Tag: video

10 Steps to Effective Communication

THE OLD VILLAGE ON THE ROCK

At the root of any successful leader is a strong ability to communicate. Sure, there have been leaders who have ascended into the highest positions and not had that skill, but they likely didn’t last long. This point was illustrated recently as I listened to a NPR program about the failure of the big banks on Wall Street. When Congress grilled executives from these institutions about why they didn’t catch the risky investments that were being made that ultimately failed, their answers were all the same and quite simple – we didn’t know. It was their job to know and either nobody told them or they didn’t catch it in the data they had access to. No flags were raised; nobody asked so nobody told. This is definitely a communication meltdown that had widespread negative consequences.

What is communication? Communication in life is the pinnacle of every successful – and not so successful – relationship. According to Webster’s dictionary, communication is defined as a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication processes are sign-mediated interactions between at least two agents, which share a repertoire of signs, and semiotic rules. Communication is commonly defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs”. Although there is such a thing as one-way communication, communication can be perceived better as a two-way process in which there is an exchange and progression of thoughts, feelings or ideas (energy) towards a mutually accepted goal or direction (information).

Why is communication important? Often times, we have a message which we want to communicate or we want the receiver of message to understand our message in the same sense as we convey it. Take for example a company’s need to raise the cost of health insurance. Often times, this is conveyed through a written document to the employees at open enrollment time. The employee’s reaction is usually anger towards the company for making them pay more money for health coverage. The miss here is that the company is not sharing as much information as they should to help the employee understand how the raising cost of health insurance coverage affects the company and their contribution too. A company should give the employee a total compensation statement at that time so all employees can see how much the company invests in him/her as individuals. Giving each employee a clear, individualized picture and then telling the employee the cost is raising would change the way the message is received. There may still be anger, but it will be focused on the right culprit of raising costs, which are the insurance and medical companies and not the employer. Effective communication helps in that the message is enable to achieve its goals and helps in receiving the desired response from the reader of the message. Effective communication helps organizations in keeping good relationships with their customers and employees; forwarding information effectively helps in avoiding any dispute that can arise because of a misunderstanding.

The 4 Types of Communication. I used to work with someone who I refer to as a “chit-chatter.” He’d walk the halls every day knocking on doors and say, “do you have a minute?’ An hour and a half later he’d still be sitting there rambling. I learned very quickly that my body language could help deter this activity without me having to be rude or disengaging. When Mr. Chatter would show up at my door and say, “do you have a minute?” He’d start to walk in the door before I would answer and I would throw my hand up in the “stop” mode. I would say, “actually, I’m in the middle of something right now, can I get you on my calendar for later today?” His answer was always, “Oh. No, I just came by to say hello.” That one gesture changed the whole dynamic of the conversation. There are 4 types of communication that are present in our lives: verbal, non-verbal, written and visual.

Verbal Communication: Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking. Language is said to have originated from sounds and gestures. There are many languages spoken in the world. The bases of language formation are: gender, class, profession, geographical area, age group and other social elements. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and is again classified into two types viz. interpersonal communication and public speaking. Good verbal communication is an inseparable part of business communication. In a business, you come across people from various ages, cultures and races. Fluent verbal communication is essential to deal with people in business meetings. Also, in business communication self-confidence plays a vital role which when clubbed with fluent communication skills can lead to success. Public speaking is another verbal communication in which you have to address a group of people. Preparing for an effective speech before you start is important. In public speaking, the speech must be prepared according to the type of audience you are going to face. The content of your your speech should be authentic and you must have enough information on the topic you have chosen for public speaking. All the main points in your speech must be highlighted and these points should be delivered in the correct order. There are many public speaking techniques and these techniques must be practiced for an effective speech.

Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion. Creative and aesthetic non-verbal communication includes singing, music, dancing and sculpturing. Symbols and sign language are also included in non-verbal communication. Body language is a non-verbal way of communication. Body posture and physical contact convey a lot of information. Body posture matters a lot when you are communicating verbally to someone. Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the signals conveyed by a body posture. Physical contact, like, shaking hands, pushing, patting and touching expresses the feeling of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Reading facial expressions can help you know a person better.

Written Communication: Written communication is writing the words which you want to communicate. Good written communication is essential for business purposes. Written communication is practiced in many different languages. E-mails, reports, articles and memos are some of the ways of using written communication in business. The written communication can be edited and amended many times before it is communicated to the second party to whom the communication is intended. This is one of the main advantages of using writing as the major means of communication in business activity. Written communication is used not only in business but also for informal communication purposes. Mobile SMS is an example of informal written communication.

Visual communication: The last type of communication out of the four types of communication, is the visual communication. Visual communication is visual display of information, like, topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication.

What is Your Communication Style? I come from a family where being direct is considered combative. To me, honesty is the best policy and the only way to be honest is to be direct. Of course that ends up causing conflict between myself, my mother and my siblings because they would rather agree with the person to their face then disagree behind the scenes. My style is direct and their style is harmonious (with a bit of passive aggressiveness in my opinion, but that’s a blog for another time!) I have adjusted my style to reduce the conflict and I have learned to get my point across without ruffling anyone’s feathers. Does it always work? No, but it has reduced my stress and those around me. It is critically important to know your style of communication and recognize the style of others so that you can learn to be flexible in your message without compromising it and drastically reduce the possibility of miscommunication. I found an interesting article that had some critically important information relative to communication style: The 21 most important words in the English language:

The two most important words:

Thank You

The three most important words:

All is forgiven

The four most important words:

What is your opinion

The Five most important words:

You did a good job

The six most important words:

I want to understand you better

The least important word:

I”

