As a strategically important country in the Middle East, the course Iran would take will have profound consequences for the entire region. But given its history and recent developments, the future looks dark and dangerous for both Iran and its enemies.
The recent years had seen a gradual but definite change in Iran’s social conditions. The fundamentalist mullahs have not been as strict in interfering with people’s life-style choices, probably due to the economic advantages presented by a consumerist culture. Considering that two thirds of Iran’s population is under the age of 30, this was seen as a tactical move by the Iranian administrators. For the outside observers this may give the impression of a free society. But the uncolored truth is that this apparent freedom of choice in a supermarket is not . . . Read More
As our societies become more affluent and advanced, the usage of automobiles will also increase proportionately. The pollution caused by popular automobile fuels will put the ecological balance of the earth in jeopardy. In this scenario, it is prudent of the governments and the people that elect them to make a collective effort in switching to cleaner alternative fuels.
These days there are more vehicles on the road than what is optimum. This means more pollutants are released into the environment. Gases like hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide are especially damaging to the atmosphere and its inhabitants. Moreover, these gases have the potential to create “ground-level ozone”, which is a layer that results when sunlight reacts with the pollutants mentioned above. Such atmospheric developments can have catastrophic consequences – including but not restricted to . . . Read More
Mythologies as Information Dispensers:
In the ancient world as is so in the modern world, myths have been an essential component of religion. In ancient societies, word of mouth stories were very significant because they explicated human and divine nature. In an era when the written script was not yet invented, this was a valuable method of information. The myths, packaged into stories, communicated history and preserved the past. Elements of intrigue and exaggeration were deliberately induced to make the assimilation and transmission more interesting. In other words, it could be asserted, that the Greek Mythology was the forebear for all subsequent performance arts. In the primitive world, mythology served as a primitive form of theatre. But this is only one side of the truth. Myths were cleverly used by the religious leaders to impose their authority on the unsuspecting masses. This was . . . Read More
The youngest of the Marx Brothers trio, Julius “Groucho” Marx, was also the most popular and versatile of the siblings. Groucho Marx’s place in the American comedy canon is undisputed and he is regarded second only to Charlie Chaplin in terms of his status in the comedian fraternity. While most comedians of his generation were stuck to one particular medium, Groucho was most remarkable for his adaptability and mastery of any new medium of entertainment that would appear at the time. For example, long after his brothers faded into retirement, Groucho was still holding stage in radio and Television. By studying the career of Groucho Marx in detail, much about the history of popular culture could be learned. Marx, having lived and performed in the first half of the twentieth century, bore witness to the advances in the way entertainment will be produced and delivered. Hence, Marx’s progress as a performer is . . . Read More
Parent’s education level which is a reasonable measure of their SES is found to influence language proficiency of their children. Substance abusing parents from low SES tend to be negligent of their children, which affects their language development. Ethnic and racial minorities, especially whose first language is different from the dominant language of the region, have historically found social mobility difficult. Parents under mental stress tend to be poor caregivers and this affects the language acquisition of their children – most such adults are from lower SES.
Research indicates that of all the parent-child activities, reading to children has a major influence on the subsequent language development of the child. This is so, because the other verbal interactions between . . . Read More
The most common themes of Reggae music include poverty, politics and Rastafarianism (which is a set of spiritual and cultural beliefs with wide ranging interpretations). Other subjects like love, sex and socializing also find mention in the lyrics although social criticism is the predominant theme. The music is also known for criticism of materialism, political awareness and rebellion against orthodox religious dogma (Clements).
Reggae as a Vehicle of Political Message:
Clancy Eccles was openly supportive of Michael Manley and his People’s National Party (PNP) during the 1970’s. Manley, the ever shrewd politician, understood the power of Reggae to draw voters. So during the run-up to the elections, he arranged concerts where Eccles’ performed politically loaded numbers. The other Reggae groups that were also supportive of Manley were Dennis Brown, the Chosen Few . . . Read More
Euthanasia is deliberate killing of a seriously or terminally ill human being, apparently for his/her benefit. The important word here is “deliberate”, meaning, to act upon a conscious decision. Euthanasia is also referred to as “mercy killing”. Euthanasia can be either voluntary or involuntary. Euthanasia is usually applied for terminal patient cases where there is no or little chance of recovery. Unfortunately, the recent times had seen euthanasia being interpreted in various and confusing ways, not all of which are agreeable to ethical codes of life.
Euthanasia is applicable for “terminally ill” patients, who have no scope of recovery and the rest of their life is bound to be full of suffering. However, in some conditions like comatose where there is a possibility of recovery, the decision to terminate life is not straight forward. So, it is argued, . . . Read More
The Samsa family around the fantastic insect is nothing else than mediocrity surrounding genius. Gregor Samsa (pronounced Zamza), the protagonist, has for his parents Flaubertian philistines. They are generally interested in the material side of life and have poor tastes in other regards. About five years back, father Samsa loses all his money, which forces son Samsa to work as a traveling salesman in cloth for one of his father’s creditors. The full responsibility of the family falls on young . . . Read More
Landmines have profound social and economic consequences to civilians. Although landmines are meant to curb enemy access to terrain, they affect the local civilian populations quite severely. They depopulate entire regions of the country, get in the way of agricultural production and interfere with transportation. They also bring down the economic infrastructure and kill/maim several innocent civilians. Landmines are at times deployed as a means of sabotage – they make useless strategic commercial structures and cripple the economy (Giannou 1997). Also, when surface transportation is hampered, farmers can no longer transit their produce to marketplaces. This results in inflation and soaring of commodity prices. Mined roads make the effects of famine and drought more severe by hampering food relief and restricting movement of supplies.
Disastrous results follow when mines are . . . Read More
Several studies indicate a correlation between music videos and violent behavior of adolescents. The findings also show a connection between the imagery displayed in the videos and inappropriate sexual attitudes and conduct. The lyrics tend to have a significant corrupting influence on the youth. Particular genres such as hip-hop, gangsta rap and heavy metal are found to be more damaging to youth than the rest. The racial attitudes and interpersonal relations of teenagers can be influenced by the music they watch.
Music Videos have defined contemporary culture the last 50 years. The mass appeal of the art form brings with it both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it inspires, entertains and stimulates, . . . Read More