What Makes a Writer a Writer?

Sissinghurst Castle & Garden - Where Their Beauty Leaves You on Cloud Number Nine!

An interesting discussion on LinkedIn is swirling around the topic of when a writer can call themselves a writer .. As I've watched the discussion unfold, some interesting ideas have cropped up. They are worth considering.

A writer is someone who has been published offline.

Considering that a large segment of the writing work available is almost exclusively online today, this definition just can not hold true. While it is almost guaranteed that someone who has broken into hard print is a very good writer, it does not preclude someone who has never had their work published in traditional media from being considered a writer.

A writer is someone who knows their grammar, punctuation rules and how to spell things correctly.

I'm not prepared to say this is true because I know that publishers, magazines and newspapers all hire copy editors for one very good reason. Not every writer on the team has good spelling skills. No writer's punctuation skills are perfect. And everyone has certain words they almost always type incorrectly. I've been a copy editor. It's always easier to see others mistakes.

For me, I have to watch dropping the "r" on your, adding a "d" in college and several other persistent misspellings. There are words I consistently add extra letters to and others I drop letters from almost every time I type them. And most of the time, they are words, so spell check does not catch them.

At the same time, if a writer can not tell the difference between when to use your and you're or its and it's, it will be an obstacle to achieving a higher pays scale. Excellence in every aspect of writing is essential if you want to be taken seriously.

A writer is a professional who makes a consistent income from writing.

This can be true. The definition of consistent may vary. I know that I began by approaching only a few hundred dollars a month from writing work. I had some months where I had no income from that source. At the same time, I was consistently seeking work. As a writing professional I took action.

  • I actively built my portfolio.
  • I built a free website on Office Live.
  • I focused on bridging the gap from when I studied journalism to what the market demands of writers today.
  • I applied every piece of knowledge I gained into strengthening my ability to write compelling materials.

To put the title "writer" on a resume, suggest you need to be more than someone who has started their own blog. Despite the fact that I have a ghostwriting tips blog, it is not this blog that makes me a writer. It's the fact that people read this blog and actually benefit from it that supports my claim that I am a writer.

A writer is someone who can explain different topics in language that the average person can understand.

This truly is a skill that not everyone possesses. In some ways, every writer needs to have a teacher's heart, the ability to break things down into understandable packages. Some writers are gifted with the ability to reach very young minds. That's why there are writers of children's books. Other writers just can not get down to that level, yet remain effective writers for a different audience.

A writer is more than someone who starts their own blog.

There are good blogs and so-so blogs. To truly claim to be a writer, the blog can not be riddled with grammar errors. A few spelling and punctuation errors are forgivable, especially as most blog writers can not afford a separate set of eyes to edit their work.

A writer is someone who crafts words to influence others.

It's the power to dig into the meaning of words and craft them as you have done that signifies a writer. The fact that you can express your arguments succinctly using words in their written form defines that you are a writer. Maybe that is the definition we should be holding to here. "A writer is someone who can write with words so effectively they can influence others whether they do it for pay or not."

It's not whether your work appears on the eviscerated remnants of a tree or on the electronic representation of a page that makes you a writer. It's whether your words move and / or motivate. A novelist may move through the creation of characters and plots. A web writer may motivate to action by carefully chosen words.

Both are writers. Both use their power over words to create an experience in the mind. That experience would not be there without the writer's ability to craft words.

What makes a writer a writer? We'll probably never be able to agree on a single definition. Too may people would disagree with the writer's version of the artist's definition, "A writer is a writer because he / she writes."

Eight Common Characteristics Famous Celebrities Have

Serna, Ismael de la (1897-1968) - 1931 Violin Still Life

Celebrities come and go. They can either stay for a couple of years, but some fail to carve a niche in the entertainment industry and remain a starlet. Some are successful and become iconic in the music scene, television and movies.

You might be wondering why some of them have disappeared in the industry. If you observe their stellar status, the luckiest are those who share common characteristics that made them rich and famous.

Take a peek at the 8 common characteristics famous celebrities have in common. Find out if you have any of these traits that can be helpful in your chosen profession.

1. Strong determination and confidence. Celebrities are confident and determined to pursue their goal no matter what happens. They are the kind of people who do not care about what others say when they pose nude in a men’s magazine or wear a bizarre outfit. Getting out of poverty and to become famous are two things that prodded them to try their luck in Hollywood hoping that they could find the right people to help them in their budding career.

