Tag: comedy

The Importance Of Reading Fairy Tales In A Child’s Life

Street Soljanka

The Importance of Fairy Tales in a Child’s Life

Wisdom from Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment

I spent many delicious hours as a child reading fairy tales. Even today, many of the stories I devoured ring clear in my head, although I have not read them in perhaps forty years. Stories of dancing princesses escaping to an underground world of music and balls, the finding of a magic ring baked in a cake, the agony of a sister trying to free her brothers from a spell that has changed them into swans-these elements of fairy tales sank deep into my heart and imagination and continue with me today. Why is this?

As I pondered this question, I had a chance meeting with a woman who had run a Christian bookstore for years. She told me of the many parents who would come into the store looking for suitable reading material for their children. When offered fairy tales, they would shy away, fearing the dark and disturbing images that had the potential to frighten and traumatize their young ones. Their argument would go like this: “Fairy tales are scary and present the world dishonestly. They would make my child confused as to what is real and what is fabricated. They are full of ogres and witches and giants, so why should I allow my child to be terrified by things that aren’t even real?”

Because I write full-length Christian-based fairy tales, I decided to explore these questions and address these valid concerns of many parents. I thought back to a book I had read when my first daughter was born: Bruno Bettelheim’s famous book, The Uses of Enchantment. I remember the impact that book had on me, and because of its logic, chose to immerse my children in the world of fantasy and fairy tales throughout their childhood. Now that they are grown, I have asked them how these stories have shaped and affected their worldview and creativity. They have no doubt that their lives have been seriously enriched by this experience, and reading fairy tales has contributed toward their healthy and confident attitudes about the challenges and terrors of this life.

Bruno Bettelheim was a child psychologist, famous for his research on autism. The aforementioned book written in 1976 won him a National Book Award. I love what he writes in the introduction. “Wisdom does not burst forth fully developed like Athena out of Zeus’s head; it is built up, small step by small step, from most irrational beginnings. Only in adulthood can an intelligent understanding of the meaning of one’s existence in this world be gained from one’s experiences in it. Unfortunately, too many parents want their children’s minds to function as their own do-as if mature understanding of ourselves and the world, and our ideas about the meaning of life, did not have to develop as slowly as our bodies and minds. Today, as in times past, the most important and also the most difficult task in raising a child is helping him to find meaning in life.”

Working in the field of autism presented Bettelheim with the challenge of restoring meaning to the lives of severely disturbed children. He found most literature for young readers to be sadly lacking in the ability to accomplish this task, but also knew that literature held the best promise to pass on cultural heritage, which he felt was crucial. And this was what he deemed necessary: “To enrich [the child’s] life, it must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time relate to all aspects of his personality-and this without ever belittling but, on the contrary, giving full credence to the seriousness of the child’s predicaments, while simultaneously promoting confidence in himself and in his future.” He goes on to say how important it is that literature provide a moral education which subtly, and through implication only, “conveys to him the advantages of moral behavior.” His conclusion? “The child finds this kind of meaning through fairy tales.”

The German poet Schiller wrote: “Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life.” How can this be? Bettelheim says, “These tales start where the child really is in his psychological and emotional being. They speak about his severe inner pressures in a way that the child unconsciously understands and . . . offers examples of both temporary and permanent solutions to pressing difficulties.”

Parents longing to protect their children from evil, scary things in the world do well to remember that this is the world to which we are preparing them to face. By hiding that world from their awareness, by trying to postpone or color the harsh realities of life, we are doing them a great disservice. We have the Bible as the master example of frankness and the revealing and candid exposing of evil in its many forms. God did not censor murder, rape, betrayal, cruelty, incest, and even sexual passion from the pages of His word. Parents may argue that a young child does not need to learn about these things, and it is true-there is a time and season for all things, and some are best to cover when a child may be more mature to understand and emotionally deal with some of these things.

