last to have access to friend permissions,” Parakilas said, adding that many other similar apps had been harvesting similar quantities of data for years for commercial purposes. Academic research from 2010, based on an analysis of 1,800 Facebooks apps, concluded that around 11% of third-party developers requested data belonging to friends of users.

If those figures were extrapolated, tens of thousands of apps, if not more, were likely to have systematically culled “private and personally identifiable” data belonging to hundreds of millions of users, Parakilas said.

The ease with which it was possible for anyone with relatively basic coding skills to create apps and start trawling for data was a particular concern, he added.

Parakilas said he was unsure why Facebook stopped allowing developers to access friends data around mid-2014, roughly two years after he left the company. However, he said he believed one reason may have been that Facebook executives were becoming aware that some of the largest apps were acquiring enormous troves of valuable data.

He recalled conversations with executives who were nervous about the commercial value of data being passed to other companies.

“They were worried that the large app developers were building their own social graphs, meaning they could see all the connections between these people,” he said. “They were worried that they were going to build their own social networks.”

‘They treated it like a PR exercise’

Parakilas said he lobbied internally at Facebook for “a more rigorous approach” to enforcing data protection, but was offered little support. His warnings included a PowerPoint presentation he said he delivered to senior executives in mid-2012 “that included a map of the vulnerabilities for user data on Facebook’s platform”.

“I included the protective measures that we had tried to put in place, where we were exposed, and the kinds of bad actors who might do malicious things with the data,” he said. “On the list of bad actors I included foreign state actors and data brokers.”

Frustrated at the lack of action, Parakilas left Facebook in late 2012. “I didn’t feel that the company treated my concerns seriously. I didn’t speak out publicly for years out of self-interest, to be frank.”

That changed, Parakilas said, when he heard the congressional testimony given by Facebook lawyers to Senate and House investigators in late 2017 about Russia’s attempt to sway the presidential election. “They treated it like a PR exercise,” he said. “They seemed to be entirely focused on limiting their liability and exposure rather than helping the country address a national security issue.”

It was at that point that Parakilas decided to go public with his concerns, writing an opinion article in the New York Times that said Facebook could not be trusted to regulate itself. Since then, Parakilas has become an adviser to the Center for Humane Technology, which is run by Tristan Harris, a former Google employee turned whistleblower on the industry.

Contact the author: paul.lewis@theguardian.com

Qualities Employers Seek in Employees

 When you are looking for a job or thinking of getting a promotion, it would help if you could see yourself from the employer point of view. All employers look for certain qualities or personal attributes in addition to the skills that you are required to possess for that particular job. These skill sets and attributes can be grouped into three:

  1. Personal skill sets and attributes
  2. Professional skill sets and attributes
  3. Social skill sets and attributes

Personal skill sets and attributes

This is how you take care of yourself, as a person, as a social being and as an employee. Do you take care of your physical fitness? How you achieve a work/life balance is crucial for keeping you in good mental shape. Do you take care of your professional skill sets and social contacts? Do you relax and engage in recreation regularly so that you can give your best?

Professional skill sets and attributes

This is about your role as the employee and how you take care of that aspect. If other people can see you as being professional, it is easier for them to visualize your blending in with other professionals and systems.

Social skill sets and attributes

This is about how you adjust to other people, their ways of interacting, communicating, working together and being accepted by others.

The following skill sets and attributes are vital for getting a new job or a promotion to a new job.

  • Communication skills – You can be very brilliant and have tons of skills, but if you cannot communicate well, your chances of getting employed or promoted decrease significantly. Though this is a part of interpersonal skills, communicating about your job, about yourself and managing results and expectations are specialized areas of interpersonal skills. Countless surveys have shown this. Employers responding to the US National Association of Colleges and Employers or NACE’s Job Outlook 2007 survey specified communication skills as the job seeker’s most important skills and qualities, rated 4,7 on a 1 to 5 scale.
  • Motivation – This quality is absolutely vital. Motivation can be recognized in small details or from your attitude. Your motivation shows if you visited the company’s website and did your homework before coming to the job interview or, if you have found out what is required of you and acquired some skills through training to get the promotion you want. Passion for the job/work is a very strong factor in your favour. However, it should be apparent in your deeds and attitude and not in repeating like a parrot “I am passionate about this job”!
  • Updating your Skills and Experience – An employee, who constantly evaluates her/his skills set and updates or upgrades them through training or other methods is a gem of an employee. The employer sees immediately the benefit of acquiring an achiever, if there are no other negative factors like arrogance, rudeness, meanness that erode this confidence.
  • Resourcefulness – How do you cope when things go wrong? This is an important quality for many jobs though problem solving on your own may not be part of the job picture.
  • Work Ethics – Honesty and integrity are very valued qualities. Employers look for dependability. If the employer can picture your being consistently able to deliver as agreed, you have got the job. Sometimes personal values may conflict with company values. How you resolve this conflict is an important factor deciding your employability or promotion.
  • Diligence and Professionalism – No employer wants a lazy employee. So you need to prove that you are diligent. Professionalism varies across professions, but underlying it all is a desire to give your best in a recognizably competent fashion. You can be very lazy at times, recharging your batteries but overall you should come out as a diligent person. Having balanced and reasonable expectations about your employer is also a part of professionalism.
  • Compatibility with the Job

      – In addition to the matching of skill sets and experience, you also need to be able to work with other people and other systems. Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, experience etc are illegal but your employability suffers greatly if the employer can detect a mismatch between your personal qualities and job skills and those required on the job. Some of these could be personality issues like communication style, management style, professional qualifications or simply lack of experience in the industry.

  • Know-how about the industry and the job – This is what you are going to be hired for. Not only should you have evidence of your ability to do your job, but also that you see how your job fits the bigger picture in the organization or industry. Qualifications whether they are certificates, diplomas, degrees, or job experience all count as know-how and should be presented.
  • Personality and Cultural Compatibility – Your potential employer or boss would definitely evaluate your personality on the job. How do you manage with other types of personalities? How would the company’s customers or clients react to you? Evidence of your coping skills with different personalities would affect the decision of your potential employer or superior.
  • Management Style and Interpersonal Skills – How you manage other people, how you motivate others, convince others, and align people’s interests with those of the organization so that individuals can devote themselves and make even sacrifices for the greater good – this is the core of your management and interpersonal skills. It is beneficial for you to evaluate yourself if you fit in with the organization’s management systems.
  • Blame Handling – Employers take special note of how you handle blame. Be careful not to speak ill of your previous boss or employer. The interviewer would then think “She will speak of me like this some day”!
  • Interpersonal Skills – How you manage with other people from outside your immediate circle at work and make contacts, do you have hobbies, how you can convince others to help and to trust you – these are socialising skills that help you adapt to your social environment. If you cannot adapt successfully to your social environment, chances are that high that you will not succeed professionally.
  • Faith – The last but not the least quality is faith, faith in yourself, and faith in your values. Optimism is very contagious and if you are optimistic (in a balanced manner though), you stand a much better chance of being employed or getting the promotion.

Can Altruism Save Humans From Becoming Extinct?

In every human society, altruism, a selfless concern for the welfare of others, is considered a noble virtue. Being altruistic and helping others has great implications for the human race. As in the past, altruism will affect the very survival of the human race. As a species, can we choose to go the selfish Neanderthal way or the more altruistic Cro-Magnon way?
In every human society, altruism, a selfless concern for the welfare of others is considered a noble virtue. There are people who go out of their ways, disregarding any expectation of reward and even at great risks to themselves to help others in need. Some of these people are noticed and considered heroes, while many of these unsung heroes are never noticed. Sacrificing oneself for the greater good of many is considered the ultimate act of self-negation and celebrated as the true mark of a hero.

Love, especially romantic love is typically seen to be the privilege of the higher primates, humans. When animals are fiercely attached to another one of their species, doting, grooming, and engaged in passionate lovemaking, they are said to be in heat, instinctually reacting to a rush of hormones.

What would animals reckon if we told them that only the higher primates of the family Hominidae could practice altruism? Probably they would have a good giggle. Altruism is not uncommon in the animal world. Even bacteria exhibit altruism.

Salmonella bacteria sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the other members of their species. Entering the digestive tract of humans, they discover a hostile world as other bacteria have dug themselves into strategic positions. Then the salmonella “select” one in six microbes during cell division as a reconnaissance party. By digging into the human intestinal tissues, they cause the human defence system to flood the tract with repellents. They die as a result of this, but this clears away all the other bacteria, when massive colonization by other salmonella can begin.

Does love require self-sacrifice?


Ask any mother and she will tell how motherly love involves self-sacrifice. Research by Felix Warneken and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology show that Chimpanzees often help other species, also humans without any expectation of reward. Dogs often adopt orphaned human babies, squirrels, cats, and even tiger cubs. Dolphins habitually support sick or injured animals by swimming under them and pushing them to the surface to help them breathe. One extreme example of altruism is the Stegodyphus spider, with a unique system of matriphagy. When the Stegodyphus spider offspring is mature enough, it actually eats the mother.

The great evolutionist Charles Darwin in his Theory of Natural Selection, claimed that each species survives by being selfish and fiercely competitive. But, he also wrote in The Descent of Man (1871) “I have myself seen a dog, who never passed a cat who lay sick in a basket without giving her a few licks with his tongue. “ As a true scientist, he even considered these observations “insuperable, and actually fatal to my whole theory.”

Have you ever considered why Neanderthal Man became extinct, while the physically weaker Cro-Magnon man survived and evolved?

James Shreeve, in The Neanderthal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins. New York: William Morrow & Co, 1995, tries to answer this question. He says that Neanderthal man was a prehistoric egomaniac. The inability to behave in an altruistic and cooperative manner towards other Neanderthals, especially the females and children of their own clans turned into a gigantic disadvantage.

The poignant cave paintings at Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain show a distinct deviance from the “Ugh! I’ll kill you”, approach of the Neanderthal Man. Women are venerated; animals are not seen as food alone, but as mythological being with a celestial connection.

Human culture arose from the Cro-Magnon man’s (and woman’s) ability to share experience, artefacts and values with others. Innovations and synergy developed in the Cro-Magnon man and helped them survive and evolve.

Being altruistic and helping others has great implications for the human race. As in the past, altruism will affect the very survival of the human race. We fare well, if we care.

As a species, can we choose to go the Neanderthal way or the Cro-Magnon way? Yes, but the choice is always individual.

