Saturday, March 14, 2020

Child Abuse and Protective Environment Essay Example

Child Abuse and Protective Environment Essay Example Child Abuse and Protective Environment Paper Child Abuse and Protective Environment Paper Sexual abuse has many different views on it, t could be speaking to someone in an explicit way, expose them to pornography, or may expose their private areas to them. Neglect is the most common reported form Of child abuse. An example Of neglect is when parents do not feed, clothe, or clean their child. Another example is when parents may fail to care for their childs basic physical, emotional, disciplinary, and/or educational needs. And shaken baby syndrome, it could happen to babies and very small children, it happens when parents or guardian violently hakes them, which causes fractured bones, organ injuries, and severe brain damage, and for the ones who survive are often left with mental disabilities. 2. What types of physical care must a parent provide an infant child? The types of physical care a parent must provide to their infant child are being bathed, keeping them on a clean diaper, and having the baby dressed and fed. . What are some strategies for helping a child cope with stress? Some strategies that could help a child cope with stress are helping the child figure UT ways to solve their problems, learn what is causing the child to stress, avoid taking frustration out on child, and creating a violent free home. Critical Thinking Questions 1 . What is the difference between a protective environment and nurturing environment? The differences between a protective environment and a nurturing environment is the protecting environment is where the child is protected from violence and abuse, while the nurturing environment is where you have to do more than protect the child form violence and danger, you also have to pay attention to your childs physical and emotional needs. 2. How does a child needs change as they grow through development stages from infancy to teen years? How do special needs children differ? Childrens needs change when they become Older because, they are experiencing new things as they age and when your younger you dont have anything to worry about because you dont understand the world and teens they are older and more mature and knows a little about themselves. Special needs children fifer because they will need attention 24/7 because they have different needs from the rest of us.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Impact of the world recession on the oil market 2008-2010 Essay

Impact of the world recession on the oil market 2008-2010 - Essay Example After a call of Emergency, AIG insurance was bailed out (2008 Global Financial Crisis and Global Recession, 2011). There had been various factors involved, which had led to the crash. The housing market failure had been one of the reasons. However, there were certain external shocks as well, which contributed to the series of financial failures. The oil shock was one major other factor. It had been an observation that prices had started to rise in 2007, compared to the price level after 9/11. A large amount of this price increase was due to the increase in the price of oil. This large amount of price increase triggered people to default on their borrowings, which had started the housing crash. A figure below shows the sharp increase in oil price from 2007 to 2008. The price had been averaging at some 60$ per barrel, while in 2008, they had increased to around $132.8. Therefore, this shows that oil shocks ‘might’ have been one of the reasons for the starting of the Global Financial Crisis. However, one would also notice that after the crisis had started, the prices of oil had suddenly dropped by a gigantic amount in 2009. Prices started to pick up in late 2009, but it was a slow increase. This in effect illustrates that the global recession caused changes in the oil market as well. Therefore, the paper shall attempt to discuss the impact of this crisis and recession on the world oil market (Rainforest-mongabay.com, n.d). â€Å"Oil has always been one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world† (Bouchentouf, 2007). It has large importance for the world economy. The demand of oil is such that it is inelastic, that means even if the price rises, people would continue to buy it. Oil is indispensable and is a raw material for various other products. However, oil has an inelastic supply as well, that means since it is a non-renewable resource, it will eventually run out. This all highlights the

Monday, February 10, 2020

Memo format Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Memo format - Essay Example The author and purpose of the video The author of this video is one Dr. Clarke John from New York. In 2009, this video won in the video PSA contest, defeating over 200 other videos. Video PSA contest was mainly concerned with the prevention of flu, and strategies that can be employed to prevent spread of flu. The purpose of this video is therefore, to enlighten people about the H1N1 virus, how it spreads, and the preventive measures that one can take to avoid infection. The audience This video does not target a specific audience, instead; it is intended for the whole public. Since the H1N1 virus affected the whole of USA, the public must be enlightened on the preventive strategies they can adopt to avoid future occurrence of the condition in the USA. Therefore, all Americans, children and adults, men and women, professionals, among others are therefore, audience of this video, since all are capable of catching H1N1 virus. What the author values, and what he appears to assume about th e audience’s values The author of this video chose to spread the word about H1N1 virus through lyrics. Specifically, he uses the music genre of rap to deliver his message. As his primary choice of message delivery, this means that the author values music, specifically rap music. The author intended this message for an audience. This therefore, shows that the author assumes that the audience too value rap music. Since this is the best way he thought his message could reach the audience, it seems he assumes that Americans love rap music, therefore, will easily receive the message. How the author establishes credibility and character The author establishes credibility and character in his video mainly through the manner he presents himself, and the ideas in his message. For