Freedom

A role-playing game, or RPG, is a game in which the participants assume the roles of fictional characters. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, players have the freedom to improvise. Their choices shape the direction and outcome of the game.

Most role-playing games are conducted like radio drama. Only the spoken component is acted. In most games, one specially designated player, the game master (GM), creates a setting in which each player plays the role of a single character. The GM describes the game world and its inhabitants, and the other players describe the intended actions of their characters. Essentially, the GM describes the outcomes. Some outcomes are determined by the game system, and some are chosen by the GM.

A specific genre of video game is also referred to as a role-playing game. These games do not involve “role-playing” in the sense used in traditional role-playing games. They take their name from the settings and game mechanics which they inherit from early role-playing games. Due to the popularity of video games, the terms “role-playing game” and “RPG” have both, to some degree, been co-opted by the video gaming industry. As a result, games in which players play the roles of characters are sometimes referred to by the retronyms “pen and paper role-playing games” or “tabletop role-playing games,” though neither pen and paper nor a table are strictly necessary.

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Ability

Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states such as beliefs, intents, desires, and knowledge, to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one’s own. It is a theory insofar as the mind is not directly observable. The presumption that others have a mind is termed a “theory of mind” because each human can only prove the existence of his or her own mind through introspection, and one has no direct access to others’ minds.

It is typically assumed that others have minds by analogy with one’s own, and based on the reciprocal nature of social interaction, the functional use of language, and understanding of others’ emotions and actions. Having a theory of mind allows one to attribute thoughts, desires, and intentions to others, to predict or explain their actions, and to posit their intentions. As originally defined, it enables one to understand that mental states can be the cause of others’ behavior.

Theory of mind appears to be an innate potential ability in humans, but one requiring social and other experience over many years to bring to fruition. Different people may develop more, or less, effective theories of mind. Empathy is a related concept, meaning experientially recognizing and understanding the states of mind, including beliefs, desires and particularly emotions of others, often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes.”

Research on theory of mind in a number of different populations has grown rapidly in the almost 30 years since Premack and Woodruff’s paper Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?, as have the theories of theory of mind. The emerging field of social neuroscience has also begun to address this debate, by imaging humans while performing tasks demanding the understanding of an intention, belief, or other mental state.

Influence

Norteño, literally meaning “northern” in Spanish, is a genre of Mexican music. The accordion and the bajo sexto are norteño’s most characteristic instruments. This genre of music is extremely popular among some in both Mexico and the United States, especially among the Mexican community. Though originating from rural areas, norteño is highly popular in urban as well as rural areas.

During the late 19th century, German and Czech migrants to Northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest brought different styles among them: la redova, la varsoviana and the polka. These European immigrants fueled the demand for a local brewing industry, and they also influenced the music scene by bringing the accordion and the polka rhythm, which were part of the popular music of their homeland. Soon, local bands adopted these elements, and a new unique style gradually resulted from a blend with Mexican ranchera styles. This new style soon became a unique norteño genre, thus named because it was primarily popular in the northern regions of Mexico.

In the late 1910s and 1920s, the corridos entered a golden age when Mexicans on both sides of the border recorded in San Antonio area hotels, revolutionizing the genre alongside Mexico’s political revolution. Traditionally, norteño bands played corridos, polkas, and rancheras.

In the 1950s, the heavy influence of Norteño on the traditional music of Mexican-Americans in southern Texas gave rise to a new form of popular music, called Tejano or “Tex-Mex”, which is often influenced by American rock and swing. Tejano music often includes English and may sound much more like American rock and country music, but is a broad genre of music incorporating many different styles, all having origin in traditional Texas Mexican music.

Norteño became even more popular in the 1990s and 2000s in the United States as the Latino-American community increased rapidly. Norteño continues to be one of the most popular types of modern Mexican music today, but it is also gaining rapid popularity in the United States. Many of the most famous Mexican bands such as Ramón Ayala y sus Bravos del Norte, Los Dueto Voces del Rancho, Grupo Móntez de Durango, and Los Rieleros del Norte are all based in the United States with American labels, and their music is usually recorded and produced within the United States. This trend follows the rapid integration of Mexican-American immigrants into the United States. As norteño music is increasingly becoming integrated into American society, norteño, banda, and duranguense are not only Mexican music but also, to some extent, music of the United States.