Improve Your Vocabulary in Any Foreign Language

Tested tips for learning to remember new words and phrases in any new language.
You must have wondered how some people learn foreign languages so quickly. It is very nice and useful to learn a new language as it opens many new possibilities. However, many people have difficulties in learning new words, especially in a foreign language.

Remembering these words is even more difficult. Acquired vocabulary is practically useless unless the words learned can be recalled and used. Here are some suggestions for learning new foreign language words and retaining them. These suggestions work for any language.

You have to learn to recall words, phrases and structure as well as ascribe meaning before you can become skilful at reproducing language like other users. To do this you need to provide a label, function, association, similarity, difference and multiple meaning for vocabulary words.

Research in how people learn languages, has repeatedly proved the following to be true:

  • You’ll remember something you’ve discovered on your own!
  • Now, how are you going to make that happen?
  • You can use four basic techniques to increase your vocabulary retention.

Discover Significance of New Words

As you see or hear a new word or phrase, imagine it as a challenge, a mystery waiting to be solved. So before running to the dictionary to check the meaning of the exact phrase in your mother tongue

  • Try to discover its meaning from the context – e.g. Underhand. The words Under and Hand suggest something to you. In this way you can work out the meaning of the whole term. But remember to check.
  • Try to guess its meaning from the structure of the word – it may contain familiar elements – e.g. Take the word transnational. If you find out the meaning of the parts national and trans, theycould give you some idea what the word could mean.
  • Try to discover the origin of the word – knowing how the word came into usage can be very helpful for remembering itA little warning here – as soon as you have a theory as to what some particular word, phrase or expression might mean, check from the dictionary or a teacher to make sure you get the right meaning. Phrasal verbs in English are very treacherous and could lead you off into a totally wrong track, so always double-check them.

Make Associations: Relate New Information to Material Already Learned

When you come across a new word while reading, listening or work activities don’t rush straight for the dictionary. If you look up a word from the dictionary and even understand it correctly the information goes to the short-term memory area in your brain. This area is what the name says, short term. If you try to recall that word after a few days, there is a high probability that you cannot remember it. The aim in learning vocabulary is to connect this new word or phrase to your long-term memory. This is best achieved through tiny hooks called associations.

Take the following example. Many people have problems remembering the difference between “borrow” and “lend”. Make a simple association – if you lend money to someone, it is the “end” of your money, as you’ll never see it again. Thus “lend” leads to “end”. If you have created a strong and unique association special for you, there is a very good chance that you will never forget this new word or phrase.

Make Word Lists

Many people have used this technique successfully to increase vocabulary retention and learn new words and phrases.

Compile lists of new words as follows:

  1. Divide a page into two columns and write the foreign language word on one side with a corresponding word in your mother tongue on the other column.
  2. Start a new sheet for each topic area e.g. One sheet for vocabulary related to sports, another for economy etc.
  3. Use color (highlight pens) in your lists: e.g. All verbs in red, nouns in blue, adjectives in green etc., so that when you think of the word later you will remember its colour and this will help you use it correctly. Don’t make a mile long list, but a fairly short one. Then go to the next activity.

Word List Activity

Cover up one column on your list and work your way down testing yourself, first from the foreign language to the definition or the equivalent in your mother tongue and then reverse the process. You can have fun by working with a friend to test each other.

Take words from your list and write 3 different sentences in the target language using each word to illustrate its meaning. Make them humorous or even outright silly if possible. Then read them aloud to get the feel.

Remember a very important rule:

You’ll remember words better from the context you use them in!

If you have a memory association for that particular word, the better are your chances for remembering it through that memory.

After using these techniques, you will start noticing improvement in your vocabulary retention in a matter of weeks. I learnt one of the most challenging languages, Finnish and a very delightful language, Italian in a few months using the above methods.

Teacher or Trainer: What’s the Difference?

Why teachers are thought to be different from trainers.

Having served as a teacher and trainer for over twenty-five years, I get different answers from different people engaged in the field of education when I ask them to clarify if they are teachers or trainers.

Teachers are usually found in primary schools, whereas trainers are found in all walks of life, especially commercial ones, they say. A tennis coach (trainer) teaches you new skills and trains you for improving your playing skills. A leadership trainer or coach can teach you new methods of leading people and help you become a better leader. An instructor gives you instructions for learning to do something while a mentor is like a guide, leading you to acquire insights as well as acquire skills.

Teachers educate people (children are also people), while trainers help them learn skills for doing certain things, which earn them their livelihood. When students finish school or university for that matter, they may not have learnt skills like welding, bookkeeping or managing other people, which they can trade for money on the job marketplace. People have to go to special institutes classified as VET or vocational education and training to learn professional skills.

The education versus training debate is an ongoing academic debate with staunch supporters on both sides. Training is usually market driven, where industry sets demands for people to have concretely measurable levels of certain skills. Teaching, on the other hand has a broader mandate. One part of teaching, especially at primary schools, is aimed at character formation. Teachers are supposed to transmit knowledge, or help students acquire knowledge, which contribute towards forming their personalities. Trainers are responsible for creating routines to better master a skill.

A wonderful and feisty lady from Scotland, who has taught Business English to adults for two decades, refuses to be identified as an English language trainer. For her ‘trainer’ brings to mind dog trainers. She points out that she is an academic with two Masters degrees from reputable universities and should be treated as such. She says about teaching and training:

I’ve watched many trainers at work. Training seems to be just a matter of repeating the same things as if they come out of a procedure manual, step one do this, step two do that. Training takes place in shorter periods of time and there’s no chance for revising, you just go step by step through it without questioning the rationale. For me, teaching is leading people through something. I want the students to understand why they’re doing something. Because you understand the background, you retain it better. I don’t think training really does that, I think training just shows you what button to click to get what effect. Training is behaviouristic, while teaching is inspirational.

The commonly accepted definition of an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher is someone who is academically trained (meaning that she has studied different methods and theories of teaching) and licensed to teach in formal settings (e.g., state schools). An ESL Trainer is broader may or may not be academically trained and licensed. One important distinction is that the trainer teaches in commercial settings, such as companies, or language institutes, while the teacher teaches in formal institutions of learning likes schools, colleges, or universities.

Ironically, what the teachers describe disparagingly as training practices, are those practices in which they often need to engage themselves. You simply can’t inspire everyone 100% of the time. You also need to utilize skills for facilitating learning in others. The deeper we probe, the fuzzier the dividing line between teaching and training becomes. In a certain way both aim at changes in behavioural responses. Nowadays in many countries, there is no distinction between teacher and trainer, even in the filed of VET, as all teaching staff should have pedagogical qualifications.

Is it so that anyone who wants to help others learn should be both, an excellent teacher and a competent trainer?

Batmobile Replica from 1966 TV Show Batman

A replica of the 1966 Batmobile from TV's Batman starring Adam West.

This identical replica 1966 Batmobile from TV’s hit show “Batman” starring the late, great Adam West, was on display at Grand Home Furnishings in Beckley, West Virginia on October 21.  This video shows the Batmobile being started and slowly driven away to the back of the store where a covered car trailer was waiting to take it home to Roanoke, Virginia.  This replica is so accurate, that George Barris himself, the creator of the original Batmobile in the 1960’s, personally signed this car on the console in silver permanent ink.

Difference Between Democrat vs Republican Sexual Predator

Ever wonder about the differences between Republicans and Democrats, and how they treat their sexual predators?  Consider the following between Democrat Party supporter Harvey Weinstein and Republican politician Donald Trump, and the price they have paid, from their supporters, for being a monster.

 

Vizcaya Quinceanera Dresses

What’s the most popular quinceanera dress line in America? IF you said Vizcaya Quinceanera dresses, you would be correct! Mori Lee Quinceanera dresses are some of the most beautiful in the world, and they are flying off the racks around the U.S.

If you have a Latina daughter who is about to turn 15, please consider getting her a ball gown dress from Mori Lee.  She will be the envy of all her girlfriends.

Fascinating Origin of 15 Chinese Words That Became Part of the English Vocabulary

by Sher D Fly

The history of English language traces back thousands of years ago. The English language has brought in influences of other languages through Britain’s history of world trade, overseas exploration and expansion. One of the many languages that had added the zest to the English vocabulary is Chinese.

Kowtow
This word actually came from a Cantonese words “ko” or knock and “tou” or head. “Kotou” is a Chinese custom of kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground to show great respect or to show obvious deference. During the British trading with the Chinese, somewhere around the 19th century, the word kowtow was usually referred to the act of being submissive, humble and respectful to someone in the local authority.

Chop
Originally, this word was from Cantonese word “kap” which means urgent or fast. The word chop-chop now is usually used (normally in British English) as an expression when you want someone to hurry, move quickly and without delay. In actual fact, the root word chop was also used in the word “chopsticks” to refer to the two thin sticks used as eating utensils in many Far Eastern countries.

Char
This word actually came from a Mandarin word “cha” or tea. Char is an old British word to refer to a cup of tea. The word “tea” in modern English was also questionably of Chinese origin. The Dutch, who was the lead importer of tea leaves through the Dutch East India Company during the early 17th century, used the word “thee” which was derived from the Chinese Amoy dialect “t”e’ or Indo-Malay “teh”.

Chow
This word actually came from a Cantonese word which originally meant stir fry cooking. Perhaps, influenced by the Chinese immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th century, the word “chow” has become an American English slang word to refer to food or eat as in “chowing down the bread”. There are also other spin-off words using the root word “chow” in informal English such as chowtime and chowhound.

Ketchup
The word came from Indo-Malay word “kechap” which was derived from Chinese Amoy “ketsiap”, originally to refer to fish sauce condiments. Resulting from influences from Europe and America, ketchup now refers to tomato sauce.

Sampan
This word was a combination of two Cantonese words, “sam” or three and “baan” or board, which basically refers to a small, flat-bottomed boat, usually propelled by two short oars. The three boards probably refer to the three pieces of planks separating the sections in the boat. This type of boat is usually used in rivers and harbors in the Far East.

Feng shui
This word came from Mandarin words “feng” or wind and “shui” or water. This is actually an ancient Chinese art or method of designing buildings as well as arranging objects in living spaces to ensure positive energy so that it could bring luck, prosperity and happiness to the owner. The art of feng shui became quite popular in the American and European culture since 1990s.

Cumshaw
The word came from Chinese Amoi dialect “kam si” for feeling gratitude. The word is now used in informal English to refer to gratuity or present.

