Tag: modi

Analysis of Philip Levine’s Poem – "Starlight"

Slot Zuylen Castle in Utrecht

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 Most Popular Fiction Authors in America By Number of Sales

Calle de Macharaviaya (Málaga)

It may shock you to know that there is no single repository of statistics for the number of books sold by an author. Likewise, there is no keeper of records on the sales of a particular book title. (Registering your book with the Library of Congress only protects the copyright. The library does not track sales.)

Authors or publishers get an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) that is unique to each book format. Thus, a title may have several ISBNs attached to it, one for hardback, one for paperback and one for an ebook. Writers may change publishers, and publishers may change their names, merge or disappear. Multiply this complexity by the sales made worldwide, and you can understand why the following figures have a tremendous margin for error.

This list includes only American fiction authors, who have sold over an estimated 100 million books. William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie, both Brits, are by far the largest individual sellers of books with an estimated 2-4 billion. Yes, that is billion with a capital B. Keep in mind that the numbers refer to the complete works of an author (including co-written works) and not a specific title.

The list is fluid in that younger authors will no doubt improve their rankings over their careers. Likewise, as populations and communications have increased, so has the exposure of these authors to an increasing audience. The added popularity gained when a book is made into a movie or television show can cause sales and rankings to soar.

The prolific series of children's or young adult books by RL Stine, Ann M. Martin, Stan and Jan Berenstein, Richard Scarry, Gilbert Patten or Norman Bridwell (from 400 to 80 titles each) average just 2 million units per title. Taken as a body of work, each of these writers has sold over 110 million books. Dr. Seuss wrote just 44 books with the same rate of sales and like Stine and Patten are in the top ten. Only one nineteenth century writer, specializing in rags-to-riches stories about young boys, is in the top ten. Horatio Alger wrote 135 dime novels.

Although only ten American women (one of those, Jan Berenstein co-wrote with her husband) made the top forty, a woman, Danielle Steel, came in at number one. She has sold between 500-800 million romance books and has written about 120 titles. Other best selling romance writers include Janet Dailey, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and the youngest and least prolific author, Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame. Other women in the top forty include gothic / horror author VC Andrews, which works are now ghost written by a man; Anne Rice, the queen of vampires; suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark; and forensic writer Patricia Cornwell.

Two Western authors made the top twenty. Louis L'Amour and Zane Gray have both sold over 230 million books. L'Amour is credited with over 101 books, while Zane Gray's count is unclear. Publishers sold about 24 of his books after his death in 1939, but a conservative estimate is around 55 titles.

Only one other American has done as well as Stephanie Meyer when it comes to selling the most books with the least number of titles. His name is Dan Brown. Thanks to Tom Hanks ( The DaVinci Code ) he has sold over 120 million books with just 5 titles. Likewise, only one name on the list is someone you may study in an American literature course. His name is Erskine Caldwell. You may have heard of his books, including Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre .

Mystery, suspense, thriller and private detective genres are often grouped together in the minds of readers. Together they represent the largest group of bestselling authors. Sidney Sheldon of television fame, Irving Wallace, champion of the underdog, and Mickey Spillane of the Mike Hammer series, have all reached their high rankings with roughly 25 titles. David Baldacci is gaining in rank with 25 titles of his own to date. The more fruitful authors include Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain), all of hover hover around the 100 mark. Straddling the middle ground of productivity with 50 titles is Rex Stout, famous for his Nero Wolfe series.

Legal and medical mysteries / thrillers are taken out for their occupational themes. John Grisham with 33 titles and Earl Stanley Gardner with 140 titles are the most noteworthy for their sales. Gardner, the Perry Mason writer may someday get surpassed in books sold given Grisham's continuing movie adaptations. In the medical field Robin Cook has 27 titles, while Frank G. Slaughter wrote 62 books before his death.

There are two top-forty writers who fall under the adventure genre. Harold Robbins has sold over 750 million books with just 23 titles. Clive Cussler has 37 books with less than 150 million in sales. Cussler, L'Amour and Gray are what many women consider romance writers for men.

Some writers just do not fit any mold. They not only stand out in their own unique way, but also define their genre. Among these are horror / fantasy writer Stephen King with 70 books to his credit and spy writer Robert Ludlum with 40 books. Michael Crichton of The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park is considered a techno-thriller / science fiction author. He wrote 25 books. James Michener had 47 titles to his historical fiction credit.

