Sunday, July 31, 2011

Comparison of Catcher in the rye with huckleberry finn

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Catcher in the Rye vs. Huckleberry Finn


J. D. Salingers Catcher in the Rye compared to Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn All famous American authors have written novels using a variety of characters, plots, and settings to illustrate important themes. Throughout literary history many of the same themes have been stressed in different novels. In J. D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye and Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, each author writes about the common theme of coming of age. The two novels were written more than half a century apart about two boys who seem like complete opposites, yet they bear striking resemblances to each other in the way they feel about life. Each author wrote his book depicting settings from his own past and based the plots on personal experiences.


Just like Huck, Holden too was seeking a new life where he could live without the pain and disillusionment that comes with becoming involved with anything life has to offer. Both Huck and Holden encountered tests for them to pass on their way to adulthood. For Huck the tests were mostly physical ones such as when he was locked in the shed for a couple of days without food or water. Holden, on the other hand, had to overcome metaphorical dangers created by the loss of individuality, accepted values, and self-reliant intellectuality. In J. D. Salingers The Catcher in the Rye and Mark Twains The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both authors stress the themes of coming of age and loss of innocence to prove the point that everyone grows up and passes into adulthood. They show that this is a natural and unavoidable part of life.




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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Endangered animals

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Endangered Animals


Endangered animals refers to wild animals which are under threat of


extinction or which have become extinct. Sixty-five million years ago the dinosaurs


became extinct, sixty-five million years later, the lives of many animals are still under


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threat. Endangered species are victims of human activities, these activities includes


destruction of natural habitats, pollution produced by factories and over exploitation


as well as overpopulation.


The American Indians, who settled north America 0,000 years before the


Europeans were responsible for the extinction of many species through hunting,


species such as the giant sloths and Mastodons. Since the Europens settlers arrived in


the New World, the rate of extinction has accelerated. The passenager pigeons is


believed to have been the most numerous type bird in the world. They were hunted


endlessly and in 114, the last one died in an American zoo. Bison became nearly


extinct during the 1800s due to the expansion of the railroads which caused


destruction of habitats and the need of food for the builders. Other animals in North


America that are considered to be endangered; The California Condor is North


Americas rarest bird. The last remaining birds are being kept in zoos and are bred in a


special recovery program. The Whopping Crane is another one of North Americas


endangered species. By the 10s there were close to 150 in the wild, its numbers are


slowly building up. On july 1, 15 Bald Eagle aws reclassified as endangered


animals. The majestic bird is refered to bald, because of the white feathers on top of


its head, its yellow eyes and sharp beaks in contrast with its drak brown body. This


predatory bird can grow up to 40 inches long with wings span of 6-8 feet, who can


reach flight speed between 5 and 44 miles per hour. Unfortunatly, there are only


4,500 breeding pairs in the lower 48 states. The Bald eagles diet consist of fish,


waterfowl(small birds), small reptiles and small to medium size mammals. In 147,


Bald Eagles begin to decline severely, and DDT was found in the carcasses. DDT was


a common pesticide used in water to control mosquitoes. During the stages of the


food chains, fish consumed mosquitoes, and Bald Eagle prey on the fish, therefore


DDT was transfered from the mosquitoes to the Bald Eagle. DDT that are found in


the tissue of the Bald Eagles, the chemmical weakened the shells of the eagles egg


until they simply collapsed from the weight of the mother bird. DDT was banned on


1, december 17, and since than the number of eagles which are protected by the


Endangered Species Act as well as other federal and state laws, have begun to


increase.


Nearly half of the worlds rain forests lie in Brazil, the Amazon Forests


contain over three million square miles of tropical forest, with large quantity as well


as quality timber which is worth over one trillion US dollars, it also contains over


50.000 species of plants and 0 percent of all known birds. The Amazon Forests were


remote and inaccessible, leaving the wildlife undisturbed, however, roads begun to


build over this wilderness which made it accessible to humans and machines. The


greatest damage to wildlife comes from lumber companies, ranch farmers and fur


hunters. Jaguars became fashionable for fur coats and other items during the 160s,


as the jaguars became rare, the fur hunters used other alternatives, such as the


Ocelots, the Ocelot is much smaller than the Jaguar but they have a similar fur


pattern. The Ocelots became more difficult to hunt, the hunters began hunting other


mammals such as the Margay and Geoffroys Cats, these felines once roamed over


Central and South America, but are now extinct or endangered. The Giant Anteater is


found in the forest and swampy areas from Mexico down through Central and South


America. It dwels in places that are not inhabited by people. The Anteater is covered


by bushy, dark grey and black fur with a white stripe on each shoulder, with a 40 cm


long puffy tail. The Anteater has a cylinder shaped head with a long, tubular mouth, it


has no teeth but a tougue which can extend as long as 5cm, the long tongue is


flicked in and out rapidly to scoop up ants, termites and other insects. The main threat


to the Giant Anteater are humans, human population invasion, habitat destruction are


some of the major threats. Forest fire is a major factor which threatens these animals,


since their fur is very long and flammable, they are commonly found burned to death


after severe forest fires.


The wilderness in Europe has already been conquered by humans 5,000 years


ago, many species have been exterminated or only survive in remote areas. Victims


such as the Europen Otters and the Grey Wolves, Europen Bisons were also close to


extinction but they were saved by collactors such as the Duke Of BedFord who kept


herds of captive Bisons. Captive animals were gathered together and reintroduced


into its enviroments. Wolves rarely attack human, but they pose serious threats to


livestock,sheeps inparticular, and because of this, wolves were hunted and


eliminated over nearly all of their range in Europe. Of all the felines in the world, the


Iberian Lynxes are the closest to extinction, there are less than 800 left in


restricted areas of Spain and Portugal. The Iberian Lynxes are dark yellow or brown


in colour, heavily spotted, with long legs, short tail and distinctive black ear tuft.


These predators lack in speed but they are highly efficient hunters, equiped with keen


eyesight combined with powerful sense of smell, which allow these hunters to detect


prey at distances of up to 00 m away. The Iberian Lynxes favourite habitat includes


scrubland with scattered open areas. The biggest threat to the Iberian Lynxes are


humans. This animal is considered to be hunting as trophy as well as vermin. The


hunters value its fur and meat, the poachers are mainly interested in the fur as well as


making profit, while some farmers appreciate the Lynxes for hunting foxes and


rabbits but most of them still perceive the Lynxes as a serious threat to their livestock.


