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Importance of Self Awareness

Full Moon over the Hartshill Wharf

To improve your self-awareness you first need to concentrate on your past emotions. How did you get where you are at now and how can you get to where you want to be in life. Pulling up the resources in your mind will help you become acquainted with oneself.

A person needs to know and trust him or herself before they can trust others. Don’t depend on the judgment of others, rather use your own judgment and it will make you feel like a new person. You should always stop and think, so that you learn how to trust you and know who you are. With the fast pace world we live in now you probably put many things aside and because you don’t have time. Take time for yourself and think about it before you do.

When looking back on you life look for the things that made you the way you are today. Try working on a positive attitude in order to become completely yourself and get that self-awareness back.

Start doing things that make you happy and successful. Bring happiness to yourself and others, it will make you feel good and bring joy to your life. When you are happy you’d have less stress as well.

Practice yoga and meditate to help you develop. Meditation takes a lot of practice so be patient when using yoga practices and do not expect results to happen over night.

Try to rediscover yourself by writing a journal. Write about how you feel, what you want in life; record it all, write the results as you progress. This will help you decide what is important and what isn’t. Knowing what is important and what isn’t will bring out the value in you. Knowing your values in life are the key to self-awareness and your personal growth and happiness will bet better as each day goes by.

Set some goals and deadlines on when you want to have them accomplished. Take action right away allowing you to learn and be flexible. With an open mind study and learn from other people. Finding someone to support you in your goals and to listen when you need to talk about where you want to go will help make them easier.

You will have to change the way you have done in the past; you learn by mistakes and you don’t want them to happen again. You want new results and you can do that if you do the mistakes over again.

You will grow as a person once you build your self-awareness. You will accept yourself and others you’d become more self reliant and motivated. When your self-awareness grows you, will benefit more as a person and become more successful in whatever you want to do in your life.

Stay in control of your life; don’t let your life take over and control you. By understanding yourself and mind, you learn how to find yourself, know what has gone wrong, and fix it. Keeping your life in balance is very important to keep your self-awareness up where it needs to be in order to be happy and than you can add value to your life making you feel better.

Happy people are generous and giving. Give as much of yourself as you can and than push to give more. The more you give the better it will make you feel and you’d be able to forget the rough and hard times. Since Christmas is here try, choosing a special gift, wrap it for a person who has nothing.

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Gods of Gambling

Δελφοί Ναός του Απόλλωνος Delfi Temble of Apollo

People like to gamble, they place bets to have fun or to earn extra cash. When they feel lucky or when someone is watching over them, they simply want to take a chance, to prove that fortune smiles on them, and betting / gambling is no exception.

Praying to God for a team to win a specific game in order for you to win a bet is more or less selfish when there are still so many bad things in the world. But what about those ancient gods of the past, people believed in them and prayed to them for fortune. The different mythologies of the world reveal powerful deities that rule over the world of gambling. Here are some of the gods that can influence the outcome of a football match in our favor:

Hermes is the Greek god of gambling, profit, hazard, and gaming. Hermes was the winged messenger of the gods. He was the god of flocks, road, trading, commerce, thieves. He is also known as Mercury in Roman Mythology. His father is Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods.

Thoth is the Egyptian god of gambling. He had the same attributes like the Greek god, Hermes. He is the creator of magic, the inventor of writing, the messenger of the gods and the divine record-keeper and mediator. According to myth, he earned 5 extra days by gambling with the moon (then known as Iabet) in a game of dice to help the sky goddess Nut to have her children.

Macuilxochitl, (five flowers, also called Xochipilli) is the Aztec god of gambling, music, dancing. He was the god of games, from board games (Patolli) to the Aztec version of football (Ullamaliztli). Generally represented as a god of fun and dancing, Xochipilli could also send venereal disease to anyone who violates abstentions by engaging in sexual intercourse.

