Monday, 11 July 2016

Planting Seeds: The Way of the Compassionate Writer

I was in the first grade in Anchorage, Alaska when I planted my first seed. Our teacher had the class plant flowers in eggshells and I remember how fearful I was of breaking the delicate white casing before I even had my seeds planted.
Our teacher stored our humble creations in modest egg cartons on a windowsill, assuring us that after a few weeks of watering, our little seeds would sprout to become a huge bouquet of bright tangerine flowers. All we needed was patience. And you know what? It worked!
Today I am planting another seed. It's not a flower or herb but a word-and it can grow anywhere. But I need your help to make it thrive.
Humans have longed for this elusive bloom since time began. Some say it lives only in our imagination, a precious dream that flits like a beautiful butterfly amongst a rough terrain of thorny weeds.
Yet in times of turmoil, we cry to the heavens to blanket us with its sweet perfume. The seed I refer to, of course, is Peace.
Getting to the root of the problem
It seems like every day there is something rotting our soils. Conflicts in the Middle East. Terrorism in Europe. Mass shootings in the U.S. And since the news is so bleak in our co-created reality, many of us escape-not to a restful place of tranquility, but to a screaming, frightfest marathon of violent, blood-thirsty, zombie-infested television shows and movies. Does this make sense to you?
With all the anger and conflict in the world, it's easy to get entangled in the growing net of negativity.
Some writers have an appetite for drama and live for the humiliation of their fellow beings. They believe sensationalism sells more publications, increases their "Like" potential on Facebook and gives them recurring guest status on gossipy talk shows. This kind of thinking is akin to throwing a lighted torch into a building and then stepping back to admire the flames. Mesmerizing, but absolutely destructive.
Another point to consider is when writers race to be the first to "expose" the sordid aspects of celebrities and neighbors in tabloids or on social media, they are not doing so to unify the planet. They are judging and this separates us more. And what happens when people feel separated? They become fearful, angry, depressed and occasionally dangerous.
Whether you write to grow awareness about the plight of the bumblebee, the horror of human trafficking or the poisons in our drinking water, I believe the ultimate objective of our investigations should be resolution. This is contrary to what I learned in my college journalism classes. Back then, we were taught that a good reporter was unbiased, never transparent nor "too close to a story". Fortunately, the times seem to be a-changing.
According to Patrick Lee Plaisance, a professor of journalism and technical communication at Colorado State University, "It's critical for journalists never to lose sight of their own humanity, and that means understanding and empathizing and connecting on a human level, not just as instruments of stories."
It starts with the heart
Do you feel strongly about the environment? Are you against bullying? Do you want to stop world hunger? Would you like to take away all the guns in the world and encourage people to "play nice"?
If your intention is to become a compassionate writer and plant a seed of Peace, simply open your heart and follow these suggestions:
1. Write from a place of Love, not fear.
2. For every negative issue you must address, offer non-violent conflict resolutions.
3. Abstain from people-bashing and name-calling in articles, blogs and social media.
4. Remove the word hate from your vocabulary.
5. Refrain from using cliches with negative origins like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, there's more than one way to skin a cat or killing two birds with one stone.
6. Refuse to use your words as a weapon to incite others to attack, build walls or promote segregation.
7. Mentor new writers to write with compassion.
We are all One. We are connected to everything and everyone and everything we think, write and do affects another. Everything.
Perhaps one day we will have no need for words to express ourselves. But until such time occurs, let us think first with our hearts before we share our truths. As Mary Pipher wrote in her book, Writing to Change the World, "Writers foster the growth of readers' souls. And the best soil for growth is love."
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Proof of a Creator - A Rejoinder to Theodore Schick, Jr