Here’s what Bettelheim says: “In child or adult, the unconscious is a powerful determinant of behavior. When the unconscious is repressed and its content denied entrance into awareness, then eventually the person’s conscious mind will be partially overwhelmed by derivatives of these unconscious elements, or else he is forced to keep such rigid, compulsive control over them that his personality may become severely crippled . . . . The prevalent parental belief is that a child must be diverted from what troubles him most: his formless, nameless anxieties, and his chaotic, angry, and even violent fantasies. Many parents believe that only conscious reality or pleasant and wish-fulfilling images should be presented to the child-that he should be exposed only to the sunny side of things. But such one-sided fare nourishes the mind only in a one-sided way, and real life is not all sunny.”

Rather than shelter children from life’s evils, we can equip them with the tools needed to face them head-on with confidence. Bettelheim says that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human experience. If one does not shy away, “but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious.”

The Elements of Fairy Tales

The fairy tale, according to Bettelheim, confronts the child squarely with the most scary subjects in life: death, aging, loss of a parent, being trapped or lost, and other stresses. The fairy tale simplifies all situations, allowing the child to come to grips with the problem in its most essential form. The figures are clearly drawn and the details, unless very important, are eliminated. All characters are typical rather than unique. Evil is as common as any virtue and both are usually embodied in the form of a figure or their actions. Evil is not without its attractions, “symbolized by the mighty dragon or giant, the power of the witch, the cunning queen in ‘Snow White.’ ” In many fairy tales the usurper succeeds for a time-as with Cinderella’s sisters and step-mother-but in the end, the evildoer is punished, and the moral is that crime does not pay. Because the child follows the hero through his or her journey, he can identify with the hero in all his struggles-suffering and triumphing with him. Bettelheim says that the child “makes such identifications all on his own, and the inner and outer struggles of the hero imprint morality on him.”

The most important element in fairy tales, to me, is the moral choice presented to the hero. The child learns that choices have consequences, and the child can choose what kind of person she wants to be. Only by “going out into the world” does the hero learn, and acquire happiness. The fairy tale is future-oriented and guides the child, so that instead of escaping into a world of unreality, she is given tools to help her develop character and courage to face what the world presents to her. Often the hero is lost, alone, frightened. These are feelings a child identifies with. Yet, her hero is guided and given help along the way because of his determination and courage. In this way, fairy tales work their own kind of magic, for in reading them, the child feels understood and enriched, giving the child what Bettelheim says is “an enchanted quality just because he does not quite know how the stories have worked their wonder on him.

“Fairy tales, unlike any form of literature, direct the child to discover his identity and calling, and they also suggest what experiences are needed to develop his character further. Fairy tales intimate that a rewarding, good life is within one’s reach despite adversity-but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles without which one can never achieve true identity.” This is a basic tenet of the Bible as well: that those who want to please God and obtain his favor need to endure difficulties; that these trials produce endurance, character, and hope, and that the hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).

So, do not discount fairy tales as a bad influence on your children. Rather, be selective, and choose age-appropriate stories to give to them. But do not be afraid of unleashing their imagination and letting them confront their darkest fears. By giving them heroes to identify with, you are letting those fears surface in a subtle manner, and allowing your child to find his courage and make moral choices vicariously-choices that will build his character and have influence on the rest of his life.

I look at my daughters, now grown, and see how that world of imagination and fantasy helped them to face evil and struggles, gave them confidence and courage, and stimulated their imagination which poured over into their art, writing, poetry, and music. We cannot hide our children from the evils of the world, and even explaining everything in a pat manner from God’s Word does not dispel the deep fears and worries a child has. Only by bringing them to the surface in a safe and imaginative way can we as parents help them mature and become responsible adults. I think of that word, responsible, as response-able, for that is our goal: to help our children become able to respond competently to any situation life puts before them, and fairy tales will help them do just that.

Club Penguin – Famous Penguins

view on Muiderslot from the castle gardens

In the gaming, snow covered world of Club Penguin, the residents are all penguins. These penguins live like real people, they have parties, they earn money, and they live in igloos and decorate their homes too. Since there are such similarities to real life, in the Club Penguin world there are celebrities too who are living amongst them.

These "famous penguins" can not be visited by all the other resident penguins. Only the moderators know where they stay. One famous group of penguins is "The Team". They are the original or the first moderators. They are Billybob, Happy77, Gizmo, Rsnail and Screenhog.

