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New media study

The emergence of highly advanced technologies resulted in new methods of communication, including visual and image-based communication, through which businesses and their respective target market interact. Thus, it is highly important to understand the underlying concepts and theories behind these emerging methods of communication and optimally utilize them. For this reason, I would like to take up New Media Studies in DePaul University. As an advertising graduate who currently specializes in creating designs for a marketing firm, the program can surely help me develop sophisticated conceptual designs and advance my career.

As I a native of South Korea, coming to the United States to study and establish a career has aided me in developing a profound understanding of diverse cultures and societies with this country’s multicultural population. Moreover, I was also able to obtain a deep grasp of the market and the media.

I took up advertising in the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago where I was able to acquire a basic understanding of the meanings behind images and designs and their impact on the public. This university also taught and honed my skills in producing conceptual designs. Thus, my academic background and experience serve as a solid foundation which would be really helpful when I become accepted to the New Media Studies program.

After graduation, I worked in CMO Graphics as prepress artist and helped the company create design solutions for its clients. After a few months, I started working for Point B Communications and contributed in providing marketing and advertising solutions for its various clients through brand-building. My experience with them has further enhanced my skills in graphic design, fine arts, and layout design. My working experiences have enlightened me about the true meaning of design. I believe that design is important to express the way an artist feels and turn this emotion and vision into an image or design.

Despite the diversity of knowledge and skills that I acquired through my academic and work experiences, I realized that there is still so much that I have to learn. For this reason, I decided to apply at DePaul University and take up Master of Arts in New Media Studies. Through the program, I would like to achieve this goal and objective: to learn and improve my skills in a variety of areas such as writing, digital design, and media-related studies.

One of my objectives that I would like to realize through the New Media Studies program is to improve my writing skills and learn how to change my writing style so that it can fit any category, whether it is for technical, professional, or creative purposes. It is also one of my objectives to further develop my abilities in creating digital media and design which I can use in making more advanced advertising design concepts. Learning more about media representation would also be advantageous for me as my work mostly deals with visual images and design. I believe that it is highly important to understand the public’s impression of these images and designs on the public so that I can produce design concepts that will have a positive impact on them.

I chose to study at DePaul University because it offers the New Media Studies courses exclusively at night to accommodate working adults such as myself. With the courses provided at night, I would be able to attend classes and focus on my studies without worries. The program is also flexible enough to teach me technicalities and advancement in the new media field. Hence, if I become accepted to this program, I look forward to the fresh new ideas that I will gain which I would definitely apply to my current job.

I also selected DePaul University because I believe that it can offer me the best academic experience and instill the knowledge and skills that I need through the New Media Studies program. With this university’s rich and wider resources, highly acclaimed professors, cultural and educational diversity, I would most certainly achieve personal and career growth. I believe that attending a school where diversity is present plays a large role in bridging cultural gaps and settling the differences. Through this, I would be able to further nurture my understanding of various different cultures. Furthermore, the New Media Studies program of the university can guarantee absolute learning experience and offer me the best career opportunities and help me attain success in my chosen field.

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Free Essays

Arbitration

Arbitration is the process of resolving an argument outside the formal court system.  An arbitrator listens to both parties and determines an agreement that is fairest to both parties.  As a part of the hiring process, many employers are mandating voluntary arbitration agreements between the employee and the company as part of the application process for hiring.

These types of arbitration agreements have caused concern from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for employee protection.  One famous case arose between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Waffle House.  The rulings from the case by both the Circuit Courts and the Supreme Courts have changed the structure and proceedings for the mandatory arbitration agreements between employees and employers.

When an employee of Waffle House was fired after having a seizure during work hours, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed legal action against Waffle House.

Because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was not part of the mandatory arbitration agreement between Waffle House and the employee the case was taken to the courts “In EEOC v. Waffle House, Inc., the Supreme Court held that an agreement between an employer and an employee to arbitrate employment disputes does not bar the EEOC from pursuing an independent lawsuit on the employee’s behalf and seeking employee—specific judicial relief.” (Labor and Employee Relations, 2002)  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint that Waffle House was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and sought punitive damages and back pay for the employee.

At first glance, one might come to the conclusion that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has essentially replaced the arbitration process between employers and employees.  If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can file complaints because a representative of the commission had not signed an agreement with the company, it is natural to assume that companies would find such agreements to be futile and worthless.  Now employees can file an arbitration claim and an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim against employers.

The main purpose of the mandatory arbitration agreements was to keep employee suits out of the court system to save both the employee and the company legal fees.  Under the Supreme Court rulings it would appear that employers are no longer protected and the use of arbitration agreements with employees would potentially increase the possibility of having a suit filed against the company.

However, employers know that the number of cases that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission actually takes to the courts is extremely low in comparison to the number of cases the commission receives annually.  The chances of a case going to litigation is significantly low as long as the employer has examined the wording of the mandatory arbitration agreements and has maintained safe and fair working practices.

Even though the Supreme Court left open the statue of limitations on cases filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the type of damages that could be sought, mandatory arbitration is still viewed as a cost effective method to settle employee disputes with companies.  “If the employee failed to mitigate his or her damages, any recovery by the EEOC would be limited accordingly.” (Labor and Employee Relations, 2002)

Employers who practice sound business procedures are still protected by the mandatory arbitration agreements because an employee is limited on the types of compensation that can be claimed either by the employee or by the commission on the employee’s behalf.  In addition, many employees that sign the mandatory arbitration agreements are completely unaware of the existence of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or that they can file outside of the company’s chosen arbitrator for law suits against the company.  Even though technically employees have two methods to file against an employer, the reality is that most employees are ignorant of the resources at their disposal.

The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to represent employees outside of mandatory arbitration has not deterred companies from continuing the practice of these requiring these agreements.  Arbitration remains the most cost effective method to settle employee disputes by avoiding high legal fees for both the company and the employee.  The Supreme Court’s decision resulted in companies practicing more equitable work procedures.

In addition, the decision forced companies to examine existing agreements and modify them to be more equitable to the employer.  With the changes in the arbitration agreements, the low percentage of cases taken to court by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the lack of knowledge by employees of the commission’s existence the use of mandatory arbitration agreements to settle employee disputes is still cost effective and on the rise for companies.

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German

Customs and traditions are the things that make each person, family, town or country different from one another. They can be the everyday unnoticeable kind, or they can be the extravagant ones that happen on special occasions. This section is about the cultures of Italy and Germany.

Italy, like all countries, has its good and bad. Italy is a grand and larger-than-life society whose citizens love pageantry and spectacle, emphasize a range of voices in everyday life, externalize emotions and feels and feel a commitment to the town and region of the country in which they were born. To the Italians, family and friendship are of prime importance.

They try to avoid risk and uncertainty in everyday life, preserving friends over strangers and familiar over new or strange situations as their behavior in the piazza and externalization would confirm. Italians tend to be more polychromic than monochromic; performing many activities simultaneously.

In the Italian community, the influence of the group is felt in the business environment. During business meetings, people will externalize their feelings and opinions about a subject. They will listen to everyone’s ideas and freely give their own opinions. In this way, their business meetings tend to be productive due to the openness displayed by everyone. However, the decisions coming out of a meeting are frequently made by one or two dominant or domineering people.

The Italians tend to be aggressive and materialistic individuals due to their bias towards spectacle and externalization. They tend to cluster within those countries that are more accepting of individualism and aggressive, materialistic behavior, all of which reflect their externalized bias.

On the other hand, Germans do not have a very strong concept of management as the Americans do. In Germany, it is not the manager who is the cultural hero but rather the engineer. The concept of heterogeneity never existed here. At the present, elements of the medieval guild system have survived and are still evident. For example, a very effective apprenticeship system exists both on the shop floor and in the office, which alternates practical work and the classroom courses. The worker receives a certificate at the end of the apprenticeship which is then recognized throughout the country.

There are about two-thirds of the German worker population holds such a certificate and a corresponding occupational pride. And surprisingly, quite a few German company presidents have worked their way up from the ranks through an apprenticeship. The highly-skilled and responsible German workers do not necessarily need a manager to motivate them. They expect their boss to assign their tasks and to be expert in resolving technical problems. Germans have the highest rate of personnel in productive roles and the lowest both in leadership and staff roles.

Section 2

In the Italian economy, there is an inherent inequity in the amount of power. When this is happening in a particular society, obviously there is inequitable distribution of wealth, jobs and opportunities. In fact, poverty is still evident in some areas at the present. Although the Italian industry has become increasingly successful, its success is not shared equally by everyone.

This is because northern companies believe there is a difference in the northern and southern work ethic; they are hesitant to put up branches in the south. The large and rapid influx of workers from the south to the north has left behind people who aren’t willing to give up their customs (resistance to change) and traditions that have been followed since early European civilization. Obviously, there seems to have a resistance to change that has been embedded in the minds of the people. In this case, there will be slower progress since little cooperation is expected from the people. When there is little cooperation, there is slower growth and eventually slower chances of succeeding.

Although there is openness when discussing business matters, in the Italian community, the presence of monopoly is still evident. Complete democracy is not in the hands of the people when it comes to business matters. Here, the suggestions of most of the people aren’t recognized anymore since some domineering people dominate in the decision- making, The purpose of an open communication is defeated and ideas are subject to a few if not one individual. This kind of relationship hampers growth and is not open to propositions conducive to attaining success.

This will limit the country’s chance to compete in the global market and meet international demands.  Italy has been less successful in terms of developing world class multinational corporations. Instead, the country’s main economic strength has been its large base of small and medium size companies. These companies typically manufacture products that are technologically moderately advanced and therefore increasingly face crushing competition from China and other emerging Asian economies. Meanwhile, a base of corporations able to compete in markets for advanced goods and services is underdeveloped or lacking entirely.

The German style of competition is thorough but not ruinous. They generally seek market share rather than market domination. German companies despise price competition. Instead, they engage in a competition on the basis of excellence in their products and services. In short, they are quality-centered individuals putting profit as the lesser priority. They compete on a price basis only when it is necessary.  The German manager concentrates intensely on two objectives: product quality and product service. His wants his company to be the best and he wants it to have the best products.

The manager and his entire team are strongly product oriented, confident that a good product will sell itself. But the manager also places a high premium on customer satisfaction, and Germans are ready to style a product to suit a customer’s wishes. The German style of management is collegial, consensual, product and quality-oriented, export-conscious, and loyal to one company and committed to its long-term prospects. The German system could stifle change but not as innovative, aggressive or results-oriented as the United States management style. This system cautiously acknowledges that both employees and employers are vitally interested and concerned about the well-being of the company. It would seem that the benefits of economic success have been shared out and that the standard of living is very high.

The German economy does not just help the wealthy but also care for the workers and others who might not prove able to cope with the strenuous competitive demands of a market economy. In short, it is a socialist economy. In addition, these traits have put the Germans to a different level of niche in the world of business where rapid competition and globalization gradually occurs and still have a stand-out performance. In fact, the Germans have a superior fashion in business as compared to the US, thus, proves that their management function is effective and conducive towards success and prosperity.

The German economy is both conservative and dynamic. It is conservative in the sense that it draws on the part of the German tradition that envisages some state role in the economy and a cautious attitude toward investment and risk-taking. It is dynamic in the sense that it is directed toward growth–even if that growth may be slow and steady rather than spectacular. It tries to combine the virtues of a market system with the virtues of a social welfare system.

Section 3
In my opinion, it is the German culture that is most similar to the US. Overall, significant cultural influences came from Europe, especially from the German, English and Irish cultures and later from Italian, Greek cultures. Because of the several immigrants that have come to the US, this has become a melting pot of several cultures. However, as compared to Italian practices, some German cultures were retained in the country. Particularly in business, although the both the US and Germany do not go along together with the concept of management, their goals and principles in business go along. Both countries are particular in the quality of products and services they produce.

They both are focused on creating a healthy environment in business between leaders and employees and maintaining good relationships. Both are not dictatorial in their management approach and continuously strive for excellence, competence and stability. Both possess an inherent strong sense of individualism, always confident that they acquire the right knowledge and power to lead the business world. Both desire for constant innovation, not recessive to the modern changes and culturally adaptive. Both are risk-takers which are marks of a community that is moving towards globalization and becoming a true business tycoon.

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Midtermquestion obesity

Generally, much of the blame for obesity’s widespread existence in Western society is placed upon poor lifestyle. In the case of the former, the increasing pervasiveness of a sedentary lifestyle, characterized by long periods of inactivity (such as sitting in an office) with little to no exercise, in addition to a decreasing amount of leisure time being spent on physical activity, as opposed to video games and television viewing. (Bleich, et. al., 2007)

In the case of the latter, over-eating remains a problem, despite advances in nutritional awareness. Additionally, the increasing reliance on fast-food meals, with their energy dense composition, have quadrupled the calorie intake of the average American over the period between 1977 and 1995.  (Lin, et. al., 1999)

Genetics also play a part in the development of obesity. Excess calorie intake and how it translates into body mass is affected by various factors such as the genes which regulate metabolism, appetite and adipokine. Additionally, there are various genetic conditions that have been identified as symptomatized by obesity (e.g. Bardet-Biedl syndrome, leptin receptor mutations and MOMO syndrome). Farooqi & O’Rahilly (2006) have also noted that obesity has a hereditary component.

Chakravarthy & Booth (2004) have also theorized that certain ethnicities may be more prone to obesity, as an evolutionary means of taking advantage of abundance in between long periods of food scarcity. As such, the genetic disposition towards obesity is an advantage in surviving famine, but a maladaptive trait in a society with food stability.

Obesity may also be affected by medical illnesses such as Cushing’s syndrome, growth hormone deficiency and hypothyroidism. The treatment of some illnesses may also lead to fluctuations in weight, as a side effect of medication taken (e.g. antipsychotics, fertility meds). Quitting smoking has also been recognized as a cause of moderate weight gain, due to the resulting loss of appetite suppression. Also, some psychological disorders such as bulimia or binge disorders contribute direct risks of obesity.

The mechanisms of neurobiology also contribute to the development of obesity. In addition to leptin (which regulates the intake and expenditure of energy) substances such as ghrelin (which regulates short-term appetite) are linked with the maintenance of obesity. (Flier, 2004). Other such substances include adiponectin which regulates glucose, cholecystokinin which stimulates the digestion of fat and protein, and PYY 3-36 which responds to food intake by reducing appetite.

Finally, social determinants contribute to obesity by significantly affecting the habits formed that contribute to obesity. In a 2004 study, it was noted that there was an inverse correlation between wealth and obesity, suggesting that lower income individuals rely on cheaper fast food for nourishment. (Zagorsky, 2004). Also, a 2007 study followed more than 32,500 individuals over a span of 32 years and found that changes in body mass of friends, and siblings were reliable predictors of changes in subjects, regardless of geographical distance, suggesting that the acceptance of one’s body mass has an influence on changes in body size. (Christakis & Fowler, 2007)
REFERENCES

Bleich, S., Cutler, D., Murray, C. & Adams, A. (2007) Why Is The Developed World Obese?. Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 29. Retrieved May 5, 2008 from: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12954.pdf

Lin, B.H., Guthrie, J. & Frazao E. (1999) “Nutrient contribution of food away from home”. In: Frazao, E. (Ed). America’s Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 750, US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC, pp. 213–239.

