Saturday, December 8, 2007

Terrorism in the modern sense is violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals. Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or "terror", are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Many definitions also include only acts of unlawful violence.
As a form of unconventional warfare, terrorism is sometimes used when attempting to force political change by convincing a government or population to agree to demands to avoid future harm or fear of harm, destabilizing an existing government, motivating a disgruntled population to join an uprising, escalating a conflict in the hopes of disrupting the status quo, expressing a grievance, or drawing attention to a cause.
Terrorism has been used by a broad array of political organizations in furthering their objectives; both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic, and religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments. The presence of non-state actors in widespread armed conflict has created controversy regarding the application of the laws of war.


Car bombing
Environmental terrorism
Aircraft hijacking
Nuclear terrorism
Propaganda of the deed
Proxy bomb
Suicide attack

Agroterrorism, also known as Agriterrorism, is "the malicious use of plant or animal pathogens to cause devastating disease in the agricultural sector. It may also take the form of hoaxes and threats intended to create public fear of such events".

A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease, make them resistant to current medicines, or to increase their ability to be spread into the environment. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may use biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several days. Some bioterrorism agents, like the smallpox virus, can be spread from person to person and some, like anthrax, can not.

There are academic and semantic difficulties in defining “terrorism” and specifically “environmental terrorism.” But discussions of environmental terrorism are growing, with a focus on identifying possible risks to natural resource or environmental features. Some, including in the military argue that attacks on natural resources can now cause more deaths, property damage, political chaos, and other adverse effects than in previous years.

Aircraft hijacking (also known as skyjacking and aircraft piracy) is the take-over of an aircraft, by a person or group, usually armed. In most cases the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers.
Nuclear terrorism denotes the use, or threat of the use, of nuclear weapons or radiological weapons in acts of terrorism, including attacks against facilities where radioactive materials are present In legal terms, nuclear terrorism is an offense committed if a person unlawfully and intentionally “uses in any way radioactive material … with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury”, according to International conventions.

Propaganda of the deed (or propaganda by the deed, from the French propagande par le fait) is a concept of anarchist origin, which appeared towards the end of the 19th century, that promoted physical violence against political enemies as a way of inspiring the masses and catalyzing revolution.
There is no single definition of propaganda of the deed. Propaganda of the deed may take many forms, but in most cases utilizes violence against people seen as threats to the working class (such as Alexander Berkman's attempted assassination of Henry Clay Frick).

A suicide attack is an attack on a military or civilian target, in which an attacker intends to kill others, and knows that they will either certainly or most likely die in the process (see suicide). The means of attack have included vehicles filled with explosives, passenger planes carrying large amounts of fuel, and individuals wearing vests filled with explosives. Synonyms include suicide-homicide bombing, martyrdom operations, predatory martyrdom. Strictly speaking, an attack may not be considered a suicide attack if the attacker is not killed (although they might hope and plan to be), or if there is some question as to whether their intention is to be killed (even if the attack is certain to kill them).

Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that .draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act.

Terrorist Behavior

There is clearly a wide choice of definitions for terrorism. Despite this, there are elements in common among the majority of useful definitions. Common threads of the various definitions identify terrorism as:

• Political
• Psychological
• Coercive
• Dynamic
• Deliberate

A terrorist act is a political act or is committed with the intention to cause a political effect. Clausewitz' statement that "war is a continuation of policy by other means" is taken as a truism by terrorists. They merely eliminate the intermediate step of armies and warfare, and apply violence directly to the political contest.

The intended results of terrorist acts cause a psychological effect ("terror"). They are aimed at a target audience other than the actual victims of the act. The intended target audience of the terrorist act may be the population as a whole, some specific portion of a society (an ethnic minority, for example), or decision-making elites in the society's political, social, or military populace.

Violence and destruction are used in the commission of the act to produce the desired effect. Even if casualties or destruction are not the result of a terrorist operation, the threat or potential of violence is what produces the intended effect. For example, a successful hostage taking operation may result in all hostages being freed unharmed after negotiations and bargaining. Regardless of the outcome, the terrorist bargaining chips were nothing less than the raw threat of applying violence to maim or kill some or all of the hostages. When the threat of violence is not credible, or the terrorists are unable to implement violence effectively, terrorism fails.

Terrorist groups demand change, revolution, or political movement. The radical worldview that justifies terrorism mandates drastic action to destroy or alter the status quo. Even if the goals of a movement are reactionary in nature, they require action to "turn back the clock" or restore some cherished value system that is extinct. Nobody commits violent attacks on strangers or innocents to keep things "just the way they are."