One last author that may surprise you wrote about 70 books, many in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He was eager to exploit his most popular fictional character, who has become an American icon. He even set up his own printing operation to publish his books. He became one of the oldest war correspondents in WWII and died in 1950. You may have heard of him, Edgar Rice Burroughs. If not, surely you've heard of his famous jungle character, Tarzan.

Getting a Job Through Social Networking

Trieste from Conconello before sunset. Italy [EXPLORE 28/08/2014]

Getting a job can be a hard process. With the right connections however getting a job can be a lot less difficult. Social networking is a good way to get connected with the people who can get you into a certain field such as a writer much easier. Writing in particular is a hard field to break into, there are so many people who try to become famous authors that there just is not enough room for all of them. A good amount also do not have the necessary skills to be writers, as such it is a lot harder to become a published writer. Many agents will not even bother taking new authors on without an existing author recommending them because of how many different bad questions they may get on any given day, so social networking can be very beneficial when it comes to breaking into a profession like this, and sometimes may be one of your only options.

By social networking you get to meet a lot of different people and learn who can get you into contact with who and who knows how to do this or that. Making friends with such people can help you down the road should you ever need to ask them for help. Since they know you they will be more willing to help you out than if you were just some stranger that randomly asked for help. Writing is just one example but there are many other areas where social networking can be just as helpful in finding a job.

In fact social networking is probably the best way to find a job doing anything at any time, if only for the fact that employers are more willing to accept people who are recommended by those who have already provided themselves as hard workers. They feel if the hard worker recommends them then they will most likely be a harder worker also, since people do not usually associate themselves with people who differ in the way they view and sometimes even do things which is why employers feel it is a safer bet to go with the recommended person more so than someone new who they have no knowledge of. So if you are finding it hard to break into a field try a bit of social networking, meet new people, and sometimes you may be able to find someone who can help you out.

Famous Bearded Collies in the Movies and TV

Δελφοί Ναός του Απόλλωνος Delfi Temble of Apollo

While Bearded Collies are known for their roles as show and working dogs, the breed has also been seen in television, movies and catalogs. Some of the credits which can be attributed to the breed include the Shaggy Dog, a 2006 comedy from Walt Disney featuring Tim Allen. Agent Cody Banks is a 2001 film which shows Cody walking through a scene with a Bearded Collie. In September 2001, in an issue of a Lands End catalog a Bearded Collie was featured. Other onscreen credits include Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, which was a television show from the 1960’s; the co-star was a Bearded Collie. Tiger, the dog from the Brady Bunch was also thought to be a Bearded Collie as well.

Most people are used to viewing a German Shepherd and traditional Collies on television and in movies, however, we often forget about the Bearded Collie. We just may have believed the shaggy, lovable dogs were picked because of how they looked. Perhaps on the other hand the breed was chosen because of their dependable nature and natural performing ability. Nobody can deny the lovability of the sweet shaggy dogs that played in some of the most memorable TV and movie roles. Whether in a working capacity or as a family pet, a Bearded Collie is a gentle, sweet natured dog that gets along well with children and other animals.

The gentility of the breed has made the dog a popular choice for both movies and other media outlets. It is obvious by the dog’s appearance that they are quite able to take commands well and perform on cue. In spite of the breed being traced to working origins, the dog seems to possess a natural ability to perform at will when necessary. Not only are Bearded Collies great show dogs, they are also exceptional in the capacity of working dog, family pet, or when used in an acting role.

With past experience being favorable for the Collie, we should expect to see more of these fluffy, even-tempered dogs in future media productions. The dog is a quick study and learns commands easily, making them ideally suited to media exposure on TV or in movies. We don’t often think of the dog when we see them on TV or in the movies, but when a producer is seeking a perfect dog for a television show or movie role, they need look no further than a Bearded Collie.

Before one considers bringing a Collie into their home they should realize the breed requires a regular grooming commitment which must be followed diligently. With a coat of long, shaggy hair, a Collie can track in all sorts of mud, leaves, grass and other debris into the home. The dog also has strict exercise requirements and needs the opportunity to burn off extra energy on a regular basis. When thinking about all the breeds to have as a family pet however, a Bearded Collie is a devoted, loving companion that is sure to adapt well into the role of happy pet with relative ease.

A Brief History of Rock and Pop Music

All dressed up!

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.

A Brief History of Rock and Pop Music

Shades of Praguian Yellow

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.

Did You Know That There Are Many Famous People With ADHD Who Have Lead Productive Lives?

tadelloeser ...

