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How to Get (Almost) Anyone to Mentor You

Professionals who expect to succeed in today’s work environment must have that edge which sets them apart. But how can you get that edge, when you are feeling isolated and do not have a mentor or role model to guide you?
What mountains would you be able to climb if you took control of YOU Inc?
Mentoring in its simplest form is the personal and professional development of an individual. In the absence of traditional mentoring relationships, where one person at a higher level in an organization provides career guidance to another at a lower level, professionals can select their own Invisible Mentors to guide them. Invisible Mentors are also the perfect complement to any mentoring relationship.
The Invisible Mentor Concept
So what is an Invisible Mentor? An Invisible Mentor is a training tool, as well as a different way of thinking, which assists individuals to achieve personal and professional success through the systematic use of books, interviews, articles and other information products. Invisible Mentoring is using the works of and about change makers, pioneers, great thinkers and visionaries to make tangible changes in your life. Consistently reading the right books, builds intellectual and verbal power; and listening to the right interviews heightens focus and awareness, while increasing knowledge.
Invisible Mentors provide a discrete way for professionals to mimic successful actions in a safe environment, and allow them to tap into their inner genius to promote a personal growth regiment, introduce rigor to their thinking, increase discipline, strengthen the ability to communicate and create a well-fed mind. Digesting the works of the “right” Invisible Mentors provides a rich minefield for great ideas worth exploring. And, they can also assist you in developing the business and political savvy required to navigate the corporate world.
And the best thing about Invisible Mentors is that you do not need their implicit or explicit agreement for them to mentor you. All that is required is access to information by and about them, so that you can study their behaviours, learn about their philosophies and values, as well as concepts and models that they have developed.
Using Invisible Mentors to your Advantage

To get the most out of Invisible Mentors requires answering the following questions to keep you focused. Answering the questions may require conducting preliminary research using a search engine such as Google. Google Videos and YouTube, which is also owned by Google is great for finding videos and interviews about your chosen Invisible Mentors.

    1. What do you need and want to learn?
      1. Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in three years
      2. How important are these goals to you?
      3. Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals?


  1. Who are the experts in the areas that you need and want to learn more about?
    1. Choose five experts as Invisible Mentors
    2. Do their values and philosophies align with yours?
    3. What concepts and models have they created and how will they assist you in your personal and professional life
  2. How can you use them [experts] and their knowledge as Invisible Mentors?
    1. What books have they written
    2. What books have been written about them
    3. What interviewees are available by and about them?

How The Invisible Mentor Concept Works

For a book to assume the role of an Invisible Mentor, it has to have many of the elements below:
  • Provokes thought
  • Provides a deeper level of understanding and heightened awareness
  • Ignites passion
  • Awakens deep-seated emotions
  • Provides practical wisdom
  • Chronicles events for strategic guidance
  • Provides formulas and intellectual frameworks to use
  • Be about a change maker
  • Solves everyday problems
  • Shifts the reader’s mindset

For an interview to assume the role of an Invisible Mentor, interviewees have to be:

  • Willing to share wisdom, knowledge and experiences
  • Old enough to have learned important life lessons
  • Accomplished
  • Enlightened and understand that the world is bigger than them
  • Inspiring
  • Willing to help others succeed
  • Engaging
  • Well-read
  • Articulate
  • Problem solvers
  • Change makers
  • Passionate
  • Easy to understand

Qualities that Increases Your Success in Using Invisible Mentors

  • Diligent learner that is self-directed
  • Capacity to read discriminately and listen actively
  • Ability to ask tough questions and synthesize the information you are consuming
  • Ability to connect new information to what is already known
  • Commitment to take action and use the new information

Three Examples Why Invisible Mentors Make Great Mentoring Alternatives

  1. Charles Darwin and British biologist Alfred Russel Wallace independently arrived at similar theories of Natural Selection in the mid-1800s after reading Essay on the Principle of Population by British pastor Thomas Malthus.
  2. After many years of research, and observing birds in flight, German engineer Otto Lilienthal, also known as the “King of Gliders” published his findings in the widely read book Bird Flight as the Basis of Aviation. Lilienthal’s research article Practical Experiments for the Development of Human Flight, writings and other notes proved invaluable to Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright also known as the Wright brothers. The Wright brothers believed that they could improve Lilienthal’s designs and resolve the problems plaguing aircraft theories. The Wright Brothers are credited for inventing the airplane.
  3. And, while reading an article on a flight, Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon learned that the Internet was growing 2,300 percent per year and wondered how he could use the information. He then looked at the top 20 catalogues to identify which would translate best to an online business and as a result Amazon was formed.

Invisible Mentors can catapult you to new levels in your life so it is important to choose your Invisible Mentors well. You never know, you could be the next Charles Darwin or Jeff Bezos.

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The Flow

The things that are going on in the world and in our country are important but they do not compare to the importance of the things that are going on in every one of our personal lives. We all have to content with issues ranging from family, mates, and friends to career, jobs, and money. On a good day dealing with our everyday lives takes some effort. There are also those times when our personal issues are in a state of chaos for one reason or another. Sometimes there are individual issues but often times it’s a combination of things that we have to deal with.
Navigating our way through all of our personal experiences can be a real challenge sometimes. This navigation is more often than not done with out a road map. We really have to figure it out as we go through what we have to go through. The wonderful thing about all of the things that happens to us is that there is always a reason and purpose to our experiences. This process is based on a flow and all of us have our own flow. When we mature in our spirituality we discover that our own individual flow is not going to be enough. There is another flow that we must learn, understand, and be conscious of as we navigate on our journey to total peace
I can honestly say that I have been able to enjoy my life .I am fulfilled and I am at total peace most of the time. However it has not always been that way. It has been a long process. And as I mentioned earlier this process is one that is different for everyone. It all depends on what things are happening in each of our individual lives. When I say things I am specifically talking about the lessons that the creator brings into all of our lives every day. When we are able to understand the lessons that we are being taught on a daily basis then these lessons are able to move us towards a peaceful existence during our stay here on earth. In time these total combined lessons in all of our lives take us to a place in our life that is unparalleled to anything else we will experience.
In my book Divine Essays from the Spirit Within. I refer to this forward moving process as the Divine Flow. I call it that because it is a flow that not one of us has any control over. It is a flow that comes from the creator. This flow is something that I know that we are all born with but it takes a while before we can understand what it is all about. The only thing that we can do is live each and every day so that we are able to learn from the lessons that the creator has for each and every one of us.
It took me more than a moment before I was able to understand what the Divine flow was all about and to get on my own Divine flow. It took even a little more time before I was able to allow this Divine flow in to all aspects of my life. The primary reason why my road to discovering the Divine flow was such a difficult one was because of my personality traits. I am not afraid to admit that I am the classic type A personality and for those of you who do not know what that means. Here is an example of how my type A personality use to manifested itself in my life. On any given typical morning I would be making breakfast, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the house, and paying bills. I would be doing all of these things all while getting ready for work! I know It sounds crazy; but it’s true. I know that all of my fellow type A personalities know exactly what I am talking about. It was during this time in my life that I was living by my own flow instead of the Divine flow. The thing that I was able to see early was living by my own flow was putting my body, mind and spirit under enormous amounts of stress. Sadly the culmination of the stress caused by me living my life by my own flow cause me to end up in the hospital.
My personality traits were one of the major reasons that I was in crisis during that time. Unfortunately, we can not choose our personality traits the good ones or the harmful ones. I was able to manage my harmful personality traits with the help of a mental health professional. My time in therapy was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I learned how to develop new strategies for dealing with all of my personality traits especially the ones that were causing me harm. During the passage of time I was able to understand and able to piece together all of my lessons from the past and present. This allowed me to get the final pieces that I needed to complete the puzzle that led me to my own Divine flow.
I am very thankful for all of the experiences that I had to endure that led me to my Divine flow. One of the most important things that I ever learned in my life was that once I reached a certain level in my spiritual development my own flow and the Divine flow becomes the same thing.
Living your life in the Divine flow will have an enormous impact on your life. It will mean the difference between having a joy filled, event filled, happy and peaceful life or having a life that is punctuated by difficulties and struggles. I hope that I was able to get you to at the very least think about the lessons that you are learning right now. It is also at this point that I would like to ask you all a question. Are you living your life in your own flow or are you living live on the Divine flow? Think about it and Let me know. Enjoy life and I look forward to sharing with you again.
Peace and Soul
Mr. Darryl Williams is the author two books Divine Essays from the Spirit Within and Moving Forward (Coping with Negative Emotions). He is working on his first novel.
Mr. Darryl Williams writes a feature monthly spirituality/ motivational column in the lifestyle section of Velvet Addiction. He also writes a monthly feature column in Embracing Your Spirit. Mr. Darryl Williams also has been a contributing writer to Rise magazine and The Rap magazine. His contributions include motivational, spirituality, self development, political and popular culture.
Mr. Williams is also the editor and creative director for the magazine Embracing Your Spirit. Mr. Williams served as editor and creative director for a B.E.L.L Summer Program Magazine- Bronx NY.
Mr. Darryl Williams is a motivational speaker conducting and participating in seminars, workshops and panel discussions for various community, civil, religious and social organizations. Educator/ Teacher- Mr. Darryl Williams is the co-founders and chairman of a not for profit community based child care agency in New York City.