This essay is a rejoinder to a paper written by Theodore Schick, Jr., Professor of Philosophy, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The 1998 paper is entitled *"The 'Big Bang' Argument for the Existence of God"* and is a rebuttal to the views held by Hugh Ross, noted astronomer and Christian apologist, as expressed within his book *The Creator and the Cosmos*. The paper was originally published in *Philo, the Journal of the Society of Humanist Philosophers*.
The impetus of Dr. Schick's paper is to discredit Dr. Ross's contention that the acceptance of the theory of the "big bang" as the beginning of the universe implies that it must have had a cause beyond the event itself, and Dr. Schick's corollary contention that such an assertion is nothing but a scientifically updated variation of St. Thomas Aquinas's "uncaused first cause" argument to prove the existence of God. As blasphemous as it might sound coming from a Catholic such as me, I acknowledge that Aquinas's reasoning left something to be desired in this case. I don't contest Dr. Schick's views on this point.
As a Catholic high school student, I once had the effrontery to ask a priest in religion class, "If it is sufficient to assert that 'God always was, always is and always will be' then why can't we just say the same about the universe?" (The priest's response was less than memorable.) In his paper, Dr. Schick echoes my youthful inquisitiveness:
"But if we're willing to admit the existence of uncaused things, why not just admit that the universe is uncaused and cut out the middleman? David Hume wondered the same thing...."
The meat of Dr. Schick's rebuttal to Dr. Ross's views is that Dr. Ross positions a higher dimensional time, a time in which the spacetime that we know and live within was created: the creator's time. Since the big bang is held to be the beginning of time, Dr. Ross argues, that implies it must have had a cause, as did the beginning of everything else. Since the big bang is the beginning of our time, then its cause cannot have been within our time (because an effect must follow its cause); rather, it must have been within the higher dimensional time of the creator that Dr. Ross positions.
Dr. Schick rebuts this argument as follows:
"This argument arrives at the conclusion that the universe has a beginning in time by assuming that the universe has a cause. But the big bang argument uses the premise that the universe has a beginning in time to arrive at the conclusion that the universe has a cause. So Ross is arguing in a circle. He is assuming that the universe has a cause to prove that the universe has a cause. Because Ross begs the question about whether the universe has a cause, he does not succeed in proving the existence of a higher dimensional time, let alone the existence of a transcendental god."
Dr. Schick is correct. It is, therefore, my intention within this essay to attempt to provide the justification that Dr. Ross's argument lacks to assume that the big bang (and, therefore, the universe) had a cause. For the benefit of my argument, I appeal to none other than perhaps the most venerated, self-professed atheist in scientific history, Albert Einstein himself! It is an understatement to judge it ironic that I perceive that such a renowned atheist proved, albeit unwittingly, the existence of God or, more precisely, a creator of at least some sort.
It was Hermann Minkowski, Dr. Einstein's erstwhile math teacher, who first pointed out to him that his special theory of relativity implied a four-dimensional universe, now usually referred to as the "block universe." In this scheme of reality, time is reduced to a mere fourth dimension, with the result being that the universe can no longer be viewed as being composed of space and time, but rather as an unified structure called "spacetime," with all events within the universe (including particles seemingly being created without a cause via vacuum fluctuations) occurring at the confluence of four-dimensional points.
(For example: September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center at the precise floor and instant that the first plane hit.)
Dr. Einstein himself was at first most reluctant to accept such a view of reality, but eventually came to embrace it. Here lies the point most relevant to the thrust of this essay: Within the block universe scheme of reality, the past, present and future of spacetime all exist contemporaneously and there is no privileged moment within spacetime solely entitled to call itself "the present" or "now."
(Some attempt to argue that such a view is a misinterpretation of the theory. However, Dr. Einstein himself certainly seemed to accept its validity as there is a letter written by him to the widow of a recently late associate in which he attempts to comfort her by pointing out that her late husband and she were presently enjoying many happy moments together in other parts of the universe. )
I think it can be safely asserted that we all accept the existence of the phenomenon of cause and effect. For every baby (effect) there was a transaction (cause) between a sperm and an egg. But here is the rub: If the past, present and future all exist contemporaneously, and if by definition a cause must precede its effect, then how could the cause in this example have preceded its effect when the baby and his or her parents exist contemporaneously and eternally?
The only tenable answer that I can discern is: it didn't. That is, it didn't in our spacetime. Just as a painting's obvious orderly composition did not result from any event within the canvass, but rather from order imposed from without (i.e., by the artist), the undeniable order that permeates our reality and renders our very existences possible must likewise have been imposed from without, by a creator of some sort.
The concept of cause and effect implies a sequential creation. If the universe is static (with motion (and change) being a mere illusion--exactly as Parmenides and Zeno argued--, along the lines of a motion picture rendering the illusion of motion from a series of still frames), then nothing within our spacetime could have been created within it any more than a now static Rembrandt masterpiece could have created and ordered itself.
Rather, the reality that we live within and perceive must have been sequentially created (thus accounting for the obvious causes and effects we observe) in a higher dimensional time, exactly as Dr. Ross argues, and then became static, exactly as a painting does upon completion. Quite simply, a cause must precede its effect within existence, which cannot be the case if both the cause and the effect have always existed simultaneously.
As a thought experiment, assume that the characters within a novel could somehow gain sentience and intelligence, and that their universe, contained within the pages of the book, seems just as real to them as our universe (or "multiverse" if the MWI of quantum mechanics should be correct in fact) does to us (in our higher dimensional time). Unless the author was able and chose to communicate with his or her creations, then by what means would they have to discover the true nature and origin of their existences other than by deducing that whatever logic and order they perceive must have been imposed from without, as to them their universe appears simply to have always been and thus cannot have been created within its own dimension of time?
The alternative would be for them to reason as Dr. Schick and many others do. That is, that their--unbeknownst to them--literary universe simply "just is." In this hypothetical scenario, they would be very wrong; just as I believe Dr. Schick and others are for the reasons I have presented. Dynamic forces cannot exist within a stagnant universe. To argue otherwise would be a contradiction in terms. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the dynamic force that forged our now static universe via causes and effects (i.e., the laws of physics) must have come from without.
How then can one account for the creator's origin? How can one avoid an infinite regress of creators? That is what I term the "ultimate mystery" of existence. How can anything exist at all? As incomprehensible as the mystery is, the only answer I can suggest is that somewhere along the line, someone or something "just is," and in his, her or its plane of existence the answer to these questions can be scientifically fathomed as they cannot be here within the logic of our reality.

