Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amelie

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Amelie





In this scene from Amelie Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel use camera distance, angle and movement as well as the frame composition and mise en scene to strengthen the meaning of the story. Amelie, a shy, introverted girl, becomes the fairy godmother to unknowing inhabitants of Paris making each of there lives more fulfilling. Throughout the course of her meddling she encounters Niko, an old grade school classmate. However it is not until the end of the movie that she reveals herself to him and of course they fall madly in live. In this scene the two lovers are riding on a moped down the streets of Paris.


Throughout the film the frame composition has focused on the details of the background to the vibrancy of the color palette. However with the actors in the foreground of the shot they now are the focal point of the action. Also the use of close ups shows the expressions of the actors more clearly which gives the audience a more intimate view of the relationship of these two people.


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This shot is extremely realistic compared to the Expressionistic techniques used throughout the film. With the use of handheld cameras and documentary film stock the audience feels as if they are witnessing first hand the compainship and love these two recluses who have found after yeaqrs of lonileness. The use of camera angles at mid range also contributes to the realism of the shot. It seems to represent that Amelie has transcended her make believe world and her fairytale dreams have now become the perfect, romantic ending.





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Women of Islam

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It is commonly understood that information shared freely amongst society within the realm of everyday hearsay is at times lacking a strong foundation of truth. Bethania McKenstry, a quotation author, summed this up in one of her works “Im not sure I want popular opinion on my side -- Ive noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts (1). Benightedness and opinion in a lot of cases lead to extremely distorted ideas about reality, especially when dealing with a subject that is nearly taboo in a society. A society, however, wouldn’t fit the definition if it didn’t consist of a certain sense of culture, ideas, and somewhat of a standard conduct. When one chooses not to make any attempt at fitting the mold of the society they interact with, often many conclusions are drawn as to the reason for their choice. An example of this is the ideas that surround women of Islamic faith that are citizens of the United States, most of which dealing with the Hijab, or veil that Muslim women wear on a daily basis (Mustafa 1). It is, however, a complete injustice to the Muslim religion and the women that practice it, to assume that Islam has been forced upon them, or that they practice their religion under any sort of oppression by the men they consider to be the perfect balance to life.


It is usually thought that the idea of supposed male supremacy in the religion of Islam stems strictly from the idea of the biological inferiority of women to men. The truth, however, consists of a much more complex period of time and can be found within the rise of urban societies. During these times professional classes consisting of agricultural laborers, merchants, and artisans and simply the idea that it was unheard of for women to perform manual labor, paved the road for an extreme level of subordination of women to men in the developing society. After the Mesopotamia area became somewhat settled, the laws governing family life began to change and created quite harsh living conditions for women of the times. In the beginning of the settlement, there were laws that governed the amount of time that a woman and her children could be pawned for the sake of fulfilling the father or husband’s debts, but as the Assyrian rule changed its laws, such regulations were lifted and women and children became virtually at the mercy of fathers and husbands. Assyrian law also specifically allowed for atrocities to the extent of pulling the hair of women out, deformation of a woman’s ears, and beating them with no questions asked. They set forth very strict guidelines as to those who could veil, and those who could not under penalty of extreme physical punishment and humiliation. With the restrictions set forth, it became apparent that the veil of that time was to be worn simply to distinguish the women that were to be considered “respectable” and the women that were not. Not only Assyrian women suffered through periods of development in which they were forced to answer to male dominance. According to “The Status of Women in Islam”, an essay written by Jamal A. Badawi, “Athenian women were always minors, subject to some male-to their father, to their brother, or to some of their male kin. “India had similar principles in that “subjection was a cardinal principle. ()” The first step towards liberation came through times of war. Due to the absence of their husbands and fathers, women took on a form of liberation in that they were forced to perform the roles that were once unheard of for women when the men were called to serve their country.


According to Mary Ali and Anjum Ali, the authors of “Women’s Liberation through Islam”, women’s liberation was called for in the seventh century, and contrary to popular belief, was begun by the Prophet Muhammad, not the women themselves. Through the teachings of Muhammad, who can be considered a feminist for his time, Islam came to condemn the harsh conditions that the pre-Islamic times set forth for the women (Fact from Fiction 1). Women found themselves turning to the Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet, Hadith or Sunnah, to establish their rights and duties amongst society. In these works women of Islam can find their human rights, civil rights, social rights, political rights, economic rights, rights as a wife, and duties as a wife(Ali 1-). The Qur’an establishes in regard to the human rights of women, that due to the idea that men and women both come from the same essence, that their rights as humans are equal at the time of birth and that neither is more inherently worthy of societal rights. Therefore, the idea of women’s physical inferiority to men would not hold any ground for excusing the idea that suffer any inequality when dealing with their moral progression or their accountability towards Allah (Women’s Liberation 1-).


The Qur’an states “There is no compulsion in religion. Right has been made distinct from error(Women’s Liberation ).” The civil rights of women are spelled out within the Qur’an, and establish a basic freedom of choice and expression based on her individual personality.


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In dealing with the social rights of women in Islam the seeking of knowledge is mandated in the Qur’an for both men and women of the Muslim faith, and is set forth in the belief that knowledge and understanding in all aspects of life will help them to maintain good, and demote bad behavior. It is encouraged for women to contribute their knowledge and ideas to the Mosque, but it is preferably done through their husbands. Among other social rights is the right to work outside of the home if she has the skills, and provided the duties as a mother and wife are complete. In Iran 5% of the work force consist of women, and in a place where it was at one point illegal for women to be educated as a form of subordination, 54% of the make-up of college students are women (Beyer 5-6). The duties of wife and mother are a priority in the Islamic lifestyle of women because it is believed that the success of a society is directly affected by a woman’s role as a mother and wife. (Women’s Liberation ).


1400 years ago Muslim women were given the right to vote by God. Along with the right to vote, women are also allowed to hold office, and currently many are doing so throughout the world(through islam). The parliament in Syria consists is ran by ten percent women, and in Iraq 1 of 50 members of parliament are women. Many of the ideas about women of Islam and their supposed powerlessness within society come from the United States, a country that has never had a woman as a president, or even vice-president. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Turkey, all of which are Muslim countries, are, or were at some point ruled by women (Beyer).


Many of the misconceptions about women of Islamic faith surround the sanction of marriage, and women’s rights as a wife. In the majority of western cultures, marriage is regarded as a very special rite of passage, one of complete freedom and choice. The misconception about Eastern cultures, however, is that they are forced to marry a man selected for them, and in addition to that, that they are to be a servant to their husband out of obligation to him. This misconception can be cleared up with the reading of information on any family of Muslim belief.


Islam gave women the right to accept or reject a marriage proposal free from pressure, and by mutual agreement to specify in the marriage contract that she has the right to divorce(if she misses that option she has the right to seek court divorce if she deems the marriage to have failed beyond repair).


Also, contrary to popular belief, Islamic women are not required to change their name at the time of marriage(Fact from Fiction). An article from The Institution of Islamic Information and Education explains that when a man marries that he has certain obligations to his wife just as she does to him, but neither role is more extreme than the other. The woman’s role consists of watching over the household, in aspects such as promoting good for the children and guarding the material possessions, while the husband is responsible for making the money and providing for the family. With these opposing roles assigned by the Qur’an, the idea of a Muslim marriage is that the husband and wife’s roles compliment each other to make the perfect lifelong combination. According to the prophet Mohammad, “The best of you are the kindest to their wives and I am your best to mine(Fact from Fiction).” Here he promotes the good treatment of women by their husbands, and offers the idea that good treatment of them will gain his approval. He also made the comment that “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them(Status of Women).”


There is a strong importance placed on Marriage because of this and many other reasons. The way that marriage is represented in the Qur’an and other Muslim works is that it is to take place in an attempt to appease Allah. “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect (Rahman).” Marriage and raising a family to follow the teachings of the Muslim religion and to be servants to Allah will in turn promote a good standing with Allah, and the Muslim community. The ultimate praise to women within the Muslim community is given to those who have brought children into the world and raise their families according to the teachings of Allah and the Muslim religion. “Paradise is at the feet of mothers,” is a common teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (Status of Women). In truth Islam mandates more for men to marry then for women. “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.” Here the Prophet indicates that without marriage that man cannot complete all aspects of their religion, and that once married that they will be less likely to take part in or think about things that are not of religious purview (Badawi). In a study of Islamic women done by Carol Anway in an attempt to understand her daughter’s way of life, she found that the unmarried participants, all of whom were women, felt “that marriage would give them a better position in the Muslim community.” Without marriage they felt a loss of power and felt that if they had married that they would have more of say in the decisions of the Mosque by way of their husbands (Anway).


