Literature review Rwandan genocide

The Rwandan genocide that happened in 1994 led to the massacre and killings of more than 800,000 people. The killings occurred when the international community was made aware of the country’s political, administrative, and military concerns. Therefore, leadership, ethics, and organizational factors played a role in failing to prevent genocide in Rwanda. More so was the interplay between critical leaders and geopolitical relations.

Leadership involves organizing people, events, and activities to achieve a mission or a goal. Organizational behavior evaluates and analyses the impact and actions of leaders, individuals, and groups. In the Rwandan genocide, different leadership perspectives emerge from various leaders during the period. Transformational leadership involves inspiring positive changes among the followers. Transformational leaders are known to be energetic, passionate, enthusiastic, concerned, and engaged in the process (Robbins, 2004). Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire was a transformational leader as he focused on each of the groups in conflict to assess the situation and come up with a solution. His leadership style took into account different considerations, including the administrative, humanitarian, military, and political factors. His deputy, Beardsley, also adopted a transformational leadership style in the peacekeeping mission.

 

Behavioral leadership theory is based on the belief that leaders can learn new actions and achieve new results through teaching and learning. In behavioral leadership, a leader develops a behavior of having a specific response to a particular stimulus. The UN member states and the UN department of political affairs practiced behavioral leadership whereby they handled the situation based on previous peacekeeping missions. The contingency leadership theory focuses on environmental or surrounding factors that determine what leadership is suitable. A leader does not adopt one particular leadership style in all situations, and so adopts a style based on the situation, leadership style, and the followers’ condition. Booh-Booh adopted the contingency leadership style as his leadership was based on the situation and his leadership style would affect the process. In 1993, Rwanda was under the leadership of Juvenal Habyarimana, who had served as a dictator. His leadership perspective was based on the contingency perspective whereby he adopted dictatorship in an environment that was hostile to allow any other form of leadership.

 

Incompetent leadership, all leaders possess certain traits that label them a leader. Some of these traits include integrity, self-confidence, self-drive, integrity, among other characteristics. The UN secretary-general’s special representative, Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh, saw himself as a competent leader as he adopted the diplomatic, political approach, and work ethics. He was not as involved in ensuring the success of the peacekeeping mission as Dallaire was.

The different leadership perspectives that the various leaders adopted clashed in administrative, political, humanitarian, and political factors. Each leader adopted a suitable style for themselves, which made the situation in Rwanda worse. There was also a lack of support for each leader and his style, and this made the peacekeeping mission ineffective and blameworthy in the Rwandan genocide. There was a lot of politicking between the UN member states and also between Habyarimana’s government and the Belgian forces that came as peacekeepers. The interplay between the different leadership styles and the geopolitical relations did not coordinate the situation in Rwanda, and to some extent, it made the situation worse. Therefore, poor organization of the different leadership perspectives failed to put proper structures and security processes to ensure the mission’s success (Long et al, 2009, p.277).

Starbucks case study

Introduction

Starbucks started in 1971 when three partners, Zev Siegel, Jerry Baldwin, and Gordon Bowker, opened up a shop to sell high-quality coffee beans and coffee equipment in Pike place market. Today, millions of customers walk into Starbucks to get their cup of coffee. Even though the coffee offered at Starbucks is overpriced, there are friendly and helpful staff and an upbeat environment at Starbucks that attract customers. People basically walk into Starbucks for its status symbol and what it represents. In 1985, the company expanded its operations to different US cities and Canada. It started internationalizing its operations outside North America in 1995 by entering new foreign markets, including Japan, New Zealand, UK, Spain, China, India, among other countries. Today, Starbucks Corporation of the US makes the most prominent coffee in the world as it specializes in selling coffee that is of high quality derived from Arabic coffee variety. While entering the foreign markets, Starbucks adopted its international strategy to meet each market’s needs and requirements by seeking to respect existing cultures and traditions. This essay discusses the entry modes for the UK and New Zealand, the environment analysis PESTEL of each foreign market associated with entry modes, and the strategic consideration behind entry mode choices.

Environmental analysis of entry mode/PESTEL

 

Starbucks expanded its international markets in the UK and New Zealand in 1998 and through different market entry modes. A foreign market entry mode creates a possibility for entry into the unfamiliar by arranging a company’s resources, products, human skills, and technology to suit that market’s needs. Many factors influence an entry mode, including the target country’s environmental factors that could impact a company. 