The Power of Listening: There is nothing that will derail effective communication quicker than one of the parties not really listening to the other. This recently happened to a client with the financial aid office of the University of Michigan, where his child attends school. Every single person that he have dealt with in that office since his child first attended there in 2009 had been short, curt and robotic in conveying the Federal guidelines for student aid. Clearly, there is a budget they adhere to and there is no going outside the box, which is a total disconnect for him as the recipient of financial aid when he attended the Western Michigan University years ago. HIs perception was that the financial aid office exists to help student find a way to fund their education when they don’t have money out of pocket to cover the entire cost. The University of Michigan’s Financial Aid Office employees make it clear through their words and non-verbal communication that their mission is to limit the amount of funds that go to each student to meet some secret budget goal. He tried on several occasions to explain this to the head of the department and each time she twisted it around and blamed him for misunderstanding the counselors, or not following their guidelines, or taking what was said out of context. Not once did she acknowledge that she heard what my client was saying or that she would try and help him find financial resources to help him cover the $26,000 annual cost of school. His child asked, “How can I find more money to go to school?” The counselor responded, “By getting married, having a baby, joining the military or your parents dying.” He said, “None of those are a remote possibility, to which he responded, “Well maybe you should have chosen a school that was more affordable to you.” His child worked hard to get accepted to U of M and he worked hard to save enough money for him to go there. The counselor was actually conveying the Federal guidelines of student aid to him, but it was the way he conveyed it that was totally inappropriate. When my client brought it to the attention of the department director, she was very defensive and blamed the entire issue on me in that he wasn’t accepting that these were the guidelines. That wasn’t the point, but rather there is a right way and a wrong way to say, no, which is exactly what they were telling his son in terms of getting more aid. The last exchange my client had with the department head, she said, “Please accept my apologies for any response you feel was inappropriate.” My client didn’t feel the responses were inappropriate, they were. He totally understands the Federal guidelines, and she repeatedly and robotically recited them to him over and over and over again, missing the point. Putting the blame back on my client and his son clearly showed she never listened what I was trying to say and my client wasn’t heard. That’s an unfortunate gap between a parent and a major function at a major institution.

Managing Conflict: To say my client had a conflict with the U of M financial aid office is an understatement. It was a major communication breakdown, one I’m sure he’ll pay the price for at a later date – literally. However it is a normal part of life to have conflict at home, in the workplace, in any situation where two or more people are exchanging information. What is key is how we manage conflict and bring it to successful resolution. In the case of the financial aid office, my client has agreed to disagree, take what they will give and find another resource to cover the gap in tuition. The head of that office will never get what was said to her and he can live with that, it’s her loss. There are many effective ways to defuse a tense situation and one thing that has been successful is to decide – what can you live with and what are you not willing to budge on? Knowing conflict happens and being armed with tools to manage through it and resolve it are keys to having the right mindset while it is happening. My client’s situation was unfortunate but not personal and I guarantee he is not the first nor will he be the last to experience a brick wall when it comes to the U of M financial aid office. Removing the emotion and defusing the situation helped bring this to a reasonable conclusion.

How Your Attitude Affects Communication: Every attitude is a combination of feelings, beliefs and evaluations. Behavior refers to the reactions or actions of an object or organism and attitude predicts behavior. Persuasive communication changes attitudes, which then affects behavior, which then creates a more productive environment. Persuasive communication involves openly trying to convince another to change their behavior and only works when the source is credible and trustworthy. Addressing trust and credibility first among your coworkers and other critical relationships you have lays a strong foundation. Learning to clearly state your position, followed by supporting arguments and obtaining others’ agreement are the keys to persuasion.

Giving and Receiving Feedback: Feedback is a type of communication that we give or get. Sometimes, feedback is called “criticism,” but this seriously limits its meaning.

Feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in what they are trying to accomplish, or how they affect you. It provides a way for people to learn how they affect the world around them, and it helps us to become more effective. If we know how other people see us, we can overcome problems in how we communicate and interact with them. Of course, there are two sides to it: giving feedback, and receiving it.

Getting Feedback: Some people experience feedback as pure criticism and don’t want to hear it. Others see it as spiritually crushing; a confirmation of their worthlessness. Still others only want to hear praise, but nothing that might suggest imperfection. That’s not the case for everyone, of course. Some people are willing to accept feedback and seek it out, even if it is sometimes disturbing, because they believe they can grow from it. It comes down to whether you believe feedback will harm you or benefit you.

This is not to say that we should always have to accept feedback or the manner in which it is sometimes given. We all have the right to refuse feedback, and we can expect feedback to be given in a respectful and supportive manner. But for every positive and open way of accepting feedback, there’s an opposite; a negative and closed manner which pushes feedback away and keeps it at bay.

Negative/Closed Style

Defensive: defends personal actions, frequently objects to feedback given. Attacking: verbally attacks the feedback giver, and turns the table. Denies: refutes the accuracy or fairness of the feedback. Disrespectful: devalues the speaker, what the speaker is saying, or the speaker’s right to give feedback. Closed: ignores the feedback, listening blankly without interest. Inactive listening: makes no attempt to “hear” or understand the meaning of the feedback. Rationalizing: finds explanations for the feedback that dissolve any personal responsibility. Patronizing: listens, but shows little interest. Superficial: listens and agrees, but gives the impression that the feedback will have little actual effect.

Positive/Open Style

Open: listens without frequent interruption or objections. Responsive: willing to hear what’s being said without turning the table. Accepting: accepts the feedback, without denial. Respectful: recognizes the value of what is being said and the speaker’s right to say it. Engaged: interacts appropriately with the speaker, asking for clarification when needed. Active listening: listens carefully and tries to understand the meaning of the feedback. Thoughtful: tries to understand the personal behavior that has led to the feedback. Interested: is genuinely interested in getting feedback. Sincere: genuinely wants to make personal changes if appropriate.

Giving Feedback

The other end of feedback is giving it. Some people deliver feedback with relish; after all, it’s easier to give advice than take it. Some use feedback as a weapon, or offer it as tit-for-tat. For others, feedback is a great way to be critical. How you deliver feedback is as important as how you accept it, because it can be experienced in a very negative way. To be effective you must be tuned in, sensitive, and honest when giving feedback. Just as there are positive and negative approaches to accepting feedback, so too are there ineffective and effective ways to give it.

Ineffective/Negative Delivery

Attacking: hard hitting and aggressive, focusing on the weaknesses of the other person. Indirect: feedback is vague and issues hinted at rather than addressed directly. Insensitive: little concern for the needs of the other person. Disrespectful: feedback is demeaning, bordering on insulting. Judgmental: feedback is evaluative, judging personality rather than behavior. General: aimed at broad issues which cannot be easily defined. Poor timing: given long after the prompting event, or at the worst possible time. Impulsive: given thoughtlessly, with little regard for the consequences. Selfish: feedback meets the giver’s needs, rather than the needs of the other person.