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Foreign Policy and International Topics of Interest for Think Tanks and Radio Listeners

Greetings everyone on this 18th day of October 2012, I sincerely hope your day is going better than those who live in Syria where the refugee border camps are filling up and neighboring nations can’t really afford to take anymore, as 36,000 people have already died in that civil war according to UN figures, which I guess one could say are unreliable, nevertheless my sources do tell me the numbers is very high, perhaps even close to that 36K number. So, it’s a tragedy anyway you look at it.
Okay so, let’s get right into today’s talk show and well you know the format; “I talk you listen, you listen, then we open up the phone lines for your questions and comments, and feel-free because you don’t have to agree, you just have to have an intellectual counter argument, or a decent comment, and we are all good to go, if not, as you know – click goes your dial tone – so fair warning.”
Since the up-coming final presidential debate will be primarily on foreign policy, we will start there, as these last few debates, if you can call them that, well, they certainly aren’t helping along our national dialogue with sound bites of 2-minutes at a time and with at least enough interruptions to run you out of toes and fingers to count with. Reminds me of a reality TV series where 2-people are left on the island and they are arguing to stay – well, let’s get into it now – because we are once again at the top of the hour and it’s time to play – game on!
Now then, according to the Futurist Magazine, November-December issue 2012, there was an article in Future Scope in their September-October issue on page 4 discussing the challenges with the beef industry. You see, droughts in the US have hurt the beef industry something terrible, and according to the article; “China’s Growing Appetite for Meat Will Strain Global Supply,” these challenges could be exacerbated. We already know this is something we’ve been told from reading the news and understanding the serious nature of the drought this year. Of course, we know some of the pacing and moaning has been due to the Farm Bill (packed with pork for food stamps I might add – which is corporate welfare plus a social program) which Congress is trying to get passed, and the lobbyists such as the big corporate farms.
Still, it is a serious and real issue, even on the Mississippi River they noted that many of the barges were parked, and there was a traffic jam of some 100 barges as they had to navigate the center of the river due to the low volume, and there was no two-way traffic. This doesn’t bode well for US farm exports, or manufacturing exports which use that waterway to get to the Gulf of Mexico, the port in New Orleans.
We also know that many of the cattle ranchers took their cattle to slaughter early because they couldn’t afford to feed due to the drought issues, and cattle drink lots of water as well. This meant be prices were at an all-time low for a very short period of time, and now the demand has far outpaced the supply and the prices are will be far too great.
Incidentally, in Tennessee the favorite restaurant chain “Backyard Burgers” filed bankruptcy, and there will be more, the price of beef was a factor along with new regulations and health care costs – aka Obama Care.
Saudi Arabia is now attempting to get into the beef and dairy industry, even though there is very little water and they must import their feed, but I suppose they can trade for oil, plenty of that stuff, plus new fracking strategies allow for more – so peak oil is going to have to take a hike for a while, although that day too is coming to a Kingdom near you if you live in the Middle East.
Still, what about the perpetual drought problem in Saudi Arabia, pretty much a desert in many parts? Well, yes it is, but they are using desalination techniques, and trying their hand at building special airflow condensers to keep the cattle cool. Could this be a new industry for them, they think so. Not to mention the fact that there is a huge market and demand for meat around the globe. China for instance, they’re eating more and more beef these days.
Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal cattle ranchers are working to use predetermined-sex artificial insemination strategies now, why you ask, to produce more female cows. This will allow them to increase their herds more rapidly when the water comes back, the feed prices come down, and things return to normal – question is; what is the new normal going to be? In the past it’s taken years to rebuild the herds after large scale droughts, and that doesn’t bode so well for our first world nation which eats quite a bit of meat. It looks as though free-market capitalism in the global marketplace is working around these issues, but the beef industry is hardly out of the woods yet.
And speaking of the global marketplace, we aren’t the only nation anymore looking for an intelligent workforce and recruiting from all over the planet. Today we are competing with Europe, China, Brazil, India, the Middle East, Japan, Australia, Canada and many other nations some first world, some emerging. My question is; are we burning are potential here at home? That is to say; are we playing too much patty-cake in our schools, using too much political correctness, and creating too many socialist tendencies to produce the hard work ethic needed for math and science at the upper divisions?
Do we have enough Tiger Moms and parents that value education to get this done? Speaking of which in Discover Magazine in the October 2012 issue there was a very interesting article by Derek Lowe titled; “The Contrarian View – America Doesn’t Have a Scientist Shortage,” and the author stated; “we need to worry about the quality, not the quantity of US scientists.” Indeed, I think I concur with this because it has also been noted that while India and China are graduating more engineers and scientists, and are now surpassing the United States in the number of research papers produced and patents filed, much of the quality is not up to par, and their research papers are not publishable in the higher end scientific journals.
Not to mention they are often plagued with plagiarism, errors, mistakes, and false data through cheating on the tests and results within their scientific studies. Interestingly enough doesn’t this get back to the 80/20 rule? Where 80% of the people are taking up space and only 20% of the people are really doing anything? And really isn’t there an 80/20 rule on top of that where 80% of the remaining 20%, equaling 4% is really where it’s at? And if only 4% of the scientists are really making significant headway, why do we everyone else, why not focus on the best and brightest?
Merely sending people to school so they can make more money or get better jobs, or become scientist may not be relevant unless they can pull their weight, make new discoveries, and therefore we get a return on investment for all those research dollars are government is pumping into the sciences. Besides that have you looked at college tuition costs rising at 5% to 7% per annum, wouldn’t you like that level of return in your investment portfolio since the turn of the century? And what about 9.6% and rising student loan default rates? We need to rethink all this, well, your thoughts might be interesting once we open up the call lines.
In Foreign Affairs Magazine September-October 2012 issue there was an interesting article by Andrew J Nathan and Andrew Scobel titled “How China Sees America” where they state that China sees the US as aggressive and hostile, and to that I say; “what a coincidence, does anyone have a mirror they can borrow, or did they already steal that intellectual property and design to make those mirrors to sell to Wal-Mart to sell here?” What brought on that article on, why did the author write it you ask?
Well, I suppose it was the comments by Mitt Romney on the campaign trail, and part of his five-point economic plan where he said he would crack down on China as a currency manipulator, along with their intellectual property theft, cyber-attacks and information stealing, along with their own aggressive actions in their surrounding territorial waters which are also claimed by nations like Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. All of which have had words, and conflicts on the sea, sometimes over mere shoals, protruding rocks, and tiny islands.
Now China has an aircraft carrier in its Communist Red Army’s Navy and so one could say that their military is no longer just about protecting the mainland, but projecting force, after all isn’t that what aircraft carriers are for? This new aircraft carrier of theirs, albeit an old refurbished one which should have been sold for scrap or turned into an amusement park like the now famous Noah’s Ark replica in Hong Kong, will soon begin sea trials and aircraft operations.
Perhaps The RAND Corporation made a terrible tactical error, albeit perhaps politically correct at the time when they wrote the paper about “China’s International Behavior” where the paper insisted that China was consistent and nonaggressive, and yes, even the CFR Council on Foreign Relations, which I’ve often called the Council on Foreign Appeasement is still out today promoting China as benevolent. Still, it wasn’t more than a year later after that Rand research report when all this other stuff started, along with their new military bases and port operations which are often referred to as the “string of pearls” which keep growing in size and numbers all the way to Pakistan which signed over a deep sea port of theirs on the Arabian Sea.
Therefore maybe Mitt Romney is right, and maybe the authors of this Foreign Affairs Magazine should be more concerned with what’s going on, rather than what either of our nation’s thinks about the other, because obviously they don’t care, and they see trade along the same line graph as war, only to a lesser degree, they’ve even stated so. Further, it’s hard to say why people in the United States trust any product coming from China after the poisonous pet food, the chemicals in the drywall, the lead in the toy paint, or the protein in the fish feed and livestock feed where those products are then processed and sent to the United States consumer. Mitt Romney is right and China needs to play fair, why is that not the order of the day in the Obama Administration – I mean last time he went to visit they dressed him up in a Mao Costume for the stage, remember?
Next, there was another interesting article in that Foreign Affairs issue, it was titled “America the Undertaxed – US Fiscal Policy and Perspective,” by Andrea Louise Campbell and in her article she had a chart showing which nations were taxed the most, and which were taxed the least. The socialist European nations were taxed the highest starting with Denmark and Sweden at 48%. The United States, Chile and Mexico were at the bottom at 24.1, 18.4, and 17.4 respectively. Personally, I don’t think it is right to compare the United States to a socialist nation, and I believe with our self-reliant upbringing, and our strong traditions we need not go in that direction, nor would we really enjoy a large centralized big government Nanny State.
You see, those other nations have very small populations, and previously very homogeneous perhaps not as much today, but then again their economies are not doing all that great now are they? The United States is a nation of immigrants, and people have come here from all over the world, we have many cultures mixing in our society, and huge populations.
Most of those socialist Nordic countries have very small populations, and we have many cities with populations far more than that, not to mention some of our largest states. We shouldn’t compare a country with a population of 4 to 12 million and assume those strategies will work with the United States with states like California and just Southern California alone will soon be approaching 20 million.