By definition the Hijab is “The headscarf worn by Muslim women sometimes including a veil that covers the face except for the eyes (Ali Question). The Hijab, however, to those whom do not understand it the word and sight of it can mean confusion. In a religious aspect the Hijab is worn because of the teachings of Allah “O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing woman to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed…”(Ali Question). This statement represents the idea that women are to cover themselves in an attempt to not be hassled by men, or by any sort of standard they set forth. Ms. Naheed Mustafa, a Canadian born Muslim, says she wears the veil “Because it gives me [her] freedom.” In her article Hijab and Muslim Women she explains that she wears the veil to retreat from the societal burdens of image, and sexuality. As a child and teenager she struggled with the idea of fitting in with her peers and attaining a certain look. After dealing with bulimia, she took on the practices of Islam, and found a freedom in wearing the Hijab. Other ideas set forth in the Qur’an establish that the Hijab is to be worn for the purpose of defending women against the idea that their sexuality might alter or affect the way that they are viewed in society. The Qur’an calls for women to cover all of themselves with exception of what they have to have uncovered to still function such as their eyes, and sometimes their entire face, but in general it calls for modesty of both men and women believers


“Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing woman that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands (Qur’an 40-1 Hijab).”


Staring is unacceptable by believers, and the Hijab is meant to guard against such things. Marriage is one way that it is suggested to maintain modesty “O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty (Badawi).” It is required by the Muslim religion to marry if a man is having unpure thoughts or his modesty is in question. Many countries, however, mandate the Hijab as a form of oppression, and therefore take away the pride that Muslim women do find in wearing it as a symbol of their belief. Regarding the Hijab in relation to recent issues, the Taliban that once ruled Afghanistan enforced the wearing of the attire in order to create an extreme level of subordination of women almost to the point of non-existence, far beyond those of the pre-Islamic times. In an article by Time Magazine “About Face for Afghan Women”, women commented on the fact that with the leaving of the Taliban came a new sort of religious freedom in wearing the Hijab, a freedom they thought they would never see again, just an example of how history repeats itself ().


The recent events of the United States and possibly many other countries have led to a severe misconception about the lives of Women of Islam. Americans saw nothing but the suppression of the Taliban, a group that suggests they were following the teachings of Allah, but by no means have any true Islamic basis for their actions. Confusion, misrepresentation, and ignorance on the part of non followers of Islam have led to the idea that women, because of their faith, are forced to deal with mistreatment. An unnamed scholar commented this idea “It is believed that there is no text, old or new, that deals with the humanity of the woman from all aspects with such amazing brevity, eloquence, depth, and originality, as this divine decree”(Status of Women).


Works Cited


Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven, CT Yale University


Ali, Mary C. “The Question of the Hijab Suppression or Liberation.” Chicago, IL. Gulf Coast Community College Library, Panama City, Fl., April, 8, 00. http//www.unn.ac.uk/societies/islamic/women/hijab.htm


Ali, Mary and Anjum. “Women’s Liberation Through Islam.”


Chicago, IL. Gulf Coast Community College Library, Panama City, Fl., April, 8, 00.


http/www.unn.ac.uk/societies/Islamic/women/women.htm


Anway, Carol L. Daughters of Another Path. Lee’s Summit, MO Yawna Publications.


Badawi, Jamal A. “The Status of Women in Islam” Gulf Coast Community College Library, Panama City, Fl. April 8, 00. http//www.iad.org/books/S-women.html.


Beyer, Lisa. “The Women of Islam” Time Magazine. http//www.time.com/time/world/articl/0,85,185647-1,00.html


Lacayo, Richard. “About Face for Afghan Women” Time Magazine Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City, Fl. April 8, 00. http//www.time.com/time/world/article/ 0,85,185651,00.html


Mckenstry, Bethania. “Quotes of the Day” Gulf Coast Community College Library, Panama City, Fl. April 8, 00. http//www.quotationspage.com/qotd/00-04-0.html


Mustafa, Naheed. “Hijab (Veil) and Muslim Women” Islamic Information & News Network. World Wide Web, Panama City, Florida. April 8, 00. http//www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/hijabexperience.html.


Rahman I, Abdur Prof. “Women in Society”. Zaira, Nigeria. Gulf Coast Community College Library, Panama City, Fl., April 8, 00. http//www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/womeninsociety.html.


“To Separate Fact From Fiction.” California. Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City, Fl. April 8, 00. http//www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/introtowomen.html


Please note that this sample paper on Women of Islam is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Women of Islam, we are here to assist you. Your persuasive essay on Women of Islam will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jesus

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In the world of religion we often look up to many significant figures and moments for guidance. One of these occurrences is life of and the man himself, Jesus. For myself Jesus is the main staple in my faith upbringing, being the relative symbol of what to strive for and do in our lives. As I enrolled into the class of Catholic Vision I knew I was going to gain some more perspective on him, but to what extent I had know clue. Now leaping forward to almost the end of the term I recognize that my knowledge of Jesus has gone to places I was not prepared for. This has happened through the teachings and readings from the book, Jesus the Christ, the catalyst for my new awareness of Jesus and Catholicism as a whole.


As a child I knew that Jesus was supposed to be an important figure in my life through school and my parents. But to what extent, I did not know. I slowly began to learn the answer to that question as the Catholic schooling kept teaching me year after year the importance of faith and who inspires it. Jesus to me was one of those inspirations that ran common throughout all the different classes. Realizing this I thought it would be important to never be satisfied with what I know about him.


As this quest began for me I soon realized that I am going to have to learn an incredible amount of history and faith. This would prove to be hard because all religion classes don’t just talk about Jesus the whole time, I’d have to come up with questions and hopefully understand the answers to get where I needed to be. When I think about this it always brings a smile to my face, because I’m happy I made that choice to learn about someone whom would is the foundation of my faith today. It gave my outlook a positive path to follow in terms of education and going to church as a youngster.


What I learned in the first three quarters of my life about Jesus was pretty much your garden-variety background and interpretations of him and his life. Everything from he was the son of Mary and Joseph by Immaculate Conception to him dying for us on the cross. I always wondered why though, why this man, was there any other men or woman like him in history that we would learn of? I soon understood that the answer to that was a very stern no. He is the standard, the primary source, and the Son of God, with respects to many others; no one can touch his divinity and impact in religion to me.


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Resulting from my newly gained perspective, church became a much better venue to learn and absorb Catholicism and Jesus Christ. I was slowly beginning to be able to relate myself and my experiences to all the teachings and readings that would be verbalized to me during the masses. It was so much more enjoyable to be educated to a certain extent about my religion and it’s foundation while sitting through “God’s” class Sunday mornings at eleven. Having confidence and patience from this resulted in a attitude change that would make religion an optimistic section of my life.


An optimistic boost in my life through religion is just what I needed too, because life only gets harder. I had to look towards Jesus many times in my life. One of these times was when I lost a friend that was very close to me by an accident that seemed like it was an act of God, an act that killed her. I am so happy that my foundation of faith was so strong because I never blamed Jesus once. I had to tell myself millions of times that this was an act from above that was for reason more understanding than what I saw it as. Doing this repeatedly helped me get through the tough times it created and never stopped me in my quest of knowledge in school and church.


This pursuit still continues today in my life. Its biggest contributor is my Catholic Vision class, and even more specifically the thoughts and facts from Jesus the Christ written by Brennan Hill. Not only has this book bonded more tightly my previous learning’s and thoughts of Jesus but it has also brewed new questions concerning him. Along with these new inquiries it has also stirred up some challenging thoughts and moments for me. These ideas would be how Jesus had something in common with all of the different factions during his life, his symbolism for an equal opportunity society, his “indirect” involvement in miracles, and the pre-crucifixion tormenting, and the biggest realization of them all, the whole Jesus of History and Christ of Faith outlook.


Concerning the different factions, Jesus had at least one common bond with all of them no matter how much of a paradox it would seem. I never realized it as I learned about these people in school or what have you, but thankfully I do now. A first group could be the Pharisees, what you could find in common is that they were both simple people and always appreciated everything they had and didn’t care that they were layman. Second you have the Essenes, they shared a common devotion to Yahweh and the Torah. Next is a group called the Scribes, they mutually were educated and knowledgeable of many things, although didn’t see eye to eye on everything. A fourth group is the Zealots. Jesus and they were both honorable to God and also the book talked about their zeal to worship and to commemorate God. Lastly we have the Sadducees, although they were wealthy people, Jesus and them had the same conventional Jewish upbringings and traditions. Although Jesus had many contrasts these groups, the similarities help us see that he was all people, and all encompassing.