Farooqi, S., O’Rahilly, S. (2006) Genetics of obesity in humans. Endocrine Review, Volume 27.

Chakravarthy, M.V., Booth, F.W. (2004). Eating, exercise, and “thrifty” genotypes: connecting the dots toward an evolutionary understanding of modern chronic diseases. Journal of Applied Physiology, Volume 96.

Flier, J.S. (2004). Obesity wars: molecular progress confronts an expanding epidemic. Cell, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp. 337-350.

Zagorsky, J.L. (2004) Is Obesity as Dangerous to Your Wealth as to Your Health? Res Aging Volume 26, pp. 130-152.

Christakis, N.A., Fowler, J.H. (2007) The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years.”

 

 

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Microsoft excel and the Microsoft access

1. Which two training sessions did you select and why?

I chose the Microsoft excel and the Microsoft access training session, the reason why I chose the excel training session was so that I could gain more knowledge on better data analysis and ways in which one can make it more easier to insert formulas on data, excel is known for the analysis of a large sample of data. Microsoft access session is also concerned with data and therefore I wanted to learn more about how one can make computing easier when dealing with data that fall in different categories.

2. What were the highlights of the first training session?

The first training session I chose was the Microsoft excel session, the main highlights included the great excel features, printing options of excel, creating a chart, enter formulas and working with the keyboard.

3. What were the highlights of the second training session?

The second training session was on Microsoft access, the main highlights in this session were differences between a list and a data base, primary keys, fields and tables and finally the four main objects that databases contain

4. Describe three benefits from each training session (six totals) that you will use in your personal or professional life.

From both training sessions I have improved my office package use with ease in understanding the application of both excel and access.

Microsoft Excel

I learnt how to import data into a worksheet, this has helped me text to ease my work of transferring text like data into excel without having to write the whole data manually from other office packages such as word.

I also learnt to use various formulas and short cuts to those formulas, in the case where one has a sample whose sample is over a hundred one can simply add up easily and also find the mean and also draw a histogram and other charts.

I also have learnt to use more than one chart, in this case I have learnt also to auto fill formulas having only written the on the first row, this makes it easier to use on data that require to be multiplied by different columns on the worksheet.

Microsoft Access

In this course I learnt how to use queries and let access give an output, example in a case where one wants to know how many individuals in a company earn more than a certain level of income, all you need to do is enter a query and then you get your results.

I also learnt how to make a database which aids in organization of work, the data base will be created with fields such as address, location, department and even the name, this will aid in organization of the data of employees to a manager or accountant.

I also learnt how to use the data in access to mail merge, this entails the writing of a letter in word and leaving some fields linked to the data and then one only has to merge the letter with the data base and one can write to a hundred people within minutes.

5. What would you add to either training session in terms of improvement, if anything?

In terms of improving the training session I would recommend that there be more advanced learning concerning the various Microsoft packages, this will involve animation of ways in which various applications are applied.

REFERENCE:

Microsoft office training (2007) Microsoft excel and Microsoft access training sessions, retrieved on 26th July, available at www.office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/default.aspx

 

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Microeconomic Impact of AIDS in Africa

The world has been greatly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic indiscriminately although some parts have proved to be more vulnerable than others. It has ravaged the people since the 1980’s when it was first discovered. Despite this, it has been established that more than two thirds o those who are infected by the scourge are found in Africa and especially in the sub-Sahara part of Africa.

This is in spite of the fact that this area consists of only 10% of the population in the world. This then means that a very big percentage of those in Africa are suffering from HIV/AIDS. It is sad to realize that the majority of those who are infected and affected by the disease are those in the working age bracket. This then affects all aspects of life including social, cultural, and economic.

In all these aspects, there has been a change towards the negative. Those who are not infected are affected by having someone close to them suffering from the disease. In almost every household, there is someone suffering from it. It affects the economy by reducing the laborer force and at the same time increasing costs. This affects the industries, households and enterprises.

It also affects the government because of reduced taxes yet the expenditure has been increased on those who are in need of health care. In these countries, there was already an economic problem before the advent of the disease and this has been escalated by the impact of the disease. It leads to the inability of these economies to advance since most of the resources are channeled towards efforts of curbing the disease (Chaminuka P., Anim F., Debustus L. K. & Nqangweni S. 2-8).

The mainstay of most of the African countries is agriculture. The majority of people practice small-scale agriculture and it is among the most affected sectors in the continent. This is because resources are withdrawn from farming and directed to the healthcare of the ailing individuals. This occurs in various ways as will be explained in this paper.

First, the labor resource is reduced greatly because those who are working in the farms are the same ones who get sick. This then leads to lack of labor for the farms and hence the productivity of these farms is greatly reduced. Furthermore, the money that can be used to hire laborers is already being used in the healthcare of the sick person (http://www.avert.org).

Secondly, the monetary capital required in the advancement of farming is already being used by the family in the purchasing of drugs and general health care of the sick person. This then means that the implements necessary for the improvement and increase of productivity are not purchased. It is also affected by the loss of income earners either through death or to the ravages of the disease.

If the person who is required to infuse monetary capital to the farming business loses his or her job due to the disease, then it means that the household is by-passed by much technological advancement related to the agricultural field. When unable to purchase these technologies, productivity is low and hence the amount of income that can be earned from the farming is greatly reduced.

Lastly, in order to deal with the situation brought about by the disease, children end up becoming the laborers in the farms. They do this because their parents may both be suffering from the disease, as is the case most of the times, and therefore unable to work in the fields. Since the children cannot be able to work as efficiently and effectively as the adults can, they end up producing for subsistence use only.

This means that food insecurity is on the rise because not enough is being produced to support the countries demand for food. This ends up leading to a very acute shortage of food and the countries end up depending on food aid from other countries. Since agriculture as pointed out earlier is the mainstay of most economies, it means therefore means that even the economy is greatly affected (Chaminuka P., Anim F., Debustus L. K. & Nqangweni S. 2-8).

In Africa, there is a high rate of illiteracy and this affects their ability to compete for work on both the local and the international level. This has always been so since the independence era of most countries such that most of the policies put in place were aimed at reducing the level of illiteracy that was there. Since most of these policies failed it means that the problem was still prevalent even before the onset of the disease. This problem was made even worse, by the presence of HIV/AIDS through the impact it has on the education sector.

When the disease hits a family, there is need to use all the resources available in taking care of the patient and also in the funeral expenses, in case the person dies. The reduction in money for use in the house leads to a reduction in the previously experienced expenses. The most reduced expenses are spending on some of the basic needs that are deemed disposable. These basic needs usually include clothing and education. The money to cater for the school uniform and for school fees is used in health care of the patient and hence leads to low education and in the long run an increase in the rate of illiteracy (http://www.avert.org).

Education is also affected when both parents die of the disease and this is very common. It then means that some or all of the children end up dropping out of school so as to take care of themselves and also the young ones. If the parents are still alive but suffering from the disease, the children, especially the female children, drop out of school so as to take care of the parents.

The lack of education means that the majority of youngsters are only able to get menial manual jobs. They are unable to get technical jobs that need skills because they have not learned them in school. It ends up making the country look for expatriates to do the jobs that could have been done by local people if they had the skills.

This impacts on the economy negatively because the expatriates demand for more money than what would have been paid to the locals if they were the ones employed in the same capacity. This ends up straining the resources available because the amount used in salaries for the expatriates reduces the profits that could have been made. In other words, the profits are not maximized.

The low levels of education also lead to a lot of unemployment because the manual jobs can be done through the technologies introduced. The manual employees end up replaced by the machines increasing unemployment level. The high rate of unemployment leads to lack of consumption of goods and services because the people do not have money to spend (http://www.avert.org).

The decrease in labor also affects the foreign direct investment. This is because the demand for labor becomes higher than the supply. This leads to an increase in wages and the necessity for the use of expatriates. The foreign direct investment is important in the improvement of the economy but the foreign investors can only be attracted if there is a chance of making profits. For the profits to be made, the resources required must be available at the minimum costs possible.

Once labor, which is one of the resources, becomes too expensive to enable the company maximize its profits, the investors tend to shy away from the country. This means that the one of the various avenues through which the country can be able to improve its economy has been affected.

The various companies that have been put up also make a lot of losses leading either to closure due to reduced profits or the company may not close down but the profits being made are affected. This is because of the increased costs caused by the diversion of the productive resources towards health care, funeral benefits and also the pension fund.

This is brought about by the early retirement caused by the incapacitation of the ailing workers due to poor health. The skills are also reduced as an increased number of skilled workers succumb to the disease. This affects the company especially since resources have been used to train the workers and they may not have recovered the cost by the time the person retires or dies.

Businesses are also affected in that there is low productivity by workers. This is because the disease brings about an increase in the rate or absenteeism. Once the workers are constantly absent due to the necessity to seek medical care, it then means that the work is not done well and this affects the amount of profit that the businesses make. Furthermore, with the effect that the disease has on individual households, it leads to a reduction in the demand for the goods and services that are provided. This leads to an increase in dead stock which in turn may lead to the closure of some businesses.

The lack of good profits by businesses and companies affects the economy as a whole in that it affects the taxes that the government gets from the business sector. This leads to reduced revenue thus affecting the services that the government is able to provide to the citizens. This is combined with the increase in health care spending by the government.

The government ends up having to borrow from both foreign and local lenders so as to be able to meet the targets of the budget that they have fixed in any given financial year. The result of the heavy borrowing is an increase in the rate of inflation. This affects each household because the money they have now purchases less than it would have before (http://www.avert.org).

In the provision of health care, it has become very expensive for the individual households. This is caused by the fact that there is massive drainage of health care workers in most of these countries. There are too many people who are infected with the disease causing an increase in the workload of the healthcare workers.

When this is combined with the low wages that they get, it leads to their immigrating to other areas where they can get more money for the services that they give. In order to maintain those who have been left in the service, there is need to increase their wages and this cost is pushed on to those who are seeking health care making it next to impossible for them to acquire it especially the HIV/AIDS patients.

There is also a problem of having a large number of infected health care workers, this is because a major cause o death in the industry thus depleting the number of workers further. This combined with the other two factors are a cause of increase in the cost of attainment of healthcare.

This affects households by reducing the amount of income that can be used for consumption thus affecting the economy. The hospital resources are also under strain because the disease is chronic yet the numbers of HIV/AIDS patients that are using the hospital’s resource are more than those who are suffering from other diseases.

The death of income earners in the various households means that the children who are orphaned become dependants on other income earners. This is if they do not become the heads in their houses. The increase in dependants on the income earners leads to less income used for consumption. There are now more people who depend on the same income thus reducing the real income of the household. There is also the reduction of customers that a business can get because the same amount of money that was initially used by one household is now being used by two households.

Also, the increase in amount of dependants on the few income earners who are now available leads to depletion of savings. Since the income earned cannot be enough to sustain the increased number of dependants, the income earner is forced to use up the saving that they had kept aside. Since savings and investments go hand-in-hand, it means that the rate of investment is also affected. There is less investment by households and also the various businesses because decreased savings causes an increase in the interest rate of borrowing. The decreased rate of investment affects employment.

The income earners usually have to quit working because they have to take care of the ill. This especially affects the female income earners because they have to take care of the family. The female workers and students may end up becoming commercial sex workers which is a job description that is not taxed by the government. In other words, it means that the number of taxpayers has reduced yet the number of workers has increased. By becoming commercial sex workers, they increase their chances of contracting the disease and dying thus continuing the vicious cycle of poverty.

The increase in the work load of caregivers affects their output in their various workplaces. The women who work in industries are unable to produce at optimum level because of increased absenteeism at work. This reduces the amount of income that they get since their working hours are greatly reduced. They may also be fired because they end up becoming a liability to the company because the cost of maintaining them as workers becomes too high for the company. This leads to a decrease in the amount of money that can be spent by the household on consuming. Furthermore with reduced income, there is reduced saving since all the money earned goes directly to consumption.

The assets that people own end up being sold in order to acquire treatment for the sick. Even after death of the sufferers, there are still funeral expenses and hence further sale of the assets. The households are then left very poor with nothing to fall back on especially once the income earners in the household succumb to the disease. Since the savings have already been used up, there is no way that the households can recover their previous economic status and this increases the rate of poverty. In other words, there is an increase in the amount of poor people in the continent (http://www.avert.org).

The households which have been affected by the disease end up depending on other households. They become a burden to them and cause an increase in the debts that these people have. These debts are even made worse by the fact that there are high chances of the income earners losing their employment. To avoid this, the older children end up becoming laborers to support their families.  This has changed the composition of workers to having more children than adults in the labor force. Since the children are unable to be as productive as the adults they are paid poorly. This pushes them further into poverty.

Work cited

AVERT. The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Africa. Retrieved on 29th November 2007 from http://www.avert.org/aidsimpact.htm

Chaminuka P., Anim F., Debustus L. K. & Nqangweni S. impact of HIV&AIDS on Agriculture and Food Security. The Case of Limpopo Province in South Africa 2006 FANRPAN pg 2-8

 

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MGTU1DB

1. Definitely not appropriate, 2. Probably not appropriate, 3. Undecided, 4. Probably appropriate, and 5. Definitely appropriate

__5___ Careful study of trade journals –

There is no law that prohibits the access to trade journals. Anyone with a subscription can freely peruse through journal contents. Furthermore, trade journals are reputable sources that collect data through legitimate means.

__1___ Wiretapping the telephones of competitors

Aside from this being against the law in most countries, it also infringes against the universal right of individuals and other entities to privacy.

__4__ Posing as a potential customer to competitors

Although there is nothing preventing an entity from doing this, the effort that the competition needs to exert to entertain the “fake” customer is an unethical burden to impose. This is unless the “spying” entity intends to avail of the competitor’s goods/services anyway for comparison in which case I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

__4__ Getting loyal customers to put out a phone `request for proposal` soliciting competitors` bids

Since these are loyal customers, then the ‘requests for proposal’ are obviously superficial. However, it rests on the shoulders of the competitors to weed out these superficial requests and not give in to them.

__5__ Buying competitors` products and taking them apart

It’s called reverse engineering. If you pay for something, then you have the right to learn as much as you can from it. Of course, this is strictly on an information gathering perspective. Copying the work and selling it is subject to a whole other set of rules.

__2__ Hiring management consultants who have worked for competitors

I see nothing wrong with the company making this move. However, the consultants are of course subject to limitations bound by their contracts to competitors that they had worked for previously. These conditions usually include confidentiality in which case it would be futile for the company to try to get info from another company by extracting it from consultancy firms that their competitors have previously used.

__4__ Rewarding competitors` employees for useful `tips`

So long as the ‘tips’ are legally acquired, there’s nothing wrong with it.

__3__ Questioning competitors` customers and/or suppliers

There’s nothing wrong with conducting information drives to customers. Customers usually have small grievances on a competitor which could prove useful for the company. Suppliers are another matter. Suppliers especially ones that have exclusive customers by region usually do not divulge information regarding their clients.