As far as I am concerned it’s unfortunate that Foreign Affairs Magazine has such jaded articles towards the socialist point of view. Yes, it is an academic intellectual point of view, but that doesn’t make it right, that just proves that our academia has also been infiltrated with these poorly thought out economics theories, ones which don’t not work, and for example we can look at Argentina, Venezuela, Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and of course Portugal – and realize I’m only naming a few.
Some of the same people do not believe in free-market capitalism or capitalism at all. In fact in that same Foreign Affairs Magazine there was an article suggesting that positive GDP growth might not be good at all; “Is Growth Good – Resources, Development and the Future of the Planet,” by Francis Beinecke, who immediately suggested; “environmentalists do not oppose growth,” however, here in the United States they surely do. And if some of these academics would get out of their lecturing halls and run a real business in the real world they might see it is quite evident that environmentalists do oppose growth, on every corner in every city and town in the United States or the world for that matter.
Just go try to put in a new restaurant, carwash, retail store, apartment complex, or God forbid some industrial business? You will be tied up in Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) until you either run out of money pain lawyers, or the bank which was going to fund the project gets taken over by the FDIC, got to love Dodd Frank and “too small to survive” theory. You might think I’m just kidding, but I’m not go try to run a business in this country and see what you’ll be up against. Many of our rules and regulations have everything to do with environmentalism, socialism, and that agenda against free-market capitalists.
Still, when it comes to austerity it doesn’t seem that the socialists want to cut back and live within their means. Rather they would just like to tax everyone in “until they run out of other people’s money to spend,” which of course is a famous quote I borrowed from Margaret Thatcher. In that same issue of Foreign Affairs Magazine, there was an article titled “Stimulus or Reform – Charting a Path out of Recession – No Time for Austerity,” by Mezie D. Chin.
Of course, even though Barack Obama had spent over $5 trillion over the federal government’s tax revenues over the last four years it was suggested in The American Prospect Magazine in September-October 2012 that the Obama administration should have used more stimulus money but chickened out. Can you imagine what the federal budget deficit would be if we had been allowed to spend even more? The reality is that they wasted the money – funding huge alternative energy projects that happened to be run in 50% of the cases by their crony capitalist friends and campaign contributors, as Mitt Romney noted in the debate and the “fact-checkers” didn’t challenge – why? It’s the truth.
The way I see it, that is basically using the taxpayers money for paying back there political contributors to ensure that those same campaign donors would continue to give them money in their next round for re-election in 2012, which is where we are right now. If you disagree, all you have to do is look at the campaign donation records, and all the names of the executives, and investors behind those projects. It’s all there in black and white – or call in with proof otherwise when we open the phone lines.
Still, the socialist say we need to give more money to the poor, but now we are giving money to the middle class, or what used to be in the middle class, as we have 47 billion people on food stamps now. Meanwhile the same folks want the US taxpayer to give more money in foreign aid to help in the war on poverty.
Okay, sure let’s talk about poverty for a moment, since I brought it up. You see, there was an interesting article titled “The Other War On Poverty” by Leon R Kass in International Affairs Magazine, Number 12 – Summer 2012. Now then, I have to ask, having written a couple of e-books on some of the poorest people in the very poorest nations either living in rule poor areas or in urban slums that often the war on poverty causes more poverty, what’s happening in this regard. Poverty is increasing in the US remember?
Indeed, this shouldn’t surprise us because the war on terrorism seems to have caused a greater ability of the terrorists to recruit more, therefore there is more terrorism. And the war on drugs seems to have increased the cost of drugs, crime, and violence. There are more people on drugs, and more money flow because of it. When it comes to our foreign policy – well, maybe the entire concept of “winning their hearts and minds” isn’t working, and that familiarity is merely bringing more contempt, further, it should be noted that the law of unintended consequences seems to live within these socialist strategies, as if it is a cancer on humanity as we teach more folks to take a fish rather than to learn how to fish and remain self-reliant, now everyone is becoming weak, and they cannot stop wanting more – so which problem have they solved lately – none, certainly none using those silly socialist strategies – I’d say, perhaps you might opine? What say you, my faithful listener and article reader?
Further, it seems that we are stifling free enterprise, and free-market capitalism at every turn through overregulation. We are driving businesses away from our shores due to these increased rules and regulations, union demands, and over lawyering. It’s getting very difficult to build anything in this country (even hamburgers, as I mentioned) and still compete on the global market, we’ve increased our wholesale prices due to regulation and taxes on just about everything from the fuel that our corporations use in delivery to the raw materials they need to make the basic products.
In National Affairs Magazine, Summer 2012 there was an article by Christopher DeMuth titled; “The Regulatory State,” where he simply stated a known truism to anyone in the DC Metro area; “Washington is on a regulatory growth spurt. Hundreds of rulemaking proceedings underway or pending,” and he cited; Dodd Frank, Obama Care, the EPA, and the FCC. I ask what about the FAA, FTC, DHS, and FDA just to name a few more?
Still, another author of an essay in The American Prospect Magazine, September-October 2012 issue wrote an article titled; “What If Labor Dies, What’s Next? By Harold Meyerson. Well I’ll tell you what would happen, it would be wonderful because the American taxpayer would not be put on the hook to bail out the underfunded pensions, the American consumer would not have to pay too much for all the products they buy, and we wouldn’t have some people getting Cadillac healthcare benefits driving up the cost of healthcare for everyone else which has increased 8% per year. We wouldn’t have as many protests, work slowdowns, folks trying to sneak out early and get disability benefits. And we wouldn’t have giant voting blocs lobbying politicians and electing more socialist thinking leaders into our legislator or executive branch in our states or in our federal government. It actually could be wonderful for our country.
Now then, I ask where is all this socialist type thinking coming from anyway. Well, much of it is coming from the intellectual elite of academia. Of course I don’t see them as anymore intellectual as anyone else and remember I run a think tank so I am not just spouting hyperbole here, as a matter fact I see that they are missing some space on their resume because they’ve never run a business in their life, so they don’t understand economics or how the world works. Some of them actually assume that government is the creator of jobs and the economy. It’s not, despite what our President has mentioned previously in speeches that inadvertently hurt my feelings and the feelings of small business entrepreneurs around this great nation.
It’s not supposed to be that way, especially in the United States where we have a private central bank. Of course, under threat from the legislature and executive branch, they seem to be bending too much to political pressure, and they keep loaning the federal government money that our government cannot pay back with its current economic strategies, or won’t pay back one day, meaning they will default.
Just the other day, I was at one of the big box bookstores sitting in the coffee shop and I talked to a nice lady who was getting her teacher credentials so she can teach at the college level; history and anthropology. Part of her certificate required her to take a prerequisite class on economics. She thought that was unfair, she thought economics was too hard, and she was upset that she even had to study it. However, if you look at history, various socioeconomic strategies have either succeeded, or failed and caused entire civilizations to collapse. And I’m just not talking about Amsterdam moving forward, or the challenges in Europe with the textile industry produced in India, or the changes in trade with the great Silk Roads.
We can go all the way back to the coins which were often cut into pieces because they were traded by weight not necessarily by what was on the coin, some of which they found in Norway recently dating extremely far back, more than a thousand years. It seems unfortunate that a history teacher at the college and university level feels that learning economics isn’t an important foundational basis for her studies. But indeed, isn’t that really the problem were looking at here?
We have students graduating from high school who may never go to college who cannot balance a checkbook, who never took an economics class, but they still vote. If a politician stands up the podium and says; “you can get free stuff for the rest of your life, and the government will pay for it, just vote for me,” then they will, and they have, and it’s still going on in this current election, and you think people would know better after looking at the dismal economic performance and failure an economic recovery from the Obama Administration. Am I showing my political colors here? Perhaps so, but if you listen to this radio show long or read my articles enough you know exactly what I’m talking about, but you are one or the informed ones, an informed voter, what about all these other folks? They are voting too you know.
Personally, I have seen the future, but Obama’s vision of it doesn’t exist in that future, it can’t. Because if the United States of America is to have a future at all, it cannot be a socialist one, or this whole thing is going to come down like a crashing house of cards being run over by a cement truck, laden with all that dead weight, debris, and debt. Well, I guess that’s my opinion, and I thought it was rather great when Mitt Romney stated at the end of the third debate during this political season; “The Obama Administration’s policies have failed, this is the United States of America and we don’t have to live like this,” and then offered up his five-point plan one more time. I guess I’m with him and those words, and as you know we like to get a little opinionated on this radio show and with the articles I write.
So here we are once again at the end of 30 minutes of me talking, and you listening, and now it’s your turn to sound off I will now open the phone lines, or if you are reading the transcript online post a comment or two, or shoot me an electronic mail message.
Remember the rules; bring your mind, engage in intellectual dialogue, and maybe we can do better than these tit-for-tat cat fights in these presidential election debates we’ve been listening to? That’s the goal here today. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it, and you can start dialing that phone now, or posting a comment below if you are reading this online.

