Thursday, May 31, 2012

Essay on Slavery in America

Essay on Slavery in Colonial America

By the end of the eighteenth century the topics of human rights and freedom grew more and more popular in the United States, the land filled with a “young” nation fighting for its freedom and equality. At the same time “the land of the free” had scarce human resources able to work hard, which was an absolute necessity for the enrichment of the landowners of the newly inhabited country. The nation had to acknowledge the practical necessity of slavery as the rewarding and fairly inexpensive way of making huge capitals. This duality of existence – the combination of slavery and the principles of freedom and equality – resulted in the massive evidence of the African Americans claiming for their fundamental rights in different ways.

Some of the U.S. slaves had the same status back in Africa, however, their rights and the overall perception were totally different at their home country – in the United Stated the challenges of the capitalism changed human slaves into cattle in the eyes of the traders and the landlords.


Escaping slavery – the central form of labor both in the North and the South for several centuries – became the main aim for the African Americans of the time. Later, with the times of the Revolution the concept of the full citizenship was born in the minds of those who fought for freedom. The first goal – the abolition of slavery - was officially ratified in 1863, while the second – the granting of the citizenship - was documented only five years later. In reality, the fight for the real freedom and equality had just begun. The end of Reconstruction in 1877 signified the return to the inequality and racial prejudice, making basis for the later emergence of the Civil Rights Movement that signified further notion of freedom for the African Americans.

The fight for slavery abolition resulted in the emancipation of the huge portion of the American inhabitants and the change of attitude to humans that are all “born free and equal”, according to the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution.

The abolition of slavery was a dream for the African Americans that were brought to the America as slaves or born into it for many generations. Slavery in the United States was forced by enormous economic challenges, backed by country official legislation and the connivance of the church. The United States were destined to realize the meaning and the price of freedom largely due to the African Americans’ active fight for their basic human and civil rights. Thousands of people were depleted of their basic freedoms and dignity due to the difference in color and status. The change of this status that officially began in the late nineteenth century, lead not only to the transformation of the perception of the equality and freedom of the African Americans – it has forced a change in attitude to women’s rights, leading to women suffrage and further emancipation, making strong basis for the further acknowledgement of gender, racial, disability and sexual orientation equalities. Ever since the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”1, the African Americans fight for the rights gave a chance to the real, unconditional freedom in the land of the free. This goal lead to further development of the civil rights movement, resulting in the acknowledgement of the document that would enable more equality despite gender, race, color, disability or religious belief. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 that extended voting rights and outlawed racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and in public accommodations, was another victory of the African American ancestors that fought for freedom back in the nineteenth century.

It would be wrong to claim the fight for the equality is over, because even almost half a century later, practical issues of discrimination remain, although these cases are incomparably fewer than back into the times of the formation of the United States. The civil rights movement achieved impressive results in the fight for equality and it is important to study the African American History as it apparently constituted an impressive part of the history of the United States, starting from the early colonial days to the current events. The African American History has also formed the basic principles of the human coexistence within the country, creating the key laws on human rights and freedoms of the United States of America, which will surely determine the future of the nation.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Short Essay on France

Small Essay about France

The Influence of France on the World
We all are already used to the fact that diplomats, politicians and historians constantly draw our attention to France. Many would wonder why this is so, because France does not seem to have remarkable territories, French language is widely spoken, though not more than many other European languages, as well as the political structure of France cannot serve as an example for imitation. However, the input of this country into the world’s culture, diplomacy, politics and history is purely outstanding. The following essay will introduce few of many such influences.


To begin with, even though many know that the English language was shaped over the centuries by Latin and German, few realize that French language had a great impact on the English language. In fact, around ten thousand French words are used today in modern English. What is even more interesting is that these words are used in every domain, from government and law to art and design. In addition to that, many French words were changed and adjusted for the English language, however their French origin is still recognized. Thus, the speakers of English language, de facto, have a big vocabulary of the French language.

Historically France had a great influence on eighteen century Russia. First of all, this influence was cultural. French was adopted as the language of conversation, this in its turn encouraged access to French literature. Furthermore, French educational methods were copied by the aristocracy and at the beginning of the nineteenth century the aristocracy preferred French language, French books, French food, and even French traditions over the Russian ones. Second of all, France has influenced Russia strongly in social and political fields. Catherine II was very much interested in French philosophers and tried to implement their ideas in Russia. Such ideas included making Russia more cultural and civilized and abolishing of serfage.

Finally, France is a well-established motherland of fashion, with Paris being the capital of world’s fashion. This country became the epicenter of world’s fashion already in the sixteenth century and managed to embed aptitude to fashion in the society. Even today with many other big fashion centers emerging around the world France continues to be a country famous for its chic and style. A country that had helped the world enjoy such brands as Among the many Parisian couture houses are Balmain, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Chloé, Pierre Cardin, and many more.

In conclusion it must be said that of course this essay mentioned only several examples of the influence of France on the world, there are still many more fascinating facts that were omitted. Lastly, I find it interesting to mention, that according to the survey carried out in the United States of America, France had the best reputation of the big nations, much better than the ones of Russia, Germany and China (BBC News). it can be said that such good reputation is brought about by understanding of the positive influence the country had on the world.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Marketing Management Term Paper

Marketing Management Research Paper

Is Marketing Management an Art or a Science?

There is an ongoing dispute as to whether a scientific or practical approach is more suited to business and in particular to marketing. Knowledge of the market for goods and services and the way people and companies interact in it is a social and dynamic field. As such there is an important distinction to be made between practice and theory. The question: “Is marketing an art or a science?” leads to the underlying problem of whether generalizing and formulating theories is a help or an obstacle for the development of the marketing discipline. Does the term science bring value in itself, or is it simply an overcomplicating factor which distracts us from the essence of the art of marketing?

The article “Art or Science?: Fifty Years of Marketing Debate” by S. Brown summarizes the debate over whether it is appropriate to place marketing in the field of science or art. The discussion was sparked by the publication of Converse’s 1945 article “The Development of the Science of Marketing”. In his work the academic introduces a new perspective into the field, by bringing in the then fashionable term “science” into his research S. Brown (1996). The study was a questionnaire including a sample of 64 marketing researchers who were asked to rate a variety of subjects relevant to the development of the discipline Dix (2003). This publication introduced a new perspective on marketing management.


Although Converse’s contribution may be considered the beginning of the debate it is by no means the main argument on the science-art scene. The main idea of marketing as a science was considered first by him, but the scholars who followed, namely Brown (1948), and Alderson and Cox (1948) were the ones who formulated specific demands as to the formation of a marketing profession S. Brown (1996). They introduced into the debate the idea that it was necessary for the discipline to develop in a more scientific direction if it was to ever become a true field of knowledge. Here emerged the argument for the scientific approach. The idea that the transformation of marketing into a profession would be possible only if given a systematic and structured approach and many theories with which to generalize away the phenomena so far observed emerged.

As it is to be expected these arguments promptly found opposing ones. In 1949 Vaile contended that marketing is an art which needs innovation, creativity and a communication with the social environment S. Brown (1996). In further discussions it was suggested that the scientific method was not a valid description of what actually goes on in marketing and therefore the word science was not a valid term. The former argument was introduced by Bartels in 1951. He went on to speculate that there is indeed a scientific character to marketing research and therefore with a little adjustment and specification, marketing could become a discipline of scientific character.

After the introduction of a few more opposing and supporting arguments by scholars such as Hutchinson it became clear that the debate had a set goal. Its universally accepted objective was to convert marketing into a scientific discipline S. Brown (1996). This prompted a series of arguments as to whether this goal had been reached, and if so, to what extent. Many suggested criteria emerged as a result of the debate. They all had suggested methods for confirming the status or converting marketing into a systemized base of knowledge. An example of this is Buzzell’s argument that marketing lacked the strictly organized body of knowledge organized around a few central theories, required to make it a science S. Brown (1996). There were many suggestions and arguments. Some declared marketing management to be a fully fledged branch of scholarship, while others had more severe expectations, but one thing was clear, no one opposed turning marketing into a science.