Terrorism is an activity planned and intended to achieve particular goals. It is a rationally employed, specifically selected tactic, and is not a random act. Since the victims of terrorist violence are often of little import, with one being as good for the terrorists' purposes as another, victim or target selection can appear random or unprovoked. But the target will contain symbolic value or be capable of eliciting emotional response according to the terrorists' goals. Remember that the actual target of terrorism is not the victim of the violence, but the psychological balance.

Ideology and motivation will influence the objectives of terrorist operations, especially regarding the casualty rate. Groups with secular ideologies and non-religious goals will often attempt highly selective and discriminate acts of violence to achieve a specific political aim. This often requires them to keep casualties at the minimum amount necessary to attain the objective. This is both to avoid a backlash that might severely damage the organization, and also maintain the appearance of a rational group that has legitimate grievances. By limiting their attacks they reduce the risk of undermining external political and economic support. Groups that comprise a "wing" of an insurgency, or are affiliated with aboveground, sometimes legitimate, political organizations often operate under these constraints. The tensions caused by balancing these considerations are often a prime factor in the development of splinter groups and internal factions within these organizations.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

About Colors

If we say, that colors are very important in creating our mood so how could the blind people feel the real taste of life? It’s just that the other things could make them feel depressed, relaxed and calm without seeing black, green or blue stuff like we do.

The temperature, amount of sun rays and behavior of the others can forced to be happy or sad, pleased or confused without opening our eyes. Why it is said, that those who do not see, could feel more sensitive than the rest? In that case, is it possible to feel the color?

But if the person isn’t blind, there are many cases where your own interpretations and preference will determine which color you use to create a mood. The eye of the beholder is significant: blue can represent depression to one person and peaceful serenity to another.

I think that we are rushing to fast to get opportunity to tell the difference between things and even the colors. Maybe it would be useful to become a blind for a month.

To my mind, color is just a part of nature which affects our life even more than we could imagine. We should pay attention to all parts of it- just in this way everything becomes clear

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse or emotional abuse refers to the humiliation or intimidation of another person, but is also used to refer to the long-term effects of emotional shock.
Psychological abuse can take the form of physical intimidation, controlling through scare tactics and oppression. It is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such perhaps as the situations of abusive relationships and child abuse; however, it can also take place on larger scales, such as Group psychological abuse, racial oppression and bigotry. A more "mild" case might be that of workplace abuse. Workplace abuse is a large cause of workplace-related stress, which in turn is a strong cause of illness, both physical and mental.
There need not be an agitator for psychological abuse to occur — one can undergo self-abuse, as in the case of someone who is a depressive, or self-mutilation.
Any situation in which the repeated and extreme impact of a situation affects a person's emotional and rational thinking, in such a way as to adversely impact their later lives, could be termed as psychological abuse at some level.
Psychotherapy and psychiatric methods can help some people overcome the negative effects of abuse, given time and a healing environment

Emotional or psychological abuse involves any behaviour, verbal or non-verbal, that negatively impacts another person's emotional or psychological well-being.
Emotional/psychological abuse occurs in various relationships such as between spouses, intimate partners, parents and children, siblings, and toward the elderly or, in general, where a power difference exists
You may find that the person who is abusing you:
• Frequently ignores your feelings.
• Ridicules or insults your most valued beliefs, gender, sexuality, ability, age or sexual orientation.
• Ridicules or insults your religion, race, heritage, class or language.
• Withholds approval, appreciation, and affection.
• Continually criticizes you, calls you names, shouts at you.
• Humiliates you in private or in public.
• Refuses to socialize with you.
• Keeps you from working, controls the money, makes all decisions.
• Tries to prevent you from seeing your friends and family.
• Regularly threatens to leave you or tells you to leave.
• Manipulates you with lies and contradictions.
• Behaves in a threatening way.
• Uses intimidating facial expressions and/or body posture.
• Accuses you of being unfaithful.
• Uses sexualized language.
• Verbally abuses the children and pets in your household.