Effective/Positive Delivery

Supportive: delivered in a non-threatening and encouraging manner. Direct: the focus of the feedback is clearly stated. Sensitive: delivered with sensitivity to the needs of the other person. Considerate: feedback is intended to not insult or demean. Descriptive: focuses on behavior that can be changed, rather than personality. Specific: feedback is focused on specific behaviors or events. Healthy timing: given as close to the prompting event as possible and at an opportune time. Thoughtful: well considered rather than impulsive. Helpful: feedback is intended to be of value to the other person.

The Importance of Feedback

Feedback is a must for people who want to have honest relationships. A powerful and important means for communication, giving feedback connects us, and our behavior, to the world around us.

Communication and the Digital Age: There are now multiple means of causing communication barriers between people; texting, Facebook-ing, Twittering, instant messaging, voice mail and email to name a few. Stephen Covey’s Time Management program preaches for us to be the master of technology versus letting technology being our master. I recently attended a baseball game and when I looked around the stadium, I saw a sea of people looking at their cell phones. They were texting, taking pictures, uploading them to Facebook, talking – it was a new age of mass media blitz. I frequently get instant messages from clients and potential clients asking me in-depth life changing questions and expecting a simple answer in return. It’s hard to be an effective communicator in the digital age unless we learn how to use these means in a persuasive and appropriate manner. A client of mine has an employee who constantly fires off scathing emails. My client gets constant complaints about the employee who is perceived as being combative and abrasive. I advised her to sit down with the employee, show her examples of the inappropriate emails, advise her to a 24-hour “cool down” period, then initially reviewing the emails with someone they can trust before hitting the send key. A month later the client reported that 9 out of 10 emails were scrapped before sending. The employee then learned the skill of not reacting via email to other communication that was angering her. It is especially important in this economic climate where we’re doing much more with much less and tensions are high.

Ask yourself the following questions:

How would your professional and personal life change if you could successfully master these basic skills? Can you afford not to make the investment to improve your communication? You will be amazed at the startling turn your life will take once you learn how to communicate effectively and successfully. Did you know that the most important asset to a company or to a client is a person who communicates effectively, someone who has the ability to influence and persuade others? Are you communicating successfully and effectively to influence others or are you just talking?

i. 2007, Stoney deGeyter; Pole Position Marketing. ii. 2009, Phil Rich, Ed.D., MSW, DCSW; Self-Help Magazine.

What Is the USPS EPacket Service

the lonely tree

In January 2013, the USPS will be increasing their rates for First Class International Mail for packages dramatically. In many cases, the rates to ship a package internationally will double. Although this may seem like very bad news to many Amazon and eBay sellers, there is some good news. The USPS is officially launching a new International Service called Commercial ePacket in the United States.

Commercial ePacket is a USPS product offered via the services of a USPS approved Pre-Qualified Wholesaler (PQW). This service seems to be very beneficial to many shippers sending lightweight low value items overseas. Amazon & eBay sellers can now take comfort in the fact that they will no longer have to prepare the documentation and required labels for exporting from the USA. The USPS PQW that you select, will take care of all the necessary documentation. In addition, all eRetailers can now track these packages on USPS.com to the 14 participating countries.

Some key features of the Commercial ePacket Service are as follows:

  • Economical eCommerce postal product with tracking and delivery confirmation
  • Lightweight low value merchandise, < 2 Kilos & < $400 value
  • Dispatched as commercial Letter-Post Packets and utilizes overseas foreign prime post network.
  • Transit time is 4-7 days
  • Postal Customs Clearance (Duties & Taxes paid by recipient)
  • Free returns on undeliverable items
  • Tracking is performed right on USPS.com
  • 14 Participating countries: Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, Spain. Ireland, Finland, France, Portugal, and UK.
  • Delivery scan rates of 90% on average for all countries
  • Pricing provided by a USPS approved PQW
  • Induction sites are New York, Chicago, & Los Angeles
  • Acceptance scan by USPS and delivery scan by foreign post
  • Unique Label and Barcode ID – LX item prefix
  • Electronic manifesting, labeling done by Pre-Qualified Wholesaler, & dropped off in sacks ONLY

How does ePacket work?

Customers would contact a USPS PQW in their region and speak with someone regarding how they can get started. Ideally you would want to select a PQW who has mailing capabilities in all three acceptance cities. This becomes extremely important during inclement weather and natural disasters. Using a PQW with multiple facilities located in all 3 acceptance facilities ensures that your mail can be re-routed to another acceptance center if one becomes closed or has no flights departing as we saw during Hurricane Sandy.

The PQW will walk you throught the process of setting up your labels and data capture features. Once you have all of the data capture features running, you will either send your shipments or the PQW will dispatch a vehicle to your location. Each day you will need to provide the mail you are dispatching and send a manifest electronically outlining all the customs information for each package.

Once your packages arrive at the PQW, the PQW will confirm that they have received your electronic manifest for that particulars days shipment. If the PQW does not receive your manifest they can not process your mail through the Commercial ePacket service. After receipt of your manifest the electronic information will be uploaded into the USPS system and all the labels and necessary customs documentation will be generated. The packages will then have the proper labeling and will be sacked by country of destination and delivered to the USPS designated International Service Center (ISC).

Once accepted at the USPS ISC, the sacks will be opened and every package scanned as evidence of posting and placed on the next available outbound flight for that destination country. After flight arrival, the packages will clear through customs via the Postal Customs Clearance mechanism. This ensures that your packages move quickly through the clearance process and will not be impacted by typical delays incured by the normal airfreight clearance system.

After Clearance, packages will then be entered into the PRIME network and will receive priority processing within the destination country. Customers that are waiting to receive their packages, can have confidence that they will see the tracking information directly on the USPS website. This one feature should eliminate many customer service calls that many Amazon & eBay sellers receive daily from their customers.