2. Their work ethic is infectious. Actors and singers are deprived of sleep as they have to stay awake until the following day to finish their commitment. They work hard not only because they know that they are highly compensated for their efforts, but because they want to leave a legacy when they are no longer active in the industry. Highest paid actors only spend 2 to 3 hours of sleep until their project is finished. But the prices they get from being workaholics can buy them a new house, a car, a set of jewelry and a swanky bag.

3. They work for the sake of art. Multi-awarded actors are choosy in their roles despite the high talent fee that they could receive for a particular project. Top caliber actors who have become financially stable would pick meaty roles that could earn them an Oscar award. They don’t mind if they have to go bald or topless for as long as the role will increase their level of creativity and transform them into a respected actor. Some celebrities accept roles that are challenging even if they don’t share the same billing stature with the main actors.

4. They are creative and unique. Famous Hollywood personalities defy the standard and social norms. They never stop creating and reinventing themselves to enable them to catch the public’s attention. Miley Cyrus, Madonna, J Lo, Michael Jackson and to name a few, had their own strings of gimmickry and controversy to promote their albums or movies. Even local artist in some key cities in the world do the same thing even if it could ruin their reputation and make them infamous. Defying the norm and ignoring their bashers is the best action that celebrities must do to succeed in their showbiz career. Gossips are part of showbiz and welcoming them with an open heart can make them stronger and better celebrities.

5. They think, believe and dream big. True artists think that there is no small role for them. Budding actors must heed what their veteran counterparts say that in order for them to be recognized and earn big, they should accept any role that can hone their acting prowess. Since the competition in the world of showbiz has become stiff, they must grab every opportunity that comes their way. Not unless they are products of reality shows or beauty contests, penetrating the entertainment industry is a bit hard. Changing their mindset from small to big things will inspire them to strive hard and make it big in showbiz.

6. They have a high emotional quotient. Although beauty and talent are important things to consider when discovering a new talent, movie directors and producers would prefer actors with a good work attitude. Celebrities who are acting like divas will most likely to lose their chance of getting the right break because their attitude can cause a lot of problems during location shooting. High EQ celebrities come to work before call time and they do not cause glitches or delay at work. They can mingle with anyone in the set from the director to the janitor. They can laugh at their own mistakes and can exchange jokes with their fellow workers, even if they have been sleepless for several nights. Most of all, they welcome strangers and mobbing fans for autograph and photo ops.

7. They enjoy every bit of their work. Become passionate about your work as an artist in the real sense of the word will give you more inspiration to hone your craft. Celebrities who are enjoying their career are the one who will become successful as they do not get discouraged when failure comes in one point of their lives.

8. Money and fame are only secondary. These two things that can lead to frustration if celebrities are unable to achieve them. Some famous celebrities who are getting less projects and their fans are ignoring them have become depressed and suicidal. This is because they think that money and fame are the most important things in life. But the truth is, any career that is taken with passion can be a great source of your finances if you know how to save your money.

Celebrities who have lost their careers because of their bad attitude have realized that becoming famous and wealthy does not happen overnight. They have to learn the traits that could propel their popularity and eventually land them a lot of projects.

Aspiring actors/actresses who are given the break should realize that the competition is so high in the industry. A single flaw is observed from you could put you down and it would be too late to realize that a newcomer will soon replace your position in showbiz. Getting rich quick is a mere fantasy as you need to start from scratch, and when you are already at the top of your success, remain humble and grounded.

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Famous Ships

Show me the way ...

Before the thundering Boeings and Airbuses hit the skies and made the world a smaller place, ships were the primary source for not only transportation, but also exploration and fighting wars. The exact history of boats is difficult to pinpoint, but the Noah's Ark can be cited as an example of how long ago they exist.

Famous ships can be broadly categorized on the basis of historical significance, war participation, and catastrophic shipwrecks. From an American history point of view, the Mayflower is said to be the most significant, since it bought the "Pilgrims" to Plymouth, starting from Southampton, England, in 1620. Another famous ship was the Spanish ship Amistad, which had on board 53 slaves, who revolted and killed their captors on July 2, 1839. The ship's navigator was spared so he could take the ship to Africa, but the ship arrived Long Island, New York instead. The slaves were acquitted after several trials and allowed a passage home to Africa.