Environmental factors are the external factors that international companies cannot control while choosing the mode of entry. The environmental factors that surround international business include the political, legal, cultural, and economic environment. Therefore, the market entry choices by multinational companies are indirectly influenced by these factors, and the companies do not have control over them. 

  1. Political environment

Political environment includes governments, institutions, and the laws that influence a company’s operations at a local or international level. Political climate also consists of the political culture that defines the citizens’ involvement in political processes and the government’s acceptance by the population. Political factors like government regulations, rules, and institutions based on political philosophies can act as market barriers for international businesses. The political environment regulates global companies by requiring them to abide by the laws and regulations (Armagan & Portugal, 2005 p. 93).

  1. Legal environment

The legal environment of a business is the operations and practices under the control and regulation of state, national and international law. Most multinational companies find legal factors as obstacles to internationalization in the foreign market. Legal factors are a market barrier that influences the mode of entry into an international market. The factors played a crucial role in the method of entry choice for Starbucks. 

  1. Cultural environment

Cultural factors include; the cultural distance that is the possible differences that exist between individuals of different countries in the way they think and behave. Cultural aspects will influence the power of work methods transfer from one country to another. Therefore, the cultural differences between different countries might affect market entry into the foreign market. It is common to find firms choosing to enter the foreign markets closer to the home country because of the cultural distance. Starbucks is an American company with a culture that is utterly different from New Zealand and the United Kingdom culture. 

 

  1. Economic environment

 

The economic environment includes; competition, market potential, and nature, among other market factors. The nature of the foreign market, including its growth, size, and nature of competition, can influence an international company’s entry choice mode. Market competition refers to the rate at which competing firms concurrently pursue a company’s entry to a foreign market. When Starbucks ventured into the UK and New Zealand markets, the coffee stores and outlets were successful despite the high market potential and competition identified earlier before the entry (Sarkar & Cavusgil, 1996, p. 829). 

 

Before entering a foreign market, Starbucks conducted comprehensive and rigorous research to get a marketplace’s pulse and potential. Starbucks used three different foreign market entry strategies, including licenses, joint ventures, and wholly owned subsidiaries, that enabled its success in the foreign markets. A wholly owned subsidiary is a market entry mode that means that a firm owns 1000 percent of the foreign market entity. By establishing a wholly owned subsidiary, a company enters the new market through establishing new operations with a new legal entity or acquiring another firm in the foreign market that is well established. A wholly owned subsidiary enables a firm to have tight control over strategic plans and operations and retains its competitive advantages. Wholly owned subsidiaries also allow a firm to enjoy 100 percent of acquired profits. However, wholly-owned subsidiaries bear the entire cost of investment and entire risk in the new market (Chen & Mujtaba, 2007, p. 322). 

 

Licensing involves two parties: a licensor and a licensee, that sign an agreement for mutual benefit. The licensor sells company copyrights, processes, and patent rights to the licensee, who in turn pays a royalty to validate the deal with the licensor. Licensing can help an international firm expand its operations quickly and steadily with decreased expansion costs. Licensing also eases market barriers and enables a foreign licensor to improve the chance of a successful patent. However, licensing does not give an international firm central and tight control of operations (Belin & Pham, 2007, p. 41).

 

Starbucks entered the UK market by acquiring 65 stores of Seattle Coffee Company in exchange for 1.8 million Starbucks stock shares. In New Zealand, Starbucks opened its first store in 1998 in Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd, a licensee of Starbucks.

 

  1. Entry mode for the United Kingdom

 

There was a vast cultural distance between the US and the UK when Starbucks decided to venture into the new market. The UK people had opposed the American products and concepts; hence Starbucks needed to choose a strategic entry mode. However, according to Starbucks coffee international, they believed in a global brand that would benefit the UK population. Starbucks used the acquisition method to reduce the cultural distance between the two countries’ coffee concepts. When Starbucks entered the UK in 1998, it acquired the Seattle Coffee Company stores for about £50.8 million. This was followed by a rebranding of purchased Seattle Coffee Company stores into Starbucks Coffee Company Ltd (UK), a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Corporation US, a year later. This allowed time for the British to become aware of the Starbucks coffee concept before rebranding. Being the first European market that Starbucks entered, UK became the springboard for internationalizing business in Europe. The acquisition in the UK by Starbucks has been growing ever since in terms of operations and size. In 1999, Starbucks formed a business alliance with Sainsbury’s and acquired Madisons Coffee in 2001 for £1.4 million. The following year, Starbucks formed an alliance with Borders bookshops which enabled Starbucks to purchase 13 coffee bars from the Coffee Republic at £2 million. 