Yin Yang
This words were from Mandarin word “yin” or feminine and dark as well as the word “yang” or masculine and bright. It basically refers to the passive and active, principles in nature that in Chinese thought eternally interact and complement each other to achieve a perfect balance.

Chinese dishes – Chop suey, chow mein, dim sum, won ton, tofu
Chinese food has increasingly become popular in the US and Europe and I am pretty sure most of you are familiar with some of these Chinese dishes.

  • Chop suey for instance, came from Cantonese “shap” or miscellaneous and “sui” or pieces, is actually a popular Chinese dish of shredded meat with vegetables, served with rice.
  • Chow mein which came from Cantonese word is a famous Chinese stir fried dish made with meat, vegetables and noodles
  • “Dim sum” or little hearts are deliciously steamed or fried dumplings served in small portion
  • Won ton which means “cloud swallow” in Cantonese is another type of dumplings which looks like little clouds
  • Tofu came from Mandarin “doufu” for bean curd

Wok
This word came from Cantonese “wohk” or a round bottomed cooking pot with a long extension (for holding), often used for stir frying. This cooking utensil is often used in China and South East Asia. Nevertheless, wok is now a popular cooking utensil used in many parts of the world, especially for cooking stir fried Chinese dishes.

Gung-ho
This word was from a Mandarin word “gonghe” or a cooperative for industrial workers. Somehow, the word was used informally by the American army during the World War II as a motto which basically means “to work together”. It was even adopted as a war film title in 1943. The word now refers to eager or excessively enthusiastic individuals in ironic sense.

Honcho
The word came from Chinese words “han” or squad and “cho” or chief. During the World War II, British army used this word to refer to the leader of the squad. This word now refers to someone who is in charge of something, a manager or a leader.

Kao lin
This word refers to fine white clay used in making ceramics and medicines especially in treating diarrhea. This word came from the name of a mountain in Gaoling, China whereby such clay was first obtained and exported to Europe in 18th century.

Shanghai
This word was originally taken from the name of a place – Shanghai in China. It was said that this word evolved from the practice of American sea captains who tricked and kidnapped drunk sailors for compulsory service aboard their ships usually bound for China. Now, this word is a slang to refer to the act of inducing or compelling someone to do something by force or fraud.

Man-Made Environmental Disasters

Whether directly or indirectly, intentional or unintentional, through negligence or even with due diligence, humans are especially skillful at creating disasters, a truth that is quite evident throughout history. As follows are but some of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history.

Love Canal Toxic Landfill


During the 1940s, Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corporation used Love Canal, a sparsely populated area located in Niagara Falls New York, as a chemical dump site lining it with impermeable concrete. However, residential and school constructions in the 1950s resulted in many breaches of the protective lining, gradually seeping out toxic wastes into the soil polluting the groundwater and the air. Of the 240 buried chemicals that had been identified, eleven were suspected carcinogens, notably benzene, which can cause serious health problems. According to a report, the residents were stricken with a disturbingly high rate of miscarriages, birth defects, nervous disorders and cancers. Love Canal has become a testimony to one of the greatest human blunders and of the constant need for seeking environmentally safe ways of managing toxic waste.

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster


In 1986, one of the reactors of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine exploded due to an experiment gone horribly wrong, reactor design defects and total disregard of safety measures. Considered to be the worst ever nuclear power accident, the explosion spewed out large amounts of radioactive particles that spread over parts of western former Soviet Union, Europe, and eastern North America. It caused major economic losses and raised serious environmental concerns that include the long-term effects of radiation exposure not only on peoples health but also on the regions agriculture, food consumption, aquatic systems, and flora and fauna. Birth deformities and respiratory-related deaths among the very young and the elderly have been estimated to be in the tens of thousands and are believed to be attributable to this particular event.

Bhopal Disaster


A dangerous chemical reaction occurred when water leaked into a storage tank of Union Carbide resulting in an explosion that released around 43 tons of methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic gas, contaminating the air and water of the city of Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in 1984. Primary causes of what can be regarded as one of the worst industrial environmental disasters on record included safety rules leniency and lack of equipment maintenance due to cost cutting measures. Around 20,000 have died due to exposure in the next 20 years since the tragedy; and still more than 100,000 are being poisoned and suffering from debilitating diseases today due to inadequate cleanup.

Prestige Oil Spill

Prestige was the name of a Greek-run, single-hulled oil tanker that did not live up to its name. In 2002, the tankers seaworthiness was so severely compromised by bad weather that the captain sought to dock at nearby harbors. But the Spanish, French and Portuguese government refused to allow its entry into their ports for fear of contamination of their coastlines. The ship eventually split in two and sank off the Galician coast gradually spilling 74,000 tons of heavy fuel oil into the sea. More than half of the 1,000 beaches along Spanish and French Atlantic coast were affected; about 100,000 birds died particularly the Guillemot, Razorbill and Puffin; and coral reefs, many species of sharks and other marine life are still slowly being poisoned. The spill is the largest environmental disaster in the history of Europe.

Baia Mare Cyanide Disaster

Gold cyanidation is a very common metallurgical process that uses cyanide, a highly poisonous substance, for extracting gold from mineral ores. This highly controversial method enables miners to remove the last remnants of gold and silver from discarded mine tailings. In 2000, a rupture from a defective tailings dam of a gold mining operation of the Australian-Romanian joint venture AURUL in Baia Mare, Romania, sent tons of heavy metal wastes and around 120,000 cubic meters of water saturated with cyanide into the Somes, Tisza and Danube rivers resulting in massive devastation of aquatic life, especially in neighboring Hungary and Serbia. Thanks to speedy response of the Romanian authorities, no casualties were reported except for a few children who were hospitalized for eating fishes from affected rivers. Shortly after the accident, cyanide levels were found to be 700 times and 300 times above pollution standards in nearby river water and in Hungary, respectively. Copper and zinc concentrations exceeded the pollution threshold many times as well.

Southern Leyte Mudslide

In February 2006, a deadly rockslide-debris avalanche befell my fellow Filipino compatriots in Southern Leyte province of the Philippines following more than a week long heavy rains and a minor earthquake measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale causing widespread destruction and loss of life. Loose rock and soil debris buried the mountain village of Guinsaugon in the town of Saint Bernard including an entire elementary school of around 250 students in session. Around 200 had been confirmed dead but more than 1,500 are still missing to this day. Deforestation of the area by illegal loggers and extensive mining in the area three decades earlier had taken its toll, and together with the heavy rains and earthquake created the perfect combination for such a disaster to happen. Indeed, this was a very disturbing result of irresponsible exploitation of the earths natural resources.

Agent Orange

Between 1961 and 1971, during the Vietnam Conflict, the United States military under its Herbicidal Warfare Program sprayed more than 10 million gallons of Agent Orange, a potent defoliant and herbicide containing dioxin, over large areas of South Vietnam to destroy forests and crops that provided cover for Viet Cong guerrillas. Dioxin exposure, whether directly or indirectly through ingestion of food grown on affected soil, has been linked to a variety of cancers, blood and nerve disorders. Increased occurrence of birth defects, infant death, mental retardation and childhood cancers in the area have been noted. This herbicide is still causing indescribable sufferings to war veterans and civilians more than 3 decades after the conclusion of Vietnam War.

Landmines

Landmines are devices designed to explode in the presence or contact of any moving object. There are around 100 million of these explosive devices entrenched into the ground during conflicts all over the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa. They are not only murderers and maimers of innocent civilians long after conflicts have ceased; they have also contributed to the destruction of wildlife, resulting in disruption to a regions ecological balance. Due to fear, arable lands are left untilled, depriving people of livelihood. In time, their corrosion and possible leakage of heavy metals and toxic substances will pollute rivers and degrade soil.

Global Warming

Global Warming is one issue that has raised much concern today. There is no longer any question about whos to blame for our current predicament. There is mounting evidence that human carelessness toward nature have resulted in the increase of the Earths average temperature due to steadily rising concentration of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, since the Industrial Revolution took effect in the late eighteenth century. Not only that, global warming has dreadful consequences, which have become more apparent in recent years; they include rapidly melting polar ice caps that cause sea levels to rise; increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (floods, droughts, super typhoons, etc); mass specie extinctions; and widespread epidemics, among others. Although not all these events can be directly traced to global warming, but many scientists are convinced that they will become more frequent, should the worlds temperature continue to increase.

Cameron Blake V-Back Asymmetrical Drape Dress

The fabric of the Cameron Blake 117601 dress is composed of a sinuous stretch net material that will accentuate all the right curves. Alongside the fact, that this dress as has a fit and flare cut, your body will look nothing but statuesque in this this dress. The low sheer neckline is intricately beaded on the hemline with color coordinating beads. This dress has cap sleeves, of which are also developed from the same sheer material. These cap sleeves also highlight elegant beading as well. The back of this superb gown is set in a V pattern that is half sheer. There is ruching upon the zippered back. The sheer panels on the back also are beautifully beaded with sequins.

The Mother-of-the-bride Cameron Blake 117601 dress is asymmetrically draped to the left side of the waist. This draping effect creates a cascading ruffle to fall gracefully down the front. Where the fabric gathers on the waist, delicate ruched folds climb vertically up the dress. The back of this gorgeous outfit gathers in the back. All of these gathered layers create a tiered skirt that appears lighter that a feather. The main feature of this Cameron Blake 117601 is the aesthetically pleasing beaded accent. This accent is so perfect that no one will be able to remove their eye from its magnificence. This accent is formed in the shape of a crescent moon. It is encrusted with sequins, stones and other finery.

This semi-sheer stretch fabric does appear to have a slight hint of shimmer and shine to its tone. That means when you wear it as an evening dress, with just the right light, you will be illuminated as you dance the night away. The back of the Cameron Blake 117601 sweeps down to form brush train. This will sweep behind you like the wind in the breeze. You will be in comfort and style wearing the stretch fabric that Cameron Blake dresses are made out of. You will be amazed at that you are actually wearing bridal material when you are a show- stopper in this long dress. There is even a matching shawl included.

Teaching History Through the Movies

Often the History Channel makes use of movies to teach history. (historychannel.com ) However, the history channel has an expert panel of historians, who help to distinguish between film making, storytelling, creative license, the factual and true or truer history. Or rather, this is best understanding of these experts and professional historians, since the philosophy and discipline of history is like any other philosophy and discipline that has its best understanding and best theories.