Yes, there are famous people with ADHD. Some have long since passed on into history but they have left their mark and we benefit from their contributions to the world and to society. Others are easily recognizable and are to be found in the acting and sports arenas, business world, etc. While there is still a stigma attached to anyone with a mental disorder it is worthwhile letting your child who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder know that they actually share the spotlight with some very notable and noteworthy individuals. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that schools display information in the form of posters regarding those celebrities and other famous people who have or had ADHD in a bid to eliminate the stigma associated with the disorder.

There are around ten million adults in the United States living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Given the enormity of this number it really should come as no surprise that a significant number of those who are famous for whatever reason should also be included in that figure. When this disorder is not treated the individual will suffer with poor concentration and will struggle with being organized which can understandably lead to greater problems in the person’s life.

Roughly sixty percent of children in the country who are diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience the associated symptoms even once they have attained adulthood. Alarmingly many children who are ADHD will remain undiagnosed with a number of them only getting diagnosed once they have reached middle age.

For children diagnosed with this disorder famous people with ADHD can really help them to cope better as they recognize themselves in these celebrities. For example the Olympic swimming champion, Michael Phelps has ADHD and he has been reported as saying that he oftentimes felt stigmatized while he was growing up. This was exacerbated by the fact that he had to collect his meds from the school nurse every day until eventually he convinced his mom to let him go off the medication. He used his competitiveness in the swimming pool to help him focus himself and attributes that with learning to manage his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In fact it has been shown that ADHD kids very often benefit from participating in competitive sports.

Other famous people with ADHD include actors and actresses such as: Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Dakota Fanning, Robin Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Jim Carrey, and so many more. Of course years ago it was not possible to diagnose ADHD and so there are many people in history who are believed to have had the disorder based upon written documentation that exists. Some famous people in history who are believed to have had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder include Pablo Picasso, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Christopher Columbus, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is no reason to feel ashamed or inferior. In fact if your child has been diagnosed with the disorder it might be a good idea to let them discover just how many well-known and influential people have as well. When it comes to treating the symptoms of this common childhood disorder there are generally two schools of thoughts. One advocates the use of ADHD medication to control the symptoms while the other suggests a more natural approach involving dietary changes and homeopathic remedies. Considering the fact that many of the drugs used in treating the disorder are known to be rather dangerous and with harmful side-effects it is certainly advisable to consider the natural approach as your first course of action. By changing the diet of the ADHD child it has been shown to greatly improve the symptoms, allowing the child to function better and lead a normal and productive lifestyle. Teaching the child relaxation techniques as well as helping them to focus on some activity, such as a sport they enjoy, can greatly benefit them and help them to live life to the full.

Technical Writing – What’s a Reading Level Anyway?

Puerta en Macharaviaya (Málaga)

“The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.”

Walt Whitman, 1819-1892, American Poet

The client said, “We want this written at a 10th-grade reading level.” I said, “What’s a 10th-grade reading level and how is it measured?” The client said, “Hey, will you look at the time! I have to leave right now.”

Similar experiences on a number of occasions made me think that people use the phrase reading level without actually knowing what it means. They read it somewhere and think they sound smarter if they can toss it into the conversation. That sent me on a quest to find out what it means and how it’s measured. Here’s what I found out.

First, this is an important issue, and one that’s not well understood or carefully considered by many clients and the tech writers who work for them. For writers with a lot of experience who write for a wide range of audiences, it becomes instinctive. They know their audiences. They know how to write in a way that the readers can understand. They make adjustments for the specific audience they’re writing for. For writers new to the business or with experience writing for a limited audience, it can be a problem when they need to write for an audience they’re not familiar with.

Next, when people say something is written at a tenth-grade reading level the target audience’s ability to read that concerns us. Someone could read “Uber der Welt so hoch” and still not understand it. The goal is to write in a way that the target audience can comprehend. That involves using vocabulary and sentence structure that fits the reading comprehension level of the audience. , it’s a misnomer. What they really mean is that it’s written at a tenth grade comprehension level or what’s called a readability level. It’s not

Finally, the good news. Readability can be measured. The experts in the field of linguistics know what a tenth-grade readability level is and how it’s different from another level. It’s not an exact science, but it’s well enough developed that it can be used by writers to help them hit the mark with more accuracy. We won’t get into the really technical aspects of the subject, but we’ll provide enough background and illustrations that you’ll know how to find out more about it.