 

In 2005, Starbucks had at least 30 business franchises in UK supermarkets and, by 2006, ranked position 34 on the “UK Top 50 Best Places to Work” awarded by the Financial Times in partnership with Great Places to Work Institute. As of 2007, Starbucks recorded success in the UK market, boasting of more than 500 opened shops. Starbucks has remained the most familiar coffee shop in the UK, with about 27 percent of the population rating the stores as their favorite. Currently, there are more than 600 branches of Starbucks stores spread across the UK and Ireland. The Euromonitor retail analyst positions Starbucks Coffee Company Ltd (UK) with a 16.7 percent market share index (Starbucks, 2008). 

  1. Entry mode for new Zealand 

 

In 1997, the New Zealand stock exchange authorized Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd as the licensee of Starbucks. The restaurant shared the Starbucks vision of bringing the Starbucks experience to New Zealand. As a result, Starbucks opened its first Starbucks retail shop in New Zealand at the Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd at Parnell Road, Auckland, a year later. The Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd operated the Starbucks stores offering the same quality coffee as the other international Starbucks stores. Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd was more than delighted to keep the Starbucks coffee culture essence by offering coffee beverages of various varieties of Arabic coffee beans serving with local pastries and desserts. Starbucks chose to partner with Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd as it was advantageous in terms of opportunities. In the 1990s, the competition in the coffee industry in New Zealand was low as the industry was still at an early stage. Starbucks saw this as an opportunity to gain recognition of their brand image by forming a licensing agreement with the restaurant and venture into the un-mature New Zealand coffee market. In 2001, Starbucks, in accord with Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd, opened 50 outlets. 

 

Since the licensing agreement with Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd, Starbucks has increased its total sales to a high of $27.9 million by 2006. The same-store sales in the Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd branches grew by 2.6 percent for the same year, and the store earnings grew by 6.3 percent. Starbucks has become the foremost international coffee brand in the New Zealand local market. Currently, Starbucks is growing continuously and steadily in terms of store expansion and development (Li, 2007, p. 21). 

Strategic analysis of entry mode

Acquisition in the UK

 

When Starbucks developed an interest in the UK market, it recognized the significant cultural differences between the UK and the US. The company looked for the entry mode that would establish a local company that would adapt to the British culture. Market barriers like government regulations, political factors, legal factors, tariff barriers, and other restrictive rules were not distinctive in Britain. The UK market’s market potential was an essential consideration for Starbucks’ internationalization as it identified Europe as an enormous potential for expansion (Starbucks, 2008). 

 

Starbucks chose the wholly owned subsidiary in the UK, allowing it to own 100 percent of the stocks. The environmental factors played a crucial role in selecting this particular entry mode. The critical factor influencing this entry mode is the scarce knowledge that Starbucks had on the business market, legal and political characteristics. There was also a cultural distance between the US-owned company and the UK market population. These created many uncertainties in the new market. The perfect mode of entry choice for Starbucks was, therefore, one that could get rid of these limitations and enable a successful business venture. The Seattle Coffee Company already existed in the UK market, and acquiring the company would allow Starbucks to gain knowledge in the new market. Starbucks was already large with resources and could afford the huge capital needed for the purchase. This was high risk, so Starbucks chose an operating coffee company in the UK operating in an American style. The economic factors like market potential and competition also affected the mode of entry choice for Starbucks. Starbucks decided to acquire Seattle Coffee Company with the benefit of eliminating the competitor and also with the promise of selling coffee in its first European market that was yet to mature (Tihanyi, Griffith & Russell, 2005, p. 218). 

 

Licensing in New Zealand

 

The environmental factors in New Zealand also played a vital role in choosing the mode of entry by Starbucks. First, New Zealand and the US’s cultural distance was not as vast and did not influence the entry mode choice. The New Zealand political and legal factors were favorable for foreign investors. In New Zealand, there were no market barriers like government regulations, tariff barriers, or strict legal requirements that influenced Starbucks ‘ mode of entry. In the early 1990s, New Zealand had a promising market for Starbucks as the coffee industry was just in the initial stages. The market potential was therefore enormous and encouraging, and the competition was comparatively low for Starbucks. Starbucks chose an early entry into the coffee industry and did not need to use a high control mode of entry to achieve market competitiveness (Sarkar & Cavusgil, 1996, p. 839). 