You may, in turn, feel:
• Worthless.
• Dependent on the abuser.
• Confused.
• Sad.
• Angry.
• Isolated.
• A loss of control over your life.
How can I deal with this on my own?
if you feel unsure of whether you are being abused, confide in friends or relatives whom you find emotionally supportive and whose opinion you trust.
Remember that since you likely feel dependent on the abuser, you may distrust the people who are trying to be helpful.
Remind yourself that you have the right to a life free of abuse.
Start giving yourself positive, empowering messages such as, "I'm a good person and I deserve to be treated as such."
Engage in simple activities that you enjoy doing and that boost your confidence.
Ask yourself what you would say to a friend who was in a similar situation.
If you are dependent on the other person's income, try getting a job of your own. You might even want to have a separate bank account and save up some money, in case the abuse escalates.
Always have phone numbers available and a little extra money in case you must leave abruptly
Simply put, psychological abuse is abuse that damages the psyche, or the mind. Psychological abuse happens when one person attempts to gain power and control over another(1), and can include:
• put-downs or derogatory comments
• ridiculing or blaming
• witholding affection
• spiteful inaction
• isolation from family and friends
• stalking or checking whereabouts
• dominating decision making in the relationship
• controlling the partner's money
• threats(2)
One instance of yelling is not abuse. Everyone fights; everyone yells. Abuse is a campaign.
Abuse follows a pattern, or a cycle. It may not be present all the time. Part of the cycle is a 'honeymoon phase', a time when the abuser attempts to reconcile or 'make up' for his actions. But, in an abusive relationship, after the honeymoon phase the tension builds and the abuse begins again.
Psychological Abuse affects more than 1.5 million American women a year.
Based on an exhaustive study of violence in the United States, The National Institute of Justice estimates that over 1.3 million women are assaulted annually(3) by an intimate partner. Over a lifetime, that’s one woman out of every five.
But experts agree that physical battering is usually the final stage in a violent relationship: Abuse becomes physical after the abuser is confident that the victim will not leave, in other words, after she has experienced some form of psychological abuse.
The difference between physical and psychological abuse seems pretty clear: Physical abuse is slapping, pushing, choking and the like, while psychological abuse consists of threats, put-downs, acting jealous, isolating a partner or controlling the finances.


Adolescence is a transitional stage of human development that occurs between childhood and adulthood.
In common usage around the world, "adolescent", "teenager", "teen", "youth", "youngster", "young person" and "Emerging Adult" may be considered synonyms - The ages of adolescence vary by culture. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines adolescence as the period of life between 10 and 19 years of age.[1] In contrast, in the United States, adolescence is generally considered to begin somewhere between ages 12 and 14, and end from 19 to 21. As distinct from the varied interpretations of who is considered an "adolescent", the word "teenager" is more easily defined: it describes a person who is thirteen to nineteen years of age. It is most commonly referred to people who attend high school and undergraduate college. [1]
As a transitional stage of human development, adolescence is the period in which a child matures into an adult. This transition involves biological (i.e. pubertal), social, and psychological changes, though the biological or physiological ones are the easiest to measure objectively.
About the Major Developmental Changes
The average age for girls to start puberty is 10-12 while the average age for boys to start puberty is 12-14.
Puberty is the stage of the lifespan in which a child develops secondary sex characteristics (for example a deeper voice or larger adam's apple in boys, and development of breasts and hips in girls) as his or her hormonal balance shifts strongly towards an adult state. This is triggered by the pituitary gland, which secretes a surge of hormones, such as testosterone (boys) or oestrogen (girls) into the blood stream The onset of puberty in girls appears to be related to body fat percentage.Girls start going through puberty earlier than boys.

The process of rapid physical changes in adolescence is called puberty. It starts gradually, from around eleven years for girls and thirteen for boys. So, your children may hit puberty earlier than you did. The hormone changes responsible actually begin some years earlier and may produce periods of moodiness and restlessness. Girls start these changes before boys and will, for the first three or four years, appear to be maturing much faster. After this, boys catch up.
These changes include:
For girls: menstrual periods, growth of under-arm, body and pubic hair.
For boys: voice breaks (becomes deeper), growth of body and pubic hair, facial hair, erections and wet dreams. For both: Rapid physical growth.
By the age of 17, they'll be young men and women who may be bigger than their parents and capable of having children themselves. In spite of this, they often still need support from you.
It is not surprising that, with the speed of these changes, some adolescents become very concerned about their appearance. They may need a lot of reassurance, especially if they are not growing or maturing as quickly as their friends.
They and their parents may worry less if they remember that there's a lot of difference in the ages at which these changes occur.
Growth and development uses a lot of energy, and this may be why teenagers often seem to need so much sleep. Their getting-up late may be irritating, but it may well not be just laziness.
Thinking changes: At the same time physical changes are taking place, early adolescents are beginning to develop new ways of thinking. They’re no longer caught in the "here-and-now" of childhood; they’re beginning to develop higher-level thinking skills that allow them to think about ideas, anticipate and begin to see a personal future. They may begin to question old beliefs and explore new ones, as well as to criticize the adults in their lives.
Teenagers are more selfish than adults because they use a different part of their brain to make decisions compared to adults, new research suggests.
Previous work has shown that when children reach puberty, there is an increase in connections between nerves in the brain. This occurs particularly in the area involved in decision-making and awareness of other people’s feelings, called the "mentalising network".

