My First Toastmasters Speech

I joined my company‘s Toastmasters club about eight months ago. I attended the meetings as often as I could, participating in the table topics and listening to the prepared speeches. I kept meaning to deliver a speech myself. The first one in the program is the icebreaker, which is meant to introduce the speaker to [...]

Regarding the Death of my Mother

My mother died on Saturday, 11 October 2003. We had found out that she had breast cancer in April of 1998. But, I knew that death was a part of life and that these things were inevitable. There was nothing unfair about it. We knew the cancer would take her life long before it actually did. [...]

Dreaming in REM and NREM Sleep

The most fascinating part of human sleep, at least to writers and poets is dreaming. Sleep in humans is characterised by five distinct brain states, stages one through four, collectively referred to as non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM or rapid eye movement sleep. The term stage W is often used to refer to the wake state. REM sleep is characteristically different from NREM sleep in that the brain activation patterns more closely resemble brain activation in the waking state. In addition, humans experience muscle atonia during REM sleep, which is not present in NREM sleep. When researchers first studied this phenomenon, they noticed that when woken, subjects reported dreaming during REM sleep. This led to the theory that REM is responsible for dreaming. However, it had also been observed that dreams could occur during NREM sleep as well. Further research has shown that dreams occurring in REM sleep are quantitatively and qualitatively different from dreams occurring in NREM sleep. This paper will investigate those differences as well as the underlying brain mechanisms that accompany dream production. [...]

Artificial Intelligence from a Psychological Perspective

Many problems that involve artificial intelligence approaches to a solution such as speech and handwriting recognition do not require one to implement concepts such as emotion or self-concept into the system in order to solve the problem successfully. However, these are concepts that are important to intelligence that have so far been left out of artificial intelligence research either because of their irrelevance to specific problems or because no way has been found to model such concepts. [...]

On Carrying a Red Fuzzy Purse

Social norms are a thing that we seem to overlook, yet something that plays a rather significant role in our lives. I imagine that many norms or conventions arise out of practicality, for example, facing a certain direction in the elevator. After that, I suspect that they become conventions out of a combination of social comparison and social learning. When we do not know how we are supposed to behave in certain situations, we look to others for cues on what to do. Also, once we have seen how others behave, we are more likely to imitate them if there were no adverse social consequences. It is probably also important to note whose conventions we follow. It is probably the case that we are more likely to follow conventions of people that are similar to us or people that we look up to. [...]

Like a Quality Violin, Philip Marlowe Gets Better with Age

The classic antecedent films noirs to Farewell, My Lovely such as The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and Edward Dmytryk’s adaptation of the same novel, Murder, My Sweet, focus on the ethical paths the protagonists chose and the moral decisions they face while unravelling mysteries in a seedy and corrupt world. However, Farewell, My Lovely goes beyond testing Marlowe’s mettle in a morally ambiguous environment. It tells the story of a man searching for meaning in a dynamic world where the only constant is death. [...]

Chandler’s View of Chivalry in a Modern City

In The Big Sleep (1939), Raymond Chandler constantly compares the protagonist, Phillip Marlow, with a knight. We see this on the first page when Marlowe observes the stained glass window portraying a knight lackadaisically liberating a nude lady from the ropes that bind her. Marlowe comments that inevitably he will have to help the knight in the window to free the lady because the knight does not seem to be trying hard enough. However, Chandler makes it obvious that Marlowe is striving for an ideal that cannot exist in a modern world of corruption. How does Chandler define chivalry and the ideals of a romantic age in a modern-day Los Angeles that Phillip Marlowe fails to fit into? [...]

The Final Image in Les Quatre Cents Coups

In Les Quatre Cents Coups, François Truffaut exploits the medium of cinema to touch the audience in a novel way. In the film, he challenges the viewer to react morally outside the scope of the film. He culminates this in the final scene in which, during a soccer game Antoine escapes from incarceration. [...]

How to Fulfill Your CS Major Writing Requirement Or, At Least Half of It

First, discard the notion of hating English that you’ve harbored throughout high school and take confidence in your ability to write essays. Forget the fact that you got a D on your first essay for Rites of Passage freshman year. Don’t worry that you got C’s on all the rest of the essays even after your teacher promised you that your writing would improve. Don’t worry that you averaged a C on all your essays in history and English sophomore year. Instead take comfort in the fact that you got your first A on an essay when you discussed the Economic Development of New York in the Mid-Nineteenth Century in the second semester junior year. Besides, you got A’s on all (four) of your essays senior year. Having done this, you will immediately discard the notion of taking Expository Writing which would introduce you to academic composition through a variety of essay types. [...]

Brave New World Reflective Essay

The Internet is a revolutionary new medium that has provided people the world round a new medium of communication. In “cyberspace” as the Internet has been nicknamed, everyone can have a voice and it is relatively easy for one person to reach a very large audience. In addition to revolutionizing the way messages are broadcasted, cyberspace has also revolutionized peer-to-peer communication. E-mail and instant messaging have become a very convenient method of communication for many people, oftentimes replacing the use of telephones and conventional postal mail. However, the new methods of communication emerging on the Internet have also created a new communication medium for criminals. Many criminals have found e-mail to be a safer method of communication as opposed to the telephone as it is impervious to wiretaps. Instances of criminal use of cyberspace include espionage and drug trafficking. Cyberspace has also led to the rise of a new form of crime — cybercrime. Such crimes include child pornography and online stalking. [...]