Thursday, May 21, 2020

Theories Methods And Application Of Business Forecasting - Free Essay Example

Sample details Pages: 13 Words: 3876 Downloads: 5 Date added: 2017/06/26 Category Business Essay Type Analytical essay Did you like this example? When a man assumes the responsibility of running a business, he automatically takes the responsibility for attempting to forecast the future and to a very large extent his success or failure would depend upon the ability to forecast successfully the future course of events. Forecasting aims at reducing the areas of uncertainty that surround management decision making with respect to costs, profit, sales, Production, pricing, capital investment and so forth. If the future were known with certainty, forecasting would be unnecessary. Don’t waste time! Our writers will create an original "Theories Methods And Application Of Business Forecasting" essay for you Create order Decisions could be made and plans formulated on a once-and-for-all basis, without the need for subsequent revision. But uncertainty does exist, future outcomes are rarely assured and therefore, organized system of forecasting is necessary rather than the establishment of predictions that are based on hunches, intuition or guesses. When estimates of future conditions are made on a systematic basis, the process is referred to as forecasting and the figures or the statement obtained is known as forecast Roles of forecasting in Business The object of business forecasting, is not to determine a curve or series of figures that will tell exactly what will happen, say, a year in advance, but it is to make analysis based on definite statistical data, which will enable and execute to take advantage of future conditions to a greater extent than he could do without them. In many respects, the future tends to move like the past. This is a good thing, since without some element of continuity between past, present and future; there would be little possibility of success prediction. While forecasting, one should note that it is impossible to forecast the future precise there always must be some range of error allowed for in the forecast. Steps in forecasting The business forecasting consists of following steps: Observation and analysis of the past behaviour is one of the most vital parts of forecasting Determine which phases of business activity must be measured Analysing the data Selecting and compiling data to be used as measuring devices Methods of forecasting The important methods of forecasting are as follows: Business Barometers Extrapolation Regression analysis Econometric Models Forecasting by the use of Time series analysis Opinion polling Causal Models Exponential Smoothing Survey Method Choice of Method of forecasting The selection of an appropriate method depends on many factors-the context of the forecast, the relevance and availability of historical data, the degree of accuracy desired, the time period for which forecasts are required, the cost benefit (or value) of the forecast of the company and the time available for making the analysis. These factors must be weighed constantly and on a variety of levels. In general, for example, the forecaster should choose a technique that makes the best use of available data. If we can readily apply one technique of acceptable accuracy, we should not try to gold plate by using a more advanced technique that offers potentially greater accuracy but requires non- existent information or information that is costly to obtain. Furthermore, where a company wishes to forecast with reference to a particular product, it must consider the stage of the products life cycle for which it is making the forecast. Theories of Business forecasting Sequence or Time-lag theory Action and Reaction Theory Economic Rhythm Theory Specific Historical Theory Cross-section analysis Cautious while using forecasting Techniques Forecasting business conditions is a complex task which cannot be accomplished with exactness. The economic, social and political forces which shape the future are many and varied; their relative importance changes almost constantly. It is obvious, therefore, that statistical methods cannot claim to be able to make the uncertain future certain- It does not follow from this disclaimer that statistical methods have nothing to contribute to business forecasting. Lack of a forecast implies a dangerous type of forecast, the mere warning of a possibility of a change is better than no wanting at all as is wisely said Forewarned is forearmed. Also is should be remembered that forecasts are not made just for the sake of forecasting ,that is, they are not ends in themselves. Forecasts are made in order to assist management determine a strategy and alternative strategies. lt may be pointed out that forecasting is much more than projecting a series mechanically. Though future is some sort o f extension of the past. But it can hardly be expected to be an exact replica. Forces responsible for economic change are numerous and complex. They are often difficult to discover and to measure. They may appear in all kinds of combinations and may be constantly changing. The fact that past can never be a perfect guide to the future warns us that forecasting should not be thought of as a routine application of some techniques or theoretical ideas to a list of unchanging variables. Successful forecasting requires expert blending of economic theory with significant statistical expertise and thorough familiarity with the relevant statistical data. Both qualitative and quantitative information must be utilized. As a final word of caution, it may be emphasized that no matter what methods of forecasting are used, it is essential that the forecasts be checked by the judgment, of individuals who are familiar with the business. While it is true that the use of statistical data is an atte mpt to substitute facts for subjective judgment it does not mean that knowledge gained through experience in a given situation should be ignored in favor of quantitative data. It is particularly important to take into consideration any specific plans of the business that might affect the pattern of sales in relation to indicators used for forecasting. More successful forecasting will result by combining with statistical forecasting the judgment and knowledge of current business trends. `Also it is important to emphasize that any forecast should be reviewed frequently and revised in the light of the most recent information. Forecasting is not a one-shot operation. To be effective, it requires continuous attention. Unanticipated developments will often change our picture of the future, or at least clarity it, In terms of any original decisions and actions that have been taken, this rule implies continuous modification wherever necessary. The techniques of flexible budgets has been developed to permit the revision of-the budget estimates and everyone dealing with forecasts should be alerted to the need for constantly checking to see if anything, has happened to change the outlook. Keeping accurately informed about the current level of business is probably the simplest insurance that can be secured against making wrong decisions regarding the fixture. Despite all advances that have been made in the techniques of forecasting, forecasting remains more an art than a science. The value of a forecast lies not merely in its accuracy, but the fact that making it requires a balanced consideration of factors influencing future developments, right or wrong. Further, forecasting should not be regarded merely as a means of peering into the fixture and then accepting what one sees: it needs to be used actively as a way of guiding the firm along the path its management feels is most desirable. Business forecasting will not only help in the short-tem control of operations, its greatest contribution probably will come when it is able to improve short and long-term corporate strategies. Literature View Corporations typically need forecasts that cover different time spans in order to achieve operational tactical and strategic intents.Firms typically use monthly data from the last one or two years to achieve operational or short-term forecasting.Tactical forecasting is generally based on quarterly data from the last five to six years or comparable annual data.strategic forecasting generally requires additional periods in order to make projections for 25 or more years into the future.Tactical and strategic forecasting is made more complex when the issue of seasonality is added to the analysis One goal of a forecasting model is to account for the largest amount of systemic variation in the behavior of time series data set as possible.Moving average,exponential smoothing, and linear regression models all attempt to account for systemic variations.However, each of these models may fail due to additional systemic variation that is not accounted for.In many business time series data s ets a major source of systemic variation comes from seasonal effectsseasonal variation is characterized by increases or decreases in the time series data at regular time intervals, namely calendar or climatic changes.for example, sales demand for beer in the United States has increased over time but tends to vary during the year and to be higher in the spring and Summer months than in the Fall and Winter months( time is not only variable that has an impact on beer sales;multiple factors play a role Multile linear regression models are commonly used technique in forecasting when multiple independent variables impact a dependent variable.Beer sales could be considered the dependent variable, while time and seasonal factor could be consiserd indepdent variables, and is represented in the following general model for multiple linear regressions Where is the time and through are seasonal indicators.The Xs denote the independent variab les while the Y donates the dependent variable.For Example the term represents the first independent variable for the time period t(e.g. , etc.).The term denotes the random variation in the time series not accounted for by the model.Since the value are assumed to vary randomly around the regression function the average or expected value of =0 Therefore, if an ordinary least square estimator is employed the best estimate of for any time period t is: