Frederick Douglass is one of the most prominent African American heroes in the history of the United States. He was among the small group of pioneers who, through the example of their lives and brave political actions, advocated the abolition of slavery. During his lifetime, he gained popularity as a charismatic and eloquent speaker. He was also a master of the written word and drew praise from all quarters for his autobiographical works. The first of his autobiographies was the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and it received both critical and popular appreciation. The subsequent autobiographies were extended and revised versions of this first book. The book in question has firmly established itself in the American Literary Canon and quite deservedly so. In it, Douglass narrates the story of his life in all earnestness and feeling. Born into the system of Chattel slavery, there were no inklings in his early life of what was to transpire later. But through good fortune . . . Read More
There has long been the contention that art, in all its various manifestations, should ideally by apolitical in its content. And this debate on the separation of art from politics has been as old as art itself. And those instances in which an overlapping of the two occur, controversy if not outright censorship ensues. A classic illustration of this phenomenon in recent history is the Iranian theocracy’s issue of ‘fatwa’ (essentially a death sentence) against Litterateur Salman Rushdie, whose novel The Satanic Verses was accused of disparaging the Islamic faith. Notwithstanding the veracity of the accusations directed against Rushdie, the controversial novel should not be dismissed as being blasphemous without due critical consideration of its content, for often times, it is the dissenting and disturbing voices that also speak truth to power. In the case of the Satanic Verses affair it is theocratic power that was disturbed. But in today’s geo-political . . . Read More
Alexander Hamilton, alongside such luminaries as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison is rightly considered as a founding father of the United States of America. In the second half of the eighteenth century, when British colonies in America entered a period of fervent political change, intellectuals such as Hamilton played pivotal roles in guiding and influencing this process. This essay will argue that Alexander Hamilton had indeed played a pivotal role in the establishment of U.S. Treasury and his ideas continue to influence economic policy even today.
Although lesser studied when compared to other Founding Fathers, Hamilton’s contribution in shaping the new American republic is substantial. For example,
“The most practical nation builder of the Founding Fathers, Hamilton (1755-1804) fought tirelessly for ratification of the Constitution, played a pivotal role in creating a centralized and powerful . . . Read More
Sociology as a discipline of study took off only in the twentieth century. The growth in communications technology, coupled with unprecedented levels of human migration, both facilitated and made necessary the study of human interaction from the perspective of ethnicity, race, class, gender, etc. Intellectuals such as Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons and Anthony Giddens have proposed important theories toward understanding the dynamics of societies. Karl Marx was identified as a sociologist posthumously for during his life-time the field of sociology was not yet formed. But despite the lack of nomenclature Marx’s ideas have profoundly affected later generations of sociologists. Marx’s achievement is in attempting to explain social situations and problems from the point of view of economic class of constituent groups in society. Max Weber, on the other hand, saw religion to be pivotal to society and hence included religious considerations . . . Read More
Shutter Island is one of the most emotionally and intellectually engaging films to have come out in recent times. Directed by noted filmmaker Martin Scorsese, the film explores the potential depths of human psychology and the inevitable conflicts in human relationships. Although it wouldn’t rank as Scorsese’s best movie, it excels in so many departments that it is set to become a classic of the suspense/thriller/horror genre. The plot is centered on the characters of Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule (played in the film by Leonardo Di Caprio and Mark Ruffalo respectively). The Shutter island hosts Ashecliffe hospital, which is a mental asylum for the criminally inclined. The two lead characters, who serve the US military, get trapped in this secluded island due to hostile weather conditions. Their mission was to investigate the case of a missing inmate. But due to the enclosed circumstances in which they find themselves in, their mission objectives become entwined with . . . Read More
The growth of the Internet in the last twenty years has spurred the growth of on-line financial services as well. These days on-line banking and e-commerce have become ubiquitous, as financial transactions are carried out at users’ convenient place and time. An offshoot of this broader phenomenon is on-line investment services offered by various banks. This means that the erstwhile specialized activity of stock-trading and stock-investing have now been made accessible to common people as well. There are both advantages and disadvantages in using on-line investment services. Foremost of the advantages are the convenience and ease of use associated with investment websites. A number of research and analytic tools are offered to users to aid their decision making process. Lay investors can also save up money on the brokerage charges, as on-line brokerages offer cheaper transaction prices when compared to human-agent brokerages. But the biggest threat to investments . . . Read More
Archbishop Oscar Romero, who served the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador, is an important public figure in Latin American socio-political history. He was appointed as the Archbishop of San Salvador in late 1970s. Though he was assassinated in 1980, his legacy lives on still today, mainly due to the preservation of his political and religious discourses, that survive today as tapes and transcripts. The four pastoral letters comprise an integral part of his preachings to his followers. Consistent with his role as the pastor of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Romero sought to provide moral and spiritual guidance to his followers through his four letters.
As El Salvador was one of the poorest countries in the world, the issue of poverty had deeply moved Archbishop Romero. Although theology per se is not tied to politics and economics, the Archbishop “never ceased to condemn the social and economic structures that oppressed the poor, and the murderous violence used to . . . Read More
Aerobic exercise, which can take the form of jogging, cycling, etc is one of the most effective way of burning fat in the body. So there is veracity to the hype surrounding this form of exercise, in terms of its ability to tone down body fat. Physiotherapists have identified a generic formula for determining the requisite heart rate at which fat burning happens. Usually the optimal heart rate to be maintained during aerobic exercise is determined by the formula 220 minus age, multiplied by 0.75. Though this is an approximate calculation, it has consistently proven that maintaing heart rate at this level will aid the fat burning process.
But in recent years, physiotherapists have discovered that aerobic exercises might not work for all individuals. It is identified that regular aerobic workouts plateaus after two months, beyond which it is not an effective way of burning fat. Aerobic training is also said to increase oxidative and adrenal stress making the individual prone to . . . Read More
With the development of the Internet in the last twenty years, the nature and manner in which financial transactions are carried out has undergone a sea change. In its early days, the Internet was used solely for purposes of communication. But in recent years the role and scope of the Internet has assumed new dimensions with the introduction of commercial transactions. What has come to be called e-commerce has its origins in the dotcom boom of the late 1990s. But it is only after the inevitable dotcom bust in the early years of the millennium that e-commerce established itself as a viable and dependable method of conducting business. Technological innovation in terms of developing security software aided this process and so did the process of globalization. As a culmination of these parallel but complementary processes, e-commerce in general and electronic financial transactions in particular has firmly taken root in mainstream global economy. While this kind of progress in such a . . . Read More
Hurricane Katrina that struck South Eastern Coast of the United States is considered to be one of the biggest natural disasters in recent history. The city of New Orleans, which is rich in cultural and musical tradition, has been devastated beyond recognition during the violent unleashing of the storm. Hence, as the Industrial Hygienist designated with the job of reverting the hospital to usable standards, my task is quite challenging. But meeting this challenge head-on, I would implement various plans of action for my team based on theoretical knowledge and practical experience that I had gained in my career as an Industrial Hygienist.
My primary concern as an Industrial Hygienist deputed to clean up the hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina would be to prevent or control the spread of infectious diseases such as diarrhea, flu, cold and TB. Because as evidence from similar natural catastrophes suggests, the people returning to New Orleans are likely to . . . Read More