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MBA Essay Tips for Cornell’s Johnson School

Over the past several years Cornell University’s Johnson MBA program has revamped everything from the curriculum to the programs offered by the school to the application process. Candidates can now choose between a traditional two-year full-time MBA program and a one-year program designed for focused candidates with an educational foundation in business topics. Another, newer program, offers a one-year study opportunity in New York City focused on technology.
Cornell’s application process has innovated as well. Now, a new process integrates Linked In profiles with the application process, allowing candidates to auto-fill sections of the application.
Applicants for both the One-Year and Two-Year Ithaca based MBA programs: You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. In 2,000 characters or less please write the table of contents for the book in the space provided or upload it as an attachment. Note: approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity
This essay is an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are on a personal level. You can use this opportunity to demonstrate your unique career goals, personal attributes or community involvement. Something that has been a constant theme in your life since childhood could be an interesting part of this essay. Perhaps you have had a lifelong involvement with a charity, sport or musical pursuit.
When structuring the story, think of this essay as a way to communicate a narrative theme of your life to the admissions committee. What are the key moments that are meaningful to you? Were there key stories involving your friends, family, professional pursuits, hobbies or interests that impacted the person you are now? This narrative likely has more than one focus because you are more than one-dimensional. You may spend one chapter on a personal event, another on interests in school, and another on an important travel experience. Consider balancing the personal, professional and extracurricular carefully to communicate as much as possible about each area.
Though the essay specifically asks for the Table of Contents, you can certainly illuminate each chapter through brief descriptions. Describe the major milestones and be sure to share your essay with friends and family to make sure you are communicating effectively though the creative exercise.
One-Year Ithaca applicants only: How does your pre-MBA experience prepare you for the job that you envision post-MBA? (2,000 characters)
Two-Year Ithaca applicants only: What is the job that you would like to have immediately upon graduating with your MBA? (2,000 characters)
Both the applicants to the one- and two-year programs in Ithaca are asked to define career goals in this set of essays. The essay for the one-year program asks for your career goals, but also asks for more detail on your pre-MBA experience. The two-year essay prompt is more directly focused on your job immediately post MBA.
For either essay you will want to give some background about why you are interested in your specific career pursuits. Rather than reciting every experience pre-MBA you ideally will focus on the key inflection points in your career. When considering what aspects of your past career to focus on, think about the situations that led you to realize what you really want to do, that built skills that will be important to your goals, or introduced you to people who were crucial to your development.
For the one-year essay prompt note that the essay asks generally about your pre-MBA experiences and not only your purely professional experiences. You may have learned about yourself and your interests from an extracurricular or volunteer activity and that background may be entirely appropriate for this question as well.
Make sure to spend enough time on how the Cornell MBA will help you achieve your career goals to demonstrate why Cornell is the right place to spend the next two years of your life. Academics are going to be a crucial part of your career goals, yet classmates and activities will also be important as you develop your career network.
Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech: As the only MBA program not housed in a business school, we know our students will be different. Students will be part of an innovative environment where creativity, technical sophistication, and sharp business sense share seats at the table. We value expressions of who you are and what you add to this formula.
There are three ways to demonstrate how you fit within this dynamic setting. You must select one of the following as part of your application, demonstrating your creativity, style and technical experience:
• send a link to your work
• upload a video
• provide a written sample
Whether you choose a creative approach or write an essay in response to this question, researching the Johnson MBA at Cornell Tech is a productive way to start working on this question. The Johnson MBA focuses heavily on technology and digital, and is seeking students who have practical experience in those areas. This experience could span anything from programming to graphic design, or even business development.
If you are someone with a creative or technical skill set than sending a link to your work may be an ideal expression of why you are applying to this program. For almost anyone creating a video could demonstrate your creativity, personal attributes, and personal fit with the program. If you focus on a written essay as a response make sure you are able to communicate your passion for technology, the digital economy, and the opportunity to study with students in the Cornell Tech Master’s program.

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Auteurist Critique of Katsuhiro Otomo