Li-Nezha is the Chinese god of gambling. He is probably the only one of the Chinese Gods that can reveal the winning numbers in lottery. Li-Nezha is perhaps more well-known as Nataku or Nata from Japanese anime a half-mortal war god. In ancient times mortals worship him as a God of Lotteries and Gambling.

Lakshmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. Lakshmi is the consort of the god Vishnu. Hindus believe that anybody who worships Lakshmi sincerely, and not in greed, will be blessed with fortune and success. After worshipping Lakshmi on Diwali, many Hindus gamble and spend profusely, believing that Lakshmi has bestowed good fortune upon them.

Nohoilpi – The gambling god of the Navajo. Also called “He Who Wins Men”. He is a renegade son of the sun god Tsohanoai. He came down to Earth and taught his gambling games to the various tribes but soon abused his power by overcoming them at all his games of chance and collecting his winnings by enslaving people to build a city to mark his glory. He was defeated at gambling by a Navajo man send by the other gods and was thrown into the sky.

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What Makes a Person Intelligent?

Sissinghurst Castle and Garden - The Famous White Garden

In traditional intelligence theories when one is asked the question “What makes a person intelligent?” the most common responses will often note a person’s ability to solve problems, utilize logic, and think critically. These typical traits of intelligence are sometimes grouped together under the heading “raw intelligence”. A person’s intelligence, traditionally speaking, is contained in their intellect. In other words, how we each understand, evaluate or respond to external stimuli, regardless as to whether it is a mathematical problem or anticipation of an opponent’s next move in a game, is our collective intelligence. Our intelligence therefore, is our individual, collective ability to act or react in a continually changing environment.

The principal problem in traditional intelligence theories is that they promote “fractured learning”. Many educational reformers have clearly stated that “taking tests merely shows that a student is skilled at taking tests”. At best, traditional tests focus on only about one tenth of an individual’s intellect. Note that Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, two of history’s most famous examples of brilliant minds, were terrible at taking traditional tests, therefore terrible at “school” in general. Multiple Intelligences theory then, demonstrates that the ability to take traditional tests is almost entirely in the realm of the Logical – Mathematical

intelligence. This intelligence will be detailed later along with the Interpersonal intelligence, which imparts in some students the ability to second guess a teacher’s structuring of a test. Traditional IQ tests predict school performance with considerable accuracy, but they are only an indifferent predictor of performance in a profession after formal schooling.

In an interesting but controversial study conducted during the 1960’s by Biologist Marion Diamond, of the University of California at Berkeley, two sets of rats were raised in different environments; One set had toys to play with, playmates to romp with and a roomy box that was kept clean and fresh. The second set was put in solitary confinement; all alone in a much smaller cage with no toys to enjoy. After several weeks, Diamond measured the size of each rat’s cerebral cortex, the brain area which is responsible for higher nerve functions. The rats in the sociable, clean and stimulating environment grew brains bigger than the rats with the impoverished surroundings. “Does the enriched environment increase the dimensions of the brain, and does the impoverished environment decrease the dimensions of the brain?”, asked Diamond. “The answer, very clearly, is YES.” Similar results were replicated with cats, monkeys and later with humans. So a stimulating, enriched learning environment is crucial to mental development. If we likewise incorporate the varying student intelligences in our teaching activities, our success as well as our students success, will be markedly improved. That each of us possess all the intelligences, that they can each be developed further, that these multiple intelligences work together in a complex manner, and that there are, in fact, many different ways to be “intelligent” are inclusive in a study by Armstrong. Here briefly, in retrospect, are eight of the major intelligences of Howard Gardener’s theory and their relative traits:

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence:

The capacity to use words effectively, either orally or in writing. It is highly developed in story-tellers, orators, politicians, poets, playwrights, editors, language teachers and journalists. Students with a high degree of this intelligence think in words; learn by listening, reading, and verbalizing. They enjoy writing, like books, records, and tapes, and have a good memory for verse, lyrics, or trivia. Getting into discussions, telling jokes and debating are also characteristics of this intelligence. Maya Angelou is strong in this intelligence.