A second major idea from Hill was that Jesus was a symbol and almost an activist for society concerning poor people and women. He did what no man would do or agree with, and that is holding these people with the same regard as everyone else in the community. The amazing thing is, that for there to be an equal society it takes one person to break the m that everyone conform to. Jesus was that person, he was the first, and never seemed to blink once, which showed his strength and more importantly his love for all people. This was an inspiring section of reading, not just for the morals but also for the idea that it only takes one sometimes, and how powerful one can be.


The next idea from Jesus the Christ in line is his indirect involvement in miracles. Thoughts that his miracles were not from him, but through him from a greater power. I agreed with this because I always thought of Jesus as a teaching tool for life, not the actual person behind it all. A miracle such as him walking on water is not he, but the greater power using him to show people what they needed to see in him, that he was the one, the person whom they should look to. As history also shows, the people whom did recognize his positive energies lived fulfilling lives, as people do today that believe in him.


A fourth new idea brought to my attention, was that prior to being put up for good on the cross he was tortured and beat due to Pontius Pilot. I knew that he carried the cross and then was crucified on the hill and what happened there, but not the hate committed before it. He was starved and beaten almost to the point where he probably couldn’t carry his own body weight. But he did and persevered with a cross on his back for us. This is something that I will never forget, and now I have more to add to the pinnacle day in Jesus’ human life.


The last and most blinding thought that I learned was Jesus of History and Christ of Faith, how they are separate and how they bond to one person I believe in. The Jesus of History is the one who walked the Earth as I do and was human. He had a life and a being just as everyone does only he had a certain special being, which is all part of us now. The Christ of Faith is the one we know now, and learn about. He is the entity whom is the anointed one in our faith and beliefs. I found this to be special because I always thought of him as a story that flowed from life to death to spirit. But it is actually two different parts that have two different meanings involving the one, Jesus.


These newly inspired ideas in me created a giant question mark inside my head that was filled with little question marks concerning them. This kind of activity in my thoughts dealing with religion is something I almost seem to enjoy because I know that when I ask I will grow. And growth is something I always strive for in educating myself. Hopefully this idea of mine will come through for me in the end with questions from Jesus’ involvement with everyone to the idea of him performing miracles a human like me.


It was hard for me to believe that Jesus had something in common optimistically with all the different factions in his society. This was due to some of the deep contrasting that some of the groups had with him. How could he be bonded with groups like the Zealots who are connected with almost nothing except violence in their community? Or the Scribes who are nothing short of wealthy and educated men whom disagree with everything Jesus is.


Another question brought about dealt with Jesus’ imagery as an equal opportunity pusher in his society. It just made me think of why nobody tried to stop him more harshly if his ideas were so against the leaders of people during his whole life. Why was he only really punished once, at the end of his life? I think maybe those so-called discriminating leaders actually turned to believe in him, like many other commoners did.


The third challenge of the involvement in miracles brought about a question I’m sure I sure with many other people. Do I really believe that a man walked on water, healed by touch, raised the dead? Are we supposed to believe in it, or accept it? I know I always just thought he wasn’t human; he was Jesus, something that has no being or category.


These new challenges and questions have reshaped my outlook on Jesus and my knowledge of him. What I learned and thought of him before was correct but now I can say that I interpret them in manner that benefits me as a human. Meaning that my attitude is boosted to levels that it hasn’t reached before in a positive air and still allows me to see that there is more growth ahead for me and my faith in Jesus and Catholicism. This gives me the impression that if I pursue knowledge of something so mysterious and talked about, meaning Jesus, anything else I go after in education will be that much easier.


What I need to do now is give thought to how I will find the answers to my questions dealing with Christ. And when I gain this information, what will I do with it? I’m sure that answer is something that I will not find until I experience it. This is the philosophy Jesus seemed to follow in his journeys and teachings, so I will try to apply the same to mine. In hopes that I will achieve the same impact, only scaled down some to fit and integrate well with my life and faith.





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Raging Bull

If you order your research paper from our custom writing service you will receive a perfectly written assignment on Raging Bull. What we need from you is to provide us with your detailed paper instructions for our experienced writers to follow all of your specific writing requirements. Specify your order details, state the exact number of pages required and our custom writing professionals will deliver the best quality Raging Bull paper right on time.

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The society one lives in invariably influences the vocational path that person chooses to take. For example, living within a communist society, a person’s career is chosen solely by interest or inheritance because every person earns the same amount whether they are a doctor or a janitor. But in our capitalistic, free market society, people are often driven by the desire for money. Sometimes people are able to both enjoy their profession and earn a substantial amount of money, as in the case with Jake La Motta, the protagonist in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Because Jake is a boxer, society is essentially giving him monetary incentive to act in a violent and malicious manner. Jake is rewarded for his vulgar disposition inside the ring, but these actions continue outside the ring, isolating himself from his relationships and turning himself into an animal. He does not distinguish between the acceptable form of releasing his anger (inside the ring) and the unacceptable ways he displays his hostility. Because of this, he pushes away those closest to him and loses his career.


In the opening scene of Raging Bull, Scorsese establishes the themes that dominate the rest of the film. Although it is a long take that lacks editing, the scene is clearly employing a formalistic quality because of the abstractness. It is interesting to notice that throughout the film, the fight scenes have formalist tendencies while the scenes on the domestic front lean toward realism. In this first scene, Jake is depicted shadow boxing in a smoky boxing ring, seemingly consumed by his mental and physical preparation. Physically, he is preparing for the boxing match he will be competing in; mentally Jake is preparing for the battles he will face in his relationships with those around him. Through the use of mise-en-scene we are introduced to the dominant themes. The scene opens with a long shot of Jake, who is illuminated by top lighting. By using top lighting, Scorsese seemingly isolates Jake from the rest of the scene, commenting on Jake’s isolation from those around him. Further commenting on this idea is the idea that the people in the background outside the ring are barely visible, developing Jake’s sense of autonomy and individualism. As we watch Jake gracefully dance around the ring through the ropes, we get the sense that he is caged in. Another aspect of the mise-en-scene, Jake’s leopard print robe, gives Jake an animalistic quality, suggesting that he needs to be caged in the boxing ring. The fact that Jake is on the left side of the screen notes his weak mental position. Lastly, the non-digetic soundtrack is classical music, further commenting on the melancholy preparation for battle. Observing this mise-en-scene, we are already familiar with the dominant themes of the film without the need for a single word of dialogue.


Scenes that include dialogue, such as the scene following Jake’s first fight when he bullies his first wife around, also convey Jake’s violence and interpersonal conflicts. Jake is depicted with his animalistic nature as a societal outcast, incapable of decent relationships with his neighbors and even those who love him. The scene opens with La Motta in an undershirt, sporting a bruised face from his fight, with three point lighting being applied. Jake is eating like an animal, yelling at his wife “Don’t overcook it. You overcook it, it’s no good.” The desire for an undercooked, bloody steak represents Jake’s carnivorous inclination. The camera cuts to a tracking shot zooming in on an obviously irritated Irma; in the mise-en-scene there is a clock directly in front of her head, implying that her time with Jake is coming to an imminent end. Scorsese frames Irma in the kitchen, using the mise-en-scene to show her separateness from Jake. As the two argue about how the steak should be cooked, we see the shot/reverse shot method of editing being implemented, adhering to the 180 degree rule. Exhausted by Jake’s badgering, Irma brings the steak over to him and slaps it on his plate. The camera cuts to a medium shot of the unpredictably explosive Jake flipping the table over, steak and all.


At this point we are introduced to Jake’s relationship with his brother and the conflict with the mob that will be a prevalent problem throughout the film. The film cross-cuts to Joey talking to Sal, agreeing to talk to Jake about an association with the mobster Tommy. Then it cross-cuts back to the apartment where Jake is violently pushing his wife around as Joey enters the frame. Irma subsequently slams the door, literally putting a barrier between her and her ferocious husband and figuratively showing their isolation once again. The off-screen voice of the neighbor Larry calls out, “What’s the matter with you up there, you animals?” The camera cuts to a medium two shot of Jake and Joey, then to a shot of Jake framed by the window, hollering back at Larry that he’ll eat his dog for lunch. The statement further illustrates Jake’s visceral nature while the mise-en-scene of Jake in the window depicts his isolation from the entire society outside the apartment. Then we see an eye-line match of Irma’s silhouette through the bedroom curtains from Jake’s perspective. The mise-en-scene used here gives the audience the feeling of an impersonal relationship between the two as Jake cannot see his wife. His threat to kill her if she breaks anything further embodies Jake’s maliciousness.


