January 14, 2010

My Reflection

When I was assigned writing this blog I was skeptical at first. I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable sharing my interests and writing with other, probably unfamiliar people. Being a follower of various blogs for a long time my assumption was that it acquired a high level of informatics education and probably many other difficult skills. However, as my work on the assignment began my perception was totally changed. I began to be eager to post my newest work on the blog. I started searching for inspiration in different places: movies, music, books, and the internet. Even links of my blog were given to few of my friends outside the classroom. This was a stimulus for me to try to do the pieces in a more interesting manner, to improve the blog’s layout and features, and to include various links or videos in the posts.
My belief is that this blog represents me in the best way possible for the small amount of works. The posts in it are reflection of my interests and state of mind. What I took for this experience, though, was not the sole ability to express myself a little more freely, but also to observe how others manage to do it. Reading my classmates and also Kentucky students blogs inspired me sometimes, or just made me think in a different way: it broadened my horizons.
Last but not least, I would remember my two partners from Kentucky. Sadly, the first one dropped out of the program, but the work of my second partner, Amy, is amazing. Reading and not always understanding her precise style and wonderful peaces made me improve mines, at least a little bit. As a conclusion, I believe that during those months of writing in the blog many things have changed, including me, and my belief is that this can be seen through my work.

A Poisonous Seed



Be not acknown on ’t,

I have use for it. Go, leave me.



I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin

And let him find it. Trifles light as air

Are to the jealous confirmations strong

As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.

The Moor already changes with my poison.

Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons

Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,

But with a little act upon the blood

Burn like the mines of sulfur.



I did say so.    

Look, where he comes. Not poppy nor mandragora

Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,

Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep

Which thou owedst yesterday.

A great man is recognized by his virtues. On the other hand, a tragic great villain is recognized by the power to destroy those virtues, to poison others’ minds, and to demolish people’s social status. This infamous, ironic model has conquered our subconscious through movies, books and TV shows. The Shakespearean play Othello presents one of the archetypes of notorious villains. It presents a person, known by his cruelty, recognized by his cunning ability to destroy people’s lives. All those characteristics shown in Scene 3 of Act III define Iago as the perfect villain, because he is also intelligent, influential, and able to preserve his valuable reputation until the end of the play.

As it is true that history repeats itself, it is also true that themes and motifs, which are present in Shakespearean plays, are also present nowadays. For example, it is still correct that the people, who a person opens his heart for, are the one’s who are capable of hurting him the most. Throughout the play, Othello, the protagonist, shows his respect for Iago, the antagonist. The Moor believes in the villain’s honesty and nobility. Iago’s monologue from Scene 3 of Act III, on the other hand, proves how deceptive appearance can be. It demonstrates that Iago’s reputation is based on trickery. The antagonist takes the symbol of love and purity: Desdemona’s handkerchief, and turns it into a symbol of destruction and hatred. “Be not acknown on ’t”, says Iago to his wife, when she gives him the handkerchief, hoping to please the villain, which makes her a compliant, deceived associate, who as many others helps Iago in his quest for revenge. However, can Desdemona be claimed as completely innocent, as absolutely unaware of the fact that her husband is up to something not entirely decent? Probably not. A woman who is not loved, who is not desired by her husband, who is used only as a tool for accomplishing Iago’s goals, Desdemona is not above suspicion. In her desire to be loved, to be acknowledged, to be valued, she is ready to fulfill every yearning of the cold husband. This readiness prevents her from thinking clearly, of evaluating the situation and seeing the fraud which her husband is pulling on. Furthermore, Iago is not only cold, but also he is ungrateful to her:” Go, leave me.”, he would say to his wife after she gives him the handkerchief.

