Archive for January, 2016

January 7, 2016

Tikkun Olam


Mitzvah by Billy Dreskin

Tikkun [tee-koonolam [oh-lahm] (Hebrew: ‘repair of the world,’ alternatively, ‘construction for eternity’) as a concept in Judaism, is a subject of much debate, being interpreted by strict constructionists of Orthodox Judaism as the prospect of the Creator wiping out all forms of idolatry, and being interpreted by modern movements in Judaism as a commandment for created beings to behave and act constructively and beneficially.

Documented use of the term dates back the Mishnaic period (1-4 CE). Subsequently, in medieval times, kabbalistic literature (Jewish mysticism) began broadening use of the term. Modern movements of Judaism have expanded the terms to include ‘the thesis that Jews bear responsibility not only for their own moral, spiritual, and material welfare, but also for the welfare of society at large.’ To the ears of contemporary pluralistic Rabbis, the term connotes ‘the establishment of Godly qualities throughout the world.’

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January 6, 2016



charles fort

Anomalistics [uh-nom-uh-list-iks] is the use of scientific methods to evaluate anomalies (phenomena that fall outside of current understanding), with the aim of finding a rational explanation. The term itself was coined in 1973 by Drew University anthropologist Roger W. Wescott, who defined it as being the ‘serious and systematic study of all phenomena that fail to fit the picture of reality provided for us by common sense or by the established sciences.’

Wescott credited journalist and researcher Charles Fort as being the creator of anomalistics as a field of research, and he named biologist Ivan T. Sanderson and ‘Sourcebook Project’ compiler William R. Corliss as being instrumental in expanding anomalistics to introduce a more conventional perspective into the field. Anomalistics covers several sub-disciplines, including ufology (the study of unidentified flying objects), cryptozoology (the study of hidden animals), and parapsychology (the study of psychic events).

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January 5, 2016


speak truth to power

In rhetoric, parrhesia [puh-reez-ee-uh] refers to speaking candidly or asking forgiveness for so speaking. Its nominal form, is translated from Latin to ‘free speech.’ The term first appears in Greek literature in the tragic plays of ‘Euripides.’ The term is borrowed from the Greek word meaning ‘to speak everything’ and by extension ‘to speak freely,’ ‘to speak boldly,’ or ‘boldness.’ It implies not only freedom of speech, but the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at personal risk.

In Ancient Greece, rhetoric and parrhesia were understood to be in opposition of each other through the dialogues written by Plato. There are two major philosophies during this time one being Sophistry and one being Dialectic. Sophistry is most commonly associated with the uses of rhetoric or means of persuasion to teach or persuade an audience. In its opposition is the practice of dialectic, supported by Plato and his mentor Socrates, which practices using dialogue to break apart complex issues in search of absolute truth or knowledge.

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January 4, 2016

Setting Boundaries

families and how to survive them

Setting boundaries is a life skill that has been popularized by self help authors and support groups since the mid 1980s. It is the practice of openly communicating and asserting personal values as way to preserve and protect against having them compromised or violated. The term ‘boundary’ is a metaphor – with ‘in-bounds’ meaning acceptable and ‘out-of-bounds’ meaning unacceptable. Without values and boundaries our identities become diffused and often controlled by the definitions offered by others. The concept of boundaries has been widely adopted by the counseling profession.

Healthy relationships are ‘inter-dependent’ connections between two ‘independent’ people. Healthy individuals should establish values that they honor and defend regardless of the nature of a relationship (core or independent values). Healthy individuals should also have values that they negotiate and adapt in an effort to bond with and collaborate with others (inter-dependent values).

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January 1, 2016

Visual Brand Language


Visual brand language is the unique ‘alphabet’ of design elements – such as shape, color, materials, finish, typography and composition – which directly and subliminally communicate a company’s values and personality through compelling imagery and design style. This ‘alphabet,’ properly designed, results in an emotional connection between the brand and the consumer. Visual brand language is a key ingredient necessary to make an authentic and convincing brand strategy that can be applied uniquely and creatively in all forms of brand communications to both employees and customers.

For example, the BMW ‘split grill’ has come to represent the brand. While the grill size and design details evolve over time, the underlying idea is constant and memorable. The use of color is also a powerful associative element for consistent imagery, as exemplified by the comprehensive application of orange by The Home Depot across all its brand materials.

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