 

Starbucks’ main reason to choose licensing as a perfect entry mode into New Zealand was the environmental factors. The new market’s business environment was unfamiliar to Starbucks, so it lacked knowledge regarding the market. A licensing agreement with Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd that was an established firm that was also a franchisee of KFC and Pizza Hut brands paved the way for Starbucks to gather market knowledge from the local partner. The Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd was also big enough to commit resources in the agreement. Starbucks needed this commitment as the internationalization process of the 1990s, and its fast growth required the company to use a low-risk mode of entry. The market potential was enormous, and there were minimum market barriers from the political and legal factors in New Zealand. The low competition in the New Zealand market also enabled Starbucks to choose a low-risk entry mode like licensing instead of a high-risk method of entry like acquisition. 

 

Conclusion

Businesses that develop an interest in international markets may face many complications. These businesses have to change their way of thinking and a more complex and constantly changing global market. Starbucks is one such business that developed an interest in international markets and has expanded its operations into many different markets. The strategic obligations that Starbucks has used in its internationalization process have enabled it to succeed as an international market. When a company starts internationalizing its operations, it must choose the most suitable entry mode into that particular market. This can be a joint venture, acquisition, franchise, licensing, exporting, or a wholly-owned business (Belin & Pham, 2007, p. 44).  

Starbucks chose a different mode of entry choices for different foreign markets to adapt to the different needs, specific factors, and requirements for each market. The political, legal, cultural, and economic factors played a key role in Starbucks’ mode of entry choices. Each choice for the mode of entry suited each of the foreign markets. This shows that Starbucks was aware of international business’s nature and wanted to avoid the difficulties encountered during expansion into foreign markets. The company was also aware of the implications of an entry mode choice hence the need to seek the most suitable entry mode for each market. Each of the foreign markets that Starbucks has ventured into has its own culture and practices. Starbucks has therefore adapted international strategies that allow the company to satisfy the needs and requirements of these unique cultures and practices of the foreign markets. This essay analyzes the mode of entry choices for Starbucks in the UK and New Zealand and how these countries evaluate them. It also analyzes how appropriate the modes of entry are. The essay also discusses the strategic considerations by Starbucks for each mode of entry choice. 

 

Applications of graph theory

A famous Swiss mathematician, Leonhard Euler, started the work in the area of graph theory in 1735. The graph theory has been applied in various fields, including electrical engineering (communications and networks), Chemistry (the study of molecules, construction of bonds, and the study of atoms), biochemistry (DNA fragment assembly, genomics), operations research, among other fields. The powerful combinatorial methods of the graph theory have proven significant results in mathematics. Graph theory is indispensable in mathematics. This essay explores two applications of the graph theory in networking. It discusses the application of the graph theory in communication networks by representing networks as binary tree and butterfly networks.

A network involves a collection of terminals, links, and nodes connected to enable users to access the network. Communication networks have terminals with different addresses, and the connections and messages follow the correct route to recipients. Communication networks are made up of three essential components, terminals, processors, and transmission channels. In communication networks, data is transmitted between computers, processors, and other devices. Various mathematical structures can be used to represent communication networks with different switch sizes and count. The graph theory can represent communication networks as a binary tree or butterfly networks.
A binary tree is made up of nodes and is a data structure with different sources, switches, terminals, and destinations. The binary tree has vertices with controls that direct data through the network. A complete binary tree’s diameter with N inputs and outputs is 2 logN +1. The switches have two incoming edges and two outgoing edges with a 2N-1 number of switches. The binary tree has a root switch that is a complete bottleneck. The binary tree organizes complex communication networks naturally that can be divided into a structure that resembles a tree. It, therefore, provides a simple way of representing networks in a way that easy to understand (Heijmans, 1995).

In a butterfly network, the terminals and switches are arranged in a manner that resembles the letter N. the input is usually at the left end while the output is located at the right. In between the inputs and the outputs are the log(N) + 1 switch levels that are uniquely different in a network. The switch size is a 2×2 with a total switch count of N(log(N)+1). The butterfly network has a unique path between each input and output, and the maximum messages passing through a vertex give the network congestion. Butterfly networks also enable a representation of a complex network structure in a way that is easy to understand and manage. The graph theory represents the communication network into nodes and switches that can be varied in size and patterns to extract useful information about networks.