Many species of animals that we now associate with East Africa were once


widespread in North Africa. Due to overgrazing of grass, the herds expanded their


territory from North to East about 000 years ago. Many of Africas animals are


continuing to decline in number, some animals die from diseases, but most animals


die by the hands of the poachers. Cheetahs are being hunted for their fur, African


Elephants are being slaughtered for their Ivory Tusks and the Black Rhinoceros are


declining rapidly for their horn. The Rhino horn is believed to be a very powerful


medicine for the Chinese culture. It is very effective in reducing high fevers, aiding in


blood clotting, strokes and it is also used as a tranquilizer. The Black Rhino is the


second largest land mammal, growing up to a height of 1.5 to m, a length of .5 to


4.m and weight up to 5000 kg. It is most recorgnized by its twin horns. The Black


Rhinoceros can only be found in North Africa. During the 170s Rhinos begin to


decline dramatically, due the result of overpricing of oil. Crafts men in the Arab


country of Yemen coverts rhino horns into dagger handles, the handles are symbol of


wealth and status. Few people can afford these craft items. However Yemen and other


middle eastern countries are rich in oil, and since there was a worldwide oil shortage,


these craft men were able to live from selling oil, therefore the price of the daggers


became affordable and highly demanded by everyone . From the 65.000 Black Rhinos


found in 170, are now left with less than ,500. The trading of Rhino horns or their


by-products are now banned under the Convention on International Trade in


Endangered Species, which was an agreement signed by over 10 countries, but


poaching and illegal trading continues.


Asia has the largest population in the world, therefore, due to agricultural


purposes, many habitats of animals were invaded.These animals include the Asian


elephant, three species of Rhinos and the Giant Pandas. The Giant Panda is one of


the rarest animals in the world, its habitat are the bamboo forests in China, this large


bear can weight up to 10 kg. The Giant Panda has very distinctive black and white


fur pattern, black markings on the ears, limbs, shoulders and around the eyes.


Although the Giant Panda is a carnivore, its main diet consists of only bamboo


sticks. Since the bamboo sticks have little nutritional value, this large animal


has to continusly eat for up to 14 hours a day. With this massive appetite, the bamboo


forests are declining in numbers, in return the Panda bears are declining in numbers


as well . The Giant Panda shares its habitat with a variety of animals which holds


great hunting values to the hunters, these include as Deers and their antlers and bears


skin and paws. The traps that are set to capture these animals often trap the Pandas


and the skin of the Pandas can be priced highly in the black market. The Giant


Pandas main meal; the bamboo, was shrinked in number by half between 174 and


188, due to agriculture, logging and Chinas population increase. The penalty for


poaching or trading Pandas fur in China is death.


Australia is the largest island in the world, it contains some of the rarest


animals. The only animals that ever reached Australia were Marsupials(pouched


mammals) and Monotremes(egg layers), these animals were ranged in size from as


small as moles to as large as Kangaroos. When the Europeans colonized Australia,


they introduced domestic and wild animals which competed with the native species.


Many species of animals are now endangered because of the loss of habitat for human


refuge, but there are other animals such as the Mallee fowl, FlashJack and the


Greater Bilby that are threatened by the introduction of foxes and feral cats. The


Greater Bilby belongs to the Marsupials, it is only 0-45cm in length including its tail


and weight 1-kg. The Greater Bilby is covered with grey coloured fur with white


coloured tail, its ears are much like the rabbits. Its diet mainly consists of termites,


insects, small animals and roots of plants. The Greater Bilby was found in over 70%


of the mainlands in Austalia, but theres only around 600 left which only dwel in the


deserts. Agricultural, road construction and residents the major effect on the declining


numbers of the Greater Bilby, but more importantly, these native Australian animals


are threatened by cats and Foxes which were introduced by the European settlers.


Marine animals have been hunted by human since prehistoric times, animals


such as the Elephant Seals and Walruses are hunted for food, their blubber and tusks.


Whales, Sharks and Dolphins have also been a popular target for the last 00 years,


although these sea animals are being protected by humans but a large number of these


animals are still dying from the spilling of oil or left over fish nets which prevent


these animals from feeding. Humpback Whales can be found in all oceans, they are


the largest mammals on earth, measuring 5 m in length and weight in at around 150


tons. The colour of the Humpback Whale is are black, grey and white, its meal


consists of small fish and krills. After the invention of explosive harpoons, the


poaching for whales became a very popular industry. The Whales are mainly hunted


for its oil and bones, but accidental oil spill into the ocean can also cause death to


these and many other creatures in the ocean. In 100 an estimate of 115,000


Humpback Whales roamed the ocean; today there are approximately 0,000 left.


Clearly, the vanishing of many species of animals has a direct connection with


human activities and the development of the economy. Each year, millions of acres of


tropical rain forests are being cut down to create more farmland inorder to the high


demand of crops. But the soil that supports the rain forest cannot support the field of


crops or the cattles, within a few years, the land will lose its fertility, the farmers will


abandon the land, moving deeper into the forest and rebuild his business. Coporations


and Industries are raising in number, they are needed to provide jobs and income for


the people, at the same time, industries are invading the property of many wildlife.


Pollutions are produced by factories which are harmful to wildlife. Chemicals used to


kill unwanted weeds, insects and other pests often harm beneficial organisms. Sewage


dumped into rivers and oceans and fertilizers washed off farmlands change the


ecology of aquatic habitats. A 18 study of fish caught in the Great Lakes found that


0% contained levels of toxic chemicals that were dangerous to wildlife; 5%


contained levels dangerous to humans.


The deminishing of many species of animals is undeniable, ofen times, people


choose to ignor the possibility of certain animal becoming extinct. However, there are


many organizations around the world that are protecting the endangered animals.


WWF stands for World Wildlife Fund it was established by Sir Peter Scott and Sir


Julian Huxley in 161. The WWF is the worlds largest and most exprienced


independent conservative organization, with 5 offices working in more than 0


countries. The purpose of World Wildlife Fund is to address and promote the issues


from the survival of species and habitats to climate change, sustainable businiess and


enviromental education. The WWF is well-known for their work to conserve wildlife.


However the WWF is constantly challenging and influence governments, industries as


well as local people to reduce pollution and deforestation and to ensure new


legislation are to protect species and habitat in a long term effect. There are many


methods developed by scientists and enviromentalists to recover and maintain the


growth of species of animals. Critical Habitats are designating areas, which are


restricted to any human activities, these areas are used to protect certain species of


animals. Critical Habitats includdes food, water, shelter and fair number of


indivisuals to make a viable breeding population. The most effective way of dealing


with species crises is the Captive Breeding. Indivisuals are captured from the wild and


brought to a zoo, university or other facility, there they are housed under conditions


belived to be right for breeding and they are protected from disease, predators and


human contact.


It is important to protect endangered animals, because as natural habitats are


destroyed and populations of a species decline, genetic diversity is diminished,


genetic diversity is the variations within the genetic material of a species. When


species become extinct, the information carried in their genes is lost forever, which


means that those animals will never be seen again, the dinosaurs is a perfect example.


It is not too late to save the animals and its enviroments, there are ways for every


indivisual to help, reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous pesticides and household


chemicals, join and support organizations that work on enviromental issues (such as


the wwf), limit the use of natural resources by recycling and by purchasing items


made from recycled materials. By taking one step at a time, there will be hope for the


animals that currently listed as endangered.


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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear John Wayne;Manifest Destiny and America's Cowboy

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In Louise Erdrich’s poem “Dear John Wayne,” she describes the glorification of the white man’s extortion of land and life from an Indian perspective. Laying on the hood of a Pontiac in a drive-in movie, a group of Indians watches the face of America’s favorite cowboy as he defeats “the Sioux or some other Plains bunch.” Their American made car, named after the Ottawa Indian Chief Pontiac, sits in the dark lot in a white man’s world. As the movie ends, they realize the bleak reality of their existence in John Wayne’s world; they are the descendents of a defeated civilization, reduced to paying for this distorted view of their history.


