The epigraph at the beginning of my book, Literary Hypertext, is that of the Canadian researcher Marshall McLuhan, “We look at the present through the rear-view mirror. We march backward into the future.” McLuhan was referring to the quick technological developments, of which we are continually trying to catch up with. That is precisely how I’m feeling about life in general — the feeling that every progress that has been made suddenly goes backward. Continue reading How fear, racism and violence rule the world, again!
The digital age carried on its wings the “wealth” of information. In the past, data was available only to professionals, and we, simpletons, would listen and abide by their instructions without objections or a second opinion. If the Doctor said that the child’s sores were mosquito bites, we would accept the verdict lovingly or sometimes, grudgingly. The skeptics will ask what could be done so that it would not be so itching. The hysterical ones would update the Doctor and tell him that there’s a child in the kindergarten who had these sores and is now hospitalized. The Doctor would patiently answer the questions, reassure the parents, and they will leave happy. As the Internet came to be, parents became Doctors. They visit the doctor to confirm their diagnosis and receive some treatment for it. Continue reading How did the “wealth” of information become a load?
October 2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of Louisa May Alcott’s book publication “Little Women.” The “#me too” campaign, which set out a year ago and is yet very much alive today, raises many gender-related questions despite the counter-reactions from both males and women. The primary question is, are we still the same “little women” that the book refers to? Or maybe they were not so “little”?
“There are things you only see in Vietnam,” told me our guide as he saw my eyes widen in surprise as we emerged from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and I saw the museum shop. In place of the stylish shops that we are used to, we saw a large market stall caring the inscription “Museum shop.” The “shop” is an example of the uniqueness of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, Uncle Ho by the locals, is considered the father of the nation. His big dream was to attain independence. He succeeded in ousting the French and establishing the Democratic Republic in the northern region of the state. Though he was a modest man, the Mausoleum, about twenty feet high is huge and luxurious. He asked that his body will be burned and the ashes will be scattered upon three hills: in the north, in the center, and the south. And yet, in the mausoleum, the embalmed figure of Ho Chi Minh is displayed. There is no telling whether this is a wax figure, or the human being himself. At the exit of the site is the “museum shop,” a typical Vietnamese store!
In past years, “reading comprehension” used to be the essential skill that children were taught among all other skills, and it was much needed in the workplace. Nowadays, writing has taken its place and became the most significant expertise that children have to master. Writing turned into the commonest skill of life’s two facets: professional and personal. Today the debate shifted, and it focuses on the medium, the way of writing: by handwriting or by typing; should we forsake teaching children handwriting in favor of typing? Continue reading The shift of skills or the uncertain future of handwriting
Sometimes we feel without energy. We do not want to talk to anyone, we do not want to hear anything, and we do not desire to watch or read anything. The general feeling is that we have become a shell. No one is inside. As if we had posted a sign: “Out on vacation.” Who cannot recall coming out of bed after a good illness and feeling she had no strength to deal with anything, leave her alone. Usually, the lack of energy comes after dealing with difficult issues or diseases. But recently, I feel that way at the close of every day. Not to mention how fast the days fly! Continue reading Why are we pressed for time and energy?
Sometimes we do not agree with the decisions made by the government, by our parents, our boss or kids, etc. However, apart from changing the government by vote every few years, or complaining (about the boss), or trying to argue (with parents or children) we don’t have a lot of options, so we shrug, ignore and move on. I want to share with you an act of injustice, which we can correct. Continue reading Yes, we can – to unite a family cruelly torn apart
As a child, I used to see my brother consuming sandwiches and cakes and stay as thin as a match. I had only one a day at school and looked somewhat stout. To lose weight, I did the “Weight Watchers” Diet, and I’ve lost the “roundness” (who said bikini?) Before going to the university, I went on a diet, again, this time a quick one – no time to waste before finally starting life. Continue reading Four tips for watching your weight over time (maybe even lose some!)
For a long time, we are told repeatedly that the book as a reading device is doomed and that it will disappear. In the digital age of today, people read with the aid of electronic tools. There are general ones that we carry around all day, like the cellular phone, which is used by many for reading articles and news. Besides, there are dedicated devices, whose primary purpose is to serve as an “electronic book,” for example Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Nobel’s Nook.
If you carefully read the list of ingredients of any food, you’ll notice that the list generally contains sugar or one of its substitutes. I can understand why there is a need to add sugar to yogurt; natural yogurt, without additives, is made by adding to milk some bacteria, which feed on milk-sugar, lactose, and they secrete lactic acid. Acid is exceptionally sour thus many people have a problem with eating real yogurt. Ketchup with sugar understandable as well, that is what Ketchup is – a sweet tomato paste! But what is the logic of adding sugar to soy sauce, which should be salty? Or to chili sauce that has to be sharp? Continue reading Sugar or Fat – That is the question – updated