To general western audiences these days Japanese animation has grown to have a rather large reputation as primarily being a children’s form of entertainment. This global identity which has become familiar with most parents was most likely the result of this distinctive visual art form becoming popularised through children’s television on weekend mornings. While this belief that Japanese animation is mostly aimed at children is well known amongst parenting groups in the Americas and Europe, this is, for the most part, only half-true.
Japanese animation, or simply called anime, is in fact a lot more popular amongst teenage groups due to a majority of content having more adult appeal. As Susan J. Napier wrote in her book Anime: From Akira to Princess Monoke about Japanese animation’s popularity in both cultures “The “culture” to which anime belongs is at present a “popular” or “mass” culture in Japan, and in America it exists as a “sub” culture. However, as Treat’s point about the mercuriality of value suggests, this situation may well change. Indeed, in Japan over the last decade, anime has been increasingly seen as an intellectually challenging art form, as the number of scholarly writings on the subject attest.” (Pg. 4).
As the film making industry flourished in Japan during the years following World War II, so did its sister medium of animation and became both a “mass” culture and a “sub” culture as discussed above. And while this style of animation had entered markets foreign to Japan as early as the 1960’s it wasn’t until the 1980’s and 1990’s that it began to grow as a major cultural export. As Fred Patten wrote about Japanese animation’s first experience in North America during the 1960’s in his book Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews “Most viewers never realised these were not American cartoons. If they did, they must have concluded that animation was not popular in Japan since there seemed to be so few programs. In fact, these programs were the early efforts of an immensely successful Japanese cartoon industry.” (Pg. 219).
Although a lot of people today will still view anime to be a type of ‘limited’ animation aimed at children, a vast majority of its storylines and visuals involved postmodern settings and content which was seen as a welcome diversity in a country where Disney was mostly popular in the animation field. Today anime has become embedded in our culture almost as much as it has in Japan and continues to influence animators and illustrators worldwide.
With this ever growing fandom of anime it probably become easy to overlook how anime became a world-wide phenomenon in the first place. In the United States it seemed a lot of adult content had been focused primarily on live action film making, and example being the futuristic dystopian set Blade Runner (1982, USA). Although there were some film directors that have made animated films aimed at adults, a well-known example being Fritz the Cat (Ralph Bakshi, 1973), which to this day is the most financially successful independent animated film, most producers probably didn’t see adult content cartooning having a wider appeal outside of its underground roots and into the mainstream market, especially with the regaining popularity of Disney animation. But while live action film making was just as popular in Japan, animation had become equally mainstream (almost half of film releases in Japan from the 1970’s onwards were animated) so it seemed a lot of film makers saw their form of animation’s somewhat illustrative style would be a perfect suit for adult content and mature themes.
A notable Japanese film maker who not only used animation in such a way but also helped popularise Japanese animation in foreign countries is Katsuhiro Otomo. Otomo can be seen as an excellent example of an auteur for we can see how he repeats his visual style and treatment of genre throughout his films and even how he conveys his experiences and self imagery into the hand drawn line, which has been embedded in narrative structure, visuals, symbolism and just about any other aspect of film making. He really proves how flexible a stylistic medium such as animation can be in conveying his own self and experiences onto the screen. A great way to take an auteurist approach to Otomo’s film making is to compare and contrast a few of them. Akira, Cannon Fodder and Steamboy are all good films to explore.
The film that Katsuhiro Otomo is probably best known for is his animated epic Akira (1988). In any film the one thing that should become immediately obvious is the genre of the film. Otomo’s treatment of genre in his stories is consistent throughout his work in the way that he’ll set it in a particular time period and fantasise it in some way with a lot of postmodern elements. As Paul Wells writes in his book Animation: Genre and Authorship “At one level it is still easy to recognise a ‘horror’ film, a ‘western’, a ‘musical’ and so on, but such is the hybridity of generic elements in many films that there are many aspects of crossover and combination within established genres that in effect, new ‘sub-genres’ have been created. These intersections and adaptations means that any genre rarely operates in an exclusive way” (pg. 41).
Akira is one of the most notable examples of the ‘cyberpunk’ genre which derives mostly from science fiction. While many cyberpunk stories will involve computers and technology such as Ghost in the Shell (Mamuro Oshii, 1995, Japan), it is supernatural and psychic powers that play a more dominant role in this film. The film is set in Neo Tokyo forty years after World War III when an atomic explosion destroyed the old city. This atomic explosion is revealed to have been the result of the Akira experiment which becomes central to the plot.
Otomo’s visual style is quiet distinct in a number of ways. Although he displays Neo Tokyo as a dystopian metropolis ruled over by corrupt politicians he focuses just as much on the culturally diverse population. The established protagonists, including Kaneda and Tetsuo, are part of a group of delinquent bikers who spent some time fighting another biker gang across Neo-Tokyo. The night scenes make a stark use of luminous colour against hard shadows in the night scenes. But what’s notable about his treatment of colour is his use of red and green. His films can be easily recognized though the way he contrasts strong reds with cyan and green colours in an almost unorthodox way. Not only is this contrast abundant in the environments but he also uses complementaries when representing the different groups of people. The biker gangs are often dressed up in saturated red and grey green clothing while the authority figures are often shown dressed with blue and orange.
Backgrounds were meticulously thought out in just about every aspect to ensure depth and spatial relations were correct. The characters were also realistically proportioned rather than featuring the often exaggerated body features that Japanese animation is mostly known for commercially. The films soundtrack is also striking for its seemingly minimum use of instruments. A majority of the original score consists of bamboo drums. The vocals, however, are more dominant in the more important and dramatic scenes. There’s a great amount of contrast between youth culture and the authority figures. The established youths are shown as an almost retro biker gang, which is often called a Bōsōzoku gang in Japan. The older figures above them are either elderly men who consist mainly of the political figures in the film, or more strongly built compared to them such as the Colonel and the police officer that interviews the kids in the crowded building after Tetsuo was taken in by the army. There seems to be a subtle amount of satire towards both ends as each are shown to have major flaws of egotism and arrogance. As for gender, neither gender seems to be highly sexualized. However, there is one highly fetishised scene in which Kaori is attacked by one of the bike gangs when her shirt is torn off revealing her breasts. Since females aren’t fetishised in other scenes this choice was possibly done to raise excitement in the sequence.
There may be an amount of psychological influence coming from the environments. Just about every street scene is shown to have graffiti and other vandalised and abused objects scattered across. Even the school is shown to be just as unkempt as the bar hang-out and alleyways.
What drives the post modern narrative structure of the film is its themes, which consist of power, corruption and ego. All three themes are abundant in the back story in which the Akira experiment became too much for the government to handle, hence the atomic explosion at the opening scene of the film. The same cycle seems to repeat itself only with Tetsuo being given telekinetic powers after he crashed during the turf war against the clown gang. As his newly given power grows, so does his ego as he lashes out at Kaneda before having a nervous breakdown and being taken into custody again. The government’s actions to try and contain Tetsuo only prove to be futile as he becomes powerful enough to fight the oppressing army that seems to dominate the dystopian city.
