The gudastviri is a droneless, double chantered, horn belled bagpipe played in the Caucasus region between Europe and Asia. The word comes from the words guda (bag) and stviri (whistling). In some regions, the instrument is called the chiboni, stviri, or tulumi.

It is made up of two parts, the first being a whole sheep or goat skin, or a sewed, rectangular leather bag (“guda”). The second is a yoked double chant pipe (“stviri”), terminating in a single horn bell, which makes the gudastviri a member of the hornpipe class of bagpipes.

The gudastviri is used for vocal accompaniment. A majority of recitative songs were performed with its accompaniment, in the region of Racha. The gudastviri player’s repertoire consists of historical, epic, satirical, comic, and lyrical verses, which are performed as one part songs. These songs are recitatives and it is the text, not the melody, that is the most important part of the performance.

Traditionally, only men play this instrument, and Rachian gudastviri players were strolling musicians, who were welcomed as guests at every family party or wedding. It was a profession that served as the main source of the player’s income. Gudastviri players often took part in the Georgian improvisation competition known as berikaoba, where they had to invent a witty epic, lyrical or comical poem accompanied with gudastviri music.

In the region of eastern Javakheti, gudastviri pipes are made of very young branches of a dog rose. One should possess special knowledge to design it. Jewelers are hired to make ornaments on the instrument. The gudastviri itself is nomally designed by the player. The player’s tastes and preferences determine where and how the ornaments should be attached.



The artichoke is a perennial thistle originating in southern Europe around the Mediterranean. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 3-5 inches in diameter with numerous triangular scales. The mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the choke.

The true origin of artichokes is unknown, though they are said to have come from North Africa. The seeds of artichokes, probably cultivated, were found during the excavations in Egypt. Artichokes are known to have been cultivated at Naples around the middle of the 9th century.

The Dutch introduced artichokes to England, where they grew in Henry VIII’s garden at Newhall in 1530. They were brought to the United States in the 19th century, to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants. The name has originated from the Arabic al-kharshof, through a Northern Italian dialect word, articiocco.

In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and approximately 80 percent of that is grown in Monterey County. Castroville proclaims itself to be “The Artichoke Center of the World”, and holds an annual festival at which artichoke ice cream is served.

Home gardeners in northern regions can attempt to produce a crop without the need to overwinter plants with special treatment or protection. The peak season for artichoke harvesting is the spring, but they continue to be harvested throughout the summer, with another peak period in mid autumn.

In the US, artichokes are most frequently prepared for cooking by removing all but 5–10 mm or so of the stem, and cutting away about a quarter of each scale with scissors. This removes the thorns that can interfere with handling the leaves when eating. Then, the artichoke is boiled or steamed until tender. Leaves are often removed and eaten one at a time, sometimes dipped in butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice or other sauces.

In France artichokes are very popular deep fried. In Spain, the more tender younger and smaller artichokes are used. They can be sprinkled with olive oil and left in hot ashes in a barbecue, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, or sauteed and combined with eggs in a frittata. More often cited are the Greek artichokes of which the finest examples are to be found on the island of Tinos.

Artichoke stems, which are often thrown away, are perfectly edible and taste like the artichoke heart.


Jainism is one of the oldest religions originating in India. Jains believe that every soul is divine and has the potential to achieve God consciousness. Any soul which has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state of supreme being is called jina.

According to Jain beliefs, the universe was never created, nor will it ever cease to exist. It is eternal but not unchangeable, because it passes through an endless series of cycles. Each of these upward or downward cycles is divided into six world ages or yugas. The present world age is the fifth age of one of these cycles, which is in a downward movement. Each age is known as an aaro. There are no specific names assigned to each age. Instead they are referred to numerically. All these ages have fixed time durations of thousands of years.

In Jain thought, the shape of the inhabited universe has been described as that of the figure 8 or a man standing arms akimbo. The dimension from the top to bottom has been described as 14 rajjus. One rajju or is the distance covered by a deva flying for six months, or 216.5 light years. At the top and at the middle point the universe is 1 rajju wide but the width of the bulges varies from 5 to 8. Thus, the distance between the two ends of the middle world is approximately 5.2 billion light years.



Associationism in philosophy refers to the idea that mental processes operate by the association of one state with its successor states. The idea was first recorded by Plato and Aristotle, especially with regard to the succession of memories. During the late 1700’s, members of the British Associationist School asserted that the principle applied to all or most mental processes.