__5__ Buying and analyzing competitors` garbage

It’s the same as buying the competitor’s products.

__1__ Advertising and interviewing for nonexistent jobs

This blatantly fools not only the competitor but also the general public. It constitutes a violation

__5__ Taking public tours of competitors` facilities

Since it is a public tour, then it’s perfectly alright for the company to tour competitor facilities as guided by the rules in those facilities. Violating the rules (such as taking pictures when not allowed to do so) is another matter.

__2__ Releasing false information about the company in order to confuse competitors.

Although the company aims to confuse competition, what it’s actually doing is also confusing the public which is generally an unacceptable business practice. There are some exceptions such as when the company bait’s competition with information that does not affect any other public or private entity aside from the competitors. These exceptions could mean something like deliberately leaving fake files in front of a competitor.

__2__ Questioning competitors` technical people at trade shows and conferences

Like the consultancy firms, these individuals are probably under strict contract not to divulge any pertinent information. There is no problem in questioning them, but what they reveal might even be false information that could damage the company rather than help them with the competition.

__5__ Hiring key people away from competitors

This is piracy. As long as the company can make offers that its competitor’s employees can’t refuse, it’s a free country.

__3___ Analyzing competitors` labor union contracts

It completely depends on the nature of the contracts. If it is a matter of public document, then there’s nothing wrong with procuring and analyzing it. If not, then the competitor’s privacy should be respected

__1___ Having employees date persons who work for competitors

If this is obligatory which is what is implied by the statement, then it violates the private life of the company’s employees. It is also most likely beyond their employees’ job descriptions. If it is voluntary, then it seems to be a matter of personal morals, although I’d still say that it is cruel.

__3__ Studying aerial photographs of competitors` facilities

This strictly depends on whether or not the law allows the act. I see no moral contentions outside those of mere adherence to government mandate.

Reference:

Gordon, H. (2003). Business Ethics. Pinedale Press: New Jersey

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Metin

ZEE: She’s a 19 year-old girl, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. She is a quick-tempered, disorganized, untidy but clean girl. Although she tries to make others believe that she is a  liberal, in fact she is traditional. She has a strong sense of personal ethics. She can’t keep abreast of all innovations immediately. She suffers from insomnia at nights so she watches films when she can’t sleep. She’s addicted to cigarettes, but doesn’t drink alcohol. She’s passionately fond of her father and she has a tattoo showing her father’s date of birth on her leg. But she doesn’t show this to her father. She doesn’t answer telephone calls. Most of the time she rings it off before the other person speaks.

HALUK: He is Zee’s 78 year-old father. He lives in Turkey. He is a childish man. He still watches the cartoon Tom & Jerry every morning. He’s trying to keep up with technology in order to prove that he isn’t old. He’s not a narrow minded man; on the contrary, he’s innovative in the same way as young people and thinks in the same way with them. The fact that he  ZEE was born to him in his old age makes him care for her very much. Though he knows that his daughter loves him, he also wants affection from her. He calls her daughter at least ten times a day.

HILARY ZANETICH: She is the closest friend of ZEE. She was born in New Jersey. She is blond, tall and plump. She doesn’t mind her physical appearance, except at nights when she goes out. She wears the same clothes at school everyday. She’s quite a flexible and a positive person. Although she believes that ZEE is a hypochondriac and crazy, she loves her very much.

All the time she says that their friendship has improved her character in many ways. Her flexibility makes HILARY extremely funny. The fact that she never minds anything sometimes gets her into trouble. The first person that ZEE asks about America is HILARY. However, as Hilary’s general knowledge is not sufficient, she calls her mother each time after Hilary’s answers.

YAMAN GAZIOGLU: He is the closest Turkish boy friend of ZEE. He is very keen on girls, especially American blond girls. His most noticeable feature is that while he is speaking English, he applies direct translations from Turkish. For that reason, he usually talks about what ZEE can understand. (He translates Turkish idioms into English, but they make sense to no one except for ZEE.)

Turkey is against America.

As images of Turkey come from the international map, ZEE explains about Turkish people and the general features of Turkey  that have been left behind. When the camera-shot moves away from Turkey and starts to approach America, we see luxury shops, automobiles, and elite people shopping and having dinner in Merrick Park, where Zee lives. Following these images, the camera is slowly directed to Zee’s bedroom. Meanwhile, we grasp from Zee’s words that she wants to be far away from her American life style even for only one day.

Starting the day.

The first place we meet Zee is her bedroom. Cigarette ends at the bedside of Zee, burying her head in her pillow, a great many dresses on the floor and DVDs draw our attention. A film is already on the TV with low volume. There are pictures of her father and his letters to her on the walls. Her father’s call wakes Zee up. Her father, whose computer has already been locked, calls Zee to ask for her help. However, he doesn’t listen to what ZEE says and does what he wants.

Zee, fed up with her father’s advice and warnings, hangs the phone up. Meanwhile she is called again by Blockbuster so that she will return the DVDs she rented from them. As she can’t go on sleeping, she calls the hairdresser to have her hair done. But she can’t have an appointment since a customer has sued  the hairdresser. Extremely disappointed Zee deals with her hair by herself, gets dressed and goes out.

Traffic monster.

While she is driving slowly towards school  listening to music at the highest volume, she almost runs into an car trying to overtake a slower vehicle. She has to swerve to the right and runs into the garden of a house. She immediately looks at the number plate of the automobile and,  shaking  all over,  calls the police.  But the police cannot help Zee as neither she nor her car is injured. They say to her, that’s life.

4) Accusation

Zee goes to her French lesson with a Turkish friend and her teacher makes them get out of the class. The teacher tells Zee that she will punish her and expel her from school as Zee helped a friend with his homework. Zee explains to her teacher that she’s still trying to get used to American school system, adding that in Turkey helping one’s friends with their homework is not considered such a bad thing. After that, the teacher excuses Zee by pointing out that she mustn’t do it again.

5) For those buying one, the second is free of charge.

Zee goes shopping with her American friend Hilary in their one and a half hour break. The salesman tries to persuade her by saying that if she buys two more underclothes from Victoria Secret shopping center, a freezer will be given to her free of charge. The attitude of the salesman makes Zee angry.

6) Post- it

When Zee comes back to school, she can’t find a parking place in the enclosed car-park of the school, so she has no chance out of parking on the meters. But she has no coins at that moment and she knows that her automobile will be towed away if she parks there as she hasn’t paid the fines she already has. She first hesitates but decides to park her car there as soon as she realizes that she’ll be late for her class. She gets out of  her car and  writes the following note on a post-it, putting it on the parking meter; “I’m sorry, but I have no coins. PLEASE DO NOT PULL MY AUTO AWAY, I WILL BE BACK WITHIN TWO HOURS.”  She then sticks it on the windshield.

 

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Music meter

Appreciating music as the universal language of the soul is more of an instinct and should not be tiring. However, dealing with music formally exposes us to a lot of technical aspects that may appear a little complicated especially for beginners who eventually get exhausted in the learning process.

But not all technical issues remain confusing. In music studies, meter is perhaps easiest understood. It is almost an automatic information absorbed by a listener without having to look at a chart or any written guide. The simple hand clap or stomping of the feet acquaints our ears so we can easily follow a tune. Even children can be surprisingly responsive to the music they listen to. Because it is fundamental, learning music meter would not take too much of your time. By simply focusing the mind, one can easily go to the next level.

Body

Music meter is the arrangement of rhythm in fixed, regular patterns with a uniform number of beats [or pulse] in uniform measures (Dudley et al, pp. 240).  At this point, the word ‘timing’ becomes the main concern. Formal musical pieces indicate the meter applied through time signature, which is the fraction number indicated beside the clef symbol at the beginning of the staff or that five horizontal placement lines that hold the notes (Fig 1).

The numerator tells us how many basic beats there are in each measure, and the denominator tells the basic duration value of the beat (Dudley et al, pp. 241). It consists of equal divisions and subdivisions translated into counts of 1-&–2-&-1-&-2 (Schmidt-Jones, pp. 3) or ONE two, ONE two (Dudley et al, pp. 241). This depends on the types of music meter used.

Fig. 1  The staff, plural form: staves

There are actually two traditional patterns of music meter widely used in Western music, the duple, triple, and quadruple, which breaks into simple and compound sub-patterns. For example, the duple pattern have simple duple and compound duple; the same goes for the rest. “In a simple meter, each beat is basically divided into halves. In compound meters, each beat is divided into thirds.” (Schmidt-Jones)

This can be written as:

Duple simple              1-and-2-and-1-and-2                                                 2/4

Triple simple               1-and-2-and-3-and-1-and-2-and-3                            3/4

Quadruple simple       1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and-1-and-2-and-3-and-4       4/4

Duple compound       1-and-a-2-and-1-and-a-2                                           6/8   (pp. 3)

Sometimes, a single piece can contain a number of time signatures. Sometimes, it can contain no definite pattern at all. A music piece that does not follow a specific time signature is called free meter. This is common in Gregorian chants or plainsong, and some cultural music that has distorted beats and pulses, which can be really frustrating for a listener as they can be hardly followed. There are also experimental musicians who does not stick to certain music patterns.

Conclusion

Music meter is one of the basic elements of music that is evidently easy to learn until we can come up with a professionally designed composition. Musicians and listeners to day has more advantage as music has progressed with a lot of new things to discover and experiment with. One only needs to look a few years back to know its historic details, which can be more interesting than today’s versions. Anyone can even educate themselves about it with the help of comprehensive and concise reading materials.

References

Dudley, L., Faricy, A., Rice, J. G. (1978) Elements of Music. The Humanities. (Sixth Edition, pp.

238-271). US: McGraw-Hill, Inc.

Schmidt-Jones, C. (2007) Meter In Music. Connexions Module, Version 1.7, Retrieved February

15, 2007 from http://cnx.org/content/m12405/latest/

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Nazi and Vatican WWII Relations

Primary Facts

Holy See/ Vatican (seat of the Roman Catholic Church) and  Germany forged relations in July 20, 1933 known as the Concordat of the Reich Concordat.

Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (who later became Pope Pius XII in 1939) and Germany’s Vice Chancellor Franz Von Papen were the Instrumental figures in the agreement. Witnessed by Msgr. Giovanni Montini (later became Pope Paul VI) and Ludwig Kaas (leader of Germany’s Catholic Center Party).

Pope Pius XI and Hitler approved the Concordat but were not in attendance.

Prior to this Concordat, the Catholic bishops were active in denouncing Nazism.

1. Prior to WWII

Original reasons for the concordat (Vatican)

Generous financial assistance to German Catholic Schools(Alvarez and Graham)

Prior Concordat treaties were made with other nations like Bavaria in 1925; Prussia in 1929; and Baden in 1932

Autonomy of ecclesiastical institutions and their activities (Alvarez and Graham: 1997: 3)

Establish better footing in Protestant-controlled Germany

Prevent the spread of communism using Nazism as a bulwark

Joint Agreement with the Nazi party for the Church’s protection

Other vested interests

Original Reason for the Concordat (Germany)

To silence the Catholic bishops’ persistent denouncing on the spread of Nazism.

Gain the church’s approval and international recognition

Establish the trustworthiness and reliability of the Nazi regime.

Ensure the rise of Nazism, unopposed

Soften the Catholic Church’s opposition to socialism by relying on the power of the pope over the congregation based on the Canon law.

Establish power over the German churches.

Endorse the Nazi ideology on divided German priests

Other vested interests

Negative Effects of the Concordat on the Roman Catholic Church

Hitler established in 1935 a Ministry of Church Affairs to oversee church movements and placed churches under administrative control.

Nazism was actively taught in schools which included “a salute” to Nazi officers.
Anti-Semitism was fanned as Jewish-hate propaganda was endorsed by the Nazi regime.
German priests were taught that Nazism reasserts the values of religion.
Religious activities were barred outside places of worship.
Authority of the Roman Catholic Church was questioned
Reduction of vocations to the priesthood by encouraging men to marry
Increasing hostility as Hitler decided not to honor the pact.
Notes:

Pope Pius XI started condemning the Nazi party but died shortly before he could deliver a blunt message to the public in 1939. Barely a month after, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli assumed the papacy as Pope Pius XII as the wartime pope. War broke out in September of the same year.

There are rumors presented by Cardinal Tisserant that Pope Pius XI was murdered a few hours before he was to deliver a message condemning Germany.

2.  During the War

The Vatican

Ended Pius XI’s ban on Action Francaise which is an anti-Semitic organization

Denied knowledge on reported atrocities committed by the Nazi party against Jews.

Conciliatory policy of silence despite reports from bishops and other foreign dignitaries.

Did not denounce the humanitarian problem of the Jews and other marginalized sectors in Europe.

Refused to acknowledge any knowledge of the crimes against humanity.

Never excommunicated Hitler.

Remain mum and allowed genocide of the Jews.

Reasons for upholding the Concordat and silence despite Germany ignoring it

Pressured into silence by Germany’s privileged information gathering on the Vatican

Believed that Nazism could work against communist movement

Germany questioned the neutrality of the Vatican

Fear of offending Germany and loosing support.

Protection of the church properties and interest during the war

Protection of assets and interests

Veiled endorsement of anti-Semitism

Results:

Hitler’s refusal to honor the terms in the Concordat allowed the worst genocide in the history of mankind among Jews and other marginalized sectors in Europe.

Properties were looted, women and children subjected to punishment and executions along with men. Treatment of men like common criminals or animals without legal consequences; mass murders of Jews with the supreme effort to eradicate their bloodline.

 

 

 

 

 

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Navy Recommendation

1. While serving in the capacity as the Command Career Counselor the USS STEPHEN W GROVES (FFG 29), I have had the good fortune to have Petty Officer Jason Martinez work with me as the Assistant Command Career Counselor for our ship.

2. This past year has afforded me the opportunity of witnessing the many accomplishments PS1 has been able to achieve both personally and professionally. Petty Officer Martinez has demonstrated exceptional knowledge of all necessary retention programs such as PTS, CIMS, NRMS, Fleet RIDE and NRMS. He has led the way in training and providing information to our crew through First Terms Success Workshops, Career Development Training Courses and GENDET Success Workshops.

Furthermore, PS1(SW) Martinez has been a driving force to ensure career development boards are conducted effectively. He has embodied the ideals of career development by encouraging the engagement of the chain of command providing the guidance needed by sailors to attain the objectives of the Sailor Continuum’s five vectors.

3. In addition to the above-mentioned accomplishments, he has completely overhauled our Command Sponsorship Program, establishing a new sponsorship team from the main departments of the ship, and providing the necessary training for instant results. Petty Officer Martinez flawlessly processed and tracked 23 reenlistments of which 15 were SRB entitlements over 110,000 dollars.

He has processed six Fleet Reserve, seven Career Status Bonus, and 56 Perform to Serve applications. During this period while assigned as Assistant Command Career Counselor, he has stepped in and executed the duties as the Command Career Counselor, while I was away either TAD or on leave.

