The False Economy of the Hospitality Industry in Oaxaca, Mexico

Tourism is suffering in the southern Mexico colonial city of Oaxaca, and has been since the civil unrest of 2006. By 2008 it had begun to pick up, until the swine flue scare, the US economic crisis, and the negative press heaped on by journalists reporting the drug wars, by and large restricted to a couple of port towns and cities near the American border, almost 1,000 miles away. With tourism the primary industry in Oaxaca, why in 2011 are new car dealerships doing a brisk business, is higher end home construction booming, and is the upper middle class continuing to otherwise spend like crazy? Hotel and guest house owners complain that revenues are the worst they’ve been since 2007, …

When Time Equals Love

In Australia, if children have a dad, they spend on average just 6 minutes per day in his presence. This is not quality time, just the quantity of time. So, reading books, playing and doing homework together may receive very little or next-to-no attention. This is not lost on mothers. They know, as society does, that father-figures can have an instrumental role in the development of young people. Perhaps it is even sadder that many mothers are also forced to compete in a rat-race world, simply to feed hungry mouths, pay the bills, and keep a roof over the family’s heads. It can be a rather depressing reality; trying to balance the vital family time – the key investments for …

Why Johnny Can't Write – The REAL Reason

On December 8, 1975, Newsweek magazine ran a front-cover story titled, "Why Johnny Can't Write." It raised national concerns about the quality of writing that students produce in American K-12 schools. And it caused a 30-year flood of thousands of protest articles with the same title. Furthermore, in 1998, 2002, and 2007, national tests continued to prove that those concerns were still justified, tests which were reported by the National Education Association – only one out of five seniors showed they could write well enough to do writing required in college. And in 2003, the National Commission on Writing declared there was a national crisis in teaching writing in America and recommended, basically, that all levels of schools and governments …

Private Equity 100 Day Plans Vs Strategic Plans

Most private equity firms give at least lip service to some version of a 100-Day Plan upon closing the investment transaction in a new portfolio company. Given the laundry list of post-close action items, the effort makes sense. Even so, does the 100-Day Plan actually create value? Not likely. However, the 100-Day Plan mitigates risk, so chalk this up to good defense. Whereas defense may keep teams from losing the game, offense scores the points that win the game. This reality should shift leadership focus to strategic planning. But wait a minute! Doesn’t the investment thesis cover strategy? Of course, but the investment thesis does not “operationalize” strategy. Strategy is only vindicated when it results in accelerated earnings before interest, …

Gerundizing in English

Gerundizing In English, gerundizing is the process of adding ‘ing’ to the verb. When verbs are gerundized, they function as partly verbs and partly nouns. In other words, by adding ‘ing’ to any verb, the verb changes its function to be a partly noun and partly verb. Functions of gerunds 1) As subjects of sentences Gerunds or gerundized verbs when used as subjects of sentences often put at the beginning when focusing on activity as the subject of conversation. Smoking is dangerous. Reading EzineArticles is interesting. Writing articles needs a lot of practice. Playing tennis is good for your health, and good fun! Learning a foreign language is not always difficult. The shooting of the hunter was terrible. Flying a …

The 6 Stages of the Mind in Trance

Perception plus aesthetic impact magnified by the repetition of the artistic stimuli begins the process of induction and results in a light trance state. To deepen the trance state an artist must add reinforcing elements consistent with the original stimuli so that the combined “art force” operates as a singular entity to overwhelm the senses of every individual in an audience. The overwhelming event occurs in the mind and is a delicate process to manufacture, but it can be done and when done well results in a kind of supernatural experience that shifts the state of mind of the audience member further towards a trance state. Music is a composite aesthetic product that consists of various elements such as rhythm, …

Writing Essays – New View in Joyce’s Short Story, Clay

James Joyce’s famous short story, “Clay,” was published in 1914 in his collection of short stories titled, Dubliners. Like literally every other short story ever published, “Clay” makes a strong old view value statement early on and then shows a new view reversal of that old view at the end. Let me demonstrate a three-step method that helps you analyze any short story using those concepts and that will help you get started writing literary essays: #1- EARLY ON, STRONG STATEMENT: At the beginning of a short story, a strong value statement, an old view, is given by or about the main character, asserting an evaluation or describing some characteristic, goal, or desire. The very first sentence identifies a goal …

Top 5 Film Schools And What Sets Them Apart

Having gone to film school three times and being a member of a family where education was held in the highest esteem, obviously I am a fan of becoming film educated. However, I do stress becoming “educated”. School is not the only way to become educated, and in certain situations, there is no official school to learn critical information. Never the less, school is a time tested successful method for laying down a formidable foundation. The Big Five The Big Five films schools are The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), The University of Southern California (USC) and The American Film Institute (AFI) on the West Coast in Los Angeles, and New York University (NYU) and Columbia University on the …