Billybob now writes the blog and also lets penguins know about the upcoming events. Happy77's profile is used as a model to other penguins to show what a moderators profile looks like. Gizmo's job includes taking care of all the parties. The servers and the technical side is looked after by Rsnail. The job of Screenhog is to design other penguins.

Another famous penguin in this world is Rockhopper. He is a pirate and visits this land once in 2 months aboard his ship called The Migrator. When he comes penguins are allowed to board his ship and buy some of the strange contents including a diary of Rockhopper's adventures. This penguin is a lot bigger than the normal penguins and is also dressed like pirates. Pirate clothes are unavailable to others.

One of the most famous set or group of penguins is the Band. The Band, a group of four musicians, attests all the big parties and events that take place at Club Penguin. The band has evolved from what it was in the beginning when the Club was a new concept. There is a drummer, an acoustic guitarist, a bass guitarist and a pianist.

Jock Itch or Herpes? Here’s How to Tell the Difference

Casa en Macharaviaya (Málaga)

A persistent groin itch is enough to make a sane man crazy, as part of the brain is always resisting the urge to scratch. Men with itchy, sore genitals might also be frightened of the cause of the itch, worried that the symptoms they’re experiencing might be due to something chronic, like herpes. While herpes is common, some cases of crotch itching are caused by more benign conditions, including jock itch. This article will outline the difference between herpes and jock itch and provide some penis health care tips that could help keep both conditions from causing aggravation.

Jock Itch: Causes and Symptoms

A tiny fungal spore, tinea cruris, is responsible for jock itch. Most fungus cells thrive in moist, damp conditions where light is sparse. Men who work out or otherwise engage in hot, steamy sports while wearing tight pieces of clothing create the perfect environment for this fungal infection. Symptoms can vary a bit from man to man, but most people with the infection report intense itching and pain centering on the inner thighs, buttocks or the groin.

Herpes: Causes and Symptoms

Herpes is considered a sexually transmitted disease, because contact with infected skin is necessary for the condition to take hold. Herpes can cause flu-like symptoms, including a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Those symptoms tend to appear in the days and weeks following infection, and they’re followed by an outbreak of wet-looking, incredibly itchy sores. The spots tend to stay in place for about 2 weeks, and they resolve on their own in time. An outbreak might recur at a later date, however, causing the same types of sores to reappear.

Key Differences

Jock itch can spread to the penis, but that’s not common. Instead, this rash tends to focus on the legs and the dark crevices of the body. Herpes, on the other hand, can infect the penis itself, and sores on the head of the penis are quite common. The itching symptoms caused by the two conditions can be quite similar, but the areas in which the itching takes place tend to be quite different.

The appearance of the two conditions is also strikingly different. Where jock itch tends to look a lot like a red rash, with a few tiny blisters on the edge, herpes infections look like heat blisters that are filled with fluid. When these blisters pop, they form painful, crusty sores. Jock itch doesn’t behave in this way.

Getting Better

Rashes and sores of any kind should be brought to the attention of a doctor. Medical professionals can use laboratory tests to determine exactly what is causing the itch, and they can prescribe appropriate treatments to keep that problem from spreading. Any man with an itch should put a call to the doctor at the top of his to-do list. With proper diagnosis, these self-care tips can help to speed healing.

Herpes is considered a chronic condition, because there are no specific medications that can completely eradicate the disease from a person’s body. Drugs can keep new outbreaks from taking place, but people who have herpes will need to take extra care to ensure that they don’t infect other people in the future. For men, this means using medications regularly, avoiding sex during breakouts and always wearing a condom. Applying a penis health crème can also help the skin to stay resilient and strong between outbreaks.

Jock itch, on the other hand, is far from hearty, and a few doses of antifungal cream can make the symptoms go away. By staying clean, men can ensure that the condition doesn’t come back. Quick showers after sweaty workouts can wash spores away, and following up that cleaning with a penis health crème (most experts recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can help the skin to stay soft and strong, which might provide a less hospitable environment for future infectious spores.

Analysis of Philip Levine’s Poem – "Starlight"

Casa en Macharaviaya (Málaga)

In introduction, I will identify and analyze various components of Philip Levine’s “starlight,” such as, speaker; situation; diction; imagery; figures of speech, and other elements of poetry. Throughout this article the preceding elements will be meticulously expounded upon.