The mighty Bismarck was the most powerful Nazi warship, which after being spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft, was engaged by the Prince of Wales and Hood. It sank the Hood in a matter of minutes and then escaped into the ocean, where it took a day and night of shelling by the three British ships, George V, the Rodney, and the Dorsetshire, to sink the German pride and joy. The latest famous ships include the Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carriers such as USS Truman that participated in the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina relief.

From an infamous shipwreck point-of-view, the "unsinkable" Titanic preceded all, which when sank on April 15,1912, and had only 705 survivors out of the total 2227 people on board. However, few remember the sinking of the steamship Sultana on April 27, 1865, which left 1500 dead. The worst iron was that it had hundreds of Union POWs returning home after the Civil War, on a ship that had no lifeboats or life jackets.

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What Makes a Writer a Writer?

XXIV EMBLEMATA/ XXI Well (1932) -  Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 - 1972)

An interesting discussion on LinkedIn is swirling around the topic of when a writer can call themselves a writer .. As I've watched the discussion unfold, some interesting ideas have cropped up. They are worth considering.

A writer is someone who has been published offline.

Considering that a large segment of the writing work available is almost exclusively online today, this definition just can not hold true. While it is almost guaranteed that someone who has broken into hard print is a very good writer, it does not preclude someone who has never had their work published in traditional media from being considered a writer.

A writer is someone who knows their grammar, punctuation rules and how to spell things correctly.

I'm not prepared to say this is true because I know that publishers, magazines and newspapers all hire copy editors for one very good reason. Not every writer on the team has good spelling skills. No writer's punctuation skills are perfect. And everyone has certain words they almost always type incorrectly. I've been a copy editor. It's always easier to see others mistakes.

For me, I have to watch dropping the "r" on your, adding a "d" in college and several other persistent misspellings. There are words I consistently add extra letters to and others I drop letters from almost every time I type them. And most of the time, they are words, so spell check does not catch them.

At the same time, if a writer can not tell the difference between when to use your and you're or its and it's, it will be an obstacle to achieving a higher pays scale. Excellence in every aspect of writing is essential if you want to be taken seriously.

A writer is a professional who makes a consistent income from writing.

This can be true. The definition of consistent may vary. I know that I began by approaching only a few hundred dollars a month from writing work. I had some months where I had no income from that source. At the same time, I was consistently seeking work. As a writing professional I took action.

  • I actively built my portfolio.
  • I built a free website on Office Live.
  • I focused on bridging the gap from when I studied journalism to what the market demands of writers today.
  • I applied every piece of knowledge I gained into strengthening my ability to write compelling materials.

To put the title "writer" on a resume, suggest you need to be more than someone who has started their own blog. Despite the fact that I have a ghostwriting tips blog, it is not this blog that makes me a writer. It's the fact that people read this blog and actually benefit from it that supports my claim that I am a writer.

A writer is someone who can explain different topics in language that the average person can understand.

This truly is a skill that not everyone possesses. In some ways, every writer needs to have a teacher's heart, the ability to break things down into understandable packages. Some writers are gifted with the ability to reach very young minds. That's why there are writers of children's books. Other writers just can not get down to that level, yet remain effective writers for a different audience.

A writer is more than someone who starts their own blog.

There are good blogs and so-so blogs. To truly claim to be a writer, the blog can not be riddled with grammar errors. A few spelling and punctuation errors are forgivable, especially as most blog writers can not afford a separate set of eyes to edit their work.

A writer is someone who crafts words to influence others.

It's the power to dig into the meaning of words and craft them as you have done that signifies a writer. The fact that you can express your arguments succinctly using words in their written form defines that you are a writer. Maybe that is the definition we should be holding to here. "A writer is someone who can write with words so effectively they can influence others whether they do it for pay or not."

It's not whether your work appears on the eviscerated remnants of a tree or on the electronic representation of a page that makes you a writer. It's whether your words move and / or motivate. A novelist may move through the creation of characters and plots. A web writer may motivate to action by carefully chosen words.

Both are writers. Both use their power over words to create an experience in the mind. That experience would not be there without the writer's ability to craft words.

What makes a writer a writer? We'll probably never be able to agree on a single definition. Too may people would disagree with the writer's version of the artist's definition, "A writer is a writer because he / she writes."