After this strict attempt to associate marketing with a purely scientific domain, came the period of relativism. This era in the development of the debate was characterized by a different approach toward the term science and the place of marketing in the society. Anderson argued in 1983 that the world is more complicated and dynamic from a social point of view and therefore it cannot be judged from a classically scientific perspective S. Brown (1996). This would mean that marketing is not a science, but rather a dubbed science, equipped with the adequate social tools necessary for interpreting the environment it studies. Another interesting idea is represented by Peter and Olson in 1983. According to them science is so social that it is, in a way, a form of marketing S. Brown (1996). The explanation for this is that the success of scientific ideas depends entirely on the marketing skill of their authors. This suggestion adds a new perspective as to the relationship between science and marketing. Must the latter be defined by the laws and principles of the former or is it the other way around?

Yet another argument in the disputation is one provided by those who examine science in itself and view its method as being inadequate and false. This was suggested by Kuhn 1970 and Feyerabend 1987 – 88 who resorted to the argument provided by Popper in his legendary “Conjectures and Refutations”. In his work Popper argues that the level of scientific worthiness of a theory is determined by its refutability Popper (1963). Therefore, it is suggested by Feyerabend and Kuhn, scientific theories are usually not reached by a true scientific method of refutation, but rather by a pseudo one in which their creators try to protect them from being disproven S. Brown (1996). These arguments as to the social and scarcely structured character of science lead to a controversy in the field. It could be concluded that the relativist approach was a step toward viewing marketing as knowledge apart from science. This perspective proved to be a driver for further thought in that direction.

The final period of development in the fifty year debate is the postmodernist era. This portion of the argument gives an entirely new perspective on the domain of marketing knowledge. It focuses on a more reasonable question: “Does classifying marketing as a science contribute positively?” The postmodernists have a clear answer to the question. They consider science to be cold and calculating, devoid of any social perspective, and isolated from the needs and specifics of society S. Brown (1996).

Although this may seem like a harsh and extreme point of view it does bring us closer to discussing a more reasonable and meaningful question. In view of this ruthless conclusion we could ask ourselves whether marketing fits the profile provided above. Is the base of knowledge we have today isolated from society and based instead on a purely numerical and self serving principle? A closer look at what marketing does could tell us that on the contrary it is a discipline based on the connectedness of companies and products to people, no matter whether those people are the consumers or the staff of the business. Marketing preaches that the only way to keep on top is to constantly update the picture an industry has on the world around it. The number one principle when planning marketing activities is to know who is around and what is happening. This perspective can hardly be qualified as socially detached. Before any marketer makes an assumption based on knowledge, he has already acquainted himself with the specifics of the situation. We can therefore conclude that it is hardly appropriate to call marketing a science, because it neither makes refutable assumptions, nor does it depend entirely on hypotheses. It is a dynamic and ever-changing field of experience and knowledge, which requires constant reality checks and updates.

And now comes the question of whether depriving marketing of scientific status makes it more difficult to use or more inadequate. Would it pose a threat to the utility and sense it contains? The answer is undoubtedly, no. It is more than clear that marketing has been a crucial part of business and the development of the economy. The principles and knowledge acquired and given this name have been an invaluable help in determining market trends and predicting consumer behavior. The more experience is gained in this domain the easier it becomes for businesses to find an appropriate strategy and adapt it to the overall conditions. The fact that it is a discipline better described as art, rather than science only makes it more flexible. Marketing is there for the making. It is a division of human social experience which is always open to innovation and improvement. What better way to incorporate business into society than having an open and continuous dialogue between the two.
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Economics Research Paper Sample

Economics Term Paper

1. Write a comparative analysis of regional features of contemporary economy in:

a) Moscow and Moscow Region
Apart from its role as the major regional commercial and cultural center, the city of Moscow boasts a diverse portfolio of enterprises in “various industry sectors, including engineering, metalworking, building materials, and defense” (Russia Profile, 2009, “Moscow”). The “industries generally rely more on the city’s skilled labour force than on raw materials” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009, “Moscow”, “Manufacturing”, para. 2). Engineering sector specializes in ball bearings, machine tools (particularly in grinding lathes, precision cutting tools, and textile industry equipment), aerospace design and measuring instruments, including watches. Chemical industry, previously oriented at producing dyestuffs for textile industry, such as natural-fiber and synthetic cloth, now makes synthetic industrial rubbers and rubber tires, paints, plastics, pharmaceutical goods, and perfumes, mostly derived from Moscow’s oil refinery processing petroleum of the Volga-Urals oil field (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009).

Services, especially banking, finance and telecommunications, are becoming increasingly important each year, as oil riches keep fueling Russian economy. It is also necessary to note the role of Moscow as an important transportation hub. Moreover, the area has historically been an R&D centre, despite the attempts to create so-called “academic towns” in remote parts of the country during the Soviet times. At the moment, 20% of all scientific organizations in Russia are situated in Moscow Region. The region “includes two special economic zones for technology research - Dubna and Zelenograd” (Russia Profile, 2009, “Moscow Region”).


A peculiar feature of Moscow’s economy is that “although a disproportionate share of national wealth was concentrated there under the Soviets, the degree of concentration has significantly increased since 1990” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009, “Moscow”, “Economy”, para. 1). The city has accounted for one-fourth of Russia’s wealth by the beginning of this millennium, not taking into consideration unreported transactions. Average salary is much higher in Moscow than in other regions, yet salaries constitute only a quarter of city dwellers’ earnings (compared to three-fifths for all Russians) who derive a large share of their income from entrepreneurship and property renting: real estate prices in Moscow are traditionally high.

b) Western Siberia
West Siberian economic region, one of twelve economic regions of Russia, comprises Altai Territory, Altai Republic, Kemerovo Region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, Novosibirsk Region, Omsk Region, Tomsk Region, Tyumen Region and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. Therefore, economic conditions vary considerably across the region. The economy of Altai Republic relies on agriculture, such as distant-pasture livestock raising, breeding horses, deer and downy goats, as well as bee-keeping. As for Altai Territory, it has well-developed industry, such as engineering, metalworking, and chemicals: the region produces “1/6 of all tractors in Russia, 90% of the tractor plows, about 50% of the generators, and all railway freight cars” (Russia Profile, 2009, “Altai Territory”). Moreover, the territory is Russia’s third-largest grain and milk producer and the fifth-largest meat producer. Sunflowers, soybeans and sugar beets are grown as well.

Agriculture is among the main activities in Novosibirsk Region, too. Grains, potatoes, vegetables, flax, milk, eggs, wool, beef, pork, lamb, and poultry are produced there; horse breeding, beekeeping, and fur and fish farming are also important activities. As Russia Profile (2009) informs, “80 percent of the industrial potential of the oblast is concentrated in Novosibirsk with processing industries providing 95% of the total production volume” (“Novosibirsk Region”). The city is the center of business activity in West Siberia; the Siberian Interbank Currency Exchange is located there, together with numerous offices of Russian and foreign companies. Industries in Novosibirsk Region include machine-building and metallurgy, namely production of electric generators for turbines, machines for metal-cutting, wood-processing and textile industries, polymers, electronics, plane parts, and chemicals.

Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area is “Russia’s main oil and gas region of the world’s largest oil-producing areas” (Russia Profile, 2009, “Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Area”). Tyumen Region, which ranks first in Russia in terms of industrial output, also relies heavily on oil and gas. Production of milk, eggs, greenhouse vegetables, fishing and reindeer herding are the most important sectors of agriculture.