The speaker of the poem I will termed as a ‘he’ because the poet is a male. The progression of the poem is vey climactic. In other words, it signifies a turning point like most works. For example, line # 21, which illustrates where ‘father and son’ meet eye to eye (thus, allowing the son to bask in the glow of the starlight with his ‘head up in the air’). In addition, he proceeded to ask his father the question that his father asked him earlier in the poem: “Are you happy?” The speaker’s point of view points to the reflections of himself as been an image of his father; growing up to be like his father, and ‘the father like son’ syndrome which, in a subtle way, is illustrated by the following lines: “I am four years old and growing tired (line 3) – in comparison to – … but I can smell the tiredness that hangs on his breath.” (lines 16-17) Moreover, the latter part of the poem corroborates this point, as well.

Of course, the point of view – as pointed out above – introduces the implied attitude of the speaker toward his view of the poem, thus setting the tone of the poem which is very somber and gray (which is in direct irony with its title, “Starlight”) with the use of keywords, such as, “growing tired; cigarette; moon riding low over the old neighborhood; alone; thick and choked; the tiredness that hangs on his breath; autumn, and boy slept never to waken in that world again.”

The structure of the poem is very interesting. Well, it seems to be written in a closed form upon viewing it, initially. Howbeit, when it’s viewed closer it can be noted that the initial letters of the lines are not capitalized; only where a new sentence begins. Therefore, I surmised that its structure is presented in an open form. Furthermore, there are neither visible breaks nor stanzas in the poem. I ponder, does the form represents “a tall, gaunt child (line 28) or a somber, gray tower of Babel (in its aborted attempt) to proclaim itself to be there among the stars (line 21)?”

The theme of this poem is one of comparison (both emotionally and physically) between speaker and his father as was illustrated in the above paragraphs – framed by it’s content – for instance, lines 8 and 22. In these lines, the same question was asked by both parties (which give a subliminal reference to their emotional state). Plus, lines 3 and 17 (‘tiredness’) give a subliminal reference to their physical well-being. In interpretation, these instances represent the speaker (a boy) ‘growing’ into his father.

The situation seems to be set in a small town. This assertion can be asserted by line 7 – “…low over the old neighborhood….” In addition, the site of this poem is assumed to be in Northeast America because of key words, such as, autumn; summer moon, and porch (usually, veranda – outside of the United States). Moreover, I deducted this particular setting because of the stimulation that I received from reading the poem which, of course, is very subjective. Furthermore, the experiences that is reflected in this poem allows me to draw on my own experiences as I draw a mental picture of what’s taking place in this poem. Thus, my response to the poem is very subjective to its classical sense of writing. Plus, my reaction to the dynamics is somewhat subdued although the dynamics of the poem has an evenly paced up – tempo style.

In regard to the poem’s style of writing/choice of words, specifically its diction – the diction used in this poem is very concrete. Excluding, of course, the poem’s last six lines and the quote, “Are you happy?” These quotes are abstract and are basically the engine that drives the poem. For example, these quotes are located in the beginning and ending of the poem. Likewise, the poem is detonation oriented except for the above quotes which are cloaked in connotation. The meanings I construed in reference to the above quotes (respectively) are expounded upon in the following sentences. The first quote deals with the speaker’s happiness in his state of being in comparison to his father’s happiness in his state of being (for example, the father said “yes” to the question while the speaker hesitated to answer). The last six lines deal with the transition (reflection) of the son growing up to be like his father in the future (“autumn…until the boy slept never to waken in that world again”).

Besides the ‘father-son relationship’ been the centerpiece of this poem. This literary work is very rich in imagery which captures my imagination. As I pointed out before, keywords such as: “the glow of his cigarette, redder than the summer moon riding” – lines # 5 – 6 – places me in the active scenery of the poem. It suffers me to see the poem as seeing it as a movie reel. I must say that his poem is visual (lines # 5 – 6), auditory (line # 22), olfactory (line # 25), gustatory (line # 16 – 17) and synaesthetic (line # 16 – 17).