There are movies based on almost every historical period. Some of them are based on historical novels or biographies or autobiographies, Some are based on newspaper accounts. Others are original screenplays written by screenplay writers who research the history and write about it. Many of these are fictional versions of history, with much creative license. However, these films can be used to teach history, and to argue the true history.

Even spiritual history is not without debate and reassessment as is found in the controversy regarding The DaVinci Code and like novels and texts and throughout history. These debates have been going on for centuries and probably only appear new to a modern-day audience who thought that these canonical questions had already been settled, among Catholics and Protestants alike. However, biblical and theological historians are continuing their research, and certainly when new documents are discovered and/or rediscovered.

As for historical movies, whether secular or spiritual, we can also discuss, for example, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. This is indeed Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. A movie portrayal of Malcolm X is not necessarily the true Malcolm X. Don Steele (The True Meaning of Malcolm X) has a review of the Spike Lee movie that makes this very clear. It’s available from Lulu Press, http://www.lulu.com/content/86899. No doubt there are other reviews of the movie that make clear the distinction between history and creative license, even though the Spike Lee movie is a tremendous effort and the performance of Denzel Washington is certainly the greatest role of his career and a fine performance. No fictional role can compete with this, and certainly not the role he received an Academy Award for, even though it demonstrates his versatility, as hero and anti-hero, and certainly the anti-heroic is a much a staple of film making, national and international, as the heroic.

We don’t know if the History Channel has ever included Malcolm X among its repertoire (maybe during Black History Month?) and discussed it with historians, but this would be a good movie to discuss, and to discuss the historical veracity, and not just during Black History Month. How much is true history, how much is creative and filmmic license, and how much is just Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, and just Spike Lee’s imagination or lack of imagination. And maybe how much is Denzel Washington’s Malcolm X, although, again, he gives a very powerful performance, and many agree that he’s a leading actor of this generation. Certainly Spike Lee is a notable and talented filmmaker, but as with all filmmaker he has to decide if a project is truly for him–as with Oprah Winfrey’s efforts with the Great Books of African American fictional tradition in her film productions of the works of Toni Morrison or Zora Neale Hurston, both literary icons. It’s acceptable for filmmakers to make movies. Nevertheless, it’s also acceptable for movies to be remade. Perhaps Oprah’s versions, although controversial now, might very well become classics, as is true not only in film history but literary history.

The great Zora Neale Hurston, for example, had to be rediscovered. Although Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered her “canonical” work, many of her other works, such as Moses Man of the Mountain are being re-evaluated also. If Their Eyes Were Watch God is the great feminine (feminist?) text–and has certainly been used by feminists of every variety to promote an agenda; Moses Man of the Mountain might be at some point regarded as the great masculine (masculinist) text, and her truer and more balanced appreciation and knowledge of African American culture and civilization recognized. In her anthropological stories, for example, she collected not only the stories of women of almost every variety and type, but the stories of men of almost every variety and type and throughout the African Diaspora. Her true stature as a novelist, short story writers, playwright, folklorist, anthropologist (student of Franz Boas at Barnard College, Barnard graduate 1928), storyteller and “cultural icon” is probably not just truly known, and many of her works were not even published, as she complained in a famous essay, “What White Publishers Won’t Print.”

There are many Moses movies, as we know; it would be interesting to have a film of this rendition of the Moses story. And if filmmakers were to decide to make this into a comedy it had better be a “Cosmic Comedy.” However, Moses (Moshe) as spiritual archetypal prophet/liberator in the Hebrew pantheon, who ” is the figure who dominates the Torah,” has also had an important role in African American history, secular and spiritual, and their strategies of liberation and rebellion.

When people become “historical figures” so to speak and are no longer perceived as a “threat”–again, so speak–many make great claims. The Moses story is continued to be made and remade and every historical period has a new image of Moses integrated with the original. However, this is the job of ethical historians to distinguish fact from fiction. Even with the great prize fighter Muhammad Ali–who is no longer in his prime, so to speak (an elder can be in their “spiritual prime” however), nevertheless is a great difference now in how people treat and perceive him than in his more controversial youth. He’s no longer the “upstart” young man–again, so to speak. He even has President George W. Bush giving him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has many people making great claims. For many he’s a contemporary, but he’s also a “historical figure.” And it should be noted that he also has his role in “The Malcolm X Story.” This role might continue to be assessed and reassessed. But you cannot make a movie about Mohamed Ali without mentioned the Malcolm X connection. Read or reread “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” If you only have a recent edition, try to also find the original edition.

This is a first example of teaching history and “historical figures” via film and also the problem of distinguishing filmmic reality from so-called reality. It is not our role in this essay merely to introduce this topic, but it is something for the teachers of history and the professional historians and those who participate in history and connect to “historical figures” to consider. Also, people who meet so-called historical think that this means they “know” them; this just means that they meet them. It doesn’t mean they “know” them. However, they can present their assessments. No doubt there are many people who meet Muhammad Ali and think they know him. Maybe many who interview him and think they know him from some interview. These people probably don’t know him at all, nor do they have a true means of getting to know him. They have to try to be honorable historians and honorable historical journalists.

There’s a question on the history channel website of whether journalists embedded with the troops in Iraq can be objective. Possibly not. Nor can most of the other American journalists. Nor can Iraq’s journalists be objective. Perhaps many think they are and pretend to be. An objective journalist would have to be a journalist neither American nor Iraqi, nor an ally of either.

That’s like imagining a cowboy journalist to be objective when they’re going after Geronimo. Maybe many many generations later. Also, few Native American would be objective, neither the ones helping the cowboys to capture Geronimo, nor the ones fighting with Geronimo. Think about it. Every generation has its “cowboys & Indians.” Every nation has its “cowboys & Indians.” Think about it. And, by the way, who’s your “Geronimo”?

Part of the history of immigrants and pilgrims has been people trying to escape the “role” assigned to them of having to play “the Indians.” Almost every group has had to play “the Indians,” in somebody’s history. And someone has also had to play “Geronimo.” Think about it.

Guillaume Apollinaire in one of his masterpiece short stories, which we roughly translate as “A Passerby in Prague,” and which a staff writer roughly translates, makes use of the myth of the “wandering Jew,” and the roles that Jews have plays in many society, including America, which is notable in the film “Gentleman’s Agreement.” Although this is fiction it is also history. In an monologue excerpt, we read:

“The second procession was that of a Jew whom they’d caught. With the yelling crowd and those drunk on beer, I walked up to the gallows. The Jew had his head covered with an iron mask painted red. This mask simulated a diabolic figure in which the ears were, to tell the truth, in the form of horns which are the ears of the ass that one puts on the head of naughty children….”

“You’re an Israelite, aren’t you?” I asked simply.

“I am the Wandering Jew. You’ve no doubt guessed that. I am the Eternal Jew–that’s what the Germans call me. I am Isaac Laquedem.”

This Wandering Jew talks about all the names that people have for him–“The Italians call me Buttadio – in Latin Buttadus: the Bretons, Boudedeo; the Spaniards, Juan Espere-en-Dios. I prefer the name Isaac Laquedem, under which one often sees me in Holland.”

He speaks of how he got the name “Wandering Jew,” and also the great authors who’s works he has inspired including Goethe and Schubert and many others.

This story is a great metaphor and this role is a great metaphor. Some peoples have only played the “Indians” in their own histories. Some have gotten to play the “Indians” in many peoples histories. Irish? Africans? Who else? Much of the struggle of peoples, including Europeans, is to avoid having to play “the Indians.” Of course. This is a role that almost every nationality gets to play in somebody’s history, and history always has poignant reminders of this. The question is always, Why don’t people learn anything from history?

And since nobody likes playing “the Indians,” why don’t we learn something?

Spiritual Philosophers have been teaching the same lessons century after century, generation after generation. Even historians, who are not on the level of these have been teaching the same lesson just by teaching history, and for whatever reason, people seem not to learn. Great novelists and writers like Leo Tolstoy and others have been teaching the same lessons. When the elders of civilizations can not be duped and deceived anymore, usually the young, the impressionable young, are recruited. And many times the impressionable elders also. The Great Teachers are correct when they try to teach people to transcend the world of appearances and authority figures. They’re correct. The world of appearances and the world of authority can be honorable or it can be corrupt. Think of Nazi Germany, think of the Romans at the height of their worldly corruptions. Think of Egypt at its most corrupt, or the Greeks. Think of the Moors when they were the conquerors. The great conquering Indian nations. The great conquering Africans–and yes, Africans too, have been conquerors, although their role today is very different, and so the role of Native Americans–who have also had their days of conquest, andn conquering other Indian tribes and peoples. We are not being specific here, because it’s just a matter of reading and learning the histories of all these peoples. Every now and then you have writers of the true histories of nations and peoples. And of course you have the honorable men and women of nations, and those who come closest to the divine ideal and societies idealizations of themselves and their peoples. But at some point societies and civilizations are going to have to take true and honest looks at themselves. They are going to have to do so. And that’s everybody. Every nation. Every civilization. Not just pointing the figure at others. At some point every nation, every civilization is going to have to take a true and honest look at itself, like when Leo Tolstoy tried to take a true and honest look at Russian society and civilizations through his great novels, including The Resurrection.

Recently there was a news item about American kids learning Chinese. Why do you think so many American kids are learning Chinese? Why do so many Americans want to teach their children Chinese and while they are still little children? Think about it. Some Americans remember the time when everybody felt the need to learn Spanish? Japanese? English? Think about. Un poquito? Think about it. Un poquito? And why is the language of international business English? Suppose there’s a time when the language of international business is Chinese? Or Spanish? Or, another language? What about Swahili? Think about it. Certainly in science fiction stories and novels, science fiction writers think about such scenarios all the time.

But in this essay we’re talking history, not science fiction, although there are some science fiction writers who deal with the subject of history, like Octavia Butler, the great African American science fiction writer. If you don’t know of her works, read them. And, the hero or heroine of a science fiction novel could also be a historian.

Certainly history (spiritual and secular) is a necessary subject and historians are necessary in every society. Now, what do we learn from films? And how and why can films be used in teaching history? And then how do we review those films, both their artistic craft and their historical veracity? How do we make use of historical films in a classroom? How do we make use of historical films as filmmakers and moviegoers? What is the role of history in film? What is the role of film in history? These are some of the questions. Of course this essay can not answer all of these questions. The essay introduces these questions. These are the type of questions that a history teacher can ask? Or that those watching historical movies can ask themselves?