It is evident that most West Siberian regions specialize in oil extraction and processing, and the same applies for Omsk Region where “smaller sectors [also] include woodworking and timber and also manufacturing for defense” (Russia Profile, 2009, “Omsk Region”). Tomsk Region has large reserves of iron and peat, in addition to petrochemicals. It is “home to the Siberian Chemical Complex, one of Russia’s largest nuclear industry enterprises, that produces nuclear power and heating” (Russia Profile, 2009, “Tomsk Region”). Four years ago, the city of Tomsk was designated as a special economic zone for R&D. As for Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, oil and gas account for 93% of its industrial production; at least 90% of Russia’s natural gas and 12% of its oil are produced there. Kemerovo’s primary industry is coal mining – its Kuznetsk Coal Basin is among the largest on the planet. Engineering and chemical industries are also well-developed in Kemerovo (Russia Profile, 2009).

c) Ukraine
The steep economic decline Ukraine suffered after the collapse of the USSR, together with the loss of nuclear armaments, embezzlement of national wealth and earning the image of a country with non-market economy created a fairly negative perception of Ukraine among foreign investors. Foreign investors were wary about entering the market up until late 1990s. International donors like the IMF and the World Bank relied on “shock therapy” – rapid privatization of state assets and deregulation of markets – in dealing with the post-Soviet crisis. Redistribution of wealth in early 1990s gave rise to several oligarchs and left the rest of the population in abject poverty. People who were considered Soviet intelligenzia, such as artists and scientists, suffered the most, as the new government was unable to finance science and culture. Many highly skilled specialists, as well as young people, emigrated to the U.S. and Europe during the decade.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was responsible for a quarter of USSR’s GDP at its worst times. Other sectors that were particularly developed included metallurgy and mining. They still form the backbone of the country’s economy, yet other sectors – such as chemicals, textiles, agriculture and services – are becoming increasingly important. Ukraine was among the countries hit the most by the global financial crisis. A rapid fall in price of its main export, steel, coupled with the shutdown of international capital markets caused distress in both the banking sector and real economy. The situation required a loan from the IMF to stabilize (IMF, 2008).

d) Georgia
Rapid economic development of the country started after it became a recipient of economic assistance from the IMF and World Bank in 1995. Another boost took place after the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which provided employment opportunities for many Georgians. Still, the majority of population works in agriculture: it is “the main sector of the economy of the country, contributing nearly 21% towards her GDP. Other sectors making significant contribution towards the country’s GDP include hotels (17%), financial services (20%), communication (19%) and construction (33%)” (EconomyWatch, 2009, “Georgia Economy”, para. 2). Reforms in mining, construction and banking sectors are necessary. Georgia, by virtue of being reliant on the influx of foreign capital, suffered significantly from the global credit crunch. In September 2008, it went to the IMF for an emergency loan “aiming to rebuild gross international reserves and bolster investor confidence” (IMF, 2008, para. 1).

e) Kazakhstan
As EconomyWatch (2009) informs, Kazakhstan has a lot of commercially valuable natural resources like fossil fuel reserves and metals. Main Kazakhstani exports include metals, machinery, oil, ferrous materials, chemicals and grain; GDP growth is 8.5%. Services are the biggest component of the economy contributing 54.8%, followed by industry (39.4%) and agriculture (5.8%). Around 13.8% of population lives below poverty line. Foreign investment is of paramount importance for the country, since it comprises 30.3% of total GDP. Major export destinations are China (15.6%) and Germany (11.5%). Moreover, “[t]he immense steppe lands exhibit prime agricultural potential [and] South Kazakhstan is known for its walnut and apple production” (EconomyWatch, 2009, “Kazakhstan Economy,” para. 1).

2. Characterize the major features of the environment, and contemporary economic and social conditions in the Russian Arctic
Almost all of the lengthy northern coast of Russia is well above the Arctic Circle. Furthermore, many islands also belong to the Arctic region; they are situated in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea and Bering Sea. The population of the region is mainly comprised of indigenous tribes such as Nenets, Saami, Komi, Enets, Chuckhi, Chuvans, Koryaks, Eskimos, Aleuts and others. However, a lot of Russian settled there before and during the Soviet times to work at numerous ports and sea military bases.

A development which is most likely to produce a devastating impact on both economy and social fabric of Russian Arctic is the climate change. Its effects are already felt in the region. Since many of the indigenous tribes living there – some of the nomadic – depend on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding for their survival, a gradual increase in temperatures may be very dangerous for their traditional way of life. Tribes in Russian Arctic migrate northwards in summer and southwards in winter; for some of them, it implies crossing frozen rivers and lakes. Every year people and their reindeer have to wait longer to start their pilgrimage, since the ice does not get thick enough to cross. For reindeer, it means less available pasture (Harding, 2009).

However, this is not the most pressing environmental problem. The most dangerous consequence of climate change is melting permafrost, which increases the frequency of landslides and releases huge amount of methane into the atmosphere. If the trend is to continue, the region can turn into and impenetrable swamp. Some people hope “it might bring benefits to one of the world’s coldest countries, freeing up a melting Arctic for oil and gas exploration, and extending the country’s brief growing season” (Harding, 2009, para. 9). Yet indigenous tribes are well aware of the fact that they are interconnected with nature and dependent on it for their survival and preservation of their culture and lifestyle. Russian politicians are urged to pay greater attention to the problem: in addition to all the above mentioned factors, a large part of railway that crosses the region is built on permafrost. Polar bears had to migrate south from their natural habitats and now are often seen rooting through rubbish in human settlements (Harding, 2009). Moreover, indigenous peoples of Arctic used to store food in the soil in winters. Nowadays “the thaw often comes in the middle of winter and the meat can no longer be preserved. The tundra is no longer a reliable natural refrigerator” (Koerkamp, 2009, “Shorter winters”, para. 9).

Arctic is a contested zone between Russia and other countries, such as Canada, Denmark, Norway and the United States. This autumn, the Russian government approved a plan to make Arctic its main resource base by 2020, given that climate change has allowed for oil drilling in previously inaccessible areas. A railroad was opened in September to “serve Russia’s biggest gas field Bovanenkovo at the top of Yamal [a peninsula in Northwest Siberia] which will feed the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany from 2012” (Ferris-Rotman, 2009, “Broken deer legs”, para. 2). Same month, the Russian government “proposed tax breaks to entice foreign firms to drill the frozen mass of land, which has field reserves of 16 trillion cubic meters” (Ferris-Rotman, 2009, “Broken deer legs”, para. 5), eager to develop the region as soon as possible.

Another possible change associated with warmer climate is the retreat of North Pole ice which makes it possible to navigate Northern seas without icebreakers: “[T]he northern passage could become an attractive, much shorter alternative for existing routes like the one via the Suez Canal” (Koerkamp, 2009, “The Arctic as a future trading route”, para. 5). Therefore, it is possible to conclude that climate change will produce a serious impact on Russian Arctic, although Russian scientists doubt that rising temperatures should be attributed to human activity and forecast cooling of Arctic to happen soon.

In any case, it appears that the exploration of the area will bring more disadvantages than benefits to many indigenous tribes living there, while oligarchs in Novosibirsk and Moscow cheer at new developments. Amie Ferris-Rotman (2009) of Reuters reports that to date “compensations for pasture degradation and land withdrawals tended to be absorbed by local government and did not reach [indigenous tribes]” (“Broken deer legs”, para. 10).

3. Characterize contemporary Russia-Ukraine relations
Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Grounds for that were prepared by the nationalist People's Movement of Ukraine, Rukh, founded in 1989. It was one of the forces behind the referendum in 1991 in which 90% of Ukrainians voted in favor of independence (Beissinger, 2002).