Moreover, the figures of speech (specifically the metaphors) add to this poem, as well. For example, “…smell the tiredness that hangs on his breath.” – lines # 5 – 6. On the other hand, there is a limited use of similes and other figures of speech in this poem.

On the other hand, several elements of poetry are well represented. For example, “autumn” – line # 30 – symbolizes adulthood going onto old age. The syntax does not contain many rhymes (sounds) although rhythm and meter are maintained throughout the poem. Also, the whole irony of the poem projects the gloominess of the experience into the background of the ‘starry night’ – hence, the title: “Starlight.”

In conclusion, this poem was superbly written. The 1st person skillfully places me in the poem, thus making me an active participant of the poem. The poem makes an interesting reading. I’ve been exposed to new insights from the speaker’s point of view.

The History of Hair Extensions

Sissinghurst Castle and Garden - As Beautiful Without as They Are Within!

Hair extensions might seem like a new invention but in reality hair additions have been around as far back as the Egyptian times when both men and women work wigs. Since then hair pieces have been in and out of fashion ever since.

In 1800 fake hair was frowned upon and women left their hair to be natural until the Romantic era was in full swing when women wore elaborate Apollo knots. Come the mid Victorian era and hair pieces were used a lot more extensively. Then strangely in the early 20th century Edwardian women wore false hair additions to create the pompadour hairstyle which looked like a woman was wearing a teapot on her head. How that became fashionable I don’t really know!

Around the 1920’s less hair was the big thing so hair pieces took a dive around that time and it wasn’t until the 1940s when long hair came back into fashion and women starting indulging again. Then in the 1960’s big hair was back with a vengeance. Coils were the in thing or the updo as better known to us were seen of many women, this was created by very extravagant human hair pieces. Wigs made from real or fake hair were commonly worn around this time too and carried on into the early 70’s. Come the 80’s and big hair was in but only natural hair. Famous singers wore wigs but that was about it.

In the 1990’s hair pieces or wigs became a lot more affordable to everyone, not just the rich and famous. The famous spice girl Victoria Beckham has been credited for the latest fashion of human hair extensions. When she first got together with her now husband David Beckham it was a time when public interest in the couple was at a all time high and they were both photographed all the time and would be found on the cover or most newspapers and magazines. With this sort of publicity everything about the couple was scrutinised. At that time pictures of Victoria were on the front of every paper or magazine with many different hair styles on view. Some days she had short hair, the next she had long and it was obviously these styles were created thanks to hair extensions. She even spoke about them and explained they were created with natural human hair which caused slight controversy as to where the hair came from.

Since then the trend has become much more widespread with lots of different people using them for different reasons. Teenagers looking for long hair have extensions as do older women trying to replace thinning hair. And many women use them just for special occasions. There are many different materials they are made from including a whole range of fake synthetics ones to gorgeous natural European hair.

Permanent hair extensions can cost a few hundred pounds for each application and they only last up to around 4 months. There are lots of different methods of attaching the hair some safer than others. With permanent hair extensions usually a small group of hair strands are collected which the hair is attached to. There are different types of adhesive including wax, glue, or heat all of which are not that great for your hair. When it comes to removing the extensions chemicals are needed and these can often leave hair damaged. Another option is to have the hair weaved on. It is known as ‘wafting’ and is a much safer option as no chemicals are needed.

The clip-on hair extensions come in a variety of different colours and lengths are the best option for non permanent hair pieces. They are very easy to use and as long as you get the right hair colour and texture of hair, no one will know your hair is fake. In fact I have sat next to a work colleague for months not realising that her long hair was in fact clip on hair pieces. It was only whilst getting ready for our Christmas works do that she pulled her hair off! I was shocked to say the least as her natural hair was just shoulder length and I had no idea.

Travel Blogging and Making Money: There's More Than Meets The Eye

3D painting of Shihgang District, Taichung - 2

People that are dreaming of having jobs while traveling will instantly think about those famous bloggers that get to see the great wall of China or float down the Amazon river, while they take awesome pictures and stamp on their laptop. Those who are travel blogging constantly receive the question about how to earn while traveling. How is it possible? How do you do it? People are either surprised or they are in disbelief that these people are actually getting paid to travel. Making a travel blog is not really that easy, but if you really love to travel, this is the ideal job for you and is all worth it.