instance, he dresses decently in his white lab coat. Dressing this way is decent, and brings him out as a professional in the medical field. Therefore, the audience will value the message he delivers, as they will view it as credible. Although it is a rap video, this contrasts with the mainstream rap videos in the popular culture, as in this video, the author upholds professionalism, as seen in his decent attire. Professionalism is also evident in his presentation of facts, which enhances credibility and character. He uses formal and decent language while rapping. Most rap videos use informal and sometimes indecent language. Therefore, this makes the video and message therein credible, and brings out the character of the author in a positive manner. Additionally, the end of the video was shot in the author’s office. This is a different setting, as the rest of the video part was shot at a strategic point in the streets of New York. An office environment increases the seriousness of the message and incorporates an element of professionalism in the rap clip. Credibility of the message in the video is also increased when the author lets the audience know the main source of his messag e in the video. It turns out that he got his message from a trusted government website on flu. It is more likely that the audience will trust the message and do as it says, since the information is credible, and from an individual with a credible character. How the author appeals to the audience In order to appeal to the audience, the author uses an element

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Application of social learning theory in psychology research Essay Example for Free

Application of social learning theory in psychology research Essay ‘Explaining substance use among Puerto Rican adolescents: a partial test of social learning theory’ is an article by Holly Ventura Miller, Wesley G. Jennings, Lorna L. Alverez-Rivera and J. Mitchell Miller. The article is a 2008 publication in the Journal of Drug Issues Volume 38, issue number 1. In this study, Miller et al (2008) seek to use social learning theory to understand substance use among Puerto Rican adolescents as part of the larger Hispanic group. The importance of social learning is assessed through finding out the effect of differences in an individual’s description of substance use as compared to the description that peers have. This study is based on the view that most adolescents who have friends who are in substance abuse also become substance abusers. Perceptions about drug abuse also seem to be similar with those held by the peers. Social interactions of the youths therefore seem to play a big role in learned behavior and perceptions. Miller et al (2008) have reviewed considerable literature on social learning theory more so the aspect of differential association in acquisition of socially unacceptable behavior. A cross-cultural application of social learning theory forms the center of this study where a group (288 youths) of Puerto Rican adolescents is chosen as the study sample. This study specifically focuses on how peer and personal perception of substance use influence alcohol, cigarette and marijuana use. The survey-type of study was carried among school going youths aged 14-19 years in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The subjects were selected from public and private schools with the sample size from public schools being considerably higher compared to that from private schools (69% versus 31%). The survey was conducted using questionnaires where several variables were assessed. Questionnaires administered in public schools were written in English whereas those issued in public schools were in Hispanic. The study excluded subjects who did not report being Hispanic since ethnicity was a very crucial variable. The adolescents were assessed of their behaviors as regards to alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking and marijuana use. Predictor variables were social learning (definitions on substance abuse) and sex. The control variables in this study were age and belonging to single-parent family. After statistical analyses (logistic regression analyses), it was found out that youths in private schools had a greater lifetime substance use and reported peer influence in the use of the three substances. In addition, males were likely to be involved in use of the three substances under study as opposed to females in both types of schools. In private schools, a significant difference in substance use was noted to exist between males and females. It is also notable that cigarette use among females in public schools was influenced by their views of smoking cigarettes as a favorable behavior. This was also the case with private school males. Personal definitions were also found to play a big role in alcohol consumption. Marijuana use was mainly due to the influence of peers’ definition as opposed to personal definition. Miller et al (2008) therefore concluded that if personal definitions of substance use are favorable, the likelihood of substance abuse is high. Peer definitions are also significantly important determinants of substance abuse as evidenced by marijuana use among Puerto Rican adolescents. Sex is also a determinant factor in influencing substance use. Article 2 The article ‘social learning, self control, and substance abuse by eight grade students: at tale of two cities’ by L. Thomas Winfree Jr. and Frances P. Bernat is a 1998 publication in the Journal of Drug Issue volume 28, issue number 2. In this study, Winfree and Bernat (1998) examine the effectiveness of the social cognitive theory and self control theory in predicting level of substance abuse among a group of eight graders in a large versus a small city. Among the substances the substances that the eight grade students are assessed of include alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana among others. This sample is selected from Phoenix, Arizona and Las Cruces, N. M. the cities are choice for this study due to differences in types of crimes thus the authors of this study challenge that the two theories cannot be used to predict substance abuse among the two groups of youths. Winfree and Bernat (2008) argue that the social learning theory is viewed as being able to predict how people develop delinquent behaviors, as well as the environment that is likely to predispose one to delinquent behaviors. As such, it is viewed that substance abuse by youths can be predicted by the social learning theory as long as the social environment of the youth is well understood. On the other hand, Winfree and Bernat (1998) argue that the self control theory indicates that the level of self control determines human behavior especially in consideration of factors such as self interest and tendency to seek pleasure and not pain. In their study, Winfree and Bernet (1998) carried out a wide cross-sectional study in 11 localities including Phoenix and Las Cruces. The subjects who participated in this study gave an informed consent through either parents or guardians. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and the surveyors helped the students in understanding the questions thus improving accuracy of data collected. Dependent variables in this study were use of different substances within the past one year. Social learning independent variables included neutralization, guilt, positive reinforcement and negative pushers. Self control independent variables included parental monitoring, impulsivity and risk-taking. After performing regression analyses, it was evident that there was a low level of substance abuse among Phoenix students who said that they would feel very guilty if their engaged in substance abuse. Higher levels of substance abuse in Phoenix sample was identified among students who agreed greatly to neutralizing statements about negativity of crime. In terms of self control, there was higher substance use among students who reported higher risk taking tendencies. However, parental control and impulsivity did not provide enough data for evaluation. In Las Cruces, it was observed that youths who had seen gangsters and viewed gangsters as having better lifestyles were likely to abuse substances. The same happened with neutralization of negativity of crime. Guilt was not a big determinant of substance abuse in Las Cruces. Conclusively, Winfree and Bernet argue that social learning theory and self control theory can be used to evaluate delinquency in adolescents. From the above two articles, social learning theory emerges as an important tool for predicting substance abuse. Counselors stand to benefit from the understanding of the application of social learning theory in this context since they can be able to associate a certain substance abuse problem to the social influences of the client. By identifying the source of the substance abuse problem using the social learning theory, the counselor is able to provide a way out of the delinquency or substance use. This would include subjecting favorable social environment and statements such that the substance abuse behavior is taken as a negative rather than a positive thing. It would also be helpful for the counselor to suggest a geographical relocation (e. g. school transfer) as an important way of creating the best environment (drug/crime-free environment) for adolescents. References Miller, H. V. , Jennings, W. G. , Alverez-Rivera, L. L. and Miller, J. M. (2008). â€Å"Explaining substance use among Puerto Rican adolescents: a partial test of social learning theory. † Journal of Drug Issues 38(1): 261+. Web. 15, July 2010. Questia. com. Winfree, L. T. and Bernat, F. T. (1998). â€Å"Social learning, self control, and substance abuse by eight grade students: at tale of two cities. † Journal of Drug Issue, 28(2): 539+. Web. 15, July 2010. Questia. com.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Diabetes Essay -- Health Disease Disorder Diabetes Essays Papers

Diabetes Diabetes is a lifelong disease that can affect both children and adults. This disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It claims about 178,000 lives each year. Type one diabetes, also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, usually occurs in people less than thirty years of age, but it also may appear at any age. Diabetes is a very serious disease with many life threatening consequences, but if it is taken care of properly, diabetics can live a normal life. Diabetes is a disease that causes an abnormally high level of sugar, or glucose, to build up in the blood. Glucose comes from food we consume and also from our liver and muscles. Blood delivers glucose to all the cells in the body. In people without diabetes, the pancreas makes a chemical called insulin which is released into the blood stream. Insulin helps the glucose from the food get into cells. When the pancreas doesn’t make insulin, it can’t get into the cells and the insulin stays in the blood stream. The blood glucose level gets very high, causing the person to have type one diabetes. There are many symptoms of type one diabetes. They include drinking irritability, excessive urination, extreme weight loss, feeling very hungry or tired, sores that don’t heal and blurry eyesight. The cause of type one diabetes is unknown, although genetic tendency and childhood infections are two possibilities. The pancreas undergoes a change and cells that normally produce insulin are destroyed. This may be a result of the body’s own immune system believing the pancreas is a foreign organ. Also, type one diabetes often appears at times of physical stress and during illness when the body produces extra ... ... is a technique that monitors the glucose level without the use of needles. Another type of therapy is the artificial pancreas. It combines glucose sensing and insulin delivery through a closed loop system. Mimicking the human pancreas, this therapy would register the blood glucose levels and in response deliver the right amount of insulin. Diabetes is a very serious disease that takes many lives each year. It is a lifelong disease that can be fatal to both adults and children if it is uncontrolled. Diabetes does not have to be fatal if certain precautions are taken. If diabetics maintain a healthy diet and watch their carbohydrate intake they can keep their diabetes under control. Monitoring blood sugar is also necessary to live a healthy life. If diabetics know the right way of maintaining their diabetes, they can live a very normal and active life. Diabetes Essay -- Health Disease Disorder Diabetes Essays Papers Diabetes Diabetes is a lifelong disease that can affect both children and adults. This disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It claims about 178,000 lives each year. Type one diabetes, also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, usually