Eq(2) represents the line passing through the time series that minimizes the sum of squared differences between actual values() and the estimated values().In the case, when n=1 the equation represents simple regression However if data set contains seasonal variation a standard multiple linear regression model generally does not provide very good results.With seasonal effects, the data tend to deviate from the trend lines in noticeable patterns.Forecasts for future time periods would be much more accurate if the regression model r eflected these drops and ascents in the data.saeasonal effects can be modeled using regression by including indicator variables, which are created to indicate the time period to which each observation belongs. Many publicly held companies are required to submit quterly(data occurring in cycles of three months= a common business cycles) reports regarding the status of their business.It is also very common for quarterly forecasts to be used to develop future quarterly projections.Therfore , if quarterly data were being analysed, the indicator variables for quarterly regression model could be stated as follows Table 1 summarizes the coding structure that we have defined in , and in Eqs.3 through 6.Overall, this coding structure can apply to any time frame the forecaster chooses Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 For brevity purposes, only the quarterly models is illustrated here.The coding structures for the models are contained in Tables 1,2 and 3 Import Bear Sales Example Fig. l displays three views of the partial data set for United States Import Beer sales in millions of barrels (Brls) from January l999 to December 2007 in an Excel spreadsheet. The views are displayed to illustrate the differing setups or data structure that accompanies each seasonal regression model. The data structure or setup in Excel is particularly important when using Excels regression procedure. In other words,how the data is input and in which order it is featured Forecasting is an integeral business activity that is covered to varying degrees in most business scholl curricula.One of the features often uncoverd even in practitioners in the effect of granulizing the data.That is, data occurs annually,semi-annually,quarterly,bi-monthly, and even monthly.While most modelers simply assume that more data is better and Will always chose the most granular data.Monthly data is available for sales for the period 1999-2007.In forecasting data over time, one of the most importa nt perspectives to consider is the level of detail required for the forecast. Figure 1 In this data, the first forecast estimate that should be generated is not monthly but is instead the predictable annual growth in sales as shown in figure 2 Figure 2 Depending on the management requirements, this forecast using simple linear regression may be sufficient.But, in many cases, such as managing inventory that does not have annual capacity, it is necessary to generate a forecast over similar interval.Such models are constructed below:semi annually,quarterly , and monthly Figure 3 Generally one perceives that finer focused data may produce better estimates.But as shown in figure 3, a linear forecst is constructed based upon the summary semi-annual sales actually reduces the overall explanatory power of the model because it introduces more variability.That is, not only is there variability from year-to-year, with more finer data there is also now variability within each year It should be noted that the values of the model are exactly 1/2 of the values of the annual model which would be expected. The two extensions considered next are the addition of an indicator variable for the second half of the year and an alternative definition of the annual increase as pro-rated across the semi-annual periods. We find that in either case, does that finer focus improves the estimated models value. However, the models do allow insight into the monthly characteristics of import beer sales A semi-annual indicator variable is added which has the value of 0 for the first six-month period of any year, and has the value of 1 for the second six-month period of any year. The result of this regression are shown in figure 4 Figure 4 We see that multiple regression with two independent variables Year and Semi-Annual period, does not produce a superior model with regard to .The t-statistics of the model show that the YrIndicator variable is highly statistically significant with a value of 0.672 as wellas the intercept with a value of -1334.61, but that the semi-Annual period is not statistically significant for any practical value of alpha since its t-statistics is only 0.04.Therefore , it is clear that it is not always the case that more and finer granularity to the data produces a superior estimate. One of the most common examples of granularity in time series modeling is using a time trend variables 1,2,3ÃÆ' ¢Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ ¦..In the present case, the year variable that was modeled had values 1,1,2,2,3,3ÃÆ' ¢Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ ¦ÃƒÆ' ¢Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ ¦ÃƒÆ' ¢Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚ ¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚ ¦(where 1=first year of data,1999; etc.).That is, the year variable captured the annual increase which was not pro-rated across semi-annual periods.If, instead one used not the annual increase but the semi-annual increase, along with the semiannual indicator variable, then similar results obtain as shown in figure 5 Figure 5 Of course, the R-squared of the model and the coefficient of the semi-years variable are products of the annual model.However, what has changed is the statistical sign, scale, and statistical significane of the indicator variable.previously it was positive;in the present model, it is negative.Previously it is of the order 10,000 barrels;presently it is of the order 300,000 barrels.Previously its t-statistics was a scant 0.04;presently its t0statistics is -1.26.Although the indicator variable is not statistically significant for any alpha less than 22%, the drastic change in the variable is important for us to consider Quarterly.The categorical variables for quarters are coded and the resulting multiple regression retains an of 92% and its value is All of these coefficients are highly statistically significant, with Q4 significant to the largest alpha value of 1.8%.The model suggests that the first quarter is the expected lowest sales and the highest sales are expected in the early summer (Q2), followed by slightly lower sales in the late summer (Q3), and continuing this decline to Q4 , still about 1/3 of a million barrels above first quarter sales. This model and the resulting multiple linear regression estimates are shown in figure 6 Figure 6 We have seen that the annual model provided a very good overall estimate of annual increases in sales, but the semi-annual extension did not provide additional information.However, when further granulizing the data to quarterly the estimate was improved further and did provide information that the semi-annual forecast could not.This process is continued for monthly estimates below Monthly.The categorical variables for months are coded and the resulting multiple regression containing the previously determined annual increase and quarterly changes is examined.Usually when modeling nested categorical variables , that one variable must always be left out.In our case, since variable Q2 contains the months April,may, and June, it is necessary in constructing the monthly variables to leave out one of these months.In the present model, the first variable of each quarter is left out and there are no monthly variables for January April,July, and October.The results from a monthly multiple regression are shown in table 4 Table 4 All of the remaining variables are statistically significant except for August and Novermber(shaded in table 4).A final estimation is considered after removing these two variables and the results are shown in table 5.each of the coefficients is statistically significant at leat at the 5% level.The R-squared of the model is 88.1% and standard error s 146,000 barrels Table 5 The monthly model is shown in figure 7 Figure 7 The coefficient values found in the Table 5 provide additional insight.These coefficients are used to construct the seasonal regression equation itself.Not all of the model parameter coefficients are positive for the monthly seasonal models.However, the coefficients are relative to each other within each model.For the quarterly model, it is seen that the Q4(Oct, Nov, Dec) coefficient is lower than the coefficients for Q2 and Q3.This ia also true for the sep and dec coefficients as they are actually negative compared to the other monthly coefficients each of these parameters corresponds to the time frame of the early fall into Winter seasons.In turn, it could be tentatively concluded that some type of winter effect comes from what the coefficients denote within the regression model itself.Within regression models, positive coefficients move in unison with changes in the model parameter. In our case, the coefficient of the Q4 parameter is lower and that the Sep and Dec coefficient s are negative when compared to the other coefficients in the monthly model therefore they provide a damping effect on their predictors.The lower and/or lower coefficients associated with the Q4, Sep, and Dec parameters are mostly likely attributable to the holiday lag and the temperature drop that occurs every year around Nov, Dec, and January, and Feb in the United States.It is well known that beer sales in United States lag during the colder months of each year and the holiday season due to consumers drinking other beverages, both alcoholic,non-alcholic , and consumers drinking other beverages, both alcoholic,non-alcholic and non-chilled Finally, if the annual time trend is pro-rated across the time periods(i.e.1999=1,2000=2, etc.) then the R-squared drops slightly to 88%.Whereas it is natural and very common for us to pro-rate the annual increase per month by using an indexing time variable, it is not required. Interpretations and Analysis of Outputs One advantage to employing Excels regression procedure is the case in interpreting