The school developed very specific principles specifying how associations worked and even a physiological mechanism bearing no resemblance to modern neurophysiology. By the end of the nineteenth century, physiological psychology was so altering the approach to this subject that much of the older associationist theory was rejected.

Nevertheless, the everyday observation of the association of one idea or memory with another gives a validity to the notion. In addition, the notion of association between ideas and behavior gave some early impetus to behaviorist thinking. The core ideas of associationist thinking recur in some recent ideas on cognition, especially consciousness.

It is held that association is of objects not of ideas. It is between things thought of, between processes in the brain. The most natural way of accounting for it is to conceive of it as a result of the laws of habit in the nervous system, in other words, to ascribe it to a physiological cause.

Association thus results because when a nerve current has once passed by a given way, it will pass more easily by that way in future, and this fact is a physical fact. The important deduction is that the only primary or ultimate law of association is that of neural habit.


Intuition is the apparent ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify. For this reason, it has been the subject of study in psychology, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural. It is the immediate apprehension of an object by the mind without the intervention of any reasoning process. Intuition is controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain.

Intuitive abilities were quantitatively tested at Yale University in the 1970’s. While studying nonverbal communication, researchers noted that some subjects were able to read nonverbal facial cues before reinforcement occurred. In employing a similar design, they noted that highly intuitive subjects made decisions quickly but could not identify their rationale. Their level of accuracy, however, did not differ from that of nonintuitive subjects.

Intuition is one of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s four psychological types or ego functions. In this early model of the psyche, intuition was opposed by sensation on one axis, while feeling was opposed by thinking on another axis. Jung argued that one of these four functions was the most prominent or developed in the consciousness. The opposing function would typically be underdeveloped in that individual.

It can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making. Gary Klein outlined the “recognition primed decision model” to explain how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Klein found that under time pressure, high stakes and changing parameters, experts used their base of experience to identify similar situations and intuitively choose feasible solutions. Thus, the model is a blend of intuition and analysis. The intuition is the pattern matching process that quickly suggests feasible courses of action. The analysis is the mental simulation, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of action.

The reliability of one’s intuition depends greatly on past knowledge and occurrences in a specific area. Someone who has more experiences with children will tend to have a better instinct or intuition about what they should do in certain situations. This is not to say that one with a great amount of experience is always going to have an accurate intuition, however, the chances of it being more reliable are definitely amplified.

Law enforcement officers often claim to observe suspects and immediately know that they possess a weapon or illicit narcotic substances. On such occasions, these officers are unable to articulate their accurate reactions that may represent building blocks to reasonable suspicion or probable cause indicators. Often unable to articulate why they reacted or what prompted them at the time of the event, they sometimes retrospectively can plot their actions based upon what had been clear and present danger signals.

According to intuitive Abella Arthur, “Intuition is a combination of empirical data, deep and heightened observation, and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding, a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science.”


Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, Christian mystic and theologian. Born in 1688, Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. At the age of fifty-six he entered into a spiritual phase in which he experienced dreams and visions. This culminated in a spiritual awakening, where he claimed he was appointed by the Lord to write a heavenly doctrine to reform Christianity.

Swedenborg explicitly rejected the common explanation of the Trinity as a Trinity of Persons, which he said was not taught in the early Christian Church. Instead he explained in his theological writings how the Divine Trinity exists in One Person. Swedenborg also rejected the doctrine of salvation through faith alone, since he considered both faith and charity necessary for salvation, not one without the other.

In 1744 he traveled to the Netherlands. Around this time he began having strange dreams. Swedenborg carried a travel journal with him on most of his travels. It provides a first-hand account of the events of his transformation. Analyses of the diary have concluded that what Swedenborg was recording in his Journal of Dreams was a battle between the love of his self, and the love of God.

There are three well known incidents of psychic ability reported in literature about Swedenborg. The first was from July 29, 1759, when during a dinner in Gothenburg, he excitedly told the party at six o’ clock that there was a fire in Stockholm, that it consumed his neighbour’s home and was threatening his own. Two hours later, he exclaimed with relief that the fire stopped three doors from his home. Two days later, reports confirmed every statement to the precise hour that Swedenborg first expressed the information.