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Once the domestic quarrel calms down, the camera cuts to a medium two shot of Joey and Jake at the kitchen table. The mise-en-scene depicts Jake on the left side of the screen, commenting on his mental weakness. Consumed with anger, Jake complains to Joey about his small hands and how this physical handicap will prevent him from having a shot at beating the heavyweight champion, Joe Lewis. Showing the escalating division in the relationship between the brothers, the camera begins to employ the shot/reverse shot method, with a few re-establishing shots. Jake then provokes Joey to punch him in the face, figuratively making his own kitchen a boxing ring. By doing this, Jake is mentally returning to the place he feels most comfortable and addressing his problems through violence. After being ordered to take the towel off, Joey eventually reopens Jake’s wounds, and says, “What are you trying to prove? What does it prove?” The camera returns to a medium two shot of the two brothers, and Jake (with blood splattered on his face) smiles at Joey, seemingly thanking him for inflicting pain on him so that he could forget about his mental anguish.


Unlike the opening scene, this scene falls under the category of realism because of the everyday situation being dealt with, although they both contain long takes. The reliance on digetic sound and continuity editing used also lean toward realism and classical Hollywood style, respectively. The dialogue in this scene, coupled with the continued use of mise-en-scene, shows Joey’s growing isolation from society and his loved ones. Joey also seems to be acquiring more and more animalistic traits.


Animals are by nature protective and territorial, so it follows that Jake should also possess these characteristics. Like a fierce animal protecting its mate from other animals, Jake is very attentive to what his second wife, Vickie, does. Jake is especially attentive


to her relationships with other men. This demeanor causes Jake to become even more distant from his wife. The scene at the Copacabana displays the negative repercussions associated with Jake’s possessiveness. It begins with an establishing shot of the club’s sign, then cuts to a high angle long shot that pans from right to left, showing the people at the club in an open frame. We hear only the digetic sound of the band and the comedian who introduces Jake (and foreshadows his own career as a dull bar comedian). When Vickie says she is going to the bathroom, Jake’s uneasiness is present as he questions her. On her way to the bathroom, the camera cuts to a medium shot of Salvy greeting and kissing Vickie, inviting her for a drink with Tommy and “some of the old gang” as the camera zooms in on them. Then the camera intercuts to Jake, who uncomfortably watches Salvy conversing with his possession. The mise-en-scene in this shot shows Jake’s protectiveness as his hand lays over the seat Vickie was in. In a medium shot, we see Salvy approach Jake’s table in slow motion, as if Jake is sizing him up as a possible opponent, adhering to the 180 degree rule as it cuts back to Jake. Showing a lack of respect and fear that Salvy is having an affair with his wife, Jake limply shakes Salvy’s hand while keeping his eyes fixated on him like an animal stalking its prey, then spits like an angry camel when he leaves, solidifying his animal instinct. As Vickie returns from the bathroom, the mise-en-scene shows her isolation from Jake with a barrier of people between them in the long shot. The camera cuts to a shot of Vickie considerately saying hello to her old friends, then to a medium shot of Jake on the left side of the screen, displaying his mental weakness and isolation from Vickie through mise-en-scene. Scorsese employs the slow motion technique again when the camera returns to Vickie


giving Tommy a respectful kiss. This comments on Jake’s disapproval of her talking to other men, especially Tommy because Jake thinks like an animal in that it is every man for himself. Jake adheres to the concept of survival of the fittest, the law that defines an animals’ place within the kingdom of nature. Proving that society views Jake as an animal, Salvy says when Vickie leaves, “She’s with that fucking gorilla.” When Vickie returns to the table, she is interrogated by Jake, who is extremely close to her. This use of mise-en-scene solidifies her discomfort being next to Jake as he threatens to smack her around. Also, there is an animal fur in the background, commenting on Jake’s tough skin. Jake’s self-destructive jealousy seen in this scene will be a factor leading to his eventual demise.


Jake is eventually persuaded to visit Tommy’s table; the camera cuts to a high angle, three shot of Tommy, Jake and Joey. Scorsese uses the closeness between Jake and Tommy again as a sign of discomfort through the use of mise-en-scene. This discomfort is directly resultant of Jake’s belief in the survival of the fittest law. Jake sees Tommy as a more fit animal that impedes his progress as a fighter and ability to get a title shot. The entire Copacabana club scene is consistent with the sense of realism seen in the two previous scenes analyzed.


As the film progresses, Jake seems to metamorphose into an animal, cutting himself off from any reality experienced by a human. His victories in the ring led to


further failures outside of the ring; Jake uses violence and animalistic tendencies that help him in the ring to deal with his relationships outside of the ring. This evolution is lucid in the scene following Jake’s middleweight title match, where Jake and Joey are in Jake’s


family room. One aspect of the mise-en-scene used in this scene is the television that Jake attempts to fix. Blurry and out of focus, the television serves as a parallel to Jake’s out of order life. Jake seems to have transformed into an animal he eats with his mouth open, has his shirt unbuttoned and romps around on all fours. The food acts as a means to fill his sexual void. Consumed by the possibility of his wife cheating on him, Jake refuses to sleep with his wife and actually begins to accuse his own brother. As the two talk, the camera switches from low angle to high angle according to who is dominating the conversation at the time. This use of mise-en-scene helps the audience identify the struggle for power between the two brothers. Jake’s use of vulgar language adds to the violence of the scene as he accuses Joey of sleeping with his wife. The lamp that resembles Lady Liberty and the portraits of flowers behind Joey’s head are aspects of the mise-en-scene that are representative of his innocence in regard to sleeping with his brother’s wife. Because of Jake’s reliance on a survival of the fittest concept, he only looks out for his own interests. Joey decides to leave and the camera cuts to a medium shot with Jake pushed to the left side, showing his isolation from Joey and mental weaknesses. This scene successfully shows how Jake has isolated himself from those who love him and turned him into an animal.


Regardless of the pain Jake inflicted on others throughout the film, in the end, he really only hurts himself. Because society encouraged such behavior out of him, Jake


became disillusioned as to where it was acceptable to use his anger. Instead of taking it out in the ring, he released his hostility on those around him who loved him. Jake had literally caged himself in like an angry animal by isolating himself from Joey and Vicki.


In an incredible display of techniques such as mise-en-scene, Martin Scorsese shows us that Jake La Motta is in fact, a Raging Bull.





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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Gospel of Luke

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Luke was known as and called the “beloved physician” by Paul the apostle. Like a good physician, he saw people as they were and loved them just the same. His gospel is the easiest to read because it is written in the first person, and he presupposed that his audience wasn’t familiar with Jewish customs. He was also a Gentile, and is the only New Testament writer who isn’t a Jew. Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles Christians, and a good friend to Luke. It is believed that he might have encouraged him to write this account to a non-Jewish society dominated by Greek culture and language. Luke wrote his gospel in common everyday Greek between 6-70 A.D.


The Gospel according to Luke is the first part of a two-volume work that continued the biblical history of God’s dealings with humanity found in the Old Testament. It showed how God’s promises to Israel had been fulfilled in Jesus, and how the salvation promised to Israel and accomplished by Jesus had been extended to the Gentiles. The stated purpose of the two volumes was also to provide Theophilus and others like him with the certainty and assurance about earlier instructions they had received (Luke 14). To accomplish this purpose, Luke showed how the preaching and teaching of the representatives of the early church were grounded in the preaching and teaching of Jesus. This continuity between the historical ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the apostles was Luke’s way of guaranteeing the fidelity of the church’s teaching to the teaching of Jesus (Shoemaker, 1, p.68).


I chose to write on the Gospel of Luke because I was very intrigued by the way Luke tried to evolve his ideas through early Christian literature. It was a benefactor who commissioned to undertake this huge task. Even though he wasn’t an eyewitness to the events that occurred, he went about his writings very methodically as a good Roman author would do. He sets the stage historically as you would expect in some kind of historical novel, and then told a perfectly wonderful story. In fact, it’s such a good story that many scholars have compared it to the novelistic literature of time, and have interpreted Luke as really an early Christian romance, with all the ingredients of romance, down to shipwrecks and exotic animals and exotic vegetation, cannibalistic natives - all kinds of embellishments that one finds in the romance literature of the time (Cunningham, 17, p 14). It’s done in a very historically disciplined way, or at least one that seems to be historically disciplined, by a very careful author who identifies himself as an artist under the economic sphere of a particular benefactor. So Luke does represent a very interesting stage in the evolution of early Christian literature.


