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CANADIAN ART AND ARTISTS

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1)         Carol Lopez is painter from Canada who is based in Vancouver, but she also commutes to La Manzanilla, Mexico. Lopez was born in Saskatchewan and she has lived in various parts of Canada and through the West Indies. Lopez has done a lot of travelling throughout her life and she has taken these experiences and used them in her work to reflect a wide spectrum. Her oil and acrylic paintings are extremely varied and this could be due to the fact that she has done so much travelling, which has be the inspiration for her work. This love for adventure and travel have led her into position being the artist-in-residence at Kalani Hanua, which is an arts centre in Hawaii. She was also at the Universe Explorer, which is a floating university cruise ship. Over her years, she has worked with a part time teacher. This has led her to many years of experience, as she worked in a part time position as a teacher.

She has learned to harness her experience as a teacher and focus it to her art. Over her many years of teaching paining at various public school and in continuing education programs over the past three years, she has been an important stakeholder in bringing workshops to students, as well as teaching classes in La Manzanilla. Her passion stems not only from her experience travelling, but also from her desire for self-expressionism and this is shown throughout her still-life work. But the viewer can also see this in her landscape and the abstract painting and collages. Her art has become so famous that it was exhibited in both private and public galleries. Her collections extend throughout Canada, Mexico, the U.S., and into Europe. On her website , she had this to say about her passion: “Though I love to paint the landscape, in what has been called an ‘abstract impressionist’ style, these days I am intrigued by what I see on the little streets in La Manzanilla, with its simple buildings of weathered color and texture, and sometimes the contrast of a bright plastic pail or tarp.” Some the other themes she has noticed include patterns from a group of beach umbrellas and a kiosk of brightly coloured fabrics that are being displayed at a market. The abstractness of her art captures the elements of various styles in snapshots that are made to represent things that are simple and direct. These are what attracts the viewers of her work to look at them, even before they know what the object is that they are viewing.
Lopez has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University, but she has also completed courses at the University of Saskatchewan where she received a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Arts. Her latest works can be viewed at the Annual Art Walk in La Manzanilla. She has also recently exhibited at the New Westminster Public Gallery. Prior to that, she has would at the Portfolio Gallery in Vancouver.

2)         Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland is a performer in “That Championship Season,” which is Jason Miller’s portrait of morally bankrupt men who are recalling their days of glory when they were on a high school basketball team. The character that Sutherland plays in his Broadway debut, as well as his friends, aren’t embarrassed by their alcoholism and general confusion. The performance is very loud and extraverted. Sometimes Sutherland’s voice is low but he is still coming across as being over bearing, as are the rest of the characters in the play.

The play also includes the men’s former coach, who is yelling at them about their former days as basketball players. “The Championship Season,” first appeared on stage at the Public Theater before it went on to Broadway. It first made its debut several decades ago, on the day before the American Watergate scandal.

Sutherland is perhaps most well-known for his role in the TV series, “24.” He is 45 years old. Sutherland was born in London, England, but would eventually move to Canada. His parents are Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas. Both are also actors. One of his grandfathers is Tommy Douglas, who is a Canadian politician credited for his role in bringing universal health care to Canada. Sutherland’s family moved to California in 1970 from England and then in 1975, Sutherland moved with his mom to Toronto, where he went to elementary school, then to high school. He went to five high schools. Sutherland would later move to Hollywood, where he became roommates with Robert Downey Jr. as both were pursuing careers as actors.

The first film that Sutherland was in is “Stand by Me.” He was the neighbourhood bully. He then went on to appear in about 70 films, including Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, A few Good Men, Young Guns, Flatliners, The Vanishing, Eye for and Eye, The Three Musketeers, Dark City, The Sentinel and A Time to Kill.

Sutherland is the father of one daughter from his first marriage to Carnelia Kath. The two were married for three years. His daughter graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts last spring and made her first appearance as an actor on HBO’s Veep. Julia Roberts and Sutherland worked together in the movie Flatliners in 1990. The pair then announced later that they were engaged to be married. Roberts ended the engagement three days before the wedding because, as she says, Sutherland was meeting with a stripper. However, Sutherland denies the stripper relationship. Roberts left to Ireland with Sutherland’s friend, Jason Patric on the day she was scheduled to marry Sutherland.

Sutherland collects guitars, mostly Gibson Les Pauls. He signed a guitar that is held by the Gibson Custom shop. Sutherland gave the introduction to Queen at VH1, where he said that the band was his favourite. He said that he has listened to Queen ever since he was a child. Sutherland is also a fan of American football. His favourite is the USC Trojans football.

3.         The Vancouver Public Library is an architectural gem that adds to the vibrancy of Vancouver, which already features some of the most amazing structures in the world. Library Square is the Central Branch for the Vancouver Public Library system is also a Federal Office and it has retail and service facilities. An entire city block is taken up by the library. The library is nine stories, rectangular shaped that has book stacks and services for the public. The site is surrounded by elliptical, free-standing, colonnaded wall that features study and reading areas that are accessed by the public via bridges and skylit light wells. There is also an internal glass façade that looks over an enclosed concourse that is formed by a second elliptical wall, which lays out the formation of the east side of the library. The library also features a glass-roofed concourse, which acts as the entry to the foyer into the library. The ground level features activities for the public, such as eating and drinking. Several coffee shops are located on the bottom floor, and there are several locations to eat. This provides people with the opportunity to have lunch or a snack as they study for school or find information they need for some other reason. There are also public areas that surround the library, where people are often busking or feeding the birds. Parking is also available below ground. Many people who park in this area aren’t necessarily going to the library, but it is a central location and those who park could be accessing many places of business. The exterior of the building looks similar to the Flavian Amphitheatre that is in Rome. This building is better known as the Colosseum. Safdie is an Israeli/Canadian who, in addition to being an architect, is an urban designer, theorist, educator and author. His most famous work is perhaps Habitat 67, which is a housing complex and model community in Montreal. It was originally created as his master’s thesis when he was at architecture school at McGill University. The building was constructed as a pavilion for Expo 67. It is a prefabricated three-dimensional set of living units, and this was a central feature of the Expo 67, as well as an important feature in the development of architectural history. In 1967, he was given the Construction Man of the Year Award from the Engineering News Record. He was also handed the Massey Medal for architecture in Canada. Moshe was born in Haifa, but he moved to Montreal in 1953. He graduated from McGill University in 1961 with a degree in architecture, (Dvir, 2012)

But he also designed buildings in Jerusalem. Among those projects are the Yad Vashem and Mamilla Mall. He would go on to teach at McGill, Yale universities and Ben Gurion. Later, he moved to Boston, which is his main office, and it was there that he became the director of the Urban Design Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of design. This is where he stayed until 1984. Then, from 1984 to 1989, he worked at Harvard as the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design. Since the 1990s he has designed six major public institutions in Canada. His style is famous for their dramatic curves, geometric patterns, key placement of green and open spaces and for his use of windows.

EXAMINING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LIFE STRESSORS AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

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As the leading cause of death worldwide, cardiovascular disease has been the source of much research. These studies have found that stress is a top psychological factor in developing heart diseases. For example, according to Kristina Orth-Comer et al., in “Marital Stress Worsens Prognosis in Women with Coronary Heart Disease,” the authors state that marital stress, but not work stress, causes increased risk for cardiovascular disease. But this study only begins to scratch the surface of the multitude of lifestyle issues that deteriorate people’s health and cause cardiovascular disease. This paper will investigate the findings of five studies before comparing the similarities and differences in findings. The paper will help establish a consolidated look at the various factors affecting cardiovascular disease, and provide a clear framework for people to see ways they can avoid developing a form of the disease. With life being the source of so many stressors, it is important to understand the health implications of lifestyle decisions, and develop ways that people can prevent cardiovascular disease. But in studying the relationship between stressors and cardiovascular disease, individual personality type also needs to be factored in.