Visual-Spatial Intelligence:

The ability to perceive the world accurately and to perform transformations upon one’s perceptions. This is highly developed in guides, interior designers, architects, artists, fashion designers and inventors. Students with a high degree of spatial intelligence think in images and pictures, like mazes and jigsaw puzzles. They like to draw and design things, and enjoy films, slides, videos, diagrams, maps, charts. The daydreamers and those who may have strong opinions about such things as colors that go together, textures that are appropriate and pleasing and decorating are included in this intelligence. Pablo Picasso was strong in this intelligence.

Musical – Rhythmic Intelligence: The capacity to perceive, discriminate, transform, and express musical forms is most highly developed in musical performers, music aficionados, and music critics. Students with a high degree of musical intelligence learn through rhythm and melody, play a musical instrument, or May need music to study. They notice nonverbal sounds in the environment: the chirp of a cricket, rain on the roof, varying traffic patterns, and usually learn things more easily if sung, tapped out, or whistled. These people love music and rhythmic patterns and can often reproduce a melody or rhythmic pattern after hearing it only once. Various sounds, tones, and rhythms may have a visible effect on them (that is, you can see a change in facial expressions, body movement, or emotional responses). They enjoy singing and listening to a wide variety of music, and are often quite skilled at mimicking sounds, language accents, and others’ speech patterns, and recognizing different musical instruments in a composition. Paul McCartney is strong in this intelligence.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence:

The capacity to use numbers effectively and to reason well. This intelligence is highly developed in mathematicians, tax accountants, statisticians, scientists, computer programmers, and logicians. Students with a high degree of this intelligence often reason things out logically and clearly; look for abstract patterns and relationships; frequently like brain teasers, logical puzzles, and strategy games. They also like to use computers and to classify and categorize. These people think conceptually and abstractly and are able to see patterns and relationships that others often miss. They like to experiment, solve puzzles and other problems, ask cosmic questions and think. They love the challenge of complex problems to solve and always have a logical rationale or argument for what they are doing or thinking. Albert Einstein was strong in this intelligence.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: Consists of expertise in using one’s whole body to express ideas and feelings, and facility in using ones hands to produce or transform things. A highly developed intelligence in actors, mimes, athletes, dancers, sculptors, mechanics, and surgeons. Students with a high degree of bodily-kinesthetic intelligence process knowledge through bodily sensations; move, twitch, tap, or fidget while sitting in a chair or at a desk and learn by touching, manipulating, and moving. They typically like role playing and creative movement and generally like physical games of all kinds and demonstrating how to do something. They communicate well through body language and other physical gestures. They can often perform a task only after seeing someone else do it. They find it difficult to sit still for a long time and are easily bored if they are not actively involved in what is going on around them. Michael Jordan is strong in this intelligence.

Interpersonal Intelligence:

The ability to perceive and make distinctions in the moods, intentions, motivations, and feelings of other people. This Intelligence can include sensitivity to facial expressions, voice, and gestures, as well as the ability to respond effectively to such cues. Students with a high degree of interpersonal intelligence understand and care about people; like to socialize; learn more easily by relating and cooperating and are good at teaching other students. These people learn through person-to-person interaction. They generally have lots of friends; show a great deal of empathy for other people and understanding of different points of view. They are skilled at drawing others out in a discussion, conflict resolution and mediation when people are in radical

opposition to each other. Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi were strong in this intelligence.

Intra-personal Intelligence:

Self-knowledge and the ability to act adaptively on the basis of that knowledge define this group. This is an intelligence which can include having an accurate picture of one’s strengths and limitations, awareness of one’s moods and motivations, and the capacity for self-discipline. Students with a high degree of this intelligence seem to be self-motivating; need their own quiet space; may march to the beat of a different drummer and tend to learn more easily with independent study, self-paced instruction, individualized projects and games.