Once the packages make it through the postal system of the destination country, the package will be scanned as delivered by the mail carrier once it is delivered.This scanning event will then be uploaded into the USPS site and available to all who wish to monitor the progress of each shipment.

Based on my initial findings, this service seems to be an excellent offering for companies shipping 100 or more packages daily. However, some customers that are shipping less than 100 packages per day, may also be able to benefit from this service if they decide to consolidate one or two days worth of orders before dispatching. Obviously, each customer has their own idiosyncracies that may factor into when a service like Commercial ePacket becomes beneficial. However, depending upon how far you are from JFK Airport, O’hare International Airport, or Los Angeles International Airport it may become feasible to use the service daily even if you have less than 100 packages daily. For specifics regarding the service, I would contact a USPS approved PQW today.

DIY Penis Rings for DIY Fun

Lluent.

In the world of male sex toys, the penis ring may well be the most popular and widely used. Even though dozens of manufactured rings are available, some men prefer to go with a homemade version. As long as attention is paid to ensure proper use and continued good penis health, homemade penis rings can be a fun DIY experience.

Why homemade?

There are a number of reasons why a man might prefer a DIY penis ring to one that can be purchased at a sex toy shop or online. Some of these reasons include:

1. Cost. There can be a wide variation in the cost for these special rings; a basic rubber model may be only a few dollars, but a more deluxe version with vibrating capacity can easily go $ 20 or higher. Frugal shoppers may prefer a DIY method to save a few bucks to spend on a special date (or to stock up on condoms).

2. Embarrassment. Some men just do not feel comfortable going into a store, standing in the sex toy aisles and then paying for a choice at the cashier. Even ordering online may be embarrassing for some men – or they may just not want to have it show up on their shared credit card statement.

3. Creativity. We are living in an increasingly DIY world; more and more, people like to individualize everything from their cell phone covers to their wardrobe choices, so why not their sex toys? A homemade ring gives a man the opportunity to let the toy say something special about him.

4. Trial run. It's not a bad idea for a man to try out a ring with an inexpensive home version to see what he thinks before taking the plunge with the "pro" models.

What can one use?

A penis ring is a circular device typically worn over the penis or (more usually) the penis and testicles. It restricts the flow of blood into and out of the penal; this can often increase both the firmness and the duration of a man's appreciation.

Any object that can fit around the genitals and provides some tightness can be used. Some popular DIY options include:

  • Shoelaces or other strings. This is one of the easiest options. Simply tie up the genitals in the appropriate manner. Because it is tied, this option is easy to loosen or tighten as desired and usually easy to remove.
  • Rubber bands. These are also popular, although it's typically a good idea to use a good lubricant when applying; otherwise, the rubber bands can be a bit painful when removing. There is also the risk that the rubber band may snap or become too tight.
  • Rubber bracelets. Many of the popular rubber bracelets found on the street are a perfect size for use as a penis ring. Again, proper lubrication is required.
  • Plumber's rings. Many plumbing supply stores sell rubber or metal rings for various plumbing uses that are an appropriate size for genital rings. (Lubrication, of course, is a must.)

Use with care

As with any sex toy, appropriate care must be taken when using a penis ring. Sufficient lubrication is always a good idea. Other things to remember are:

  • Use only for a limited amount of time. Some men want to walk around with an appreciation for hours at a time, but this can cause damage to the penal. It's best to use a ring when embarking on a sexual experience (solo or with a partner) and then to remove it as soon as the experience is over.
  • If there is any pain, discomfort or numbness that occurs with the ring, loosen or remove it altogether.
  • Consult a doctor before using with medications intended to treat erectile dysfunction.

A homemade penis ring can be an excellent introduction to this form of sex play; for some men, the ensuing sexual activity may result in a sore (if very happy) penis, so always use a high quality penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) for after-care. The soreness of an overworked penis will respond to the benefits of a high end emollient such as shea butter and a natural hydrator like vitamin E. But make sure the cream also includes L-arginine, an important ingredient in helping to maintain proper penis blood flow.

The Relationship Between Dance and Music

~ Wonderful Pretty Mansion ~

What exactly is dance? Dance is an art form which expresses ideas, emotions, spiritualism and stories through graceful, rhythmic and coordinated body motions consisting of steps, turns, shakes and other movements. What music and dance share in common is actually rhythm, one of the core components of music, along with pitch. In fact, there can be dance with rhythm alone, usually performed on percussion instruments, such as is common in several West African and Middle Eastern countries. However, most dances are also based on melody. This, of course, is very natural. You will even notice a baby eagerly bounce up and down upon hearing a song. He is, essentially, dancing to rhythm and melody.

Dance is actually very important for a musician to know. It is an auxiliary subject. Just as an actor does not study acting alone but studies the whole range of performing arts, including dance, a musician should also know the broader scope of his subject. In fact, some of the most world-class composers even composed whole sets of music based on dance, usually known as suites or independent movements. This was especially prevalent after the Renaissance and during the Baroque periods, though it is continued on, even to this day. Examples of such dances include the bourrée, minuet, jig, courante, sarabande, barcarole, mazurka, tarantella, bolera and waltz, to name a few.

Some forms of dance emphasize a control of a certain body part, such as Irish stepdancing (legs), the Tahitian tamure (hips) and the Balinese Kecak (arms). Dance in general will help a musician learn to gain better control over his body, which is something to master while also playing an instrument. Stiffness will tend to go away and one will become more relaxed and flexible so as to move with ease while performing his instrument. Some Persian and Armenian dances, for instance, simulate energy being released from certain gestures with the arms, wrists and hands. For a pianist, say, this would be invaluable to master. The musician, knowing dance, plays the music that inspires dance, which, in turn, motivates him to motion. This, in turn, becomes momentum for more expressive playing. In this way, dance and music compliment each other.

This interrelationship between music and dance is so profound that it is even one of the most sacred of all expressions, being ritualistic in many religions and even considered one of the highest forms of connecting with a deity.

by Evelyn Simonian

© 2011. Evelyn Simonian

The Purpose of the Science Fiction Novel

Gateway to Upper Wharfedale

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.