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Get Creative With Different Essay Styles

School years are never complete without those numerous essay assignments that teachers keep handing out. It is safe to say that a number of students even developed a considerable amount of stress and hair-pulling antics, what with all the demands of original ideas and smooth compositions.
Indeed, it gets old after a time, not to mention extremely difficult, to keep on coming up with creative ideas for an article. One recommended guide then to make all these a little easier on the mind is by browsing the different essay forms. Indeed, by learning the different styles, the student can be steered on the various approaches that one can make in essay writing, thus infusing a fresh angle to the material.
Here are four styles of essay writing:
The narrative approach, as the term implies, recounts a story. It can be a personal incident worthy of retelling, or a fictional experience based on a hyperactive imagination. But whatever the case, the resulting essay demands a rich level of vividness that should capture readers into the story. It is not enough that the readers simply understand the narrative, it should be engaging enough that said readers cannot help but get caught up in the drama (or the humor) of it all.
How can this be accomplished? The one great tip is to infuse essays with sensory details. A doggy breath smell, the bittersweet taste of dark chocolates, the red and purple rays of the sunset; these are all graphic descriptions that automatically causes readers to recreate the narration in their heads, thus becoming involved in the storytelling (whether they like it or not).
The comparative essay discusses any two subjects. Relatively, the discussion centers on these two subjects' similarities, or differences, or both. Whereas the writer has full control on whether to lead a biased or impartial discussion, it is still recommended in more formal essays that the objective way of discourse be followed. In this way, readers will also impartially perceive all the positive and negative aspects of both sides.
If the comparative essay is meant for entertainment purposes mostly, then by all means, the writer is allowed to write with all the biases that can be mustered.
Persuasive / Argumentative
There is no mistaking what this type of essay aims to do. But just to stress it further, the persuasive or argumentative essay reasons out key points in order to convince readers toward the writer's point of view.
For this form of essay, the material can go from comical to dead-serious deliveries. Indeed, all writing tones are open for the writer, as long as the article does not lose touch of its primary goal of persuading readers on a certain opinion.
The critical essay tends to be the more solemn of all essay types, and probably the one that requires the most hard work. In this form, the writer focuses on a specific matter, and attempts to nitpick every aspect of that said topic. The analysis normally covers the topic's meaning, methods, objectives, strengths, and weaknesses.
Normally, the critical essay speaks about other creative works. The critique can be about another essay, a film, a book, and a poem, to name a few. From there, the material can begin with a brief overview of what the subject is all about, then followed by the main body of critical points that the writer perceived on the topic at hand.