4. Petty Officer Martinez routinely performs his tasks flawlessly and at a higher pay-grade than is expected at his current rank, whether it is explaining Navy policies to the Captain, Executive Officer or counseling a sailor as to his career path options. His overall development as both an Assistant Command Career Counselor and a sailor over the past year has been nothing short of exemplary! Petty Officer Martinez is the type of leader that the Navy needs to continue leading the way in the career-counseling field!

5. A very important contribution that PS1(SW) Martinez has made to the success of the ships program is his ability to work together with and support the building of the career development team. In fact, one of his most important qualities has been his ability to earn the confidence and trust of the crew onboard the ship. It is this trait, in addition to all his other abilities, that makes him an effective career counselor.
S. J. MARTINEZ

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Naturebros

Q1. Summarize the information presented regarding the present and proposed products. Briefly describe the company’s 2004 and 2005 objectives.

Ans. Dale Morris, being a cooking enthusiast, created a new season mix in 1993 which was based on a nutritive yeast extract and used a considerable amount of lesser salt than other seasonal mixes. This mix being very popular among family and close friends, he decided to ‘test market’ his product via a charity event and once successful, he saw an opportunity of a new saleable product. His vision however was stalled till 2002 due to lack of startup capital.

Eventually, he raised enough money (a total of $65,000) by selling 15 percent each of his stock to his mother and two work colleagues to lease machinery and setup a small production facility and bring his product to grocery stores by August of 2002. The product was an instant hit among customers. Having a sales background himself, Morris had no problems in coming up with ways to promote his product. His tasting demonstrations, similar to what he held for family and friends were a hit and attracted enough sales in seven states and to consider expanding the product line and make inroads to markets in more states as well.

In order to expand however, Morris needed more capital. Not only was the market to be expanded, two new products had to be launched as well. This meant additional expenses in product development, production, advertising and distribution. The present product, although a low salt seasoning, does not cater to the salt free market. Thus a salt free variant is to be developed along with an MSG based flavor enhancer.

The company’s 2004 objectives are to stabilize its current markets in terms of sales and distribution and to achieve a 5 percent market share in the category of seasoned salt, a 10 percent market share in salt substitutes and a 5 percent market share in MSG based flavor enhancers. Strategy for 2004 concentrates more on existing markets. Although a 10 percent market share in the salt free category seems a bit optimistic, it is possible due to the lack of competitors in this market segment.

For 2005, the company plans to expand to eight new markets namely Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Francisco, Spokane and Portland. These new markets make up 17.1 percent of total grocery sales and thus are an attractive market to tap into. Like 2004, here too 5 percent shares for the salt based seasoning, 10 percent for the salt free version and 5 percent market share for the MSG based enhancer are objectified.

The methods to be used will range from aggressive advertising to tapping into the more health conscious West Coast psyche. Price advantages will further help realize these aims for both existing and new markets. All this will be done due to the fact that the company is currently in the market expansion process and has to make unique selling propositions in order to capture a larger share of the market.

Q2. After reviewing this material, make a list of additional information which should be supplied to support the sales projections.

Ans. The sales forecasts seem to be well worked upon but that isn’t the case. The biggest blunder is that percentage aims for each new market and existing market have not be clearly specified. Only totals have been given for existing and new markets and new ones with the aims at 5 or 10 percent (as per product) being calculated based on the overall totals of each market. Since the existing markets have to be stabilized and expanded, there should e more specific information regarding each individual state in terms of market and percentage to be achieved in dollar amounts. Same should be the case for new markets as well.

The second problem with these forecasts is that although the company has outlined its financial and percentage aims in each of these markets, no specifications whatsoever have been given as to the volume and price of the product being sold there. This is essential because Nature Bros. will have to decide what packages and what volume of sales they plan on distributing in these areas. Thus sales have to be given not only in dollar amounts but in amount of units and weight per package as well.

Thirdly, the price set for each package should also be included in order to calculate how Nature Bros. will capture the market. A proper product into price figure is needed here rather than the existing dollar amounts.

Q3. Comment on objectives: Are they reasonable, optimistic, or conservative? What marketing mix would best support this growth rate?

Ans. The objectives seem to be reasonable for the current markets but are a bit too optimistic for new markets. The main reason for this is that the current markets are aware of their products. They just need to keep enhancing their advertisement efforts in order to capture a larger market share. New products too will be welcomed more openly.

New markets always show resistance to new entrants. Secondly, local home grounds are always easier to work in; it’s the new markets that always create problems especially due to the startup inertia faced by products. In order to achieve these objectives, Nature Bros. will have to go big in these new markets. They will ahev to concentrate a lot on achieving the right marketing mix so as not to expend too much and still achieve their objectives:

§  Promotion: promotional campaign launched by Nature Bros. have so far been successful in most cases. Form personal friends to tasting stalls, Morris has done well so far in achieving fame for his product. The new products however might need that extra push. First of all, they should go for more branding of the products. Customers might confuse the positioning of the existing product and leave it and the salt free version might eat away into the original products sales.

Since Nature Bros. have thus far marketed their existing product as healthy and low salt, a salt less substitute will only shed bad light on the existing seasoning mix. Thus Nature Bros. should start repositioning its existing brand and use the same in new markets. Quality should be strictly controlled and maintained at all costs.

§  Price: the pricing strategy as outlined in the plans seems to be fine for this product. One aspect that Nature Bros. have neglected however is the price demand elasticity of their product. They should test this strategy in their existing markets and see if they are in a position to charge premiums at this stage or not. This will give a fair idea as to for how long they will have to sell their products at reduced prices (how long it takes to achieve customer loyalty) and how sensitive the customers are in terms of price changes.

If a little drop in price means a considerable increase in sales then Nature Bros. can achieve their target market shares without 3040 percent price cuts as they currently plan to. On the other hand if this is not the case and customers are not too elastic, then not only discounts but extra promotion will also have to be done and this would mean leaner profit margins with additional promotion costs.

§  Promotion: the promotion strategy is fine and tested in the existing markets. Their decision to advertise in cooking magazines is a good one as well. One additional aspect however would be to properly launch their product and activate their brand through a certain event or fair. A proper launch and enough publicity can do wonders for a product in any given case.

The church sale was the most successful for Morris and made him realize that a marketable product is at hand. Similarly, if ature Bros. were to contact other organizations such as churches or TV shows to use their product, this would result in a lot of publicity. This along with a few interviews to newspapers and leading cooking magazines will help a lot in creating enough hype and launching the product.

§  Distribution: this is probably the weakest link in the whole plan. There seem to be no formal plans nor strategies regarding the actual distribution of the product. Being a young company, Nature Bros. will have to carefully assess which distribution strategies are cheapest and yet most effective. Although all products will be sold at grocery stores, Nature Bros. can decide whether it will be supplying directly to these stores or use the services of a third party in the form of a distribution intermediary. More intermediaries however mean higher product selling prices and this could result in Nature Bros. not effectively achieving their pricing strategy in the new markets and thus eventually losing market share.

Q4. Evaluate the information supplied regarding a new product development and physical assets in light of the pro forma income statements Morris developed.

Ans. The case shows that new product development and physical assets are going to be beneficial in nature, primarily due to the reason that the cost of goods sold as projected by the pro forma sheet show a decline over the years. Additionally, sales increase over the years. The new product if developed can help in terms of profits eventually, since profits automatically increase with the decrease in cost of goods sold and increase in sales over the years projected. Apart from operational expenses though, research and development expenses, and depreciation expenses of physical assets would increase causing an increase in the total cost incurred by the organization apart from the cost of goods sold.

Q5. Is the capital sought appropriate for the circumstances? If more information is needed, state what it is and how it could be obtained.

Ans. The capital sought is not appropriate mainly due to two reasons. The objectives outlined in terms of market shares are too optimistic in some cases. If Nature Bros. seriously intends to achieve these objectives  then they might have to expend a lot more in promotion and also further lower their prices. Secondly although promotion expenses are stated, not much has been said about other below the lien activities. It is rare that the cost of BTL activities are easily anticipated and put on paper for budgeting purposes.

The second reason is that no mention has been made of distribution channels and strategies. This whether they decide to own the channel themselves or employ third parties, in both cases additional expenses will most certainly entail.

Lastly, every firm always keeps a certain excessive amount of capital for emergencies. Since these are projections, Nature Bros. will most certainly have to attain a little more extra capital and retain it for unpredictable circumstances.

Q6. What sources should Morris approach for this amount of capital?

Ans. The product has done well in the past few years. A proper business plan and more professional projections can easily help Morris market his idea to banks as well as more serious venture capitalists in a very effective manner. The best option would be to borrow from a financial institution as opposed to selling off more equity to individuals. This is so because selling off equity might result in loss of ownership and decision power and at this stage conflicts among partners is something Nature Bros. should not risk.

The ownership once diluted would result in actually loss of control, and decision making power would be vested in the hands of the shareholders. Apart from this, Nature Bros. has become too big to rely solely on funds borrowed from family and friends and is not big enough to go public as yet. Thus the best options would be to find capital form either banks at a fixed interest rate or angel investors who are interested and more patient than other categories of venture capitalists.

These investors are interested in returns but rarely intervene in the management aspect of the business and are more accommodating as well. This source of funding or capital would help in reducing the amount of taxes that the company would have to pay, and additionally, fewer amounts would have to be given out to the shareholders as dividend. Thus any source which costs below the going interest rate and doesn’t result in selling of equity would be suitable for Nature Bros.

Q7. Based on the current balance sheet, how much equity should he give up for the investment?

The current balance sheet of the company shows several things. One of the basic aspects is the amount of assets that the company holds at this point in time. The total assets are about sixty seven thousand, and corresponding to that, the total liabilities are about fifty eight thousand. This shows that the company can cover its liabilities through the assets that it currently holds. On the other hand, the equity that the company has at this point in time is about nine thousand.

A lot of potential in terms of equity investment is seen here since the company can not only withhold the amount of liabilities but also has enough to cater to the shareholders as well in terms of its liquid assets. In this case, about half of the liabilities amount can be given up for the investment and still be able to keep a significant amount of money in the liability section.

The ball park figure is assumed in order to create a fifty-fifty balance between the liabilities and the equity side. The ideology is that the amount of figure noted would be able to create enough equity in the organization that would not jeopardize reporting and decision making in the company, and yet, be enough that it balances out the loans taken from banks and other individuals and institutions.

References:

Hisrich, R., Peters, P., & Shepard, D. (2008). Entrepreneurship. 7th Edition. Irwin:

McGraw-Hill.

Entrpreneur.com (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2007, from http://www.entrepreneur.com/bizstartups/index.html

U.S. Small Business Administration (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2007, from http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html

 

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Nature

Humans have long considered themselves the top of the food chain and tried to mold nature to their whims, but in recent years, nature has exerted itself and proved repeatedly that Mother Nature can still defeat man.  The sad truth is that man had begun to believe that he could subjugate nature to his whims. Wild animals were domesticated and sent to zoos, the wind was harnessed to power the human cities and forests were turned into asphalt jungles. Then, in 2005, actually beginning in December, 2004, nature attacked with a fury to make sure that mankind knew exactly who was in charge.

The tsunami in Southeast Asia was the warning shot across the bow. Mother Nature followed up with the most devastating Atlantic storm season in history. By the time Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, named storms had threatened the southern United States almost a dozen times and when Rita tore through Houston just weeks later, the country and most of mankind stood in fear of nature’s vengeance. Suddenly, we knew once again who was in charge.

Personally, I have also felt more connected to nature then I believe most people do. I long to watch the squirrels and birds play in m backyard and smell the night jasmine when it blooms in the summer.  There is nothing like watching the first crocus of the spring peak through the snow and the lilacs herald the arrival of the warm weather. My yard comes alive in the spring and Mother Nature reminds me that I am dependent on her splendor and good nature to feed me and clothe me.

Like most people I would like to believe that we have risen above the challenge of living in a cave and acting as hunter/gatherers. But the reality is for all our manipulation of glass and steel, we are still subject to nature’s whims. A Kansas town can be wiped off the map by the angry night winds. A city of a million people can be decimated and washed into the Gulf. With no warning, flood waters can pour through a Dallas suburb and steal children away to their deaths. Nature plays an important role in our lives and the more we try to pretend it doesn’t, the more that nature sneaks up and whacks us with a wakeup call to respect her.

More than a century ago, Chief Joseph proclaimed that what we do the beasts of the earth, we soon to do ourselves. Unfortunately, most of society has yet to learn the lesson and understand that we cannot control the forces of nature. Instead, they proclaim that we are in control of the planet and that we effect what the climate is doing. It seems ridiculous to assume that we can control the climate when we cannot even protect ourselves from hurricanes and tornadoes. We can have a negative effect on the world around us and do need to start taking care of nature instead of fighting against it, but we need to begin by setting aside our arrogance and restoring ourselves to our natural role as protector of the Earth.

 

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Nature and nurture shape our personalities

Each person is unique and a person of worth under his/her own right. This statement defines who a person is, one s endowed with the faculties to exist and be a contributing member of society. However, how a person develops certain characteristics and traits have aroused the curiosity of the scientific and academic community. Even parents want to know how personalities are developed so they would be able to rear their children in the proper way and become adults who have a well rounded personality.

The questions remains, how do people develop their personalities and what factors influence it. Although some people believe that personalities are influenced by nurture while others believe that personalities are influenced by nature, but it is a combination of both nature and nurture that shape our personalities. The nature-nurture controversy has led to the different perspectives on how an individual’s personality develops.

Relevant materials: The Boy Who Became a Girl

The nature perspective says that a person comes into this world with a certain traits and characteristics which make him/her predisposed to behave and think in a certain way. The nature perspective is largely biological and genetic; wherein it is thought that personality is often passed from parents to offspring and that a child may inherit the traits of the parents (Carlson & Buskist, 1997) just as they inherit their father’s eyes or their mother’s skin. Moreover, the biological perspective has said that a child is already born with certain personality traits that are enduring and stable over time.

If a child has a difficult temperament as a baby, it can be expected that as an adult, that child would still be moody and temperamental. Finally, the nature perspective says that personality types are based on the gene pool of the individual, they say that aggression or predisposition to violence is genetically based, some people are just born to have the violent gene and that there is nothing that can be done to change this (Friedman & Schustack, 2006). The nature perspective may seem to be deterministic and narrow, once a person is said to be shy or timid, then that person will always be shy until the end of his/her life.

The nurture perspective was borne out of the reaction and revolt against the nature perspective, the proponents of the nurture perspective found the biological view close and incomplete, it was not able to account for the concept of choice and free will and that each person has the capacity to change and become better persons. The nurture perspective advocated that individuals are fundamentally good and that each person can be trained and influenced to be a better person or have positive personality traits (Friedman & Schustack, 2006).

Therefore, a person may come from a family of criminals or psychotics but with the right nurturing environment and love and care the child can grow up to become morally upright and compassionate. The nurture perspective places greater importance to the quality of care and the kind of environment that a child receives during his/her early years can affect the child’s personality and will form his/her characteristics and traits.

The nurture perspective does not allow for any biological influence, in fact John B. Watson in his famous declaration has been known to say that he can train children to become whatever he desires them to be (Friedman & Schustack, 2006). The nurture perspective is more positive as compared to the nature perspective when it comes to personality change. The perspective holds that each person with the right support and guidance will be able to change his/her personality traits for the better.