With stress being the top psychological factor contributing to cardiovascular disease, it is important to identify the various sources of these stressors that are common in our everyday lives. Two such sources are presented in Orth-Comer et al’s., “Marital Stress.” In the paper, the authors investigate the impact that marriage and work have on stress levels, and its relation with coronary heart disease. The authors studied women between 30 and 65 years old who lived in Stockholm, Sweden, and who were hospitalized for suffering from an acute coronary event between 1991 and 1994. In total, 335 women were included in the study. The researchers found that women married or living with a male partner were nearly three times more likely than those who were not, to have recurring cardiovascular issues. However, women who were working did not have a significant recurrent coronary event, (Orth-Gomer et al., 2000). The study factored in adjustments for age, education, diagnoses, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, estrogen status, smoking, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, triglyceride level, and left ventricular dysfunction.

It is interesting to note that the authors’ findings are different from the findings associated with men, and the authors surmise that difference indicates the need to have preventative measures that are specific for the needs of women with CHD. However, the authors admitted that the causes are not well understood. In the studies related to men, the large stressors are associated with psychosocial influences, and these relate closely with the onset of cardiovascular health issues. It is interesting to note that the occurrence of CHD in men is more associated with work stressors. However, the psychosocial stress related to women is poorly understood because there is a lack of studies on women. “Whereas marital stress has been shown to affect women’s mental health, to our knowledge, no studies have evaluated whether marital stress has adverse effects on CDH among men” (Orth-Gomer et. al., 2000).

In a study conducted by Hans Bosma et al., “Two Alternative Job Stress Models and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease,” the authors discuss the evidence that there is a deep-seeded link between psychosocial hazards at work and workers’ health. Typically, the stress is associated with job strain that stems from the high demands of workers and the lack of control that workers have. Further, the authors state that work stress is also perpetuated by the lack of reward that is given to workers for the amount of effort that they put in. The rewards that are taken into account in the model include money, esteem and control of status – that includes job security and promotions. “In a prospective study among German blue-collar men, poor promotion prospects and job insecurity (low rewards) in men having a high workload and a high need for control (high efforts) predicted new cardiovascular events” (Bosma et al., 1998). In another study, the researchers examined the causes of stress, including work characteristics and social support. The study was conducted between 1985 and 1988 on both male and female civil servants aged between 35 and 55 years old. The research was based in London, where the subjects were given a screening examination for cardiovascular diseases. Over 10,300 civil servants were included in the examination, with about 33% female. Those same workers were examined again between 1989 and 1990, and again between 1991 and 1993, and it was discovered that women reported a high effort and low reward conditions at work than did men. In the lower-level jobs, both men and women reported less reward for their work than did those in the higher-level jobs. About 17% of women and 15% of men reported high job strain. “Job strain was not consistently related to new coronary heart disease reports; only the association between self-reported job strain and any coronary heart disease outcome in men was statistically significant” (Bosma et al., 1998). The researchers stated that the relationship between job demands and job control did not have a significant impact on the number of reported cases of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, low work support did not affect CHD rates.

In a study conducted by Mika Kivimaki et al., “Work stress and risk of cardiovascular mortality: prospective cohort study of industrial employees,” the researchers examined the association between stress at work, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The work stress model was based on the effort-reward imbalance and job strain, which are the same parameters that were applied to the “Two Alternative Job Stress Models.” This study is older than the previous study cited in this paper, as its initial examination was conducted in 1973 of behavioural and biological risks, stressful characteristics of work and cardiovascular disease. However, a follow-up was conducted in 2001. This study had a longer timeline than the previously referenced study, as it extended 10 years, rather than 8. This study also completed a follow-up after 25 years. There were longer intervals between examinations of subjects. This study examined 812 employees, with about 33% females, similar to the previous study.

Researchers found a 2.2 times increase in job strain. This is different from the previous study, which didn’t find a significant difference in the number of CHD cases. However, it should be noted that this study focused on deaths associated with the connection between high work stress and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the length of time between examinations is much greater than in the previous study, and this indicates that a high amount of work stress is indeed connected with cardiovascular disease, but it takes much longer to culminate than what was indicated in the study conducted by Bosma et. al. This information indicates that the study of the relationship between cardiovascular disease and stressors needs a long timeline.
In another study, conducted by Johan Denollet et al., “Usefulness of Type D personality in Predicting Five-Year Cardiac Events Above and Beyond Concurrent Symptoms of Stress in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease,” the authors investigated the effects of psychological stress and type D personalities on CHD. It should be noted, that people with type D personalities are more prone to worrying, gloominess, irritability, social inhibition, and lack of self-assurance. While type D personalities have been connected in various studies with psychological stress, there had not been much emphasis on the study of type D personalities on CHD. The researchers studied 337 patients who had CHD, and who were followed for 5 years. In the end, the researchers found that those with type D personalities had a greater chance of developing a CHD. “Type D patients had an increased risk of death/infarction … compared with non-type D patients, independent of disease severity” (Denollet et al., 2006). A major cardiac event was connected in this study to stress.

In a study conducted by Fredric Schiffer et. al., “The quiz electrocardiogram: A new diagnostic and research technique for evaluating the relation between emotional stress and ischemic heart disease,” the researchers set out to examine blood pressure as 43 subjects listed to a 12-minute tape-recorded stress quiz. The examination concluded that there was significantly higher heart rate in executives with angina than those who did not have angina. The researchers concluded that there is a connection between stress and angina. “The quiz electrocardiogram is presented as a new research technique and diagnostic test for evaluating the relation of emotional stress to ischemic heart disease” (Schiffer et. al., 1975). This study may appear to divert from the previous four, but it further establishes that stress is connected with cardiovascular disease. And that solidifies the argument of Denollet, which proves that people who are more prone to stress due to personality type have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease than those who are not as stressed.

In closing, various aspects of these studies line up with each other, while others do not. In comparing the study of Orth-Comer et al., there wasn’t a reported higher proportion of people having CHD due to stressors at work, and that research lines up with what is reported in Bosma et al., which also did not see a significant jump in the number of reported CHD-related cases due to job stressors. Denollet et al’s study was slightly different than the others, because it focused on a personality type, rather than on a life situation, such as marriage or work. Given the high rate of people with type D personality developing CHD, further research is needed in studies that deal primarily with life situations to evaluate the personality types of those in those situations. For example, Orth-Comer et al., studied marriage and work, but they didn’t factor in whether those who are married, or those who work in the types of jobs that were subject of the study, had a type D personality. After all, people with type D personalities might be more attracted to marriage, for example. Because of the significant breakthrough in Denollet et al.’s research, personality type should be taken as a factor in all studies that connect the frequency of stress in a particular lifestyle.

Works Cited
Bosma, H. et al. (1998, Janurary). Two Alternative Job Stress Models and the Risk of Coronary 
Heart DiseaseAmerican Journal of Public Health.

Denollet, J. et. al. (2006, Feb. 14). Usefulness of Type D Personality in Predicting Five=Year Cardiac
Events Above and Beyond Concurrent Symptoms of Stress in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease. American Journal of Cardiology. 

Kivimaki, M., et. al. (2002, Oct. 19). Work stress and risk of cardiovascular mortality: prospective 
cohort study of industrial employeesUs National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 

Orth-Gomer, K. (2000, Dec. 20). Marital Stress Worsens Prognosis in Women With 
Coronary Heart DiseaseThe Journal of the American Medical Association.

Schiffer, F. et. al. (1975, June 11). The quiz electrocardiogram: A new diagnostic and research
technique for evaluating the relation between emotional stress and ischemic heart disease. Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital. 