occurs in people less than thirty years of age, but it also may appear at any age. Diabetes is a very serious disease with many life threatening consequences, but if it is taken care of properly, diabetics can live a normal life. Diabetes is a disease that causes an abnormally high level of sugar, or glucose, to build up in the blood. Glucose comes from food we consume and also from our liver and muscles. Blood delivers glucose to all the cells in the body. In people without diabetes, the pancreas makes a chemical called insulin which is released into the blood stream. Insulin helps the glucose from the food get into cells. When the pancreas doesn’t make insulin, it can’t get into the cells and the insulin stays in the blood stream. The blood glucose level gets very high, causing the person to have type one diabetes. There are many symptoms of type one diabetes. They include drinking irritability, excessive urination, extreme weight loss, feeling very hungry or tired, sores that don’t heal and blurry eyesight. The cause of type one diabetes is unknown, although genetic tendency and childhood infections are two possibilities. The pancreas undergoes a change and cells that normally produce insulin are destroyed. This may be a result of the body’s own immune system believing the pancreas is a foreign organ. Also, type one diabetes often appears at times of physical stress and during illness when the body produces extra ... ... is a technique that monitors the glucose level without the use of needles. Another type of therapy is the artificial pancreas. It combines glucose sensing and insulin delivery through a closed loop system. Mimicking the human pancreas, this therapy would register the blood glucose levels and in response deliver the right amount of insulin. Diabetes is a very serious disease that takes many lives each year. It is a lifelong disease that can be fatal to both adults and children if it is uncontrolled. Diabetes does not have to be fatal if certain precautions are taken. If diabetics maintain a healthy diet and watch their carbohydrate intake they can keep their diabetes under control. Monitoring blood sugar is also necessary to live a healthy life. If diabetics know the right way of maintaining their diabetes, they can live a very normal and active life.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Angels Demons Chapter 39-41

39 The Apostolic Palace is a conglomeration of buildings located near the Sistine Chapel in the northeast corner of Vatican City. With a commanding view of St. Peter's Square, the palace houses both the Papal Apartments and the Office of the Pope. Vittoria and Langdon followed in silence as Commander Olivetti led them down a long rococo corridor, the muscles in his neck pulsing with rage. After climbing three sets of stairs, they entered a wide, dimly lit hallway. Langdon could not believe the artwork on the walls – mint-condition busts, tapestries, friezes – works worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Two-thirds of the way down the hall they passed an alabaster fountain. Olivetti turned left into an alcove and strode to one of the largest doors Langdon had ever seen. â€Å"Ufficio di Papa,† the commander declared, giving Vittoria an acrimonious scowl. Vittoria didn't flinch. She reached over Olivetti and knocked loudly on the door. Office of the Pope, Langdon thought, having difficulty fathoming that he was standing outside one of the most sacred rooms in all of world religion. â€Å"Avanti!† someone called from within. When the door opened, Langdon had to shield his eyes. The sunlight was blinding. Slowly, the image before him came into focus. The Office of the Pope seemed more of a ballroom than an office. Red marble floors sprawled out in all directions to walls adorned with vivid frescoes. A colossal chandelier hung overhead, beyond which a bank of arched windows offered a stunning panorama of the sun-drenched St. Peter's Square. My God, Langdon thought. This is a room with a view. At the far end of the hall, at a carved desk, a man sat writing furiously. â€Å"Avanti,† he called out again, setting down his pen and waving them over. Olivetti led the way, his gait military. â€Å"Signore,† he said apologetically. â€Å"No ho potuto – â€Å" The man cut him off. He stood and studied his two visitors. The camerlegno was nothing like the images of frail, beatific old men Langdon usually imagined roaming the Vatican. He wore no rosary beads or pendants. No heavy robes. He was dressed instead in a simple black cassock that seemed to amplify the solidity of his substantial frame. He looked to be in his late-thirties, indeed a child by Vatican standards. He had a surprisingly handsome face, a swirl of coarse brown hair, and almost radiant green eyes that shone as if they were somehow fueled by the mysteries of the universe. As the man drew nearer, though, Langdon saw in his eyes a profound exhaustion – like a soul who had been through the toughest fifteen days of his life. â€Å"I am Carlo Ventresca,† he said, his English perfect. â€Å"The late Pope's camerlegno.† His voice was unpretentious and kind, with only the slightest hint of Italian inflection. â€Å"Vittoria Vetra,† she said, stepping forward and offering her hand. â€Å"Thank you for seeing us.† Olivetti twitched as the camerlegno shook Vittoria's hand. â€Å"This is Robert Langdon,† Vittoria said. â€Å"A religious historian from Harvard University.† â€Å"Padre,† Langdon said, in his best Italian accent. He bowed his head as he extended his hand. â€Å"No, no,† the camerlegno insisted, lifting Langdon back up. â€Å"His Holiness's office does not make me holy. I am merely a priest – a chamberlain serving in a time of need.† Langdon stood upright. â€Å"Please,† the camerlegno said, â€Å"everyone sit.† He arranged some chairs around his desk. Langdon and Vittoria sat. Olivetti apparently preferred to stand. The camerlegno seated himself at the desk, folded his hands, sighed, and eyed his visitors. â€Å"Signore,† Olivetti said. â€Å"The woman's attire is my fault. I – â€Å" â€Å"Her attire is not what concerns me,† the camerlegno replied, sounding too exhausted to be bothered. â€Å"When the Vatican operator calls me a half hour before I begin conclave to tell me a woman is calling from your private office to warn me of some sort of major security threat of which I have not been informed, that concerns me.