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The Advertisement I Like the Most

Advertising is one of the key reasons behind the success of any product today. When a product is released, it has to be sold. For the purpose of selling and marketing ease, it has to generate buzz in public, so that the people should notice it, they should talk about it and most important concern is, that they should purchase it.
Making you remember the product is not a criterion - Even stupid ads played again and again during prime time will make us remember the product. You may have a superior quality product, but if it is not advertised and sold, it's a waste more or less.
To illustrate the point an advertising guru makes the crude, but apt comparison that a fish lays hundreds of eggs in one go but stays quiet about it. A hen lays one egg but announces it to the world with a loud cockadoodle doo. And the difference is pretty obvious- not many of us can boast of eating a fish egg whereas most of us cannot do without the hen's egg as part of our daily diet. So if you want your product to be consumed, you better let it be known to the world.
Certain people might have their own definitions about advertisement, like "Ads are too boring"; "they interrupt good movies";" They reflect the greed of their manufacturers"; "They are too annoying"; "90% of Ads are stupid'.
But let me tell you certain Ads have a spark. They reflect the creativity of the genius who has made it with so much compassion and hard work.
Well I find the funny ads more appealing and a treat to watch. They attract my attention with an ease and tend to slip easily down in my memory lane. I love the Advt of "Axe Dark Temptation". No doubt it is a kinky and bold advertisement, but when you are advertising for a toiletry brand which makes perfumes and deodorants for men, there is anyways very less scope of innovation. I think the ad maker has done a great job. It is for sure interesting to see a guy getting transformed into a chocolate after applying the "Axe Dark Temptation". The female psychology is very well studied and the message is conveyed absolutely innovatively. We all know that after a 24 carat diamond ring, there are chocolates which are gifted to gals to seek their attention.

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Essay Assistance - The Difference Between Success And Failure

The most brilliant scholar in the world will struggle to communicate their thoughts and insights if they do not have a grasp of the language.
Even native english speakers do not necessarily have a full grasp of the written word, and for students writing in a foreign language it is important to put their point across clearly. The nuances of english are well-known, and many words which sound alike have totally different meanings. Mistakes are frequently made with the words "there" and "their" for example, and the difference between "your" and "you're" is subtle but important.
Essay assistance can be vital if you want to succeed in communicating without putting up a barrier between yourself and the reader. You may have done the research work and your thought processes may be clear before you put them down on paper. However, the final hurdle may not be cleared if your essay is littered with ill-chosen words and grammatical mistakes. With essay assistance you can ensure that you do not lose up to one tenth of your marks for an essay, dissertation or thesis. It is unfortunate but true that 10% of your marks can be lost due to bad spelling or grammar, therefore it is also the case that essay assistance will be worth 10% of your potential success.
There is no question that good presentation and accuracy are two of the most fundamental assets which examiners - and employers - will be judging you upon, and without the reassurance and confidence that essay assistance will add to your finished work there could well be disappointment after all of your hard work.
The work will still be your own, of course. There is no element of plagiarism or cheating involved in using the services of essay assistance. Examining bodies allow for the legitimate proofreading of a candidate's work, and this creates a level playing field for students for whom english is not their first language, and also for students whose brilliant grasp of their subject may be counterbalanced by their lesser skills in grammar and spelling.
Naturally there is an educational aspect to this as well. Any student for whom spelling, and grammar as a whole is a stumbling block will instantly be able to see how their work can be improved, often in quite small ways, and learn from this for their future presentations.