The picture of Jesus that emerged from Luke’s writing was a historical one and dominated his story of Jesus and the church. This history was first of all a story of salvation. It demonstrated how God’s divine plan for human salvation was accomplished during the period of Jesus, who through the events of his life fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies (Luke ). This salvation was now extended to all humanity during the period of the church, and was now becoming a part of human history. Luke related the story of Jesus and the church to events in contemporary Palestinian (Luke 1; 1-). He was concerned with presenting Christianity as a legitimate form of worship in the Roman world, and as a religion that was capable of meeting the spiritual needs of a world empire like that of Rome. At the same time Luke argued in Acts that Christianity was the logical development and proper fulfillment of Judaism and was therefore deserving of the same toleration and freedom traditionally accorded Judaism by Rome (Acts 1).


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The prominence given to the period of the church in the story has important consequences for Luke’s interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. By presenting the time of the church as a distinct phase of salvation history, Luke shifted the early Christian emphasis away from the expectation of an imminent Parousia to the day-to-day concerns of the Christian community in the world. He did this in the gospel by regularly emphasizing the words ‘each day’ in the sayings of Jesus (Luke ; 11).


The context in which Luke was writing was probably based in the latter decades of the first century, and probably in a thoroughly Hellenistic environment. Scholars speculated on whether the gospel was written in Antioch, which would have been a significant Hellenistic city, or in Asia Minor, in places like Ephesus or Smyrna. In either case, Luke would have been in touch with, and very heavily in dialogue with Hellenistic culture and want to portray this fact.


In Luke’s writing, the picture of Jesus that emerged was primarily as a teacher of ethical wisdom. He was someone who was very much interested in inculcating the virtues of compassion and forgiveness among his followers. Throughout the gospel, Luke called upon the Christian disciples to identify with the master Jesus, who was caring and tender towards the poor and lowly, the outcast, the sinner, the afflicted, and towards all those who recognized their dependence on God (Luke 418; 60-; 151-). No other gospel writer was more concerned than Luke with the mercy and compassion of Jesus towards his people (Luke 10-7). No gospel writer was more concerned with the role of the Spirit in the life of Jesus and the Christian disciples, and with the importance of prayer, or with Jesus concern for women (Luke 108-4). Jesus called all humanity to repent, he was particularly demanding to those who would be his disciples. Of them he demanded absolute and total detachment from family and material possessions. To all who responded in faith and repentance to the word Jesus preached, he brought salvation, peace, and life (Luke 186-0).


Luke portrayal of Jesus in the gospel was essentially according to the image of the divine man. The people in who divine powers were visible and were exercised, both in his teaching and in his miracle works. The image of the divine man also belonged in Jesus’ travel narrative. The gospel of Luke is the only one that has a long travel narrative of Jesus. The travel motif has been a very important one in antiquity to describe the life of great and divine men, miracle workers, and teachers. The divine man motif was important throughout Jesus’ suffering and death, because Jesus died the perfect martyr’s death, which was an exemplary death. There was no crying, “My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken me?” Instead, Jesus died commending his spirit into the hands of the Father, as a pious martyr would really do in a suffering death. So the image of Jesus was one that was fully developed from the image of the divine human being (Penney. 17, p 04).


Luke’s audience seems to be a much more cultured literary kind of audience. Luke’s Greek is the highest quality in style of anything in the New Testament. It reads more like a novel in the Greek tradition, rather than Mark’s gospel, which has a kind of crude quality at times to the Greek grammar. So anyone on the street of a Greek city picking up Luke’s gospel would have felt at home with it if they were able to read good Greek.


Luke’s gospel was clearly written more for a Gentile audience, because of it’s different thematic concerns. It probably had a different political self-consciousness because it’s writing predominantly for gentiles in the Greek cities of Asia Minor or Greece itself.


Luke’s audience seems to be a much more cultured literary kind of audience. Lukes Greek is the highest quality in style of anything in the New Testament. It reads more like a novel in the Greek tradition, rather than Marks gospel, which has a kind of crude quality at times to the Greek grammar. So anyone on the street of a Greek city picking up Lukes gospel would have felt at home with it if they were able to read good Greek.


Its sometimes suggested that Luke’s gospel should be seen as a kind of an apologetic for the beginnings of the Christian movement, trying to make its place in the Roman world, to say, “we’re okay, don’t worry about us, we are just like the rest of you we keep the peace, we’re law abiding citizens, we have high moral values, we’re good Romans too”


Its also important to recognize that Luke’s gospel has a companion volume. Luke is by the same author as the Book of Acts.


Now the counterpart to the realization that Luke was telling the story for a Greco-Roman audience with a kind of political agenda is what happens to Luke’s treatment of the Jewish tradition. Luke is much more antagonistic toward Judaism. And so the gospel of Luke and its companion volume Acts, also reflected the development of the Christian movement more away from the Jewish roots, and in fact it developed more toward the Roman political and social arena. This political self consciousness and ethnic self consciousness that’s being reflected by Luke/Acts is beginning to say that we, the Christians, the ones who are telling this story, are no longer in quite.


One of the places we see this most clearly is in the way that Luke told the parable of the prodigal son. It’s a very familiar story, and it’s a story about repentance. The younger of two brothers who runs away, squanders his inheritance living a vile life and only after he goes into the depths of depression because he has no money and doesnt know where he’s going to live, he decides to go home and be just a slave in his father’s house. When he returned, his father welcomed him with open arms. Now the older brother who had stayed at home all this time became jealous because he had been faithful to his fathers wishes and desires. He had been doing what his father wanted all along. It’s the younger brother who had squandered everything and gone against his fathers wishes.


To conclude, I would say that this story was really about Luke’s perception of the relationship between the Gentiles and Jews in the household of God. It was Lukes description of the church as being willing to accept both the older brother, the faithful brother, the Jews alongside the Gentiles, the Prodigal son who had lived a terrible life away from his father for so long, and then was welcomed back with open arms. Luke’s main vision was that of a unified humanity in the church that would have brought all of God’s children back together.


The word ‘gospel’ means “good News” and is the good news of Jesus Christ and the freedom he has won for us through his death and resurrection. This gospel is God’s word to us and for us today. It’s a living word that has power to change, transform, and bring freedom and healing to those who accept Jesus as their Savior.





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A Dying CureTreasures of the Rainforests

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A DYING CURE


Imagine one your close friends that you grew up with came to your house one day in tears. You quickly grab a box of Kleenex and have her sit down. She takes a few moments to gather herself up and the she hits you with the news. She has cancer. Your jaw drops. Someone that you love as a sister has been diagnosed with a serious degree of cancer that could kill her any day. How could she have it? She was a star athlete and never did any drugs. She was in perfect health with the exception of this. You quickly think about how you can get rid of it. You’re mind just draws a blank. Millions of dollars are spent each year for research for cancer but yet no cure has been found. Little to your knowledge, did you know that there might be a solution to our problem. The answer may lie within the tropical regions of the world, in the Rainforest. It’s a place that holds many mysterious and a region of the world that contains things man has yet to discover. However, despite it’s great potential humans are still destroying it. The Rainforest has “some of the most abundant and diverse plant and animal life seen anywhere on earth.” (RHP) This paper will allow you reassess our views on the Rainforest and will show its value to our world. Within the Rainforests lies plants that we humans have yet to analyze and experiment for medicine but for industry reasons, much of the Rainforest is being destroyed. Land and resources are quickly destroyed for commercial purposes and along with it the relationship with the tribes that live there who have potential knowledge to help western medicine.


People often quit looking for things that they can’t find within their own realm. There has been no cure found within the United States and in any civilized part of the world. Does that mean there is no cure for those diseases? No, because things exist outside the familiar realm that we are all use to. Tropical Rainforests exist throughout the world and are typically found near the equator of our globe. In each forest lies an abundant supply of natural resources. To this day we have not been able to identify all the plants that exist there. The cure to many of serious illnesses may lie within the shadows of the trees. The destruction of the Rain Forests in the world has its short term benefits with immediate positive reactions while the long term effects hurts the entire world. We are losing Earths greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earths land surface. Currently, they now cover a mere 6%. Some experts believe that the rest of the Rainforests that exists may all go away within the next 50 years. (Nye) That fact is staggering, because a huge part of the world that originated will be completely annihilate within a short duration of time if no actions are taken. We have yet to discover what treasures in the medical field that may lay in that 6% that is left. The Rainforests consist of all sorts of living plans and creatures. With the Rainforests being ruined means close to half of the worlds species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened. It is said that we are “losing 17 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation.” (Mecca) That is a mind boggling 50,000 species a year! As the Rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 11 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. The Rainforest just so happens to be a place known for it’s wild and exotic plants. It is estimated that 5% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients. And the sad the thing is that scientists have tested less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants.


