In the case of Tan, while physicians were aware of a prior brain injury causing speech impairment for the patient, they were unable to localize it within the topology of the brain. Moreover, since all other cognitive functions of the patient remained unaffected after the injury, the task of drawing up the diagnosis and prognosis became difficult. It is only after the death of the patient that the brain autopsy revealed lesions in areas of the brain now identified to be the speech centers. (Stirling, 2002)
In contrast, in the case of Phineas Gage, the exact location of the injury was known. During a rock-blasting operation, foreman Gage’s skull was pierced by a thick iron rod above the left-prefrontal cortex and had exited through the left cheek bone. The miracle of his survival apart, Gage even managed to regain most of his functions over the next 12 years of his life. But the behavioral changes witnessed in him by close friends and colleagues indicate core personality . . . Read More
Over the course of the last century, incidents of melanoma have steadily increased. There are various factors behind this trend, but chief among them is radical lifestyle changes adopted by people. As societies became more and more industrialized, activities involving sun-exposure had correspondingly declined. No more do a majority of people spend hours in the farm or participate in communal outdoor activities. With our bodies and skin thus conditioned to minimal sunlight, sudden bursts of exposure could prove dangerous. With tanning of skin becoming an obsession among fair-skinned women, young white women are particularly at high risk for developing melanoma. There is also an environmental dimension to the steady rise of skin cancer cases across the world. This has to do with the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer. This allows an excessive amount of Ultra Violet radiation to filter through the atmosphere. Although application of sunscreen and protective clothing somewhat . . . Read More
Summary of article:
The article titled ‘Finding Employees and Keeping Them: Predicting Loyalty in the Small Business’ accounts for various factors that determine employee loyalty in small businesses.
The authors assert that employees in small businesses are expected to be more versatile and dynamic. This makes hiring the right people a little challenging. In larger businesses, each employee is a specialist in a particular facet of business. To this extent, job descriptions can be sharply defined and employees hired in numbers. (Dyer and Reda 2010)
Indeed, as the study identifies, small businesses which adopt a formalized hiring process tend to perform better than their less structured counterparts. For example, parameters such as financial performance, revenue growth, as well as owners’ success perception, all point to this correlation. More importantly, selection of personnel inadequately skilled for the role has a detrimental effect on . . . Read More
Joseph Conrad’s novella is an encapsulation of the experience of colonialism from the point of view of Europeans. Based on his own seafaring voyages across the colonies, Conrad attempts to picture the dichotomy of civility and barbarity. Through the characters of Kurtz, Marlow, the Russian and the natives, a composite picture of colonial Africa is presented.
Chinua Achebe’s controversial critique of Heart of Darkness condemns Conrad as a blatant racist. This is most evident in the fact that the steamboat’s crew is comprised of a native helmsman and twenty ‘cannibals’. There are also sightings of disembodied heads of natives intended to scare trouble-makers. Further depictions of barbarism come in the form of sudden attacks with arrows and spears that the sailors on the boat encounter. Achebe takes particular objection to the manner in which Conrad compares river Thames with river Congo. He remarks sardonically in his essay, “But if it [Thames] were to visit its . . . Read More
The Romantic and Realist eras were sharply differentiated in terms of style and content of art. Yet, they are united in being born as reactions to styles precedent to theirs. Romanticism, for example was born as a reaction to the rational-scientific emphasis of the Age of the Enlightenment. Where Romantic art differed from scientific disposition is in its novel approach to creation. While science seeks to “explain what exists, art seeks to create something new—but something that bears a distinct relationship to what exists.” (Benton & Diyanni 2011) Likewise, the Realist era was inspired by the perceived excesses of the Romantic style. It is not for us to judge if one stylistic movement is superior to the other. They both sprung from a natural artistic longing for novelty and experimentation. It is fair to say that Western civilization is richer for these periodic upheavals in art. Both Romanticism and Realism showcased different sets of tendencies and aspirations in art . . . Read More
The reinvention of Twelfth Night by production company Shotgun Players has several interesting elements. The modern adaptation of the Shakespearean classic is ebullient with innovation and experimentation. The uniqueness of the play is in showcasing how Shakespeare could be transformed into a musical feature.