Emilia gives Iago the most powerful weapon, an object that symbolizes not only Desdemona and Othello’s love, but also their commitment, and Desdemona’s faithfulness. All of these could be destroyed easily with the power of Iago’s words. “Not poppy nor mandragora/ …/Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep/ Which thou owedst yesterday”, would say he while waiting for Othello, knowing already how he would deceive deliberately the noble Moor. He knows that the handkerchief is Othello’s first gift to Desdemona, and that she keeps it with her at all times. Thus, the possession of it is the strongest evidence of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness in Iago’s hands. Then he would tell Othello that he had seen Cassio using it “I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin/ And let him find it”; thus causing the rational Othello to truly start questioning his wife, to become jealous, to lose his temper and his “sleep”; which eventually speeds up the tragic events that follow and leads to the relevant success of the villain’s evil plan. The metaphor “trifles light as air” , shows how fragile Iago’s plan is, how its is based on non existing proofs, on meaningless little things. However, when they are combined together with Othello’s newly acquired jealousy and existing trust for Iago, the evidence becomes a “holy writ”, an absolute proof, which dooms the two lovers to a tragic death.

Words have had a demiurgic function, from the ancient times. God creates the world with his words, as Iago creates a devious reality, with his well aimed expression.

The Moor already changes with my poison.

Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,

Many of Iago’s associations and references include poison. He cultivates it, and then carefully plants the seeds into others minds. The deadly, poisonous seeds would then grow even stronger, and they would cause the tragic death of Othello. Also, the organic way in which Iago plants his “gardens” of deceit, the ease with which he determines others behavior creates the illusion that his manipulative, human evil is a force of nature. Furthermore, the fact that the people in the play are easily poisoned, effortlessly deceived, by Iago proves that they have fertile minds, a perfect ground for pulling off a great, dreadful scenario. In Othello illusions created with words seem to be a brilliant way to ruin a reputation and a life. Furthermore, life and reputation were probably synonyms at the time; and the one who uses their interconnection is Iago. He is attacking Othello’s dignity, and Desdemona’s honesty, which proves how important those two virtues were to the people in the past. A man as haughty as Othello isn’t able to bear the mere thought that he is fooled by a woman. There would be no “sweet sleep” for him, which is a metaphor for a happy and peaceful existence.

Iago’s ability to sense once weaknesses is one’s more depicted; in the monologue the reader is able to see his true face: the face of a cold, cunning villian. Of a person who in his quest of destroying the others, would destroy also himself. There is no crime without a punishment, whether it would be by the state, as in Iago’s case or by one’s conscience, as in Othello’s, later in the play. In Scene 3 of Act III all of the antagonist’s characteristics are vividly depicted. Iago proves to be a creature with dual capacity: he is noble on the exterior and harmful, when one looks closely. In the same manner, he is good until one stands in his way; helping, until it is no longer in his interest; supporting, unless he finds the person not useful any more; and a good friend, unless he feels unappreciated. In other words, he is the perfect villain.

January 12, 2010

Why people are attracted to dangerois sports or other dangerous activities?

Bungee jumping, parachute jumping,rafting- a variety of dangerous sports exists. However, not everyone wants to try them or supports their practice. My opinion is that sports involving risk are fascinating because they really take your breath away, they relieve your stress.
To begin with, the dangerous sports provide the perfect break from the monotonous everyday life. If your work is stressful, or you have become too anxious lately the extreme activities are the solution. When you jump off a bridge every thought connected to your work or office disappears. Even for a very short time, the problems diminish. However, there is no guarantee that one bunji jump will put all your life in order-nevertheless, it is worth trying.
Furthermore, the adrenaline, which enters your blood while you are doing a parachute jump, for example, provides you with energy and enthusiasm. Maybe during those precious seconds while the parachute is still not open your life-perspective may be altered. Maybe you will find the answers to all questions. However, those are just possibilities, the only certain factor is that you will become more experienced and hopefully happier person. At least while the adrenalin is still in your blood. Thus, your state of mind sill be changed.
Moreover, a famous quote says" Life does not count by the minutes you've lived, but by the moments that have taken your breath away." A bunji jump would surely take your breath away and provide you with memorable and unforgettable experience for the rest of your life.
There exist different reasons why people are attracted to dangerous activities. However, probably the most important of them lies in our hearts. The desire to take risks in order to test our limits and thus, find who we are. The desire yo try everything, so we would have what to tell when we get old. Last but not least, to find an escape from the everyday life.