As the nature-nurture debate wore on, scientists and philosophers were finding evidence that suggested that personality development is not solely nature nor nurture, but a combination of both perspectives. Relying on the nature perspective alone does not present a complete picture of how personality is developed. They say that personality traits are not observable and one cannot identify which gene carries what trait therefore the perspective lacked credence as traits are not adequately labeled. At the same time, saying that the environment alone is the sole influence that affects personality development is wrong. There is always the continued interplay between nature and nurture and in reality; personality is molded by the combination of these two conflicting views.

Personality traits and characteristics are developed and molded by both nature and nurture factors wherein the individual finds him/her self. It is true that one’s biological traits affect the individual and can be used as basis to predict the behavior of the child in the future as well as what kind of personality he/she will have. Personality traits that are expressed through emotions have been found to be affected by the endorphins and the hormones that a person has (Carlson & Buskist, 1997).

For example, men and women differ in their personalities because women have more estrogen which activates the body into being more emotional and easily affected by feelings and situations while men who have a very low estrogen levels are hardier, more composed and calm than women.

The physiology of the human brain also influence the personality of the individual (Carlson & Buskist, 1997), those who have a more developed language area are more vocal, more able to express their emotions while those who have more developed logical area are more rational. Moreover, intelligence which is a key ingredient of a person’s personality is also genetically based, those who are highly intelligent will be more critical, more resilient and more introverted while those who are more socially adept will tend to be extroverted.

The influence of the environment over the personality of the individual has been demonstrated by the number of cases of wherein the child has been brought up in a positive environment despite being borne in a dysfunctional family grew up to be straight and proper. In the earliest experiments of human contact which tackles the issue of nurture it was found that monkeys reared alone and without a nurturing mother was cold, lifeless and unable to relate with other monkeys.

On the other hand, a monkey which was reared together with a mechanical monkey displayed more positive behaviors than the first monkey (Westen, 2003). This showed that a nurturing environment is important for the developing child, in a similar light; it was found that those children who were exposed to aggression also imitated the aggressive behavior that was shown to them (Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski & Eron, 2003). These underscores the double edged sword that nurture is because a positive environment may lead to positive outcomes while a negative environment may also be a threat to the development of the child.

However, taking both of the perspectives explains far more completely how personality is developed and formed. A child’s genetic make-up provides for the predispositions that a child has, while the kind of environment that he/she grows up in will also form part of his/her personality. Personality tests have often found that personality traits are stable and enduring (Westen, 2003), a child may be stubborn in his/her younger age may mellow down and with the societal influences and an environment that promotes respect and obedience may tame the stubbornness, but in the end, his/her stubbornness may prevail when placed in a difficult situation or when she has to cope with a certain issue or problem.

Moreover, a child may be overly active and vocal since childhood but through experience and social forces may transform the child into an adult who excels in sports or who are activists and leaders. This is also true for the other side of personality, the evil and dark side. Some children are evil and these can be observed in their behavior towards other children or other creatures, and sometimes they grow up to be criminals and sociopaths (Westen, 2003). In a same vein, children who have experienced abuse and traumatic events tend to develop personality disorders that affect their quality of life and relationships.

Lastly, it has been reported that injuries to the brain have often resulted to a change in personality (Westen, 2003) and these had adverse effects to the individual and his/her family. The person’s behavior becomes erratic; he/she may have mood swings or may even portray a personality that is completely uncharacteristic of him/her.

Without a doubt, personality is shaped by one’s biological predispositions and environment, each one of us have heard a small voice inside of us that shares our thoughts and feelings, while the most important persons in our lives have influenced and inspired us to dream and fulfill our ambitions in life. In the past the nature versus nurture debate was intensely championed by both sides, but at present it has been realized that acknowledging both the nature and nurture aspect of one’s development and personality provides a more complete and accurate picture of human nature.

References

Carlson N. & Buskist W. (1997). Psychology: The Science of Behavior 5th ed. Boston: Allyn and

Bacon.

Friedman, H. & Schustack, M. (2006). Personality: Classic theories and modern

Research 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Huesmann, L., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C.  & Eron, L. (2003). Longitudinal relations

between children’s exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977-1992. Developmental Psychology, 39, 201-221.

Westen, D. (2003). Psychology: Brain, Behavior, and Culture. New York: Wiley & Sons.

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Nations and Nationalities in Europe

Rule by the people and for the people. This is a common phrase used by many today to describe the variety of democratic political institutions found all over the globe today. While nearly all democracies outside of Europe model the beginnings of their form of government to the United States and more specifically  to the U.S. Constitution, for democracies within Europe, the beginnings are traced even farther back in time  to embrace two different traditions. One of these traditions being the English Constitution primarily involving the Magna Carta, and the other tradition revolving around the French Revolution.

In comparing these two as to which has ultimately proved stronger as the base for popular rule and why, one can discern that the French revolutionary tradition has accomplished this for two reasons. The first reason being due to the fact of it being more recent in historical context. Such an important event having occurred less than 300 years ago has more relevance in the minds of many political thinkers in our modern era than a similar event which occurred nearly 800 years ago. Mankind tends to believe that his ideas improve over time and thus the later the idea, the better the idea it is.

The second reason for the French tradition being the base for most forms of popular rule today is due to it truly identifying and involving the three classes of the populace the aristocracy, middle-class, and poor, back then as it does today, in the political and economic process of society. While both traditions sought to limit the power of the monarch from being absolute over its subjects, it was the French revolution which gave a strong voice to those neither rich nor poor.

The English tradition on the other hand, primarily involved the nobility and the monarch, much like a dispute being settled today between the millionaires on one side and the billionaires on the other. Today, like in the late 18th century during the time of the French revolution, in most advanced and developing democratic societies, the vast majority of the citizenry fall in the middle.

Thus, it is their political interests and  perspectives which influence political discussion and change, just as it did nearly 300 years ago.

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Naive Realism Essay

Sensory perception, or how people view things in life, helps to define naïve realism, meaning that we view the world directly as we see it, in cold, concrete tangibility.   Meaning, I know I have seen a bird and not just something created in my mind.   Representative realism, on the other hand, believes that the mind formulates images—crafts them—as the mind digests information and then creates the images we see within the bounds of our peripheral space.

I will discuss two differences between naïve realism and representative realism followed by an assessment of representative realism.

First of all, when we view life as a naïve realist, we can prove with tangible evidence—using some or all of the six senses— that what we perceive is actually there. For example, a birthday cake on a table can be touched, tasted, felt, and smelled, thereby proving its existence.  The representative realist fathoms images seen from an abstract angle.  For example, cloud formations in the sky can be viewed as different objects.  Someone says, “I see a bear’s face in the cloud, while someone else may see a butterfly.

To go one step further, in naïve realism, we say that time is distributed into ‘now,’ which is a real experience, and ‘the past,’ which did happen but no longer exists, and ‘the future,’ which is yet to occur.

Science says we have “objective reality,” or the here and now.  Along with this, there is “subjective perception,” or two people seeing the same thing differently.  Classical science, then, broke away from naïve realism and had to consider the representative realist’s viewpoint.  For example, when we think of dreams or watching a movie, two people may see things very differently.

True, they are there, but where is the distinction-mark drawn to separate what is dreamt and what is real, or how do we separate two different viewpoints of the same movie? This, for a naïve realist, is difficult to answer.  Sure, we can speculate but it only brings us closer to falling in line with the representative’s methodology.  Here’s an analogy to help define this: The representative realist’s brain acts as a baker that follows a recipe, using the ingredients in his kitchen to bake a cake.

Slight modifications in the amount of an ingredient can alter the flavor, or even the appearance of the cake.  A potential award-winning three-layer cake will sink in the oven without sufficient yeast.  Thus, the representative realist solves this dilemma by believing the brain is the baker cooking up images, whereas the naïve realist purely functions on digesting tangible images.

Naïve realism can be criticized and assessed further. If we regard perception as a case whereby individual knowledge creates what we see, the floodgate of personal interpretation is opened.  Can naïve realism swim in these floodgates of varied perceptions?  If situations are regarded simply, then the naïve realist can understand what he sees.

However, life is not a simple cookie-cutter mold.  Even something as simple as a lump of wax seeks varied interpretation when we add a new ingredient, say a wick and a flame.  Now the wax takes on new features and varied perceptions.  Even the same person can visualize the same object in many different ways. Look at a print created by M.C. Escher and you will see how quickly the mind can shift its perceptive view of the same thing.

In final assessment of representative realism, it can be seen that it does, in fact, provides a significant and worthwhile advancement in our understanding of humankind experiences.  For, living in a world where the psychological makeup of an individual holds such lasting presence, it is difficult to image only believing in the naïve realist’s way of thinking.  However, just to be fair, naïve realism will always have a place in human intellectual perception.  It’s up to the individual to determine how she sees things.

SOURCES:

http://www.arrod.co.uk/essays/representative-realism.php

http://www.planetpapers.com/Assets/4368.php

http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~lward/Dewey/Dewey_1916/Dewey_1916_09.html

 

 

 

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Mythic and Fairy

The feeling of impending danger as the story progresses is created for the reader in Joyce Carol Oates’ short story, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?, through employing mythical elements to describe what is happening in the plot. Throughout the story, she uses several descriptions associated with the devil to serve as metaphors for the male character and what happens to Connie as also symbolic of the power of evil to tempt, conquer, and destroy the individual.

Connie is the symbol of innocence. A young girl of fifteen, she is at the time of adolescence when young women begin to explore beyond their childhood lives and have a taste of how it is like to be a grown-up. She is also pretty, obsessed with mirrors and fussing with her looks. She is very unlike her plain older sister. Like most pretty girls her age who want excitement and not be “plain and steady” like the sister, Connie is giggly and eager for new things, unaware that danger lurks ready to exploit the fantasies of girls like her. She is like innocent Red Riding Hood who thinks the woods are nice, cozy places to travel through unaware of the wolf that lives within.

After describing Connie and her family, the author introduces the technique of incorporating mythic element in the story by describing the drive-in restaurant as a “sacred building that loomed up out of the night to give them what haven and blessings they yearned for…the music was…like music at a church service…”  The restaurant is a wholesome place for young people to meet and enjoy each other’s company. However, once Connie gets out of the restaurant towards the parking lot, she is not safe anymore.

The devil lurks just outside sacred places, ready to tempt anyone who gets out of the temple and who is willing to do something naughty and fun. It is outside where Connie sees Arnold Friend for the first time although they would not be introduced to each other then as Connie is with Eddie, a wholesome boy her age whom she meets in the “sacred” restaurant.

Right after that first meeting, the story begins its creepy quality as the author focuses on Arnold Friend and uses mythological and cultural associations with the devil to describe him.  One association is how Arnold Friend comes into the picture and how he looks like. His approach is announced by the “glow of slow-pulsed joy that seemed to rise mysteriously out of the music” which Connie was listening to at the time her parents and sister went to a barbecue party at her aunt’s one weekend, leaving her alone in the house. Rock and roll music, songs that are fast and hard, is associated with rebellious teenagers.

Arnold Friend appears to her with a rock song in the background and looking like a rock star himself, just like the men in Connie’s fantasy. He had “fair brown hair…sideburns (that) gave him a fierce, embarrassed look…wore sunglasses…tight faded jeans stuffed into black, scuffed boots, a belt that pulled his waist in and showed how lean he was…the jaw and chin and cheeks slightly darkened because he hadn’t shaved…and the nose long and hawklike.” His features are sharp, his attire scruffy, and his bearing is very manly. He appeals to her fantasy to look appealing to her, thus making it easier to achieve his purpose.

However, the skin around his eyes, which she notices when he takes off his glasses, was “like holes that were not in shadow but instead in light.” The eyes themselves were “like chips of broken glass that light in an amiable way.” They were devilish eyes, bright and unlike normal human eyes. When he speaks, it is in “a simple lilting voice, exactly as if he were reciting the words to a song.” He constantly smiles, too.

His name is Arnold Friend, an obvious pun on “fiend”. He is obviously a bad guy with bad intentions but one who disguises them well. No other name is more trustworthy than one who has “Friend” for a family name.

Arnold rides a golden jalopy. The shiny car symbolizes how the temptations of evil always come in a dazzling and attractive package. Connie herself is amused and fascinated with the car. He uses signals and secret codes. When the car comes to a stop by the front door, “the horn sounded four taps.” Beside Arnold Friend’s car are more codes: the numbers 33, 19, and 17. He also tells Connie at one point during their conversation that he has a sign, the letter X. Superstition, with its preoccupation with codes, signs and numbers, is connected with the dark side.

Another association is the suggestion that Arnold Friend knows everything about Connie and is even telepathic. When he calls Connie by name, she is surprised since she never introduced herself at any time before he drives into their doorstep. He knows the names of her family members, all her friends from school, and tells her that he can see what is happening at Aunt Tillie’s barbecue party at the very moment that he is talking to her.

Connie, of course, realizes the danger she is in although it takes some time to sink in because at first she thinks she can just waive Arnold off and he would simply leave her alone. She knows the clues to the kind of brewing trouble she is facing with Arnold when she recognizes “that sleepy dreamy smile that all the boys used to get across ideas they didn’t want to put into words…and the singsong way he talked, slightly mocking, kidding, but serious…” She knows the game of temptation and she tries to resist as hard as she could.

Later on in the conversation, however, when Connie continues to resist and especially when she threatens him with calling the police, Arnold slowly takes off the mask he has put on to seduce her with sweetness and becomes forceful. Evil cannot keep on its sweet face when it realizes how it is on the verge of defeat. When it cannot get its way through sweet talk and wheedling, it would resort to the use of force and violence. Connie also recognizes the shift and she feels real panic and fear. Arnold makes it clear to her when he says, “the place where you came from ain’t there any more, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out.” Of course, Connie could have called her parents or the police and it could have frightened Arnold off and leave her.

After all, she is inside the house while he is locked outside. He cannot go in and it would have taken him some time to break the door, long enough for Connie to make the call. But like the devil, he plays with her weakness, confusion and fear at the moment. Arnold controls himself, knowing that it would work better if Connie comes out of her own will. He continues to seduce her with promises of a pleasurable experience. He promises to bring her “to a nice field, out in the country here” where Arnold will “have (his) arms tight around (her).” He tries to convince her that she is better than any of her family members and only he can understand her and her needs best.

Towards the end of the story, Arnold keeps coaxing until Connie feels she is not herself anymore. The author describes it as an incantation. She is lured and hypnotized by his words. She has become an observer watching herself “put out her hand against the screen…push the door slowly open…moving out into the sunlight where Arnold Fiend waited.” She has given up herself to the devil. She has fallen from grace. She will never be the same again.

Using descriptive elements associated with the mythical creature called the devil proves to be an effective technique in developing the story because it adds that extra element of scariness in the reading. The reader associate what is happening in the story with the extra imageries and it intensifies the suspense and anticipation of the obviously tragic ending of the female character. The ending is not only about Connie giving herself up to Arnold. It is also about how evil has tempted innocence, wins over her, and leads her to a terrible end.