Readability Formulas

Readability formulas are used to determine if a document is written at the right comprehension level for the target audience. There are a number of readability formulas used by various linguistic groups. For now, we’re going to focus on the Gunning’s Fog Index because it’s one of the most famous and one any writer can use. The index was developed by Robert Gunning in 1952. The basic idea is that the bigger the words and the more complex the sentences, the more difficult it is to understand the document. Small words and short sentences are still the easiest to understand.

For convenience, the Fox Index levels equates to the number of years of formal education a reader needs to understand the material. By the way, this is based on the American system of twelve elementary and high school grades with the number of years of college education numbered thirteen and up. A high school education is a level 12. A master’s degree would be about a level 16.

To put this in perspective, a typical big-city newspaper is written at a level 7 or 8. The belief in most industries is that anything above a level 12 is too hard for most readers to understand. Remember, the Fox Index is not an absolute measure. It is, though, when used over a range of samples, a very good indicator. Here are some Fox Index levels for popular publications.

Atlantic Monthly = 12

Newsweek = 10

Reader’s Digest = 9

True Confessions = 7

Most comic books = 6

(This article = 11.6)

The Fog Index Applied

Here is an example of the same information written at two different readability levels as measured by the Fog Index.

Example One: Untold numbers of eternally optimistic individuals buy lottery tickets with odds in the multimillions against their chances of realizing success. They’re sustained by a level of ignorance that keeps them from recognizing that the likelihood that such an unrealistic eventuality would actually occur is of an order of magnitude beyond their capacity to comprehend. They cling to the notion that if an event is possible it certainly must happen regardless of how great the statistical chances are against it. Their cry is always, “Well, somebody’s got to win,” which is sufficient to block even the brightest glare of the cold light of reason.

The level is arrived at by counting the number of words, the number of sentences, and the number of three-syllable, or longer, words. Then a formula is applied that gives the readability index level. In this example, there are 103 words, 4 sentences, and 20 three-syllable words. Using the formula, the Fog Index level is 18. That means the reader should probably have a doctorate to ensure comprehension.

Example Two: A lot of people who never give up hope buy lottery tickets even though the odds against them ever winning are enormous. What keeps them buying tickets is that they aren’t able to understand that the odds against them are so great that they can’t really expect to win. They believe that because something is possible, then it must happen no matter what the odds against it are. Saying, “Well, somebody’s got to win,” is enough to keep them from seeing the reality of the situation.

Using the same method, the 86 words, 4 sentences, and 6 three-syllable words in this example give a Fog Index level of 11. That’s a high school junior.

Now You Try It

Pick a text sample from a source you’re familiar with. It helps if it’s a fairly big block of text. The larger the sample, the more accurate the index figure is. For example, I selected two blocks of text from the guide that came with my Nikon camera. Follow me through the process:

1. Count the number of words in the sample. If there are hyphenated words, count each part as one word.

(My count: 120) (Your count: )

2. Count the number of sentences in the sample.

(My count: 5) (Your count: )

3. Count the number of big words in the sample: 3 or more syllables.

(My count: 3) (Your count: )>

4. Calculate the average sentence length. To do this, divide the number of words by the number of sentences. For example, 120 divided by 5.

(My number: 24) (Your number: )

5. Calculate the percentage of big words. To do this, divide the number of big words by the total number of words. For example, 3 divided by 120 = .02 = 2%.

(My number: 2) (Your number: )

6. Add the average sentence length to the % of big words.

(My number: 26) (Your number: )

7. Multiply the result by 0.4.

Fog Index (My level: 10th grade) (Your level: )

Now try it on something you’ve written. From what you know about your audience, does your Fog Index match with the readers’ comprehension level? It’s a very important question, and this formula can help you answer it.

For more information on readability formulas, use any search engine to find sites related to readability formulas, Passive Index, Flesch-Kincaid Index, or Lexical Density Test.

Teaching Vs Writing

Lone Tree, Snowdonia

“So which is really your passion? Is it teaching or writing?”, the school head asked me in a straightforward manner during my final interview with the panel. I paused for a while, smiled faintly, and paused again. Realistically, I could not give a concrete answer to such a crucial question.

“Both.” I resolved to say, hoping that it would give a closure to my self-delusion and self-paranoia. “I can do both, ” I reiterated my answer.

And that was the prime reason why I did not get the much sought after academic faculty position in that prestigious school. Days later when I began to analyze the repercussions of my behavior, I realized I should have defended my teaching capabilities more than my writing inclinations in order to get hired. Incidentally, I was applying to teach academic subjects and not to write for a magazine after all.