Director John Tracy presents a unique interpretation of the Shakespearean classic without sacrificing its essence. The numerous musical interludes and the over-the-top slapstick comedy are deliberate ploys on the part of the director. The purpose for these additions is to augment the entertainment value of the play. Given that Twelfth Night is an out-and-out comedy, these improvisations enhance, rather than detract from, the effectiveness of the play. The only thematic element in the sets used is that of a sea-side. All the props and costumes reflect a sunny coastal town without revealing any specifics. The free-floating placement of musical instruments serves as . . . Read More
During the era of the Enlightenment there was a debate among physicists as to the nature of reality. There were two metaphysical conceptions of qualities of matter. John Locke was the proponent of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities of matter. According to him, primary qualities are those that are objective facts pertaining to an object, which remain universally true irrespective of the perception of the observer. For example, a rectangular plate will remain a rectangle and under no conditions can one describe it as a circular object. Locke went on to assert that secondary qualities are those given rise through the senses of the observer. These include the color, smells, sound and taste of the object. These qualities are subjective to the particular observer and there could be divergence in how they are sensed. For example, an apple might taste sweet for one person while another might think it tastes bland. Locke contended that this dichotomy of qualities existed . . . Read More
The Enlightenment is a historically important event for scientific progress. It was ushered in by the collective transformative forces of path-breaking scientific discoveries in the preceding century. Most of these scientific discoveries dispelled long-held religious views of the world. This proved controversial at the time and provoked sharp censure from religious authorities. Yet the force of truth and reason is too strong to be contained by threat of punishment. This inevitability gave rise to the Enlightenment – one of the pivotal moments in the cultural ascent of our species. As Immanuel Kant famously described, Enlightenment is humankind’s “release from its self-imposed immaturity”. (Withers, 2007) Enlightenment is therefore an act of breaking shackles of authority and substituting it with independent inquiry. Since the Enlightenment attitude toward science encouraged skepticism over tradition and superstition, it immediately attracted the wrath of the powers that . . . Read More
How might interest groups use their money to influence policy outcomes in Congress? What effect does the timing and targeting of money have on their effectiveness? How exactly might we go about measuring such influence, in both contributions and results?
It is an open secret that private interest groups wield enormous influence over the Congress. Indeed, political lobbying and the Public Relations efforts that it entails is a multi-billion dollar industry. This state of affairs suggests that far from the principles enshrined in the Constitution, the Congress has now become a market place. Each law or amendment has a bunch of monetary transactions behind it. While a conventional market place sells commodities and services, the Congress sells legislative favors. It is a pitiable condition, but nevertheless true.
Numerous empirical studies have been conducted on understanding the nature of influence of interest groups. As far as studies on interest groups’ . . . Read More
Early educational experiences that shaped Emil du Bois-Reymond’s career in science
One of the important educational milestones for Bois-Reymond had been the experimental course he did in Berlin in 1838. His interactions with Jons Jacob Berzelius and other eminent scientists of the day shaped his formative mind. The exchanges he had with Johannes Muller served as an added apprenticeship for the young Bois-Reymond. Reading Carlo Matteucci’s essay “On the Electrical Phenomena of Animals” in 1841 had a profound influence on his ever inquisitive scientific mind. In 1843 Du Bois-Reymond was fortunate to have correspondence with and be appraised by Alexander von Humboldt. This culminated in his dissertation presentation to the French Academy of Sciences. Bois-Reymond’s academic life was thus filled with numerous fortuitous interactions with the leading scientific lights of the day.
Bois-Reymond’s personality, preferences and personal . . . Read More