Social changes and Behaviour Problems
Social changes occur during early adolescence for many reasons. They are brought about because of the body changes kids are going through and the new thinking that kids are beginning to develop. The freedom and responsibility granted to kids by parents and society also contribute to social changes, because early adolescents are allowed to do more things and go more places. Peers become increasingly important during these years, a process that helps kids to gradually "wean" themselves from parents and become independent. Early adolescents also move from primarily having friends of the same gender to having friends of the opposite gender, marking the beginning of exploring and learning about male-female relationships. They make close relationships outside the family, with friends of their own age. Relationships within the family also change. Parents become less important in their children's eyes as their life outside the family develops.
Teenagers and their parents complain about each other's behaviour. Parents often feel they have lost any sort of control or influence over their child. Adolescents want their parents to be clear and consistent about rules and boundaries, but at the same time may resent any restrictions on their growing freedom and ability to decide for themselves.
If disagreements are common and normal, when should you worry? Experience suggests that children are at greater risk of getting into trouble if their parents don't know where they are. So, try to make sure that you know where they are going and what they are up to. If you really don't know, you need to find out.

Adolescent psychology
With many things changing both inside and outside of the early adolescent, life can seem pretty topsy-turvy at times
Adolescent psychology is associated with the notable changes in the behavior and characteristics of adolescents, cognitive, emotional and attitudinal changes take place during this period, which can be a cause of conflict on one hand and positive personality development on the other.
In the search for a unique social identity for themselves, adolescents are frequently found confused between the 'right' and 'wrong.' G. Stanley Hall denoted this period as one of "Storm and Stress" and, according to him, conflict at this developmental stage is normal and not unusual. Margaret Mead, on the other hand, attributed the behavior of adolescents to their culture and upbringing.[3] However, Piaget, attributed this stage in development with greatly increased cognitive abilities; at this stage of life the individual's thoughts start taking more of an abstract form and the egocentric thoughts decrease, hence the individual is able to think and reason in a wider perspective.
Positive psychology is sometimes brought up when addressing adolescent psychology as well. This approach towards adolescents refers to providing them with motivation to become socially acceptable and notable individuals, since many adolescents find themselves bored, indecisive and/or unmotivated.[5]
It should also be noted that adolescence is the stage of a psychological breakthrough in a person's life when the cognitive development is rapid[6] and the thoughts, ideas and concepts developed at this period of life greatly influence the individual's future life, playing a major role in character and personality formation.
Psychological and emotional problems
Emotional changes: It’s not surprising that amidst these all of these other changes, early adolescents sometimes feel unsure of themselves and need the support of adults.. If early adolescents act like children one day and adults the next, it’s because that’s exactly how they’re feeling!

Emotional Problems
Over-eating, excessive sleepiness and a persistent over-concern may be signs of emotional distress.
Anxiety may produce phobias and panic attacks. •
At some time, 4 out of 10 adolescents have felt so miserable that they have cried and have wanted to get away from everyone and everything.
During their adolescence, more than 1 in 5 teenagers think so little of themselves that life does not seem worth living. In spite of these powerful feelings, depression may not be obvious to other people.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Listening tasks

Listening has never been my favourite activity, because I have always preferred reading or looking to the pictures. I think, that the memory type that I have is the visual one and I’m happy for that. Having an ability to remember faces, places that I’m visiting, paintings that I love and the beauty that surrounds me in everyday life do not distact me from the things that I must do. Of course, it becomes a difficulty to remember thing, which are told just once for me, or the facts that I’m hearing for the first time. The best way which I’m using to remember the information, is to listen, to see that person, who is telling it, and to take notes. The only thing that I can do to make my listening tasks more effective is writing down main ideas each time. After listening the podcast once, I read my notes and then I try to listen the speech once again. This technique helps me to remember the main point of speech, to notice the words, that are unfamiliar to me and to concentrate more.
The podcast, that I was listening to, were quite simple and easy understandable. I was choosing them by looking to the title, and downloaded just the most interesting ones.
The first, which I have chosen was just one minute long, so I had to search better. The ones, that were specified for students, who are learning English as a second language, were too easy for me. The speaker was talking too slow, he did not have any accent and the words were quite simple. The second speech was quite good, because after the talk, speaker explained the most difficult words, their meaning and how to use them appropriately.
I think that those texts, of what I was hearing about, are useful when some words are new and you do not know how to spell it. By looking to the text, I can find their meaning in the dictionary.
To my mind, the most useful podcast are those, which are specified for native speakers, and are more difficult than we are used to. I concentrate more to difficult things, than to the tasks, that I consider to be easy.
I’m not saying that I have learned everything and now I need just difficult tasks, I think that the best way of getting better is learning form your mistakes. There is a long way to make my English good enough for serious conversation, and these tasks really helps. Talking with the foreigners who are visiting me in Lithuania is also a good practice, but we are use just casual everyday English, so I think it is not as good as listening news on BBC and using the webpage that our lecture suggested.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Analyzing handwriting