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia-Ukraine relations went through several stages. At first, Russia cherished hopes that the Union might be restored or replaced with a different yet closely integrated geopolitical arrangement. However, Ukraine saw its future as an independent state. The major conflict in the 1990s was over Ukraine’s decision to give up its strategic and tactical nuclear weapons - world’s third largest nuclear arsenal at that point. The West promised to provide security assurances to the ex-Soviet country in return for disarmament. However, as the relations between Ukraine and Russia continued to sour, the West was increasingly perceived as unwilling to protect Ukraine from its Eastern neighbor.

Voices in Ukrainian foreign policy establishment arguing disarmament was a gross mistake are particularly strong now, eighteen years later. In the light of Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008, the ongoing conflict over the Black Sea fleet, secessionism in Crimea, and annual gas rows, Ukraine’s geopolitical standing is severely compromised and under threat from Russia.

Examining recent developments in Russia-Ukraine relations is most appropriate in two different aspects, namely political and economic. Russia is very important for Ukraine as a trading partner and supplier of energy resources. At the same time, Russia relies on Ukraine for transporting its oil and gas to Europe. In fact, it is very hard to draw a clear line between politics and economics in Russia-Ukraine relations.

In fact, the question of Russia is the most salient issue in Ukrainian politics. It was the divisive line between East and West during the so-called Orange Revolution. President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are in favor of Westernization and integration into NATO and possibly the EU, while Yanukovich’s Party of Regions holds a firm pro-Moscow position. He and several other politicians were advocating closer ties with Russia and more independent stance in the relations with the West. In such a way, during the Orange Revolution, Ukraine got to be divided into those who supported deeper integration into global institutions and those who believed that such integration poses a danger to Ukraine’s national interests and equaled participation in the global processes with surrendering to Western imperialism. Some people think that the sensationalization of the otherwise inexistent divide between the Western Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine was artificial. Western Ukraine is predominantly Ukrainian-speaking and Western-oriented, while the East is populated mostly by Russian speakers willing to maintain strong cultural and political ties with Russia. Roughly speaking, the West voted for Yushchenko, while the East voted for Yanukovych.

After the highly contested presidential election in November 2004, it became clear that the incumbent Leonid Kuchma’s regime rigged the elections to the advantage of his protégé and Moscow’s darling, Viktor Yanukovich. The opposition led by Viktor Yushchenko declared that the elections were stolen and called upon a nationwide protest. Some protestors called for taking over governmental buildings, like their counterparts did in Georgia during the rose revolution the year before that, but Yushchenko ruled out any action that might provoke violence (Aslund & McFaul, 2006). There was a realistic threat of secessionism. Whether to give Russian the status of the second official language remains stumbling block in all political struggles in Ukraine.

Four years after the Orange Revolution, the mood in Ukraine is generally disillusioned, as former “Orange allies”, Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymohenko are endlessly bickering for power. Little of the real change, which had been so eagerly anticipated, actually took place.

In September 2008, Yushchenko-Tymoshenko’s ruling coalition collapsed over the President’s condemnation of the Russia’s war with Georgia. Tymoshenko’s party joined the opposition, Party of Regions, and approved legislation limiting presidential powers. For years, Tymoshenko has been a vocal advocate of estrangement in the relations of Russia. Yet lately rumors of her striking a deal with Kremlin behind everybody’s back have been astonishingly persistent. Her article for The World in 2009, the annual collection of predictions for the year ahead compiled by The Economist, cites the post-1945 reconciliation between France and Germany as a model for Ukraine and Russia (Tymoshenko, 2008). Some people started to call Tymoshenko a “Russian agent in Ukraine” and suspect her of promoting Russian business interests.

At present, many believe it was wrong to move away from Russia. Rapprochement with Russia is often framed as a debate between idealism and pragmatism: autonomy is agreeable but economically devastating. Aggressive assertion of independence immediately translates into higher gas prices, trade disturbances, and withdrawal of Russian businesses and capital. Ukraine’s commodity boom was to a large extent made possible by Russia’s energy subsidies. Yet as Ukraine moves out of Kremlin’s orbit, a peculiar tradition has emerged. Every year around Christmas, Russia unilaterally renegotiates the contract for gas supply and raises prices. Allegedly, it’s being done to bully Ukraine into selling its gas transport network. At the beginning of this year, the row ended in Russian gas supply to the EU being cut for many days, amid accusations of Ukraine stealing gas transported through its territory.

Early in 2009, Ukraine’s Prime Minister turned to Russia, the U.S., the European Union, China and Japan for financial assistance in order to meet IMF requirements. Possible Russian loan to Ukraine was dismissed by Yushchenko as a threat to national security: in the 1990s, Russia has persistently offered economic assistance to Ukraine, yet Ukraine has so far refused it, preferring more expensive loans from Washington for geopolitical reasons.

The inauguration of the Eastern Partnership – a new framework for relations with ex-Soviet countries of Eastern Europe and Caucasus instead of any pre-accession talks – in May 2009 angered Russia, since the EU was seen as an intruder into the Russian sphere of “privileged interests”, which was painted as a compromise of its security. At the same time, Moscow was to a certain extent relieved to hear the EU does not plan to include Ukraine as its member anytime soon, probably never.

The future of Russia-Ukraine relations depends to a great extent on who will win the upcoming 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine. Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, allies during the Orange Revolution but likely rivals in the nearing elections, are grappling for power while Viktor Yanukovych, the opposition leader, is quietly seeing his ratings rise as the two undercut each other, whatever the costs to the maimed economy are.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Essay on Fashion

Essay on Fashion

The influence of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on fashion in London during the sixties
The London fashion and music of the 1960s survived a revolution, or, rather, several revolutions in different spheres of life in a row. Later it turned out that not only Britain went through the immense changes in outlook and attitudes – the whole world underwent the revolutionary changes – the Britain’s musical bands conquered the planet and ruled its kingdom of music from 1960s and on.

But in the end of the 1950s, after a slow post-war economic recovery, nobody would believe this could happen – the British music was striving for someone outstanding. America had Bob Dylan and Elvis; picky London has still been looking for its favourites. Luckily, they emerged quite soon, in fours, sweeping away the past and making way into the future, leaving and enormous footprint on music, lifestyles, fashion, culture, attitudes, politics and relationships of that time. Virtually everything they touched has changed immensely. The trendsetters of the sixties, whose names are still known to millions of people around the world, remain the phenomenon of the popular music even now, almost half a century later. Although these bands differed in music and attitude, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, conjointly began what was later called “The British invasion”, which shaped the world music culture of the 1960s and continued to influence it for the following decades.


And although the British invasion owes much to a 15-year-old Marsha Albert of Silver Spring, Maryland, who, after watching Evening News report about the Beatlemania in the United Kingdom, wrote a letter the following day to disc jockey Carroll James at radio station WWDC asking "why can't we have music like that here in America?” (Spizer) – the first Beatles song has been aired seven days later, the US would still eventually discover the phenomenon, and all the talented later bands and singers, because something really outstanding was going on in the United Kingdom – the best of the best were being born.

Later, the Beatles were joined by the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Who, the Kinks, the Pretty Things, Dusty Springfield, the Dave Clark Five, Chad & Jeremy, Peter and Gordon, The Animals, Manfred Mann, Petula Clark, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman’s Hermits, The Troggs, etc (Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009).

As for the top two of the British invaders – The Beatles and the Rolling Stones - have always rivalled in popularity both at home and abroad, though their music and attitudes were completely different, almost opposite. The Beatles were Mr Nice Guys, neat and polite, almost perfect, while the Rolling Stone seemed not to care about the public opinion not even a bit: they swore and misbehaved, wore whatever they wanted and spread the sexual revolution into the hearts and the minds of the young fans.

A brief analysis of the stories, the music and the fashion styles will help us see whether they have really been the rivals and why.