THE FAST FOOD EPIDEMIC

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The number of obese people throughout the United States is increasing at a rapid rate. It would be hard not to agree that an increasing number of fast food restaurants have played a role in driving up the number of obese people. The convenience of these restaurants is all too hard for people to resist. And as workloads increase due to staffing cuts at many companies, the time available to sit down at a restaurant, order food, wait for the food and then eat it, is not a reality for many people. People don’t even have to get out of their cars to munch on a fatty burger and French fries, for example. What’s worse is that people are designed to store fat. Back when people were hunters and gatherers they needed every gram of fat they could put on their body. These ancestors had to do much more than drive to the nearest McDonald’s and order a supersized combo of fatty food. Without needing to leave their feet, this fat is stored right onto the body. In order to fight the obesity epidemic, people need to find some level of willpower to overcome the temptations, and this starts in childhood.

In the last 30 years, the rate of obese people throughout the United States has skyrocketed. In Jane E. Brody’s New York Times article, “Attacking the Obesity Epidemic by First Figuring Out Its Cause,” she says that individuals aren’t to blame. That the problem is societal and the root cause needs to be addressed to get people to shape up. “Many environmental forces, from economic interests of the food and beverage industries to the way our cities and town are built, have conspired to subvert the body’s natural ability to match calories in with calories out,” (par. 2). In order to change this trend, Brody implied, obesity needs to be treated like a health hazard similar to smoking, for example.

While there is an increasing culture that leans towards lifestyles that make them obese, it is still shocking to see that over one-third of Americans are ignoring the warnings and are eating themselves to obesity. Another third are considered overweight. It isn’t just the visual impact of being obese that would make someone want to choose vegetables over burgers, crackers over chips and water over pop, it’s also because there are many health factors that should be considered. For example, obesity can lead people to have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease and respiratory disorders. The risk of contracting one or more of these are even higher when the weight is focused around the waist. The problem isn’t confined to the lifestyle habits of adults. More and more parents are allowing their children to become obese. In fact, the National Institutes of Health say 25 per cent of American children are considered overweight or obese.

But the problem gets worse for the obese children. The health risks for the young ones is worse than what was anticipated. While many people blame the parents of obese children for causing the kids to be overweight, experts in the field say it isn’t their fault. The BBC New Magazine article “Childhood Obesity: 10 of Your Stories,” reported: “Causes range from a lack of education about food, limited cooking skills and limited money to buy healthier food to longer working hours and marketing campaigns for junk food aimed at kids,” (par.3). However, this point seems to lay too little blame on the parents. This says marketing campaigns for junk food that is targeting kids is causes the parents to somehow lose control and seek out these fatty food. It should be pointed out that these providers of fatty foods aren’t holding a gun to the parents’ heads. They shouldn’t be held responsible for these parents’ lack of willpower. It is up to every parent to become educated on the hazards of fatty foods. And when their child looks overweight, there might be some common-sense warning signs that a cheeseburger and fries probably isn’t the best idea.

In order to buck the trend of cheeseburgers, French fries and TV, people are going to have to find some willpower. People seem to automatically look to do whatever is easiest and, unfortunately, the easiest things in life aren’t healthy. It is extremely rare that fast food will meet healthy requirements, and there is no way to relax and exercise at the same time. While regulating food providers to meet certain health requirements is an option to overcome the obesity epidemic, it shouldn’t get to that point. Individuals need to do what is necessary to ensure that they live a healthy life. Obesity does put strains on the health care system, as countless people with clogged arteries line up for surgery. But regulating the food that is sold to people would also come with a price tag. The key is to develop healthy habits in children from a young age. This means parents need to do their part to ensure their children are informed of the health risks related to eating poor-quality food and not exercising enough. When children get into the bad habit of eating and not exercising, that will travel with them throughout life and cause them to have greater health problems that could have been prevented if they developed healthy habits early in life.

References
Brody, Jane. “Attacking the Obesity Epidemic by First Figuring Out Its Cause.” The New York 
Times. 12, Sept. 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.

Cutler, David. et al. “Why have American Become More Obese?” Journal of economic 
Perspectives. 2003. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.

Ehrlich, Steven. “Obesity.” University of Maryland Medical Center. 2011. Web. 5 Nov. 2012

Childhood Obesity: 10 of Your Stories.” BBC News Magazine. 2 Oct. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.

Winterman, Denise. “Child Obesity: Why do Parents Let their Kids Get Fat?” BBC News 
Magazine. 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.

Healy, Melissa. “Study Finds Exercise Adds to Life Expectancy.” Los Angeles Times. 7 Nov.
2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.

FOCUSED CANNABIS POLICY IN CANADA IS LONG OVERDUE

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Canadian teens smoke more cannabis than those in any other developed nation in the world, Unicef stated recently (Hui, 2013). In fact, the April, 2013, report said over a quarter of all 15 year olds have used cannabis in the past year alone. Despite marijuana use being so common throughout the nation, there is no clear approach to the possession of cannabis in Canada, or internationally for that matter. In this essay, I will discuss the legislation that has been decided about pot use in Canada and detail what approach to the issue would be best. I will base a large portion of this essay on the research of two books, “Cannabis Policy Moving Beyond Stalemate,” by Robin Room et al, and “Drug Policy and the Public Good,” by Thomas Babor et al. The former is more focused on policies and health effects related to cannabis use, while the latter delves more into drug use in general. Because marijuana is such a major part of the lives of so many Canadians, solid decisions need to be made about cannabis use, but due to the lack of scientific evidence, there is a stalemate in legislating the drug.

Cannabis accounts for about 80% of illegal drug use, according to figures from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that were collected between from 2006-07 on people aged 15 years or older (Room, 2010) That amounts to about 4% of people throughout the adult world using the drug. Despite this fact, there isn’t a lot of discussion on marijuana in the international drug policy discussion. Furthermore, use of the drug is trending higher. According to the same 2007 stats, there is a 10% increase in the use of the drug from the mid-1990s. “The numbers are particularly striking because fifty years ago cannabis was a very uncommon drug, with pockets of traditional use in India Jamaica and a few other developing nations and use otherwise largely confined to fringe bohemian groups in a few rich countries,” (Room, 2010).

But despite the increasingly widespread appeal of the drug, particularly throughout Canada, the legislation to control the substance is hazy, as bureaucrats struggle with how to enforce existing laws, and politicians grapple with writing policies that govern the substance. The situation of cannabis use has changed over the last half-century, since its prohibition. This is evidenced by the drug becoming a part of the everyday youth culture, specifically in developed nations. The demand of the drug has been spurred on by many people marketing and selling the drug. Despite there being much effort by law enforcement and policy makers to make an impact on the amount of cannabis available to the public, those efforts have been largely futile. As is pointed out in “Cannabis Policy Moving Beyond Stalemate,” the war on cannabis has created some anger towards authorities that have been trying to curb the amount of cannabis use. Furthermore, the effort to stop the use of cannabis has resulted in many arrests and has cost billions of dollars. About 750,000 people are arrested each year in the U.S. and are charged with possession of cannabis. Furthermore, in countries that produce a large amount of marijuana, such as Mexico, there has been a massive amount of money and attention dedicated to the War on Drugs, which cannabis helps fuel. That has resulted in there essentially being a state of war at the U.S. border, (Room, 2010).

Efforts at fighting cannabis production, use and distribution has largely been made internationally, and much attention has been given to the problem at international conventions. For example, in 1998, the international community came to terms over a 10-year program to control illegal drugs. The program was struck at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session. The program’s slogan reads “a drug free world, we can do it.” However, since that time, drugs have become more pure, cheaper and available more readily than they ever were before. Much of this problem is that the drug laws are relatively arbitrary, and this often results in there being discrimination against minority groups. Among the drugs, this is most evident in cannabis, (Room, 2010). Governments are continually disagreeing about the right kind of policy to adopt.