the results of the regression analysis and understanding its statistical quality. To interpret the regression analysis we should begin by checking the values for three statistical measures: the R- Square () statistic, the F-statistic, and the t ·statistic. The value of provides an assessment of the forecast model`s accuracy. Specially, it can be interpreted as the proportion of the variance in Y attributable to the variance in the X variables. Generally, values above 0.7 provide a minimum threshold of accuracy for business models, while values above 0.8 are considered very good. Table 6 presents the values for each of the seasonal regression models, whereas Table 7 presents the F-statistics of each model. According to the analysis any of the proposed seasonal regression models are statistically significant and could be used to effectively develop forecasts for U.S. import beer sales. Howeve r, a good manager needs to know which model produces the best results. The next section illustrates how to construct the seasonal regression equation for the monthly model. Defines and describes error for each model, and discusses model efficacy via error coupled with the regression statistics. Table 6 Table 7 Construction of the Seasonal Regression Equation and Error Calculation From a mathematical perspective, the coefficient values are easily inserted into the original regression model to yield the seasonal regression forecasting equation.The monthly seasonal regression equation can be written as For seasonal regression equation, a forecast for January 2008 will be created.Since the forecasting time period is January 2008, the YrIndicator=2008.Since January falls in the first quarter and is the first month of the year there are no quarterly or monthly indicators in the model and in turn Q2=0, Q3=0, Q4=0, Feb=0,Mar=0, May=0,Jun=0,Sep=0, and Dec=0 Therefore, the seasonal regression model produces the following result The forecast U.S import beer sales for January 2008 are 2.006 million Brls.Calculating the error associated with a forecasting models is cornerstone to determining a models performance.Coupling the error measurement with the regression statistics allows a forecastor to comment on models overall efficacy.A model that performs well on a ll statistical measures and carries relatively low error can be deemed adequate.Error, also referred to as deviation, is defined as the actual less predicted value.Excel can generate error terms for a regression model when prompted Figure 8 We can instruct Excel to automatically calculate the error terms or the residuals of a regression model by checking the residual box in the Regression Dialogue Box.When the regression model is computed via the Regression dialogue Box, the residual output is generated and returned below the regression output.Figure 8 displays a partial part of the residual output for the monthly seasonal regression model within Excel. A standard measure of error in forecasting is mean absolute percentage error or MAPE and is calculated as follows: MAPE Table 8 Using the residual terminology from the Excels regression tool, the formula would resemble the following: MAD= To obtain MAPE for residual contained in figure 8, we first take the abs olute value of each residual in the residual column, divide that absolute residual by the associated actual , and then take an average of those absolute percentage errors Forecasters generally compute error for multiple forecasting models and then compare across each model where the model with the lowest error is considered superior. The MAPE for each of the seasonal models is presented in Table 8. From Table 8, the yearly regression model has the lowest MAPE of the three models. However. it does not provide detail that a manager may need to make decisions in a shorter time frame. Therefore a manager most likely will use the yearly model for long range planning purposes and may use the monthly model for shorter range planning purposes. It is readily apparent from figure 7 that the monthly seasonal regression model fits the actual data very well by accounting for the seasonal trends in import beer sales over time.The figures also visually reinforces the calculated value R-squar ed(0.88) presented earlier.Based on the regression statistics, MAPE and the predicted versus Actual graph , it can be determined that the monthly seasonal model is doing an overall good job of forecasting U.S import beer Sales

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Environmental Scan - 1299 Words

Environmental Scan Successful organizations do not happen by chance, but through hard work, strategic planning, and understanding the company inside out. It takes continuous forward thinking and actions by leadership to remain relevant in industries where new technology can push one forward or backward in the time it takes a season to change. Therefore organizations must conduct environmental scans to determine their internal and external environment as part of the strategic plan process. There are numerous organizations using environmental scanning to develop their strategic plan. Today the author will look at three successful companies, which are Southwest Airlines, Target, and Whole Foods Market. The purpose of this paper is to†¦show more content†¦Target opened its doors under the current brand name on May 1, 1962 (â€Å"Target†, 2015). In business for over fifty years is not by accident, but as a result of innovative leadership. The organization’s leadership has effec tively steered the company through many changes by understanding its competitive advantage through internal analysis. In order to deliver service and merchandise at the standard established in the beginning, management must constantly assess the environment. Target’s leadership monitors its stores for the following, appearance, access, competitive pricing, trendy merchandise, and customer service. Target’s advantage is its appeal to the shopper who want quality merchandise for retail prices. The discount retailer was the first to offer designer clothing, which set them apart from discount giants Kmart and Walmart. The organization created competitive advantage through exceptional marketing techniques in and outside their stores, quality clothing, and home dà ©cor. Just as Target must understand its internal environment, the same applies to understanding external factors. Competitors large and small pose an external threat, due to lower prices, weekly sales, customer service, and long standing brand notoriety. As a result, leadership must constantly monitor the competition to ensure they offer customers the same and more as it applies to prices, convenience, customer service, andShow MoreRelatedEnvironmental Scan1442 Words   |  6 Pages Environmental Scan – Lego and Harley Davidson MGT/498 Strategic Management November 14, 2013 Mario Ducret Environmental Scan – Lego and Harley Davidson Internal and external environments are very important for businesses operating globally due to local and external competitions. Healthy businesses must analyze their internal and external environments in their strategy formulation. 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Kulder Fine Foods offers organic and non-organic foods to surround areas to for those wanting a healthier lifestyle but at a reasonable priceRead MoreEnvironmental Scan Paper1539 Words   |  7 PagesEnvironmental Scan Paper MGT/498 July 22, 2015 Environmental Scan Paper The evaluating, monitoring, and disseminating of information from internal and external environments to key people within the corporation is called environmental scanning. (Wheelen and Hunger. 2010) Environmental scanning helps an organization identify relevant factors and use those factors to obtain a competitive advantage within the environment. The author will discuss how an organization creates value and sustainsRead MoreEnvironmental Scan Paper1272 Words   |  6 PagesEnvironmental Scan Paper There are internal and external elements that help a corporation determine their future. 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This information goes to key people within the corporation to identify strategic factors and help determine the future of the corporation (Wheelen Hunger). SWOT analysis is the simplest way to conduct environmental scanning. The

War on Terror Research Paper Free Essays

string(70) " attacks were done by non-state actors, not Afghanistan’s own army\." War on Terror Do you ever have one of those moments in your life in which you will never forget where you were? I remember waking up early on September 11, 2001, getting ready for school and my dad telling me hurry up to watch the news with him. Being in 8th grade at the time, the news really wasn’t something I would watch in the mornings so I knew it had to be something important. Then I saw it. We will write a custom essay sample on War on Terror Research Paper or any similar topic only for you Order Now An airplane crashing into a tower, people panicking, and mayhem ensuing in a city very well known to me. When any tragic event like 9/11 occurs, the effect it will have on a nation is tremendous. It left America in shock, anger, and sadness just to name a few adjectives to describe the insurmountable amount of feelings that we felt on that day. With America being such a powerful nation, after recovering from the attack the next ideal step would be to seek retaliation, right? Well on October 7th 2001, the war in Afghanistan began marking the first step in the War on Terror. The 9/11 tragedy was very devastating to the American morale and our sense of security. America being so powerful and strong it may be logical to see how we had a false sense of security when it came to attacks on us. I mean, who would really want to attack one of the strongest nations on Earth? No other nation in their right mind would, right? Wrong. When those two planes hit our towers and another hitting the pentagon we were slapped with a reality check. We weren’t as safe as we thought we were. To add onto things, on September 18th and October 9th, 2001, we were hit by the anthrax attack that killed five and injured seventeen Americans. Something had to be done about this. We shouldn’t be letting other nations attack us like this. So George W. Bush began the War on Terror. The single person who took responsibility for these attacks on America is the notorious Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden founded the jihadist terrorist organization known as al-Qaeda at around 1988 to late 1989. The al-Qaeda, which translates into â€Å"The Base,† is well known for the September 11th attacks on the United States, but is also responsible for the 1998 US embassy bombings as well as the 2002 bombings in Bali. The war on terror started with America going on the offensive against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. With Osama bin laden becoming the most wanted criminal in the United States, f not the entire world, other countries would join in our attempt to dismantle the al-Qaeda and their usage of Afghanistan as a home base. Australia, United Kingdom, and the united afghan front became our allies in the war in Afghanistan. These nations would launch Operation Enduring Freedom. While Operation Enduring Freedom was mainly targeting Afghanistan, it also had many subordinate operatio ns. Along with Afghanistan, there were operations in the Philippines, Horn of Africa/Somalia, Pankisi Gorge, Trans Sahara, Caribbean and Central America, and Kyrgyzstan. The terrorist regimes were placed all over the world and the nations fighting terrorism found it necessary to assist these other countries in eliminating those hostile forces in their territory. Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines is a currently active mission to fight the terrorist forces of Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. Abu Sayyaf is an Islamist separatist group that was residing around the southern islands of the Republic of the Philippines while Jamaah Islamiyah is a militant Islamic terrorist group that was spread out through Southeast Asia in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, parts of Thailand, and the Philippines. This operation is still ongoing and has tallied 17 US soldier casualties with gt;315 enemies killed, including Abu Sayyaf leader Janjalani. Another one of the Operation Enduring Freedom missions was the Horn of Africa (Northeast Africa/Somali Peninsula). This mission was dedicated to stopping terrorism and piracy in the Horn of Africa. The United States lost 29 due to non-combat fatalities, but so far have been able to kill 149-160 insurgents, 67-78 pirates, and captured around 1000 pirates. This mission is still ongoing since October 7th, 2002. There was also another operation held in Africa referred to as Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara. A 500 million budget was approved for the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) that would be spent over a six-year span to support those countries that were facing threats from the al-Qaeda. These countries were primarily Chad, Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria, Morocco, Mali, and Mauritania. Along with the attempts to thwart terrorism, the TSCTI were also focusing on drug and weapon trafficking. One of the main points of this specific mission was to train these 10 nations with the ecessary skills and equipment to combat these problems on their own. The last two Operation Enduring Freedom missions are â€Å"Caribbean and Central America† and Kyrgyzstan. The Caribbean and Central American mission has forces deployed in El Salvador, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad amp; Tobago, Belize, Honduras, and Costa Rica. The US Air Force at Manas International Airport primarily runs the operation in Kyrgyzstan near the capitol Bishkek. Now onto the main mission in Operation Enduring Freedom, the War in Afghanistan. The main reason behind this war was to dismantle the al-Qaeda organization and stopping them from using Afghanistan as their base. The United States would also go on to state that they were attempting to take the Taliban out of power and create a nation with a more democratic government. This war began on October 7th, 2001, and is still ongoing today making it the United States longest running war. â€Å"Article 51 permits a victimized state to engage in ‘individual or collective self-defense’ until recourse has been taken by the Security Council to establish peace† (Maogoto, 2003). The reason that this war was criticized so much was because people felt that bombing and attacking Afghanistan was not self-defense because the 9/11 attacks were done by non-state actors, not Afghanistan’s own army. You read "War on Terror Research Paper" in category "Free Research Paper Samples" Either way, President George W. Bush was given authorization by Congress to go ahead and begin the war against Afghanistan on September 18th 2001, when a legislation called â€Å"Authorization for Use of Military Forces Against Terrorists,† was passed. With the War in Afghanistan being the longest war that the US has run, it is understandable that there are many losses. In our coalition there were 3,097 killed with 2,031 of them being from the United States, over 23,500 wounded, and 1 missing/captured. Of the contractors hired, there were 1,143 killed and over 15,000 wounded. The Afghan Security Forces lost 10,086+ and the Afghan Northern Alliance lost over 200. As for the opposing forces, there was no real reliable estimate, but the Taliban forces were estimated to be around 25,000 strong. One of the more shocking numbers to be brought up in losses is how many civilians were killed during the attacks. A rough estimate of civilian casualties is 12,500 – 14,700. While there were many causes for the civilian casualties, the majority of the losses came from the airstrikes and improvised explosives by the insurgents. The civilian deaths caused a lot of tension between the foreign countries and Afghanistan government causing President Karzai to summon his foreign military commanders to tell them â€Å"his people’s patience was wearing thin† (BBC, 2007). Even though there were many losses suffered by all participants and those civilians, there was a huge victory for the United States on May 2nd, 2011. This was the day that al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, was finally shot and killed by the US forces in Pakistan (BBC, 2011). They would later confirm the death through DNA tests This could have also been another one of those â€Å"you’ll never forget where you were† events for many seeing how he caused so much damage with the 9/11 attacks. The next war to start after Operation Enduring Freedom began was the Iraq war. The reasons behind this war have been extremely debated and discussed since it started. The official factors were listed in the â€Å"Iraq Resolution. † Here are some of the reasons to invade Iraq (President George W. Bush, 2002): * Members of al-Qaeda, the ones responsible for attacks on the US, were residing in Iraq. * Iraq paid bounties to suicide bomber’s families. * Iraq was brutally repressing their civilian population. * Iraq was not complying with the 1991 ceasefire agreement while also interfering with U. N. weapons instructors. * Iraq was â€Å"continuing to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations,† that also included anti-United States terrorist organizations. * Turkey, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia wanted Saddam out of power in Iraq and feared what he may do. Those were listing only a few reasons, but another big factor in the Iraq War was that Saddam Hussein did not stop producing weapons of mass destruction in 2003 after the Duelfer Report revealed that information. In 1991, Hussein’s WMD capability was essentially destroyed by sanctions to restore Iraq’s economy to a more stable condition. On October 21, 2011, Obama announced, â€Å"After nearly 9 years, America’s war in Iraq will be over. † The last troops to leave Iraq were leaving by January 1st, 2012, and that the troops in Afghanistan would start to come home as well. A big problem that these wars caused for America, aside from the casualties, was how much money was spent. A lot of people look at the War on Terror and the Iraq War as the main reasons the American economy has taken a huge dive the last decade or so. From 2001 through 2011 the Afghanistan war cost the United States about $433 billion dollars (Bingham, 2012). The Iraq war has cost about $806 billion dollars so far, but Obama has said it may cost over $1 trillion dollars when it is all over (Krutzleben, 2011). However, with all these wars not completely wrapped up, the final price of war could be as high as $4. 4 trillion dollars when all is told (costofwar. org, 2012). War affects every country involved, but specifically the veterans who participated and contributed to the war. It would only seem logical that those countries that have had veterans deployed and fight for their nation should be taking care of them as best they can. From the veterans who came back from the Iraq war, 20. 3% of active soldiers and 42. 