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One of the First Fashion Design Schools Online- Milan Fashion Campus

Do you dream of making it big in the fashion world someday?
I have good news for you! Your dream is now just a click away - may it be to become a fashion designer, a web fashion designer, an image consultant, a fashion magazine stylist, a TV program stylist, an event stylist, a fashion journalist, or a personal shopper - with the Milan Fashion Campus Online Fashion Design Course.
The Creator
Angelo Russica, a seasoned fashion guru who has more or less 20 years of experience in the fashion world, created the course with his aim of not only coming up with an Internet-based fashion design school that will teach the history, aesthetics, and skills required of Italy's fashion, but extending the Italian fashion sense to the world as well.
With more than 15 years of collaborative experience as a creative assistant to different companies the world over, like Versace, Gruppo Max Mara, Marzotto, Miroglio Vestebene in Italy; Induyco and El Corte Ingles in Spain; and Fujii, Chori, King Company, and World Company in Japan, Russica was able to talk to numerous young students from an array of famous fashion design schools who complain about having spent lots of money on more or less three years of study, only to find out in the end, that it is hard to find a job and almost impossible to make a name. This is also one reason why Russica developed the first online fashion design school in Italy - he wants Milan Fashion Campus to give many aspiring fashion students a chance to learn about the wonders of Italian fashion without having to spend so much.
The Course
This one of a kind fashion design course provides students with the opportunity to be professionally in touch with Italy's Fashion Design Learning Method. The intensive online fashion design course of Milan Fashion Campus also serves as a venue for the realization of dreams - may it be to become a professional figure or the famous designer of the future.
The lessons are sequenced in such a way that the students can easily follow them. The course requires active student participation since lessons are geared toward teaching learners how to do market analysis, how to locate valuable sources of information, and how to discover inspiration. Students of Milan Fashion Course will also learn the tricks of the trade, just like what professional fashion designers do: examining the streets, examining fashion stories, examining the music world, and examining the opinion of fashion leaders.
The Milan Fashion Campus Online Fashion Design Course, which can be downloaded through, has seven sections, 27 chapters, almost 200 pages, and more than 170 exercises that will serve as guidance for students from their first sketch to their first fashion show. The course also gives a chance to students to specialize on different areas, like celebrity and men fashion design, handbag design, color and rendering technique, and fashion figure template.
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Patterns - How Do They Influence Our Thoughts, Businesses and Creativity?

"Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character." - Stephen Covey
"Your brain has an in-built mechanism for finding patterns you've programmed because of where you've put your attention. Solutions, innovations, and success come not from greater intelligence or creativity but from what we notice because of where we point those attributes." -
David Allen
Some of my readers have asked me how I choose my different themes: for my articles, my blogs and my e-newsletters.
I love words and am a voracious reader. I have to be careful not to stay subscribed to too many e-newsletters - even when they are excellent - or order too many books and magazines, or join too many discussion groups. Why, because I will read them all and have no or little time for my regular work. What does this have to do with my choice of themes?
Well, I still do read many of the words that are included in the e-newsletters I receive, the books and magazines that are positioned at reading stations around my apartment, and the threads written about in the discussion groups to which I clock in daily.
I decided on using "patterns" after reading Val Kilmer's essay in ETR (Early to Rise) when he wrote, "One could argue - as I have in past ETR essays - that the human intellect is specifically designed to recognize and respond to patterns that are too subtle and complex to be understood logically... The interesting thing about a fractal universe is the possibility that all patterns are related. If this is so, you should be just as able to recognize the patterns of success by studying football or art history as by studying geopolitics or global economics." - Val Kilmer
There are those who would argue, with good reason, that we all develop patterns for thinking, working, living, and creating. If we study nature, we find the repetition of similar patterns throughout. We develop patterns of speech, music, habits and reactions. I can't imagine living without certain consistent patterns - can you?
And, yes, I found many wonderful and thought provoking quotations. Here are a few:
  • "Our whole evolution up to this point shows that human groups spontaneously evolve patterns of behavior, as well as patterns of training people for that behavior, which tend on balance to lead people to create rather than destroy. Humans are, on net balance, builders rather than destroyers." - Julian Simon
  • "But it is strange how many rational beings believe the ultimate truths of the universe to be reducible to patterns on a blackboard." - Frederick Pollock
  • "The way is long if one follows precepts, but short... if one follows patterns." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • "What we call chaos is just patterns we haven't recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can't decipher. What we can't understand we call nonsense. What we can't read we call gibberish. There is no free will. There are no variables. There is only the inevitable." - Chuck Palahniuk
I ask you. How do you feel about "patterns?" Have you developed your own that tend to control your thoughts, business and creativity? Or, do you feel that "patterns" are random and just depend upon the moment?

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