Need for a Policy
“Cannabis Policy Moving Beyond Stalemate,” shows there is the need to control the use of cannabis. The text calls the use of the drug in our society to be an “issue.” The drug has been a part of international treaties since the 1920s and it is prohibited in the highest level of control. In fact, cannabis accounts for the largest number of drug law arrests in the majority of nations throughout the world.  But despite this long-term effort, many people have questioned whether the actual effects of cannabis on people and society justifies the widespread and concentrated effort to control it. In fact, many experts say that the results of the attempt to control it are far worth than the effects of the drug itself. If that is true, the experts say, there is no reason why governments should attempt to intervene by controlling the substance.

However, others have argued that an increasing amount of high-potency cannabis is leading to many people having mental health problems. This is particularly evident in young users. These same people say that the attempts made to control the drug are limiting the number of young people who are exposed. “Cannabis Policy Moving Beyond Stalemate,” shows there is a great divergence in the approaches to the policies in each jurisdiction throughout the world. Each of these approaches, the texts points out, haven’t been effective at reducing the amount of consumption. In fact, the research points out that the increasing trend towards people smoking marijuana is due to there being a lack of understanding, and international cultural, social and economic factors. The Cannabis Commission went on a mission to look at the evidence related to the various policy approaches, and it was meant to come up with recommendations for policies after taking a look at all of the evidence.

Scientific evidence on the effects of cannabis on health are weak
As pointed out in “Cannabis Policy Moving Beyond Stalemate,” the laws surrounding the control of cannabis need to be based on the scientific principles related to its use. Also, there is the need for there to be awareness of the political factors that would help develop policies that are based on knowledge, rather than assumption. However, the text also points out that if cannabis was proven to have adverse effects on people and society as a whole, it in itself might not be enough basis for prohibiting the drug. For example, alcohol, stairways and vehicles would have to all be prohibited if that was the basis of deciding whether or not something should be prohibited. But according to “Cannabis Policy,” the detrimental effects of these aspects represent just one component of the debate.

The report states there are just a few areas where research has shown the effects of marijuana. For example, acute effects due to cannabis use are evident, such as an impairment in the ability to drive. Also, changes in the reproductive and immunological systems are possible effects. Cannabis can negatively affect the development of a fetus. In studies that were done on animals, while using high doses of cannabis, the drug has been shown to produce growth retardation, resorption and malformations in rats, mice, rabbits and hamsters. “Birth malformations have been observed more often after crude marijuana extract rather than THC, suggesting that other cannabinoids may have teratogenic effects,” (Room, 2010). In fact, the report states THC isn’t likely to be teratogenic in people because there were only a few reports of the teratogenicity in the rodents and rabbits, which shows the cannabinoids are, at the very most, very weakly teratogenic. There are mixed results, however, and this is because of several factors. First, people using a lot of cannabis while they are pregnant is fairly uncommon, and a large sample size is needed to come to a full conclusion on whether there is a negative effect on fetal development. The studies that have been conducted are small and don’t offer many conclusions that can be taken for face value. Also there is a stigma attached to admitting to using drugs during pregnancy, and that results in there being fewer reports. Therefore, if there are a large number of people who use cannabis that are misclassified, then the relationship between using cannabis and the adverse effects will not be quantified. Also, researchers have a hard time interpreting the associations between the adverse effects and the use of the drug due to the fact that many people who use cannabis are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco and use other illicit drugs. They are also vastly more likely to have much poorer nutrition than women who aren’t cannabis users.

However, what the researchers do know is that using cannabis when pregnant results in a reduced birth rate, according to at least four studies. But the effects on the birth rate was lower than the effects from smoking tobacco when pregnant. One study, however, found there were associations between cannabis use during the pregnancy and there being a large number of birth defects. This study was conducted between 1986 and 2002 in Hawaii. Other studies haven’t been able to find an increased risk of birth defects (Room, 2010). In studies that looked at the effects of mothers who smoked cannabis during pregnancy on the development of the baby, there was evidence that shows a developmental delay just after birth in the baby’s vision. Also, there was evidence of increased startle and tremor among children of mothers who smoked cannabis during pregnancy. However, after about one month, the behaviours faded. After six and twelve months, there was no sign of a behavioural difference between baby’s that were born from mothers who didn’t smoke weed and those that did. There were, however, subtle reports of changed behaviour among children aged between 36 and 48 months, but not at 60 to 72 months. The results show that there are subtle developmental impairments that happen to children who have a shorter gestation and premature birth. In children aged 9 to 12, there wasn’t a difference in IQ scores, but there were some differences in higher cognitive processes and perceptual organization.

Taken as a whole, the post-natal effects on behaviour of the prenatal use of cannabis look to be modest. The results remain uncertain due to there not being a large enough sample size that would show the effects. “The causal interpretation of the effects reported is complicated by the inability of these studies to adequately control for confounding variables, such as other drug use during pregnancy, poor parenting skills, and shared genetic risks for impaired cognitive functioning in both mothers and their infants” (Room, 2010). The fact that there are small sample sizes and limited studies makes it difficult to make an argument for or against the use of cannabis.

Policies have been largely ineffective
Despite what the science says, and doesn’t say, the politics behind marijuana use has certainly changed over the approximate 50 years since the adoption of the International Prohibition on Cannabis, which was struck in 1961 at the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Many of the policies that have been struck haven’t been effective. The modern world has rendered many of the rules around the control of cannabis ineffective. Conventions on cannabis, and drugs in general, essentially restrict a nation’s ability to have new cannabis laws that are fashioned due to developments that affect the control of cannabis. Essentially, the system has been developed as to stagnate efforts relating to the control of drugs. Systems of control that might be more effective for the times aren’t developed because of the culture of inaction that has been perpetuated from the worldview strategy of controlling cannabis. New evidence collected about the use of cannabis and the results of any laws that are in place is essentially useless, because by the time the nations meet again to discuss progress and policy, the new evidence is now old evidence. This makes it very difficult to develop new systems of control based on the modern world. Clearly, there needs to be change in the way cannabis policies are carried out. While moving forward in the fight against cannabis is difficult, it is not impossible if each nation is able to make its own policy decisions (Room, 2010).

Furthermore, even though the policies related to cannabis are being struck on an international level, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of effort on these international boards to curb the amount of activity related to cannabis. Part of the reason for the lack of attention is due to the limited scientific information related to the effects of cannabis. If the policymakers aren’t aware of the detrimental effects, then it is difficult for them to make policies that govern the substance’s use. “The information available was limited and scattered, and the first attempt to revise and compile it at the regional level came last year with the publication of the technical report ‘Drug Use Epidemiology in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Public Health Approach’ (2009), which provides an overview of the situation and some recommendations for a public health approach, from an epidemiological perspective” (Babor, et al, 2010). Scientific research is often the building block of informed legislation. However, because there is a lack of this type of research available, the ability to create the appropriate regulations is difficult, and this has caused policymakers to stand still. Without the appropriate amount of information, any policymaker who would want to advocate for cannabis control doesn’t have ground on which to stand without the scientific evidence.

But another piece of the puzzle that is needed for regulators to govern the use of cannabis, is to understand what has worked and what hasn’t worked, according to “Drug Policy and the Public Good,” by Thomas Babor et al. However, according to “Cannabis Policy Moving Beyond Stalemate,” any attempts to control the substance have been futile. A group of experts, however, have managed to review hundreds of research papers and other information that was available to come up with the book “Drug Policy and the Public Good.” The researchers found “There is no single solution to the ‘drug problem,’ as it is already difficult to describe what the problem is, given the different types of psychoactive substances, their health and social impacts and the countries and contexts in which they occur” (Babor, 2010). While the scientific evidence is lacking, there is a lot of non-scientific opinions that have fueled a major part of the debate, Babor points out.