4% of reserve soldiers required mental health treatment (Milliken, 2007). The total numbers of those diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the Iraq and Afghanistan war is about 30% of the 834,463 who were in those wars (Reno, 2012). These numbers were only the veterans that were treated by the V. A. (Veteran’s Association) hospitals, so there could actually be more who have not looked for further treatment after returning. With some of these numbers rising as more soldiers are returning from the wars, this would mean the V. A. hospitals would need to hire more mental health professionals to deal with the influx in PTSD cases continuing to go up. The V. A. has increased their mental health investments by more than 1/3rd in the last three years. They have â€Å"hired more than 4,000 mental health professionals† and in April 2012 have announced they will add 1,600 more professionals, totaling their mental health staff to 22,000 (Reno, 2012). War has never been a good thing and there is never one side that is completely victorious when you consider how many people are killed on each side, civilians included. After the 9/11 attacks on the United States it would be hard to simply let that go unpunished, something HAD to be done. As unpopular war is in the United States, there was a lot of support from the nation as a whole. I personally found it hard for there to be some type of peaceful way to come to an agreement with a terrorist organization so I also supported the war. The cost of these wars have been devastating to our economy though and a lot of people thought we were in these places for too long trying to do too much. Overall, it’s really hard to judge whether these wars have been a success. It’s really a matter of opinion and how a person wants to analyze the results. I can only hope that we defend our nation much better, that all the troops come back, and that they receive the care they all deserve. We are doing our veterans a great disservice if we cannot properly accommodate them for life after war. Bibliography Bilmes, L. (2006, February). The economic costs of the iraq war: An appraisal threeyears after the beginning of the conflict. Retrieved fromhttp://www. nber. org/papers/w12054. pdf? new_window=1 Bingham, A. (2012, May). Afghanistan War by the Numbers: Lives Lost, Billions Spent. Retrieved from http://abcnews. go. om/Politics/OTUS/billions-dollars-thousandslives-lost-afghanistan-war/story? id=16256292#. UIRxJmk4WA0 Faiz, S. (2006, March 17). A timeline of the iraq war. Retrieved fromhttp://thinkprogress. org/report/iraq-timeline/? mobile=nc Hoven, R. (2012, September 6). An iraq war every year. Retrieved fromhttp://www. americanthinker. com/blog/2012/09/an_iraq_war_every_year. html Iraq War Veterans. (2004, July). Iraq veterans against t he war. Retrieved fromhttp://www. ivaw. org/ Kellner, D. (2004, December). Bring ’em on: Media and politics in the iraq war. Retrieved fromhttp://books. google. com/books? l=en;amp;lr=;amp;id=10BiGSdCyVQC;amp;oi=fnd;amp;pg=R7;amp;dq=iraq war;amp;ots=DpgUR6Ohbz;amp;sig=cb0_JxEuXqNrmyLL2WQEWCNLFY Kurtzleben, D. (2011, December). What Did the Iraq War Cost? More Than You Think. Retrieved from http://www. usnews. com/news/articles/2011/12/15/what-did-theiraq-war-cost-more-than-you-think Milliken, C. (2007, Novemeber 14). Longitudinal assessment of mental health problemamong active and reserve component soldiers returning from the iraq war. Retrieved from http://jama. jamanetwork. com/article. aspx? articleid=209441 Montopoli, B. (2011, October 21). Obama announces end of iraq war, troops to returnhome by year end. Retrieved from http://www. cbsnews. com/8301-503544_16220123800-503544/obama-announces-end-of-iraq-war-troops-to-return-home-by-year-end/ Rainie, L. (n. d. ). The internet and the iraq war. Retrieved fromhttp://www. pewinternet. org/~/media/Files/Reports/2003/PIP_Iraq_War_Report. pdf. pdf Reno, J (2012, October) Nearly 30% of Vets Treated by V. A. Have PTSD Retrieved fromhttp://www. thedailybeast. com/articles/2012/10/21/nearly-30-of-vets-treated-by-va-have-ptsd. html War in iraq. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. iraq-war. ru/ Wilson, R. (2005). Human rights in the ‘war on terror’. Cambridge University Press. How to cite War on Terror Research Paper, Essays

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The moral and ethical issues associated with recombinant DNA technology Essay Example

The moral and ethical issues associated with recombinant DNA technology Essay Gene therapy: Can be used to cure genetic diseases an example of a proven case would be the bubble boy disease commonly known as ADA. (The body has no immunity, and the baby has to be put in a bubble to stop germs infecting) This disease inherited from the parents is caused by the missing or damaged enzyme adenosine deaminase, normally treated with injections of the enzyme. As the injections dont completely restore the immune system. This was the first use of gene therapy in the USA, a copy of the normal genes for ADA enzymes were inserted into an inactive virus that was put in to the patients immune system (Tcells) These grew in a colony then they were put in to the patient like an ordinary blood transfusion(4) and the girl lived, as this was a successful cure. Not many people will argue to curing genetically prone people, but it could get out of hand in theory any desired gene could be instead into an human egg(1) so how far do we go is the question, can we choose what are babes should look like? Are just some of the questions that are asked. Using technology like this has already help cure diseases like cystic fibrosis and can help many more. We will write a custom essay sample on The moral and ethical issues associated with recombinant DNA technology specifically for you for only $16.38 $13.9/page Order now We will write a custom essay sample on The moral and ethical issues associated with recombinant DNA technology specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer We will write a custom essay sample on The moral and ethical issues associated with recombinant DNA technology specifically for you FOR ONLY $16.38 $13.9/page Hire Writer Genetically altered bacteria: you can develop bacteria to do certain task s not possible such as put them on to a oil spill were they can digest the oil and reduce pollution(2). As well as this u can get rock eating bacteria used by industrial chemist. They use bacteria to produce copper, 10% of copper is produced in this way in the US. The bacteria feed off chalcopyrite(7 ) a copper ore. Transgenic animals: an experiment in the USA which implanted an alien gene in a monkey(3) for the first time gave a step close to finding more cures for humans. The experiment was devised to create Transgenic monkeys which perfectly mimic human diseases, so that cures can be found(3) now test can be done on these monkeys rather than mice as they will show more human like activities. But there are many objections to thesis types of experiments from people like the RSPCA emphasis should be placed on the reducing and replacing primate use with humane alternatives rather than developing new uses for these animals. We believe this is a step too far. Morally and ethically the RSCPA are saying that its wrong. But Transgenic animals can be used in other ways such as producing insulin, interferon and other hormones that some people lack. This is done by inserting the gene for human interferon (a protein that helps to destroy viruses) in to an egg. The cow has all the gene in all of her cells and produces human interferon which is secreted in her milk.(1) Molecular farming: is the growth of transgenic plants that contain health care products, such as vaccines and pharmasuticles(5) to me this is a great idea especially for developing countries were healthcare products are not available or too expensive. I think that this is morally and ethically right. But if allowed it could fall into evil hands and people could develop poisons and other harmful chemicals and this could lead to biological warfare.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Everything You Need to Know to Visit the Temples of Bagan

Everything You Need to Know to Visit the Temples of Bagan SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips For grandeur, size, and the feeling that you’re Indiana Jones, it’s hard to compete with the temples of Bagan in central Myanmar. This massive expanse of thousands of temples (estimates range from 2,000 to over 4,000) dot the landscape in various stages of dilapidation and restoration. Built by a series of kings between 1057 and 1287, Bagan is one of an increasingly rare breed: a world-class attraction that hasn’t yet been discovered by the masses. Bagan’s popularity is increasing, but much of the information about it has not kept pace, and that can make it difficult for travelers trying to plan a trip to this site. Bagan offers a range of unique experiences. While here you can: Watch the sunrise from the top of Shwesandaw Pagoda Cool off with a glass of fresh tamarind juice in a cafe overlooking the Irrawaddy River Discover gold-plated Buddha statues hidden in temple niches Survey the ruins of past kingdoms during a hot air balloon ride over the plains Follow winding dirt roads around bushes and through groves of palm trees to discover tiny temples that only get a few visitors a year This guide will walk you through each step you need to take to plan and carry out a trip to Bagan, from when to visit and how to get there to which temples to visit and what form of transportation to use. 5 Things to Figure Out Before You Leave The logistics of visiting Bagan can be somewhat challenging, so it's important to make sure you thoroughly understand what to expect before heading out. When to Visit One of the first things to decide on when planning your trip to Bagan is figuring out when you’d like to visit. The most popular time to visit Bagan is in the winter, from November through February, when it is both cooler and dry. The average temperature during this period is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). This is when temperatures are coolest and there is little rain, but this is also when Bagan is most crowded. If you’d like to avoid the crowds or can’t make it to Bagan in the winter, it’s also possible to visit during other times of the year. The end of the dry season, from March to May, is when temperatures are hottest in Bagan. The average temperature during these months is about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), although the temperature can often get over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in the middle of the day. Rainy season begins at the end of May and lasts through October. Temperatures are cooler during this period (about 78 degrees Fahrenheit/ 26 Celsius), but it will rain nearly every day. Take your personal preferences into account when choosing when to visit. Winter has the most enjoyable weather, but you’ll also have to deal with more crowds (although nothing close to those you’ll find at similar locations like Angkor Wat). If you think you can handle the high temperatures, the end of the dry season can be an ideal time to visit Bagan as you'll have many of the smaller temples to yourself. The short period between seasons can also get you the best of both worlds. I visited Bagan at the end of May, right at the beginning of the rainy season, and I was lucky to have no rain, cloudy skies which kept the temperature lower, and few other visitors at the temples, although this won’t always be the case. Whatever month you choose to visit Bagan, know that any time in the near future is a great time to go. Bagan’s popularity has been steadily increasing in the past few years, and, while it’s still a somewhat undiscovered place, that won’t last forever. So visit Bagan