† Olivetti stood rigid, his back arched like a soldier under intense inspection. Langdon felt hypnotized by the camerlegno's presence. Young and wearied as he was, the priest had the air of some mythical hero – radiating charisma and authority. â€Å"Signore,† Olivetti said, his tone apologetic but still unyielding. â€Å"You should not concern yourself with matters of security. You have other responsibilities.† â€Å"I am well aware of my other responsibilities. I am also aware that as direttore intermediario, I have a responsibility for the safety and well-being of everyone at this conclave. What is going on here?† â€Å"I have the situation under control.† â€Å"Apparently not.† â€Å"Father,† Langdon interrupted, taking out the crumpled fax and handing it to the camerlegno, â€Å"please.† Commander Olivetti stepped forward, trying to intervene. â€Å"Father, please do not trouble your thoughts with – â€Å" The camerlegno took the fax, ignoring Olivetti for a long moment. He looked at the image of the murdered Leonardo Vetra and drew a startled breath. â€Å"What is this?† â€Å"That is my father,† Vittoria said, her voice wavering. â€Å"He was a priest and a man of science. He was murdered last night.† The camerlegno's face softened instantly. He looked up at her. â€Å"My dear child. I'm so sorry.† He crossed himself and looked again at the fax, his eyes seeming to pool with waves of abhorrence. â€Å"Who would†¦ and this burn on his†¦Ã¢â‚¬  The camerlegno paused, squinting closer at the image. â€Å"It says Illuminati,† Langdon said. â€Å"No doubt you are familiar with the name.† An odd look came across the camerlegno's face. â€Å"I have heard the name, yes, but†¦Ã¢â‚¬  â€Å"The Illuminati murdered Leonardo Vetra so they could steal a new technology he was – â€Å" â€Å"Signore,† Olivetti interjected. â€Å"This is absurd. The Illuminati? This is clearly some sort of elaborate hoax.† The camerlegno seemed to ponder Olivetti's words. Then he turned and contemplated Langdon so fully that Langdon felt the air leave his lungs. â€Å"Mr. Langdon, I have spent my life in the Catholic Church. I am familiar with the Illuminati lore†¦ and the legend of the brandings. And yet I must warn you, I am a man of the present tense. Christianity has enough real enemies without resurrecting ghosts.† â€Å"The symbol is authentic,† Langdon said, a little too defensively he thought. He reached over and rotated the fax for the camerlegno. The camerlegno fell silent when he saw the symmetry. â€Å"Even modern computers,† Langdon added, â€Å"have been unable to forge a symmetrical ambigram of this word.† The camerlegno folded his hands and said nothing for a long time. â€Å"The Illuminati are dead,† he finally said. â€Å"Long ago. That is historical fact.† Langdon nodded. â€Å"Yesterday, I would have agreed with you.† â€Å"Yesterday?† â€Å"Before today's chain of events. I believe the Illuminati have resurfaced to make good on an ancient pact.† â€Å"Forgive me. My history is rusty. What ancient pact is this?† Langdon took a deep breath. â€Å"The destruction of Vatican City.† â€Å"Destroy Vatican City?† The camerlegno looked less frightened than confused. â€Å"But that would be impossible.† Vittoria shook her head. â€Å"I'm afraid we have some more bad news.† 40 â€Å"Is this true?† the camerlegno demanded, looking amazed as he turned from Vittoria to Olivetti. â€Å"Signore,† Olivetti assured, â€Å"I'll admit there is some sort of device here. It is visible on one of our security monitors, but as for Ms. Vetra's claims as to the power of this substance, I cannot possibly – â€Å" â€Å"Wait a minute,† the camerlegno said. â€Å"You can see this thing?† â€Å"Yes, signore. On wireless camera #86.† â€Å"Then why haven't you recovered it?† The camerlegno's voice echoed anger now. â€Å"Very difficult, signore.† Olivetti stood straight as he explained the situation. The camerlegno listened, and Vittoria sensed his growing concern. â€Å"Are you certain it is inside Vatican City?† the camerlegno asked. â€Å"Maybe someone took the camera out and is transmitting from somewhere else.† â€Å"Impossible,† Olivetti said. â€Å"Our external walls are shielded electronically to protect our internal communications. This signal can only be coming from the inside or we would not be receiving it.† â€Å"And I assume,† he said, â€Å"that you are now looking for this missing camera with all available resources?† Olivetti shook his head. â€Å"No, signore. Locating that camera could take hundreds of man hours. We have a number of other security concerns at the moment, and with all due respect to Ms. Vetra, this droplet she talks about is very small. It could not possibly be as explosive as she claims.† Vittoria's patience evaporated. â€Å"That droplet is enough to level Vatican City! Did you even listen to a word I told you?† â€Å"Ma'am,† Olivetti said, his voice like steel, â€Å"my experience with explosives is extensive.† â€Å"Your experience is obsolete,† she fired back, equally tough. â€Å"Despite my attire, which I realize you find troublesome, I am a senior level physicist at the world's most advanced subatomic research facility. I personally designed the antimatter trap that is keeping that sample from annihilating right now. And I am warning you that unless you find that canister in the next six hours, your guards will have nothing to protect for the next century but a big hole in the ground.† Olivetti wheeled to the camerlegno, his insect eyes flashing rage. â€Å"Signore, I cannot in good conscience allow this to go any further. Your time is being wasted by pranksters. The Illuminati? A droplet that will destroy us all?† â€Å"Basta,† the camerlegno declared. He spoke the word quietly and yet it seemed to echo across the chamber. Then there was silence. He continued in a whisper. â€Å"Dangerous or not, Illuminati or no Illuminati, whatever this thing is, it most certainly should not be inside Vatican City†¦ no less on the eve of the conclave. I want it found and removed. Organize a search immediately.† Olivetti persisted. â€Å"Signore, even if we used all the guards to search the complex, it could take days to find this camera. Also, after speaking to Ms. Vetra, I had one of my guards consult our most advanced ballistics guide for any mention of this substance called antimatter. I found no mention of it anywhere. Nothing.† Pompous ass, Vittoria thought. A ballistics guide? Did you try an encyclopedia? Under A! Olivetti was still talking. â€Å"Signore, if you are suggesting we make a naked-eye search of the entirety of Vatican City then I must object.† â€Å"Commander.