Finding a policy that works
Many of the available studies on the control of cannabis have been centred on decriminalizing cannabis. However, the studies that have been completed are relatively weak, and doesn’t give much of an indication of what the policy should be in Canada. The research that has been conducted often involves comparing the prevalence of cannabis use before and after the decriminalization law had been put into place. “Interpretations of the evidence are contested, but, evidence that tougher sanctions deter drug use or criminal offending more generally is, at best, weak” (Babor, 2010). However, the text shows that having a brief sentences for people testing positive for having drugs substantially reduced the drug use. Also, people who are tested for drugs in their system at least once a weak, if they are on criminal justice supervision, showed substantial reductions in the amount of cannabis they were consuming. If the person tests positive for having the drug in their system, they have to spend 24 hours in jail, (Babor, 2010).

Research also shows — and by presenting this research as credible shows “Drug Policy and the Public Good,” believes that this may be the best policy — that law enforcement should encourage those using the substance to enter treatment and remain there for as long as it takes for them to recover from their addiction. The texts goes on to say that drug court is a way to effectively control the use of the drug. In fact, drug courts are often more effective than having a suspended sentence or another way to keep users in treatment. However, this approach has been difficult due to the fact that the scale-up is a challenge to execute. After all, it is difficult for academics to fathom the ability for those in law enforcement to supress the use of drugs in the established drug markets through controlling the supply of drugs or enforcing sanctions. “Available evidence is more positive, however, about enforcement’s capacity to reduce adverse collateral effects of drug markets, produce abstinence in closely supervised offenders, and improve uptake and retention in treatment (as seen without judicial intervention)” (Babor, 2010). This sheds a little light on the situation, and brings optimism to the pessimism outlined in “Cannabis Policy,” but it should be noted that “Drug Policy” is making the determinations based on strategies to control drugs in general. However, it should also be pointed out that the vast majority of jurisdictions have placed cannabis in the same umbrella of drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, which is not how the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act treats cannabis.

Current treatment of cannabis in Canada
Currently in Canada, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act separates cannabis from other “substances” in the possession charge: “where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I or II, other than cannabis (marihuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life; where the subject-matter of the offence is cannabis (marihuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

In the case of Regina vs. Fern Edith Noreen Evers in 2011, it was discovered the defendant in 2004 was in possession of a cannabis grow operation. She was eventually charged with “unlawfully producing a controlled substance and possessing this substance for the purposes of trafficking” (CanLII, 2011). This case was unusual due to the fact that the defendant produced the marijuana for the Compassion Club, and it wasn’t part of a drug operation to provide the substance to the general public. The Compassion Club sells marijuana to people who have a doctor’s prescription for the substance. Eventually, the judge decided to fine her $3,000 and suspend the sentence. This was a conditional sentence order that also saw the defendant be placed on probation for 12 months. The defendant didn’t pay the fine. This case must have been particularly difficult for the judge to sentence, due to the fact that there are limited laws in place that govern the activities of those who produce marijuana for the Compassion Club. In a similar case — but this time involving someone who wasn’t producing the substance for the Compassion Club – a man was charged for producing and possessing with the purpose of trafficking marijuana. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for his violations. After an appeal, he was sentenced to two years in prison, less one day. In another case, a judge decided that using marijuana isn’t a right that is set out in the right to liberty, life and security of the person. The defendant had said their use of cannabis should not be confined to the lawmakers’ definition of what should and what should not be allowed to be consumed by a person.

These are just three examples of many that indicate there is a need for clear laws that govern possession and trafficking of cannabis, due to the various levels of punishment that were handed out. As the texts point out, there is a massive amount of inaction that is going on at the global scale surrounding cannabis. That same research reveals that while there are limited studies on the true effects of marijuana on health, the reports that are compiled indicate there is limited damage done to people because of marijuana use. Yet there are still people going to jail for long periods of time because of a substance that could be just as damaging to health as alcohol, vehicles and stairways, if not less. Furthermore, as the texts point out, there is a considerable amount of damaging effects on society due to the War on Drugs. Many people are being killed due to the gang wars that sprout up from illegal operations that facilitate the cannabis marketplace. This is similar to what happened with the increase in crime during alcohol prohibition in the 1920s when, after outlawing the substance, a slew of organized crime started. However, it appears that policymakers have not learned from previous mistakes, and they continue to make a futile and expensive effort at curbing cannabis use. But as scientific evidence is compiled, there will be more ground to stand on when creating more informed policies, and if the science behind them shows that cannabis has minimal detrimental effects, then there could be more sanctioning of the drug’s use, which is happening in many jurisdictions already.

Works Cited

Babor, T., Caulkins, J., Edwards, G., Fischer, B., Foxcroft, D., Humphreys, K., …Strang, J.
(2010). Drug policy and the public good. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.” (1996). Canadian Legal Information Institute.

Hui, A. (2013, April 15). Canadian teens lead developed world in cannabis use: Unicef reportThe Globe 
and Mail. 

Room R., Fischer, B., Hall, W., Lenton, S., & Reuter, P. (2010).Cannabis policy: Moving beyond stalemate. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

R. v. Evers.” (2011). Canadian Legal Information Institute

R. v. Malmo-Levine; R. v. Caine, 2003 SCC 74.” (2003). Canadian Legal Information Institute.

R. v. Readhead.” (2008). Canadian Legal Information Institute.

FAST FOOD IN CHINA

Sample by My Essay Writer

Fast food restaurants have long been a staple in American culture, and for approximately the last thirty years, these restaurants have been branching out to different areas of the world. China is a mecca for fast food restaurants, which is changing a culture that has traditionally filled dinner tables with an assortment of noodles, and various meat and vegetable dishes. This is taking something away from the traditional culture of China, and replacing it with non-nutritious, fattening foods. Fast food restaurants have helped cause a pandemic of obesity in the United States, and now that trend is making its way into China. This essay will focus on the cultural implications of having fast food restaurants opening in China. These restaurants are detrimental to the Chinese culture due to health implications, but they are widely accepted by the nation’s people.

Western fast food chains began to penetrate and develop the Chinese market. For example, “On Nov. 12, 1987, the first KFC opened in Beijing, and three years later, the first McDonald’s opened in Shenzhen, a major city in South China,” (China, 2008). By 2005, KFC had 1,200 locations in the mainland of China and there were another 600 McDonald’s locations in the same year, (China licking, 2005).

This transformation has taken place in the most populace country in the world, one that is rich with indigenous food that is eaten throughout the world. The cuisine is now in a continual alteration because of the growing influence from U.S. fast food companies. In fact, while it has only been in the last thirty years that fast food restaurants have opened in China, the industry is becoming more of a consumer of fast food than those who live in America. “It has come to this: China’s cuisine is increasingly being altered by the growing consumption of fast food, with the Chinese now more likely than Americans to eat takeout meals, according to a survey released last week by ACNielsen Corp., the market research firm,” (Goodman, 2004). However, the research didn’t point out what type of takeout Chinese people are eating. After all, they could very well be eating Chinese takeout. But according to the research, of the 14,000 adults polled in 28 countries, 41 per cent of those who responded from mainland China eat at a fast food restaurant at least once per cent. That compares to 35 per cent of Americans who eat at a fast food restaurant at least once per week, (Goodman, 2004).

Western fast food chains are modified form their U.S. counterparts to better fit Chinese tastes. There is a different menu. There is a lot of the Chinese pop culture and language also included in the Chinese market, which markets to Chinese people and attempts to appeal to them. (Goodman, 2004). Some of the menu items at Chinese KFCs include bamboo shoots and lotus roots. This fusion of American fast food and Chinese tastes have created a symbol in the country, where Col. Harland Sanders is now a symbol of the U.S. The blend of these nations’ foods has been a real hit. Profits in China were higher than $200 million in 2004. That represents over half of the company’s international profits. “And the pace of 275 locations opened in the country last year is expected to be matched this year,” (China licking, 2005).