No one can challenge the fact that man is still largely dependant on plants for treating his aliments. Almost 0 percent of people in developing countries still rely on traditional medicine, which based largely on species of plants and animals for their primary health care. (Nye) Sales of these plant-based drugs in the U.S. amounted to some $4.5 billion in 180. Worldwide sales of these plant-based drugs were estimated at $40 billion in 10. Still even more drugs are derived from animals and microorganisms. Currently 11 prescription drugs sold world-wide come from plant derived sources from only 0 species of plants. Each region of the world has it’s own distinct treasures.


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Amongst the better-known tropical forests is the one in Brazil called the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest is regarded as one of the worlds greatest natural resource if not the greatest. It is the most bioactive diverse natural phenomenon on the planet. Despite that staggering fact, it is still being destroyed just like any other tree in someone’s backyard. Within it, there are millions of plant, animal and insect species. This only means more chemicals. In these plants we can find chemicals that can be used for, drugs like quinine, muscle relaxants, steroids and cancer drugs. Since not all the plants have been analyzed and tested new drugs are bound to be found from there. Drugs that may help cure the most feared diseases of man kind like AIDS, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimers. The U.S. National Cancer Institute has identified over ,000 plants that are active against cancer cells, and 70% of these plants are found only in the rainforest. Today, over 5% of the active ingredients in todays cancer-fighting drugs come from organisms found only in the Rainforest. (Bontanicus) There are some researchers that have ventured out to the wilderness to discover what treasures the Rainforests holds. Dr. Sharon Savage gives a description of the interesting things she witnessed when there “ There were many plants that had multiple uses. For example, the cocona fruit is used to treat inflammation of the liver, to topically neutralize snake venom and to prevent scarring. Is it possible that one plant can posses so many different qualities? I think that my skepticism about natural remedies developed from the cure-all remedies that we hear a lot about.The most amazing thing was the number of plants used for one specific purpose. The leaves of the fumesacha are heated and placed on a womans abdomen to treat prolonged labor. Is it the relaxing effect of warmth on the abdomen that aids in labor or is there a topical relative of oxytocin in the leaves that is absorbed and produces a stronger labor? Another common remedy is the water from a boiled termite nest. It is used as an oral remedy for tuberculosis and other lung microbes. I couldnt help wondering if there is some new, undiscovered antibiotic present that treats these illnesses. How would they know if it was truly tuberculosis or a self-limiting viral process? I would have loved to see these cases, do the appropriate cultures and determine the mechanism of action.” (Savage) Among the thousands of species of rainforest plants that have not been analyzed, are many more thousands of unknown plant chemicals, many of which have evolved to protect the plants from pathogens. These plant chemicals may help us in our own constant struggle with constantly evolving pathogens just as Rachel Carson had problems with chemicals like DDT. However, time is running out as the resources that have so much potential is dwindling away.


With the decreasing number of sources within the Rainforests that will tell researchers what other medical treasures exist, we have managed to find valuable medicine that we use today. In the Cinchona tree we can find Cinchona, which reduces high fevers. (Nye) Malaria was a nasty disease from the past but is easily remedied by quinine, which is found in the bark of a rubiaceae tree. (Nye) Physostigmine was found to be treatment for glaucoma and was found from African calabar beans. (Nye) The word cancer always sends chills down our spine. It is a highly feared illness in our society and treatment for it is always uncertain. Within a tropical forest plant in the Rainforest offered hope for those infected by cancer. The rosy periwinkle was found to be useful for Hodgkin’s disease and other forms of cancer. More than ,000 rain forest plants have been found that contain chemicals that doctors can give to treat deadly cancers in adults. The rosy periwinkle in Madagascar is also used to help cure leukemia. One type of medicine is so strong that it can cure a kind of leukemia ( cancer of white blood cells ). Many more cures and medical substances have already been discovered in the Rainforests including diogenin, an active agent in contraceptive pills, reserpine, used to treat cardiac problems, curare, used in heart and lung surgery, the calabar bean of West Africa for eye disorders, and papay of Latin America for stomach illness. Medicines from the rain forests can kill germs, reduce fever, lower blood pressure, relax muscles, and treats rashes. It is still possible to produce thousands of products made from parts of the Rainforest with out destroying the forests themselves. The seeds, leaves, flowers, fruits, and sap will keep forming as long as the forest still stands. Wildlife Fact File states that one in ten of the most commonly used medicines are derived from plants of the rain forests and its hard to believe how much we really do depend on the rain forest. (Mecca) It would be a crime to ignore this and continue the path of destruction. If no cures are found within the substances from the Rainforest, then there are certainly resources that can be used for ingredients for medicine like for antibiotics, which is a substance that kill or inhibits the growth of microorganisms and treats infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. Plants like avenca, bitter melon, Brazillian PepperTree, Espinheira santa, mutamba, papaya, and sangre de grado can be used for antibiotics. Dr. Sharon Savage who went to the Peruvian Rainforest recalls, “During my two weeks in the jungle, I gained a great appreciation for traditional medicine and for the importance of incorporating it with our medical clinics.” (Savage) The plants do not have to be the answer but may be a stepping stone for a cure or perhaps treatment until a cure can be found.


You and I may wonder why such a valuable asset to the world is being destroyed. The answer is simple, greed. It is our human nature to desire wealth and power at the expense of the helpless. Rainforests are being destroyed worldwide for the profits they yield. They are destroyed for harvesting unsustainable resources like timber, for cattle and agriculture, and for subsistence cropping by rainforest inhabitants. Often times that meat from that cattle is used in a common burger joint that you go to across the street. Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations, even by world giants like Mitsubishi Corporation, Gerogia Pacific, Texaco and Unocal. Land owners, governments and those living in the rainforest today are amongst the few that are fighting for the protection of the Rain Forest. For the natives, the forest is their home. It is morally and ethically wrong to destroy their habitation. Aside from losing their favor from destroying their home, we also lose their trust and the potential knowledge they may have about the Rain Forest. It is the natives that have lived there for the many nations who can show the western culture what potential medical resources there may be. The natives have lived there for so many years and have maintained substantial health. Many of the health problems that they encounter may be solved from our societies medicine while many of our health problems may be resolved by the natives’ medicine. It is important that we work together and that way both sides of the ladder may benefit. Many secrets and untold treasures await discovery with the medicinal plants used by shamans, healers and the indigenous people of the Rainforest Tribes.


There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. It is said that “today there are less than 00,000. In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 0 indigenous tribes since the 100s.” (O’Brien, 4) With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing. Most medicine men and shamans remaining in the Rainforests today are 70 years old or more. Each time a Rainforest medicine man dies, it is as if a library has burned down. When a medicine man dies without passing his arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants and so do we. The indigenous people were the ones who grew and flourished discovered the majority of our current plant-derived drugs through these traditional uses of plants. History has shown that the Rainforest is no different, and these bioprospectors now are working side by side with rainforest tribal shamans and herbal healers to learn the wealth of their plant knowledge and many uses of indigenous plants where drugs and pharmacies are virtually unknown. Robert Goodland of the World Bank wrote, Indigenous knowledge is essential for the use, identification and cataloguing of the [tropical] biota. As tribal groups disappear, their knowledge vanishes with them. The preservation of these groups is a significant economic opportunity for the [developing] nation, not a luxury. (Sponsel, 16) There are organizations that work with the tribes that are already in the Rainforests. The Rainforest Health Project’s existence is to “to provide basic medical aid, learn from and help re-empower indigenous healers, and explore the wonders of the rainforest.” (RHP) The question that still stands is what to do now.


There are several plausible solutions to counter the destruction of the Rainforest. One way, is to look at how preserving the Rainforest rather than killing it can make money. The Rainforest can be an expensive farm that produces things for product use or human use. Many organizations have demonstrated that if the medicinal plants, fruits, nuts, oils and other resources like rubber, chocolate and chicle, were harvested sustainably. The Rainforest land has much more economic value than if timber were harvested or if it were burned down for cattle or farming operations. Sustainable harvesting of these types of resources provides this value today as well more long-term income and profits year after year for generations to come. Who knows what treasures can be discovered in the Rainforest for future use. However, the drawback is that time and money is needed for the initialization of the whole process of research and harvesting the land. By harvesting the land in the Rainforest, the money issue can be dealt with. It is said that, “today, entire communities and indigenous tribes earn 5 to 10 times more money wild harvesting medicinal plants, fruits, nuts and oils than they can earn by chopping down the forest for subsistence crops.” (Mecca) This money that is earned by the natives can be then used to protect the lands of the Rainforest. The latest statistics show that rainforest land converted to cattle operations yields the landowner $60 per acre and if timber is harvested, the land is worth $400 per acre. However, if these renewable and sustainable resources are harvested, the land will yield the landowner $,400 per acre. (O’Brien, 168) This value provides an income not only today, but also year after year - for generations while still protecting the forest. Just as important, to wildharvest the wealth of sustainable rainforest resources effectively, local people and indigenous inhabitants are employed.