When teaching history, teachers of no matter what educational level, from elementary school to graduate and post graduate school can use movies to teach history. Parents can also buy DVDs to teach their children about history. Like with books, there are historical movies for every grade level.

Of course, teachers and parents have to do like the history channel. They have to discuss the historical realities and make distinction between those and the creative license of movie makers. That have to make it clear to children and other who watch historical movies, that historical movies are not necessarily history. We began by mentioning the Malcolm X movie. Certainly some children not of the Malcolm X generation might have thought that they were watching a real history. Parents, of that generation, certainly had to make it clear that this is just a movie. Also, this is where it is necessary if possible to include documentary films. Even though documentary films can be selective and have a point of view, nevertheless documentary films should also be included in the use of films in teaching history. But mainly we are discussing the creative films and the fictionalization of history, which most of them are. Our source mainly for this essay is the Hollywood movies and the American movies.

One can find historical movies on almost every historical period. A website which lists them in chronological order–mostly the American movies and perhaps the Americanization of history is vernonjohns.org.

There are movies dealing with Ancient History through various Biblical histories through various modern histories. There are also movies that deal with histories of different countries and civilizations, like England, Russia, China, Japan, Israel, Ireland, etc. There are various political histories.

Some samples include: From Ancient Man, Clan of the Cave Bear (1986), from Old Testament Biblical History, Esther and the King (1960), from the Greek City States, Troy (2004), from the Roman Empire to Early Christianity, Hannibal (1960) and the various movies about Spartacus, the rise of Christianity is represented by the various Jesus movies including The Passion of the Christ (2004); Gladiator (2000) also represents this historical period. Attila (1954) represented the Fall of the Roman Empire. The El Cid movies and Mohamed, Messenger of God (1977) represent Islamic history. These are just a few.

Then there are many other movies to represent historical period; these are the further categories at this website:

  • England in the American Revolution
  • France to French Revolution
  • Italy, Sweden & Austria, Sweden
  • Russia & Turkey to French Revolution
  • China
  • Medieval Japan
  • Age of Discovery
  • America & Canada to American Revolution
  • American Revolutionary War
  • French Revolution, 1789
  • Napoleon
  • USA: Early Years
  • Crimean War
  • American Civil War
  • USA–Reconstruction & Separate But Equal
  • USA–Cowboys
  • & Indians
  • Victorian England
  • France & Austria
  • Imperialism: Spanish-American War
  • Imperialism: Africa
  • Imperialism: India
  • Imperialism: China
  • Italy: Before WW I
  • USA: Before WW I
  • WW I
  • Russian Revolution
  • Independence for Ireland
  • USA: 1920’s
  • Gangsters: Prohibition
  • Great Depression USA
  • Black History: Great Depression to Civil Right Movement
  • Hitler’s Rise
  • Pre-War Japan
  • Spanish Civil War
  • Rise of Mussolini
  • World War II–Germany
  • Soviet Union
  • Germans Kicked Out of Africa
  • Allied Invasion of Italy
  • Russian Front
  • Allied Invasion of France
  • German Counter-attack
  • Air War
  • Others
  • Hitler’s Last Days
  • Holocaust
  • World War II–Japan
  • The War in China
  • The USA Finally Gets into the War
  • USA Strikes Back
  • Post-War Japan
  • Post-War China
  • Post-War Germany
  • USA: The Home Front and the Soldiers Return
  • Independence for India–1947
  • Anti-Colonialism Against the French
  • USA–Loss of China, Korean War & McCarthyism During Cold War
  • Teen Rebellion and Rock & Roll
  • Civil Rights–USA
  • JFK, president 1961-1963
  • USA Struggle to Stop All Leftists in Latin and South America
  • Vietnam War
  • Hippie Era
  • Backlash: Nixon & the 70’s
  • Godfathers & Serial Killers
  • Civil Rights: South Africa
  • Civil Rights: Northern Ireland
  • Civil Rights: Canada
  • Civil Rights: Australia
  • Israel
  • Recent Politics
  • Worries About the Environment

The above are the categories of many movies on this page. This is excellent research of these different historical periods and the principle movies. Of course, most of these are just the American movies. Those interested in doing this type of historical movie learning, should also put together a collection of the international movies made during these important historical periods and should also compare them to the American movies.

The defining of history according to these periods tells a great about viewpoint and history, and why earlier we mentioned the “Americanization” of history. If the 20th century is the “American” century, then certainly history is “American.” That’s why it’s important for American to watch international film and international television and to learn about other peoples histories and from other peoples points of view. Certainly they might prefer their own point of view, but they need to learn of others and other points of view. Suppose China were to become the next greatest civilization as some pundits think. Then wouldn’t Americans want their point of view to be heard? Of course. But to continue our discussion of history and the movies.

Let’s say you’re dealing with Imperialism & Africa or with Germany. What are the movies made by the Africans and Germans during these periods? That’s the same with the other historical periods. In India, what movies were the Indians making? Are these movies also available.

Also, the philosophy of history should be discussed with the class. What is history? How do historians research and select historical facts and historical information. Why is history continuing to be re-researched and rewritten. What is the role of the so-called common people, the so-called masses in history vs. the great historical figures? What is the role of women? What is the role of minorities? What is viewpoint and history? Is history ever truly objective?

This website is great for initial research. Then the researcher must consider movies made by others than America and Hollywood. Brown University, for example, in 2005 held an Africana Film Festival, including many of the great African movies, like Cosmic Africa, about African Astronomy. A list of these movies can be found at the following website:

http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Africana_Studies/AFF/films.html

When study African history, for example, movies made by Africans should also be included. This is the same with all these other histories and historical periods.

Have Native Americans made any movies about their history. If not, then go to the books written by Native Americans. When considering making Native American movies, for example, filmmakers are going to help to start looking to the books written by the great Native American writers. If filmmakers don’t know them, then research them. James Welch, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Silko, and the lesser knowns. Why not consider making movies not just from the Hollywood imagination, but there are many great Native American authors. Not as many known or published as there should be. But there is great wealth here.

Recently a staff writer was wondering why not a movie based upon the great Ralph Ellison novel Invisible Man. A great novel of the 20th century. Maybe among the greatest. And by Ralph Ellison, not only a great novelist, but an artist, musician, photographer. The staff writer read a review of Terrence Howard’s pimp flick. Not very commendable, although the review finds Terrence Howard a talented actor and a fine performance. But the role? Why not have a great actor like Terrace Howard play one of the greatest roles for an African man called Invisible Man?

There are other great historical roles–Hannibal–not the Anthony Hopkins movie, but the original; and what of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Once there was to have been a movie of Toussaint L’Ouverture and there was a great controversy because Anthony Quinn was to be considered for the role. Although Anthony Quinn is among the great actors, and certainly made many great movies, nevertheless when one looks at the historical documents, he is certainly no Toussaint L’Ouverture, and it would be excellent to have a dark-complexioned African playing this great role, and not always pandering to the “American aesthetic.” For a photographic image and historical account of Toussaint L’Ouverture go to pbs.org .If the wife of Moses is truly Ethiopian, then why not have an Ethiopian play the role? And what of the original and ancient Jewish people–not the Europeanized Hebrews?

There are many historical movies and there is much historical movie work to do–and this is for all ethnic groups, who must all deal with the virtues and the vices of their various histories. Certainly for Terrence Howard it’s exceptable for him to play a pimp, since there are such types, but that should not be the only type for him to play.

We know that Oprah Winfrey has a commitment to making movies and plays (The Color Purple on Broadway) by African American women, but there are the great books by African American men also. The Old School and the New School.

All of these ideas should be considered when dealing with movies and history. Great that Hollywood has made so many historical movies of so many different historical periods. However, when truly wanting to teach history through the movies, we have to all consider the non-Hollywood movie makers, and also the great works, historical and otherwise, to help to enhance American history and everybody’s history through the movies.

These are all questions for those learning and teaching history through the movies to consider.

Historic movies online can also be found at:

Patience

Animals act upon instinct. Humans, however, can think.

Everyone has been in a situation where they just rushed things, and later wished they had taken things slowly. When animals are in a state of panic, they generally tend to act on instinct and don’t think about what they are doing. They just blindly do whatever their instinct tells them. Fortunately for us, through many years of evolution, we have developed something no other animal has. By rationalizing and making sense of a situation, we can “bypass” our first instinct and control what we do. This allows us to think things through and plan our actions, even if we are in a tough situation.

By simply taking a moment to breathe deeply and tell yourself to calm down, you will find that you can think more clearly. You should set your priorities, find what matters most, find that outcome you want, and plan a series of actions that will lead you to that outcome.

I know what you are thinking, “It is easier said than done.” Well yes, it is easier said than done, but by at least trying to calm down, you will get better results.

You should try the following in any situation:

  1. Calm down
  2. Make sense of the situation
  3. Set your priorities
  4. Find the outcome you want
  5. Plan your actions accordingly

Cheating

It’s very simple – don’t cheat.

I’ll make it nice and simple. You get one good thing out of cheating, but you get three bad things out of it. I’m not a mathematician, and I’m certainly not a calculus teacher, but isn’t three greater than one?

The only good thing that you get out of cheating is that you accomplished whatever it is that you wanted to accomplish. Whether it is beating a game, or passing a test, you accomplished it.

There are, however, three bad things that you get out of cheating :

  • Whatever consequence you get when you get caught.
  • The knowledge that you cheated.
  • The knowledge that you could’ve prevented the consequence by not cheating.

    I hope this article has changed your ways.

7 Little Words Answers – Bridges Package

The “7 Little Words” Answers for the Bridges Package are here!