The type of fast food restaurant that is successful in China is a sign of what the culture demand. KFC has outsold McDonald’s. KFC has had the widest response in the nation, and now the country boasts 15 per cent of KFC’s overall sales in 2004, and that number was expected to increase. Pizza Huts are also opening up in China, and there are now 146 locations, (China licking, 2005). But China has a rich history of having its own foods. “In a nation that has taken pride in the delicacy and diversity of a cuisine which dates back thousands of years, it is astonishing that foreign fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald’s have dominated the fast food industry in China,” (Competition, 2008). But, interestingly, KFC actually failed to be successful in Hong Kong when it tried to open a restaurant there in 1975. What changed? “KFC brought the idea of ‘fast food’ to China nine years after China embraced the opening-up and reform policy in 1978, when Chinese curiosity about the West was at a peak,” (Competition, 2008). This was strategic timing, and was at a much different period than in 1975. This enthusiasm could be a sign that China, in the last 1980s, was ready to embrace America, and it wasn’t long before many more KFC’s would start opening in the nation. Three years later, the first McDonald’s opened in China.

The addition of fast food restaurants in China has certainly provided a new element to the culture there. Whether this addition is an erosion to the culture depends on how dominant the fast food restaurants are in the nation. Chinese people have certainly embraced the restaurants, making the addition of the fast food chains not overwhelmingly invasive. Just as North America embraced Chinese restaurants into the culture here, China is now doing the same thing with American restaurants. The addition of the Chinese restaurants hasn’t eroded the culture here, but has instead added an element that makes life more interesting, as there is a greater variety of options from which to choose when dining. That same impact is now being felt in China, and there is no reason to think that the addition is causing a cultural malaise, but is instead adding to the vibrancy and worldliness of ideas and flavour that make China what it is today.

Works Cited
China licking its fingers.” (2005, Jan. 14). The Washington Post.

Competition gearing up in China’s fast food industry.” (2008, July 30). China Daily.

Goodman, P. (2004, Dec. 26). Fast Food Takes a Bite Out of Chinese CultureThe Washington 
Post. 

BUILDING BLOCKS OF CULTURE: AN EXPLORATION OF FOREIGN PEOPLE IN CANADA

Sample by My Essay Writer

The population of Canada is one that can be examined in a large variety of ways. Canada is a very large country, and thus contains a diversity of demographics that are all Canadians. The population can be broken down along provincial borders, or along political lines. The age distribution can also be examined, as can the many different populations of First Nations Canadians. However, a more interesting way of examining the population of Canada is by taking note of its inherent multiculturalism. Canada is a country that is made up of people from a wide variety of countries around the world, and consists of both older families and ones composed of newer immigrants. Canada also gains many new citizens by means of accepting refugees from less stable countries. All of these factors lead to Canada having a complex society built on a multifaceted culture. This paper will examine Canada’s population through discussion if immigrants, the language issues those immigrants face, refugees, and the children of immigrants. In doing so, some insight on Canadian culture will be gleaned.

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Canada is well known for having a very multicultural population, especially in the country’s urban centres. Much of this multiculturalism comes from rather open immigration policies, which lead to large immigrant populations in cities. Due to this interesting aspect of the Canadian population, many studies have been done in order to provide information on exactly how Canada’s immigrant population functions compared to the rest of society. However, too often does a writer or a study attempts to explain the immigrant population without taking into account the fact that Canada gets many different immigrants from many different countries, all of which take to their new home in very different ways.

Melanie Knight provides an example of how complex the study of immigrant populations can be in her article, “Black Canadian self-employed women in the twenty-first century: a critical approach” (2004). In this article, Knight zooms in on the issues that are faced specifically by Black women in Canada. Furthermore, she focusses specifically on the experiences Black women have in regard to business and entrepreneurship. By limiting her research to such a specific issue faced by a specific group of people, Knight is able to come up with findings that are often overlooked by broader studies in immigrants in general. For example, she finds that, “Much of the literature analyzing Black business activity in Canada often describes it as being very low…Black women are invisible in this literature” (2004, p.105). This distinction demonstrates that fact that even when focussing on a specific racial group, information will be lost if gender is not also accounted for. Thus, a study that does not even take race into account will obviously miss important facts about specific socio-cultural groups.

An example of a much broader study can be found in K. Bruce Newbold’s article, “Linking immigrant settlement, health, housing, and homelessness in Canada” (2010). In this article, Newbold takes a very broad set of issues and applies them to Canada’s immigrant population as a whole. The result of this lack of specificity is an article that is very vague, and provides little information that can be put to good use. For example, when describing the relationship between immigrants and health care, Newbold writes the following: “immigrants may also experience other barriers to the use of health care facilities, including those created by acculturation stress, social exclusion, gender, culture, or language” (2010, p. 29). Here, Newbold brings up many possible barriers between immigrants and public health care, but fails to offer anything conclusive. A more focussed study may have been able to locate the specific problem facing a certain group, which could have been the first step towards finding a solution. Thus, it is very important to examine Canada’s immigrant population as a group of groups, and not a homogenous mass.

Of course, Canadian multiculturalism is much more complicated than simply being an issue of immigration. Even many years after families have come to Canada, they are still considered part of the cultural mosaic, even if they might not be considered part of the immigrant population anymore. These people are occasionally referred to as the English speaking parts of the population, to differentiate them from the newly arrived who might not yet have a grasp of the language. This choice of nomenclature, however, causes some problems due to the fact that Canada is not an entirely English speaking country. In her essay, “On the dark side of the nation: politics of multiculturalism and the state of Canada” (2000), Himanji Bannerji writes about the effects Canada’s English/French split has on multiculturalism. Specifically, Bannerji makes note of, “the binary cultural identity of the country to whose discourse, ‘new comers’ are subjected” (2000, p. 91), which makes clear the fact that even after taking into account that Canada is multicultural, there are other divisions among the populace. For example, an African person who moves to Ontario will be put in a very different cultural position than an African person who moves to Quebec, simply because each person will have to learn a different new language in order to adapt. The result of this division is that even two people from the same city might end up as very different Canadians, due to the language barrier. Conversely, two people from very different cultures might be given some form of unity if they find themselves on the same side of the language divide. The split between English and French speaking Canada is a piece of the culture that exists alongside any multiculturalism, and is an equally important piece of Canada’s national identity.

A very important part of immigration in any country is the issue of refugees. Many countries will take in refugees for a variety of reasons: some people flee wars, others flee religious persecution, and others face racial discrimination. Alexandra Mann writes about Canada’s stance on refugees, noting that, “Compared to other ‘immigrant nations,’ such as Australia, Canada has a strong tradition of granting protection to those who meet the definition of ‘refugee’ in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees” (2009, p. 191). However, Mann also points out that it has become much more difficult for refugees seeking asylum in Canada, writing, “the very concept of the refugee is being eroded in Canadian society and replaced with the image of the illegal migrant” (2009, p.191). To summarize Mann’s argument, she states that one of the big reasons that Canada has become so much harsher with potential refugees is that these refugees are rarely in a position that allows them to apply for Canadian citizenship through the proper channels. In this way, refugees are often equated with illegal immigrants, and are thus treated more like criminals than victims of persecution. This change in perception has led to Canada accepting much less refugees over the years, making refugees a much smaller portion of Canada’s immigrant population. To put it bluntly, whether or not a person is a refugee has very little effect on how they will act as a citizen, and so restricting refugees from entering Canada will not have a tremendous impact on society. Rather, the issue of refugees is almost entirely an issue of reputation. Accepting people in need from less fortunate countries is a policy with obvious humanitarian motives. By accepting many refugees, Canada is proving its commitment as a nation to providing shelter to the needy, regardless of their country of origin. By putting restrictions on refugees, Canada as a nation appears callous and pragmatic, putting immigration laws above people. Of course, neither position can really be said to be objectively right; within Canada there will always be people supporting both sides of the argument. In the end, although the issue of refugees might be an important moral issue to some, it does not have a huge effect on Canada’s culture on a large scale.