Most Common Office Stationery Items and Their Importance

Ystad

Office stationery items are the must have accessories for significant office operations. Even the workplaces with computers depend upon various stationery items with very important roles to perform. These items help in carrying out some important workspace functions in an efficient and effective manner.

As a business owner, you must survey and learn about the most commonly used stationery items in workspaces. Obviously, you would like to purchase more quantity of those items from office stationery suppliers that are in great demand. So, here is a list of items that a working environment requires the most.

Office Papers

Papers are required in the offices for printing purposes, for taking notes, to prepare documents and many other important functions. Papers are required to send proposals as well as invoices. So, you must offer office stationery items like A4 sized papers, paper notebooks and notepads, photo paper and so on.

Items to Write

Pens are among the most required items in a workplace. Apart from ball pens and fountain pens, the office owners require markers and highlighters as the useful writing items. Pencils and erasers are other items of great interest for the office owners. Going ahead, items like whiteboards are of importance for many workplaces. You must consider these items among the most purchased stationery items for the offices.

Diaries and Calendars

Other useful office stationery items include the things that help the office owners to prepare their schedules and remember the important dates. Desk calendars are the items that can be easily found on the working tables of the office owners. For this purpose, you must supply office diaries and calendars to the office owners.

Files and Folders

Every office owner likes the office to look organized. So, an important category of office stationery is that of files and folders. Paper folders and card holders are the common items purchased in this category. Report covers and document binders are other items of interest for the office owners. All these items should be included in the product base of your office stationery business.

Various Office Equipments

A modern office setup requires variety of equipments to work smoothly. Here are some important items that you must sell as office stationery:

Calculators and scientific calculators are required at offices for easy calculations.

Imaging equipments like computer printers, fax machines and photocopiers are among the most desired office items.

Presentation equipments like screens and projectors are other frequently used items in an office.

Paper weights and paper clips are other things that are required in offices to keep everything in place. Paper cutters and sticky notes are other useful items that maintain the interest in working efficiently. Staplers and envelopes are other such items that you must supply as office stationery. Finally, adhesives and shredders are items that add usefulness to the working environment at offices.

You can find office stationery suppliers at business directories on the web. Make sure that you obtain the above-mentioned items to make your business a one-stop destination for the office owners.

Culture

Munch, Edvard (1863-1944) - 1890 Spring Day on Karl Johann (Billedgalleri, Bergen, Norway)

In the present-day world there are few people who reject the phenomenon of globalization. The world is becoming more and more global in the sense that people of various cultures start to communicate more freely. Furthermore there are means to communicate thoughts and ideas across cultures such as television, the internet and so on. Even though it is so common to believe that knowledge, experience, science are capable of transcending all cultural differences, many people lessen the importance of those barriers and oftentimes disregarding their existence.

All cultures have a set of beliefs that institute the code of values ​​and moral laws for that particular culture. In Asia for example people were exposed to certain social phenomena and inevitably adopted certain beliefs that now determine their behavior as a separate culture. In other countries people share different beliefs and values ​​due to a variety of factors. Religion is one of the most important factors that shape the society in terms of its cultural beliefs and traditions. Another important component is history that can tell us about the events of the past that might have had some influence on the further development of people in that particular country.

Cultural differences present a very interesting social phenomenon to study and understand. There are cultures that share very similar values ​​and traditions and there are cultures that have very different beliefs. In the confines of this paper, I will focus my attention on the differences between Chinese and American cultures that in my opinion present very good examples for this study. There are myriad differences in all aspects of social activity and there are probably more differences than similarities in these two cultures.

To study a particular culture is to actually study the people and their behavior from a sociological perspective. It is very important to construct a working definition of a culture. Culture is a set of social norms, traditions, beliefs and values ​​shared by a large group of people. Individuals who belong to that group can be considered a culture. By the same token, they can be called a society because at this point there is not much difference between the two notions. A society is literally a group of people that share that particular set of beliefs, values ​​and so on, whereas the word culture has slightly different connotations. A particular culture may as well be share by more than one nation whereas the word society is usually applicable to the nation that inhabits a particular country. There are slight differences between these two terms but most sociologists and anthropologists use them interchangeably.

In other words, a culture is a set of beliefs or a particular ideology that a society shares. It is very interesting to understand how people develop a culture because it seems to be a purely social phenomenon developed by a group of people and then spread among others individuals who somehow relate to that particular group.

As an example, communist countries have very different cultures. They vividly illustrate how a group of people can influence a culture. China was not always a communist country. Long before communists came to power the population of the country shared a different ideology. The communist government directly influenced the country's culture by the means of propaganda, the education system, television etc. Subsequently, the next generation is going to absorb the culture modified by communism whereas the previous generation is not so likely to accept it. However, even though communists altered people's views and beliefs they could not completely eradicate most of the traditions shared by the society (Henry Rosemont, 1981).

There are many numerous differences between human beings and animals. Even though humans as well as animals are very complex creatures that have very complicated biological and chemical processes going on in their bodies, humans are more complex creatures because there is a great deal of social interaction that implies relationships, mental processes, human behavior, etc . Social sciences are several related fields that basically study the interaction among human beings. This field is very broad because the social activities that human beings involve in are so numerous that it would be hard to expound all the phenomena that can not be explained by natural sciences in one discipline.

The social sciences include anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, law, psychology, criminology and social psychology. All these sciences are very important because they make an attempt to explain why people act that way they do, why they interact with others, and why they form a global society. Actually these disciplines cover a lot more social issues that directly relate to the behavior of people. The difference between the social sciences and the natural sciences lies in the fact that the natural sciences like physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry study the processes and objects that can be physically measures in terms of weight, speed, or other measurements. Social sciences deal with more subtle social processes and phenomena that can not be measured exactly but can only be pondered and theorized about (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Anthropology is a very diverse and broad discipline that primarily deals with questions like what people think, what they do, why they interact with each other, and how they evolved over the course of time. Mostly, anthropologists deal with very basic questions but it is the simplicity that gives way to more complex phenomena. This discipline also studies how people can adopt to various cultural environments and how the cultures were formed. Ultimately, the purpose of this science is to understand the human life. Anthropology contains three main components that are employed by scientists to unravel the mysteries of the human race. They are society, culture, and evolution. Society and culture are the terms that are often confused and used interchangeably.