The birth of the Beatles
The Beatles officially emerged in 1960, though John Lennon and Paul McCartney met, formed a band and began performing much earlier, in 1957. But the first real success came in late 1962, when their first single “Love me do” reached the top twenty UK charts. Five years (if we take 1957 as a birth year of the Beatles) is a long period of time, especially for the band. The formation of the members and the style took place within this period. Some members left the initial band (Stuart Sutcliffe, who decided to resume his studies in Germany but soon died from brain haemorrhage, and Pete Best, replaced by Ringo Starr), the managers changed (the band’s unofficial manager, Allan Williams, from the “Hamburg era” has eventually been replaced by Brian Epstein), the record labels switched (The Beatles 2000). Finally, when the success came, the manager, Brian Epstein, began shaping the appearance of the Great Four. First of all, he asked them stop eating on stage, swearing and smoking. Brian Epstein’s vision of the band was what one could describe as “the smart good boys from the neighbourhood”, which automatically meant better places to perform and bigger (and more well-to-do) audience. Epstein did not know in a couple of years “Beatlemania” would carry away the minds and senses of youngsters all around the world. But he certainly had a presentiment about it. Though it was overbold at the time, Epstein believed they would become greater that Elvis.

Hearing about the need to change the style, The Beatles did not argue too much as they respected Brian Epstein’s views, and as John Lennon put it: “it was a choice of making it or still eating chicken on stage. […] We stopped champing at cheese rolls and jam butties; we paid a lot more attention to what we were doing, did our best to be on time and we smartened up” (The Beatles 2000, 67).

This process of “smartening up” initiated the new era of style and trendsetting in Britain and, eventually, the whole world. The fans quickly adopted anything from haircut to clothes. And that’s where the London’s fashion of the sixties originated from a great deal.

The formation of the Rolling Stones
Choosing a style of the good boys meant the bad boys place became vacant. Not for too long for sure. The very same year the Beatles released their first successful single, a new rock band emerged on the British stage. The contrasting was a shrewd move, and ever since, the two bands have been rivalling for the attention of the music fans, offering an allusion to the eternal confrontation of good and evil.

Mick Jagger’s stated in one of his interview: “In England they were very ready for another band”. “It was funny, because the Beatles had only been around a year.” – He remembers in his interview Jann Wenner of the Rolling Stone magazine in 1995 – “...people are snobby in England, so they wanted a band from the South. We were it.” (Wenner, 2003)

Unlike the Beatles, who split up in 1970, and never rejoined, the Rolling Stones remain one of the most fruitful and creative rock bands ever. The cooperation of Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards tends to continue, no matter what, for over forty five years (though Jagger and Richards know each other since the early 50s: they were classmates at a Primary School in Kent). The two met later, in early sixties to form a band that would become one of the greatest rock bands of all time. The Rolling Stones had a somewhat slower pace to success but by mid 1960s they firmly held the second place in terms of popularity. Mick Jagger’s sexual voice and physically-involved style of performance was outstanding: a white performer doing it in a black way. Jagger was the first one to do it after Elvis. And he was good at it.

The Rolling Stones did not compromise with what was trendy and stuck to their guts, and eventually ruled the stage for decades, doing some real show. Jagger and Richards, along with other members of the group performed numerous and various scandalous acts, and still remain in the center of mass media’s attention. They have been labeled the Kings of rock and roll and no band ever could even come close to the heights of their achievements in order to call their status in question.

“[I can’t get no] Satisfaction” was the single that made the Rolling Stones popular overnight, just like “I want to hold your hand was for the Beatles”.

Years after, the Rolling stone would become rock idols. They will release over 90 singles, over two dozen studio albums, ten of which are among Rolling Stone magazine’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, with their 1972 double album Exile on Main St. rated number seven. The Beatles’ albums Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Revolver, and the Rubber Soul have been rated number one, three and five respectively (The Rolling Stone magazine).

The adoption of the band style
The Beatles eventually adopted a style that was far less “sleek” (the hairstyle had never been like that). But that happened later. The Beatles started as leather clad and greasy haired, which is now hard to imagine. At the beginning of their official career the Beatles changed their appearances according to their manager’s tastes and opinions, which implied that jeans were not particularly smart, as was not leather, and had to be replaced by matching, impeccably tailored smart suits, black or grey. Epstein’s taste made them look like one, even though the Beatles were completely different in appearance. Eventually, they even bowed together, caught in the concept of alien perfection. Some people loved it; others wanted some real, earthly thing, and those turned to the Rolling Stones.

The latter, on the contrary, had an image of the wild rebels, which, actually, proved to be true much later that it has been invented. The Rolling Stones also changed the band managers and the recording labels (including Decca, London, Rolling Stones, Virgin, etc). Their “bad boys” image and attitude is rumoured to have been initially made up by their second (or, rather, “the first official”; the first one – Giorgio Gomelsky – simply had no signed contract with the band) manager Andrew Oldham, but there is no proof. Rather, the image and the aggressive attitude have been conceived by Brian Jones, the founder of the band.

The names
The names of the bands appeared as an allusion to a musical piece or band preceding the formation of the new entity.

The Beatles owed its name to Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the original members of the band, who suggested making a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, a Texas rock & roll band and its singer and songwriter, through naming the band this particular way (Harry, 103).

The Rolling Stones got their name half-accidentally: the group members claim it was Brian Jones who called the Jazz News to place an advertisement (Brian was looking for the band members at that moment), panicked and glanced on a Muddy Water LP and picked the Rollin’ Stone track to serve as a name for the band (Loewenstein & Dodd 42). This lucky choice led to the fact that there are far more of those who heard the name of the band than those who both heard the name and the music of the Rolling Stones.

The music genres
The Rolling Stones’ music genres primarily were: the rock, rock and roll, blues-rock, blues, and rhythm and blues. The Beatles experimented first with the skiffle, and then quickly moved to the rock and roll, the pop music, the rock (with the elements of the folk rock), adding some classical music to their later albums, and sometimes directing a completely different way to the psychedelics. Even the samples of the Indian classical music could be found in their experimental albums (Gould, 2008).

The Beatlemania and its results
On 26 December 1963, when their single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was released, it sold a million copies in ten days. Since then, each single sold over a million copies in the U.K. and the “Beatlemania” is claimed to emerge. This phenomenon, causing hysteria over the Fabulous Four public appearances continued for several years.

During the times of their career, the Beatles have had 40 number one chart hits. They have been honoured with 7 Grammy Awards, and collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of 100 most important and influential people of the 20th century. In the UK The Beatles have been awarded 4 Multi-Platinum albums, 4 Platinum albums, 8 Gold albums and 1 Silver album, which the results in the United States were even more impressive: 6 Diamond albums, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums ((The Rolling Stone Magazine, 2004). They are, by any definition, the world’s greatest band ever.

The Recording Industry Association of America recently proclaimed that The Beatles have sold more albums in the US than any other artist (Recording Industry Association of America, 2009).

In 1968 the Rolling Stones were called “The Biggest Rock & Roll Band in the World”. They sold over 200 million albums (Holton & Billingham), while the Beatles sold over a billion by 1985 (according to the EMI).

In 1989 The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, while the Beatles got there one year earlier, in 1988.

Ironically, in 2004, The Rolling Stone magazine rated The Beatles number one among the Fifty Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rolling Stones band has been rated number four, after Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley (The Rolling Stone Magazine, 2004).

The impact on the fashion of 1960s
Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stone made a remarkable sociological and cultural impact on the young people of the 1960s. In the United States, these bands topped the list of the “British invasion” phenomenon, while back home another curious dynamic cultural trend was born – the Swinging London.

Sort of a cultural revolution, praising optimism and hedonism, this phenomenon was probably a response to the slow post-WWII recovery of the British economy, which lasted in Britain during the whole decade of the 1950s (Gilbert, 2006).