  • Try = ATTEMPT
  • Peron’s homeland = ARGENTINA
  • Luxurious home = VILLA
  • Advocate = CHAMPION
  • Disown = RENOUNCE
  • Aware = CONSCIOUS
  • Produce = GENERATE

Bridges Level #2

  • U.S. 1040 tax = INCOME
  • Hires = EMPLOYEES
  • Try with difficulty = STRUGGLE
  • Street musician = BUSKER
  • Least wealthy = POOREST
  • Extra = SURPLUS
  • Take advantage of = EXPLOIT

Bridges Level #3

  • Dispute = ARGUMENT
  • Form of government = REPUBLIC
  • Soldiers with horses = CAVALRY
  • Outside of town = RURAL
  • Sports center = STADIUM
  • Connected = LINKED
  • This planet = EARTH

Bridges Level #4

  • Gesture of respect = SALUTE
  • Staple food = RICE
  • Losing hair = BALDING
  • Tangible = MATERIAL
  • Renown = ACCLAIM
  • Got back together = REUNITED
  • Outer portion = EXTERIOR

Bridges Level #5

  • Striped equine = ZEBRA
  • Thick-soled shoes = PLATFORM
  • Damage = CORRUPT
  • Not sure = UNCERTAIN
  • Computer file transfer = DOWNLOAD
  • Grasps = HOLDS
  • Prefer = FAVOR

Bridges Level #6

  • Involving the body = PHYSICAL
  • Apply pressure = SQUEEZE
  • Equilibrium = BALANCE
  • Move toward = APPROACH
  • Make the most of = MAXIMIZE
  • Stored energy = POTENTIAL
  • Assign a job to = TASK

Bridges Level #7

  • Grievance = COMPLAINT
  • Be the first to find = DISCOVER
  • Navigable waters = CHANNEL
  • Look for = SEARCH
  • Place of prominence = BILLING
  • Rare and wonderful = SINGULAR
  • Precise = SPECIFIC

Bridges Level #8

  • Make possible = ENABLE
  • Given a chance to accept = OFFERED
  • Left the ground at high speed = LAUNCHED
  • Formal noon meal = LUNCHEON
  • Shard = FRAGMENT
  • Hollywood Squares regular = PANELIST
  • Take a risk = VENTURE

Bridges Level #9

  • Lift up = BOOST
  • Recreational activity = GAME
  • Extremely difficult = BRUTAL
  • Narrow market = NICHE
  • Christopher not Keanu = REEVE
  • Launch path = TRAJECTORY
  • Money-saving = ECONOMICAL

Bridges Level #10

  • Joint participant = PARTNER
  • Limit = RESTRICT
  • Orphan’s hope = ADOPTION
  • Quivering = SHAKING
  • Wealth producing = LUCRATIVE
  • Not accustomed to = UNUSED
  • Gigantic = MASSIVE

Bridges Level #11

  • Fill up the tank = REFUEL
  • Motor City = DETROIT
  • Full of danger = PERILOUS
  • Can be depended on = RELIABLE
  • Time of year = SEASON
  • Act of winning = VICTORY
  • Where the conductor stands = PODIUM

Bridges Level #12

  • Formal offer of services = PROPOSAL
  • Windmill engine = TURBINE
  • Fast German auto = PORSCHE
  • Where the trains run = RAILROAD
  • Electromagnetic power = TESLA
  • Highly visible = PROMINENT
  • Area of authority = DOMAIN

Bridges Level #13

  • Headdress = TURBAN
  • Ringed planet = SATURN
  • Piece of numerical data = STATISTIC
  • Variant of a language = DIALECT
  • Honor and admiration = PRESTIGE
  • Intellectual = THINKER
  • Creative = ARTISTIC

Bridges Level #14

  • Flop = TURKEY
  • What a graduate receives = DIPLOMA
  • Little Fugue composer = BACH
  • Connecting wire = CABLE
  • Custom = TRADITION
  • Restricted = CONTROLLED
  • More than half = MAJORITY

Bridges Level #15

  • Evil = SINISTER
  • Fastener = BUTTON
  • Baby cat = KITTEN
  • Notre Dame buttress = FLYING
  • Dental hygiene aid = TOOTHPASTE
  • Interception point = BLOCKADE
  • Never finishing = ENDLESS

Bridges Level #16

  • Ice skate part = BLADE
  • Highly refined = POLISHED
  • Change to another = CONVERT
  • Look upon = BEHOLD
  • Math operation = ADDITION
  • Lugs clubs = CADDY
  • Noisy = BOISTEROUS

Bridges Level #17

  • Direction of travel = HEADING
  • Delivery of parcels = SHIPMENT
  • Game participants = PLAYERS
  • Increase = GROWTH
  • Areas = REGIONS
  • Meal portion = SERVING
  • Highlighted = FEATURED

Bridges Level #18

  • Interest in buying a product = DEMAND
  • Getting angry = STEAMING
  • Spherical Earth map = GLOBE
  • Mass per unit volume = DENSITY
  • Category of life form = SPECIES
  • Good for intestinal flora = PROBIOTIC
  • Unyielding = RIGID

Bridges Level #19

  • Relating to the Sun = SOLAR
  • Orbiting body = MOON
  • Thickly liquid state = VISCOUS
  • Ruling = SOVEREIGN
  • Division = SECTOR
  • Many varying = DIVERSE
  • Crossword horizontal = ACROSS

Bridges Level #20

  • Tile game = DOMINOES
  • Austrailian capital = CANBERRA
  • Made an analogy = COMPARED
  • Teach = EDUCATE
  • Rights = LIBERTIES
  • Send to another = REFER
  • Allow = PERMIT

Bridges Level #21

  • Discoverer = FINDER
  • Benefactor = PATRON
  • Acquainted = FAMILIAR
  • Additional information = APPENDIX
  • Abstract idea = CONCEPT
  • Send = DISPATCH
  • Feudal Japanese ruler = SHOGUN

Bridges Level #22

  • Not simple = COMPLEX
  • Randomly intermittent = SPORADIC
  • Made a map of = CHARTED
  • Cut up the meat = CARVED
  • Downward movement = DECLINE
  • Make = FABRICATE
  • Get anothers opinion = CONSULT

Bridges Level #23

  • Similar = ANALOG
  • Give the meaning of = DEFINE
  • Fifth Avenue building = FLATIRON
  • Political process = ELECTION
  • Standard = CONVENTION
  • King = MONARCH
  • Room = CHAMBER

Bridges Level #24

  • Law enforcers = POLICE
  • River or hoop star = JORDAN
  • Wander = MEANDER
  • Florida wetlands = EVERGLADES
  • Hot and dry = ARID
  • Deep narrow canyon = GORGE
  • Tropical storms = CYCLONES

Bridges Level #25

  • Twig = SCION
  • Prison escape = BREAKOUT
  • Tall building = TOWER
  • Shining = GLEAMING
  • Span of existence = LIFETIME
  • Abundance = PLETHORA
  • Brother or sister = SIBLING

Bridges Level #26

  • Think = REASON
  • Wrong = MISTAKEN
  • Artic biome = TUNDRA
  • Type of canine = TERRIER
  • Hold back = RESTRAIN
  • Means of transport = VEHICLE
  • Fall down = COLLAPSE

Bridges Level #27

  • Ownership stake = EQUITY
  • Blink of an eye = INSTANT
  • Put on = APPLY
  • Make less concentrated = DILUTE
  • Television advertisement = COMMERCIAL
  • Make up for = COMPENSATE
  • Find a way through = NEGOTIATE

Bridges Level #28

  • Greek philosopher = SOCRATES
  • Give official approval = SANCTION
  • Cold season = WINTER
  • Understanding = AGREEMENT
  • Pile of snow = BANK
  • Exact = PRECISE
  • Come back from behind = RALLY

Bridges Level #29

  • Gear = EQUIPMENT
  • Potato or computer = CHIP
  • Shard = SPLINTER
  • Go up suddenly = SPIKE
  • the best = OPTIMAL
  • Limit = THRESHOLD
  • Nominee = CANDIDATE

Bridges Level #30

  • Series of computer steps = ALOGORITHM
  • Allow = TOLERATE
  • Mingus type of music = JAZZ
  • Johnnys seeds = APPLE
  • Sections = SEGMENTS
  • Man-made = SYNTHETIC
  • Take small bites = NIBBLE

Bridges Level #31

  • In poverty = PENURIOUS
  • Central American canal = PANAMA
  • Rising = EMERGENT
  • Decayed organic matter = COMPOST
  • Beautiful = PRETTY
  • Act of devotion = WORSHIP
  • Poisonous = NOXIOUS

Bridges Level #32

  • 1992 Olympics location = BARCELONA
  • Metal pot = CAULDRON
  • Olympic champion = MEDALIST
  • British flashlight = TORCH
  • Produce coines = MINT
  • Head and shoulders sculpture = BUST
  • Intentional = DELIBERATE

Bridges Level #33

  • Make things different = CHANGE
  • Anguish = DISTRESS
  • Agreed = CONCURRED
  • Ring of flowers or leaves = WREATH
  • Put in the bank = DEPOSIT
  • Increadibly beautiful = STRIKING
  • Sample = SPECIMEN

Bridges Level #34

  • Formerly Siam = THAILAND
  • Steamed dough = DUMPLING
  • Author Beatrix = POTTER
  • Save for later = CONSERVE
  • Make longer = EXTEND
  • Lasting reminder = MONUMENT
  • Airship = BLIMP

Bridges Level #35

  • Go between = MEDIATE
  • Promote = ADVOCATE
  • Trade = EXCHANGE
  • Crime = FELONY
  • Dissolve officially = NULLIFY
  • Real estate game = MONOPOLY
  • Stormy = TURBULENT

Bridges Level #36

  • Bahamian capital = NASSAU
  • Copied illegally = PIRATED
  • Hide = CONCEAL
  • Not smooth = UNEVEN
  • Resistance to disease = IMMUNITY
  • Type of ship = SLOOP
  • Fare well = PROSPER

Bridges Level #37

  • 80s hair style = MULLET
  • Entry point = GATEWAY
  • Undersea voyage = SUBMARINE
  • 20,000 Leagues author = VERNE
  • Hopes = ASPIRES
  • Andromeda or Milky Way = GALAXY
  • Chops down trees = LUMBERJACK

Bridges Level #38

  • Taxes = TARIFFS
  • Forefather = ANCESTOR
  • Boat races = REGATTA
  • Perfect example = EPITOME
  • Large game fish = MARLIN
  • Ten year span = DECADE
  • Very small charge = NOMINAL

Bridges Level #39

  • Egg-laying mammal = PLATYPUS
  • Make stronger = REINFORCE
  • Rightful by heredity = LEGITIMATE
  • Pushed out of position = DISPLACED
  • Alka-Seltzer sound = PLOP
  • What every bride needs = GROOM
  • Give back = RETURN

Bridges Level #40

  • What River City had = TROUBLE
  • Brass instrument = CORNET
  • Pool = BILLIARDS
  • Unable to move = STUCK
  • Belt fastener = BUCKLE
  • Sham = FRAUD
  • Striped squirrel = CHIPMUNK