Bridging the gap between families of new immigrants and families that have been in Canada for generations are those people that occupy the second generation. These are the children and other young people of immigrant families, who are either born in Canada or are brought over at a very young age. These children are put into a unique position due to the fact that they have to grow up in a different country than their parents did. In effect, second generation immigrants have a barrier placed in between them and their parents, but also them and the society they are growing up into. Each of these barriers has the potential to have a profound effect on their lives. Nicolle Gallant (2008) describes the barrier between first and second generation immigrants, and notes that many of them do not actually identify with their culture of origin. Specifically, she notes that, “When asked to spontaneously name the membership group or groups that define their identity (that is, the groups that are the most significant and characteristic of who they are), slightly fewer than half of the respondents (12 out of 28) mentioned a group connected with their parents’ country of origin” (2008, p. 47). These results are quite important, as they make it clear that even one generation can create a large gap between family members.       Furthermore, it is clear that second generation immigrants often suffer from a lack of their own culture; they cannot identify with their native culture, but they are also somewhat cut off from Canadian culture. Miu Chung Yan, Surita Jhangiani, and Sean Lauer (2008) add more evidence to the second divide that second generation immigrants face in a paper on the difficulties they have in entering the job market. They find that second generation immigrants are forced to accept, “reduced pay, delayed pay or not receive overtime” (p. 119), which means that second generation immigrants face many of the same forms of discrimination that first generation immigrants do. Thus, second generation immigrants face problems in both spheres of life, being cut off from their parents’ culture and simultaneously not as accepted by Canadian culture as later generations might be.

As is apparent, the Canadian population is fairly complex. It has multiple immigrant groups, each of which takes to the country in a unique manner. Even after taking these groups into account, the languages in various Canadian provinces add even more complications. The issue of refugees adds a moral element to the addition of immigrants to the population, and the status of second generation immigrants proves that discrimination is a very real problem even in such a multicultural country. A full examination of each of these issues would take an immense amount of time, simply because each cultural group in Canada would need to be examined separately. However, the acknowledgement that these issues exist is the first step towards a better understanding of Canadian society.

References
Bannerji, H. (2000). On the dark side of the nation: politics of multiculturalism and the     state of Canada. The Dark Side of the Nation: Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism and Gender (87-124). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.

Chung Yan, M., Jhangiani, S., & Lauer, S. (2008). Preliminary understanding of challenges in entering the job market. Canadian Diversity, 6 (2), 118-120.

Gallant, N. (2008). Identity and political participation among young second generation immigrants. Canadian Diversity, 6 (2), 47-49.

Knight, M. (2004). Black Canadian self-employed women in the twenty-first century: acritical approach. Canadian Woman Studies, 23 (2), 104-110.

Mann, A. (2009). Refugees Who Arrive by Boat and Canada’s Commitment to the Refugee Convention: A Discursive Analysis. Refuge, 26 (2), 191-206.

Newbold, K. B. (2010). Linking immigrant settlement, health, housing, andhomelessness in Canada. Canadian Issues, Fall, 28-31.

AN OBJECTIVE TAKE ON FALUDY’S SUBJECTIVE ‘CONVOCATION ADDRESS

Sample by My Essay Writer

In George Faludy’s “Convocation Address,” he discusses the value of wisdom over science, and ultimately comes to the conclusion that comfort has become the goal of society, rather than knowledge. He credits science with providing people with longer lives and more comfortable civilizations, but the real value is in the traditions and the joining of minds, rather than the perpetuation of science. This essay will focus on Faludy’s role as the speaker, and his beliefs in relation to his time in a prison camp. Faludy basis much of his opinion about ideologies, mindlessness, and tradition on a very subjective experience, and does not provide an objective enough take for a meaningful discussion on what is truly valuable in life.

One of the two main conclusions that Faludy draws in his speech is the fact that people are focused on materialism, rather than on meaningful knowledge. He spends the majority of his speech describing his experience in a prison camp, and what it took for people to survive the dreadful experience. He says those who gathered to listen to his, and others’, lectures at night, rather than sleeping, were the ones who survived. Those who did not join them became like “vegetables” and some would not even speak. That group of people were the ones who eventually would have not enough purpose in life, and they would futilely attempt to escape. They would typically fall in the snow after a short distance, and then die within a couple days. The ones who stayed and listened to the lectures are the ones who survived. It was the ones who sought knowledge, and wanted to preserve tradition, rather than give way to ideas that wish to invade the higher knowledge of the speaker’s society. “It seems to me that the mentality of [those who vegetated rather than listen to the lectures] is, mutatis mutandis,  analogous to the mentality of the consumer societies of the world, of those who seem obsessed with producing and consuming an ever-growing mountain of things to ensure comfort and survival; who have addicted themselves to energy as if to morphine until they are ready to destroy all nature to increase the dosage; who have, indeed, increased our life-span but have failed to mention that the brain requires jogging even more than the heart if that life-span is to mean anything” (11). The speaker is drawing a connection with those who were not interested in meaningful knowledge and the consumer society. Faludy draws a major conclusion in this analysis, and makes a connection that does not seem to fit. He discusses “rising above evil and mindlessness,” though he fails to make the connection between running for survival and being mindless. Those in the camp were malnourished and lost faith. They wanted to sleep instead of listen to the lectures, and this does not indicate they are mindless and cannot rise above evil, as indicated by the speaker. The speaker’s take is very subjective, and he likely has a clearer understanding of the reasons why he can relate mindlessness that was expressed by those who did not attend the lectures to a lower state of being to which he alludes in his writing – though he did not effectively enough communicate his vision to his speech’s listeners and readers.

The second conclusion to which the speaker draws is that art and thought is not “an amusement nor a yoke” (12). In this statement, the speaker is relating tradition to “half-baked” ideologies of the present. He is referring to the mentality and ideologies of those who held him captive. However, his experience in the prison camp gives him a distorted view on new concepts. In his personal experience, he views the beliefs of his people to be pure and righteous, due to the fact that he feels a particular nostalgia towards the earlier period of his life. New ideologies are represented through the speaker’s captors. This places an extremely biased burden on the speaker when attempting communicating rational opinions about consumerism, mindlessness, and tradition.

While the speaker very likely has the right idea about the need to stimulate the mind in order to live a fulfilling life, he is far too attached to the subject to provide an objective view. He adds a valuable component to the discussion as a person who experienced tyrannical captivity, but his opinions about new ideologies and traditions is microscopic when placed under the broad scope of various ideologies and traditions throughout time. After all, are not many traditions even more evil than the near-death experience he faced from a new ideologyin prison camp?

Words Cited
Faludy, George. “Convocation Address.” Weebly. 1978. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.

THE AFFECT OF FACEBOOK ON RELATIONSHIPS

Sample by My Essay Writer

Facebook has certainly changed the way people communicate. That’s a given. But what is left unknown is whether the social networking site has benefitted people’s relationships or caused them to suffer. When Facebook first came into existence, I was one of the last of my friends to sign up for an account. I kept getting invited by people to join, but I had little interest. However, after going to school and hearing everyone talk about it, I started to feel a bit left out. They would be talking about subjects that I had no idea about, and they would sign petitions and join in a political discussion that I was left scratching my head to. So I opened an account.