To analyze the person handwriting correctly, we have to look and notice a lot of things, because people have different writing characteristic, called indicators or writing traits.
Most important things are size, slant and base lines, but of course, there are much more of them. For example: if person is writing fast or slow, if he is using a lot of necessary words, different sentence construction.
Size- it shows how much we want to be seen. Making our letters bold it is the same as wearing a red sweather.
Slant of the writing- strong right means impulsive person, needs to relate with others, strong left means that person is a good listener, reserved.
Base lies- person characteristics (optimistic, pessimistic)
There are more questions, like where do we write, how we decide what kind of paper we will be using. Everything depends on our psychology and personality. Everyday we sit right next to our friends and we see, how do they write. Some of them finishes the sentence faster than the others, so they not just write fast, they are also do not write every dictated word. They formulate the main idea and do not waist time by doing unnecessary thing. I think they have a lot of strict plans in their life and these people will reach their goals.
Also there are some people, who are always asking to repeat the sentence, because they missed it. These people have a lot of mess in their life, because distraction made an influence. Of course, it is seen also in their notes- they are crossing a lot, they make more mistakes than the others, so notebooks are messed up.
Psychologist have always paid much less attention to writing than reading, in spite of the fact that writing is as least as important, because if no one wrote anything there would be nothing to read. There were made researches, who showed that writing about stressful experience reduce physical symptoms in patients with chronic illnesses. Also they have found that we can feel 20 different emotions while writing. So every time it is not the same.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cognition and language

Cognition and language


Thinking and reasoning
Being able to analyze, recollect or plan our life are abilities that humans can be proud of. Neither of other species can do this, because they are just using their instincts. Psychologists have defined this ability, thinking, as the manipulation of mental representation of information. And what could we do in the world of information, where everything depends on how fast we are in thinking, if we were not able to recognize and understand sounds, words, visual images or other modalities. Visual images are used when we communicate and it is the major part of thinking. It is representation in the mind that resembles the objects or event being represented. Visual images help us when we want to remember our friends, the game we will be playing and it is a good way to improve various skills. Of course, it is valueless without reasoning, which helps us to make up our mind and to make a good choice or decision. For example, we won’t be able to decide what game we want to play, that our body look better… So in this case we count on reasoning. There are several ways, which we can use for making a decision. Using the first way, which is called syllogistic reasoning, we will have to draw a conclusion form a set of assumptions. The second way is called algorithm, and it’s a rule that, if applied appropriately, guarantees a solution to a problem, but it is quite long, so we can use the third one. It is called heuristics, but unlike algorithms, they can not ensure solution.

Problem solving
The process in which we solve a problem typically involves three major steps: preparing to create a solution, producing solutions, and evaluating the solutions that have been generated. Everything goes so fast, that sometimes we do not even notice, what does it take to solve our daily life problem, especially we spend less time in preparation stage. But if the problem is an ill- defined, it will take more time, because not only the specific nature of the problem is unclear, the information required to solve the problem may be even less obvious. There are three kinds of problems that we are all familiar to: arrangement, inducing structure, and transformation. Solving the first type of problems we need to rearranged elements in ways that will satisfy a certain criterion. In other type of problems a person must identify the relationships among the elements and to create the now ones. And in the last one the initial state must be changed in the goal state using a right method for changing. It is important to notice, that we can solve these kinds of problems just having a crucial view to the problem, and if we can to present and organize the information correctly.

How life would change, if we were not able to use language anymore? We can not imagine the situation, when we are like dropped from the moon... There would be no ability to exchange information or to communicate. Moreover, we would not be able to understand the world. As far as everything is normal, we can develop our skills by learning other languages. Noam Chomsky’s theory says that all the world’s languages share a common underlying structure, so it is not as difficult as might seems. But every particular culture has the different view and understanding of the world, so we must be attentive to the details. Language helps us to reach our goals, to do the best we can, so everyone must be proud of having it for such a long time.