A Review of Michael Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in 15th Century Italy

Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style was first published in 1972. Although relatively short it has subsequently been published in numerous languages, most recently Chinese, with a second edition published in 1988. Since publication it has been described in such favourable terms as being ‘intelligent, persuasive, interesting, and lucidly argued’ to ‘concise and tightly written, and being found to ‘present new and important material’. It may have been published as a book with three chapters. In reality it is three books in one. Baxandall brings together many strands of previous art historical methodology and moves them forward in Painting and Experience. As the history of art was emerging discipline Art …

Sociological Perspectives of Religion

In the study of sociology, we are presented three varying perspectives concerning our interactions with the world and those in it. Although parts of all three contain some bits of truth, it is this author’s opinion that the structural-functionalism perspective is more in line with that held within the sphere of religion. When discussing our roles in this life, the bible clearly states that there are “diversities of gifts… differences of administrations… and diversities of operations”. (I Corinthians 12:4-6, King James Version) It is unfortunate, however, that many people tend to focus on what others should be doing, and not on their own responsibility. The problem with Karl Marx’s conflict theory is that it focuses solely on one aspect of …

Using Rebuttals in Argumentative Essays

In college writing, most essays argue for a position. They are persuasive essays in that the goal is to get the reader to believe a statement is true by providing support. This is what distinguishes high school writing from college writing. I have mentioned in other essays that sometimes one already knows what they want to argue for before they begin writing their essay. However, sometimes college students find or think of support for a position and argue for it, even if it is not the position they would prefer to take! No matter which of these situations describes you, you should provide a counterargument and a rebuttal in your essay. A counterargument is a good argument which weakens or …

How To Outline Your Research Paper In 3 Easy Steps

You’ve gotten a new assignment: you’re required to read a primary text, cite 3 secondary sources, and write an analytical paper with introduction, thesis, supporting arguments and a conclusion. You probably have a lot on your mind regarding developing your ideas and articulating them in a brilliant paper. Before you blast through the door to the library though, you need to write an outline that will contain the core of your ideas in brief. I won’t attempt to convince you of the necessity of writing an effective outline, I only hope that I can convince you to try it and see it work for yourself. Luckily, it’s an easy thing to do, especially when you follow these 3 steps: Finding …

Writing Essays – Using Cultural Patterns to Create Newness

Do you know of any formally published process for ensuring that you have the most important feature—–newness—–in the thesis for your essay? Thought so. Me neither. Textbooks and teachers just show you pieces of writing that have newness in them, and then they say, “Do it like that.” Oh, sure, they give you isolated examples of the forms you should use, such as Introductions, Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions. But they never give you a specific, reusable p-r-o-c-e-s-s for creating any of them, do they? It’s kind of like a shoemaker showing an apprentice a box full of shoes and saying, “Here’s what they look like. Now make some like these.” Huh? Yeah, right! That’s why I’ve …

What Are the Three Laws of the Dialectic Method?

Dialectic philosophy was made popular by Plato’ “Socratic dialogues.” The dialectical method is simply a set of rules applied together to understand more clearly our real interdependent world. “Dialectics is nothing more than the science of the general laws of motion and development of nature, human society and thought.” (Engels) Hegel assembled inside his idealistic philosophy the three laws of dialectics: The law of the unity and conflict of opposites (Heraclitus); The law of the passage of quantitative changes into qualitative changes (Aristotle); The law of the negation of the negation (Hegel). The point here is the humanity used the dialectic method to investigate the surrounding world since 3000 years ago. The unity and conflict of opposites The law of …

Best Practices for Teaching Academic Writing to ESL Students in the Mainstream

When it comes to building academic writing skills for ESL college students in the mainstream, teachers will be doing their college students a huge service when teachers are able to build literary connections to the writing skills and concepts they wish their students to learn. Teachers cannot assume that their ESL students understand abstract concepts as well as their native English speaking peers due to the gap in their background knowledge. Provide Engaging Beginnings Engaging beginnings activate students’ prior knowledge. They make use of what students already know before any new knowledge is presented to them. Many academic writing assignments are based on academic texts. The extent to which ESL students will succeed with mainstream academic writing assignments will depend …

Master Baristas

There are baristas and then there are master baristas. You now see many espresso stands and espresso houses like Starbucks where their baristas get one or two weeks of training. But, are those who make your espressos, lattes and cappuccinos really certified baristas? One non-profit group does not think so. It actually takes years to become a Speciality Coffee Association of Europe master barista. The process is a controlled and certified system with a curriculum written and updated by the best minds in the coffee industry. The title, Master Barista, is achieved by what you have learned and done through a number of years plus completing a very demanding and comprehensive curriculum, which is similar to a college master’s degree. …