These people like to work alone and sometimes shy away from others. They are self-reflective and self-aware and thus tend to be in tune with their inner feelings, values, beliefs, and thinking processes. They are frequently bearers of creative wisdom and insight, are highly intuitive, and are inwardly motivated rather than needing external rewards to keep them going. They are often strong-willed, self-confident, and definite, well-thought-out opinions on almost any issue (although they are sometimes off-the-wall). Other people will often come to them for advice and counsel, but others will sometimes view them as distant or weird. Emily Dickinson and Stephen King are examples of this intelligence.

Naturalist Intelligence:

Environmental knowledge and the ability to identify and categorize plants, animals and nature on the basis of that knowledge. The Naturalist Intelligence can include having an accurate picture of the ambient environment, awareness of the interrelationship of natural elements, and the capacity for self-analysis of these elements. It is found most highly developed in archeologists, animal handlers, animal trainers, veterinarians, biologists, racehorse jockeys, zoologists, environmentalists, wilderness guides and naturalists. Students who have a high degree of the naturalist intelligence seem to be nature-oriented, seek to be outdoors or in the elements and learn more easily with nature-related study and environmental projects and activities. They like to collect items from nature, study them, and group them. They tend to be aware of subtleties in appearance, texture, and sounds that those weaker in this intelligence may not grasp. Charles Darwin, Jacques Cousteau, and John James Audubon were strong in this intelligence.

One of the great promises of Multiple Intelligences theory in education is that it will help us to find individual pathways into and out of our students’ minds. Recent advances in educational psychology and research in applied MI theory offer educators a real possibility of developing the potential of all students. Both educators and students should derive from Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory that all people are different and learn differently, and that we should respect, value, and nurture that diversity.

Reference Websites:

Reference website for multiple intelligences links and activities:

[http://surfaquarium.com/im.htm]

Exploring Multiple Intelligences: New Dimensions of Learning

[http://www.multi-intell.com/]

Multiple Intelligences Resources

http://www.theatreinmotion.com/resources.htm

Basic MI Theory

http://edweb.gsn.org/edref.mi.th.html

Multiple Intelligence Theory: Principles

http://www.harding.edu/~cbr/midemo/prin.html

Multiple Intelligences: Theory and Practice in the K-12 Class

[http://www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec/ieo/bibs/multiple.html]

Task Card Overview/Multiple Intelligences

[http://www.metronet.com/~bhorizon/teach.htm]

Association for the Promotion and Advancement of Science Education activities website – http://discoverlearning.com/forensic/docs/index.html

Naturalist Intelligence – Sea World / Busch Gardens website for students

http://www.seaworld.org/animal_bytes/animal_bytes.html

Writing Your Own Music and Improvising

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 02

After you have learned some basic chords – in particular, the open chords – and can use them proficiently to play some songs, it's a good time to begin improving and writing songs on your own. Even if you think you do not have enough guitar knowledge to write very complicated songs yet, it's better to start writing your own material towards the beginning of your odyssey into the world of guitar playing so that you develop as a musician and exercise your creative mind.

Starting out, of course, it's best to come up with a song that makes use of just a few chords. Build on what you already know by trying out different combinations of the open chords and experimenting with the different melodies you can produce. Not only will you begin coming up with your own songs, but you're temporarily developing your ability to change chords quickly and are getting accustomed to common chord changes. Do not worry at all about the songs sounding simple. Some of the biggest hits in musical history make use of only three or four chords!

After you have played around with some chord combinations, ask your musical friends for guidance. Show them what you have come up with, and let them play along with you. They will probably be able to give you some points as to the direction into which you may consider taking a song. This will also give you the opportunity to use any knowledge of scales to improvise over a piece of music being played by someone else. When one guitarist is playing chords, the other may want to use the scales he or she knows to place melodies over the chords being played. In essence, you can create your own guitar solos alongside a rhythm guitarist! Take turns soloing and playing rhythm guitar with someone else. You will find yourself creating new melodies in no time.

Another way to tackle improvisation and writing your own music is to begin with some songs you already know and change up the melody. For example, let's say you really like listening to "Wild Thing," and you can play it easily. Try writing another verse to "Wild Thing" using chords that you already know. When you can do this with one song and can play your original melody consistently, start doing it with others.