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The Ultimate Sinful Tour of Paris – I Missed Some, You Don’t

Belem Tower

Moulin Rouge… the birthplace of Cabaret

Moulin Rouge was opened by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler back in 1889. During that time Paris was the hub of creativity and the city was going through the phase people call “one of the best times in Paris”. It is believed that Moulin Rouge was the place where cabaret originated. This seductive dance was done by the show girls who used to live and perform in Moulin Rouge. The interiors of the establishment boast of huge floor to wall mirrors, expensive chandeliers, plush carpets, huge floor for dancing and spectacular showgirls. The environment inside the establishment becomes totally electrifying and ecstatic when the show is on. Even in these digital times Moulin Rouge receives a footfall of 1000 guests per night.

Lido de Paris… the Classier Moulin Rouge

Lido de Paris is probably the most famous establishment after Moulin Rouge. It is situated at Champs-Elysees, one of the most attractive neighborhoods in Paris, particularly in the night. Lido is famous for its dance and musical shows. Every night, it hosts shows where showgirls are dressed up in the most exotic and exquisite costumes. The interior of Lido is also very extravagant and posh, adorned with bright colors and old world decor. The lighting and the sound effects are captivating. The stage and set changes almost about 60 times right in front of the audiences! The oval shape of the hall ensures that everyone has a good view. They also have shows where kids are allowed, but expect nudity in them too, though they don’t look vulgar. Earlier Lido used to be a black tie event but these days they allow you in without it. But they are particular about dressing so dump your denims for the night at Lido.

Au Lapin Agile… The Nimble Rabbit

Adult entertainment just does not cease in romantic Paris! Au Lapin Agile is another vintage joint for cabaret. Many famous people were regular visitors here and we are talking about the likes of Toulouse-Latrec, Modigliani, Utrillo and Picasso. The translation of the name Au Lapin Agile means the nimble rabbit which got its name from a painting where a rabbit is jumping out of a heated pan. During 1905 Pablo Picasso painted a picture which helped in the publicity of the establishment. The name of the painting was ‘At the Lapin Agile’. Well if Adult Activities in Paris are on your mind, then just step in! Did we mention that this place still retains the evidence of eccentric characters of Paris who visited here? They are there in form of names carved in the wooden tables and they did it themselves!

Paradis Latin… Napoleon’s Personal Theatre of Dance

Now we are on to the next Cabaret haunt which is also one of the oldest in the Latin Quarter, so located centrally. Here you would find the shows very intriguing as most of the male and female artists perform completely naked. However the dancing and artistic references are not always filled with sexual innuendos, it is more like an adult circus. Quite a Cool thing to see In Paris for Adults! Paradis Latin was built in 1803 under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. Famous writers like Alexandre Dumas and Balzac were frequent visitors to this place.

Crazy Horse Cabaret… Go Crazy with the Tease

There are cabarets in Paris where you can see stage performances by naked dancers, moving and swaying their body in a classy yet seductive manner nad crazy horse is one of them. The iconic Crazy Horse was opened for the public in 1951. These dances are indeed provocative yet this is one of the most sophisticated cabaret clubs in Paris and well reputed too. Famous celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Dita von Teese have also performed on the dance floor of the Crazy Horse.

Cesar Palace Cabaret

If you want a taste of Paris nightlife then look no beyond the César Palace Cabaret that not only packs some sensual cabaret moves but also mind boggling acrobatic maneuvers. Traditional cancan girls dressed up elegantly perform in the shows here. And that is not all… they top up the wonderment with some super sumptuous three course french meal as well! They host the two hour show that does not let you blink your eyes. Talk of tantalizing, think of César Palace Cabaret!

Tell us you are breathless! Well we have surely given you some extra reasons to make Paris your next destination. I mean romance is passé’, it is time to get naughty!

And just like we had promised, let us take you to the next section that is going to be even more sinful, but in a different way- the French food!

Laudrey Pastry shop… the best macaroons in the entire Paris

Laduree is a famous pastry shop which is famous for selling one of the tastiest and vibrant coloured macaroons in Paris. Yep we are talking Paris Desserts here! Back in 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée had established this small time bakery; sadly the bakery got gutted due to fire after 9 years. It was erected again but this time the shop was full time Pastry shop. Later on a tea shop was also made next to the Laduree store and now if you visit you would be able to enjoy the wonders of both of the stores.

Berthilon.. The Sweet Lovers’ Paradise

Paris is heaven for food lovers but we all know that. The trick is to find the best amongst the best. This is why best way to travel Paris is on foot where you will find a food store or a restaurant within every two steps of your journey. The most well known and famous ice cream parlor and sorbet shop the Berthilon is a treat for all the people who love like it sweet and chilled. This place was opened in 1954. This ice cream parlor serves more than 70 flavors and people swear by the aroma when you step inside the shop. Make sure that you definitely taste the strawberry sorbet here. Berthilon is definitely one of the best places to eat in Paris.