Symbolism also plays a major role in the film’s narrative. There is a religious cult surrounding Akira demonstrating in the streets in one scene, in a dystopian city where there is hardly a place for religion. This religious cult is much more active in the later sequence where Tetsuo, with his fully fledged powers, is leading protesters across the bridge to the Olympic stadium in a revolt against the government believing that Tetsuo is the second coming of Akira. Humorously, this religious cult is put an end to very quickly when Tetsuo destroys the bridge leading to the stadium. This part of the film is a good example of where films soundtrack is striking for its seemingly minimum use of instruments. A majority of the original score consists of bamboo drums. The vocals, however, are more dominant in the more important and dramatic scenes such as here, where the vocals are orchestrated to increase the drama, and therefore heightening the demonstrator’s regard to Tetsuo as a sort of holy figure.
Symbolism is especially abundant in the dream and hallucination sequences. As Tetsuo’s powers develop he has a hallucinogenic vision of three monstrous toys bleeding and spewing milk, widely considered to symbolise not only growth and fertility but the gaining of knowledge. They are later scared away by the sight of Tetsuo’s blood, a symbol of adolescence. This is an important visual aspect to the film because it displays how Tetsuo’s growth of power is currently effecting him and also hints at his unhappy childhood Later in a flash back it is shown how Tetsuo and Kaneda befriended one another when Kaneda stole back a toy taken from Tetsuo by bigger kids. These dreams and flashbacks show the audiences the relationship between the two friends, even as their two egos grow in conflict. As Paul Wells writes in his book Understanding Animation “Symbolism, in any aesthetic system, complicates narrative structure because a symbol may be consciously used as part of the image vocabulary to suggest specific meanings, but equally, a symbol may be unconsciously deployed and therefore may be recognised as a bearer of meaning over and beyond the artist’s overt attention. In other words, an animated film may be interpreted through its symbolism, whether the symbols have been used deliberately to facilitate a meaning or not. This can, of course, radically alter the understanding of the film, arguably making it infinitely richer in its implications, or misrepresenting the project altogether” (pg. 83).
These symbols and metaphors that Otomo has included in the film are vital to the viewer’s understanding of the narrative and messages in the film, especially in a script that involves a lot of dialogue. Just as Tetsuo and Kaneda’s friendship is made clearer through the films symbolism, so too is the audiences understanding of the central plot, which is the character of Akira. It’s revealed that Tetsuo is experiencing the same victimisation of scientists using him to ‘play God’ in their experiments, and just like the atomic explosion at the start of the film which destroyed Tokyo, Tetsuo causes the same effect and impact when he loses control of himself and metamorphosises into an organic creature. Akira was called on by the Espier children to put an end to it by repeating the same process and creating another explosion which wipes out Neo-Tokyo, although Kaneda and a few other characters survive. This is followed by another muted black explosion which creates another universe. Tetsuo’s voice can be heard, implying that he has become a God like entity in another dimension.
Underneath the film’s post modern themes of power and corruption, one could interpret the atomic explosions shown in this film more like a ‘Big Bang’, which was said to be the beginning of the universe. In other words, with every apocalypse comes a new beginning and a new start for any person that should survive. Tokyo was able to rebuild itself and it could presumably rebuild itself again, just as it can be presumed men will attempt to achieve the power of a God again since they hadn’t learned from their mistakes the first time around and may not again.
Considering Akira proved to be a milestone in animation due to its incredible attention to detail in its art form, this makes one of Otomo’s later films entitled Cannon Fodder (1995, Japan) a very interesting contrast, the third and final epidoe of his Memories film. Cannon Fodder’s treatment of genre is similar to how Otomo will usually create a hybrid genre. It is primarily a steampunk story. It’s set in a walled city where giant cannons are built on top of the roofs of every building. The whole population’s livelihood depends on the working class citizens maintaining, loading and firing these cannons which launch missiles at the enemy city. The whole culture of the city is shown to be a working class population in a sort of socialist regime like communist Russia, so the look of the film mostly copies the iconography of European culture during wartime, including stone streets, steam locomotives in train stations and even the clothing the people wear, who all seem to dress with helmets on. The city is shown in clouds of smoke and dust from their attack on the ‘enemy city’, which seems to be the basis on the society’s entire economy. Even posters displayed on the walls parodies the Russian alphabet.
The whole narrative follows a school boy who aspires to serve in the war and his father who works on maintaining the cannons. The narrative structure uses a technique a lot like the film Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 19, USA) in which the entire film is one continuous shot panning and dollying across to different locations. As Gilberto Perez wrote in his book The Material Ghost “Telling is indeed like counting, not in content, of course, but in form: a story is told in succession, one thing and then another and then another, as things are counted.” (pg. 50).
Otomo may have seen this style of direction created by Hitchcock as appropriate to introducing the audience to the world in which the characters live in. The start of the film, for example, opens in the child’s bedroom, follows him out into the kitchen with is filled with pipes and mechanics producing steam showing the type of technology they have, pans across the kitchen and back, then follows the boy exiting his home with his father and follows them through the city brings us around their daily lives. Since the shots flow into one another (at least until the end of the second act) the audience will feel included in the world and a little less alienated as their point of view is following the characters.
What is the most unusual about the film is its choice of animation. Instead of the meticulously, realistically proportioned character design like we saw in Akira, the characters are more caricatured and stylized. Not only that but they are drawn in a rough brush pen technique, including the backgrounds. I find this interesting. Since this film’s single camera set-up follows through a culture where war is glorified and a child aspires to fight in future wars, this choice of style in its animation can be seen as being satirical of wartime propaganda that can be published in a children’s book. Even in Nazi Germany similar propaganda techniques have been used while Hitler was in power and at the end of the third act of the film the boy has drawn a picture of himself in crayons, which turns into an animated sequence in itself showing the boys fantasies about serving his home by leading an army into war, all in his crayon inspired imagination. What’s more striking about the visuals is how strong the usage of red and green is throughout, even more stark than what we’ve seen in Akira.
Through the films themes of war and socialism, Otomo seems to make a subtle comment on the way such a society is structured. Although the entire population is entirely accepting of their government’s commands, despite the ugly dystopia they live in, such a system seems to rely on such perfect behaviour from its people so much that it could easily prove to be its downfall. Towards the end of the second act of the film it is revealed that the father has been working on loading the missiles into the cannons. However, along the way he makes a mistake resulting in the missile not being loaded in time. The firing goes ahead as planned, with the father watching on nervously. It isn’t revealed whether or not the father has been punished for the blunder, but it was implied that the shot was unconfirmed to have actually hit the enemy city by the news reporter.
Strictly speaking, if one mistake is made in the governments established plan then the entire plan could fall apart simply because such plans are too perfectly idealistic. It may be seen as a representation of how a population can be programmed by its media into seeing their home as being glorious and not questioning anything about it. If none of the characters actually question anything about their society or seeing anything wrong with it then Otomo has certainly left his viewers questioning the very thing, not just in the surrealist world he created but also in our own world. Could this only be applied to a socialist government during a war or could one start questioning their own society? It is a subtle remark on war and culture but it’s there.
The themes in Cannon Fodder seem to lead into Otomo’s next (and to date last) animated feature Steamboy (2004, Japan). Its genre treatment is similar to Cannon Fodder, as the title implies, being another steampunk film.
Here it is set in an alternative England during the industrial revolution in 1863, and the working class culture has taken enormous developments on steampunk-themed technologies. Although Otomo has set the film in a nineteenth century Victorian setting while copying the iconography of Europe during this period, he took the liberty of mixing in steam powered locomotives and tractor devices with numerous contraptions and inventions such as clawed machines and even a type of ‘monowheel’, which is essentially a steam powered bicycle. These devices are a lot like the kinds of machines that Leonardo DaVinci is known to have illustrated at his time, only technological limitations prevented further development to him.