† The camerlegno's voice simmered with rage. â€Å"May I remind you that when you address me, you are addressing this office. I realize you do not take my position seriously – nonetheless, by law, I am in charge. If I am not mistaken, the cardinals are now safely within the Sistine Chapel, and your security concerns are at a minimum until the conclave breaks. I do not understand why you are hesitant to look for this device. If I did not know better it would appear that you are causing this conclave intentional danger.† Olivetti looked scornful. â€Å"How dare you! I have served your Pope for twelve years! And the Pope before that for fourteen years! Since 1438 the Swiss Guard have – â€Å" The walkie-talkie on Olivetti's belt squawked loudly, cutting him off. â€Å"Comandante?† Olivetti snatched it up and pressed the transmitter. â€Å"Sto ocupato! Cosa voi!† â€Å"Scusi,† the Swiss Guard on the radio said. â€Å"Communications here. I thought you would want to be informed that we have received a bomb threat.† Olivetti could not have looked less interested. â€Å"So handle it! Run the usual trace, and write it up.† â€Å"We did, sir, but the caller†¦Ã¢â‚¬  The guard paused. â€Å"I would not trouble you, commander, except that he mentioned the substance you just asked me to research. Antimatter.† Everyone in the room exchanged stunned looks. â€Å"He mentioned what?† Olivetti stammered. â€Å"Antimatter, sir. While we were trying to run a trace, I did some additional research on his claim. The information on antimatter is†¦ well, frankly, it's quite troubling.† â€Å"I thought you said the ballistics guide showed no mention of it.† â€Å"I found it on-line.† Alleluia, Vittoria thought. â€Å"The substance appears to be quite explosive,† the guard said. â€Å"It's hard to imagine this information is accurate but it says here that pound for pound antimatter carries about a hundred times more payload than a nuclear warhead.† Olivetti slumped. It was like watching a mountain crumble. Vittoria's feeling of triumph was erased by the look of horror on the camerlegno's face. â€Å"Did you trace the call?† Olivetti stammered. â€Å"No luck. Cellular with heavy encryption. The SAT lines are interfused, so triangulation is out. The IF signature suggests he's somewhere in Rome, but there's really no way to trace him.† â€Å"Did he make demands?† Olivetti said, his voice quiet. â€Å"No, sir. Just warned us that there is antimatter hidden inside the complex. He seemed surprised I didn't know. Asked me if I'd seen it yet. You'd asked me about antimatter, so I decided to advise you.† â€Å"You did the right thing,† Olivetti said. â€Å"I'll be down in a minute. Alert me immediately if he calls back.† There was a moment of silence on the walkie-talkie. â€Å"The caller is still on the line, sir.† Olivetti looked like he'd just been electrocuted. â€Å"The line is open?† â€Å"Yes, sir. We've been trying to trace him for ten minutes, getting nothing but splayed ferreting. He must know we can't touch him because he refuses to hang up until he speaks to the camerlegno.† â€Å"Patch him through,† the camerlegno commanded. â€Å"Now!† Olivetti wheeled. â€Å"Father, no. A trained Swiss Guard negotiator is much better suited to handle this.† â€Å"Now!† Olivetti gave the order. A moment later, the phone on Camerlegno Ventresca's desk began to ring. The camerlegno rammed his finger down on the speaker-phone button. â€Å"Who in the name of God do you think you are?† 41 The voice emanating from the camerlegno's speaker phone was metallic and cold, laced with arrogance. Everyone in the room listened. Langdon tried to place the accent. Middle Eastern, perhaps? â€Å"I am a messenger of an ancient brotherhood,† the voice announced in an alien cadence. â€Å"A brotherhood you have wronged for centuries. I am a messenger of the Illuminati.† Langdon felt his muscles tighten, the last shreds of doubt withering away. For an instant he felt the familiar collision of thrill, privilege, and dead fear that he had experienced when he first saw the ambigram this morning. â€Å"What do you want?† the camerlegno demanded. â€Å"I represent men of science. Men who like yourselves are searching for the answers. Answers to man's destiny, his purpose, his creator.† â€Å"Whoever you are,† the camerlegno said, â€Å"I – â€Å" â€Å"Silenzio. You will do better to listen. For two millennia your church has dominated the quest for truth. You have crushed your opposition with lies and prophesies of doom. You have manipulated the truth to serve your needs, murdering those whose discoveries did not serve your politics. Are you surprised you are the target of enlightened men from around the globe?† â€Å"Enlightened men do not resort to blackmail to further their causes.† â€Å"Blackmail?† The caller laughed. â€Å"This is not blackmail. We have no demands. The abolition of the Vatican is nonnegotiable. We have waited four hundred years for this day. At midnight, your city will be destroyed. There is nothing you can do.† Olivetti stormed toward the speaker phone. â€Å"Access to this city is impossible! You could not possibly have planted explosives in here!† â€Å"You speak with the ignorant devotion of a Swiss Guard. Perhaps even an officer? Surely you are aware that for centuries the Illuminati have infiltrated elitist organizations across the globe. Do you really believe the Vatican is immune?† Jesus, Langdon thought, they've got someone on the inside. It was no secret that infiltration was the Illuminati trademark of power. They had infiltrated the Masons, major banking networks, government bodies. In fact, Churchill had once told reporters that if English spies had infiltrated the Nazis to the degree the Illuminati had infiltrated English Parliament, the war would have been over in one month. â€Å"A transparent bluff,† Olivetti snapped. â€Å"Your influence cannot possibly extend so far.† â€Å"Why? Because your Swiss Guards are vigilant? Because they watch every corner of your private world? How about the Swiss Guards themselves? Are they not men? Do you truly believe they stake their lives on a fable about a man who walks on water? Ask yourself how else the canister could have entered your city. Or how four of your most precious assets could have disappeared this afternoon.† â€Å"Our assets?† Olivetti scowled. â€Å"What do you mean?† â€Å"One, two, three, four. You haven't missed them by now?† â€Å"What the hell are you talk – † Olivetti stopped short, his eyes rocketing wide as though he'd just been punched in the gut. â€Å"Light dawns,† the caller said. â€Å"Shall I read their names?