58 Tour Eiffel Tower… offering a larger than life experience

When you are in Paris, going and experiencing the 58 Tour Eiffel Tower has to be on your things to do in Paris. This is a restaurant situated on the first floor of the Eiffel tower. When you sit inside you get a lovely and “as-far-as the eye goes” panoramic view of Trocadero part of the city. The other side of the restaurant shows the interiors of the Eiffel tower’s mesh work. The restaurant serves typical French brasserie food. The restaurant offers a 2 to 3 course style food picnic for lunch. During the evening you can experience the traditional French cuisine inside the restaurant with the lights dimmed and grand view of the city lights coming alive in a distance.

Le Ombres Restaurant… Experience the Fusion of Flavours

If exploring Paris Food Culture is on your wish list then there is no way you can miss Le Ombres Restaurant. This restaurant is famous for its architecture, the beautiful view of Eiffel Tower and the special menu set by Chef Jean-François Oyon, a two starrer Michelin chef. He was announced as the Chef of the year by Le Chef Magazine. So it goes without saying that the food quality in this restaurant is really good and it serves traditional French cuisine with exquisite flavors and ingredients, served like an art on the plate. We bet you can’t have enough of it!

Latelier-des-Chefs-Cooking-School… Go a little French!

LAtelier-des- Chefs-Cooking- School is a famous cooking school in Paris, with its branches in around 14 locations located all over France. Six of the cooking schools are situated in Paris. Guinea fowl with baby gem, peas, mustard and ratte potatoes is a fowl breast recipe that is served with green salad is one of the most loved dishes taught in the school. The other popular delicacies are lamb with minted crushed potatoes, broad beans and wild mushroom sauce, and roasted lamb with fennel puree and potatoes. The chief agenda behind establishing the school was to motivate French students to take up the art of cooking as a career. Recently it has also opened its doors to visitors of different nationalities to learn French style cooking.

How to reach

Paris is very well connected by air from all the major cities in the world.

Where to stay in Paris

Paris has an amazing array of options when it comes to accommodation. Here are our top picks across the budget spectrum, so whether you are on a tight budget or looking for luxurious indulgence we have it all here.Or you many simply type Paris in the nice little hotel search box given here for a complete list of hotels.

So this was the seductive and sinful Paris tour. So what are you waiting for, pack your bag and indulge in some naughty pleasures of life!

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Eight Common Characteristics Famous Celebrities Have

Something sweet

Celebrities come and go. They can either stay for a couple of years, but some fail to carve a niche in the entertainment industry and remain a starlet. Some are successful and become iconic in the music scene, television and movies.

You might be wondering why some of them have disappeared in the industry. If you observe their stellar status, the luckiest are those who share common characteristics that made them rich and famous.

Take a peek at the 8 common characteristics famous celebrities have in common. Find out if you have any of these traits that can be helpful in your chosen profession.

1. Strong determination and confidence. Celebrities are confident and determined to pursue their goal no matter what happens. They are the kind of people who do not care about what others say when they pose nude in a men’s magazine or wear a bizarre outfit. Getting out of poverty and to become famous are two things that prodded them to try their luck in Hollywood hoping that they could find the right people to help them in their budding career.

2. Their work ethic is infectious. Actors and singers are deprived of sleep as they have to stay awake until the following day to finish their commitment. They work hard not only because they know that they are highly compensated for their efforts, but because they want to leave a legacy when they are no longer active in the industry. Highest paid actors only spend 2 to 3 hours of sleep until their project is finished. But the prices they get from being workaholics can buy them a new house, a car, a set of jewelry and a swanky bag.

3. They work for the sake of art. Multi-awarded actors are choosy in their roles despite the high talent fee that they could receive for a particular project. Top caliber actors who have become financially stable would pick meaty roles that could earn them an Oscar award. They don’t mind if they have to go bald or topless for as long as the role will increase their level of creativity and transform them into a respected actor. Some celebrities accept roles that are challenging even if they don’t share the same billing stature with the main actors.