How to Get Paid for Traveling

Making a travel blog is not all that glamorous. During the first year, you will find it exhausting and rarely rewarding. It's just like starting any other business-it takes a lot of blood sweat and tears when you start. But the payoff is when you are able to experience diverse cultures and observe wide arrays of scenery that will surely take your breath away. That's when you will say to yourself that this is the best job in the world.

The first consideration when starting your travel blogging job is how in the world are you going to make money. There are different ways in which you can make money through travel blogs and all these will generate the cash you need to go on your next expedition. The cool thing is that you can produce money from almost everything. But before you start counting your pennies, there is a lot of work that needs to be done within the first year or two. Becoming a travel blogger requires a solid foundation in order for your blog to be a success. That means your content must be great … not good, not alright, "great". You need to be direct with the message that you are trying to convey, as well as branding yourself and the travel site.

Creating a travel blog requires informative and quality content in order to create qualified leads. Trying to generate a following from scratch is difficult, so you need to pay attention and observe other professional and effective travel sites. These all have a basic navigation system that is easy to understand, online tools, social media accounts, and other resources. Observe their network and followers, as well as their media kit with positive testimonials from real people.

I do not care if you're the most famous writer in North America, it is never easy starting a travel blog from scratch and make money. If you are already prepared to work hard, do not give up and put forth a lot of time & effort towards this new business, it will be a lot easier on you, mentally. But, if you do not have the right frame of mind, or not prepared to work your tail off, your journey as a travel blogger will be short lived. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

When making a travel blog, it is essential that you find a teacher or mentor that can guide you in this experience. Having a mentor will save you from the pitfalls, mistakes and the large amount of money you have to invest during the first years of your job as a travel blogger. Remember that if you are doing the things you love and not getting paid, it's a hobby. You have to look at this as your only source of income because it's your job. But, it's a pretty sweet job that allows you to travel the world and live the life you want to live.

Different Kinds of Art

view on Muiderslot from the castle gardens

There are many different kinds of art. Some of the different kinds of art include original art, modern paintings, and art from the Impressionist era. Art that is original, by definition, is work that is one-of-a-kind and it can be any kind of art, not just a painting as long as it was created by the real artist himself or herself. Modern art is, by definition, art "of the present times." Finally, impressionist artwork is work in which the artist paints the picture as if he or she has just something very quickly. Art is one of the best ways to lose yourself in your thoughts, either when creating it or when viewing it.

Original art is the one-of-a-kind painting or work done by an artist. Original art is anything that is done by the artists themselves. Replicas of famous paintings like the Mona Lisa have been created, but it is easy for art connoisseurs to know what the real piece looks like. The best form of art is in its original form. Usually the original pieces of famous paintings can be found in museums all around the world. For example, the "Mona Lisa" is located at the Louvre in Paris, along with other Da Vinci works.

The contemporary art era is defined as any kind of modern art created from the 1900s to the present. This type of work wave artists the freedom to call almost anything art. It also created an escape from political and social turmoil through the ages. Some of the different categories of modern art include expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. Contemporary artists include artists such as Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, and Pablo Picasso, to name a few. Contemporary art sees to be a form that people either really love or really dislike. Probably the most interesting thing about contemporary art is that it can be anything. Before contemporary art, there were strict rules about what could and could not be art. After the modern art came along there were no boundaries anymore.

Surprisingly enough, impressionism is a form of contemporary art. Impressionist art is supposedly to be an image of something as if the person had just seen it briefly. It began in France, during the nineteenth century. Impressionist art features bright colors and scenes from outside. Impressionist art also focuses on real-life images and does not focus on the details of painting. Impressionist era painters include famous artists like Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

These kinds of art are only three of numerous different types of artwork. Original and contemporary art have only recently become popular, where impressionist art has been consistently popular ever since it's beginning in France. Anytime you are able to see great art by visiting a museum, you should take advantage of the opportunity. Viewing different kinds of art allows you to see what type of person you are. Creating art and viewing art are also great ways to lose yourself in your thoughts.