Bridges Level #41

  • Keeps cars on the road = GUARDRAIL
  • Though = HOWEVER
  • Healing salve = OINTMENT
  • Send out = DEPLOY
  • Shopping center = MALL
  • Brazilian river = AMAZON
  • Small monkey = MARMOSET

Bridges Level #42

  • Determined = RESOLUTE
  • Pass out = DISTRIBUTE
  • Pester = BADGER
  • Remove with water = RINSE
  • Make a list = CATALOG
  • Covering the whole earth = GLOBAL
  • Care for = ATTEND

Bridges Level #43

  • Dreamers opposite = REALIST
  • Not separate = TOGETHER
  • Homely = UGLY
  • Become narrower = TAPER
  • Something made = CREATION
  • Green onions = SCALLIONS
  • Pachyderm = ELEPHANT

Bridges Level #44

  • Not probable = UNLIKELY
  • Container for carrying = BASKET
  • Highly educated = LEARNED
  • Jurassic Park attraction = DINOSAURS
  • Demand = EXPECT
  • Fixes cars = MECHANIC
  • Shared telephone line = PARTY

Bridges Level #45

  • Whimsical doctor = SEUSS
  • Holds a diamond = SETTING
  • Unmarried man = BACHELOR
  • Bout = EPISODE
  • Projected appearance = PERSONA
  • Rain on your wedding day = IRONIC
  • School or pass = BOARDING

Bridges Level #46

  • Beet soup = BORSCHT
  • Beatles drummer = RINGO
  • Studies nature or physics = SCIENTIST
  • Underhandedness = SUBTERFUGE
  • Jar or television attorney = MASON
  • Shy = DEMURE
  • Nearly = VIRTUALLY

Bridges Level #47

  • Response = REACTION
  • Story = TALE
  • Verse = POETRY
  • Without regard for authority = LAWLESS
  • Fired = CANNED
  • Small = PALTRY
  • Hoofer = DANCER

Bridges Level #48

  • Mothers brother = UNCLE
  • Apprehend = COLLAR
  • Hand movements = GESTURES
  • Gadgets niece = PENNY
  • Prevent success = FOIL
  • Spidermans occupation = SUPERHERO
  • Amazing event = MIRACLE

Bridges Level #49

  • Extremely funny = HILARIOUS
  • Fretting = WORRYING
  • Adorned = DECKED
  • Urge = ADMONISH
  • The Beavers real first name = THEODORE
  • Tree branch = LIMB
  • Egyptian landmarks = PYRAMIDS

Bridges Level #50

  • Rich industrialist = TYCOON
  • Rotund = PORTLY
  • Gulps = CHUGS
  • Adventures = EXPLOITS
  • Sweet treats = COOKIES
  • Postulate = PREMISE
  • Playful talk = BANTER

25 Stupid Laws

Laws are an essential part of the United States government, or any government for that matter. However, there are some laws that are just so out there, they deserve to be on my list of Stupid Laws. Please note that many of these laws are no longer in effect.

 

01. In Reno, Nevada, it is illegal to lie down on the sidewalk for any period of time.
02. In Indiana, it is illegal for anyone 14 and up to profanely curse, damn, or swear to God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost.
03. In Jefferson Parish, it is illegal to pour a drink on the ground of a drive-in theatre.
04. In Eagle, Idaho, it is illegal for a person to sweep dirt from ones house into the street.
05. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, it is illegal to spit on the steps of a school building.
06. In Nome, Alaska, it is illegal to roam the streets with bow and arrows.
07. In Arizona, it is illegal to sell “imitation cocaine”.
08. In Wyoming, it is illegal to wear a hat that obstructs a person’s view in a public theatre or place of amusement.
09. In Boulder, Colorado, boulders may not be rolled onto the city property.
10. In West Virginia, it is illegal to have sex with an animal as long as that animal does not exceed 40 lbs.
11. In Maine, you will receive a fine for having Christmas decorations still up after January 14th.
12. In California, animals are banned from mating publicly within 2,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
13. In Louisiana, every time somebody is burned, he or she must report it to the fire marshal.
14. In Arizona, there is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.
15. In Indiana, it is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public.
16. In Colorado, no liquor may be sold on Sundays or election days.
17. In Delaware, “R” rated movies are not allowed to be played at drive-in movie theatres.
18. In West Virginia, unmarried couples who are living together and “lewdly associate” with one another may face up to a year in prison.
19. In Alhambra, California, you may not leave your car parked in the street overnight without the proper permit.
20. In Arizona, hunting camels is against the law.
21. In West Virginia, the public act of swearing has a fine of one dollar.
22. In Topeka, Kansas, it is illegal to drive ones car through a parade.
23. In Alaska, waking a sleeping bear to take pictures is prohibited.
24. In Bettendorf, Iowa, liquor stores may not have advertisements for alcoholic beverages outside the store.
25. In Kentucky, throwing eggs at a public speaker could result in up to 1 year in prison.

How to Know If a Girl Likes You

Is someone thinking about you? Do they have a crush on you? Learn how to find out!

  1. Watch the way she looks at you. If she keeps looking at you, she just might like you
  2. If she flirts with you too much, she probably likes you. Girls might flirt with you just for the fun of it, and it can be misunderstood as a crush. Watch out for girls who flirt.
  3. If she acts weird when you come near her, she might like you. Watch her behavior when you are talking to her.
  4. If she wants to pair you up with someone or says I know who likes you, then she probably likes you.
  5. If she constantly tries to get close to you or touches you, she probably likes you.
  6. If she turns red when you come near her or when you talk to her, that means she likes you.
  7. She might ask you a few questions that might make you uncomfortable, for example if she asks if you ever had a girlfriend or have you ever been on a date, she might like you.
  8. Make friends with her close friends. They might say something about her liking you. Talk and flirt a little with them. If she gets mad for flirting with other people, then you know she likes you.
  9. Start a small conversation with her and her friends. Try to notice these things:
    • If she keeps trying to get close to you or tries to hold your hand, she likes you
    • If she is confident, they will match your voice tone and will act like she does with her friends
    • If she is shy, her voice tone might be a little higher or lower depending on what she acts like. She might smile and laugh nervously at your jokes. She will probably start playing with her hair.
  10. If she says she likes you, then she likes you!

Tips

  • Be yourself. You dont want to start acting like someone else, because she may start to lose interest in you.
  • She might be looking at you while your not looking, so keep an eye out for her.
  • If you know a girl likes you, try talking to her and be nice.
  • Try starting nice conversations.
  • Compliment her. Girls like being complemented.

Girls love good smelling people. So try to smell nice and use cologne.

What to do when you catch her?

Dead on the Road – What to Do When You Hit an Animal

It is easy to do the wrong thing when you have hit an animal, that is to say leaving it and pretending you didn’t notice. But in the end, doing the right thing will help ease somebody else’s grief and give you peace of mind.

Not a pleasant thing to think about, but chances are it will happen, and it is best to know what to do BEFORE it does happen. I have written this with a general approach in mind, laws are different everywhere, so before it happens to you, there may be some laws you want to inquire about in your area.

Your Own Pet

Emotionally this may be the worst scenario to deal with. Physically, what you have to do is remove the animals’ body from the road. In most places it is illegal to dispose of a dead pet in the garbage. Some cities have a special place in the garbage dump for dead animals, so if that is how you want to dispose of your pet, you need to call and ask them how to do this. Many cities now have places that will cremate your pet, a veterinarian would know if this is available in your area and give you the information on this. Some cities also have pet cemeteries, again a vet will know where these are.

A lot of people, particularly in the country, bury their pets. You really should consider the laws in your area regarding this. Find out BEFORE you need to, if it is legal to bury animals on your property.

Emotionally you have a very hard thing to deal with, telling your family. Be honest with your children, lying to them that the pet “ran away” or was “given to a farm” is going to open up a can of worms. Not only is it unfair to them, as they are not given the opportunity to say “good bye” but also you have cheated them out of a life lesson. Most children first experience death, because of a pet dying – this is much less harsh than they having their first experience being a parent, or sibling. If you lie to your kids, and they find out, they may not trust you again.

Finally, do not be in a hurry to replace the pet. First fix the problem of how it got out onto the road. A better fence for your dog, or a cat section for your cat.

Your Neighbor’s Pet

Remove the pet from the road, and attempt to contact the owner. This is a hard thing to do depending on how well you know the neighbor. Ultimately the pet should not have been on the road, it should have been indoors or in their yard, but you cannot tell them this. You can only hope they realize it for themselves and are not going to yell at you.
Offer to pay half their disposal costs – assuming the costs are reasonable, phone to find out how much cremation, for example, is in your area. Make it clear that you are sorry, but are not going to be responsible for replacing their pet, especially if this one was not being looked after and allowed to be running loose. They will be grieving and might not want a new pet right away either.

The best thing here is honesty, and remembering that while you are not solely to blame, yelling at them or putting all the blame on them, will result in an unfriendly relationship with them down the line.

If the pet is injured and not dead, you should offer to pay part of the veterinarian cost within reason, and save all receipts to prove you did.

An Unknown Pet

Remove the animal to the side of the road if it is safe to stop. If not, make a note of where you were when you hit it, and call the local police or by-law department so they can remove the body off the road. This is important for several reasons. Firstly the animal is an obstruction and can interfere with the flow of traffic, even causing accidents. Secondly, and more importantly, nobody wants to see their animal dead after it has been hit or run over multiple times.

If you have removed the pet to the side of the road, and you feel comfortable doing so, you should approach the nearest house to let them know, as likely it is their pet, or they will know whose it is. Sadly many people do not feel safe doing this. On the other hand many pet owners are disgusted with “hit and run drivers” so owners need to be thankful when a driver does stop.

If you have not stopped or do not feel safe approaching a house, then you need to call the local SPCA or animal shelter and report hitting the animal. There may be an owner looking for the pet, and they would like to be able to find it, even if it is dead. If there is no shelter in the area, then call the local road authorities or police.

A Wild Animal

Every area has different laws about what you can and cannot do with “Road Kill”. Some places freely permit you to take it home, cook, and eat it. Others ask you to move it off the road or call the police to remove it. Some places will tell you simply to leave it where it is and call the authorities.

On a busy road it will be unsafe for you to remove the body from the road. If there is a chance the animal is injured but not dead, you may not want to approach it, for fear of it reacting negatively against you out of fear and panic.
Generally unless you know the laws in your area, it is best to leave the animal where it is and call the local authorities.