The basic definition of society can be found in biology where a herd of horses for example is referred to as society. However, society in the anthropological sense is used in reference to humans who can form a society of several billions of people who share the same culture. Culture, on the other hand, is a set of rules, customs, traditions that people live in accordance with. A society that shares the same set of social rules that can be called a culture. Therefore, there is very subtle difference between the two terms and most of the time they can be used interchangeably due to the great deal of similarity. There are several elements that institute a culture.

First of all, people who form a culture speak the same language, and employ other means of communicating complex ideas such as art, literature, cinema, etc. Thus a culture can be passed from generation to generation. Evolution is a radically different approach and it aims at the evolution of human beings over time. There are numerous theories that try to examine the process of evolution but most of them are questionable. As a separate discipline of anthropology consists of several fields that include cultural anthropology that studies the elements that institute a culture and what role cultures play in the world today; linguistic anthropology that focuses on the role of the language in the society; archaeology that studies the ancient societies, the cultures of the past and the effect they have on the present-day world; and physical anthropology that focuses on the evolution of human beings in terms of biological and physiological aspects.

Physical anthropology is similar to archaeology in the sense that both study the evolution. However, physical anthropology focuses on the physical changes that presumably occurred in the human bodies over time whereas archeology emphasizes the cultural aspects of evolution. As you can see, anthropology is a very broad field and it is closely related to some other social disciplines (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Another very important component that I believe influences the formation of a particular culture is mythology that relates to the people of that culture. Mythology is essentially a set of myths that originated in a culture and were spread around by people. Thereafter, this set of myths became traditions and cultural beliefs that are share by the people of that culture. A myth can be classified as a narrative or a tale that has been passed from one generation to another by word of mouth. This process of retelling keeps going up to the point when it is hard to distinguish between a tale and a true story.

Myths usually get accepted by the culture as a custom or a tradition and when this happens it is hard to tell a myth from reality. Most of the time, people involuntarily believe that the myths that happened to originate a long time ago set the foundation of their culture (E. Evans, 1983). Myths are universal, occurring in almost all cultures. They typically date from a time before the introduction of writing, when they were passed orally from one generation to the next. Myths deal with basic questions about the nature of the world and human experience, and because of their all-encompassing nature, myths can illuminate many aspects of a culture. Although it is difficult to draw rigid distinctions among various types of traditional tales, people who study mythology find it useful to categorize them.

The three most common types of tales are sagas, legends, and folktales. When a tale is based on a great historical (or presumably historical) event, it is generally known as a saga. Despite a saga's basis in very distant historical events, its dramatic structure and characters are the product of storytellers' imaginations. A legend is a fictional story associated with a historical person or place. Legends often provides examples of the virtues of honored figures in the history of a group or nation. The traditional American story about young George Washington and the cherry tree – in which he could not lie about chopping it down – is best described as a legend, because George Washington is a historical figure but the story about the cherry tree is recognized today as fictional. Folktales, a third variety of traditional tale, are usually simple narratives of adventure built around elements of character and plot – for example, the young man who slays a monster and wins the hand of a princess. Folktales may contain a moral or observation about life, but their chief purpose is entertainment (E. Evans, 1983).

Myths may include features of sagas, legends, and folktales. What makes one of these tales a myth is its serious purpose and its importance to the culture. Experts typically define a myth as a story that has complying drama and deals with basic elements and assumptions of a culture. Myths explain, for example, how the world began; how humans and animals came into being; how certain customs, gestures, or forms of human activity originated; and how the divine and human worlds interact. Many myths take place at a time before the world as human beings know it came into being. Because myth-making often involves gods, other supernatural creatures, and processes beyond human understanding, some scholars have viewed it as a dimension of religion. However, many myths address topics that are not typically considered religious – for example, why features of the landscape take a certain shape (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2002, Deluxe Edition).

The key character of Chinese mythology is monkey. He is a god-hero who is the cornerstone of ancient China's mythology (Henry Rosemont, 1981). Based on what is said in the legends, monkey was born from a stone egg that was created from a rock as old as time and included the essence of the Earth and Heaven. Monkey was endowed with a magical staff that could shrink or grow to any size. Also this hero had other magical abilities. For example there is a famous picture in Chinese mythology where the monkey creates an army out of his fur blowing it into the air.

Subsequently, this clever creature creates a monkey warrior out of every single hair. Monkey defied the supreme god of Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor, with his own claim as high god. To appease the mischievous Monkey, the Jade Emperor proclaimed him King of Heaven, concealing the fact that he had only made him a heavenly stable keeper. Monkey discovered this deception and, enraged, returned to Earth to wreak havoc. The Jade Emperor entreated Buddha for help. Buddha dropped a mountain on Monkey, and Monkey remained benefit it for 500 years. On his journey from China to India to retrieve Buddhist scriptures, the monk Tripitaka unearthed Monkey, who became tripitaka's escort and disciple. With two other companions, Piggy and Sandy, both exempts of the Heavenly Court reborn in monstrous bodies, Monkey accompanied the monk for 14 years, covering nine kingdoms and encountering numerous fantastic adventures. After introducing the scriptures Tripitaka had obtained in India to the Chinese emperor in the imperial capital of Chang-an, the four travelers were borne up to heaven. Monkey, with his irrepressible spirit and countless magic tricks, is generally regarded as a personification of the nature of genius (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Culture is basically the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture identifies one human group from others. It also identifies humans from other animals. A people's culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems (E. Evans, 1983). Culture is the most important concept in anthropology – the study of all aspects of human life, past and present. Anthropologists commonly use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways.

Likewise, any group of people who share a common culture – and in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organization – constituents a society. Thus, the terms culture and society are somewhat interchangeable. However, while many animals live in societies, such as herds of elk or packs of wild dogs, only humans have culture. Culture developed together with the evolution of the human species, Homo sapiens, and is closely related to human biology. The ability of people to have culture comes in large part from their physical features: having big, complex brains; an upright post; free hands that can grasp and manipulate small objects; and a vocal tract that can produce and articulate a wide range of sounds (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2002 Deluxe Edition). These distinctively human physical features began to develop in African ancestors of humans more than four million years ago.