By the beginning of the 60s, the late 50s style and the American movies glamour type of clothes was still actual for the women, the boys were mostly “Teddy”-style. However, the Mods (the London Modernists) began to emerge quite soon, and the clash of the styles inevitably led to further development of fashion. The Edwardian-based fashions of the young people called the Teds included long slim jackets with velvet trim, thin ‘bootlace’ ties, short stovepipe trousers with brightly patterned socks below and ‘brothel creepers’ or ‘winkle-pickers’(Braggs & Harris). The Teddy Boys were the teenaged ‘rock and roll’ rebels from the more deprived London areas of the early Fifties.

The continuous fight of the Mods and the Rockers, actual in the 1960s, is represented in the early styles of the Beatles (the Mods) and the Rolling Stones (the Rockers). The time passed, and the more respectable the Beatles became, the more rebellious the Rolling Stones were.

The Fabulous Four had a serious impact on the mass of young people in four major trends: the haircuts, the suits, and the footwear.

The Haircuts
The accepted haircut for men of the 1950s – the beginning of the 1960s was above the ears. The Teds wore comparatively long hair with plenty of styling hair cream shaping it. The front was either a quaff or the Elephant’s Trunk; the back was called a Duck’s Ass – also known as D.A. (Braggs & Harris).

When the Beatles style emerged, it has changed the hair styling of London, Britain and the whole world forever.

The famous Beatle haircut (a straight cut collar-length at the back and over the ears at the sides, with a straight fringe) resembled of the mop so much that is was called the mop-top or Arthur (after George Harrison’s joke at a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York during their first visit to the United States – by the way, the Beatles hairstyle was mocked severely in the USA).

With time, the popularity became so immense, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States, that soon the Beatle wigs were produced in abundance (some even labelled “authentic”). Eventually, the Beatles wig has been recognized one of the best selling pieces of pop-related merchandise ever.

In a couple of years the fabulous four began to differentiate their looks: Harrison was the first one to sport long hair and John Lennon first put on his signature round, thin-rimmed “tea shade” glasses. Later, by the late 60s, all the members of the Beatles band had longer hair, sometimes wore full beards or moustaches (the Beatles 2000, 236).

The Rolling Stones were thin, long-haired and good-looking bad boys. They also fitted the status of the sex symbols of the decade. From the very beginning of their musical careers, they had longer hair and all dressed differently – their style was all about their individuality and misbehaviour.

Although the members of both bands were no angels in terms of physical pleasure and drug use, they were treated according to their stage images: the Rolling Stones were constantly harassed by the police for drug abuse and hooliganism, while the Beatles were welcomed in the Queen’s residence.

Hair styles for men gradually lengthened as the decade progressed: the ‘mop-top Beatle’ style, once short, eventually became longer and reminded more and more of the casual ‘Rolling Stones’ style to the shoulder length hair. This style has been particularly favoured by the hippies of the later Sixties.

The Suits and the outfit
In March 1962 the Beatles appeared on stage in grey lounge suits with thin velvet lapels, made by the high-street tailors Burton. The Mods youth cult favoured the collarless suits which has been cultivated by the Beatles band in the early Beatlemania years. The new bands emerging in the British show business of that time also found this style more preferable than the leather trousers and plaid shirts. The men of the sixties also favoured wearing double-breasted suits of crushed velvet or striped patterns, brocade waistcoats, shirts with frilled collars – the dandy style, which the Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones loved and supported.

The Beatles have been considered the “suit” band, while the Rolling Stones were the “T-shirt” band, and the whole industry has been divided by the professing these opposite styles.

Further development of the styles
During the psychedelic era of 1967–1968, the Beatles popularized and wore bright-colour paisley suits and shirts and floral-patterned trousers. Later the Beatles grew beards and drifted towards more hippie looks, wearing the Indian-influenced fashions like sandals or the collarless shirts, which pre-professed the hippy era styles.

By the late 1960s, the Beatles switched to the denim jackets, t-shirts, blue jeans – the type of clothes that could be referred to as the casual fashion. Tight jeans, popular with both sexes, were a key part of the early Mod fashion by 1962. By the end of the decade they began being replaced by the Hippie-style flared, shredded and patched jeans.

John Lennon obviously enjoyed wearing solid white suits and was probably the most outstanding and changeable in terms of style. This could probably be explained by the fact that Lennon’s choice of clothes greatly depended on the ideas and acts he supported or disapproved of at that particular moment.

The four individuals who didn’t always think alike and had minds of their own and eventually (by the end of the 1960s), each Beatle seemed to adopt their own style in clothes as well: Paul became clean cut and professional, Ringo was neat and dandyish, George favored the earthy middle-eastern guru style, and John became the chameleon.

The fashion store business
The Beatles realized their influence on fashion and style was immense in the 1960s. In order to support this phenomenon, the Fabulous Four opened the Apple boutique (run by Dutch hippie designers Simon and Marijke) in 1968. The second shop, specialising in theatrical clothing, followed quite soon. However, the undertaking was not too successful due to the high prices. Suffering the huge losses, the shops closed in a couple of months, after the Beatles took what they wanted from the stock and gave away the rest. In any case, the establishment was a wonderful index of the latest fashion trends in London of the late 1960s.

The Footwear
The Beatle boots are tight-fitting, ankle-length boots with a pointed toe (sort of a mix of Winkle-pickers and Cuban-heels).

The Beatles owe this type of footwear to Brian Epstein, who added Cuban heels to the Chelsea boots of the London footwear company Anello & Davide and made the boys put them on for the performance. The boots under drainpipe trousers added to the new smart Beatles looks and attitude of the early 1963. The boots were further replaced by the sandals in the hippy period. Each time The Fabulous Four introduced some new elements of their style, it changed the assortment of the clothes shops of the Swinging London of the 1960s.

The Attitudes
While the Beatles became less and less unified, their creative side became more philosophical, at the same time depicting the most burning issues of the time. The influence of the band on the minds and attitudes of the youth was immense. The Beatles used their power of influence to draw the attention of the public to the problematic moments of the society: war and peace, love and hatred, relationships, politics, power, life became the top themes of their creative works. They have been certainly both praised and criticized severely by the masses, just like the Rolling Stones have been. The constant challenge and misbehaviour of the latter probably has been more But they were undoubtedly the main trendsetters of their decade, leaving behind an impressive influence on culture, style and relationships of the time.

The overall impact of the British bands of the 1960s
When they emerged the United States global dominance of rock and roll shifted to the United Kingdom. The accent also switched from soloists to groups (especially in fours). The musicians started writing songs of their own, no longer using the services of the professional songwriters, and impact of the changes in fashion could hardly be underestimated.

They were exceptional songwriters and great musicians, too. Although some of them mastered their talents decades later. What is more important – they had the faith, the guts, and the charisma to conquer the world’s ears and live in the hearts and minds of millions of musical fans. With the flow of time their music does not get old. It still sounds fresh and alien. Their style is recognizable. They were the emblems of their epoch, having impacted virtually every aspect of life. The music, the shows, the scandals and the sensations around their private and public lives added to the anthology of the modern show business. Numerous covers and allusions were made basing on the music of these outstanding artists. The majority of modern performers have in one way or another been influenced by the creative works of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. They were lucky to begin the era of the swinging London, they were courageous enough to start the British invasion, and they were strong enough to find inner sources for personal creativity for several decades. The Beatles suffered great losses after John Lennon’s murder in 1980. It had lost George Harrison, who died from cancer in 2001. But Paul and Ringo still remain active and quite interesting in terms of music. The fact that the bang had split up at the beginning of the 1970, luckily has not destroyed the talents of the Fabulous Four, and they remained active in their individual musical careers. The Rolling Stones also takes pauses in their bank activities, and during that time each member releases an album, which means four creative pieces of work instead of one. The musical and cultural phenomena of the 1960s that gave birth to the most outstanding bands of the XX century began the new era in the pop and rock music. The musicians of the future will continue being influenced by these phenomena, as these were the roots of the modern music and fashion style.