Once you have gained some experience with these steps, the next milestone toward writing some of your own material is learning how to play barre chords and learning to play them well. Some of your guitar books for beginners will contain information about playing barre chords, and that's a great place to start. Combinations of barre chords and open chords will provide you with more versatility than you ever thought possible, and they can even lead you to experimentation with different styles. This is where may guitarists' tastes start changing as they begin learning to play songs they had never considered learning and collaborating with musicians with whatever they never thought they would play. It may not be what you expected to be playing in the beginning, but the path towards creating original music is an exciting one.

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Homeschool and Actors

San Minato Al Monte - Florence

Everyone has seen the struggles associated with being a child actor or a child star. The nature of this lifestyle causes many of these youngsters to suffer from delays in everything from their academies to their social and emotional development, and as a result, many end up struggling as adults. Because of this, it is extremely important that these children be given every opportunity to develop their skills and talents beyond those associated with the small or silver screens.

One of the most effective and popular choices for actors to use in helping them develop proper academic skills and complete their education is to use homeschooling. Homeschooling is a popular choice because of the flexibility that it offers, both in terms of when and how lessons can be taught. Actors who are being homeschooled can complete lessons online, or they can actually have their "teachers" show up to their work and deliver a lesson personally. Either way, it is difficult to argue with the fact that homeschooling, especially for players, is very convenient.

The acting business being what it is means that student / actors have to teachers teachers work around their schedule. It is mostly for this reason that student / actors and their parents choose to turn to homeschooling or an accredited distance learning school. Some actors are on the road and way from home for months at a time, making it very difficult for them to attend traditional school. Homeschooling can allow academic curriculum to be individually tailor, and designed not to interfere with the requirements of an acting career.

Homeschooling is also an effective way of completing school sooner. Rather than try to complete a diploma or degree in the traditional length of time, meaning 4 to 6 years, a homeschooling curriculum can allow child actors to complete their education faster and more efficiently, as opposed to having it drag on over the course of several years.

Homeschooling actors and stars is certainly not something new. In fact, some of the most famous people in history, including sponsors, inventors, artists, actors, and athletes have all been homeschooled. President George Washington, inventor Thomas Edison, actor Charlie Chaplin, and scientist Albert Einstein are just a few of the famous people who have reaped the benefits of homeschooling.

Things can be difficult enough at work for the child actor without having to add additional stress from having to make time for school. By using homeschooling as an option, parents can provide their children with an effective learning curriculum without having to interfere with their acting career. In addition to the added convenience as well as the obvious flexibility associated with homeschooling, child actors can also benefit from the additional family support that they receive when they are being taught by their parents. There is nothing that can be more beneficial to a young actor than to have family members who are actually involved in an important aspect of their life, and homeschooling is certainly one effective way of accomplishing this, both for academic and emotional purposes.

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The 4 Stages of the Counseling Process: What Every Youth Counselor Should Know

Bookish

There is a natural progression that takes place within the context of the helping relationship. This process enables you and the person you are working with to build a relationship, assess the situation, set goals and come up with a plan to bring about your desired results. This progression is known as the counseling process. There are four stages of the counseling process. They are: developing a relationship, making an informed assessment, establishing mutually agreed upon goals and objectives and developing an implementation plan.

Phase 1. Developing A Relationship

In order to develop positive helping relationships with youth, you’ve got to be able to connect with them. This can only happen when youth are made to feel like you genuinely care about their well-being and that you understand where they are coming from. It’s about behaving in a way that demonstrates the core conditions of genuineness, respect and empathy.

To develop solid relationships with youth, you need to create a safe environment where young people will feel comfortable enough to open up to you and talk to you about anything that is on their minds. You also need to help youth see that despite their circumstances they have strengths. In short, you should start things off from a strengths-based perspective.

Questions to Consider When Trying to

Develop A Relationship

· In what ways can you build better relationships with the youth in your program?