List of Filipino Folk Songs

The story that remains untold

Folk songs are, quite literally, songs of the people. And in determining the identity of a country, one can look no further than this form of music for clues to a particular culture. This list of Filipino folk songs offers a few examples of the many simple yet timeless tunes long since ingrained into the Philippine people’s consciousness.

BAHAY KUBO

This song is as familiar to Filipino schoolchildren as the “ABC’s” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are to kids everywhere. Credited to have been written by composer and 1997 National Artist for Music Felipe de Leon (1912-1992), it tells of the traditional Filipino rural house, the humble “bahay kubo” or nipa hut, and goes on to enumerate the various vegetables planted in its vicinity.

PAKITONG-KITONG

Also called “Tong Tong Tong Tong Pakitong-kitong,” this Filipino folk song has both a Tagalog and Cebuano version. It describes a crab that is delicious to eat, but hard to catch because of its snapping pincers.

MAGTANIM AY ‘DI BIRO

Credited to Felipe de Leon, “Magtanim Ay ‘Di Biro” (“Planting Rice is Never Fun”) describes the tedious chore of planting rice. It has been covered by Filipino rock band The Dawn, and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada even rewrote it into a much more “inspirational” version entitled “Kung Tayo’y Magtatanim” (“If We All Plant Rice”).

O ILAW

A popular example of the traditional Filipino love song genre “kundiman”, this song was made famous by Filipino singer and actor Ruben Tagalog (1920-83). The real title of the song is actually “Aking Bituin” (“My Star”), its current title having been derived from its first two words “o ilaw” (“o light”).

ANG PIPIT

“Ang Pipit” (“The Sparrow”) relates the story a sparrow who falls off the branch its perched on after being stoned by a cruel man. It was co-written by Lucio D. San Pedro (1913-2002) and Levi Celerio (1910-2002). Named National Artist for Music and Literature in 1997, Celerio had composed over 4,000 songs and has even been included in the Guinness Book of World Records for his unusual talent of playing music from a leaf.

SA UGOY NG DUYAN

Another collaboration from Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio. “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” (“The Swing of the Cradle”) is a haunting and nostalgic lullaby expressing the feelings of a child finding tranquil security in the arms of a loving mother.

SA LIBIS NG NAYON

This song describes the beauty and serenity of life in the countryside. It was written by Santiago S. Suarez and popularized by Filipina singer and “Queen of Kundiman” Sylvia la Torre.

BAYAN KO

Written in 1929 by Filipino poet Jose Corazon de Jesus (“Huseng Batute” 1896-1932) and later set to music by Constancio de Guzman (1903-83), “Bayan Ko” (“My Country”) was meant as a patriotic song protesting the American occupation of the Philippines. Since then, it has practically been a second national anthem for freedom-loving Filipinos, a theme song for some of the most momentous events in Philippine history. Its most famous rendition is the one by Filipino folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

It can be said that a country is defined by its folk songs. From this list of Filipino folk songs, we can gather that the people of the Philippines are a humble folk, full not only of mirth but also of deep aspiration. They are also an industrious people, with a love for the simple things in life, as well as a great yearning for peace and national freedom. And of course, the Filipino people are a talented lot, capable of crafting songs that reflect the nature of their beloved country.

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

Workshop of the Patanazzi family (active circa 1580-1620),Inkstand with Apollo and the Muses,Maiolica (tin glazed earthenware) 1584

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.

A Brief History of Rock and Pop Music

Údolí Labe

You may be wondering when exactly did rock/pop music begin? There’s no clear answer to this. Some might say that it started with the advent of rock n roll with Bill Haley and the Comets in 1952. Others would say Elvis, although not the first but surely the original truly global superstar. Yet none of these were really the first. Rock n roll has its roots in blues which has its roots back to the 19th century with black immigrants trying to escape from their slave driven lives. Fast forward to the early 20th. century and some of the earliest recordings on 78 began to appear. Players from this time such as Bobby Jo and Robert Johnson helped to form the structure of early blues

Robert Johnson had recorded only thirty songs during his short life as he was prevented from achieving true fame while alive by being poisoned by a jealous husband. He died shortly before he was being sought to appear at the ‘Spirituals To Swing’ concert in 1938 by record producer John Hammond. As a result, his reputation only took off after Hammond released an album of his recordings for Columbia in the early sixties. Later blues exponents like Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton admitted borrowing heavily from these early stalwarts.