The aforementioned scenario led me to a noted K to 12 school where I was destined to display both of my passions in life. Fate gave me permission to explore my oral and written skills and relay them to my students who can appreciate my causes and pursuits in the academic world. In handling senior high school students, I was able to merge the inexplicable wonders of mentoring and penning ideas for the school community.

I am often pressed for a hardcore explanation why I chose the teaching profession. And just like most teachers, I find it compelling to be direct about the underlying reason for being a teacher. Thus, sometimes I can be indirect about my approach to the orthodox query: WHY DID YOU BECOME A TEACHER?

If I throw the classic question at myself, I have a temporal attachment to the matter. “I teach because it is part of my mission to share knowledge and uphold values to my students.” But is that all there is to it?

If I delve deeper, I may mention why I had to forego other tempting job offers in the past and why I stuck with the teaching post. In the true schema of things, I have formed an unbreakable bond with my students, both from the past and the present, a kind of bond that makes me miss them when it is summer vacation and there is no noise lingering in the classrooms, and when there are empty chairs and desks during quarterly breaks. I begin to recall their camaraderie and foolish pranks. I teach because my students make me embrace the fact that a person’s true happiness cannot be found on material wealth. Rather, my students make me aware of the awakening that in this life, you would be found unnecessarily soulless if you turn your back on your dire purpose in life.

Over the years, I have discovered and rediscovered the joys and pains of the teaching profession. There were times when I quit teaching, found a new lucrative profession, and then left again… only to return amidst the uncertainty of the situation. It has been a recurrent cycle of assurance and affirmation that I have been indeed been called and chosen to be a second mother, an elder sister and a best friend to my students. God led me to the teaching profession for a purpose. Dealing with my students has brought me much closer to my Maker because it is with my students that I experience the true meaning of companionship, generosity and above all, being entirely human.

Until when will I allow myself to teach? Maybe until my last breathing hour. And why am I writing this piece anyway? Because it by way of teaching that I can document the tremendous beauty and mystery of life in general.

Famous Bearded Collies in the Movies and TV

What do you think of it so far?

While Bearded Collies are known for their roles as show and working dogs, the breed has also been seen in television, movies and catalogs. Some of the credits which can be attributed to the breed include the Shaggy Dog, a 2006 comedy from Walt Disney featuring Tim Allen. Agent Cody Banks is a 2001 film which shows Cody walking through a scene with a Bearded Collie. In September 2001, in an issue of a Lands End catalog a Bearded Collie was featured. Other onscreen credits include Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, which was a television show from the 1960’s; the co-star was a Bearded Collie. Tiger, the dog from the Brady Bunch was also thought to be a Bearded Collie as well.

Most people are used to viewing a German Shepherd and traditional Collies on television and in movies, however, we often forget about the Bearded Collie. We just may have believed the shaggy, lovable dogs were picked because of how they looked. Perhaps on the other hand the breed was chosen because of their dependable nature and natural performing ability. Nobody can deny the lovability of the sweet shaggy dogs that played in some of the most memorable TV and movie roles. Whether in a working capacity or as a family pet, a Bearded Collie is a gentle, sweet natured dog that gets along well with children and other animals.

The gentility of the breed has made the dog a popular choice for both movies and other media outlets. It is obvious by the dog’s appearance that they are quite able to take commands well and perform on cue. In spite of the breed being traced to working origins, the dog seems to possess a natural ability to perform at will when necessary. Not only are Bearded Collies great show dogs, they are also exceptional in the capacity of working dog, family pet, or when used in an acting role.

With past experience being favorable for the Collie, we should expect to see more of these fluffy, even-tempered dogs in future media productions. The dog is a quick study and learns commands easily, making them ideally suited to media exposure on TV or in movies. We don’t often think of the dog when we see them on TV or in the movies, but when a producer is seeking a perfect dog for a television show or movie role, they need look no further than a Bearded Collie.

Before one considers bringing a Collie into their home they should realize the breed requires a regular grooming commitment which must be followed diligently. With a coat of long, shaggy hair, a Collie can track in all sorts of mud, leaves, grass and other debris into the home. The dog also has strict exercise requirements and needs the opportunity to burn off extra energy on a regular basis. When thinking about all the breeds to have as a family pet however, a Bearded Collie is a devoted, loving companion that is sure to adapt well into the role of happy pet with relative ease.