Networking and communication networks are highly complex structures made up of interconnected components. The underlying connection patterns that exist in networks have different topologies that are represented by the graph theory. The theory studies and defines the structure of the networks and design problems arising in the analysis of the networks. The graph theory has advanced knowledge in networking as it represents communication networks in structures that allow comparison in terms of switch count, switch size, and congestion. The graphs also have a vital role in modeling computer networks. Graphs have vertices, and these represent the terminals and processors, while the edged of the graphs represent the transmission channels, fibers, and wires. The graph theory is used to show how a data packet hops from the input through switches to the output terminal (Meyer, 2010).

The graph theory can be used in communication networks for computer network security. Scientists have shown how the vertex cover algorithm can simulate how stealth worms propagate in computers and design ways of protecting networks against such virus attacks. The graph theory can be used to design a minimum vertex cover in graphs to prevent worm propagation and come up with an ideal network defense system. The graph theory can also be used in GSM mobile networks that comprise of cellular networks with hexagonal cells dividing the geographical region covered by the networks. There is a communication tower in each cell that connects the GSM mobile phones within the cells. The mobile phones connect to the network in search of cells in the vicinity. The vertex algorithm can be used to assign different frequencies for the GSM mobile phone networks within and without the cells (Shirinivas, Vetrivel & Elango, 2010).

In conclusion, mathematics and mathematical formulas are pretty visible in various fields, including electronic engineering, computer science, and networking. Mathematics and graph theory help design algorithms and analyze how they can be applied in networking and engineering applications. The graph theory also improves the effectiveness of other algorithms used. Therefore, graph theory is an essential aspect of networking as it represents networking in different ways, including the binary tree and the butterfly network. This paper explores the use of the graph theory in networking, how the applications are used in networking and how the theory has advanced the knowledge in networking.

Reform and Counter-Reform; Mannerism, Patronage.

Explain whether you think Luther was justified in his accusations, and state the reasons for your position.

Martin Luther was justified in his accusations against the church as he based his actions on the scripture rather than politics like the Catholic Church was doing. Luther could not understand why people were paying for salvation with no thought of faith whatsoever. According to the scriptures, faith, rather than good actions, was the way to heaven. Luther’s accusations meant that money could not buy salvation and that even the poor could have eternal peace if they repented and have faith. Luther wanted the Catholic Church to stop supporting sin and crave money and power. He wanted the church to be more spiritual rather than materialistic as it was then. Luther saw the actions by the Catholic Church as hypocritical against the teachings as they craved money more than they craved God. Luther stood by his beliefs, staying away from religious practices that were sinful and hypocritical.

Do you agree with the inquisitor’s interrogation of Veronese about his painting, originally titled last supper? Or do you side with Veronese? Explain your response.

I do not agree with the inquisitor’s interrogation of Veronese’s painting. The Inquisitor’s interrogation of Veronese about his painting was a little offside as a painter has the right to name his painting as he wishes and not by the way people judge the paintings. Veronese later changed the title of his painting following the inquisitors’ interrogation. This was the right thing to do for Veronese as he moved on to something else instead of risking being punished for the “last supper” title he wished to name the painting. It was a wise decision for Veronese to change the title of the art rather than his painting. Veronese wanted his work to be identified as something spiritual and meaningful and found it hard for people to get a different meaning of the painting than what he expected people to have. This was also a difficult period for art and artists, more so if the art had some spiritual meaning (Phillippy, 2006). 

Despite the cultural domination instituted by European traders and colonizers, how do you think these Mesoamerican, South American, and African societies have been able to sustain their cultural practices?

The Mesoamerican, South American, and African societies resisted any kind of invasion into their culture by the European traders and colonizers. These societies were definitely more organized, powerful, and advanced in their cultural practices and the people were very attached to their cultures. These societies also had strong beliefs and superstitions that could not be shattered by the ideals of the European traders and colonizers. These native cultures survived despite the cultural domination by European traders and colonizers because many of them kept their cultures and traditions intact, had more control of their personal lives, and also maintained their physical setup. This enabled these societies to maintain their culture and customs. 

Do you think the Forbidden City and all it represented prevented European influence on Chinese culture? Explain your response. 