4. They are creative and unique. Famous Hollywood personalities defy the standard and social norms. They never stop creating and reinventing themselves to enable them to catch the public’s attention. Miley Cyrus, Madonna, J Lo, Michael Jackson and to name a few, had their own strings of gimmickry and controversy to promote their albums or movies. Even local artist in some key cities in the world do the same thing even if it could ruin their reputation and make them infamous. Defying the norm and ignoring their bashers is the best action that celebrities must do to succeed in their showbiz career. Gossips are part of showbiz and welcoming them with an open heart can make them stronger and better celebrities.

5. They think, believe and dream big. True artists think that there is no small role for them. Budding actors must heed what their veteran counterparts say that in order for them to be recognized and earn big, they should accept any role that can hone their acting prowess. Since the competition in the world of showbiz has become stiff, they must grab every opportunity that comes their way. Not unless they are products of reality shows or beauty contests, penetrating the entertainment industry is a bit hard. Changing their mindset from small to big things will inspire them to strive hard and make it big in showbiz.

6. They have a high emotional quotient. Although beauty and talent are important things to consider when discovering a new talent, movie directors and producers would prefer actors with a good work attitude. Celebrities who are acting like divas will most likely to lose their chance of getting the right break because their attitude can cause a lot of problems during location shooting. High EQ celebrities come to work before call time and they do not cause glitches or delay at work. They can mingle with anyone in the set from the director to the janitor. They can laugh at their own mistakes and can exchange jokes with their fellow workers, even if they have been sleepless for several nights. Most of all, they welcome strangers and mobbing fans for autograph and photo ops.

7. They enjoy every bit of their work. Become passionate about your work as an artist in the real sense of the word will give you more inspiration to hone your craft. Celebrities who are enjoying their career are the one who will become successful as they do not get discouraged when failure comes in one point of their lives.

8. Money and fame are only secondary. These two things that can lead to frustration if celebrities are unable to achieve them. Some famous celebrities who are getting less projects and their fans are ignoring them have become depressed and suicidal. This is because they think that money and fame are the most important things in life. But the truth is, any career that is taken with passion can be a great source of your finances if you know how to save your money.

Celebrities who have lost their careers because of their bad attitude have realized that becoming famous and wealthy does not happen overnight. They have to learn the traits that could propel their popularity and eventually land them a lot of projects.

Aspiring actors/actresses who are given the break should realize that the competition is so high in the industry. A single flaw is observed from you could put you down and it would be too late to realize that a newcomer will soon replace your position in showbiz. Getting rich quick is a mere fantasy as you need to start from scratch, and when you are already at the top of your success, remain humble and grounded.

Famous Ships

New York Palace

Before the thundering Boeings and Airbuses hit the skies and made the world a smaller place, ships were the primary source for not only transportation, but also exploration and fighting wars. The exact history of boats is difficult to pinpoint, but the Noah's Ark can be cited as an example of how long ago they exist.

Famous ships can be broadly categorized on the basis of historical significance, war participation, and catastrophic shipwrecks. From an American history point of view, the Mayflower is said to be the most significant, since it bought the "Pilgrims" to Plymouth, starting from Southampton, England, in 1620. Another famous ship was the Spanish ship Amistad, which had on board 53 slaves, who revolted and killed their captors on July 2, 1839. The ship's navigator was spared so he could take the ship to Africa, but the ship arrived Long Island, New York instead. The slaves were acquitted after several trials and allowed a passage home to Africa.

The mighty Bismarck was the most powerful Nazi warship, which after being spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft, was engaged by the Prince of Wales and Hood. It sank the Hood in a matter of minutes and then escaped into the ocean, where it took a day and night of shelling by the three British ships, George V, the Rodney, and the Dorsetshire, to sink the German pride and joy. The latest famous ships include the Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carriers such as USS Truman that participated in the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina relief.

From an infamous shipwreck point-of-view, the "unsinkable" Titanic preceded all, which when sank on April 15,1912, and had only 705 survivors out of the total 2227 people on board. However, few remember the sinking of the steamship Sultana on April 27, 1865, which left 1500 dead. The worst iron was that it had hundreds of Union POWs returning home after the Civil War, on a ship that had no lifeboats or life jackets.

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5 Things to Think About When Looking for a Home for Your Family

* Explore * Henrik Ibsen ( 1828-1906 )

If you are a family looking to buy a new home, what kinds of things should you consider in terms of location? Some of the things you should keep in mind are no-brainers, but other things, maybe not so much.