In “Dear John Wayne,” Erdrich explores the cowboy’s manifest destiny. “Everything we see belongs to us” she says, displaying the imperialist soul of John Wayne. The Indians are “spread north to south, barring progress” and preventing the cowboys to move westward. The settlers deserve this land; it is theirs to civilize. In the movie, the Indian defeat is a heroic victory, not the brutal slaughter that Erdrich sees.


John Wayne was more than just a movie cowboy, but his soul was not far off. “Even his disease was the idea of taking everything. Those cells, burning, doubling, splitting out of their skins.” He had cancer, and to Erdrich his body was simulating inside what Wayne’s characters were doing outside; spreading, taking what did not belong to them and making it their own. For the Indians, the white man was a cancer, a horrible infectious disease that killed off their culture and their people. Unlike John Wayne’s movies, this history was hardly a graceful and beautiful one, but one of pain, death, and disease.





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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brief summary of the life and work of Edward Hopper(1882-1967)

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Edward Hopper was born in the small Hudson River town of Nyack, in New York, on July 188. He lived in a middle-class family who owned a dry goods shop where he worked when he was a boy. By the time he was 17 he had decided to be an Artist, but his parents persuaded him to begin by studying commercial illustration, which they thought was a more secure career path to take.


He began studying at the New York School of Illustrating, but a year later transferred to the New York School of Art where Hopper worked under Robert Henri, one of the first American Realists. He stayed at the School of Art for 6 more years after deciding to go and study in France. With his parents help he moved to Paris in 106, but was disappointed with the Modern Art Movement there.





“Whom did I meet? Nobody. Id heard of Gertrude Stein, but I dont remember having heard of Picasso at all. I used to go to the cafes at night and sit and watch. I went to the theatre a little. Paris had no great or immediate impact on me.”


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Hopper also visited London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Brussels. The picture that seems to have impressed him most was Rembrandts The Night Watch in Amsterdam. After his first trip to Europe, Hopper made regular visits to Spain and France and the rest of Europe for the next few years. His travels in Europe influenced his paintings, and their subjects but they still failed to attract anyone’s attention. Because of this he went back to American subjects in 11 and made his first sale and solo exhibition, at the Whitney Studio Club in 10. He didn’t make much money from selling his painting’s, instead he made a living from selling prints and working as a commercial illustrator.





In 1, when Hopper was 41, he married his neighbour Jo Nivison, who he new when he was a student. After their marriage Hopper became more successful with his painting’s and his second exhibition was a sell out. Hopper and his wife bought a car with the money that he had made and began travelling around America. He painted many landscapes in this period of his life which gave him the title of one of the most famous American realists of the inter-war period, but his career in painting slowed down gradually and ended with the rise of Abstract Expressionism. Hopper died in 167, 10 months before his wife.


Edward Hoppers work relates to mine, because in my painting I am trying to create a sense of realism. Hopper’s work looks extremely realistic, and has a photographic quality to it, but it isn’t like a photo-realist painting. I want to create the same kind of effect in my work, without making it look dull, flat, and lifeless (which can sometimes be the result when being too fussy with a painting). To do this I will need to look at light, the effects of light, and the way shadows fall on the objects in the painting, as this is the way I believe Hopper make his paintings look the way they do. There is also some amount of detail, and precision in his paintings which, again I will have to try and include in my painting.


All of Hoppers paintings, whatever the subject, conveyed an atmosphere of loneliness and solitude. He painted stark scenes of deserted streets at night, harsh New England landscapes, desolate petrol stations, lighthouses, hotels, offices and half empty cinemas.


Many of the subjects are painted at night which was very rare in the past because there was no artificial light. Hopper was the first person to do this.





Being a regular visitor of the cinema, Hopper’s work often had a cinematic quality, with wide screen views and scenes that could almost be stills from a Hitchcock film. His paintings also often look like they are part of a story. He often painted people together in an ambiguous way which could suggest anything was happening or being said between. them. Many of Hopper’s later paintings which are not landscapes have people in them, but never more than or 4. They are not usually the main subject of a painting but still play a part in creating atmosphere or a particular scene, and although Hopper was a realist all of the people in his paintings have mask like faces.


I think this way of drawing people was supposed to make them look anonymous and characterless. The people also rarely have any facial expressions, this is supposed emphasise the ambiguity of the painting, and stress the peoples separateness from each other.





As many of Hopper’s paintings are of houses or contain buildings and street scenes his work often has an architectural quality to it. There are strong, strait, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines which make up the shapes in the painting. Light and shade is also used for pattern rather than being used to show the shape and position of an object, and there is always a strong contrast between light and dark in Hopper’s paintings.





A typical example of one of Hopper’s painting’s is Nighthawks (14). He said that when he painted the scene he was unconsciously “painting the loneliness of a large city” but the painting itself shows nothing but a “restaurant on Greenwich Avenue where to streets met.” The painting also has a cinematic look to it because of the wide angle, and the Humphrey Bogart type character on the right. In the painting there is a couple, together in the bright light of the bar, but there is also the lonely man half in the shadow. Further to the left there is the deserted city. The bar is the only source of light in the painting, this emphasises how isolated it is, and how isolated the third drinker is.





This painting Drug Store (17) is quite similar to Nighthawks in it’s appearance. The sense of loneliness is created by the subject being the only light source in the painting, and spreading its light out over the pavement in front, but there is also the great contrast between the light and the shadow that surrounds it. The fact that there is no one around to see what is in the window of the store, and what is being advertised also contributes to the sense of isolation in he painting. In a way this painting is a prediction of Pop Art, with the use of lettering and brand names, before this letters were hardly ever painted. The painting can also be looked at as a comment on name brand society and advertising.








This painting Railroad Crossing (1) is supposed to show the technological progress in America , and how nature is being affected by this. The are the woods and fields, and the house, railway track and the telegraph poles. The fact that the house is a similar colour and blends in with the field suggest some sort of harmony between the two systems. The railroad and signals in the painting are used is a dividing line between the domesticated, tame nature around the house, and the more wild, uncontrollable woods behind. The house and railroad signs, being symbols of Civilisation in contrast to the woods behind also say that Nature and Civilisation will always be separate.





This painting Railroad Sunset (17) is very similar to Railroad Crossing except the message it gives about nature and civilisation is slightly different.Here the railroad and signals are in the foreground but slightly to the side, so we look past them and out towards the open, unspoilt landscape, which seems more welcoming than in Railroad Crossing. We can still see the railway track, glistening in the light, marking the divide between civilisation and nature. The painting isn’t painted in Hopper’s usual style. It is much more expressive, and he uses colour more freely, flat colour is also created by using many colours in a pattern, which can be easily seen in the blue at the top. This is a more Modernist approach than Hopper usually takes to his paintings. Again there is a cinematic look created by using a wide angle and composition.