The Forbidden City and all it represented prevented European influence on Chinese culture. The Forbidden City represented a Chinese imperial palace, which was heavily fortified, preventing any access. It was also a symbol that represented the Chinese culture that reminded the Chinese of their heritage and culture hence preventing European influence. The forbidden city was also located far away from Chinese trading activities; hence the influence of European culture became very limited. The Forbidden City became isolated and was never influenced by outsiders like the Europeans. Since Europeans did not get to influence The Forbidden City, the Chinese culture, therefore, could not be influenced. The city was well guarded allowing only the locals and the royal family while foreigners were restricted from entering. The city also isolated the Chinese people such that they were substantially kept away from the European influence on the city’s inhabitants. 

 

Carbon Emission Restrictions

The human race is responsible for over 2000 gigatonnes of carbon emissions since 1750. Carbon emissions have been there since the industrial revolution, with the major sources of emissions originating from human activities. Carbon dioxide emissions, mainly from fossil fuels, have been rising dramatically since the start of the industrial revolution. Increased carbon emissions from developing and developed countries have been associated with increased global warming and climate change in recent times. The relationship between carbon emissions and how they contribute to global warming has raised debates on controlling carbon emissions.

The EPA released a proposal that will require the power plants using coal to capture and store carbon emissions instead of releasing the emissions into the atmosphere. The proposal has raised major arguments between groups that oppose it and those who embrace it. Eileen Claussen supports the proposal arguing that it would decarbonize the power plant industry, allow clean energy production, and allow the choice between coal and natural gas. However, Paul Cicio claims that the proposal is dictating over the energy policy, that power production will be costlier, and that EPA can eliminate natural gas from the power generation industry. Eileen argues against the idea that the proposal will be a threat to the US economy.

Even though the EPA proposal is meant to reduce carbon emission, it will be costly for upcoming power plants. Manufacturers in the US cannot spur meaningful economic growth, retain and attract investment in US production if the EPA imposes this enormous regulatory burden. According to Paul Cicio, the proposal will increase costs in the manufacturing industry and will bring uncertainty to the US manufacturing competitiveness and jobs. The restrictions on carbon emission pose a serious threat to the US economy (Easton, 2011).

Cultural activity report

Introduction

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is the largest art museum in the United States. It has over 2 million pieces of art dating back to all periods, including the middle ages, early modern period, up to the present. It has works of art pieces from all cultures in history. The museum is always open, and the visit to the museum happened on February 2014. The museum had all types of visitors ranging from tourists, students, children, families, and other groups of people. This report discusses the visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the information and description of three unique pieces of art, and the overall reaction to the pieces of art found at the museum.  

Literature review

Fine art pieces are items made out of human creativity. They are works of art that people develop mainly for aesthetic, artistic, or visual purposes. The fine arts pieces that date back in history include paintings, sculpture, music, architecture, and poetry. Today’s fine art includes additional pieces ranging from photography, conceptual art, and film. Fine art museums are buildings or galleries where visual art pieces with permanent value are preserved and displayed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is one such museum that displays works of art from all periods and from different origins. Fine arts museums store and display works of art pieces dating from ancient times to the contemporary art pieces. 

Pieces of art found

The first thing to notice about the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is the magnificent appearance and the numerous number of visitors that trickle in at any given time. There were also several breathtaking art pieces displays during the visit. Just standing in the museum building with so much history and stunning works of art is mind-blowing

Of all the acres of fine art pieces in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, three pieces of art stand out;

  1. Self-portraits of Van Gogh 
  2. The Viennese piano- Grand Piano Ferdinand Hofmann
  3. The Anhalt carpet

Discussion

The self-portraits of Van Gogh are displayed at gallery 826 at the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in New York. Most of these paintings show the face of a man, who is still the painter. The museum has more than twenty art pieces by Van Gogh. The outstanding self-portrait of Van Gogh is the Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (obverse: The Potato Peeler) Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, Zundert 1853–1890 Auvers-Sur-Oise). The beauty of this portrait is the technique and color theory that the painter used. An interesting feature of this fine art piece is that it depicts the painter’s face as it appeared in a mirror. 

The Grand Piano Ferdinand Hofmann (Austrian, 1756–1829) Viennese piano is a beautiful cherry wood piano found on display at Gallery 684 at the museum. It is displayed with other musical instruments, mostly Viennese pianos, but this particular one catches the eye. The architectural décor of the piano is typical of the Viennese pianos with knee levers and a knob that operates a mute. It also has a five-octave range with a double string for the bass, which is customary in Mozart’s day (Libin, 1989). 