now before the rest of the world catches on. How Long to Stay The temples cover a huge area and take a while to get to, therefore I’d recommend spending at least two days, ideally three, in Bagan. Your first day can be spent visiting the major temples (described below), preferably with a guide, on your second day you can explore some of the smaller and more distant temples on your own, and your third day can be spent further exploring the area or returning to some of your favorite temples. Staying longer is always possible, and you could easily spend your entire trip exploring Bagan and still only see a fraction of what it has to offer. However, there isn't much else in the area besides temples, so if you get easily "templed-out", take that into account when planning your itinerary. How to Get to Myanmar Most foreign visitors to Myanmar will require a visa to enter the country. If you’re a citizen of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand (only if you’re entering via an international airport), or Vietnam, you don’t need a visa if your visit is less than 14 days. Most people who need a visa are eligible to apply for an eVisa (check the website to see if your country is one of those eligible for the eVisa). To apply for the eVisa, you’ll need your passport information, a recent color photo you can upload, and credit card details to pay the $50 fee. After your eVisa is approved, you’ll receive an eVisa approval letter which is valid for 90 days and which you must have with you when you arrive in Myanmar. If your approval letter is expired, you won’t be allowed to enter the country. Your eVisa allows you a single visit of up to 28 days in Myanmar, and eVisas can only be used by people entering via an international airport. Most people enter Myanmar at the country’s largest city, Yangon, but there are also two additional international airports in Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. The eVisa is by far the most popular way to get the visa needed to enter Myanmar, but there is also a paper visa and a visa on arrival. For people in the United States, information on the paper visa, as well as the form you need to fill out and submit, can be found on the Myanmar Embassy’s website. The paper visa will also grant you a single visit of up to 28 days, and you’ll need to attach proof of your plane tickets, hotel reservations, or confirmation from your tour leader. Visas on arrival are rare to get, and they also require additional documents, such as proof of your itinerary. More information about them can be found on the government of Myanmar’s website. Money Matters The kyat is the currency used in Myanmar, and one USD is worth approximately 75 kyats. You can get kyats at an ATM or by exchanging money at a bank or exchange center. If you are exchanging US dollars, make sure the bills are in as pristine condition as possible, as many places won't take them if they have any wrinkles or tears. It's best to get kyats before you arrive in Bagan, as ATMs and official exchange centers are rare outside of the main cities. Some places will accept US dollars in place of kyats, and many of the larger hotels accept major credit cards. How to Get to Bagan After you arrive in Myanmar, there are several ways to get to Bagan. If you’re traveling with a tour, these details will already be worked out for you, but if you’re traveling independently, you’ll have to figure out how to get to Bagan on your own. Flying The fastest way to get to Bagan is to fly. The Bagan airport is called Nyaung U, and there are flights from both Yangon (80 minutes) and Mandalay (30 minutes). (Nyuang U is only a domestic airport, so there are no international flights there.) Flying domestically in Myanmar used to be difficult because there was no way to purchase tickets online. Recently, however, most airlines have adopted e-ticketing. Flights are still limited, so tickets should be purchased at least several weeks, and ideally a few months, in advance. The airlines offering flights to Bagan are Asian Wings Airways, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, and Myanmar National Airlines. Roundtrip flights from Yangon start at about $215, and from Mandalay at about $150. Bus The cheapest way to get to Bagan is traveling by bus. Overnight buses from Yangon leave around 6pm-8pm and arrive very early in the morning, usually around 3am. (Hotels are well accustomed to this, and many will let you check in when you arrive, provided your room is vacant.) Bus rides from Mandalay take five to seven hours and travel during the day. There’s variation in the quality of different bus lines, with the higher-end companies, like JJ Express or Bagan Minn Thar Express, offering reclining and quite spacious seats. Most hotels can help you purchase bus tickets, or you can buy them from the ticket office directly. Tickets from Mandalay cost about 10,000 kyats ($9), and tickets from Yangon start at about 15,000 kyats ($13), with higher-end companies costing a bit more. Train Traveling by train is slower than more expensive than going via bus, but if you enjoy train journeys, you may be interested in taking a train to Bagan. From Yangon, trains leave around 4pm and arrive the next morning at about 10am. Trains from Mandalay run during the day and take about 7 hours, although delays of up to several hours are often reported. Trains in Myanmar are often old and have only basic amenities, although most will have a restaurant car available. Train tickets need to be bought at the station. A ticket for a sleeper-car from Yangon will cost about $50, while tickets from Mandalay are about $7-$10. Boat The only way to enter Bagan via boat is if you’re coming from Mandalay. The journey can take between 8 hours and two days, depending on whether you’re on a government-run â€Å"slow boat† or a faster boat that makes fewer stops and doesn’t overnight. Boats stop in either Nyang U or Old Bagan. The ferry service is shut down from April through June due to low water levels. Ticket prices can vary widely depending on which boat you take, but prices are generally between $15 and $40. What to Expect Once You Arrive in Bagan Once you arrive in Bagan you've made it through the hard part, but there are still some decisions to be made. Arriving in Bagan Both the Nyuang U Airport and the train station are located 2-4 miles southeast of town, depending on which part you’re going to. The jetty is about half a mile from Nyuang U market (the boat may also stop in Old Bagan), and buses will drop you off along Nyuang U’s main road, a few miles from town. No matter how or when you arrive, there will be transportation options to get you to your accommodation. However, if you arrive very early on an overnight bus, your options may be limited to tuk-tuks as opposed to taxis. When you arrive in Bagan, you’ll have to pay the Bagan Archaeological Zone fee (25,000 kyats or $20). If you arrive via boat or plane, you’ll pay this fee at the port or airport. If you arrive by bus or train, there are checkpoints where your driver will stop and you’ll pay the fee (these checkpoints are manned around the clock, so even if you arrive at 3am, you’ll still have to pay). After you pay the fee, you’ll be issued a small card you may be asked to show your hotel when you check in. The card is valid for one week, but people working at the temples rarely ask for it, so you likely won’t have to buy another card if you stay longer than a week. Where to Stay While not very populous, Bagan covers a significant area (the Bagan Archaeological Zone on its own is 26 square miles), and there are several different towns you can stay in. Be aware that hotel prices drop significantly during the off-season if you look for deals online. Nyuang U Most people stay in Nyuang U because it is the largest town in the area and offers the most amenities. Nyuang U is also where most of the transportation links are, and, even if you don’t stay here, you’ll likely pass through on your way in or out of Bagan. If you’re traveling on a budget, Nyuang U has the widest selection of hostels and budget hotels in the area, with some rooms as cheap as $20 a night. It also has the greatest selection of restaurants. Nyuang U has a few minor temples within its boundaries, but it's two miles away from the edge of the main temple area. Old Bagan Old Bagan is located next to the Irrawaddy River, just a short walk to the main temple zone (however, a bike or other form of transportation is recommended to reach more distant temples). Because this is the closest you can stay to the temples, accommodation is most expensive here. There are some high-end hotels that cost several hundred dollars a night, but it is possible to find a room for under $100 or even less if you visit in the off-season. There are restaurants here but, in general, Old Bagan is the quietest area to stay in. New Bagan New Bagan strikes a good balance between the other two areas. It’s between Old Bagan and Nyuang U in terms of both price and distance to the temples, so if you’re trying to balance your budget and travel time to the temples, New Bagan might be a good option for you. Which Temples to Visit One of the most unique and memorable aspects of Bagan is wandering through a maze of hundreds of small and forgotten temples with no one else in sight. At least part of your trip should involve just heading out and seeing what you find, but there are also certain temples everyone who visits Bagan should see, and I’ve described each of them below. These temples are generally the biggest, most beautiful, and most religiously significant in all of Bagan. Ananda Temple One of the most important of several thousand temples of Bagan, the Ananda Temple is definitely a must-see. It was built over 900 years ago by King Kyanzittha and today is an important Buddhist pilgrimage spot. Ananda is also one of the best-preserved temples in Bagan, and beyond the entrance are numerous Buddha statues and a courtyard with traditional glazed tiles. This is one of the most popular temples to visit, so there will often be crowds and vendors selling goods during peak times. Dhammayangyi Temple Dhammayangyi draws visitors because it’s the largest temple in Bagan and is visible across most of the temple zone. It’s imposing exterior matches a grim history. Dhammayangyi is said to have been built in the 12th