Work Cited

Oates, Joyce Carol. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

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Multicultural Art

The three artists, David Bradley, Richard Ray Whitman and Nikki S. Lee, produce images that depict traditional minorities in situations that somehow draw them into the main stream culture created primarily by Americans of European descent. In their respective works Native American Gothic, States of Pervasive Indifference, and The Hispanic Project, they do this through several means.

These range from placing their subjects in universal contexts to comparing them with subjects of traditional European American art. However each artist chooses to depict the persons represented in his or her art, the effect is a complex blend of tension and harmony, as representatives of races that have sometimes in the past had uneasy relations seek unity and resolution.

The traditional racial tensions are represented most strongly in the strategies of Bradley and Whitman, who both depict Native American Indians. In fact, both painters place these Native Americans as the sole subject of the paintings, yet each manages subtly to allude to their conflict with the white race through symbolism—that is, by using a symbol that represents the entire European American race.

Bradley’s American Indian Gothic identifies a Native American couple wearing the clothes of the European American. Bradley uses this strategy to show an attempt by the Indians to conform to a society that has been imposed upon them. Yet the Natives retain their spears and their tepee, implying an unwillingness to let go of their lifestyle. Likewise, Whitman’s States of Pervasive Indifference shows a Native American wrapped in an American Flag. This underlines (or perhaps mocks) the idea of the melting pot as the Native American often finds himself marginalized by society—an idea which is in direct contrast to the picture of the American flag cradling this Indian.

Despite the notes of tension, David Bradley’s American Indian Gothic also shows a strong reference to the similarities of the European and Native Americans through his parody of Grant Wood’s American Gothic (Hughes, 2005). The similarities between the two paintings identify fundamental similarities in humans regardless of their cultural origins. They all have need of food, protection, and shelter—as shown by the house/tepee and the spear/fork.

This too is identified in Whitman’s photograph States of Pervasive Indifference on which is clearly printed the words, “earth, air, water, fire”—elements on which all people depend. Nikki S. Lee’s work can also be brought in here, as in her work The Hispanic Project a group of teenage girls is seen experiencing and doing (it would seem) the things that are typical of their age. The girls’ attitudes are universal and they could easily have been a group of European Americans.

Yet they are Hispanic—except, one Asian girl (Lee herself) is in the mix, and blends so well that her cultural and ethnic difference from the rest of the group is almost obscured (Sagrans). In this way The Hispanic Project, like American Indian Gothic and States of Pervasive Indifference, identifies the common traits of the members of the human race, highlighting the multicultural harmony of the United States.

In an interview, Whitman speaks about his project States of Pervasive Indifference: “In indigenous cultures we’re not only concerned with human to human relationships, but also our relationship with the environment” (Abbott). Interest in one’s relationship to the environment has been sparked across the United States in recent decades, and this identifies a ground on which the several cultures of the United States have merged.

The “human to human” relationships of which Whitman speaks is also evident in the strategies of The Hispanic Project, in which teenagers are having fun with each other, and their racial and cultural differences melt into the background. Human relationships that exist across racial and cultural lines are also depicted in the strategies of American Indian Gothic, as the love and marriage between the man and his wife are clearly identified to exist within the Native American society independently of influence of the Europeans. The similarity of humans despite their difference in culture is highlighted in these works.

Works Cited

Abbott, Larry. “Richard Ray Whitman.” A Time of Visions: Interviews by Larry Abbott.             http://www.britesites.com/native_artist_interviews/rwhitman.htm

Hughes, Collin. “Crossing Boundaries.” Washington State University. WSU. 2005.             http://www.wsu.edu/~hughesc/crossing_boundaries.html

Sagrans, Erica. “Portrait of an Assimilitarist.” UTNE: A Different Read on Life.   Understanding the Next Evolution, 2002.

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MSc Development Finance

Furthering my knowledge in finance and economics is one of my goals. As a native of Brunei, a developing country, I would like to contribute to my country’s progress with the use of the knowledge and skills that I acquired during my undergraduate studies. Majoring in accounting and economics has provided me extensive knowledge of various economic principles and theories and their application in the business world. Although the University of Manchester has given me sufficient knowledge in the field that I have chosen, I believe that pursuing to study under this programme would provide me a broad yet focused knowledge in development finance and its practical application in the public sector.

I chose to pursue this programme because of its international focus, group work, and emphasis on learning public finance, bank and non-bank financial institutions, international finance organizations, aid agencies and other finance-related areas of study that can help in understanding how the financial theories governing our country and the world economy work. The program is also designed to teach me financial inclusion and microfinance in relation to poverty reduction.

My interest in development finance first sparked during my junior years. My wish to contribute to my country’s progress was further intensified by a course about economic policies of developing countries and their role in the international market. Working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development in Brunei under the Finance Department for summer internship last summer 2007 has also provided me first-hand experience and knowledge in international trade.

I am confident that this university has the capacity to provide students with knowledge beyond the conventional financial educational program. The programme of University of Manchester also includes strengthening the analytical decision-making skills of students. It also offers wider academic opportunities and school resources that will deepen my expertise and broaden my perspectives. I am especially interested and looking forward to the overseas field visit which is a crucial part of the programme.

Most of the countries visited are developing countries like Brunei which face similar economic situations. The programme also allows students to conduct research in government and non-government organizations and other universities in the U.K. This can not only broaden my knowledge and hone my skills in finance, but also enhance my socializing and communication skills.

With hopes and persuasion in my mind, I aim to establish a career that can contribute to the further development of the financial situation in my county. One of the careers that I have in mind is a job in Brunei Investment Agency (BIA). As mentioned earlier, my country is a developing country. Although we are an oil-producing country, I believe that in terms of investment and contribution to the world economy, there is still much room for progress. Through this programme, I know that I would be able to obtain what is necessary to achieve my goal. Thus, I see myself successful in a career on this field and making Brunei a more developed and investment-focused country.

 

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Michael Collins’

Between the white knuckle intensity, the bombastic array of explosions, the sinister factionalism and the multitude of conspiratorial machinations, director Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins comes off like political history re-imagined in the vein of the gangster film. As an ambitious attempt to chronicle the life and times of one of the most important figures in Ireland’s violent struggles for independence from the British Empire, it is intelligently well-made.

But it is also problematic, because it makes an obscure political struggle even more obscure by trivializing it in the way that much of historical cinema has trivialized history: emphasizing the emotional highs and lows of its protagonists at the expense of the events it uses as its foundation. Considering that Michael Collins’ epochal content is fundamentally tied to present day conflicts, namely the seemingly endless one in Northern Ireland, this is rather troubling.

Collins is credited with inventing guerilla warfare, and bringing world attention to the Irish cause by forcing the English to cede authority in certain parts of his native soil and initiating a movement for an independent Irish republic. Having seen many historical dramas before, I immediately assumed that Jordan was going to spend the entire length of the film demonstrating Collins’ greatness. I was pleasantly surprised to see that while Jordan does question some of Collins’ character attributes and decisions, he fashions a historical account that somehow absolves Collins of the present state of Ireland.

Jordan presents Collins, played with hearty vigor by Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson, glowing from the residual acclaim of Schindler’s List, as a patriot whose dedication to the annihilation of British rule in Ireland was compromised by the people around him. The film opens with a terrible bombardment by the English upon Irish freedom fighters, which establishes the unforgiving demand of obedience that the English crown maintained without any pretense of subtlety.

Some years later, one of them named Collins is released from jail, whereupon he proceeds to give impassioned speeches as the self-dubbed Minister of Mayhem. Collins argues that the disastrous defeat in 1916 proves that a straightforward battle against the occupying British presence is an invitation to defeat. He proposes that they plant bombs to deliver unobstructed carnage to those who would oppose Irish independence.

The film plays this up as an action of last resort in which Collins and his men have been forced to use violence because of the unyielding nature of the anti-independents. Yet despite to airing this sentiment frequently to his best friend/confidant/rival Harry Boland (as played by Aidan Quinn), Collins has no qualms about using the intelligence offered by a sympathetic copper played by the downtrodden hangdog face of The Crying Game’s Stephen Rea.

The escalating acts of violence put the British in the uncomfortable position of acceding to negotiations, and former Republic president Eamon de Valera, as portrayed with vague menace by versatile character actor Alan Rickman, delegates Collins as a representative on his behalf. Collins recognizes his own shortcomings as a politico: the best he could negotiate was self-governance for South Ireland with allegiance to the Crown still in place.

It is this halfway point of reconciliation between Ireland and the Crown that Collins argues is the best attainable agreement of the time. De Valera proceeds to disassociate himself from Collins, while Collins has a falling out with Boland, and the upset leads to civil war. Eventually, Collins dies at the hands of an assassin, which Jordan implies to have been approved by De Valera.

Jordan’s Collins ultimately comes off as a violent underdog who repackages himself as a liaison between his countrymen and the occupying forces, trading in the downtrodden charisma of a scruffy brown coat with the sharp glamour of a well pressed uniform, not unlike a German officer who approves of Hitler because of the blessings in his life under Nazism.

This isn’t to say that Collins was some kind of fascist, but that his frequently celebrated talents for political expedience still fall short under the lens of critical examination. After all, his agitator’s approach to moving the Irish cause forward still hasn’t brought peace today.

In the meantime, conventional history writes De Valera off as a duplicitous sell out, and Jordan doesn’t attempt to challenge that view, choosing instead to portray Collins as a heroic patriot. This strikes me as strange, since Collins is the man who initiated violence and then insisted that violence must stop, leaving us with a rather ambiguous and maybe ambivalent definition of what heroism and patriotism is.

 

 

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Movie Critique revised

One of the most important issues and concerns facing our country today, and throughout history, is racism. Many books and films have been written and developed that deal with the harsh and realistic subject of racism in America today and how it affects American society and people from all walks of life, and no film has done so in such a broad way as Crash. This film follows the stories of multiple characters in Los Angeles, all of whom deal with one aspect of racism or another.

For example, there is a police officer who is racist against blacks because of his father, a district attorney and his wife that deal with racism after two black men carjack them one night, and a black man whose brother is involved in gang violence. Each storyline dramatizes one aspect of racism or another, and how different people react to it, and the reasons behind racism in our country. Crash is a well-made film that is valuable for our society because it isn’t afraid to ask very serious and harsh questions about the way we view each other, the reasons behind racism in American society, and questions how far we’ve come as a society as it concerns racism.

Crash is an interesting look at how Americans view each other based upon race, even when we do not mean to or are not able to truly see our own deeply rooted assumptions about people based upon the way they look. In one scene in the movie, two young black men are walking down the street philosophizing about how wrong it is that people automatically fear them because they perceive their race and not who they really are.

We, the audience, immediately agree with their ideas and begin to feel sorry for them because of the pressures they face in society; however, the scene quickly turns to violence when they pull out guns and carjack a young politician and his wife, who had been eying them suspiciously because of their race. In this instance, the assumptions of the two white people were correct because these young men were carjackers, throwing a whole new aspect of racism and society’s fears into the mix.

This scene says a lot about our society and how people make assumptions about each other based upon race, but also is harshly honest about the statistics involving black, inner-city young men in Los Angeles and how many fall into a life of crime. The reasons for this are also delved into in this film, with scenes showing the harshness of ghetto life and the poverty that some live in, with broken families and prejudice. In the film, Detective Graham Waters, and African-American, feels ashamed by his family, who consists of a mother who is addicted to drugs and a brother who is living a life of crime.

This film also tackles the issue of why racism develops in our society and how those who has racist beliefs become that way. In one storyline that is developing a police officer is racist, and we see that he has been raised by a racist father, who is now dying of cancer. Throughout the film we find ourselves feeling contempt for these characters because of their personal opinions about race, but at the end the police officer has to go to an insurance company to ask for medical help for his dying father and speaks to an African-American woman at the agency.

Knowing about his prejudice, she immediately denies his father any help, leading the son to explain about his how his father had always employed minorities but when minority owned businesses began to get preference, his company could not survive. The son’s bitterness about race seems to have stemmed from his father’s problems. We begin to understand the circumstances surrounding the development of racism in these characters, and feel torn between our understanding and our dislike of racism. Another instance is seen with the young couple that has been carjacked.

The woman becomes frightened of African-Americans, and indeed all minorities, because of the two men who pointed a gun at her; yet, in the end she realizes that the kindest person to her is her Hispanic maid. While we do not believe in racism, this film does not make it so easy to choose who is right and who is wrong because it develops all aspects of the people’s experiences.

The main purpose of this film seems to be to raise questions about how far we as a society have come in terms of racism and whether or not we’ve overcome this issue in our country. The many different storylines that are taking place throughout the film begs us to look deeper into racism and how it affects everyone in America, especially in large diverse cities like Los Angeles where many different races and ethnicities live side by side.

We also see racism between and towards other ethnicities: the hatred that the Persian storeowner has for the Hispanic locksmith, the bigotry shown by one of the black carjackers towards the “Chinamen” that are being smuggled in the van he takes, and the projections of the district attorney’s wife onto the Hispanic locksmith, Daniel. The one storyline that develops throughout the film that is the finale of the film revolves around a young rookie police officer who picks up an African-American man who is hitchhiking.

Throughout the film he has been the one who tries desperately to not be prejudiced and to see everyone equally, but at the end his own inner fears cause him to misinterpret the young man and shoot him out of fear. Officer Hanson thinks that the young man is going to pull a gun on him, but instead pulls out a figure of Saint Christopher. If the man had not been black, the rookie officer would not have had the instinct to fear him; however, both of these characters throughout the film were the least prejudiced of all of the characters.

This idea becomes interesting as an important aspect of this film because it is almost a metaphor of the United States and how we are trying desperately to not admit that racism is a problem but in the end, it really is. This is the most important theme of this film because it is the one that is closest to the reality of life in the United States and how racism plays a role in society.

Throughout the film Crash there are many instances where we see racism portrayed in a realistic and harsh way, proving to us that racism is very much an issue that is haunting the American people even today. The magic of this film is that it really brings the issue of racism away from just being black or white, bringing to light the gray area that exists.

We as Americans are torn between our understanding of certain reasons for racism versus disappointment that there is still racism existing in our society. This film is very entertaining because of the strong cast and the different storylines that all come together into a very informative, thoughtful way, but also enlightening as it achieves its goal of affecting the audience and their beliefs about racism in our society.

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Mini paper

Persuasion and Anti-smoking Ads

Smoking is a habit that does not do anything constructive for the individual practicing it. Anti-smoking organizations have launched numerous campaigns to further their efforts. One such campaign involves proliferation of anti-smoking ads.

What chances do print ads have against the smoking industries lure? This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of print ads used in convincing smokers to stop their habit. The different elements of persuasion that are present in the ads will be analyzed in order for the ads to be assessed properly with regards to their effectiveness. The results of this research can help in the determination of the different factors contributing to an antismoking ad’s success or failure.

Methodology

Four print ads with messages espousing antismoking belief were taken from online archives with access to the databases. Antismoking was operationally defined as any instance wherein clear and unequivocal denouncement of the use of cigarettes was seen. Print ads were selected randomly from the database and were then analyzed in terms of capability to persuade.