† â€Å"What's going on?† the camerlegno said, looking bewildered. The caller laughed. â€Å"Your officer has not yet informed you? How sinful. No surprise. Such pride. I imagine the disgrace of telling you the truth†¦ that four cardinals he had sworn to protect seem to have disappeared†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Olivetti erupted. â€Å"Where did you get this information!† â€Å"Camerlegno,† the caller gloated, â€Å"ask your commander if all your cardinals are present in the Sistine Chapel.† The camerlegno turned to Olivetti, his green eyes demanding an explanation. â€Å"Signore,† Olivetti whispered in the camerlegno's ear, â€Å"it is true that four of our cardinals have not yet reported to the Sistine Chapel, but there is no need for alarm. Every one of them checked into the residence hall this morning, so we know they are safely inside Vatican City. You yourself had tea with them only hours ago. They are simply late for the fellowship preceding conclave. We are searching, but I'm sure they just lost track of time and are still out enjoying the grounds.† â€Å"Enjoying the grounds?† The calm departed from the camerlegno's voice. â€Å"They were due in the chapel over an hour ago!† Langdon shot Vittoria a look of amazement. Missing cardinals? So that's what they were looking for downstairs? â€Å"Our inventory,† the caller said, â€Å"you will find quite convincing. There is Cardinal Lamasse from Paris, Cardinal Guidera from Barcelona, Cardinal Ebner from Frankfurt†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Olivetti seemed to shrink smaller and smaller after each name was read. The caller paused, as though taking special pleasure in the final name. â€Å"And from Italy†¦ Cardinal Baggia.† The camerlegno loosened like a tall ship that had just run sheets first into a dead calm. His frock billowed, and he collapsed in his chair. â€Å"I preferiti,† he whispered. â€Å"The four favorites†¦ including Baggia†¦ the most likely successor as Supreme Pontiff†¦ how is it possible?† Langdon had read enough about modern papal elections to understand the look of desperation on the camerlegno's face. Although technically any cardinal under eighty years old could become Pope, only a very few had the respect necessary to command a two-thirds majority in the ferociously partisan balloting procedure. They were known as the preferiti. And they were all gone. Sweat dripped from the camerlegno's brow. â€Å"What do you intend with these men?† â€Å"What do you think I intend? I am a descendant of the Hassassin.† Langdon felt a shiver. He knew the name well. The church had made some deadly enemies through the years – the Hassassin, the Knights Templar, armies that had been either hunted by the Vatican or betrayed by them. â€Å"Let the cardinals go,† the camerlegno said. â€Å"Isn't threatening to destroy the City of God enough?† â€Å"Forget your four cardinals. They are lost to you. Be assured their deaths will be remembered though†¦ by millions. Every martyr's dream. I will make them media luminaries. One by one. By midnight the Illuminati will have everyone's attention. Why change the world if the world is not watching? Public killings have an intoxicating horror about them, don't they? You proved that long ago†¦ the inquisition, the torture of the Knights Templar, the Crusades.† He paused. â€Å"And of course, la purga.† The camerlegno was silent. â€Å"Do you not recall la purga?† the caller asked. â€Å"Of course not, you are a child. Priests are poor historians, anyway. Perhaps because their history shames them?† â€Å"La purga,† Langdon heard himself say. â€Å"Sixteen sixty-eight. The church branded four Illuminati scientists with the symbol of the cross. To purge their sins.† â€Å"Who is speaking?† the voice demanded, sounding more intrigued than concerned. â€Å"Who else is there?† Langdon felt shaky. â€Å"My name is not important,† he said, trying to keep his voice from wavering. Speaking to a living Illuminatus was disorienting for him†¦ like speaking to George Washington. â€Å"I am an academic who has studied the history of your brotherhood.† â€Å"Superb,† the voice replied. â€Å"I am pleased there are still those alive who remember the crimes against us.† â€Å"Most of us think you are dead.† â€Å"A misconception the brotherhood has worked hard to promote. What else do you know of la purga?† Langdon hesitated. What else do I know? That this whole situation is insanity, that's what I know! â€Å"After the brandings, the scientists were murdered, and their bodies were dropped in public locations around Rome as a warning to other scientists not to join the Illuminati.† â€Å"Yes. So we shall do the same. Quid pro quo. Consider it symbolic retribution for our slain brothers. Your four cardinals will die, one every hour starting at eight. By midnight the whole world will be enthralled.† Langdon moved toward the phone. â€Å"You actually intend to brand and kill these four men?† â€Å"History repeats itself, does it not? Of course, we will be more elegant and bold than the church was. They killed privately, dropping bodies when no one was looking. It seems so cowardly.† â€Å"What are you saying?† Langdon asked. â€Å"That you are going to brand and kill these men in public?† â€Å"Very good. Although it depends what you consider public. I realize not many people go to church anymore.† Langdon did a double take. â€Å"You're going to kill them in churches?† â€Å"A gesture of kindness. Enabling God to command their souls to heaven more expeditiously. It seems only right. Of course the press will enjoy it too, I imagine.† â€Å"You're bluffing,† Olivetti said, the cool back in his voice. â€Å"You cannot kill a man in a church and expect to get away with it.† â€Å"Bluffing? We move among your Swiss Guard like ghosts, remove four of your cardinals from within your walls, plant a deadly explosive at the heart of your most sacred shrine, and you think this is a bluff? As the killings occur and the victims are found, the media will swarm. By midnight the world will know the Illuminati cause.† â€Å"And if we stake guards in every church?† Olivetti said. The caller laughed. â€Å"I fear the prolific nature of your religion will make that a trying task. Have you not counted lately? There are over four hundred Catholic churches in Rome. Cathedrals, chapels, tabernacles, abbeys, monasteries, convents, parochial schools†¦Ã¢â‚¬  Olivetti's face remained hard. â€Å"In ninety minutes it begins,† the caller said with a note of finality. â€Å"One an hour. A mathematical progression of death. Now I must go.