The devices become more fantasised as the story progresses showing an army of men wearing steam powered armoured suits, aviation devices and even a massive floating fortress powered by steam. The one device that’s central to the plot is the steam-ball, which was created by Dr. Lloyd Steam and his son Edward to make an ultimate source of steam power. The Steam Ball’s creation was established at the start of the film, which had shown the audience not only what the plot will centre around but also to introduce the type of technology that will be displayed in the film. As Thomas Elsaesser and Malte Hagener stated in their book Film Theory: An Introduction Through the Senses about the establishment of a film “…a film’s beginning must lure the audience, i.e. it must prompt the necessary attention and suspense, it must plant important information, but also set the tone and atmosphere that prepares the film to come.” (Pg. 42).
Otomo repeats his usual representation of gender with some exceptions. Male characters are the most active throughout the film as either the protagonists and antagonist or simply the hard laboured citizens in society, and women being less active. Not only that but Otomo hasn’t made either gender sexualised at all, nor is there any fetishism. One exception to this would be the most active female protagonist, Scarlett. Being from a higher class family and the granddaughter of the chairman of the O’Hara foundation she is mostly dressed to look presentable and attractive to a point. Even though there is a hint at being a love interest to Ray, no such romance seems to develop between the two characters. Scarlett is also shown to be the most arrogant and spoilt of the characters and behaves in a much more self-important way to the other male characters.
The animation techniques shown are something of a step-forward compared to Akira. It uses highly detailed and realistically proportioned characters with meticulously worked-out backgrounds in which details and spatial relations are carefully planned out to accommodate the characters movements in a realistic manner. The hand drawn animation techniques are even mixed in with several CGI cuts in the backgrounds. The colour treatment in the visuals is similar in a few ways to Akira. Otomo still uses strong contrasts between saturated reds and green, especially in interior scenes where there’s furniture and pipe work. The reds and greens sometimes even act as a focal point in some shots. However, unlike Akira, which used a lot of bright and luminous neon style colours in its backgrounds, Steamboy used more desaturated browns and greys in its backgrounds and even dark blacks on machinery. This is more suiting to its nineteenth century setting and makes a strong contrast to the more futuristic appeal in Akira.
The narrative in the film can also be compared in a few ways to Akira in its themes of power. Ray meets continuous obstacles in the storyline all as a result of the conflict between both his father Edward and his grandfather Lloyd. The two men are in constant dispute over what to do with their Steam Ball invention, and Lloyd has even warned Ray not to allow the steam-ball to be acquired by Edward and the O’Hara foundation. After Ray was chased by members of the O’Hara foundation from Manchester to London, Ray comes to meet his father who has been building the Steam Tower in London, which he claims will end hard labour for men as it will produce energy to the entire world. Although Ray helps him in completing the tower initially, he meets his grandfather Lloyd again, who reveals that Edward actually wants to use the Steam Ball to create an arsenal of steam powered war machines. This is where Ray starts coming to terms with the morality and ethics of science and what its purpose should be.
Later, Ray steals back the Steam Ball from the core of the Steam Tower and flees, and the next day while international leaders are given a live demonstration of Edwards steam powered soldiers in what is explained to be ‘a war on Britain’, Edward is eager to demonstrate what the Steam Tower really is and uses his other two Steam Balls to launch the Steam Tower into its colossal flying fortress, dubbed the Steam Castle. Eventually, Ray confronts both his father and grandfather in the observation deck of the Steam Castle where the two dispute what their intentions as scientists should be.
Edward believes that he and the foundation are serving purpose to the entire world through their scientific experiments and weaponry should be a part of that while Lloyd believes that science should reveal universal principles and not to be used in absurd ways. A different character named Robert, who was an intended recipient of the Steam Ball, told Ray earlier that science should simply be used to ‘make people happy’. On moral grounds, Otomo has presented two extreme views on science in the form of the conflict between Edward and Lloyd while also giving a grey area for the protagonist to consider. Lloyd even attempts to shoot Edward in order to stop him from developing into a complete ‘monster’, just as the Steam Castle is about to explode over the whole of London. Lloyd then tells Ray that he must “ science from the wicked and preserve the future”.
This can be seen as another comment on humanity and its desire for power just like with Akira, although here power is concerned with science and technology rather than the concept of ‘playing God’. As steam powered technology has rapidly advanced in this alternative universe during the industrial revolution it may be possible for such technology to advance beyond man’s comprehension or control. At the end of the film the pressure from the steam valves inside the Steam Castle’s core becomes too high to stabilise and as a result the fortress explodes over the river Thames. It’s almost like the same theme in Akira about every disaster offering a new beginning. At the end Ray says to Scarlett that “The age of science has just begun”. Could there be lessons learned from Edward’s mistakes and arrogance allowing scientific development to benefit mankind more, or could the same process of man becoming too confident in his developments repeat again? Otomo has left a multitude of philosophies, ideals and ethics, which were discussed throughout the story, about science and technology for the audience to think about, an equally open ended closure to Akira.
After studying three of Katsuhiro Otomo’s films, it has become even easier not only to identify his repeated signature visual style but also his repeated treatment of genre. Like any other director he attempts to convey self-image into his own films and embeds it into a highly post modern form of narrative structure with a focus on symbolism, visual imagery and other aspects. As wrote in his book Robert Stam in Film Theory: An Introduction “Post modernism is a discursive – stylistic grid that has enriched film theory and analysis by calling attention to a stylistic shift toward a media conscience cinema of multiple styles and ironic recyclage. Much of the work on postmodernism in film has involved the positing of a post modern aesthetic, exemplified in such influential films as Blue Velvet (1986), Blade Runner (1982) and Pulp Fiction (1994).” (Pg. 304)
Like the mentioned films in the above quotation some of Otomo’s work still continues to influence film making today. And while some would try to replicate what he has been able to do in Akira and his other films, his own visual identity will still remain his own whether it is his treatment of design, colour, lighting or even how he handles morality and symbolism in his narrative. It is no surprise that artists, animators and illustrators in both western and eastern cultures have cited Otomo as an influence as much as influences from American and European films can be seen in his work such as Blade Runner (1982). Its these western influences on Otomo’s work that may have become the reason behind Akira’s success outside of Japan since it still has a great amount of appeal to western audiences today.
It is known, of course, that film making in Japan started to truly develop after world war two, and even animation made in Japan prior to the war appeared to be derived from Disney style animation, and yet Japanese film makers were able to create an almost completely different culture based on another culture. And even though some Japanese television programs were shown in North America since the 1960’s it is interesting how its distinctive style didn’t actually begin to take hold on the rest of the world until the 1980’s. To quote again from Susan J. Napier’s book “…it appears that it is the “Otherness” of anime rather than its specific “Japanese-ness” that is one of its fundamental appeals to the fans. As discussed earlier, respondents consistently mentioned how different anime was from American or Western products.” (Pg. 255)
A handful of other Japanese animated films released outside of Japan during the 1980’s and 1990’s have had just as much an impact on western culture as Akira, such as Ghost in the Shell (Mamuro Oshii, 1995, Japan) and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984, Japan) Anime seems to have grown to have a different number of meanings outside of its home country but whatever one’s interpretation of this style of animation may be it has certainly offered a wealth of enrichment to artistic careers in both cultures.