Edward Hopper was one of the most influential American Realists of his time who also inspired other art movements, like Pop Art. Unfortunately, his importance in the history of art was not realised until after his death.





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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What is Quality?

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“WHAT IS QUALITY?”


QUALITY MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES


ASSIGNMENT 1A


MSC IT MANAGEMENT


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Martin Gallinagh


10th February 00





What is Quality?


NB Throughout text, Product = Both Product/Service.


Definitions


Using the correct Tools (resources raw materials, machinery, time and people) in the right way so that they are converted to the required outputs. It is in the process that quality is made or broken.


The minimal that quality must entail is “Fitness for purpose” (Juran). This is also defined in the Consumer goods and Services Act 174; (DTI) “


• Goods must be as described, of satisfactory quality, and fit for any purpose which the consumer makes known to the seller.


• Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description.


• Aspects of quality include fitness for purpose, freedom from minor defects, appearance and finish, durability and safety.


• It is the seller, not the manufacturer, who is responsible under the Act.”


Without a business adhering to this, the customer can return the product. A business should obviously be aiming to go beyond this and exceed customer’s requirements and expectations.


Beyond this there are also the Customers individual Perceptions of the product � their perceived quality and its related perceived value which comes about from branding and their personal views. ‘Extra’ services such as friendly and knowledgeable staff, ‘after sales’/ maintenance…also enhance the quality of a product.


A.V. Feigenbaum (founder of Total Quality Control) believes quality is ‘what the customer says it is’ � not the company. Also, that this involves all parts of the business � i.e. quality of the way information is presented in promotional literature, is the product designed with the customer in mind (not just user-friendly but also meets their requirements), does the products packaging reach the customer in good condition. His ideas, such as statistical methods, can be acted upon so that quality is met. Whereas some of the Gurus seem to give a definition but don’t tell you how it can be implemented successfully.


Deming believes that non-faulty systems, i.e. ones that do not vary, best describe quality. Again this involves statistics but this time the emphasis is only on the technical means to gaining quality and people and other issues are not as important.





‘Bad’ Quality


So what exactly is Bad Quality…? (In my view)


• Getting incorrect information from a customer service line.


• Poor customer interactions � having the feeling, “are you even being listened to?”


• Getting products which aren’t what they say on the box


• Getting products which aren’t safe


• Getting a product and/or service that causes dissatisfaction to a reasonable person.


In my experience quality seems to declining, both in product and service. I have particularly noted this in foodstuffs, however this might be as it is more noticeable in these cases. Something has obviously gone wrong somewhere.


Possible reasons


• In cost cutting to be more competitive, quality seems to have been thrown out the window. However manufacturers might consider that selling a product which is marketed as a higher quality would allow them to justify charging slightly higher than competitors but still maintain the same or greater market share. A survey has shown that the most important factor when purchasing a product is quality (8/10) not price (although in the 80s the quality figure was /10 and price was more important). In any case a loss of quality will mean a loss of custom.


• Complaints are handled in such a way that there quality policy probably doesn’t involve anything but possibly a number of statistics which reflect what they want management to hear and not what customers are saying.


• A good summary is that, to identify issues,


Quality is any aspect of a product, including the services included in the contract of sales, which influences the demand curve. (R. Dortman and P.O. Steiner, Optimal Advertising and Optimal Quality, American Economic Review, December 154, p.81).





Why is Quality important?


“Quality is the loss to society a product causes after being shipped” - Taguchi


Total Quality is achieved throughout the organisation including its systems, technology, centring on people, as they are the ones who will make or break a company. People need to be motivated and have the desire to actually achieve what their customers want. Phillip Crosby strongly supports the motivational aspects towards quality improvement in his 14 step plan looking at elements such as Management commitment, quality awareness, quality training and quality councils involving people from all levels of the organisation.


How a business considers and implements quality will affect the competitive position of all firms, without it, stakeholders (customers, employees, investors…society) will not see any benefits.


Although Total quality can and should lead to a reduction in costs, its primary motivation should be the final customer’s needs. The ultimate cost of Bad Quality is the lost of your customers now and thus any in the future due to loss of repeat purchases and a tarnished reputation. Without customers a business will obviously cease to exist.





Bibliography


Hutchings, D. 10. In Pursuit of Quality Participative Techniques for Quality Improvement. Pitman Publishing.


Price, F. 184. RIGHT FIRST TIME. Gower.


Price, F. 10. RIGHT EVERY TIME. Gower.


DTI Consumer and Competition Policy http//www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/topics1/saleandsupply.htm (accessed //0)


What is Quality? Definitions and Contrasts


http//mot.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/mt/Whatis.htm (accessed 8//0)


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Monday, July 18, 2011

Financial Policies

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I would like do dwell on how rents and other financial steps could be helpful for crisis for finance management of particular healthcare organization. Southern regional Medical Center rebuilt its credit position and achieved financial stability by implementing a seven-step corporate finance plan.


It was a time of crisis for Southern Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Riverdale, Georgia. About two years ago, the organizations service lines were operating at a loss, not enough capital was available to cover existing projects, and future access to affordable capital was dwindling. The situation was so critical that Moodys Investor Service downgraded the organizations debt and provided an addendum evaluation of a negative outlook.





Yet this fiscal year, SRMC expects to break even. Even more remarkable, the organization plans to be $4 million in the black in FY0.


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How has such turnaround been possible?


SRMC used a strategic and organizational model of potential benefit to many healthcare providers. By following a seven-step approach to financial management that uses best practices and adheres to the principles of corporate finance, the organization staved off immediate financial threats, attained stability and has leveraged itself for long-term success.


The Need


Between 17 and 000, SRMC faced myriad challenges. A dramatic shift toward managed care was occurring in the Atlanta healthcare market. Turnover had resulted in more than 0 percent of the senior staff and nearly 70 percent of the director-level staff being new to the leadership team. Also, a major bond issue was completed to fund two large, certificate-of-need initiatives--construction of a Womens Life Center with 40 postpartum and 1 intermediate care neonatal beds and a large infrastructure improvement project.


Other strategic initiatives pursued in the 0s had significantly increased the SRMCs capital requirements and expenditures as well. The organization required substantial cash infusions each month to support day-to-day operations of 15 primary care medical practices it had acquired and/or absorbed. Also, increases in the scope of a number of construction projects resulted in more capital being required than previously anticipated.


Perhaps most worrisome was that the organization lacked connection between strategic and financial planning. Allocation of capital was driven heavily by community-benefit initiatives and medical-staff priorities. Projects were not given rigorous analysis, nor were potential returns quantified to determine their long-term financial impact on the organization. Interest earnings often were expected to carry the organization when individual projects were not self-supporting.


By mid-000, SRMC realized it would not be able to finish its construction and improvement projects. Funds from the bond issue used to finance the capital projects quickly were evaporating. SRMC also was not able to meet the requirements of the letter of credit supporting its variable-rate debt. The organizations credit position was deteriorating rapidly. Although net patient revenue was increasing, operating income was declining sharply and SRMCs key financial ratios were showing the strain. The operating margin, already in the red for several years, had declined dramatically during the prior year. Debt-service coverage and days cash on hand also had declined. Debt-to-capitalization ratio had climbed to a relatively high-risk level. Clearly, access to affordable external capital would have been difficult, if not impossible.