The Anhalt carpet dates back to the mid-16th century, with origins from Iran. Displayed in gallery 462, this piece of art is in excellent condition and has unique colors of yellow fields. The carpet has scrolling vines and a medallion located at the center with some peacocks in the fields. This design is similar to the Persian tiles that date back to the sixteenth-century, whiles the central medallion has a similarity with contemporary book covers. The most attractive feature of this Anhalt carpet is how it has been preserved, the color blending, and the visual impact it has. 

Summary

This is an inspiring place to visit, especially for those who live around New York or those visiting. After the visit to the museum, I got a better understanding and appreciation of art exhibitions for different cultures and in various periods of history. Due to its large size of the museum with numerous structures, it is an adventure to navigate through the museum. The best thing about the museum is the wonderful paintings with influences from Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, both modern and old. My visit was divided into two parts, two hours in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. There were acres of art exhibits, but the self-portraits of Van Gogh, the Grand Piano Ferdinand Hofmann Viennese piano, and the Anhalt carpet from Persia stand out. All the three pieces of art are dated from 1600 AD to the present. 

Conclusion

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses the best art pieces throughout history and from different rich cultures. The museum has special pieces of art that are worth going through, but the pieces of art that really caught my attention are the self-portraits of Van Gogh, the Grand Piano Ferdinand Hofmann Viennese piano, and the Anhalt carpet. 

Re-Wilding

Re-wilding
Re-wilding refers to restoring the ecosystems or environment immensely to the natural state that it was before human interference with the environment. Re-wilding can be done by introducing flora and fauna to the ecosystem that they were in initially or to a similar habitat. Human activities like hunting and habitat destruction over the past centuries have led to the wiping out of some of the fauna from their natural habitat. Most of these animals wiped out from the wild have become endangered. Re-wilding became an effort by various authorities and governments in the world to re-introduce the fauna to the natural habitat they once lived in or similar habitat.

Josh Donlan has supported the Pleistocene re-wilding as an optimistic agenda in North America’s conservation efforts of the 21st century. Pleistocene re-wilding is the re-establishment of fauna that existed 13,000-11,000 years ago by introducing similar species to replace the extinct species. Rubenstein supports the idea of conserving and sustaining the native ecosystems together with the remaining organisms. However, Rubenstein does not support the Pleistocene agenda arguing that North America cannot return to the exact ecosystem that was there 13,000-11,000 years ago, the Pleistocene habitat is uncertain for their practical introduction, and that the re-wilding would damage the current ecosystem and biodiversity in North America( Easton, 2011).

Human beings do not have the moral responsibility to rekindle the ecosystem that human ancestors destroyed 13,000 years ago. The communities in the ecosystem are also not ecologically similar to those that existed in the Pleistocene. It is therefore not possible to return North America to the ecosystem of Pleistocene era, and as Rubenstein et al. stated, Pleistocene habitat is uncertain and this may endanger the current ecosystem.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is a movie about a brilliant young man, Will Hunting with a low-skilled job, hangs out with friends, fights in the neighborhood, is arrested, and also secretly reads each material he comes across. Matt Damon plays the main character, and the story revolves around Will’s mind as he undergoes therapy instead of serving a jail term. Through the therapy and counseling by Sean McGuire (played by Robin Williams), Will is able to discover himself and realizes his true worth.

The image and pictures used in this film are very natural, and the director of the film, Van Sant, has repeatedly used warm ambers to bring up a sense of humanity and sympathy for Will. On many different occasions when Will is in a safe and comfortable place, the director uses warm and inviting colors. In this case, the color amber is used when Will is in his apartment, in Skylar’s (played by Minnie Driver) room, and at the counselor’s office. The use of amber shows that Will is himself as he feels safe and comfortable. Van also uses blue or white colors when Will does not have that safe feeling. This is seen when Will meets Sean for the first time, and the cold colors show how uncomfortable will is.
Van uses a creative camera movement in the film by using different techniques. At the beginning of the film, when Will is inside the apartment, Van uses a pulled-back dolly shot and an aerial shot during a paly ground fight. Van also uses handheld camera position artfully to create a sense of closeness when Will and Skylar are in bed. This angle creates a sense of closeness and emotional connection.
This film uses different and creative techniques that cause a viewer to think about the various features involved.