Safety

This is one that I’d put in the no-brainer category, safety. Making sure you are moving into a safe location kind of goes without saying. However, it’s not just your neighborhood you want to check on, it’s the surrounding areas. Some very nice places can be in the heart of crime. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it is. You might not even know until you take a drive through the areas at night or do a little research on crime locations in the city.

Developments

Know the future of your location that you are moving into. Where you are moving might me a great place, but are their plans for rezoning? Will you have adult entertainment clubs right down the street from you and your kids within a year? Will you have a small airport built right behind your backyard. Don’t let tunnel vision set in on your potential nice new home. Do your homework. Heck, you may be surprised to find that there is a rezoning that will increase your property value within just a few years.

Schools

This one is extremely important and one that I think most families are aware of. Know the schools that are close to your home. Are they safe? Do you prefer private schools for your kids? Are any close by?

Evacuation

If you live in Florida like I do, then this one can be very important, evacuation routes. Hurricanes are pretty common here, and we’ve had some bad ones since I’ve lived here. So where you live can impact the time it takes for you and your family to get out of the city and to safety. You do not want to end up in a place where it takes you and your children sitting in hours of traffic to get out of the city. Make sure you live close to your city or state’s evacuation route. Trust me on this one. I’m speaking from personal experience.

Hospitals

If anyone in your family has medical issues or if you have small children, you might want to live close to a hospital or emergency center. Living relatively close to a hospital or emergency room can provide you with peace of mind should the unexpected nightmare occur.

In short, do your homework, protect yourself and protect your future-your family.

Three Myths About Holden Caulfield in JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye

Δελφοί Ναός του Απόλλωνος Delfi Temble of Apollo

With the death of my favorite “coming of age” author a few years ago, I started thinking about my take on Holden Caulfield. Sure fifty years have skipped by since my first reading, but I wondered how I felt about Holden now that I am way past my teen years. Was he one of the good guys or bad guys? Was he still a hero in my mind? In the process of this to re-evaluate of Holden and his world three myths surrounding this famous literary character emerged in my mind’s eye. That is, these are myths because I thought they were true as a teen, but not now. And for the sake of seeing this in print, I will bleep out several words along the way.

1. Although the book has been banned by some schools, there’s nothing in “Catcher in the Rye” on the very first page that would upset the typical reader-after all, it’s a classic. Well, the first word bomb appears right in the beginning on page five, “crap,” and then “hemorrhages”, “bleep,” “bleep,” and “bleep.” Back in 1951, many readers thought those words were rather vulgar, especially my parents and Aunt Dolores. Now, if you ever had the pleasure of meeting Aunt Dolores, she would have knocked your socks off. Besides being gorgeous, she was my godmother. She hated the book from the first page on. That mystified me at age sixteen because I loved it. I thought it was so honest! So authentic! I wondered to myself: “You mean there were other YA books out there that might be like this one?” And that novel inspired me to become a “reader” of many YA books.

2. Holden Caulfield played mainly by the rules, but the world was out to get him.Aunt Dolores thought that you should play by the rules, or at least her rules. She would not have gotten along swimmingly with Holden. Did Holden think life was like a game and best to follow the rules? He said (on page 8): “Game my bleep. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it’s a game all right-I’ll admit that. But if you get on the other side… Nothing. No game.”

Not too long into Holden’s world the reader discovers that he’s not a reliable narrator. He’s great on the details of what he sees, but he’s poor at putting what he sees in a well-rounded perspective, just like many teens striving to find their place in the world. Grown-ups don’t make much sense to them. To teens, we seem like aliens from outer space that they have to tolerate. Holden tends to see first the negatives in people such as Ackley’s pimples, Stradlate’s untidy toiletries, Mr. Antolini’s drinking problem, and Mr. Spencer’s old bathrobe and bumpy chest. He fixates on these things instead of exploring and enjoying the talents of others. In other words, he misses out on many simple pleasures.

3. Holden is such a beloved character in American literaturebecause he marches to a different drummer. Holden has a mind of his own, but he really isn’t willing to grow as person or learn from his mistakes. When he says good-bye to his former history teacher, Mr. Spencer, he describes him this way on page 9, “I’m not too crazy about sick people, anyway. What made it even more depressing, old Spencer had on this very sad, ratty old bathrobe that he was probably born in.” Holden is quick to belittle those adults who hope that he will become more responsible. He would rather avoid any immediate emotional pain, and act as if the future doesn’t matter. Mr. Spencer tells Holden that he wants to help him, but Holden thinks (on page 15): “we were just on opposite sides of the pole, that’s all.” That’s understating it.