Implementing a New Approach


In the fall of 000, SRMCs leadership confronted these organizational challenges and embraced a seven-step approach that uses best practices in corporate finance. The approachs steps include


Establishing appropriate financial goals and objectives for the organization to ensure its ability to pursue its mission;


Managing a calendar that drives and defines the relationship between strategic planning, financial planning, the operating budget, and capital allocation;


Designing a comprehensive capital-allocation process that includes sound financial planning, review of all projects on a level playing field, coordinated calendar and planning cycles, and the use of corporate finance-based analytical concepts;


Linking strategic planning and financial/capital planning (strategy focuses on external market needs and how the organization can best meet those needs; financial planning follows and supports critical strategies);


Managing cost on an ongoing basis by continually monitoring costs to maintain the lowest possible level consistent with quality standards and customer-service excellence;


Defining measurable short- and long-term financial targets for which senior management is accountable; and


Creating organizational processes that will be measured and systematically improved.


The rigorous financial-management cycle (see Exhibit 1) provided management with a basis for the tough decisions it needed to make. SRMC needed to determine the level of financial performance that would be necessary to support its strategic capital requirements. The organization also needed to develop ways to meet short-term challenges and still build sufficient future capital capacity to ensure long-term access to debt and equity capital.


To quantify the magnitude of the financial challenge, SRMCs leaders analyzed the organizations capital position. The analysis showed that capital uses planned for years 001 through 005 (estimated capital investment, funding of a minimum cash position, and principal payments on debt) exceeded capital sources available in 000 (existing cash, net available debt capacity, and bond-related construction funds) by nearly $150 million. Based on this shortfall, leaders estimated the annual operating cash flow need to be nearly $0 million. Given the cash flow achieved in the two previous years, attaining this amount would not be feasible.


Creating a Short-Term Operating Plan


Consideration then turned to whether changes could be made to operations and strategies to achieve the desired level of profitability. SRMC management used a 1-point operating plan to address the calculated capital shortfall. The team recognized that not every strategy could be pursued in the short term and that the organizations financial position needed immediate attention. Each point was quantified to an income-statement or balance-sheet outcome or to a supporting activity consistent with the financial plan. Capital partners, such as the rating agencies, bond insurers, and key lenders, were made aware of the plans objectives and received quarterly status updates. Because SRMC would have no available debt capacity for the near future, management recognized that all capital funds temporarily would need to be generated internally.


At the same time, the organizations ultimate viability needed to be considered. A long-term plan to enhance SRMCs liquidity was mandatory. Specific resources were dedicated to an evaluation of ongoing services, and the near-term organizational focus shifted to revenue-producing investments. To assist with planning, leaders laid out a glide path toward financial stability. The goal in FY00 was to resolve all debt covenant-related issues. In FY01, an operating-margin target of a $4. million loss was set. The operating margin was targeted to break even for FY0 and to be $4 million in the black in FY0.


To reach these goals, the leadership team outlined specific improvement strategies to be pursued simultaneously. In addition, a measurable and specific revenue-improvement or cost-reduction goal was assigned to each initiative. For example, service-line operational improvements, tracked quarterly for each of the organizations 1 service lines, were to result in operating-margin improvements of nearly $4.5 million. SRMCs strategies differed by service line, with some calling for cost reductions and others for volume or market-share improvement or internal revenue-cycle improvements. Goals included


Reducing length of stay and delays in care through managing patients within clinical targets (goal $1.75 million);


Subleasing or divesting real estate/joint-venture holdings (goal $1.1 million);


Improving the revenue cycle to aid conversion of gross revenue into net revenue (goal $1.5 million);


Achieving pharmacy/supply-cost savings (goal $0.6 million);


Reducing precertification/medical-necessity denials (goal $0.6 million);


Reducing use of agency staff and recruiting/retaining staff nurses (goal $1.5 million); and


Achieving key operational benchmarks for each medical center department for both patient care and support services (goal $1 million).


Financial-planning analysis drove each goal, and all analytical results were communicated to senior management, key board members, and capital-markets constituencies. Responsibility for each goal was assigned to a vice president.


During the glide paths first year, the focus was on operational issues. Throughout the organization, capital essentially was shut down in FY00 and FY01 as the leadership team closed unprofitable operations to get operating costs under control, addressed the revenue cycle, and managed the overall income statement.


Meeting the Long-Term Cultural Challenges


By the fall of 001, the leadership team had the acute income statement issues under control and was ready to implement additional elements of the best-practice corporate-finance approach. Understanding that lack of support can impede strategy, leaders focused on introducing the approach in a way that would be acceptable, understandable, and meaningful to the organizations culture.


The first and foremost challenge was to educate managers about basic corporate finance. All SRMC managers and their key staff needed to know how to read basic financial reports and understand key concepts, such as net present value and ratio analysis. Such education was necessary to ensure that sound financial management would become a cultural imperative, rather than just a concern of the finance department.


To meet this challenge, SRMC offered a five-part course on the basics of corporate finance to all vice presidents and director-level staff. Included were discussions of four measurements that would be reported to managers quarterly


Profitability (margins and compensation ratio);


Liquidity (days cash on hand and cash-to-debt ratio);


Debt service (debt-service coverage ratio), and


Capital structure (average age of plant and debt-to-capitalization ratio).


The wide distribution of these data emphasized to staff the importance of looking at the organizations financial picture as a whole, not just one component. For example, if capital spending gets out of control, the liquidity measures will show the effects. Similarly, if the organization is borrowing to improve liquidity, the leverage measure will show the effects.


Revising the organizations annual planning calendar was the second key challenge. Effective calendar management requires integration of management, planning, and implementation (see Exhibit ). Planning schedules must be understood and maintained throughout the organization. SRMC educated all of its managers about the organizations revised calendar for managing the financial and capital decision-making cycle by planning retreats in late 001. Five-year financial modeling commenced in January 00, and now updates to the capital plan occur annually.


SRMC also needed to transition its financial statements to be more progressive, rather than retrospective. A key step was to change the focus of the statements to cash flow rather than just income or expense line items. The updated statements use a rolling six-month time frame and are updated monthly.


The organization also had to reconfigure its capital decision-making process. To ensure organizational turnaround was accomplished, SRMCs leaders determined that it was necessary to


Link management decisions to specific, quantifiable goals;


Scrutinize big-ticket, multiple-year projects for their impact on financial ratios;


Use discounted-cash-flow tools and simulations to help minimize the risk associated with the unexpected;


Quantify available capital for all of the organizations processes;


Designate a one-time comparative evaluation for all proposed projects;


Require clear return-on-investment goals for each project; and


Limit non-revenue-producing projects to a specified total dollar volume of available capital.