The ads capability to persuade was assessed by checking for the presence of the following elements of persuasion in the ad. In terms of the messenger: credibility. In terms of the message content: associations with good feelings, arousal of fear, presentation of a discrepant view, primacy and recency effect design. In terms of the way the ad delivered the message: allowing of the audience’s use of action upon response to the ad. In terms of the target audience: age and gender appropriateness. (Myers, 2008)

Results

The first ad shows a male African American with a hook and line piercing the side of his mouth in much the same way a fishing hook would pierce a fish’s mouth. In an empty space near the upper portion of the ad, the words “The average smoker needs over 5000 cigarettes a year.” are written. Directly below these words is a short sentence saying, “Get unhooked. Call 08001690169 or visit getunhooked.co.uk.”

The second ad shows a curved cigarette imposed on a black background. In the space above the image of the cigarette, the words “It’s not just your lungs that smoking affects.” are written in block and capital letters.

The third ad shows an African American’s middle and index finger straddling a cigarette. The fingers are positioned in such a way that they appear to be the legs of a standing individual. In the lower left portion of the ad, a warning can be read, “Did you know that there’s a valve in your penis that traps the blood inside so you can get an erection? That every time you smoke, this valve is damaged?

That if you don’t quit now, it might stop working altogether? You do now. Text HARD to 84118 for a free information pack. Texts will be charged at your standard rate. Call 0800 169 0 169. www.stayinghard.info.” Beneath the image of the fingers and to the left of the above warning, larger words can be read, “If you won’t give up smoking for your lungs, heart or throat, maybe you’ll do it for your penis.”

The last ad to be discussed showed two spliced pictures of an African American woman in a blue top. In the first half of the ad, she is smiling with her lips fully closed. In the second half, she is still smiling but only this time revealing yellowed, nicotine-stained teeth. In the second half of the picture, the woman is also holding a cigarette in between her fingers.

Discussion & Analysis

The antismoking ads showed different trivias about smoking that the everyday person would not have known. The samples showed many of the different elements of a persuasive ad. First, the presentation of facts about smoking established the credibility of the communicator. Second, the ads combined both the presentation of fear and the invoking of good feelings in the audience. Fear was the goal in the ad’s choice of images and facts. However, this was presented in a comic manner that good feelings were still invoked in the reader. Third, primacy and recency effects were taken into consideration.

Having large and conspicuous images allowed for these foreboding images to be the first the reader would see. Also, making the size of the contact information smallest meant that it would most likely be the last detail viewed, the most recent. Fourth, the ads were gender-specific in its approach to the audience. Lastly, the inclusion of hotline numbers as well as of website addresses allowed for action to be initiated by the target audience after seeing the message. These are all factors that contribute to the capacity of the antismoking ads to persuade its target audience. Antismoking ads, as reflected by the samples obtained, are effective albeit the wide room for improvement. (Myers, 2008)

Reflection

This paper helped me realize that even though antismoking ads seem harsh and sometimes even doomsday-like in their messages, these are exactly some of the features they have that make them such persuasive mediums. Persuasion is not a simple matter. The elements that comprise a persuasive ad are varied and numerous. I did not expect to find antismoking ads with an integration of the number of elements of persuasion that I did. This leads me to appreciate even more the works of antismoking organizations and their campaigns for information dissemination and also for their campaigns for intervention in cases of nicotine-addiction.

References

Myers, David. (2008). Social Psychology (9th ed). Boston: McGraw Hill.

Antismoking print ads were taken from:

Image number 30551055 – Gett unhooked (2006). NHS Magazine Retrieved November 30, 2007 from http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/searchframe.php?search=book&preview=min

Image number 30545646 – It’s not just your lungs (1990). Ash Magazine Retrieved November 30, 2007 from http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/searchframe.php?search=book&preview=min

Image number 230546095 – Do it for your penis (2005).NHS Magazine Retrieved November 30, 2007 from http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/searchframe.php?search=book&preview=min

Image number 30544824 – yellow teeth (2005) NHS Magazine Retrieved November 30, 2007 from http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/searchframe.php?search=book&preview=min

 

 

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Mine Accident

The Sago Mine Accident in January, 2006, left the world wondering how things were so bungled.  Communication in the incident was almost as large a disaster as the mine explosion itself. Many questions still hound the company and the families of those who died. If the mine had been cited for numerous safety violations, why was it not shut down until those were repaired?  Why had the safety violations not been address by company, union or mine safety officials?

Reports indicate it was nearly an hour and half after the explosion before rescue crews were brought in. Why?  Furthermore, when rescue workers began to receive information about the fate of the trapped miners, why was the information released to the families and the news media before it could be verified. While there was nothing the company could do to change the fate of the miners, being told they were alive and then learning that they had died, except for one survivor, demoralized the nation and the families, compounding the tragedy. The question remains why did the company not have better emergency communication procedures in place and why, once rescue workers were in place, were facts no verified before being released to the waiting families?

At first glance, it appears that simple communication preparation could have helped the entire incident to be handled more smoothly.  If the union, the company and mine safety officials had better documented the infractions and the response to those refractions, they would have been spared the negative attention from the national media. If the company had had a designated procedure for dealing with crisis communications it might better have been able to reach rescue workers and get them to the mine sooner.

The timing of the incident contributed to the communications errors because people were on vacation and the mine had to find other ways to communicate with mine safety officials. Finally, the communication problems during the mine rescue could have been avoided if all information were channeled through one person and then distributed accordingly.

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Military Commission

For years I have been dedicated to the principles and values that are represented by the United States Navy within my everyday life, and to the philosophy that governs the role of the Health Care Administration Officer in the Medical Service Corps. For this reason, among many, I am seeking a commission with the United States Navy in this capacity.

My strong work ethic, my adherence to the philosophy and ethics of both the Navy and the medical field, and my ability to work as a member of a team make me a successful candidate for this position, and I am certain that I have many qualities that I could bring to this commission that would enhance not only my own abilities, but enhance the United States Navy.

Early on I realized that it was important to help others, to go outside of the box that is the average person’s life and reach out to others, whether they live right next door or across the world. It was this desire that led me to volunteer and participate in community service, an experience that has helped me develop into an individual that enjoys serving mankind, and who understands the importance of doing so because I have witnessed the effects kindness and compassion has on others in need.

Along with my desire to serve mankind through compassion, I also saw the United States military as sharing those values that I cherished, and realized that a career in the military would allow me to use my strengths in pursuit of attaining both my own goal, and that of our nation. In high school I joined the NJROTC and remained dedicated to this organization throughout four years until graduation.

I have served as a Supply Officer and Commander, and through these experiences I have developed the commitment, courage, and discipline through the training provided to me by the United States Navy. Throughout these years I have never given up my belief that helping others is the highest calling of any individual, and the U.S. Navy brings out the best in me, and it is these traits that I wish to bring to the Medical Service Corps.

It was my time in the Leadership Academy through the NJROTC that truly transformed my life and pushed me in the direction of my ultimate goal in a commission with the U.S. Navy. During my time at the Leadership Academy I was pushed to my limits both intellectually and physically, and was asked time and time again to be the best cadet that I could be.

The fact that this was expected of me, and that others truly believed in me, gave me the will power and self-confidence to challenge myself to limits that I had never imagined possible. I was instilled with confidence, honor for myself and my nation, and learned to be self-reliant. These values all helped me develop leadership qualities within myself. By the end of my time at the Leadership Academy I was placed as one of the top three cadets and had developed new goals for myself, goals that I intend to fulfill within this commission.

In pursuit of this goal, I have attained a Masters degree in Health Care Management, a field that allows me to use all of my strengths to the betterment of others. My ability to organize and effectively communicate with others are essential in this field, and I have spent many years, both inside a classroom and within the NJROTC and beyond, developing my management skills. A Health Care Administration Officer requires the ability to manage effectively and create a team environment in which to function.

The leadership abilities that I began developing at Leadership Academy, and which I have continued to develop, are essential to being successful in this field. My time in the NJROTC has taught me that I must have high standards for myself in all aspects of my life, and this would transfer easily to this position. Beyond this, my dedication to helping others and showing compassion to those who are in pain or ill, has led me to the belief that I would bring a great deal to the position of Health Care Administration Officer in the United States Navy’s Medical Service Corps, and I would be proud to continue the tradition of service and sacrifice that has been shown by my predecessors in this commission.

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Modern history of JAPAN

Distinct features of constitution:

1.According to Meiji constitution, all political power is in the Emperor’s hand.

2.The principle that sovereignty resided in person of the Emperor, by virtue of his divine ancestry “unbroken for ages eternal”, rather than the people, No other have chance to take position

3.The Emperor, nominally at least, united within himself all three branches (executive and legislative and judiciary) of government, albeit subject to the “consent of the Imperial Diet”.

4.Sacred and inviolable”, a formula which was construed by hard-line monarchists to mean that emperor retained the right to withdraw the constitution, or to ignore its provisions.

5.The Emperor’s commands (including Imperial Ordinance, Edicts, Rescripts, etc) had no legal force within themselves, but required the signature of a “Minister of State”.

6.The Emperor also had the sole rights to make war, make peace, conclude treaties

Democracy in Meiji constitution.

People’s right

1. Freedom of speech, assembly and association

2. Privacy of correspondence

3. Private property

4. Freedom of movement

5. Freedom of religion

6. Right to be appointed to civil or military or any other public offices equally.

Moreover, according to constitution, the Emperor’s commands (including Imperial Ordinance, Edicts, Rescripts, etc) had no legal force within themselves, but required the signature of a “Minister of State”.

Depart from Democracy.

1 All political powers in the Emperor’s hand.

2 The Meiji Constitution was founded on the principle that sovereignty resided in person of the Emperor, by virtue of his divine ancestry “unbroken for ages eternal”, rather than the people

3 The Emperor, nominally at least, united within himself all three branches (executive and legislative and judiciary) of government,

4 Ministers of State were appointed by (and could be dismissed by) the Emperor alone, and not by the Prime Minister or the Diet.

5 The Emperor also had the sole rights to make war, make peace, conclude treaties

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Mark Prior

Luck has had little to do with Mark Prior’s success as a ballplayer. It was his dedication and talent that landed Prior in the major leagues and perhaps a lack of luck that attributed to the right- handed pitcher being sidelined during the peak of his career. But at age 26, Prior is optimistic of a comeback.

When Prior debuted with the Chicago Cubs on May 22, 2002, he was nothing short of impressive which should have been expected considering he was the second overall pick in the draft. His record earned him all-star status as he was chosen to play in the 2003 All-Star game in only his first full season in the major leagues.

Prior’s pitching technique seemed flawless and was considered a combination of the styles of Greg Maddox and Roger Clemens. His first full season with the Chicago Cubs ranked him third in the National League’s Cy Young Award voting with a record of 18 wins and only six losses. Prior became well known for his 90-plus mph fastball, curveball, slurveball and changeup.

But freak accidents and injuries began to disrupt his career in the making. Numerous stints on the disabled list and now an entire season on hold to recuperate from shoulder surgery have many questioning the future of the once valued Cubs pitcher.

Born September 7, 1980, Prior attended University of San Diego High School where he excelled on the ball field. As a 1998 graduate, he had a 0.93 earned run average. Prior was then drafted by the New York Yankees in the amateur draft but a contract was never negotiated and signed.

He began his college education at Vanderbilt University, the same school his father attended. During his sophomore year, Prior transferred to the University of Southern California (USC). There he was honored as one of the best collegiate athletes in the country.

Prior pitched for USC for two seasons and earned numerous awards including seven national Player of the Year awards. As a junior, his record was 15-1 with six complete games and three shutouts. His ERA was 1.69. He earned the prestigious Golden Spikes Award. He also led the team to the 2000 College World Series.

Prior entered the draft again and this time he was chosen as the second pick overall in the draft. As he concentrated on his baseball career and the hope of one day being called up to play for the Chicago Cubs, Prior continued his college education on a part-time basis and eventually earned a business degree in 2004 from the USC Marshall School of Business. In 2003, his first full season as a pitcher for the Cubs, his talent was obvious as he tallied an 18-6 win-lose record despite missing three starts due to an injury.

Prior was injured when he collided on the field with the Atlanta Braves second baseman Marcus Giles. Both Prior and Giles were scheduled to play in the 2003 All-Star Game but missed due to their injuries. Prior was voted Player of the Month in August and September. He went on to earn a 10-1 record as the Cubs made their way into the playoffs. That led to the infamous fan interference incident in which Steve Bartman caught a fly ball hit into the stands that could have easily been caught by the Cubs outfielder. The Cubs ended up losing the game and Prior suffered through the loss.

In 2004, Prior missed the first two months of the season with an Achilles tendon injury. Although rumors surfaced that Prior needed reconstructive elbow surgery, he returned to the mound with a less than stellar performance with six wins and four losses and an ERA of 4.02. Again in 2005, Prior started the season on the disabled list. He returned and was pitching up to par until May 27th when another misfortune came his way.

Prior was pitching to Brad Hawpe, an old rival from LSU who hit a three-run homerun off Prior in the College World Series. As they faced off in the major leagues, Hawpe drilled a pitch and sent a 117 mph line drive back to Prior, hitting him in the right elbow and putting him on the disabled list with a compression fracture. Prior finished the season 11-7 in 27 starts. During spring training the following year, Prior began to feel a stiffness in his throwing shoulder.

He was put on a slow pitch program and sent for tests that revealed he had a strained shoulder. He was put on the disabled list for 15 days in March missing the start of the 2006 season. When he returned, he gave up six runs to the Detroit Tigers in the first inning. He went on to earn a devastating 0-4 record with a 7.71 ERA and was once again put on the disabled list after straining his left oblique during batting practice. He returned to the minor leagues and three games later, Prior earned his first win of the year against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

By August of 2006, he was back on the disabled list with tendonitis for the remainder of the season. His record was 1-6 and ERA was a high 7.21.During the off-season, he complained of a loose shoulder and when conditioning did not improve the situation, Prior sought medical treatment and discovered he would need arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder.

In April, Prior underwent surgery and it was successful but put an early end to the 2007 season before it even began for him. Because of his age, doctors see no reason Prior cannot return to pitching in 2007.

RESOURCES

MLB Advanced Media, LP (2001-2007) Chicago Cubs. Retrieved May 8, 2007 from http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=407578

 

 

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Managing challenges for the 21st century

“Drucker’s ideas continue to display a force and resonance that leave him pretty much in a class by himself. It is impossible to read the man without learning a lot.”
—Fortune Magazine

Advent of globalization has reformatted the business principles and this book is a perfect guide to show the way to conquer new world which is more dynamic, confident and aggressive. Before Peter Drucker, most people thought about their businesses with a manufacturing mindset, defining a business based on what it produced. Today, the marketing mindset prevails. It was Drucker’s critical insight that instead of buying a “product” the customer buys the satisfaction of a need.

Drucker has reinvented the management principles to make them fit into the present world and can be proved more suitable in the current management framework. Drucker identifies new assumptions for the social discipline of management. He has claimed that Management is NOT only for profit-making businesses but Management is the specific and distinguishing organ of any and all organizations. This revolutionary concept can bow the seed of future methods of business and can turn around the whole institutive scenario to create a completely different set of business leaders. Gone are the days when companies were making big profits and hence were focusing the management principles only towards profit earnings.