Hopefully you never have to use this information, but if you need it, be ready.

Dealing with Breakups: Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves

As the great philosopher Aristotle once said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” You can’t rely on money, material things, or even other people to make yourself happy. In order to be happy during a relationship or after it has ended, you must be happy with yourself. A breakup is just one of the sticky situations in life that we all experience, some more than others.

Breaking Up With the Person You Love

Dealing with heartache and heartbreak is never easy, no matter the circumstances. You may have caught them cheating, and ended it yourself, or maybe one of you just couldn’t deal with the long distance relationship any longer. All you can remember are the memories you had together, and possibly the thoughts of a future you would have shared together. It can be a very painful experience and people have different ways of trying to cope. You may find yourself terribly unhappy and unable to enjoy the things you once loved. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Let Those Emotions Flow: letting go of a person who you care about can play a huge toll on the emotions. Every song you hear, place you visit, or conversation you have may leave you thinking of them. Grieving is the first step to healing. Keeping bad emotions inside is harmful to the body. It may take days, even months, but once you have dealt with your emotions you will be a happier person.
  2. Learn to Forgive: if things ended badly, you may be experiencing a lot of hurt and even anger. Reframe from sending hate mail via e-mail, or leaving nasty messages on their answering machine. Not only are you too good for them, but you are too good for that. Stop wasting your time! They don’t deserve your attention for another minute. Forgive them for the things they have done, and you will find it easier to move on to bigger and better things.
  3. Learn to Forget: It will take time. Time and time again you will hear someone say “you will heal in time.” Chances are you will not believe it at the time, but it is true. Once you learn to focus on the present and all that you have going for you, new wonderful memories will grow.
  4. Exercise and Eat Healthy: go for a run, join the gym, or attend a yoga class! Exercising gives the body, mind, and soul a natural high. It will leave you feeling refreshed and positive. Plus, you may just catch the eye of the person at the gym beside you!
  5. Stay Confident: don’t let your self esteem dwindle because someone dumped you. You’re fun, your beautiful, your the perfect match for someone out there! Confidence is key, not only to feeling great about yourself, but attracting future love interests for when you ready to join back in the game.
  6. Do Something Special For Yourself: after a painful experience you should treat yourself. After all, you deserve it. Go get that manicure you’ve been wanting, or that CD you’ve been dying to listen to. Do the things you enjoy most.
  7. Keep A Journal or Diary: write about the things that make you happy. Putting emphasis on the good things in life will boast your positive thoughts and feelings. Record the things you are grateful for. Are you appreciating all the beautiful things life has to offer?
  8. Go Out With Your Friends: chances are, you did not spend a tonne of time with your friends while you were in your relationship. Go out with your friends. If you’re feeling really down, talk about it with them, even ask them for advice. Just have fun! By the end of the night you will hopefully remember how great it is to be single.
  9. Get Back On the Road to Happiness: Remember, “happiness depends upon yourself.” You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. There are plenty of things to be grateful for in life. Spend extra time with friends and family — the people who make you happy!

Ten Ideas on How to Sustain a Long Distance Relationship

I am assuming that you two have already been in a relationship for a reasonable amount of time. Your time together is precious and sacred and both of you appreciate the fact that among thousands of people out there, the two of you chose to be together. I assume here that there are no lies, that both are committed to the relationship.

A long distance relationship is a trial of patience for two people in love. I’ve had my share of them due to my job commitments and at this stage in time, university degree requirement. In this article I will share several ideas on ways to not only sustain a pre-existing relationship but also develop it further.

Balance is the key to maintaining sanity in a long distance relationship. True, you may love him/her. But if you spend all your time focusing on how much you miss him/her, it will affect your moods and just make you a duller person.

Truth is, your biggest enemy is time. But at the same time, time squandered is a waste. For example, you spend all your life pining away for your partner hundreds or thousands of miles away when the thing that needs doing – your job, your degree, your life – is put on hold. Stop. You might say, “Well, its all part of the fun isn’t it? Staying up late, listening to silly soppy songs on radio, re-reading old letters. Where’s the harm in that?” Frankly, ma’am, a little is alright but a lot is way out of context.

On with the list of of Ten Ideas to Sustain A Long Distance Relationship

  1. Have DVD Fridays/Weekends

    The idea is that even though you’re apart, it wouldn’t hurt to synchronize watching a movie rental together. At least, after the movie, you can have a chat about the movie. Whether you liked it or not, or whether you identified with this or that character. At the very least, it’s a conversation topic.

  2. Work on a Common Project.

    A friend of mine works in Beijing while his wife is in the US. They’re engaged and working hard towards securing their future. They’ve just bought a home and are thinking of decorating it. Other than actually buying stuff and shipping it home (which can be extremely expensive!), whip out that Cameraphone, snap pics, put a price to it and post it on Flickror set up a blog. Now both of you are engaged in the search of fantasy furniture pieces!

  3. Share the Same Dream

    My gay friend and his partner are fitness buffs. They had this crazy idea of doing the 100km marathon. The thing is, one of them’s going away to the States for his studies and will periodically at the end of the year for his winter break. So I told them, why not train separately, but aim for a common end point. End of the year come back and race together. How about keeping a couple’s training journal?

  4. Skype & MSN

    The key ingredient for any great relationship is COMMUNICATION. Instantaneous if possible, delayed at best. Skype offers anybody with a fast broadband connection and decent CPU processor speed the opportunity to call anybody on the internet for FREE. If you can’t talk, use MSN messenger or any dozens of competing Instant Messaging services to keep in touch and focused. There’s now no excuse to communicate if calls are FREE and messages are Instantaneous!

  5. Stay Grounded and Focused

    I can’t emphasize this enough. Most people who arrive in a new city suddenly find themselves surrounded by new things to do, new people to meet etc. With that comes the temptation to try something new. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, or so they tell me. RESIST. Tell yourself, that you are in a perfectly good relationship and that you shouldn’t put yourself in a compromising position. Life shouldn’t be an episode of “Sex in the City”. That kind of life leaves you depleted and hollow. Before one of you leave, get a set of commitment rings/studs/bracelet – anything. It doesn’t have to be flashy but it is a token, a reminder that you carry in your heart, his/her heart. Mean it when you give it to him/her.

  6. Remember Your Anniversaries and Firsts

    Neglect it at your cost, but if you forget an anniversary, woe betide you… Write it down, print it out, tattoo it onto your brain, but make sure you remember your anniversaries and birthdays. Why? Well, with a little planning, that event can become focal points for the year. Something to look forward to. You could even surprise him/her with gifts sent by post. Ebay.com has lots of stuff on offer, so make full use of it. Everyone loves getting something special in the mail.

  7. Keep A Journal

    What doesn’t get written down, will not be remembered. You’re both young, enterprising adults with lives of your own. Keep track of your thoughts and emotional development. Keep track of your dreams and hopes. Doodle, scribble, inscribe your memory in a special way so that you may share it. The point is that sometimes Life moves so fast, you forget who you were or why you are with the person. A journal acts as a reminder.

  8. Pay Attention To Each Other’s Needs For Sleep

    Difference in time zone, jet lag, lack of morning coffee – are frequently cited reasons as to why you’re especially grouchy. Both partners need to be mindful that people get tired and need rest. When you agree to communicate choose a reasonable timing. Something that you’re both comfortable with. 8pm in Hong Kong is 12pm in Britain. That’s reasonable. When I was 8 hours ahead of my girl when she was visiting her family in UK, I came up with a table to remind myself of the time in UK, each time she logged on. I shared this with her and as much as possible we talked only when it was reasonable for us to do so.

  9. Use GoogleMaps To Visualize The Space Between You

    It’s a fun exercise to help crystallize the distance that separates the two of you. Go to GoogleMaps type in your address and then type in your partner’s address. Create a composite map of how you’ll be getting home if you were to walk the entire distance using satellite photos.

  10. Finally, Trust

    The most important thing in a relationship is Trust. Trust that your partner will do the right thing. Trust that you will do the right thing. Be aware that pitfalls await for any couple, and that he/she can cheat at any point in time and space because, really at the end of the day, its their choice. What we can do as partners of lovers who are abroad is be the best person that we can be.

I hope this write up will be of use to all lovers out there living under the tyranny of distance. Trust me on this, LDRs are worth having. There’s an old adage that goes, “Absence only makes the heart grow fonder” and the old-fuddy-duddy in me wants to believe in that. Till next time!

Signs, Symbols & Synchronicity

All around us are messages, hints and clues that help us reach every milestone along the path of life. If our role on planet earth is to evolve, to follow our own pathway to enlightenment then I believe we are given plenty of help along the way. This short article is part of an e-book available soon. Here, I just tickle the surface of following signs, symbols and synchronicity and show you how to participate in living magically.

You can use anything to help you in finding answers to life – dreams, divination cards, random extracts from books, a single word that reappears in different ways, people, animals and birds, even traffic lights. Signs can appear in any form, something you hear in a conversation, a book that falls open at a certain page, signs on a passing van, patterns in the shadows or the clouds…be open to the possibilities.

We receive messages all the time, but in the form of symbols and these need to be interpreted. The most important thing to remember is that the answer lies in what that symbol means to YOU individually: my interpretation of a tree may be completely different to yours. On the other hand there are many useful books and charts that can give you a heads up start – so use them, just be discerning, not everything that appears in print is “gospel”. If you read something and it just doesn’t “feel” right then trust yourself. Try looking at it in another way until you “recognize” the truth that is relevant to YOU. Always remember we are each perfectly unique – that’s part of the magic.

So, where do the messages come from? For me there are two possible explanations.

That your Universe sends you help. You don’t even need to ask but it does help. Unfortunately the universe is unable to communicate to you in clear language, so everything arrives in the form of images, signs and symbols. The trick is deciding what it means.

That the messages come from within yourself, from your inner self. We certainly have much more wisdom than we give ourselves credit for and perhaps this is simply your inner self cutting through the barriers we all erect.

Scientific stuff: The human brain consists of two sides, the left and right hemispheres. The left side is the logical side, the one that is the loudest, that thinks it does all the work. It is logical, rational, and linear. The right side of the brain is the intuitive, creative side. If you prefer it, is the “Eureka” side that supplies the answers in huge leaps without any indication of the path that led to the answer. Apparently we use only about 10% of our brain capacity which opens up the exciting possibility of how we can use the other 90%. I like to think of it as the magical side, full of wonderment and retaining some of that innocence we had as children.