Cultural Activity Report A visit to the Museum

I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is America’s largest museum of Art situated in Central Park, Manhattan Museum Mile, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY. United States New York City on 15th February 2014. This was an evening event, and I arrived at 4.00 PM, an hour before the time set for the event to begin, dressed like most people, in an after-five attire. I was in awe when I first arrived at the venue of the event, this being my first time in the museum. Various groups of people were at the festival, including students from different universities, colleges, and High Schools within and outside of the United States, as well as parents and their children. Others looked like lecturers and university professors, while others appeared to be media personalities, yet everyone seemed to mingle very casually with each other, curiosity having taken the best of nearly all of us.

Two pieces of Art impressed me the most during the event, the first of which was the Leaf from a Missal, which was said to have been made between 1270–1290 in Paris, France. The art item is believed to have been made by a material referred to as tempera and gold leaf on parchment, with a length of 8.75 inches by 5.875 inches or 22.2 cm by 14.9 cm. The piece of Art depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ accompanied by three other people facing the cross. The three people near the cross of Jesus are two women on each side of the cross, each bowing their head presumably out of reverence or respect of Christian deity. The third person is a male sitting at the foot of the cross, holding a cup to tap the blood dripping off the wounds of Christ. The culture from which the painting is made is French culture, and it is classified under the manuscripts and illumination category. At the top corner of the painting are set two angels, one from the right corner and the second one from the left corner, and each of them is carrying circular objects. The angel on the left side is holding the sun in his hands, whereas the one on the right is holding the moon in his hands, and both appear to be emerging from the clouds.

The other piece of Art that I found astonishing was the two shield bosses, which are dated to the 7th century and recorded as belonging to the Langobardic culture. The medium that was used to design the piece of Art is Iron, Copper alloy, and gold, which measures 7.5 inches in diameter, or 19 centimeters. The Art, which is categorized under shields, is credited to Rogers fund Bequest of Stephen Grancsay and remains in display in gallery 370. The shield bosses were meant to be attached to the actual shield, which was made of wood.

In conclusion, my visit to the museum was both educative and entertaining as I had the opportunity to interact with history of the medieval world. I also managed to acquaint myself with the nature of the people in the olden times, in which the first piece of art depicted a French culture or religion and the second piece depicted the Langobardic culture of war. All in all, the Metropolitan Museum of Art contains informative collections that are worth visiting.

TEFL/ESL – Lesson Plan

PRE-PLAN

LEVEL – Pre-intermediate class of young adults

OBJECTIVE – To practice and learn the vocabulary of kitchen items

TARGET LANGUAGE – Kitchen vocabulary; cooker/stove, oven, fridge. Teapot, kettle, cooking pot, frying pan, saucepan. Spoon, knife, fork, grater, tablespoon, teaspoon, tablespoon. Sink, tap, cupboard. Plate, dish, cup, bowl, saucer, jug, glass, mug. 

ASSUMED KNOWLEDGE – Students know present tense and prepositions and can create sentences when they identify items. 

ANTICIPATED PROBLEMS – Pronunciation of the new words, lack of participation by some students. Correct use of prepositions.

SOLUTIONS – Drill the new vocabulary and prepositions. Give activities that encourage participation by all students.

PREPARATION/AIDS – Blackboard, pen, paper. 

LESSON PLAN

  1. WARM-UP. Play I spy my eye using names of students. ‘I spy my eye someone whose name starts with D.’ (5 min)
  2. LEAD IN. Talk about home-cooked meals and cooking at home and where that happens. Discuss with the students about what is used in cooking meals at home. (5 min) 
  3. PRESENTATION. Introduce kitchen objects and items by drawing some of them on the blackboard. Stimulate some vocabulary words for the items from the students. Feed the students with the kitchen vocabulary. Focus on the pronunciation of the items. Write the names on the board and have students draw and write the names of the items on the paper. (10 min)
  4. CONTROLLED PRACTICE. Draw a basic layout of a kitchen with some items like the sink, stove, and counters. Then ask students to take a vocabulary name and show where it can be found in the kitchen. (10 min)
  5. PRODUCTION. Students to create ten sentences identifying the items and where they are placed in the kitchen. Walk and monitor. (10 min)
  6. HOMEWORK. Ask students to look at their kitchen, identify the items and create five sentences. (5min)