In the 50’s, artists took the basic blues style and used electric guitars, drums and double bass for the first time creating early rock n roll, later known as rockabilly. Stalwarts like Chuck Berry, Buddy Hollie and Jerry Lee Lewis were the most famous protagonists here. Later Elvis in the US and to a lesser extent, Cliff Richard (later leading the Shadows) in the UK brought rock n roll to a truly worldwide audience. This paved the way for the 60’s beat era which could be considered the true beginning of pop music as we know it today, certainly as far as bands were concerned.

In the 50’s and early 60’s, it was mostly lead solo artists with just a backing band. With the advent of the beat era, bands dominated with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys from the US taking the world by storm. Even so, The Beatles later admitted being heavily influenced by those earlier rock n roll and blues artists. They mostly played rock n roll and blues covers at their pre-fame Hamburg concerts. in the early 60’s. The Beatles however, were the first band to successfully blend classical music textures with rock n roll to form perfectly crafted pop songs. While bands like The Rolling Stones continued with the mainly rock n roll theme,

The Beatles took their finely crafted style further in the seminal album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 1967 by utilizing new studio techniques and instruments never used before. They used a new instrument called ‘the Melotron’ This was basically a keyboard which played looped tape recordings. of real instruments. The most famous sound from this was probably the flute used on the ‘Strawberry Fields’ single recorded at the same time but later dropped from the album. The Melotron though, was cumbersome and unreliable and had a rather grainy sound. Even so It was regarded as the forerunner of the electronic sampler, invented nearly 20 years later. Infinitely more flexible than the Melotron, the sampler helped build the framework for modern pop,dance and R&B music.

The Beatles ‘Sgt.. Pepper’ album with its groundbreaking recording techniques was preceded the year before by their ‘Revolver’ album. These LP’s helped popularize a new wave in music known as psychedelic or acid rock, named after the mind bending effects of LSD drugs. Pink Floyd also recorded their debut album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ in the studio next door at the same time that The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper. It was reported that Pink Floyd were a direct influence to The Beatles as a result. This new style incorporated new guitar effects like Fuzz, flanger anger and delays. These were used along side the earliest portable synthesizers such as the therein and mini Moog. invented by Bob Moog.

In America, the Beach boys responded with the ‘Pet sounds’ LP in 1966 and later that year released the first big psychedelic hit ‘Good Vibrations’. About this time, the band ‘Jefferson Airplane’ recorded their debut album which was also the first LP to come out of the new San Franciscan music scene. This got the record industry’s attention and they had two of the earliest psychedelic hits ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Somebody to Love’ in 1967.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Jim Morrison joined with members of The Psychedelic Rangers and Rick and the Ravens to form ‘The Doors’ They were initially turned down by Columbia but were signed to Electra Records and released their self titled debut LP in 1967. The album included the 7 minute long hit single ‘Light my Fire’ one of the first to break the typical three minute pop and rock song barrier.

Back in Britain, radio broadcasting was very limited because the BBC were the only organization allowed to broadcast on the mainland and had just two pop music shows The Saturday club and Easy Beat Radio Luxembourg partially filled the gap but it was left to pirate radio, broadcast from ships out at sea with DJ John Peel’ which enabled the new style to reach a mass audience, often eclipsing the BBC in popularity. The BBC responded in the end with the advent of Radio 1 in June 1967. With the existing labor government making pirate radio illegal in Britain several months later, Du’s like John Peel rather than risk arrest joined radio 1 which had a much more informal and relaxed style as opposed to the staid and conservative approach favored by the BBC until then. This perfectly suited psychedelic pop and rock and John Peel championed this in his late night shows. playing new genres of music and introducing new and unsigned bands in the Peel sessions. He did this for nearly four decades until his death in 2004.

By the end of the 60’s after the break up of the beatles, mainstream music was about to change direction yet again both in style and fashion.