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Top 10 Checklist For Writing Your College Essay

Unfortunately there is no one-method-fits-all technique to writing a quality college essay, every topic requires a different approach. However, that being said if you follow this top 10 checklist you can make the process a little easier.
  1. Understand what is being asked. Read the question two or three times, make sure you understand exactly what is being asked. One of the biggest mistakes students make is writing what they think others want to hear, rather than the issue being asked. Plan. Once you have read the question a few times and you are confident that you understand what is being asked, ask yourself “what do I need to do to answer the question?” Begin jotting down ideas on paper – anything that pops to mind. Start to formulate a ruff plan, then slowly an overall plan for each section will start to emerge. Tell a story. As you make your plan, try to tell a story, set the scene, and introduce the reader with some background info. Take the reader on a journey that ends with a conclusion – a conclusion that answers the question. Ask yourself “so what?” Does your story have a point? As you write your essay, after each section, ask yourself “so what?” Does this paragraph have a point, is it helping to tell the story I am trying to sell? Do something different. Take a risk. Don’t write the essay that everyone else is writing. Imagine you are the marker – after reading 30 essays, the novelty will wear off. A bit of creativity, taking a slightly different angle on even the most boring topic, may be that extra push your essay requires. Remember, even seemingly boring essay topics can sound interesting if creatively approached. “The danger lies not in writing bad essays but in writing common essays-the one that admission officers are going to read dozens of” – Scott Anderson, associate director of college counselling at Mercersburg Academy (PA). Big words do not make good essays. Many students think big words make good essays. Big words are fine, but only if they are used in the appropriate contexts. Grab interest from the beginning. Expect your marker to spend just a few minutes reading your essay. You must use your introduction to grab their interest from the outset. Your introduction needs to do two things; firstly create mystery and Intrigue. It is not necessary or recommended that your first paragraph give away the entire essay. Raise questions in the minds of the reader so that they will want to read on. Appeal to their emotions so that the reader forms a personal connection with your essay. Secondly do not summarize the entire contents of your college essay in your Introduction, if you summarise the entire paper, the marker need not read the rest of your essay! The body is the story. The introduction sets the scene for the rest of the essay so make sure the body of your essay is consistent with the points raised in your introduction and make sure you tell that story. Research. Take the time to research all the information that is required for your college essay. Use a variety of sources – local libraries, teachers/tutors, and friends. With the internet at your finger tips you have access to over 5 billion web pages. Use search engines such as Google to search for information, try a variety of queries, ranging from broad keywords on the discipline to specific queries on the subject matter. Use websites such as Wikipedia and If you get stuck, you can find custom research for your college essay from a number of reputable websites, when using these websites; remember not to plagiarize. For guidelines of what constitutes plagiarism, visit The conclusion is crucial. It is the logical ending to your essay. Students can quite often find the conclusion to be the most difficult part of an essay to write, because they feel that they have nothing left to say – hang in there, it is important to keep in mind that the conclusion is often what your marker will remember most, your conclusion should be the best part of your paper. A good conclusion should complete the essay and emphasize the importance of the thesis statement outlined at the beginning.

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How to Die Peacefully

It is very important to have peace of mind at the time of death. Our friends and relatives will be watching the state of our mind when we are leaving this world for good. The state of mind is affected by our joy, fear, and the circumstances under which we end our life and many other factors which have some influence on our mind.
To have peace of mind, what is needed is confidence that we are created by the Creator to be part of Him and accomplish His purpose for which He created the universe. It is not easy for each one of us to know the Creator’s Purpose in creating the universe. It takes a lot of deep thinking to arrive at the Creator’s thinking. Even with all our deep thinking, we may not always arrive at the correct thoughts of the Creator. However, the Creator is a being of love and all creation is a work of love. Therefore, the Creator will overlook our mistakes and short-sightedness.
When we have infinite faith that the creation was not for the purpose of having worshippers or for any other benefit of the Creator but for the Creator to have a creation to serve. This is a very encouraging thought that we are created because the Creator wanted something or someone to help. Therefore, to please the Creator, all we have to do is to receive the help He wants to give us.
When we think deeply to understand the mystery of this enterprise, we will get to know the mind of the Creator and the relationship between the Creator and the creation. The more we understand the purpose of creation, which is to have objects to serve, we can appreciate how greatly the Creator thinks of the creation and what all service He wants to render to it. When we understand this, we will be eternally indebted to the Creator for having created us. This philosophy will give us peace of mind and purpose of life. But in order to have this peace of mind, we have to think deeply and incessantly of the purpose of the creation. The more we think, the more we will be attached to the Creator and be thankful to him for creating us to render us His best service. All that the Creator wants us to do is to accept the service He wants to give us. To accept all the benefits He has programmed for us and finally, join back with Him at the end of our life to be with Him eternally
When we know this, we will not be afraid to die and we will die peacefully.

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