† â€Å"Wait!† Langdon demanded. â€Å"Tell me about the brands you intend to use on these men.† The killer sounded amused. â€Å"I suspect you know what the brands will be already. Or perhaps you are a skeptic? You will see them soon enough. Proof the ancient legends are true.† Langdon felt light-headed. He knew exactly what the man was claiming. Langdon pictured the brand on Leonardo Vetra's chest. Illuminati folklore spoke of five brands in all. Four brands are left, Langdon thought, and four missing cardinals. â€Å"I am sworn,† the camerlegno said, â€Å"to bring a new Pope tonight. Sworn by God.† â€Å"Camerlegno,† the caller said, â€Å"the world does not need a new Pope. After midnight he will have nothing to rule over but a pile of rubble. The Catholic Church is finished. Your run on earth is done.† Silence hung. The camerlegno looked sincerely sad. â€Å"You are misguided. A church is more than mortar and stone. You cannot simply erase two thousand years of faith†¦ any faith. You cannot crush faith simply by removing its earthly manifestations. The Catholic Church will continue with or without Vatican City.† â€Å"A noble lie. But a lie all the same. We both know the truth. Tell me, why is Vatican City a walled citadel?† â€Å"Men of God live in a dangerous world,† the camerlegno said. â€Å"How young are you? The Vatican is a fortress because the Catholic Church holds half of its equity inside its walls – rare paintings, sculpture, devalued jewels, priceless books†¦ then there is the gold bullion and the real estate deeds inside the Vatican Bank vaults. Inside estimates put the raw value of Vatican City at 48.5 billion dollars. Quite a nest egg you're sitting on. Tomorrow it will be ash. Liquidated assets as it were. You will be bankrupt. Not even men of cloth can work for nothing.† The accuracy of the statement seemed to be reflected in Olivetti's and the camerlegno's shell-shocked looks. Langdon wasn't sure what was more amazing, that the Catholic Church had that kind of money, or that the Illuminati somehow knew about it. The camerlegno sighed heavily. â€Å"Faith, not money, is the backbone of this church.† â€Å"More lies,† the caller said. â€Å"Last year you spent 183 million dollars trying to support your struggling dioceses worldwide. Church attendance is at an all-time low – down forty-six percent in the last decade. Donations are half what they were only seven years ago. Fewer and fewer men are entering the seminary. Although you will not admit it, your church is dying. Consider this a chance to go out with a bang.† Olivetti stepped forward. He seemed less combative now, as if he now sensed the reality facing him. He looked like a man searching for an out. Any out. â€Å"And what if some of that bullion went to fund your cause?† â€Å"Do not insult us both.† â€Å"We have money.† â€Å"As do we. More than you can fathom.† Langdon flashed on the alleged Illuminati fortunes, the ancient wealth of the Bavarian stone masons, the Rothschilds, the Bilderbergers, the legendary Illuminati Diamond. â€Å"I preferiti,† the camerlegno said, changing the subject. His voice was pleading. â€Å"Spare them. They are old. They – â€Å" â€Å"They are virgin sacrifices.† The caller laughed. â€Å"Tell me, do you think they are really virgins? Will the little lambs squeal when they die? Sacrifici vergini nell' altare di scienza.† The camerlegno was silent for a long time. â€Å"They are men of faith,† he finally said. â€Å"They do not fear death.† The caller sneered. â€Å"Leonardo Vetra was a man of faith, and yet I saw fear in his eyes last night. A fear I removed.† Vittoria, who had been silent, was suddenly airborne, her body taut with hatred. â€Å"Asino! He was my father!† A cackle echoed from the speaker. â€Å"Your father? What is this? Vetra has a daughter? You should know your father whimpered like a child at the end. Pitiful really. A pathetic man.† Vittoria reeled as if knocked backward by the words. Langdon reached for her, but she regained her balance and fixed her dark eyes on the phone. â€Å"I swear on my life, before this night is over, I will find you.† Her voice sharpened like a laser. â€Å"And when I do†¦Ã¢â‚¬  The caller laughed coarsely. â€Å"A woman of spirit. I am aroused. Perhaps before this night is over, I will find you. And when I do†¦Ã¢â‚¬  The words hung like a blade. Then he was gone.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Sociological Concepts Of Family, Gender, And Identity Essay

This essay discusses the way in which I understand the sociological concepts of family, gender and race - nuclear family, doing gender, and identity, in particular. Arguably, these three concepts can relate to each individuals life, through different personal experiences. To demonstrate my argument, I highlight relevant situations in my own life that further explain my chosen sociological concepts. The first concept I chose to focus on is family. In particular, the idea of the ‘nuclear family’. A nuclear family is defined as: ‘A couple and their dependent children, regarded as a basic social unit.’ My research of this concept will focus on the theories of two sociologists - George Peter Murdock, and Talcott Parsons. George Murdock’s theory suggests that there are four essential functions of an ideal family. 1. Stable satisfaction of the sex drive, 2. The biological reproduction of the next generation, 3. Socialisation of the young, 4. Meeting its members economic needs (Thompson, 2014). According to Murdock, these four components are what keep the structure of the basic family unit intact, and by achieving these four functions create an ideal family model. An opposing theory is Talcott Parson’s functional fit theory. Parson suggests that as society evolves, alternative forms of family life become more accepted. Society has progressed so much that single parents providing for their children is as normal as a nuclear family, and there tends to be le ss need for extendedShow MoreRelatedSociological Accounts on Individuals Acquiring Their Identities591 Words   |  3 PagesSociological Accounts on Individuals Acquiring Their Identities The concept of identity has been defined as A sense of self that develops as the child differentiates from parents and family and takes a place in society (Jary and Jary, 1991.) 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