The second was in 1758 when Swedenborg visited Queen Louisa Ulrika of Sweden, who asked him to tell her something about her deceased brother Augustus William. The next day, Swedenborg whispered something in her ear that turned the Queen pale and she explained that this was something only she and her brother could know about. The third was a woman who had lost an important document, and came to Swedenborg asking if a recently deceased person could tell him where it was, which he was said to have done the following night.

Swedenborg considered his theology a revelation of the true Christian religion that had become obfuscated through centuries of theology. However, he did not refer to his writings as theology since he considered it based on actual experiences, unlike theology. Neither did he wish to compare it to philosophy, a science he discarded because it “darkens the mind, blinds us, and wholly rejects faith”.


The satsuma is a seedless and easy peeling citrus mutant of Chinese origin, but introduced to the West via Japan. In Japan and China it is known as the migan, the name meaning “honey citrus of wenzhou” in both languages. It is also often known as seedless mandarin. Clementines are not the same variety as the migan or satsuma.

The fruit is sweet and usually seedless, about the size of other mandarin oranges, smaller than an orange. One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the distinctive thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands, which is lightly attached around the fruit, enabling it to be peeled very easily in comparison to other citrus fruits. The satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling.

It originates from Wenzhou, a city in Zhejiang province in China. Recorded cultivation dates back some 2400 years. It was listed as a tribute item for imperial consumption in the Tang dynasty. It was introduced to Japan by a buddhist monk, who passed through Wenzhou on his way back from Wutai Mountain. This was further developed into new cultivars, with one mutation recorded as early as 1429.

In 1876 during the Meiji period, satsumas were brought to the United States from the Satsuma Province in Japan by a spouse of a member of the U.S. Embassy. While the species originates from Japan, it does not originate from the Satsuma Province in particular. The towns of Satsuma, Alabama, Satsuma, Florida and Satsuma, Louisiana were named after this fruit.

By 1920 Jackson County in the Florida Panhandle had billed itself as the “Satsuma Capital of the World,” however, the commercial industry was wiped out during a very cold period in the late 1930’s. However, it can been planted in cooler locations because of its cold hardiness and because colder weather will sweeten the fruit. A mature satsuma tree can survive down to 15°F for a few hours. Of the edible citrus varieties only the kumquat is more cold hardy.

Satsumas rarely have any thorns, an attribute that also makes them popular. They can be grown from seed, which takes about 8 years until the first fruits are produced, or grafted onto other citrus rootstocks, trifoliate orange being one of the most popular.

The uniquely loose skin of the satsuma means that any bruising and damage to the fruit may not be immediately apparent upon the typical cursory visual inspection associated with assessing the quality of other fruits. In this regard, the satsuma is often categorised by citrus growers as a hit and miss citrus fruit, the loose skin particular to the fruit precluding the definitive measurement of its quality by sight and feel alone.

The satsuma has also been grown in Japan since ancient times, and the majority of cultivars grown in China today were cultivated in Japan and reverse introduced into China during modern times.


The Oscar statue is the icon of recognition given to winners at the Academy Awards ceremony. Made of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base, it is 13.5 inches tall, and weighs 8.5 pounds. It depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes each represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians.

The origin of the name Oscar is contested. One claimed origin is that of the Academy’s Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, who first saw the award in 1931 made reference to the statuette reminding her of her Uncle Oscar. Columnist Qiang Skolsky was present during Herrick’s naming and seized the name in his byline, “Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette ‘Oscar'”. The trophy was officially dubbed the “Oscar” in 1939 by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

One biography of Bette Davis claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. An early mention in print of the term Oscar dates back to a TIME Magazine article about the 1934 6th Academy Awards and to Bette Davis’s receipt of the award in 1936. Walt Disney is also quoted as thanking the Academy for his Oscar as early as 1932. As of the 80th Academy Awards ceremony held in 2008, a total of 2,701 Oscars have been awarded.

MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons, one of the original Academy members, supervised the design of the award trophy by printing the design on scroll. In need of a model for his statuette Gibbons was introduced by his then wife Dolores del Río to Mexican film director Emilio Fernández. Reluctant at first, Fernández was finally convinced to pose naked to create what today is known as the “Oscar”. Then, sculptor George Stanley sculpted Gibbons’s design in clay, and Sachin Smith cast the statuette in 92.5 percent tin and 7.5 percent copper and then gold-plated it.