Under the new capital decision-making process, proposals for new projects could not be approved independent of a review process that encompassed all of these points. To ensure a level playing field, the elected medical staff department heads composing SRMCs Medical Executive Committee were allowed input into the capital-allocation process. Also, projects requiring an investment of more than $50,000 needed to be analyzed using discounted-cash-flow tools and some level of simulation to manage risk and uncertainty


Next, SRMC had to reconfigure the operational decision-making process. Departmental budgeting needed to reflect the capital-allocation portfolio. Service lines provided by SRMC had to demonstrate a range of returns. To this end, the organization constructed 1 service lines from groupings of inpatient DRGs and outpatient ICD- codes that cover all patients seen in the medical center. Volumes of patients seen and the net revenue generated are the base line from which incremental volume increases or cost reductions can be measured. This tracking method helps determine how much additional volume an investment will generate.


SRMC then began to address its last challenge of including medical staff in the turnaround process. Managing relationships with physicians is important because clinical protocols directly influence operational variables, such as length of stay or the use of expensive diagnostic procedures, that can affect the hospitals bottom line. SRMG management recognized that fiduciary responsibility needed to extend to utilization review (including the financial impact of utilization patterns), medical records, protocol compliance, and risk management. Medical staff performance needed be tracked on predefined criteria, such as customer satisfaction, volume and growth goals, quality-of-care indexes, and continuing education or staff development standards.


SRMC currently is completing these efforts. Fortunately, many physicians have been eager to use valid statistics to improve the financial impact of their practice patterns.


Twenty-Four-Month Progress Report


A look at SRMC 4 months after implementing the corporate-finance plan finds the organization has improved its financial position significantly Leaders believe that SRMC is well on the way to achieving its operating-margin goals and rebuilding its balance sheet. A healthy income statement is expected in one or two years. However, rebuilding the balance sheet will take more than five years and require continuous focus. So far, SRMC has met most of the critical checkpoints on its established glide path. As a result, its capital structure has stabilized, all technical default issues have been resolved, letters of credit have been extended and renegotiated, and a strong credit rating has been attained.


Conclusion


To remain competitive, organizations should apply all of the corporate management tools available to them. Implementing a best-practice corporate-finance approach like SRMGs is one way to help ensure an organized and strategic approach to financial planning. Although the process may take several years to complete, positive results can be achieved even in the most difficult circumstances.


Georgias Southern Regional Medical Center used a proven corporate finance approach to dramatically improve its financial position and integrate its strategic and financial planning.


Managers throughout the organization were educated about principles of corporate finance.


Reliable cash-flow projections were used to create a multiyear glide path to financial stability.


Initiatives were tied to specific time frames and quantifiable financial goals and underwent a standardized review process.


Southern Regional Medical Center (SRMC)


Location Riverdale, Georgia, on the southern boundary of metropolitan Atlanta.


Description A 410-bed not-for-profit facility offering a full range of acute medical and surgical services, with a strong emphasis on womens services, and providing about 84,000 patient days of inpatient care per year.


Annual net revenue $185 million


Inpatient admissions 1,000 per year


Emergency department visits 70,000 per year


Outpatient visits 85,000 per year


Staff More than 00 physicians hold active staff privileges.


Competition Three smaller acute-care facilities operate within SRMCs geographic area.


Lessons Learned


Creditworthiness indicators are not just for the capital markets; they are vital signs for any organization and should be monitored at least quarterly.


Capital capacity is integrally tied to levels of cash flow.


Capital budgeting is a portfolio-management issue.


Service-line and medical-staff strategies directly influence short- and long-term financial outcomes and should therefore be broadly understood and communicated.


Capital partners, such as rating agencies and banks, know the industry well, so it is important to answer their questions directly.





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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Piercings

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Hi, I went on a Saturday after working midnight shift to have triple piercings done. I went to someon new because of his manner and also surprisingly he offered me a great deal since he was doing three at once. As it turns out I didnt have a very good experience. The pain wasnt so bad for either my tongue, my septum or my nostril initially. Afterwards my tongue did hurt a lot when I tried to talk or swallow. My swelling was minimal and I couldnt figure out what the trouble was. Well, after taking a good close look at my tongue I could see that it was off center, crooked and very near the front on the bottom. Hmph. I went back to my piercer to ask him and he apologized and said it was his fault for using the wrong forceps. He said he would repierce me again when I heal. So he took it out. Now its a day later and I have bruising on the front quarter of the right side of my tongue. That is where the barbell was on the bottom. The day before I went so he could have a good look at my tongue. Since Im a translator at work, (spanish/english) I told him it was important that it not be in front of the major bend. He also looked underneath and said it would be great because my two large veins were very obvious. Yet, unfortuneatly he came oh so scarily close to one of those veins. His manner was very nice his personality was very good but, either his skill was off that day or he wasnt paying enough attention but, the tongue ended up being a bust. The good thing is that I found out that it isnt nearly as painful for the peircing as I thought. Another good thing I found out is that if the clamp isnt too tight it seems that your swelling wont be so bad but, if the clamps are too loose your tongue could move like mine did and when my piercer turned to pick up the needle he didnt know that my tongue had moved so much. Its just luck that things didnt go worse than they did. He was a nice piercer and I dont want to take back the tip, he was trying his best but, I am going to go and talk to him tomorrow to see about getting a refund for the piercing cost. My suggestion is to pre agree on placement with a dot on your tongue above and below before the piercer picks up the needle. I have to wait four more weeks before I can have my tongue done again. This also goes for the nostril and the septum that I had done the same day by this piercer. I thought the septum was level and was happy but, knew that it was on an agle off my face, (kinda like a car off its fram heading to the right while the rest is moving straight ahead.) When I found out that I couldnt just train this twelve gague to go straight I had that removed also. Good luck, know your piercers skill and reputation as well as their personality. This piercer was very nice and believed in universal precaution. He wasnt just a hole poker or anything but, his skill needs some time to hone itself. More later after the next try. Im going to post in the nostril also because that was the third unlucky attempt that I had. Jennifer


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Abortion contraversy

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SPEECH OUTLINE


Specific Goal To persuade the audience to be pro-abortion.


Intro I will start by telling the audience to imagine that they are a woman who was raped, or who was carrying a child that you knew wouldn’t live to see his first birthday. Or perhaps the contraceptive you were using didn’t work. In any case, you know that you are not prepared or willing to support a child. Now imagine that there are laws that aren’t protecting you, but do protect your fertilized egg. Being pro-choice supports the rights of women and to let her make a decision about abortion, instead of having someone make the decision for her.


Thesis To look at the benefits of giving every woman the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.


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Body


I. Being pro-choice allows a pregnant woman options under extenuating circumstances.


a. If a woman, or a teenage girl is raped, she will have the right to terminate a pregnancy that was forced upon her.


b. If a doctor can determine that the unborn child will die soon after birth, or will be severely disabled and will life its life in a limited state, the mother can spare her unborn child.


c. If the mother is terminally ill (AIDS) or if delivering a child means the death of the mother, then the mother has the right to save her own life.