century as an attempt at atonement by King Narathu, who was known for murdering multiple members of his family. It doesn’t seem to have changed his personality much though, for the king also allegedly chopped off an arm of any worker who didn’t meet his strict construction standards for Dhammayangyi. Gory history aside, this is one of the best-preserved temples in Bagan and has many original paintings and mortar decorations. Gawdawpalin Temple Also known as the â€Å"temple of forgiveness†, Gawdawpalin was built in the 12th century by King Narapatisithu. Legend has it that the king committed a terrible crime that caused him to go blind. After completing the temple and praying for forgiveness, his sight was miraculously restored. This isn’t the most unique or interesting temple to see, but it’s an excellent example of how temples were built in the late Bagan period. Shwesandaw Pagoda This white-washed colored pagoda isn’t the most stunning building in the area, but it’s one of the most popular places to watch sunrise and sunset. Climbing to the highest level gives sweeping views of the plains dotted with temples. At dawn and dusk Shwesandaw can be extremely crowded, but it’s quite empty during other times, and the views are still some of the best you’ll get anywhere in Bagan. Shwezigon Pagoda Located in Nyuang U, glittery, golden Shwezigon makes a nice contrast to all of the brick you’ve likely been seeing in Old Bagan. The temple includes four shrines, each housing a bronze Buddha, as well as 37 nat, or pre-Buddhist religious figurines. Thatbyinnyu Pagoda The tallest temple in Bagan, Thatbyinnyu is located near the Ananda Temple. The temple is primarily white, with its spires tipped with gold. Unfortunately, past earthquakes have made the upper stories of the building unstable, so visitors are not allowed to climb it. Touring Bagan With a Guide It’s possible to either wander Bagan on your own or hire a guide for a day or half-day tour. There are several types of guided tours. Horse-Cart A guided horse cart tour is the most traditional and cheapest way to tour Bagan. Your guide will be a local, and you’ll sit in the back of a cart with a cover on top so you’re protected from sun and rain. Your driver will know where all of the main temples are as well as places to stop for snacks and drinks, but their job is mostly transporting you from one place to another as opposed to explaining the sites. Once you hop out of the cart to explore the temples you’ll be on your own. Prices can vary widely depending on the season and competition, but expect to pay around 25,000 kyats ($21) for a full-day tour and slightly less for a half-day tour. There are also sometimes rickshaws available for tours, but they're much less common. Taxi You can also tour Bagan in a taxi. This will be similar to the horse cart tour, but with increased comfort and cost, and you’ll likely get to see more of Bagan because you can travel faster. Most hotels will be able to hire taxis for you, and you can also enquire at Nyaung U airport. Taxi tour prices can vary widely (always confirm the price with the driver before you start), but expect to pay about twice as much as a horse cart tour. Balloon Rides For those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience (besides just visiting Bagan itself), it’s possible to take a hot air balloon over the temples. You’ll take off early in the morning so you can see sunrise from the air, then circle around the main temples of Bagan. Balloon tours are only available from October to April and cost about $350-$400 per person. The price typically includes pickup and drop-off, breakfast, and a champagne toast. There are several companies that offer these tours including Balloons Over Bagan, Bagan Balloon, Oriental Ballooning, and Golden Eagle Ballooning. Book your tickets before you arrive as the trips can sell out in advance. Getting Around on Your Own It’s also possible to explore Bagan individually. Walking is, of course, possible, and can be useful for nearby temples, but Bagan’s size and regular high temperatures mean you’ll probably want to have some form of transportation to more comfortably reach distant sites. Almost every hotel rents bikes for as little as $2 a day. Bikes are a cheap and easy way to get around, but if it’s very hot you may wear yourself out pedaling all day. Also, the ground can get very loose and sandy around the smaller temples, which can be difficult to pedal through. When renting a bike, always try it out first before paying for it. Bike quality can vary widely, and you don’t want to get stuck with a wobbly frame or a flat tire. Another option is getting around on an electronic bike or e-bike, which is a bike that runs on electric power or can be pedaled. These are more expensive, but you travel faster and don’t have to pedal very much. If your own hotel isn’t renting e-bikes, they’ll be able to direct you to a place that does. Again, test the e-bike out before you pay for it, and make sure it’s fully charged. Should You Get a Guide? There are several options for guided tours in Bagan, but do you even need one? As I mentioned above, most tours, excluding some higher-end ones, won’t give you much information about the Bagan temples themselves; instead, they’re primarily a way to get around. This may make you think that a tour isn’t very useful. However, Bagan is a huge site with just a few signs pointing the way to the most important temples. Many temples are found on winding, unmarked dirt roads making it almost impossible to easily find all the temples you want to see on your own, even if you have a map. While in Bagan, I met multiple tourists who had decided not to hire a guide to keep costs down, but many left Bagan disappointed because they were unable to find some of the most important and popular temples on their own. I’d highly recommend hiring a guide for your first day in Bagan and asking them to take you to each of the main temples. This way you’ll ensure that you see each of Bagan’s main sights. You can spend the following day/days exploring the other temples on your own and perhaps return to some of your favorites. Tips for Visiting Bagan Finally, there are a few tips you should keep in mind in order to keep your trip to Bagan as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Tip 1: Make Use of the Early Morning Bagan is hot all year round, so take advantage of the morning hours right after dawn when Bagan is cooler and less crowded. During sunrise, there will generally be crowds around popular spots like Shwesandaw Pagoda, but at least one morning you should get off the beaten trail and visit some of the lesser-known temples. You’ll likely have them all to yourself. Tip 2: Dress Appropriately Most of Myanmar is devoutly Buddhist, and the temples of Bagan are some of their most important religious sites. As such, visitors are expected to be respectful and dress appropriately. Everyone, especially women, should make sure their pants/skirt/dress reaches past their knees, and covering your shoulders is a good idea too. Those who don’t meet the dress code will be denied entry into the larger temples (most smaller temples have no one to check what you’re wearing). You must be barefoot when entering the temples, so wear flip-flops or sandals so you're not spending a lot of time messing with socks and shoelaces. Walking barefoot on hot tiles can get uncomfortable in the middle of the day, which is another reason to get up early. Tip 3: Be Respectful Again, the Bagan temples are culturally and religiously significant to the people of Myanmar, so don’t treat them like they’re just an Instagram background. In February 2016, the Myanmar government banned the climbing of all but five of the Bagan temples. The five temples exempt from the ban are Shwesandaw (discussed above), Pyathard Gyi, North Gunni, South Gunni and Thitsaw Wati. This ban was instituted because of â€Å"inappropriate activity† by tourists, including sleeping in the temples, entering restricted areas, dancing in the temples, and causing damage to the stonework. You don’t need to be frozen and silent when you’re in the temples, but don’t be rowdy either and don’t try to access restricted areas (many of these are unstable due to age and earthquake damage, and building collapses are not uncommon). Tip 4: Do Some Exploring My last and most important piece of advice is to do some old-school exploring of Bagan. Bagan is one of the only archaeological wonders of the world where you’re pretty much given free reign around the site. There are literally thousands of temples to explore, but most tour groups will only visit a handful of the biggest and most famous ones. Grab a bike and just pedal in the direction of anything that looks interesting. I spent several days getting lost in mazes of hundreds of smaller temples, and, in addition to the temples, I came across local goat herders and their flocks, Burmese children walking home from school, and a tiny cemetery a villager brought me to. If you’re worried about not knowing how to find your way back to civilization, bring a map with you. You’ll regularly come across Burmese people, and even if they don’t speak English, if you point to town on your map, they’ll be able to send you in the right direction. Recently, I’ve seen more and more people complaining about crowds in Bagan, but on my recent trip I found it easy to escape the masses by stepping onto any of the smaller dirt roads and seeing where it took me.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Biography of Emmett Till, Victim of Lynching