The earliest physical evidence of culture is crude stone tools produced in East Africa over two million years ago. People have culture primarily because they can communicate with and understand symbols. Symbols allow people to develop complex thoughts and to exchange those thoughts with others. Language and other forms of symbolic communication, such as art, enable people to create, explain, and record new ideas and information. Symbols allow people to develop complex thoughts and exchange those thoughts with others (E. Evans, 1983). A symbol has either an indirect connection or no connection at all with the object, idea, feeling, or behavior to which it reiterates.

For instance, most people in the United States find some meaning in the combination of the colors red, white, and blue. But those colors themselves have nothing to do with, for instance, the land that people call the United States, the concept of patriotism, or the US national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. To convey new ideas, people constantly invent new symbols, such as for mathematical formulas (E. Evans, 1983). In addition, people may use one symbol, such as a single word, to represent many different ideas, feelings, or values. Thus, symbols provide a flexible way for people to communicate even very complex thoughts with each other. For example, only through symbols can architects, engineers, and construction workers communicate the information necessary to construct a skyscraper or bridge. People have the capacity at birth to construct, understand, and communicate through symbols, primarily by using language.

Research has shown, for example, that infants have a basic structure of language – a sort of universal grammar – built into their minds. Infants are thus predisposed to learn the languages ​​spoken by the people around them. Language provides a means to store, process, and communicate amounts of information that vastly exceeds the capacities of nonhuman animals. For instance, chimpanzees, the closest genetic relatives of humans, use a few dozen calls and a variety of gestures to communicate in the wild. People have taught some chimps to communicate using American Sign language and picture-based languages, and some have developed vocabularies of a few hundred words. But an unabridged English dictionary may contain more than half-a-million vocabulary entries. Chimpanzees have also not clearly demonstrated the ability to use grammar, which is crucial for communicating complex thoughts. In addition, the human vocal tract, unlike that of chimpanzees and other animals, can create and articulate a wide enough variety of sounds to create millions of distinct words.

In fact, each human language uses only a fraction of the sounds humans can make. The human brain also contains areas dedicated to the production and interpretation of speech, which other animals lack. Thus, humans are predisposed in many ways to use symbolic communication. People are not born with culture; they have to learn it. For instance, people must learn to speak and understand a language and to abide by the rules of a society. In many societies, all people must learn to produce and prepare food and to construct shelters. In other societies, people must learn a skill to earn money, which they then use to provide for themselves. In all human societies, children learn culture from adults.

Anthropologists call this process enculturation, or cultural transmission. Enculturation is a long process. Just learning the intricacies of a human language, a major part of enculturation, takes many years. Families commonly protect and enculturate children in the households of their birth for 15 years or more (Encyclopedia Britannica). Only at this point can children leave and establish their own households. People also continue to learn through their lifetimes. Thus, most societies respect their elders, who have learned for an entire lifetime. Humans are not alone in their ability to learn behaviors, only in the amount and complexity of what they can learn.

For example, members of a group of chimpanzees may learn to use a unique source of food or to fashion some simple tools, behaviors that may distinguish them from other chimpanzee groups. But These unique ways of life are minor in comparison to the rich cultures that distinguish different human societies. Missing speech, chimps are very limited in what they can learn, communicate to others, and pass on from generation to generation.

People living together in a society share culture. For example, almost all people living in the United States share the English language, dress in similar styles, eat many of the same foods, and celebrate many of the same holidays. All the people of a society collectively create and maintain culture. Societies preserve culture for much longer than the life of any one person. They reserve it in the form of knowledge, such as scientific discoveries; objects, such as works of art; and traditions, such as the observation of holidays.

As it was pointed out mythology plays a vital role in the development of a culture. The tales and sagas that originated in a particular culture are adopted as beliefs and traditions that in turn form a cultural foundation that people adhere to. It is not only traditions that determine a cultural barrier that interferes with the mutual understanding among cultures. People in China were able to develop different traditions and customs partly because they inhabited a different geographical area and were not influenced by the American culture. There are things that can only be understood by people who live in a particular area. Furthermore when the representatives of a particular culture confront people from another culture there is a great deal of misunderstanding between them. Using the sociological terminology, it can be classified as a cultural clash. Such a cultural clash happens whenever people from two different cultures attempt to communicate an idea not taking into account the cultural differences that exist between them.

Bibliography
Chinese Language, Chinese Philosophy, and Truth. Journal of Asian Studies 44: 3 (May 1985), p. 491-519

Encyclopedia Britannica 2002 Deluxe Edition.

Edward Evans. Understanding and interpreting cultures. New York: Random House, 1983.

Henry Rosemont. Studies in Classical Chinese Thought. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1981.

Lisa A. Raphals. Sharing the Light: Representations of Women and Virtue in Early China. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998.

The Prelude As the Spiritual Autobiography of the Poet

Pat Boone key fob from the fifties

This autobiographical poem is written in blank verse by William Wordsworth. He wrote its first version at the age of 28 and continued it for his long life without publishing it. It was published three months after the death of the poet in 1850, and it was entitled by his widow Mary. It is not an external autobiography of the poet, but it is an internal autobiography. It possesses the record of the growth and development of the poet’s mind with the help of beauty and fear. In this poem, William Wordsworth recalls his childhood experience which was enriched with the magic of nature. For him, the nature is a best teacher and under her teaching, there happens the growth of soul, heart and mind. So, she transcends man to spirituality.

In the first book of The Prelude, the poet tells about his childhood and school time. He calls nature a mother, and whenever he comes in the lap of mother, he feels himself happy and as free as a bird. Besides, he lived in London, but its life seemed him to be unnatural. The poet describes his contact with nature at the age of five. He always played with nature at Cockermouth. At Kankshead, he and his companions used to take part in a variety of games. In this book, he tells that how he was nursed and brought up by the various ministries. Nature is a teacher to him, and under her teaching, he understood the rules and developed himself spiritually as well as mentally. He agrees that her mighty weapons are pleasure and fear.