· If there are youth who are not actively engaged, what can you do differently to engage them?

· If a youth is resistant, what steps can you take to reduce resistance?

· What worked in the past with resistant youth?

· How do you know when you’ve built a solid relationship with a youth? Could you use these indicators to strengthen your relationships with other youth?

Phase 2. Making An Informed Assessment

An informed assessment happens when both you and the youth gather information in order to figure out what’s “really” going on so that you can assess what needs to happen next in order to change the situation for the better or build up the youth’s coping skills to better deal with a problematic situation. The first step in making an assessment is to find out if change is necessary, and if it is what needs to happen for change to take place. If you have determined that change is necessary, then the next step is to figure out what needs to change. Is it a behavior? An attitude? A situation?

A good assessment can provide an opportunity for a young person to see how his/her behavior or attitude might be contributing to an undesirable or unhealthy situation. Assessment is an ongoing process. You need to regularly check in with your youth to see how things are going. Reassessments enable you to ensure that you and the youth are on the right track.

How do you gather information in order to make an informed assessment? You can gather information in a number of ways: talking with youth, observing the youth’s behavior and interactions, discussions with other people who are involved in the young person’s life, and reading any documented information on the young person. Keep in mind that when utilizing someone else’s verbal or written report as a source of background information, you run the risk of subjecting yourself to their biases and assumptions.

Points to Keep In Mind When Making An Assessment

· Be aware of your biases and how they impact on the assessments you make.

· Involve youth in the assessment process.

· Don’t rely on one single source to make an assessment, gather as much information as you can from a variety of sources.

· Don’t automatically label a behavior as dysfunctional because you don’t understand it, or it is not germane to your culture.

· Make sure to point out a young person’s strengths even when addressing problematic behavior.

Phase 3. Establishing Mutually Agreed Upon Goals and Objectives

Why is it important to establish “mutually agreed” upon goals and objectives? Because if a young person is in agreement with the goals then he/she is more likely to follow through on them. When a youth is actively involved in the goal setting process and is in agreement with the goals, then he/she is more inclined to take ownership of the goals. What are goals? Goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish. Think of goals as the end result that you are trying to achieve. While goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish overall, objectives are the measurable steps that you take to achieve your goals. For example if you have a goal that states, “youth will be better able to manage her anger.” One of your objectives might be, “youth will recognize emotional triggers that lead to angry outbursts and use positive, self-talk to calm herself down.” Your objectives should always be concrete and measurable. They should also be derived from the overall goal.

Questions to Consider When Developing

Goals and Objectives

· What do you and the young person want to achieve?

· How are you going to achieve it?

· When do you want to achieve your stated goal?

· What obstacles do you anticipate?

· How will you address these obstacles?

· How will you use to measure and monitor progress?

· Are your goals realistic?

Phase 4. Implementation Plan

The implementation plan is a plan that you and the youth work on together. It is designed to prevent, intervene, or address unhealthy behaviors and practices. The implementation plan identifies who will perform the activities, where the activities will occur, how frequently they will occur, how they will be carried out and when they will be carried out. Implementation activities are designed to help individuals re-think risky behavior, work through problematic issues, address unhealthy lifestyles practices, learn new skills and build strengths. Implementation activities can include: counseling, crisis intervention, training and education, supportive services, concrete services and constructive use of free time.

As you can see, each stage of the counseling process builds upon the former. As you move through each stage, you will come to realize that it takes patience and practice to counsel youth effectively, but if you are committed to the goal you’ll do just fine. You may not feel completely confident in your ability as a counselor, but as you expand your knowledge base, gain more experience and strengthen your helping skills, you will become a more effective counselor.

Copyright © 2006 by Cassandra Mack

Excerpted from Cassandra Mack’s book, “Smart Moves That Successful Youth Workers Make”

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

:)

Where fantasy goes into uncharted territory, the kind of story that could not exist, science fiction, a term made famous by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein, goes into charted territory. Let's make sense of that last statement: Science fiction is based on truths, questions of reality, and questions of survival. Its purpose is to go where other fiction can not. Unlike horror, it tells something far more dangerous because it could happen. Unlike mystery, there is not always someone at the other end of the gun, maybe "something" instead. Like mainstream work, it proposes fascinating philosophies on mankind in the past, present, and future.