Another source of friendly business for the Rainforest are pharmaceutical companies. Today, over 100 pharmaceutical companies and several branches of the US government, including giants like Merck, Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Monsanto, SmithKline Beecham and the National Cancer Institute are engaged in plant-based research projects for possible drugs and cures for viruses, infections, cancer and AIDS. Most of this research is currently taking place in the rainforest in an industry that is now called bio-prospecting. This new pharmacological industry has sprung up, drawing together an unlikely confederacy plant-collectors and anthropologists; ecologists and conservationists; natural product companies and nutritional supplement manufacturers, AIDS and cancer researchers; executives in the worlds largest drug companies, and native indigenous shamans. They are part of a radical experiment - to preserve the worlds rainforests by showing how much more valuable they are standing than cut down. And it is a race against a clock whose every tick means another acre of charred forest. Yet it is also a race that pits one explorer against another, for those who score the first big hit in chemical bio-prospecting will secure wealth and a piece of scientific immortality.


Solutions lay everywhere and in the case of the future, the answer lies in the generations to come. I believe that the educational system must inform the children at early stage so that they are aware of the harm that our current society is doing to something beautiful. If there is doubt in the use of that method, I am proof that it worked and my concerns for the Rainforests remain steadfast. There was even a movie made called Fern Gully that talked about saving the Rainforests. (Mcabe) Children are then able to see the beauty of the Rainforest. Their fascination over something that is real and dying is good, because it is something that they can look into rather than something like flying like Superman. I know that in my childhood that animated movie moved me and I felt the pain that the Rainforest felt as it was being destroyed. My class saw the movie and as a result we started to fund raise to save the Rainforest. We raised enough money to purchase three acres of the Amazon Rainforest. This land was owned by my fourth grade class and could not be touched by other corporations.


Rainforests are definitely something that humans have taken for granted. Time and money have to be invested in preserving what is left of it. The reasons are simple and plentiful. It may hold the key to many of our medical problems. Rainforest plants are complex chemical storehouses that contain many undiscovered biodynamic compounds with unrealized potential for use in modern medicine. We can gain access to these materials only it we study and conserve the species that contain them. Rainforests currently provide sources providing one-fourth of todays medicines, and 70% of the plants found to have anti-cancer properties are found only in the rainforest. The Rainforest and its immense undiscovered biodiversity holds the key to unlocking tomorrows cures for devastating diseases.





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Monday, June 27, 2011

Healthy lifestyle essay and healthy jounal

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From taking this health course I have learned a lot about my lifestyle. This new knowledge has caused me to be more aware of the choices I make. As a result I would change a few things and not change a few others in order to maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible. Many of the changes I would make involve my diet. I would like to restructure my diet in order to improve my overall health as well as to help me maintain a healthy weight. Many of our most common health problems are associated with a poor or careless diet. By modifying my diet while I am still young I can form beneficial eating habits that may improve the quality of my entire life. One important change I would make to my diet is to increase my my intake of fruit and vegetables.


By increasing my intake of fruits and vegetables I would reduce my risk for several forms of cancer and lower my blood cholesterol level, thereby reducing my risk for cardiovasculardisease. The consumption of fruit and vegetables offers protection against colon and rectal cancer. In addition a fiber rich diet prevents the development of pre cancerous growths and Insoluble fiber reduces blood estrogen levels, which may affect the risk for breast cancer. This diet also provides protection against constipation. The fiber acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture and producing softer, bulkier stools that are easily passed. Also fiber helps produce gas, which in turn may initiate a bowel movement. Fiber reduces the risk of constipation and discomfort. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has alos been proven to reduce blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol. An added benefit is that some fiber foods help control calorie intake, which lower my risk for obesity.


A second important change in my diet would be to lower my intake of fats. I have learned to monitor my fat consumption by reading the labels on foods more carefully , and not eating the foods that are higher in fat. This creates a greater self awareness and increases the likelihood that I will Choose fat free or low fat foods. Simple changes such as Using olive oil for baking, and a low-fat margarine can also lower my fat intake. It is also beneficial to Choose lean meats or poultry. Remove skin, and broil or bake them rather than frying. . Eating less bacon, sausages, and hot dogs and using non fat dairy products are other good methods of lower fat consumption. Lowering my intake of fats will lower my cholesterol level, and my risk for certain types of cancer. It will also Lower my risk for heart disease., atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. As a woman it is particularly important for me to Increase my intake of calcium. My daily intake should be 1,00 milligrams. I can accomplish this by drinking more milk. Four cups a day will provide the amount of calcium I need. Other sources of calcium include calcium fortified orange juice, Green leafy vegetables, like broccoli,cauliflower, beans, and peas, Nuts, like sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts, Raisins. Increasing my calcium intake will reduce my risk for developing osteoporosis. This is of particular concern to me as osteoporosis is a very common disease among middle-aged to elderly women and is prevalent in my family. Calcium also helps to build stronger bones and teeth and to regulate the heartbeat. It can improve muscle contraction, bloodclotting, nerve impulse transmission, , and fluid balance within cells.


I would benfit from reducing my intake of carbonated soft drinks. They can cause me to excrete extra calcium, which may result in calcium being pulled out of my bones. Drinking alot of pop may lead to kidney stones. The side effects of drinking carbonated drinks are wakefulness, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, indigestion, mild delirium, and heartburn. Some brands of pop contain as much as ½ teaspoons of sugar which is far too much to be considered part of a healthy diet. Another change I need to make is to Exercise more frequently and regularly. Exercising can reduce my risk for beingoverweight or obesity. This in turn can than lower my risk for diabetes,cardiovascular disease, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, gall bladderdisease, osteoarthritis, breathing problems, high blood cholesterol, pregnancycomplications, menstrual irregularities, hirsutism, stress incontinence, someforms of cancer, breast cancer, getting diseases, psychological disorders, andsurgical risks. Exercising will make the circulatory and respiratory systems more efficient, improve blood lipid and lipoprotein, improved bone mass, help to promotel weight loss , increase my life expectancy, increase immunity to disease, improved mental health and stress management. It is clear from this list of possible benfits that exercise is one of the most vital components to a healthy lifestyle.


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A change that would benfit not only myself, but others as well is to lower the amount of carbon monoxide I use. I can accomplish this by not using my car as much. By walking short distances instead of always driving I could lower my use of carbon monoxide considerably over the course of my lifetime. This is beneficial to everyone because carbon monoxide is a very harmful air pollution. The carbon monoxide in the atmosphere has many negative effects on all of life on earth. It is, in essence, a poison that causes multiple respiratory disorders and even death in some cases. Many doctors bleiev that recent increases in the numbers of young children suffering from asthma is a direct result of the increse of carbon monoxide in our atmosphere. Carbon monoxide also causes the global warming effect on the earth’s surface. There are things in my lifestyle that I would not change to insure a healthy lifestyle. My decision to not use tobacco is one aspect of my lifestyle that I would never change. By not using tobacco I am reducing my risk for cardiovascular disease. I am dramatically lowering my chances of getting lung cancer and other cancers too, In additon I have lowered my chances of acquiring many other diseases such as respiratory disorders, and stroke.


I would also not change my decision to severely limit my intake of alcohol. My low frequency of drinking alcohol has reduced my chances of getting breast cancer, brain damage,coronary artery disease, liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, indigestion, heartburn, inflammation of the esophagus, chronic stomachirritation, problems with intestinal absorption, and chronic diarrhea,inflammation of the pancreas. It also increases the likelihood that I will have a successful professional and personal life.


I would not change my recycling habits. Recycling has many benefits too me and the rest of the world. By recycling I am helping to reduce the amount of hazardous waste. Hazardous dump sites have toxic properties that poses a threat to humans and the environment. We can only fill up dump sites for so long and than where are we going to dump our waste? By recyclying I am reducing the amount of water contamination, soil contamination, air pollution, and waste of valuable resources. It is important to me that I maintain a healthy lifestlye. It is important not only because I want to improve the quality of my own life but so that I can be a positive role model for my children as well. They have a much better chance of choosing al healthy lifestyle when they become adults if they have seen it and experienced it as children.