(By supporting pro-choice, you are helping to insure that, under extreme circumstances, the decision will be made by the woman herself, and not by lawmakers)


II. Another reason to let the woman decide whether or not to abort is to save the child from extreme cases of psychological or physical abuse.


a. If a woman accidentally becomes pregnant (unprotected sex, condom broke, etc), and she doesn’t want the child, it isn’t fair to have a child in an environment where he is not wanted.


i. Children are more likely to be abused in cases where the pregnancy is either unplanned or born to young mothers.


b. A child born into a poverty stricken family who can not take care of another person is putting the child in danger of being subjected to abuse.


i. Poverty stricken parents are four times more likely to abuse their children (both emotionally and physically) due to circumstances surrounding their poverty (stress of supporting family, depression brought on by poverty, etc)


c. Many children who are given up by their parents (because they are


unwanted) end up in abusive foster homes, orphanages or on the streets.


(Only the woman carrying an unborn child should be able to determine if bringing a child into the world is better or worse than having an abortion.)


III. Another reason why being pro-choice is good is because, contrary to popular


belief, it stresses the value of life.


a. Many pro-life activists say that, no matter how horrible the environment may be for a child growing up, every child should come full term.


b. They don’t take into consideration the quality of life of a child. If a child is unwanted or going to be severely handicapped or ill, the value and quality of life for that child will be dramatically subpar, then, by aborting,the mother is really saving the child.


c. Many are hung up on either religious beliefs or laws saying that it is wrong to take a life. But by definition, life only begins when a being is functioning self-sufficiently, so technically a fetus it not a full-fledged life.


Conclusion Abortion is a very controversial issue that has people heatedly debating if anyone has the right to abort an unborn baby. Being either being pro-life or pro-choice has been a dilemma not only between people, but states are in disagreement when it comes to abortion laws. I hope that you see how supporting pro-choice not only benefits women, but their unborn children as well.


Sources


Show the Truth. O’Neill, Terry. April 001. pp 6-


Published by Report News


Victories for Abortion-Rights Supporters. Rovner, Julie. October 18. pp 166


Published by Lancet





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Friday, July 15, 2011

Confessions of the Mind

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For many poets, writing about nature and love is an easy feat. The poets who are considered in the Confessional Genre draw their influence from something quite different though. They use their own life experiences of pain and suffering to create great poems. In Theodore Roethke’s “Dolor,” Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror,” and Sharon Olds’ “The Planned Child,” these three poets confess their inner pain about matters that effect them and, they have created hits.


Roethke’s poem focuses on pain, with the use of the word “dolor.” It is about an office building that is so monotonous, that your individuality is taken away from you. The pencils are even saddened because they are “neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper-weight” (p 78, ). They are not used, not even to lie on a desk as a placeholder. The room is supposed to be an “immaculate public place” (p 78, 4), but there will always be an unseen film of dust. Roethke is comparing the people from the office to the dust on the walls by saying that the dust is “alive, more dangerous than silica,/sift, almost invisible” (p 78, 10-11). The dust shows more life in the preceding line than the people that are supposed to be working in the office building.


In Plath’s poem, she focuses more on her inner beasts. She splits herself up into a mirror and a real individual. The mirror is described to “swallow immediately/just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike” (p 1187, -) to show that you are who you are in front of a perfect reflection of your self. You are not allowed to be lied to in front of a mirror, because the mirror will project the exact duplicate, including feelings, thoughts, and even hatreds, of the “real” person. You “turn to those liars, the candles or the moon” (p 1187, 1) to help pacify your hidden demons because you can’t handle the truth the mirror projects to you. Plath uses the mirror as an object in which to allow herself to grow. She considers the mirror a “little god, four-cornered” (p 1187, 5) because that connection to God helps her know that she won’t be lied to; she has the belief that she can trust what she sees as the absolute truth. She finally accepts her formation from “a young girl, and in me an old woman/rises” (p 1187, 17-18) because she realizes that she is in the growing process everyone must partake in, as a part of life.


Olds’ storyline moves a girl hating her mother, to accepting that she was truly wanted. She resents the fact that her mother “made a chart of the month and put/her temperature on it, rising and falling/to know the day to make me” (p 84, 4-6) because she feels that she had to be planned to be wanted. She doesn’t understand the point of planning a human being. She would have rathered been “conceived in heat,/in haste, by mistake, in love, in sex” (p 84, 7-8) because to her it would have been more exciting. Not until a friend pointed out that she was wanted, did she finally accept that “not the moon, the sun, Orion/cartwheeling across the dark, not/the earth, the sea-none of it/was enough, for her, without me” (p 84, 1-). She considers finally that nothing from the preceding quote was enough to fill her mother’s passions of having a child of her own. Olds’ character finally realized that her mother had good intentions in planning her because it showed how much she was wanted.


Write your Confessions of the Mind research paper


In these three stories, we are shown that confessing about troubling matters to the heart is a sort of therapy for the soul. It allows the heartache of a personal experience to help someone else shed light into his or her own problems. “Dolor” by Theodore Roethke, “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath, and “The Planned Child” by Sharon Olds helps other people because it shows that confessions are not all that immoral.





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Sixth Sense

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The Sixth Sense


By Daniel Empringham


In M. Night Shamalyan The Sixth Sense is a thrilling and provocative movie from beginning to end, and that’s all thanks to the many Hitchcock references in the movie. This movie contains numerous similarities to such classics as Psycho, Rear Window and North by Northeast. The main points in The Sixth Sense that show these the most are the format of the film, the camera shots, the traditions and very deep messages to the audience. M. Night Shamalyan was not only influenced by Alfred Hitchcock but studied him so much that The Sixth Sense is a Hitchcock inspired film.


Right at the start of the movie you can see that Shamalyan was inspired by Alfred the credits are shown at the beginning of the movie, just as Hitchcock did for all his movies. While the credits are being shown at the beginning of the movie suspenseful music is being played just as the composers wrote for Hitchcock. The first shot of the movie is a very simple but yet meaningful shot of a single light bulb hanging in the cold dark basement, just as the first shot in Psycho was of a apartment window but as the shot of the window got closer the story started to unfold, same with The Sixth Sense when you pull back from the light you find that Malcolm’s wife is afraid of the dark and secluded basement. As Malcolm and wife walk upstairs they find that they are not alone, someone is waiting for them in the bathroom this scene is very similar to the scene in Psycho, the fact that someone is never completely safe even in there own house. In the first twenty minutes of the movie is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.


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Bruce Willis is child psychologist showing that he watch’s and observes them from a distance, you see this in the beginning of the film, and this is much like Jimmy Stewart in Rearwindow. Jimmy Stewart’s character and Bruce Willis’ character are also both simple men trying to make the world and humankind a little better, Willis by saving children from there fears and helping them cope with intense feelings; and Jimmy Stewart by solving a murder case from his wheelchair. The strongest correlation between the two pictures is that they both show the main characters past in the beginning of the film. The two films may not share a lot of the same aspects but a lot of the same kind of tracking shots, and camera work. Camera work is very important in this movie, strong close ups of Haley’s character show the troubles and pain he’s going through. Symmetry is very important as well to Shamalyan, you can see this clearly in the scene where Haley comes home from school and saw his mom and Bruce’s character sitting down. Shamalyan is inspired by Hitchcock so much he even rips off the cleverest recurring action in every Hitchcock film he ever made, he appears in the film, M. Night plays the doctor that suspects that Haley’s mom is physically abusing Haley. This shows more then any other example that Shamalyan is directly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock.