By meeting with Mr. Spencer, Holden appears to be getting closure on his disturbing days at Pencey Prep, but Holden is just going through the motions of life. He doesn’t want to share any real feelings or think about what’s next for him, although Mr. Spencer strongly urges him to do so, even to the point of being rather blunt with him on page 14: “Do you feel absolutely no concern for your future, boy?” Holden says, “… not too much, I guess.” Holden uses “denial” as a defensive weapon to repel self-knowledge and change.

Holden wants to escape any self-introspection that he can, and live in a more innocent world where he can rescue kids from falling into adulthood, where the “phonies” are, and where they may not even know they are phonies.

Nonetheless, it was Holden’s story that inspired me at sixteen to read more and be more aware of phonies, especially when I was being one.

Thank you, Holden Caulfield.

Categories of Ethical Dilemmas in Business

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 02

First published in Exchange, the magazine of the Brigham Young University School of Business, the following twelve categories were developed to cover the root or cause of most ethical business dilemmas that one might encounter in their jobs. I have summarized them to keep them short and simple.

1. Taking Things That Don’t Belong To You

Everything from taking highlighters from the storage room, to sending personal mail through the mailroom, to downloading unauthorized games to play on your work computer fall into this category. A CFO of a major corporation took a cab from the airport to his home in the city. When he asked the cabbie for receipt, he was handed a full book of blank receipts. Apparently this dilemma of accurately reporting business expenses involves more than just one employee.

2. Saying Things That You Know Are Not True

When a car salesperson insists to a customer that a used car has not been in a previous accident, when it has, an ethical breach has occurred. When a clerk in a store assures a customer that a product has a money-back guarantee, when only trade-ins are allowed, another ethical violation occurred (and perhaps a violation of the law).

3. Giving Or Allowing False Impressions

There is an urban legend in which 2 CD’s were being sold on a TV infomercial that claimed that that all the hits of the 1980’s were on the CDs. The infomercial emphasized over and over again that all songs were performed by the original artists. When they received the CDs, upon closer inspection, they found that all songs had been covered by a band called The Original Artists. While technically true, the impression given by the infomercial was false.

4. Buying Influence or Engaging in Conflict of Interest

When a company awards a construction contract to an organization owned by the brother of the attorney general, or when a county committee who is charged with choosing a new road construction company is traveling around the state looking at roads at the expense of one of the bidders, a conflict of interest arises which might affect the results of that choice.

5. Hiding or Divulging Information

Failing to divulge information from the results of a study on the safety of a new product, or choosing to take your companies proprietary product information to a new job are examples that fall into this category.

6. Taking Unfair Advantage

Have you ever wondered why there seem to be so many product safety rules and procedures? It is primarily the result of laws passed by government institutions to protect the consumer from companies that previously took unfair advantage of them because of their lack of knowledge or through complex contractual obligations.

7. Committing Acts of Personal Decadence

Over time, it has become increasing clear that the acts of employees outside of work can have a negative effect on a businesses image. This is one of the primary reasons companies are minimizing social interactions or events, outside of the office, so that drug or alcohol related events can not be tracked back to the company.

8. Perpetuating Interpersonal Abuse

At the heart of this category of ethical misbehavior is the abuse of employees through sexual harassment, verbal lashing, or public humiliation by a company leader.

9. Permitting Organizational Abuse

When an organization chooses to operate in another country, it sometimes butts up against social culture in which child labor, demeaning work environments or excessive hours are required. It is at this point that the leaders of the company have a choice…whether to perpetuate that abuse or alleviate it.

10. Violating Rules

In some cases, people or organizations violate rules to expedite a process or decision. In many of these cases, the results would have been the same regardless, but by violating the rules or required procedures for that outcome, they can potentially scar the reputation of the organization they work for.

11. Condoning Unethical Actions

Suppose you are at work one day and you notice that a colleague of yours is using petty cash for personal purchases and fail to report it. Perhaps you know that a new product in development has safety issues, but you don’t speak out. In these examples, failing to do right creates a wrong.

12. Balancing Ethical Dilemmas

What about a situation that would be considered neither right, nor wrong? What should be done here? Should Google or Microsoft do business in China when human rights violations are committed daily? Sometimes an organization must balance the need to do business with any ethical dilemmas that might arise from doing business.

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