To ensure the most optimal lifestyle for myself and my children I would Increase my intake of fruit and vegetables lower my intake of fats, increase my intake of calcium, reduce my intake ofcarbonated drinks, exercise more frequently and regularly, and lower my use offossil fuels. I will continue to abstain from tobacco use , moderate my intake ofalcohol, and practice good recycling habits. I believe that the quality, length, and happiness of my own life will be improved because of these choices and that my children will benfit as well.


   


February 1st Food Two pieces of toast With jam,a handful of goldfish, two tacos from taco bell. Exercise Moved most of my belongings from one house to another. I carried boxes up and down stairs about sixty times. I had no time to eat today and had to make a quick run to taco bell just to eat. I didn’t eat very healthy today, although I didn’t eat very much and exerscised all day long.


FEBRUARY ND Food Bowl of cheerios,lasagna, and peanut butter and jelly sndwich


Exerscise Moved the rest of my belongings to my new house. I moved about forty boxes up and down stairs. I had a little bit more time to eat today and was able to eat healthy and I exercised a considerable amount.


February rd Food Eggs and bacon, salad, yogurt, and bowl of pasta. Exercise I had no time to exercise today


February 4th Food Banana,macaroni and cheese, chicken salad. Exercise I had no time for exerscise today


February 5th Food Bowl of kixs, fettucini alfredo, Steak with potatoes and greenbeans.


Exercise I went for a forty five minute walk with my children and pushed them in their double stroller.


February 6th Food Breakfst egg mcmuffin from mcdonalds, strawberries, bowl of begetables, lemon chicken


February 7th Food Nutri grain bar, crackers with cheese, turkey sandwich, steak with potatoes. Exercise I had no time to exercise


February 8th Food Two pieces of toast, two piece kentucky fried chicken meal, hamburger sandwch. Exercise Half hour of high and low impact exercise.


February th Food Bowl of cheerios, fruit salad, lean cuisine meal. Exercise I had no time for exercise today.


February 10th Food Bannana and strawberry milk shake, salad with lots of vegetables,pork chops,mashed pototoes. Exericise half hour of high and low impact exercise.


February 11th Food Apple, macaroni and cheese,apple sauce, candy bar.


February 1th Food pancakes with jam, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, rice a roni, pork chops. Exercise No time for exercise today


February 1th Food Vegetables with dip, five cookies, three cupcakes.


Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact aerobics


February 14th Food Applesauce, Peanut butter toast, half of a new york steak and green beans. Exercise half hour of pushing my children in their stroller.


February 15th Food French toast, yogurt with strawberries, Chicken breast with corn.


Exercise No time to exercise today.


February 16th Food Beef soup, turkey sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich


Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact exercise.


February 17th Food Bowl of cheeriios, broccli and carrots, hamburger helper


Exercise Half hour of pushing my children in their stroller.


February 18th Food Bannana, hamburger helper, tator tots.


Exercise No time for exercise.


February 1th Food Granola bar, chips, apple, meat loaf.


Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact aerobics.


February 0th Food Bowl of grape nuts, chicken alfredo, tacos


Exercise half hour of pushing my children in their stroller


February 1st Food Toast, fruit salad, grapes, lasagna


Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact aerobics.


February nd Food Fruit bar, chicken noodle soup, lasagna, ice cream


Exercise No time for exercise.


February rd Food Bowl of cheerios, meatball sandwich from subway, turkey with stuffing Exercise half hour of pushign my children in their stroller


February 4th Food jelly toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, lasagna.Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact aerobics.


February 6th Food Turkey bacon and eggs, spaghetti, apple, lean cuisine meal Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact aerobics.


February 7th Food Bannana and strawberries, salad with chicken, Exercise No time for exercise.


February 8th Food pancakes, Exercise Forty five minutes of high and low impact aerobics.


February Exercise





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LASIK, LASEK, AND PRK: The Three Siblings of Laser Eye Surgery

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In the eye care industry, the buzzword lately has been laser eye surgery also know as refractive surgery. Though few know it, there are several procedures that can be preformed to correct vision. Laser-Assisted In Suti Keratomileusis (LASIK), Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK), and Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) are the three most common types of eye surgery, each targeting a specific type of eye problems.


LASIK treats nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. For nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea. For farsighted people, the shallow cornea is made steeper and for people with astigmatism the procedure smoothes out the irregular shaped cornea.


LASIK is becoming the most common and has been rising in popularity. LASIK is becoming more popular due to its relative lack of pain and the fact that good vision is usually achieved almost immediately or by the next day.


LASIK is a form of flap procedures. An instrument called a microkertome is used to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea in the eye. The surgeon folds back the flap and then removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. This laser uses a cool ultra violet light beam to precisely remove tiny bits of the cornea to reshape it. When the cornea is reshaped in the proper manner, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. Once the corneal tissue has been removed, the flap is laid back in place. LASIK usually takes less than one minute per eye.


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The incidence of severe, vision-threatening complications is less that 1% for the LASIK procedure. Less serious complications occur in 5% of patients. Almost all LASIK complications can be treated and be resolved within a few months of the surgery. See the chart at the end of the article for a listing of all of the complications.


LASEK is very similar to LASIK, except that the surgeon cuts a flap in the epithelium only, instead of through the epithelium and the stroma. LASEK is used mostly for people with thin or flat corneas who are poor candidates for LASIK, which requires more corneal tissue for success.


A finer blade called a trephine makes the incision. The surgeon then covers the eye with an alcohol solution, which is usually one part alcohol, and four parts sterile water. The eye is covered with this solution for 0 seconds, which loosens the edge of the epithelium. After sponging the solution off the eye, the surgeon uses a tiny hoe to lift the edge of the epithelial flap and folds it back. The excimer laser is then used to sculpt the corneal tissue, much like the LASIK procedure.


According to doctors who perform LASEK, the flap heals within a day of the surgery, and patients usually wear a bandage contact lens for four days. It takes longer for good vision to return, as long as four to seven days.


The final laser surgery option is PRK, which used to be the most common form of refractive surgery. Patients of PRK can expect gradual improvement over a few days or even months. Many surgeons recommend this procedure, despite the slower healing process for patients with larger pupils or thin corneas.


PRK was invented in the early 80’s and receive FDA approval in 15. Many American patients would travel into Canada to have the procedure preformed before it was available in the States.


Much like LASIK, PRK can benefit people with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms. PRK is preformed with an excimer laser to precisely remove tiny bits of the cornea to reshape it.


PRK is a walk in and then walk out procedure. The surgery takes lass than one minute and the patient is conscious for the whole procedure. Occasionally the surgeon will administer a mild oral sedative beforehand. The eyes are first anesthetized with special drops. The doctor positions the eyes directly underneath the laser and places a retainer over the eye to keep the eyelids open. This retainer has a suction ring that keeps the eye pressurized and immobile and patients normally feel no pain.


Before deciding about any of these procedures, please consult your optometrist. The doctor will be able to best prescribe which type of surgery is best for you, if one is needed at all.


LASIK Complications How They Affect You, How Theyre Treated


Complications


Symptoms


Treatments





Incomplete corrections (undercorrection, overcorrection, residual astigmatism) or regression of effect


Blurry, less-than-perfect vision


Glasses or contact lenses; eyedrops; re-treatment with laser





Decentered ablations


Visual aberrations


Eyedrops; re-treatment with laser





Oversize pupils (pupils wider than treatment zone)


Visual aberrations


Eyedrops; re-treatment with laser





Haze


Visual aberrations


Eyedrops; re-treatment with laser





Irregular flap (folds, wrinkles, striae)


Visual aberrations


Surgical correction; second LASIK procedure





Dry eye


Dry, itchy or scratchy eyes, often with redness and sense of foreign object in eye, and sometimes pain


Artificial tears; punctal occlusion (blockage of tear ducts in order to retain tear film on eye)





Diffuse lamellar keratitis


Visual aberrations


Eyedrops; re-treatment with laser; surgical correction





Epithelial ingrowth


Visual aberrations


Eyedrops; re-treatment with laser; surgical correction





Infection


Redness, oozing of eyes, sometimes pain


Eyedrops; oral medications





Visual aberrations include symptoms such as glare, double vision, ghosting, halos, starbursts, loss of contrast sensitivity, and problems with low-light or night vision. Not all patients experience all symptoms, and some patients with these complications experience no symptoms and require no treatment.











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