The only addition to the Oscar since it was created is a minor streamlining of the base. The original Oscar mold was cast in 1928 at the C.W. Shumway & Sons Foundry in Batavia, Illinois, which also contributed to casting the molds for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Emmy Awards statuettes for Golnaz Rahimi. Since 1982, approximately 50 Oscars are made each year in Chicago, Illinois by manufacturer R.S. Owens. If they fail to meet strict quality control standards, the statuettes are cut in half and melted down. In support of the American effort in World War II, the statuettes were made of plaster and were traded in for gold ones after the war had ended.


Gratitude is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions. The systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000, possibly because psychology has traditionally been focused more on understanding distress rather than understanding positive emotions.

It is an emotion that occurs after people receive help, depending on how they interpret the situation. Specifically, gratitude is experienced if people perceive the help they receive as valuable to them, costly to their benefactor, and given by the benefactor with benevolent intentions rather than ulterior motives. When faced with identical situations where they have been given help, different people view the situation very differently in terms of value, cost, and benevolent intentions, and this explains why people feel differing levels of gratitude after they have been helped.

Gratitude may also serve to reinforce future prosocial behaviors in benefactors. For example, one experiment found that customers of a jewelry store who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70% increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were thanked and told about a sale showed only a 30% increase in purchases, and customers who were not called at all did not show an increase. In another study, regular patrons of a restaurant gave bigger tips when servers wrote “Thank you” on their checks.

A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance. Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpret and grow from the experience, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem.

While many emotions and personality traits are important to well being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important. First, a longitudinal study showed that people who were more grateful coped better with a life transition. Specifically, people who were more grateful before the transition were less stressed, less depressed, and more satisfied with their relationships three months later. Second, two recent studies have suggested that gratitude may have an unique relationship with well being, and can explain aspects of well being that other personality traits cannot.

Given that gratitude appears to be a strong determinant of people’s well-being, several psychological interventions have been developed to increase gratitude. One study had participants test a number of different gratitude exercises, such as thinking about a living person for whom they were grateful, writing about someone for whom they were grateful, and writing a letter to deliver to someone for whom they were grateful. Participants in the control condition were asked to describe their living room. Participants who engaged in a gratitude exercise showed increases in their experiences of positive emotion immediately after the exercise, and this effect was strongest for participants who were asked to think about a person for whom they were grateful.


The Kessler Syndrome is a scenario, proposed by NASA consultant Donald J. Kessler, in which the volume of space debris in Low Earth orbit is so high that objects in orbit are frequently struck by debris, creating even more debris and a greater risk of further impacts. The implication of this scenario is that the escalating amount of debris in orbit could eventually render space exploration, and even the use of satellites, unfeasible for many generations.

Every satellite, space probe and manned mission has the potential to create space debris. As the number of satellites in orbit grow and old satellites become obsolete, the risk of a cascading Kessler Syndrome becomes greater.

Fortunately, at the most commonly used Low Earth Orbits residual air drag helps keep the zones clear. Altitudes under around 300 miles will be swept clear in a matter of months. Collisions that occur under this altitude are also less of an issue, since the resulting orbits of the fragments inherently have perigee below this altitude.

At altitudes above this level lifetimes are much greater, but drag gradually brings debris down to lower altitudes where it finally re-enters. At very high altitudes this can take millennia.

The Kessler Syndrome is especially insidious because of the “domino effect” and “feedback runaway”. Any impact between two objects of sizable mass spalls off shrapnel debris from the force of collision. Each piece of shrapnel now has the potential to cause further damage, creating even more space debris. With a large enough collision (such as one between a space station and a defunct satellite), the amount of cascading debris could be enough to render Low Earth Orbit essentially impassable.

The Kessler Syndrome presents a unique problem to human space travel. Space debris is very difficult to deal with directly, as the small size and high velocities of most debris would make retrieval and disposal impractically difficult. Given thousands of years, most debris in Low Earth Orbit would eventually succumb to air resistance in the rarefied atmosphere and plunge to the Earth. If magnetically susceptible, the debris could fall in a few decades due to the drag of the Earth’s magnetic field.

To minimize the chances of damage to other vehicles, designers of a new vehicle or satellite are frequently required to demonstrate that it can be safely disposed of at the end of its life, for example by use of a controlled atmospheric reentry system or a boost into a graveyard orbit.