Fashion is a changeable issue, one may notice from the fashionable magazines or stories, but the Beatles and the Rolling stones managed to become the fashion idols for the whole generation of the British youth of the 1960s.
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A Doll's House Essay

"A Doll's House" Essay

Henrik Ibsen is considered by many the father of modern prose drama, which is largely the result of the success of his play "A Doll’s House". In many respects, in this play Henrik Ibsen is a pioneer, bringing up serious questions of the family role and values, feminine sacrifice, conditional relationships and self-realization.


When the reader first meets Nora, it is hard to predict she is able to secretly support her husband financially in times of illness (and even work for long hours in order to pay off the debt), and that at the end she will also be able to choose her own life and integrity. Ibsen presents Nora through her dialog with her husband, Torvald Helmer. They both seem to indulge in the interplay between a childish, naïve, flirty girl and her kind and patronizing husband, who does not seem to treat her seriously. The readers get to know Nora is a grown-up, self-conscious, independent woman through her past and current activities – through her decisions about her father, husband, children and herself. Nora’s concept of being “free” evolves from “spend time playing with the children. To have a clean, beautiful house” to the ability to explore her own personality, aims and beliefs.

The parental and filial obligations play the key role in “The Doll’s house”. There are may parallels on the theme of parental interaction. Nora’s nanny sacrifices growing-up her own child and stays with Nora’s family instead. Nora is caught between her love to her children and her willingness to stop being a doll in her own house. We get to know that Nora’s father used to treat her like a child even when she was already a grown-up and she simply moved from the status of her father’s doll to her husband’s. Nora eventually chooses to leave her sick father and live with her sick husband, while Mrs. Linde, on the contrast, decided to take care of her family by marrying a rich man she did not love, and abandoning penniless Krogstad.

Torvald believes that nearly all young criminals had lying-mothers, and this assurance makes him ban any communication between Nora and her children when he finds out about her deceit. The idea of children paying for their parent’s mistakes is embodied in Dr. Rank who has a venereal disease passed from his father’s licentious life.

Ibsen constantly plays with the reader’s imagination by offering some details about the characters, intended to build an appearance that turns out to be completely different: Nora becomes strong instead of childish, Torvald is no longer kind but angry, Dr. Rank, a friend of the family, surprises Nora by saying he is in love with her, Mrs. Linde seems kindhearted but believes the secret should be revealed for the sake of the Helmers family; even Krogstad, the evil-maker, eventually feels sorry for blackmailing Nora. The reader’s imagination and attitudes seem to be challenged by every new detail of the play.  

Ibsen uses the symbol of the Christmas tree to depict Nora’s decorative role in the doll’s house. The New Year’s time stand’s for the “new life” – at the beginning of the play it is about paying the debts for Nora and having a new job for Torvald, but by the end of it, the new life has a far more serious meaning of separation and finding the real self.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Risk that Paid Off Essay

A Risk that Paid Off Essay

I heard people saying it before: “Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something”, but I had never given much thought of how I would act when I faced the danger of failing myself. Until that day I was living a life so secure and predictable, I could not foresee the change so sudden and vital.


It was Tuesday evening, when my friend met me after school with the most exciting expression I have ever seen. “There is going to be a competition in the dance school this Friday. I have to take you there!”

I knew I could dance. I danced since I was 8. Everybody, including my little sister, who truly hated me, admitted that I had big talent and could have been a dancer for living. Still I did not take my friend’s words seriously. There was always a part of me telling: “I cannot make it because I am not good enough.”

I do not remember how exactly my friend made me do this. I just remember the fear paralyzing my whole body when I stepped up on the stage. I only remember myself thinking one thing: “Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something.” And then I forced myself to dance. I danced like I have never danced before. My every move was filled with so much freedom and courage that I forgot all the anxiety I felt few minutes ago.

I remember when the music stopped; I could hear only the sound of my breathing in the room. The voice from the hall told me after a moment: “You have got a big talent, my child. Let’s see what we can do with it.”
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Gemfish Research Paper

Gemfish Research Paper

Gemfish resemble a silver coloured elongated perch with a projecting lower jaw and fanged teeth. They have two large dorsal fins and a sharp snout. Males and females are distinguishable by size. Females are larger, growing up to 116 centimetres, whereas males only reach 106. They are a carnivorous species feeding mainly on fish (Whiptails, Deepwater Cardinalfish) in addition to Royal Red Prawns and squid. The life expectancy of males is 11 years and that of females 16.

The species is a migrating one. The mature individuals make an annual migration up the eastern Australian coast and reach their spawning ground in the Mid North Coast around June or August. Due to this specific time and location of spawning the Eastern Gemfish population is vulnerable to environmental factors. Any change in the conditions in the period of migration could have severe negative effects (Species Profile and Threats Database).


Habitat and Distribution
Gemfish occur off the North- East coast of New Zeeland as well as off the western and southern coast of New Zeeland’s South Island. The other habitat location for the species are Australian temperate waters (South). There are two groups within the Australian population, the eastern and western stocks. The denomination Eastern Gemfish however refers to the eastern Australian population of Gemfish.

The habitat of the fish is the deep continental shelf, but the fish may also be found in mid-water. The main catch is made close to the sea floor. ( Larvae are found in shallow to very shallow waters

Conservation status
The Eastern Gemfish (Rexea solandri) is listed as conservation dependent under Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999. (

Threats and current status of the population
Commercial overfishing is the main threat for the species. Gemfish first experienced a decline in numbers in the 1970 and 80s due to winter overfishing of adult pre -spawning populations (West, 2008). As a result of this a decline in average size and reduced size of the population was noted. These effects brought about a restriction, and Eastern Gemfish became the first species subject to a total allowable catch (TAC) in 1988.

Currently the population is estimated to number 676 000 individuals (Little et al. 2008) with an expected increase in numbers. The estimated percentage of decline since the 1960s is 95%.

Although commercial overfishing is deemed to be the main cause for the vulnerable status of the species it has also been suggested that there may have been a “regime shift” in reproduction, which also contributed to the undermining effect.

Recovery Outline and Implications
Despite declining numbers of the species, there are important social and commercial aspects to be considered. Rexea solandri being of great fishing significance there needs to be a realistic plan considering all parts of the problem and its possible solutions. The advantage of the issue at hand is the fact that the main and almost single problem is commercial fishing. It has been identified, which makes it possible to examine the main aspects and tackle all sides of the issue. The additional concern of the vulnerability of the population during migration is to be considered as well. Specific actions and possible solutions are to be suggested in order to address the problem.

This is an outline of the management responses and actions which need to be taken as a result of the clear threats to the Eastern Gemfish population.

Awareness campaigns
Water quality
Maintaining 100 tons total allowable catch (TAC)
Introduction of sanctions and restrictions(e.g. limit take to 50 kg per trip)
Introduction of period restrictions
Enforce more friendly and selective methods to replace trawl, endeavour dog fish closures
Minimization of discards
Negotiation with the government of New South Wales to protect spawning grounds
Objectives of the recovery plan

The main goal of the recovery actions to be taken is to rebuild the population to 40% of pre-exploitation levels, or to recover the size of the population to 40% of its original size. Secondary goals which will aid in delivering the primary objective are to increase public awareness on water habitat and overfishing issues. Another part of the proposed action is to train and restructure the fishing industry toward more environmentally friendly practices, which will reduce discards, and gradually enforce more friendly methods of fishing as well as reduce discards. The third pole of the plan is the focus on migration vulnerability and spawning ground protection. This will include negotiations with the government of New South Wales and suggested action and best practice exchange.