When reporters talked of space stations maybe they were onto something. When Star Trek characters could talk to each other on small, hand-held phones, most thought it was too good to be true. Now we have cell phones, computers that can talk, computers that can think in some ways, and a variety of other ideas that were often suggested in science fiction.

But the science fiction novel has its own place outside of the realm of Star Trek and Star Wars. For one, the legend must be created in words, not film or TV images. Second, the writers behind it are often as much philosophers as authors. Lastly, science fiction is its own frontier, a place for free thinking.

The thesis for all this would be that the science fiction novel engages a reader in a "This is how it could happen." The purpose is, as in all writing, to say something different. Long before "War of the Worlds" and even longer before Star Trek and Star Wars, people looked to the skies with hope, emboldening their legends with all kinds of flying creatures-angels, demons, sometimes aliens-who could do things they could not . That is exactly the purpose of the modern science fiction novel-it says we, the human race, can do something that right now we can not.

The final purpose of the science fiction novel is always to make a mark on society. Star Trek could only go so far. When one looks at a science fiction novel, however, sometimes it seemsingly is a race to the finish instead of a treat on life in the future. Something is always happening; it happens fast. Take Philip K. Dick, for example, who once wrote 11 novels in 2 years (he used various drugs, much like Hunter Thompson, to improve writing speed). However, there is nothing superficial about the science fiction novel. This is because even films have a hard time capturing the legion of ideas presented in the classics, like "The Man In the High Castle," Philip K. Dick's best novel. If any film does capture the purpose of science fiction, it's "Blade Runner," considered to be one of the best films of all time, based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Andods Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Where it can be hard to pin down the modern science fiction novel, it can easily be seen that writing one can be a lucid ride into the unexplored. One of the best in recent memory is "Hyperion," a science fiction novel that won the famous Hugo award. Here, Simmons explored what is real, much like Philip K. Dick, and did it as though he was poet, forming a tale of seven pilgrims to a far away world, much like "The Canterbury Tales."

Some of the finest novels of the 20th century were labeled "junk" because they explored taboo subjects or had sexually revealing covers. Without the likes of Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and the hundreds of other talents, maybe there would have been no Star Trek, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. Without the junk science fiction novel bought for a nickel in the 1940s and 50s maybe mankind would never have dreamed of stepping on the moon in the 1960s.

Exciting Words for Your Ads and Promotion Copy

Belem Tower

In my article Dump Those Helping Verbs from Your Ads and Promotion Copy (Even if your teacher made you memorize all 23) I told you to not use helping verbs or passive verbs in your ads or promotion copy. They weaken your copy. Few will respond to what you say.

Those “few” are potential or new customers. Is that what you want?

No! You want lots of potential and new customers.

Probably the most powerful word which was included on this list is FREE. Nothing is cheaper than free.

Here are some other suggested words. I’ll bet you can squeeze in a few more:

Absolutely… Amazing… Approved… Attractive… Authentic…

Bargain… Beautiful… Better… Big…

Colorful… Colossal… Complete… Confidential… Crammed…

Delivered… Direct… Discount…

Easily… Endorsed… Enormous… Excellent… Exciting… Exclusive… Expert… Elegant…

Famous… Fascinating… Fortune… Free… Full…

Genuine… Gift… Gigantic… Greatest… Guaranteed…

Helpful… Highest… Huge…

Immediately… Improved… Informative… Instructive… Interesting…

Largest… Latest… Lavishly… Liberal… Lifetime… Limited… Lowest…

Magic… Mammoth… Miracle…

Noted…

Odd… Outstanding…

Personalized… Popular… Powerful… Practical… Professional… Profitable… Profusely… Proven…

Quality… Quickly…

Rare… Reduced… Refundable… Remarkable… Reliable… Revealing… Revolutionary…

Scarce… Secrets… Security… Selected… Sensational… Simplified… Sizable… Special… Startling… Strange… Strong… Sturdy… Successful… Superior… Surprise…

Terrific… Tested… Tremendous…

Unconditional… Unique… Unlimited… Unparalleled… Unsurpassed… Unusual… Useful…

Valuable… Wealth… Weird… Wonderful.