William Wordsworth acquaints us with his childhood and wandering. He enjoyed a lot by his long spell of bathing in the river. His long bathing increased his pleasure and attraction to nature; for she holds cold water with sweet colour, rhythm and test. The poet felt a great joy by playing with it. He sometimes ran in the sandy fields and leapt through flowery graves. Sometimes, He stood alone under the blue sky amid the enchanting rocks and the hills shining with the joyful beams of the sun. Under such innocent pleasure, he understood himself to be a Red Indian boy who comes from his mother’s hut to sport a naked savage in the thunder shower. His bathing in the river and wandering in the company of valleys, hills and mountains provided him a healthy pleasure that helped him to grow and develop his mind and soul. The poet recalls them because they link him to nature or spiritual world. Besides, they still provide him more joy and pleasure, and the poet is able to express or write his internal autobiography.

At his childhood, he used to play different games with his companions. At the age of ten, he used to catch Woodcocks over the high hill sides under the light of the moon and how he used to catch hold of a bird which was trapped in the snare of some other person. He was busy in such unwilling actions to nature. The nature watched him and debarred him from such unfair deeds by means of fear. The poet felt that some one with low breathing was following him continually and persistently. Her pursuit caused a troublesome fear to him and he avoided doing it again.

His other sport was stealing the eggs of birds. He, with his young friends, wandered in quest of high hills, and sometimes, he was found alone hanging above the nest of a raven. At such times, he was faced a strange and awful sound of the wind blowing against the hill. The sky and the dark and gloomy clouds used to stand gigantic above with an awful appearance. He felt a pure trouble. One thing, I must admit that why children like to steal away the eggs and play with them. Its main cause is the colour of eggs which really attract the children. The other is nature that teaches the child by means of fear when he is alone. Simultaneously, the nature pursues him and puts in his mind the fear as he may not repeat such deeds.

In stealing boat, the nature issues him a pure trouble. He stole a boat and started it moving over the lake. He saw that his boat was moving as the swain in the lake. Apart from it, he was going through the mountains which really added a great pleasure to him. All of sudden, he heard the echoing sound from the mountain sides because the teacher (nature) did not accept the action. Admitting it as a warning, he went into dismay. Sometimes, he found a huge and black raising its head from behind the range of hills. Nature like an awful and strange creature with its will and power was following him without pause. Under such dismay, he was brought to the same place from where he had stolen the boat. He was overwhelmed by fear and hurried homeward with a pensive mood. His mind was always haunted by such huge forms that fostered his soul with fear.

His other game was skating on the ice. He recalls that he, in the company of other friends, moved on the skates around the trees and the hills. Sometimes he made himself away from the friends and chased them. He accepts that nature followed him when he was alone. The echo of rising sounds of the skates from the trees and the surrounding hills provided him innocent pleasure. He used to enjoy a lot in the lap of nature. He turned jocundly round and round. Such company always excited him to understand the pursuit of nature.

It is the nature that enabled him to play in her lap and to express his love for her. Although he was grown up, he did not forget such revelries and memories of childhood that made this materialistic world easy and joyful with the touch of nature. His poems on the natural objects show his gratitude to her.

Gods of Gambling

MONTPARNASSE CEMETERY 9-21-2014 4-42-21 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Top Ten Psychics in the World

Untitled (Undated) -  Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992)

There are quite a few very famous contemporary psychics in a world, but here are the top ten and in no particular order as each as their own particular set of strengths and gifts.

Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne is an internationally recognized psychic who communicates with the dead. She claims to have inherited her psychic gift. She has been running the Nirvana Foundation for Psychic Research since 1973. She is one of those psychics who helps the police find killers and solve crimes. She has authored numerous books on psychic subjects, including Contacting Your Spirit Guide and Past Lives, Future Healing: A Psychic Reveals the Secrets to Good Health, and Great Relationships.

Allison Dubois

Allison Dubois is a psychic who channels the souls of dead pet and people. She has written many books, including Secrets of the Monarch, which is about understanding the caterpillar to butterfly nature of soul freedom. The television series Medium starring Patricia Marquette is supposedly based on the talents of Allison Dubois.

Lisa Williams

This celebrity medium and clairvoyant stars in a show on Lifetime called Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The show follows Williams on a typical day, as she communicates with the dead, investigates haunted houses, and does readings. Williams channels many dead famous people including Bob Hope, Princess Diana, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, and Ray Charles.

John Edwards

Edwards, not to be mistaken for the U.S. Senator with the same name, is an author and television personality. He is best known for his television shows, Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country. On both shows, Edwards attempts to communicate with the spirits of the audience members’ deceased relatives.

Colin Fry

Colin Fry is one of the best-known psychics and spiritualist mediums in Britain. He has hosted many television programs about the Supernatural, including Most Haunted, Psychic Private Eyes, and 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry, produced by Living TV.

Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah is a controversial psychic medium and television personality in the United Kingdom, who is possessed by the dead spirits he channels through his spirit guide s Sam. He is very well known for his appearances on. Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns and Yvette Fielding’s show Most Haunted.

James Van Praagh

James Van Praagh is a best-selling psychic and medium. He has written several books dealing with spirituality and spirit communication and 2002 to 2003, he hosted a syndicated daytime talk show entitled “Beyond With James Van Praagh.” He is currently the co-Executive Producer of the television series Ghost Whisperer on CBS.

Rosemary Altea

Rosemary Altea is a psychic and author. She has appeared on various programs, including Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show (with Michael Shermer in 1995).

Doreen Virtue

Dr. Doreen Virtue has appeared on many television shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN, revealing how psychic angels can help you heal your life. One of her most famous book, Give the Gift of Healing: A Concise Guide to Spiritual Healing, which was published in 2005.

Gillian Kemp

If you are into Tarot, then you are going to like Gillian Kemp. She is author of The Good Spell Book and recently designed a very interesting pack of Tarot Cards called Tree Magick in which there are no negative cards. She talks to ghosts using techniques learned from her ancient Romanie past and her grandmother, grandfather, and aunt who were also clairvoyant. She uses the more old-fashioned divination techniques, such as teacup readings and crystal balls and is one of the most famous psychics in the United Kingdom.