Biography of Emmett Till, Victim of Lynching Emmett Till (July 25, 1941–August 21, 1955) was 14 years old when two white Mississippians killed him for allegedly whistling at a white woman. His death was brutal, and his killers acquittal shocked the world. His lynching galvanized the civil rights movement as activists dedicated themselves to ending the conditions that had led to Tills death. Fast Facts: Emmet Till Known For: 14-year-old victim of lynching whose death galvanized the civil rights movementAlso Known As:  Emmett Louis TillBorn:  July 25, 1941 in Argo, IllinoisParents: Mamie Till-Mobley and Louis TillDied:  August 21, 1955 in Money, MississippiNotable Quote about Emmet Till: I thought about Emmett Till, and I could not go back. My legs and feet were not hurting, that is a stereotype. I paid the same fare as others, and I felt violated. I was not going back. –Rosa Parks Early Childhood Emmett Louis Till was born on July 25, 1941, in Argo, Illinois., a town outside of Chicago. Emmetts mother Mamie left his father, Louis Till, while he was still a baby. In 1945, Mamie Till received word that Emmetts father had been killed in Italy. She did not learn of the exact circumstances until after Emmetts death, when Mississippi Senator James O. Eastland, in an effort to reduce sympathy for Emmets mother, revealed to the press that he had been executed for rape. In her book, Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, Tills mother Mamie Till-Mobley, recounts her sons childhood. He spent his early years surrounded by a large family. When he was 6 years old, he contracted polio. Though he recovered, it left him with a stutter that he struggled to overcome throughout his youth. Childhood Mamie and Emmett spent some time in Detroit but moved to Chicago when Emmett was around 10. She had remarried at this point but left her husband when she learned of his infidelity. Mamie Till describes Emmett as adventurous and independent-minded even when he was a young child. An incident when Emmett was 11 also reveals his courage.  Mamies estranged husband came by their home and threatened her. Emmett stood up to him, grabbing a butcher knife to defend his mother if necessary. Adolescence By his mothers account, Emmett was a responsible young man as a preteen and teenager. He often took care of the house while his mother was at work. Mamie Till called her son meticulous. He was proud of his appearance and figured out a way to steam his clothes on the radiator. But he also had time for fun. He loved music and enjoyed dancing. He had a strong group of friends back in Argo whom he would take the streetcar to see on the weekends. And, like all kids, he dreamed of his future. Emmett told his mother once that he wanted to be a motorcycle policeman when he grew up. He told another relative he wanted to be a baseball player. Trip to Mississippi Tills mothers family was originally from Mississippi and she still had family there, specifically an uncle, Mose Wright. When Till was 14, he went on a trip during his summer vacation to see his relatives there. Till had spent his entire life in or around Chicago and Detroit, cities that were segregated, but not by law. Northern cities like Chicago were segregated because of the social and economic consequences of discrimination. As such, they did not have the same sort of rigid customs relating to race that were found in the South. Emmetts mother warned him that the South was a different environment. She cautioned him to be careful and to humble himself to the whites in Mississippi if necessary. Accompanied by his 16-year-old cousin Wheeler Parker Jr., Till arrived in Money, Mississippi, on August 21, 1955. The Events Preceding Emmet Tills Brutal Murder On Wednesday, August 24, Till and seven or eight cousins went by Bryant Grocery and Meat Market, a white-owned store that mainly sold goods to the African-American sharecroppers in the area. Carolyn Bryant, a 21-year-old white woman, was working at the cash register while her husband, a trucker, was on the road. Emmett and his cousins were in the parking lot chatting, and Emmett, in a youthful boast, bragged to his cousins that he had a white girlfriend back in Chicago. What happened next is unclear. His cousins do not agree whether someone dared Emmett to go into the store and get a date with Carolyn. Emmett did, however, go into the store and purchased bubble gum. To what extent he attempted to flirt with Carolyn is also unclear. Carolyn changed her story on several occasions, suggesting at various times that he said, Bye, baby, made lewd comments, or whistled at her as he left the store. His cousins reported that he, in fact, whistled at Carolyn, and they left when she went to her car, apparently to get a gun. His mother suggests that he may have whistled in an attempt to overcome his stutter; he sometimes would whistle when he became stuck on a word. Whatever the context, Carolyn chose to keep the encounter from her husband, Roy Bryant. He learned of the incident from local gossip- a young African-American teenager apparently being so bold with a white woman was unheard of. Tills Murder At around 2 a.m. on August 28, Roy Bryant and his half-brother John W. Milam went to Wrights house and pulled Till out of bed. They kidnapped him, and local farmhand Willie Reed saw him in a truck with around six men (four whites and two African-Americans) at around 6 a.m. Willie was on his way to the store, but as he walked away he heard Tills screams. Three days later, a boy fishing in the Tallahatchie River 15 miles upstream from Money found Emmetts body. Emmett had been tied to a fan from a cotton gin that weighed around 75 pounds. He had been tortured before being shot. Till was so unrecognizable that his great-uncle Mose was only able to identify his body from the ring he was wearing (a ring that had belonged to his father). The Effect of Leaving the Casket Open Mamie was informed that her son had been found on September 1. She refused to go to Mississippi and insisted that her sons body be shipped to Chicago for burial. Emmetts mother made the decision to have an open-casket funeral so that everyone could see what they have done to my boy. Thousands came to see Emmetts badly beaten body, and his burial was delayed until September 6 to make room for the crowds. Jet  magazine, in its September 15 edition, published a photo of Emmetts battered body lying on a funeral slab.  The Chicago Defender  also ran the photo. Tills mothers decision to make public this photo galvanized African-Americans across the country, and his murder made the front page of newspapers all over the world. Scott Olson /  Getty Images The Trial Roy Bryants and J.W. Milams trial started on September 19 in Sumner, Mississippi. The two main witnesses for the prosecution, Mose Wright and Willie Reed, identified the two men as having been the ones to kidnap Till. The trial lasted five days, and the jury spent a little over an hour in deliberation, reporting that it took so long because they paused to have a soda. They acquitted Bryant and Milam. Immediate Protest Reaction Protest rallies took place in major cities across the country after the verdict. The Mississippi press reported that one even occurred in Paris, France. Bryant Grocery and Meat Market eventually went out of business. Ninety percent of its customers were African-American, and they boycotted the place. Confession On January 24, 1956, a magazine published the detailed confessions of Bryant and Milam, who reportedly received $4,000 for their stories. They admitted to killing Till, knowing that they could not be retried for his murder because of  double jeopardy. Bryant and Milam said they did it to make an example out of Till, to warn others of his kind to not come down to the South. Their stories solidified their guilt in the publics mind. In 2004, the U.S. Justice Department reopened the case of Tills murder, based on the idea that more men than just Bryant and Milam- who by that point had died- were involved in Tills murder. No further charges were filed, however. Legacy Rosa Parks  said of her refusal to move to the back of a bus (in the segregated South, the front of the bus was reserved for whites): I thought of Emmett Till, and I just couldnt go back. Parks was not alone in her sentiment. Many famous figures including Cassius Clay and Emmy Lou Harris describe this event as a turning point in their activism. The image of Tills battered body in his open casket served as a rallying cry for African-Americans who joined the  civil rights movement  to ensure there would be no more Emmett Tills. Sources Feldstein, Ruth.  Motherhood in Black and White: Race and Sex in American Liberalism, 1930-1965. Cornell University Press, 2000.Houck, Davis W. and Matthew A. Grindy.  Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press. University Press of Mississippi, 2008.Till-Mobley, Mamie and Christopher Benson.  Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America. Random House, Inc., 2004.Waldrep, Christopher.  African Americans Confront Lynching: Strategies of Resistance from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Era. Rowman Littlefield, 2009.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Hamlet Assignment#2 Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Hamlet #2 - Assignment Example For analyzing this theme, enough authorial readings will be incorporated to reach at a decision concerning a true relationship between Hamlet and his mother. The research, which I intend to do also evaluate Hamlet’s relationship with other characters to a certain extent to see whether Hamlet is similar in communicating to everyone or his personality shows a new side when he is with different people. Hamlet’s actions that he takes during the play and how he takes the revenge for his father’s murder will also be evaluated. Hamlet’s anger, his madness and his planning against his stepfather Claudius, all take us to a certain analysis related to Hamlet and his mother’s relationship. Hamlet’s mother marries to his dead husband’s stepbrother soon after her husband’s death and without taking her son into confidence. Hamlet gets ignored in all his mother’s doing. She remains the queen of the state but Hamlet remains the prince of the state. However, after his father’s death, he should be the new king as was the custom of that time and age. With his mother’s marriage, his right of being the king was snatched away from him and his father’s murderer was the new king. Hamlet takes a long time in taking a decision concerning his revenge against his stepfather. This delay takes the play towards a tragic end in which, the queen Gertrude, Ophelia (Hamlet’s beloved), Ophelia’s father, Hamlet himself and the king, all die and the kingdom is given a new king. Hamlet is unable to identify whether his mother is a part of the whole game or not. He is also unable to fully accept the information given by the ghost but with the passage of time, he recognizes that the ghost of his father was right and he has a responsibility to avenge his father’s murder. His relationship is of a restrained type with his mother