The above list fits many products and services. What if you’re selling candy? Might it be tasty, creamy, delicious, etc.? You will have to add to or delete from this list as you test your ads.

What! You don’t run test ads?

Well, you should.

Try these words suggested by Robert W. Bly in his book The Copywriter’s Handbook: how to… why… sale… quick… easy… bargain… last chance…guarantee, results… proven… save.

Robert W. Bly says in his book that in some copy the word “free” is used over thirty times.

That must be a good one!

I have a classified ad running this week and it starts out with guess what: Free! The word is capitalized and in bold print and the ad is in a box.

That should do it.

I’ll still talk to you when I’m rich.

What Is SEO? A Brief Introduction

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When you use Google (or any other search engine) to search for a term, have you ever wondered how the websites in the first search results page got there, when there are probably thousands of other competing websites which match your search term? Well, the answer to that question is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Those first few websites had better SEO than their competitors. So, what is SEO? Simply, it is a marketing strategy used to increase the ranking of a website in search engines.

Some of those websites (such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Microsoft) got to the first search results page without much help from SEO because, their brand names are sufficiently famous to get them listed in the first page. The other websites rely on SEO to get them to the first or second search results page. You may wonder why SEO is so important. Well, users rarely go beyond the first few search result pages when searching for a term. When was the last time you clicked on the fifteenth search results page?

SEO can be done in many ways. The main (and effective) SEO methods are the following:

1) SEO titles, headers and URL addresses

2) Back-linking

3) Writing SEO content

4) The use of multimedia

5) Regular updates

This article will briefly touch on each of these SEO techniques. Each of these techniques will be described in detail in subsequent articles.

SEO titles, headers and URL addresses

The title of a webpage is different from its heading. The title is displayed on the ‘tab’ of that webpage while the heading is displayed in the webpage itself. When you enter a search term (known as the keyword), the search engine tries to find websites whose title, heading and URL address matches the given keyword. If the title, heading or the URL address of a website matches your keyword, then that website is given a higher ranking than others. For example, if the keyword you entered is “phoenix”, a website having the URL address: “http://www.phoenix.com” is given a higher ranking than a website having the URL address: “http://www.mystical_birds.com”.

Back-linking

When you visit a website, you will usually see several hyperlinks linking that website to other websites. These links are known as back-links. Wikipedia is a good example for back-links. All the reference websites are listed at the bottom of a Wikipedia article. These hyperlinks (at the bottom of an article) are back-links of the respective reference websites. Back-links help to increase the ranking of a website. Generally, the more back-links a website has, the higher its ranking.

Writing SEO content

Search engines try to match the entered keyword with the content of websites. For example, if your keyword is “golf player”, the search engine will search for articles having the term “golf player”. However, there will be millions of articles having the term “golf player” in them. The search engine will rank these articles according to the “keyword density” of the articles. Keyword density is calculated by dividing the number of keywords in the article by the total number of words and then multiplying the result by 100.

For example, if a hundred-worded article has the keyword “golf player” repeated twice in it, the article has a keyword density of 2%. Articles having a keyword density of 0.5-2% are generally given the highest ranking.

The use of multimedia

Everybody prefers graphical websites, compared to plain-text websites. The major search engines know this and therefore; they give websites containing multimedia (graphics, videos and flash applications) a higher ranking than other websites.

Regular updates

People have an unquenchable thirst for new information and facts. The major search engines address this need by giving the websites which are regularly updated a higher ranking than other websites.

We hope that we answered your question “What is SEO?” satisfactorily through this article.