It wasn’t long before I saw that Facebook is a pretty neat revelation in the way in which people communicate. I started spending hours on it, looking at photos, commenting on people’s posts, and posting my own content. But like Hal Niedzvicki says in his essay “Facebook in a Crowd,” the social networking site may be damaging relationships (Niedzviecki, 2) Sure, people can catch up with old friends and see what they’re up to, but Facebook friends aren’t really “friends.” You can’t count on them to be there for you when you need. You don’t go over to their house after you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend and drink a few glasses of wine. And this is the type of thing that Niedzviecki learns when he invited his Facebook friends to party and only one person shows up.

I’ve never friended someone that I don’t know. I think many people do just so it looks like they have hundreds, or thousands of friends, and I think this is sad. The best way to make friends is by participating in activities where you are likely to talk to people. This could be at school, work or maybe at soccer practise. Because it is very difficult to care about someone and to become vested in their interests when you are only communicating online, Facebook doesn’t offer the personal touch that friendship requires.

Though this essay is focused on relationships, it should be noted that Facebook does provide a voice to the general public. While Facebook isn’t personal enough to establish meaningful friendships, the medium does facilitate the quick spread of word and groups can form quite quickly. Protests and other forms of social awareness, such as the spread of information about the severity of cruelty towards animals, is made possible in part by Facebook and other social networking sites.

Through my experience with Facebook, I have found I’ve stayed aware of various clubs that I am interested in. For example, I learned about a soccer club through a friend of mine, and now I am able to go to games without the need for my friend to invite me. I just check out the posts each week for the meeting time. This provides an opportunity for me to meet new people. But when it comes to Niedzviecki’s strategy, which is to invite all of his Facebook friends to a party, no one comes (Niedzviecki, 2). I think this is because none of those people had a real interest in the event he was organizing, which was just a get together with strangers at a bar. If he had an actual interest that people would want to participate in, then I am sure there would be many who would come to his event.

Overall, technology such as Facebook has likely decreased the amount of time I socialize with friends. But mainly I think it is other addictions of the Internet, such as YouTube, that draws me closer to my computer and further away from friends and family. However, I think computer technology is helping create a more aware culture. The amount of information is certainly more substantial, but the quality may have gone down. As long as we are able to sift through what is important, as opposed to the latest gossip about the Kardashians, which sadly I didn’t need to look up to know how to spell, I think the computer is nothing but a more efficient encyclopedia.

To summarize, my personal experience with Facebook has given me three benefits, two of which link directly to relationships: first, I am able to see how old friends are doing, even if I have no intention of rekindling the friendship; second, I am able to play soccer now because I am a member of a soccer group that meets twice per week; third, and this doesn’t have to do with friendship, I am able to stay tuned with the political climate and this helps build my awareness. But I agree with Niedzviecki in that quality friendships could be dwindling because of the onset of Facebook (Niedzviecki, 2).

FAIRY TALE

Sample by My Essay Writer

In “Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf,” several commonalities emerge with Vladimir Propp’s analysis of folk tales. Propp outlines 31 functions and this paper will outline the areas that “Tsarevitch Ivan” follows these functions. It follows function 1 by having a family member leave home. In fact, all three brothers leave the home, and Ivan is distinct because of his skill at acquiring the feather of the golden bird, the horse with the golden mane, and Helen the Beautiful. He is also noted for his heroic journey with the Grey Wolf. Also, the story falls into the 2nd function, which is the command not to follow.

He does this by trying to take the golden cage and the golden railing. And Ivan ignores the interdiction, which follows number 3 of the functions. Number 4 is followed, as his brothers are the villains. Number 5 is followed, as the villainous brothers learn about Ivan’s accomplishments. The villains then take possession of the belongings (function 6). The victim, however, is not fooled by the villain, which is number 7. In number 8, the victim is harmed by the villains when he is murdered. In number 9, the misfortune is known when the Grey Wolf finds his dismembered body. In number 10, the Grey Wolf decides on a counter-action to revive Ivan. In number 11, the hero left home to find the fire bird. In number 12, the hero is tested when he faces the three roads, and when he acquires each of the golden possessions, and Helen the Beautiful. With number 13, Ivan, the hero, takes back his beloved. In number 14, the hero acquires the grey wolf, which is the magical agent. In number 15, Ivan is on search for the golden treasures. In number 16, there is no direct combat with Ivan and his brothers. In number 17, the hero is wounded when he is killed. In number 18, the villainous brothers are defeated by the truth of their actions. In number 19, the misfortune is fixed when Ivan returns to his father and his beloved, and the brothers are sent to prison. In number 20, Ivan returns to his father. In number 21, Ivan was killed by his brothers. In number 22, Ivan was rescued by the Grey Wolf. In number 23, Ivan does not recognize that he was killed, but thought he was asleep. In number 24, the false heroes, Ivan’s brothers, present false claims about attaining the horse, bird and girl. In number 25, Ivan had the difficult task of attaining the bird, horse and girl. In number 26, the task is resolved when he finally returns to his father and his beloved. In number 27, there is no connection with the story, as there isn’t something that Ivan is branded with. In number 28, the villainous brothers are exposed. In number 29, the hero is not given a new appearance, except he was wed to Helen the Beautiful. In number 30, the villainous brothers are sent to prison. In number 31, Ivan marries Helen the Beautiful and is the likely heir to the throne.

COMPARING THE REAL-LIFE EVITA TO FICTION

Sample by My Essay Writer

The 1996 movie “Evita,” starring Madonna, aims to tell the story of Evita Peron, and it accomplishes the approximate political details of the woman’s life while exaggerating many other components. The musical details many of the most dramatic and important moments of the woman’s life. However, its very nature of being a Hollywood movie makes it fall away from the actual life of the woman. The movie itself was decent, but it was not true to the life of Evita, and this makes it a failure at being of any value in the historical context.

Several tools are used by director Harold Prince to create a movie that is more captivating to the audience than what the real-life depiction would be. One of the major components that he tries to bring is more vibrancy in the storyline. He does this by using the character “Che.” He is one of the most significant figures in Latin America’s battle for rights, and particularly Cuba’s fight for independence. While Che and Evita are depicted as being together in the film, it is very likely that they never met. Each of them have the common component to their personality, which is that they are part of a revolution. They were also both controversial leaders and very flawed (Navarro, 1980). Also, their followers adored them and considered them saints. But in actuality, there is no historic documentation indicating that they ever met (Navarro, 1980). And pairing these two together in the film is a disservice to each of them, with the only real intent being to make millions of dollars by creating a Hollywood blockbuster.

Furthermore, Prince creates a love story between Juan Peron and Evita, but the two were never reported to actually be romantically in love with each other, as it was more of a father-daughter type of relationship – though they deeply loved each other (Navarro, 1980). Evita is reported to have written a letter to Peron explaining to him how much she loved him. However, it was never really discovered if this letter was meant to be romantic (Navarro, 1980).

The movie is also playing on a thin line with the treatment of the narrator, who is Che. The audience should realize that the narrator in this case is not necessarily telling the truth, but it is instead his own version of the truth. This makes it difficult to know whether the directors were intentionally leading the audience to believe components about history that are not true, or if it is a mere accurate representation of what Che would say about the situation. Che is not an impartial component to this story. He provides a different point of view about Evita than does the storyline, and at least one component is not telling the real story about the woman. For example, Che accuses Evita of stealing money from her foundation; however, Juan Peron did much of the dirty work in real life (Navarro, 1980).

Many of the components that are used in the movie are difficult to differentiate from real life. However, the relationships that are depicted in the film have been shown to be fabricated for cinematic effect. Furthermore, the opinions of Che are made up, and this is causing not only confusion about the real beliefs of Che, but also the real actions of Evita. In the end, this movie fails at providing an accurate historical depiction of Evita, and many other components and people from the history of Latin America. This causes the move to do a disservice to historical documentation, and to the people who are depicted in this movie.

Works Cited
Navarro, Marysa. “Evita and the crisis of 17 October 1945: A case study of Peronist and anti-Peronist mythology.” Journal of Lating American Studies. 1980. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.