Specific Actions
Awareness Campaigns
The goal of this step is to raise awareness about the sources of food and more specifically those of seafood and how their overexploitation impacts the environment. The additional aspect of the campaign will be to ensure that people become more familiar with the particular case of the Eastern Gemfish and how it fits into the whole cycle of life in the waters off the coast of Australia. The characteristics of the species make it most suitable to present it to the general public in the context of a food resource, but this does not mean that the biological significance of the species will be ignored. The campaign is to focus on the NGO channels of communication, but support is also expected from the government sector. The public is to be targeted via institutions such as schools, public libraries, etc.

Another point to be included in the awareness campaign is the crucial effect of water quality and cleanliness of the water environment on the species. This concerns industrial producers, the water transportation industry, and many other entities as well as the general public.

100 Tons TAC
The number - 100 tons total allowable catch has been determined as the minimum unavoidable amount to be fished if the industry needs are to be taken into account ( The maintenance of this roof is obviously going to require the enforcement of certain restrictions and the introduction of alternative practices, since the amount of fish caught in the 80s was around triple the target. This implies that overfishing is not necessarily product of excess demand, but rather of inefficient management of the resource.

Measures to be taken in order to maintain this balance include the introduction of new sanctions such as fines and revoking of fishing licenses upon violation. This will also require tighter control and monitoring on behalf of the water management authorities. Suitable guidelines outlining restrictions and sanctions need to be elaborated or amended where already existing.
As already mentioned a crucial factor for the recovery of the species is ensuring its safety during the migration and spawning period. To make a step toward realizing this, it would be necessary to introduce restrictions for the times of year in which fishing of the Gemfish is allowed.

Another action toward maintaining the catch at 100 tons would be the reduction of trawl fishing practices. Through education, restriction and enforcement of sanctions this practice can be minimized and other less harmful ones introduced. This would also reduce the amount of discard of juvenile fish and the harmful effect to the rest of the environment.

Minimisation of discards
In 2003, approximately 115tons of Gemfish were discarded (Eastern Gemfish Stock Rebuilding Strategy – August 2008). These were mostly juvenile fish. This is fatal to the numbers of the population and is certainly not consistent with the effort to increase them. The best way to counteract this problem would be to impose an appropriate mesh size for trawl fishing nets. The 90 mm double-braid codends retain around 50% of the young fish. Increasing the size of the nets would reduce the likelihood of discarding fish which are not yet fit for consumption.

Negotiation with the Government of New South Wales
This is a crucial part of the recovery process of the species. If there is to be continuity of the East Gemfish population there ought to be proper measures to protect the spawning ground of the fish. The environmental and more specifically the water department of the Government of NSW can address the issue most directly and bring into action a plan for ensuring the safety of the spawning ground.

Additional Effects and Considerations
The overall set of actions to be taken when working toward the goals of the recovery plan will aid in bettering not only the chances of the Eastern Gemfish population, but of the water environment as a whole. The introduction of more environmentally friendly fishing methods and restrictions will provide benefits to all species. In addition, the awareness campaign will bring about a better understanding of water issues and the harmful effects of overfishing.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Essay on Diversity

Essay on Diversity

1. There is no doubt that diversity efforts at McDonald’s and Starbucks are good business practices. On the mundane level of fact, lasting commercial success of these companies is linked to their HR practices, at least to a certain extent. Also, despite the fact that working environment a both companies is intense and stressful, both remain rated high among graduates and more seasoned professionals as a desired career destination. This perception has a lot to do with McDonald’s and Starbucks’ ability to offer equal advancement opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender, ethnicity or disability.

There is a strong business case for diversity build on allowing new talent and ideas as well as enhancing employee attraction and retention, which in turn leads to increased market share and lower costs. Perhaps allowing new ideas and perspectives is of lesser importance than employee attraction and retention given the standardized nature of work in fast food industry. However, at the level of management, making use of various experiences and knowledge is important for any company.


It can even be argued that McDonald’s and Starbucks are so entrenched in our society that they have become like social institutions. Society members develop a deep association with a certain social institution if they feel they and their group are represented there. Thus, it can be argued that diversity helps to attract customers as well: if customers interact with people of their ethnicity, gender and age group during their customer experience, they are more likely to develop strong brand loyalty.

2. Despite the evidence that diversity training has enjoyed limited success, Cracker Barrel and Denny’s should devise a uniform training program to educate all employees occupying relevant positions in all of their locations. Companies’ management should put diversity issue at the top of the agenda. Denny’s already has experience of successful campaigns aimed at addressing diversity issues and remedying their public image, so any new initiate designed to attract potential employees with a disability should follow the lines of their campaign on proactive hiring of minorities. At Cracker Barrel, the focus should be on gender equality.

The first step these companies should take in addressing their diversity problem is to design and communicate clear and consistent policies on equal treatment, sexual harassment and other related issues. A large number of sexual harassment incidents stems from a lack of understanding of what harassment actually is. For example, the definition of “hostile environment” is rather ambiguous and needs further clarification. At Cracker Barrel, both females and males have to be educated about sexual harassment: males should be communicated patters of acceptable behavior, while females should be training in spotting and identifying harassment. Furthermore, females need to know what to do in case of harassment; establishing a hotline for reporting relevant incidents is one of the possible scenarios. The company should elaborate an effective internal dispute resolution mechanism, so that harassment or discrimination cases could solved inside the company rather than trough public authorities, which would lead to negative coverage in the media.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Essay on Faust

Essay on Faust

The most interesting and note worthy set of binary opposites from the reading list in my opinion was in "Faust" and "Monkey." In the text Faust by Goethe there are many example of the struggles between good and evil. At the beginning Faust is introduced as an exemplary servant of God. Mephistopheles and the Lord have a disagreement of his character and the Lord grants him the test Faust. Through out the story Faust begins a downward spiral into the temptations of the devil. The progression through the story leads him deeper into his transformation from almost an angel like state to a demon. Faust starts off as a well respected doctor who saved many lives during the plague, to a murderer. Along the way there are various angels trying to lead him back to the path that he continues to stray from.


In Monkey by Wu Cheng-en the primary binary opposite that was evident to me was that of the student /teacher relationship. The most important was the dominant/submissive. As a student you must submit in order to learn. Monkey greatly wanted to learn how to become immortal, but he constanly struggled with the fact that he had surrender to this higher power in order to achieve his goal. Monkey had many different teachers along his journey that he was constantly rebelling against. His arrogance and ego keep him attempting to change his role in that relationship.

The similarities I found that these two texts share are the strong religious and allegorical importance behind the stories. The story of Faust is a moral lesson in the beliefs of Christianity while Monkey is a story that incorporates beliefs from not only Buddhism, but Taoism and Confucianism as well. Each chapter in Monkey has a moral lesson to be learned that is rooted in the teachings of these three main Chinese religions. The Characters themselves, Monkey and Faust also share this overwhelming drive to become more than what they are. Faust is a seeker of forbidden knowledge and Monkey is a seeker of forbidden immortality. Both characters are being put to the test. Faust is being tested by God and Mephistopheles whether he will continue to be a model servant when tempted by the devil. At the same time Monkey and his fellow disciples (Pigsy and Sandy) are also put to the test of proving themselves worthy. Each of them had created some kind of trouble in heaven and had been kicked out of heaven to live on Earth as punishment. I saw the duality of the student/teacher relationship in Faust that was plainly evident in Monkey. It seemed as though Mephistopheles acted upon Faust as a teacher figure in the ways of evil.

These texts shared a lot of qualities, but there were also some differences. The nature of the story of Monkey is a playful tale written as a satire and full of humor. Although the story takes place in a fantasy setting, the story may have had a historical basis of an early pilgrimage by Hsuan Tsang to India. The work is not of a single person and was also translated to English from its original text in Chinese. The story of Faust was written in as a romantic drama with a realistic setting by a single author Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, a European writer.
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