Today’s world is flat and the competitions are monopolistic, in fact tends to perfect competition. In this scenario adhering to old management principles are like suicide. Second assumption is that never think that there is only one right organization which is again very relevant in present context. He has made a significant point over management of people. In Drucker’s view, One does not “manage” people. The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of each individual. Next assumption he made is that technologies and End-Users are NOT fixed and given. Increasingly, neither technology nor end-use is a foundation of management policy. They are limitations.

The foundations have to be customer values and customer decisions on the distribution of their disposable income. It is with those that management policy and management strategy increasingly will have to start. Drucker’s book critically emphasizes the role of customer in today’s market scenario. He focuses on the point that now customer are the central point and business has to start and end at customer.

Three things are important to run an effective business set up in present marketplace and that is customer, customer and only customer. Business has to be woven around the needs of the customer and ultimate goal should be customer satisfaction. He has quoted next assumption saying that Management’s scope is NOT only legally defined. The new assumption on which management, both as a discipline and as a practice, will increasingly have to base itself is that the scope of management is not legal. It has to be operational. It has to embrace the entire process.

It has to be focused on results and performance across the entire economic chain. He also said that Management’s scope is NOT only politically defined. National boundaries are important primarily as restraints. The practice of management – and by no means for business only – will increasingly have to be defined operationally rather than politically. This assumption has to be adopted by new world immediately in light of the “open world concept” and “world is flat” concept. Seventh assumption he made on the organizational atmosphere. He explained that the Inside is NOT the only Management domain.

The results of any institution exist ONLY on the outside. Management exits for the sake of the institution’s results. It has to start with the intended results and organize the resources of the institution to attain these results. It is the organ that renders the institution, whether business, church, university, hospital or a battered woman’s shelter, capable of producing results outside of itself. Lastly he declared the most important assumption that Management’s concern and management’s responsibility are everything that affects the performance of the institution and its results – whether inside or outside, whether under the institution’s control or totally beyond it.

This way he brought the managerial concept at the core of all the issues whether be political or economical or anything. His point of opinion is that the new world will be a economic world where money will be the most important thing and managerial discipline are the most efficient organ of the nation which can help keeping the country self sufficient and create bonhomie everywhere.

Therefore Drucker explains in a instructive tone that managers has to be responsible and they have to start thinking out of the box to consistently keep taking the extra steps in right direction. In the course of the discussions, Drucker also addresses the ultimate challenge of managing oneself while still meeting the demands on the individual during a longer working life and in an ever-changing workplace. He has always understood that people are deeply-and rightly-resistant to being “managed.”

This point is especially relevant for knowledge workers, who know more about their jobs than their bosses do. For them, supervision is a special kind of hell. This is why good managers help people manage themselves by focusing consistently on performance and results and by teaching them, often by example, to think about what they are good at, how they learn, what they value. Such self-knowledge is essential to performance.

Drucker has also introduced the effect of being a change leader. In the course of discussion he gives four requirements for change leadership:-

1. Polices to make the future.
2. Systematic methods to look for and to anticipate change.
3. The right way to introduce change, both within and outside the organization.
4. Policies to balance change and continuity.

In chapter-4, Drucker has navigated through the concept of information technology. Information is no doubt the most important tool to create a successful business setups. Drucker describes the new information revolution that is gaining momentum as follows. So far, for fifty years, Information Technology has centered on DATA -their collection, storage, transmission, presentation. It has focused on the ‘T’ in ‘IT’. The new information revolutions focus on the ‘I’. They ask, ‘what is the MEANING of information and its PURPOSE?’ And this is leading rapidly to redefining the tasks to be done with the help of information and, with it, to redefining the institutions that do these tasks.”

As long as the world continues to become more complex and specialized, information management is essentially a critical part of all businesses and act as blood and vein for industry.

The last chapter of the book, managing oneself, is completely devoted to the individual. Drucker advises persons to work on their strengths in order to maximize performance.

Conclusion: This book is highly recommended for tyros and young turks. This book is envisaging enough eye opener facts, which can help company grow to the maximum level by reinventing and managing the organizational principles and the level of knowledge workers who will face new challenges in the 21st century. Incisive, challenging, and mind-stretching, Drucker’s new book is forward-looking and forward thinking. It combines the broad knowledge, wide practical experience, profound insight, sharp analysis, and enlightened common sense that are the essence of Drucker’s writings, which are continuing international bestsellers and “landmarks of the managerial profession” (Harvard Business Review).

 

 

 

 

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Macroeconomics Living Standards

1.  Define the GDP price index.  Identify the person(s) who gave this idea.

A GDP price index is a measure of the price of a specified collection of goods and services in a given year as compared to the price of an identical or highly similar collection of goods and services in a reference year.

William Stanley Jevons (1835-1882) provided the earliest contribution to the development of index numbers. Later Wesley Clair Mitchell (1874-1948) contributed broader efforts to gather statistical data and improve economists’ ability to assess economic well-being.

2. Define find the concept and measurement of `Business Cycles. Identify the person(s) who gave this idea.

Economy normally goes through a series of cycles, of booms and depressions condition. For example, a slowing business activity may undergo revival activity which in turn results in business prosperity, prosperity then may breed economic crisis, economic crisis then leads to depression, after a long period of depression it may then go back to some revival activity which goes back to the same cycle. Business cycles could represent the most serious of economic instability. Survey data and cyclical indicators are the most effective measurements of business cycles. This would allow prediction of economic crisis for prevention purposes.

The economist who contributed the most to this idea of business cycles is Wesley Clair Mitchell (1874-1948).  John Maynard Keynes formalized the analysis of business cycles.

3. Define the idea of `real interest rates’. Identify the person(s) who gave this idea.

The “real interest rate” is calculated from the nominal rate of interest, adjusted for compounding, minus the inflation rate. Real interest rate is will depend primarily on the volatile inflation rates which poses some risk on borrowers and lenders.

The person who gave meaning to ‘real interest rates’ was Irving Fisher (1867-1947). The increase in nominal interest rates in anticipation of inflation is even called as “Fisher Effect” because of his contribution.

4. Indicate who first advanced the modern theory of business cycles and where he taught.

John Maynard Keynes contributed the most on the advancement of modern theory of business cycles. He lectured in Cambridge.

References:

C. MacConnell, S. Brue (2005). Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies, 16/e. Origins of Idea (Chapter 7). Retrieved January 7, 2007 from

http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072819359/student_view0/chapter7/origin_of_the_idea.html

C. MacConnell, S. Brue (2005). Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies, 16/e. Origins of Idea (Chapter 8). Retrieved January 19, 2007 from

http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072819359/student_view0/chapter8/origin_of_the_idea.html

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Free Essays

The Role of International Strategy and Organizational Design

The current trend of world economics business model lays on the world system division of labor between the core, the marginal, and the semi-marginal countries/states. The trading is not “isolated” or “internal” but rather it participates externally or in the global market and as such, this type of market is heavily affected by the dictates of the globalization trends.

The system of economics and their flow and relations between these countries are “non-static” and “non-constant” over long and short periods of time due largely to political, environmental and cultural changes vis á vis the evolving idea of ‘consumerism’ in the global community. The traditional concept of consumerism and commoditization of goods is largely challenged, hence, the business sectors/producers should construct an effective strategy and an efficient organizational design to cope up with the world economic trend and at the same, fulfill the organization/companies objectives and visionary goals.

The success, therefore, of an international company, lies on competitive action central to the combination of an effective strategic and traditional management.  We do not displace the idea of traditional management (e.g. budgeting and marketing) because its’ function is recognized as the core of business planning but rather, we aim to rectify/improve the company’s/organization’s business performance by target shooting the errors and analyzing it within the context of the global market system (or the business environment) and the capabilities (e.g. assets, facilities, resources) of the company system.

Critical to strategic management is the anticipation of changes in the economic system, in the demands of the consumers, new business technologies, competition, and (global) economic policy developments. Co-integration of the two—traditional and strategic—would give a sense of direction to the company in the globally competitive market.

What would be an apt strategic management in the non-static global economic system? The strategic management for this is a six level schema: (1) analysis of external factors (2) scrutinizing internal factors (3) stratagem (4) execution and (5) performance assessment/evaluation.

Arguably, the logic in analyzing the external factors lies in the structural level of social formation, but, we dispense this, in favor of the transnational concept—an approach that capitalizes on the importance of transnational practices in three major sectors, political, economic, cultural with focus on transnational corporation influence and consumerism— that of which had been the latest trend in global capitalism. Also, the importance of technological improvements and their incorporation into the market is intangible in the analysis of external factors.

The presence of competitors and economic policies should not be undermined; the parameters set by international laws may be restrictive but nevertheless, they are designed to facilitate a “fair” trading system; competitors for a particular commodity should also be accounted since globalization is heavily mandated by the transnational corps. It is on the basis of such external factors the company will seek to adjust to and construct the stratagem.

The capacity of the organization, its’ parameters, its’ resources, its’ liabilities and its’ needs must be carefully examined. Financial status, the employed technology for the commodity, the operative management and the available facilities must be ‘apt’ and can be competitive with the international companies. Leadership within the system and good working force are important elements. The organization should seek to answer the following in response to its internal structure: is the product globally competitive?

After assessing the internal and external factors, devising the stratagem is the next point of economic action. Goal identification and the feasibility of the plan being constructed is high on the agenda. Crucial to this is the statistics of materialization, the impact on the company/organization, and products development over a timeframe. Critical points should be well identified as well as mitigating errors, alternative plans, and analyzing and defining jobs and responsibilities per level of organization. The stratagem developed should have the following characteristics: (1) goal-oriented; (2) creative, by-product of external and internal analysis; and (3) strength-decisive/non-vulnerable in the market; (4) feasible.

The execution of strategy requires organizational design, resource allocation, and strong motivation. Organizational design involves efficient distribution of work force, recognizing their potential, and creating effective relations between the working people. Performance assessment is the last step and is achieved by assessing the plan on its’ efficiency on its’ how’s and ends. Flow monitoring of the work and assessing statistical significance of produce as well as company growth are important evaluation points. The importance of such strategy is the actual/real test of the stratagem on the economic market.

The strategic management places special attention to the environmental monitoring. Such activity is inherently important during forecasting or anticipation of future economic events and other related global aspects which may otherwise affect the position of organization and its products in the global economic scheme. Present and past trends and their change over time is prevalent in predicting scenarios that may be of value to the company. In strategic planning, ‘predictions’ are important in that the decisions are made to be flexible.

In recognizing the role of international strategy and organizational design in the global market, the organization/company takes an initial step in ‘equipping’ itself against the highly volatile network of economic world systems and becomes, at the most, competitive.

References

Sklair, L. (1999). Competing Conceptions of Globalization. Journal of World-Systems Research, 5, 143-162.

Aguilar, F. (1967). Scanning the business environment. NY: Macmillan, Inc.

 

 

 

 

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Free Essays

Nonsmokers: A Prospective Study

In 2006, Rudolf bertagnoli and his team published a study investigating the effects of smoking on patients who have undergone Lumbar total disc arthroplasty. “Smoking has always been considered to a negative predictor for fusion surgery.” (Bertagnoli. R, 2006)

Not many studies have been undertaken to observe effects of smoking on the procedure of Total arthroplasty and the recovery afterwards in smoking and non smoking patients. Some research suggests that smoking prevents or reduces the bones ability to grow into the prosthesis. Delay in recovery and decrease in over all success of the implantation procedure have also been blamed on smoking. (ProDisc Total Disc Replacement, 2008)

“The aim of the study was to evaluate the changes in functional and disability outcomes within a period of two years minimum in smoking and nonsmoking patients who have undergone the artificial disc replacement therapy.” (Bertagnoli. R, 2006)

The Null hypothesis and the Alternate hypothesis proposed were as follows.

Null Hypothesis: Smoking has no detrimental effect on success of artificial disc replacement (ADR).

Alternate Hypothesis: “Smoking has a detrimental effect on the success of artificial disc replacement (ADR).” (Bertagnoli. R, 2006)

A cohort study was conducted with an initial sample of 110 patients between March 2000 and April 2002. The inclusion criteria for the sampling included, smokers and non smokers, age between 18-65 years, “disabling low back pain and some radicular pain secondary to single-level lumbar spondylosis” (Bertagnoli. R, 2006)

, patients undergoing minimum of 2 year follow up and assessment, and lastly failure of medical treatment. They excluded “patients with spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, prior fusion surgery, chronic infections, metal allergies, facet arthrosis, inadequate vertebral endplate size, more than one level of spondylosis, neuromuscular disease, pregnancy, Workers’ Compensation, spinal litigation, body mass index greater than 35, and/or any isthmic.” (Bertagnoli. R, 2006)

Patient’s smoking status was recorded through questionnaires. Preoperative aspects of the lumbar anomaly were recorded radiographically. Outcome measurements were recorded at 3rd, 6th, 12th and the 24th month after undergoing the procedure. The procedure success and recovery progression was noted using the Visual Analog Score (VAS) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Questionnaires recording the back pain, pain drugs usage and patient satisfaction were also used. Preoperative and postoperative radiographical assessment of the back was also used to observe the recovery progression in both, the smoking and non smoking group of patients.

Dependent variables included Smoking and Non smoking group. Whereas the independent variables included VAS, ODI, patient satisfaction, leg pain, work rates (postoperative), and drugs used postoperatively.

Statistical analysis was done as it was found that even though there was significant changes between preoperative and postoperative variable like VAS, ODI, patient satisfaction, relief of leg pain work rate etc but no statistically significant differences were found between these outcomes of smoking patients when compared with nonsmokers. Therefore, the study fails to reject the null hypothesis, which still stands, i.e. “Smoking has no detrimental effect on success of artificial disc replacement (ADR).” (Bertagnoli. R, 2006)

The research was conducted in a controlled manner excluded many bias.  But further studies need to be conducted with larger sample sizes to further explore the role of smoking if any, in the success of disc replacement. Also there is need for exploring the link between blood levels of nicotine and success of procedure as well as the effects of smoking and indicators of bone adherence to the prosthesis needs to be further conducted.

Couple of questions that come to mind, if nicotine plays such great inhibiting effect on the bone and collagen growth as the study claims, then why wasn’t the effect of smoking  on growth factors and their monitoring not included in the study. Also, if as the researchers claim, that nicotine has an analgesic effect on patient, was it not included as a component in the study?

REFERENCES

Bertagnoli. R., Yue. J.J., Kershaw.T, Shah.R, V., Pfeiffer. F, Fenk-Mayer, A, et al. (2006). Lumbar Total Disc Arthroplasty Utilizing the ProDisc Prosthesis in Smokers versus Nonsmokers: A Prospective Study with 2-Year Minimum Follow-up. Spine, 3, 992-997.

ProDisc Total Disc Replacement (2008).  Spine Service- Sydney, Australia, retrieved on February 29th, 2008, from http://www.spine-service.org/dr.html

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