The Blog

March 17, 2009

A blog is a type of website maintained by an individual with regular entries. Blogs began to become popular in the late 90’s. A blog can contain several things. Many people use blogs as electronic diaries. Blogs can also be composed of music, pictures, sketches, or video, but most are primarily composed of text. A blog is usually a part of a network of several blogs which allows bloggers to read and comment on each others blogs, this is a very important aspect of blogging. Blogs can be used for businesses in order to post ideas, they can be used to post questions and receive answers, and they can even be used as a type of journal entry to kids in a college class. Blogs are believed to have some therapeutic benefits, because they allow someone to express their ideas.

Is Hamlet Insane?

March 17, 2009

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 Hamlet has puzzled people with his “antic disposition” for centuries. Throughout the play he walks the lines of insanity, but does he ever cross them? One argument that can be made against Hamlet’s insanity is the fact that he does know what he his doing is perceived as insane. Most insane people are not aware that their actions may seam strange to others, this to me is enough to prove Hamlet’s sanity. I think Hamlet’s actions and suicidal thoughts are not a result of insanity, but a result of depression. Hamlet has had several traumatic events happen in his life which could cause him to become depressed, for example the death of his father. Depression is a usual reason for suicidal thoughts. Several of Hamlet’s other actions can also be explained by depression, for example he lashes out at his loved ones like Ophelia. In my opinion hamlets actions are not a result of insanity, but of depression.

Problems with Diet Coke

March 17, 2009

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 Diet Coke contains Aspartame, which some scientists and medical professionals believe can cause several illnesses ; such as cancer, brain tumors, brain lesions, and lymphoma when consumed in large quantities. Coca-Cola has now released Diet Coke sweetened with sucralose, also known as Splenda, which has also recently had some controversy about being carcinogenic. Also anther chemical in diet coke, sodium benzoate, was found to break down mitochondrial DNA in living yeast cells. Research has recently linked sodium benzoate with hyperactivity’s and decreased intelligence in adolescents. Other possible health side affects linked to to many soft drinks are type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, dental decay, disruption of sleep patterns, and possible reduction of bone density.

Breast Ironing

March 17, 2009
Tools used to performe breast ironing

Tools used to performe breast ironing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breast ironing is a form of body modification practiced in parts of Cameron. Unlike other body modifications which are cultural or are believed to increase beauty, breast ironing is use for young women’s safety.

Breast ironing is believed to lower physical attractiveness in young girls. This is believed to reduce the risk of rape and early marriage. Breast ironing is performed on a young girl when she reaches puberty. A heated object will be pressed hard against the young girl’s breast in order to stop the breast’s formation. Side effects of breast ironing include pain, tissue damage, breast cancer, and problems with milk production. Several organizations are trying to stop this practice.

 

Movie Review: Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet

March 17, 2009

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In 1996 Kenneth Branagh produced his four hour film version of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Unlike most film versions that cut portions of the play Branagh contained every line of the play. With little or no modification to the script Branagh uses impressive imagery to convey his interpretation of the play. The actors of the movie do an impressive job at conveying emotions. Many people cannot understand old English, but the actors use body language excellently in order to express their emotions. Branagh does an exceptional job with the “to be, or not to be” soliloquy. He uses several images in this scene; this along with the wonderful performance given by the actor allows the viewer to see deeply into the mind of the complicated Hamlet. The supporting actors also do an excellent job of conveying the emotions of their characters. Branagh does the best possible job of transforming the play into a film. This film can possibly be the best version of the play yet.

 

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Hamlet’s Tragic Flaw

March 10, 2009

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Hamlet has several flaws within his character. Such as his possible insanity, but his most crippling flaw, his tragic flaw is his inability to act or determine when actions are necessary during opportune moments.

 

Hamlet opens the play with initial dislike for his uncle, Claudius, for stealing his mother and his throne. When Hamlet is told by the ghost of his father that he was murdered and he wishes to be avenged Hamlet should have jumped at the opportunity to kill Claudius. Hamlet probably wanted to kill Claudius already in order to retain his throne. The ghost whether telling the truth or not should have given Hamlet just a little extra incentive to act.  

 

Hamlet is also unable to act when his uncle giving a confession. Hamlet had the perfect opportunity to kill Claudius without making a big scene and fails to do so. He has seen his uncle’s guilt and even heard him confessing of his father’s murder and still does not have enough incentive to act.

 

The problem may not lie within Hamlets ability to act, but in his decision making. When Hamlet does act it is with surprising quickness and usually is an irrational decision, such as, the stabbing of Polonius. If Hamlet would have had better decision making skills he could have wound up king with Olivia as his wife, and his mother alive. Instead he winds up dead along with Olivia and his mother.              

Poe’s References to his Life

March 6, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe’s stories have troubled the minds of many throughout history, and many wander what may have fueled the ideas of the stories. I believe these gruesome stories are a result of Poe’s own miserable life.

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In many of Poe’s stories he includes references to his own life. For instance in The Cask of Amontillado there are several references to Poe’s life. Nemo me impune lacessit (the family motto of Montresor) is also the national motto of Scotland. John Allen ( Poe’s foster father) was Scottish. Allen also had many of the same characteristics as Fortunato, such as, being rich, respected, admired, beloved, interested in wines, and a member of the Masons. The lettters in Allen are also contained in Amontialldo.

 

Poe’s references can also be seen in other stories. In The Black Cat the narrator is an alcoholic which resembles Poe and his problems with drinking. In The Fall of the House of Usher the narrator tries to help a friend that is sick but fails. This may be a reference to the people in Poe’s life that were sick (his mother, foster mother, and his wife). Several of Poe’s poems have to do with someone dying of a sickness. Many of which were written after his wife died. Poe’s life may have been troublesome, but his life may be what created all his stories. Without a terrible life his stories may have been what became terrible. 

 

African Lip Plates

February 13, 2009
African Woman with large plate.

African Woman with large plate.

 

 

 

 

 

Lip plates are a form of body modification used in Africa and parts of South America. The plates are made by hand from clay or wood. These plates are inserted into a pierced hole in either the bottom or top lip which stretches the lip. In Africa the plate are sometimes accompanied by the removal of the bottom front teeth.

The lip plate in some parts of Africa is used to determine social and economic status. The larger the plate can denote a wealthier family. It can also represent the number of cattle paid for a bride. Among the Surma people, which reside in Ethiopia, woman who are preparing for marriage will undergo the lip stretching process.

Stretched lip of Surma Woman.

Stretched lip of Surma Woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The African girls that partake in this cultural process usually have the choice whether or not to get the lip piercing. If they decide to endure the stretching of their lips each girl will construct their own plates by hand. The women usually include some type of decoration on their lip plates. 

  

In the Amazon lip plates are worn by men and it signifies becoming a man. Also lip plates are associated with the best singers in the Amazonian region. Lip plates worn by women in the Amazonian region indicate the woman preparing for marriage.

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January 28, 2009

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