The Sixth Sense itself has hidden messages in the movie that recur through the entire film, the messages all have something to do with the colour red. Hitchcock didn’t do this as much but this is definitely an important part of the story. The red figures and images in the film show that what ever is red is a clue or an important part of the film and the red shows anything in the real world that has been tainted by the other world. The red figures include, the women who poisoned the child, she was in red because that was Haley’s first step to make his power in to something good instead of being afraid of it. Haley gets locked in the dungeon during his friend’s birthday party, a red balloon lead him up to the top and he was also wearing a red sweater that lead to the hospital scene where M. Night made an appearance and where Willis’ character started to show signs that he himself was dead. Another key red object is the blanket Willis’ wife wears at the end of the film when he realizes that he has been dead ever since he got shot at the beginning of the film. Red is a key aspect to M. Night Shamalyan’s desire to aspire to Hitchcock’s deep messages in his films.


Shamalyan is directly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock so much that this film was inspired from later Hitchcock films. The film The Sixth Sense is a suspenseful horror movie with a large plot twist at the end, and as well an in-depth look at the meaning of life and the development of the characters. These are all aspects that Hitchcock originated in his films such as Psycho, Rearview, and North by Northeast. The idea of being inspired by a person so much as to redo some of his ideas in your own work is refreshing and original. M. Night Shamalyan did a great job of taking ideas from Hitchcock, and that is why The Sixth Sense did so well at the theatres and with the Academy, but isn’t it a bit ironic that Hitchcock never got an Oscar for any of his work but yet Shamalyan using Hitchcock’s ideas won multiple?





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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Annas story

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Anna’s Story


Anna’s Story written by Bronwyn Donaghy describes Anna Wood’s short life, by taking an ecstasy tablet at a rave. Bronwyn Donaghy interviewed her friends, family members and numerous professionals in order to write the story. The techniques used are to convince the reader to believe drugs are dangerous and harmful. Structure and selection of detail effectively manages to influence the readers such as, parents and teenage children. The book also informs the reader about factual information, referring to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Both techniques in the text, influences many readers and brings the audience closer to the event, which makes the story emotional and personal. This response encourages the reader to keep reading.


The structure of Anna’s Story has a substantial effect on the audience. Personal anecdotes are used to reflect people’s opinions on drugs and their relationship with Anna. Each of Anna’s friends all state that they are her “best friends”. The author interviews many people who were close to Anna and others not so close. Each person has an individual chapter. This collection of short stories has a similar structure as narrative styles of writing. This effects the reader because it makes the individual story sound confidential and private; this compels the reader too continual with the text.


Pictures are a major part of the structure of Anna’s Story. They represent Anna as a loving and smiley child who seemed a happy, anti drug person. However this characterisation I believe is wrong, and the pictures create an illusion. The effect on the reader from the pictures appears she wouldn’t be interested in drugs and seems a waste that she died at such a young age. References to Alice in Wonderland are also apparent throughout the book. It appears that they use Alice in Wonderland as an example because Anna made a wrong decision when taking the ecstasy tablet, a similar situation with Alice in Wonderland, when Alice makes a naïve assumption of what she is told to eat or drink.


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“However this bottle was not marked “Poison”, so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice… she very soon finished it off. “What a curious feeling”! Said Alice.”


(Alice in Wonderland,


Lewis Carrol).


This quote shows how naïve Alice was and did not know what the liquid inside of the bottle was but still drank it. However Anna on the otherhand, knew that an ecstasy tablet was dangerous, but still took that risk.


Another important aspect of the book that contributes to the structure is the section devoted to just drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Donaghy has used very factual terms when describing drugs. Professionals comment on the short and long term effects from excessive drug use, alcohol intake and continual smoking. This section in the book is located in the middle and at the end. As a reader, this part of the book was uninteresting and is similar to an authority figure speaking to the reader. The author has zero tolerance towards drugs, and states very clearly that they are harmful, and convinces the reader to adopt the author’s point of view.


Narrative styles of writing I think are present in Anna’s Story. Descriptive language is used in the text, which often appears in short stories; this creates emotion from the reader. Characters are described in great detail, so that the reader is able to relate to them, in a personal way.





“From his firm, dry handshake, to his wrinkling, twinkling eyes, his ambling gait and his chipped front toot, Tony Wood is everyone’s favourite image of a Aussie battler.”


(Tony’s story pg. ).


This quote describes Tony Wood in great detail. The quote above is the first sentence of his story, and the reader has already created a figure that is similar to Tony Wood.


Also located at the back of the book are Anna’s personal letters, poems and essays written by Anna in the last two years of her life. Spelling and punctuation had been corrected where possible; otherwise each piece appears as she wrote it. It is believed that only two of the letters mention drug use, however Anna’s most common interest was boys. It appears to me that the letters were placed in the book to show Anna’s personality and her relationship with friends, family and also her interests.


Another technique that Bronwyn Donaghy has used, is selection of detail. This technique influences and convinces the reader, for example; Anna was supposedly a gentle and loving person who everybody liked. This use of selection of detail makes the readers believe Anna was not interested in drugs, which makes them adopt the authors opinions and attitudes towards drugs. The main characters in Anna’s story are her friends and her family. Each character is portrayed by the author’s point of view. Not all


information on the characters is present, some aspects of the characters has been deliberately ignored, edited or added information that is not needed or is untrue.





“Anna had always been attracted to underdogs, to people who needed her friendship because they had problems.”


(Angela’s story pg. 18).





I believe none of Anna’s close friends had major problems in their family life, but were experimenting with drugs for no other reason than fun. However Anna’s family thinks otherwise, and blames Anna’s friends because she died.


Sympathetic characters are usually people that the readers can relate to and who embrace what they stand for. I found Alice (Anna’s sister) a sensible young adult who seemed intelligent and wise. However antipathetic characters, such as George and Chloe are disliked because they are portrayed as drug users and were supposedly a bad influence on Anna, this makes the readers have a negative response upon the characters and reject what they stand for.


The use of structure and selection of detail in the text influences the readers to adopt the author’s point of views. In Anna’s Story, Anna is portrayed as an innocent, loving, outspoken, and considerate child and was admired by all. The text describes Anna’s short life by her family members and her close friends in a collection of short stories. I believe certain aspects of the book have been ignored and the truth has not all been revealed. As a reader, I believe Anna took drugs on social occasions to have fun, and to experiment with something different. In today’s society it is still much the same, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes are a part of many teenagers lives and are associated with having fun, and being socially accepted. Hopefully, Anna’s Story has influenced many teenagers and made them aware of drugs and alcohol and the effect they have on themselves, their family and also the community.





Please note that this sample paper on Annas story 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 Annas story, we are here to assist you. Your persuasive essay on Annas story will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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