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Protection

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. In the 20th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. More recent work has shown a complex interplay of iron and aluminium is responsible for the color. On exposure to heat, amethyst generally becomes yellow, and much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be merely burnt amethyst. Veins of amethystine quartz are apt to lose their color on the exposed outcrop.

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed for intaglios. The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication, while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.

In Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, which the goddess Artemis granted and transformed her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos’s desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life is spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears then stained the quartz purple.

Amethyst is produced in abundance from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil where it occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks. It is also found and mined in South Korea. The largest opencast amethyst vein in the world is in Maissau, Lower Austria. Many of the hollow agates of Brazil and Uruguay contain a crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. Much fine amethyst comes from Russia, especially from near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in granitic rocks.

Traditionally included as one of the most valuable gemstones, along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald, amethyst has lost much of its value due to the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil. The highest grade amethyst called “Deep Russian” is exceptionally rare and therefore its value is dependent on the demand of collectors when one is found.

Correlation

Type physicalism is a theory in philosophy of mind which asserts that mental events are type-identical to the physical events in the brain with which they are correlated. The thesis of type physicalism is that mental event types such as pain are identical with specific physical event types in the brain.

It is also called type identity in order to distinguish it from a similar but distinct theory called the token identity theory. The type-token distinction is easily illustrated by way of example. In the phrase “yellow is yellow is yellow is yellow”, there are only two types of words (“yellow” and “is”) but there are seven tokens (four “yellow” and three “is” tokens).

According to U.T. Place, one of the popularizers of the idea of type-identity in the 1950s and 1960s, the idea of type-identity physicalism originated in the 1930s with the psychologist E. G. Boring and took nearly a quarter of a century to gain acceptance from the philosophical community.

The barrier to the acceptance of any such vision of the mind was that philosophers and logicians had not yet taken a substantial interest in questions of identity and referential identification in general. The dominant epistemology of the logical positivists at that time was phenomenalism, in the guise of the theory of sense data. Indeed Boring himself subscribed to the phenomenalist creed, attempting to reconcile it with an identity theory and this resulted in a reductio ad absurdum of the identity theory, since brain states would have turned out, on this analysis, to be identical to colors, shapes, tones and other sensory experiences.

The revival of interest in the work of Gottlob Frege and his ideas, along with the discrediting of phenomenalism through the influence of Wittgenstein, led to a more tolerant climate toward physicalistic and realist ideas. Logical behaviorism emerged as a serious contender to take the place of the Cartesian “ghost in the machine” and, although not lasting very long as a dominant position on the mind/body problem, its elimination of the whole realm of internal mental events was strongly influential in the formation and acceptance of the thesis of type identity.

Adjustment

Foreign accent syndrome is a rare medical condition involving speech production that usually occurs as a side effect of a brain injury, such as a stroke or a head injury, though two cases have been reported of individuals as a development problem. The condition was first described in 1907 by the French neurologist Pierre Marie.

To the untrained ear, those with the syndrome sound as though they speak their native languages with a foreign accent. However, researchers at Oxford University have found that certain, specific parts of the brain were injured in some foreign-accent syndrome cases, indicating that certain parts of the brain control various linguistic functions, and damage could result in altered pitch or mispronounced syllables, causing the speech patterns to have a different sounding accent.

A case of foreign accent syndrome occurred to Linda Walker, a 60 year old woman from the Newcastle area. After a stroke, her normal Geordie accent was transformed and has been variously described as resembling a Jamaican, as well as a French Canadian, Italian and a Slovak accent. More recently, researchers from McMaster University published a study where a woman from Windsor, Ontario, after suffering a stroke, began speaking with what some people describe as a Newfoundland accent.

In 2008, Cindy Lou Romberg of Port Angeles, Washington, who had suffered a brain injury 17 years earlier, developed foreign accent syndrome after a neck adjustment from her chiropractor. A visit to the hospital ruled out a stroke. Afterwards she spoke with a Russian accent and even appeared to make the grammatical mistakes of a Russian speaking English, as if English was not her native language.

Permeability

A slug is a gastropod mollusc that has a very reduced shell, a small internal shell, or no shell at all. Gastropods with coiled shells that are big enough to retract into are called snails. Land gastropods with a shell that is not quite vestigial, but is too small to retract into, are known as “semislugs”.

The soft, slimy bodies of slugs are prone to desiccation, so land-living slugs are confined to moist environments and are forced to retreat to damp hiding places when the weather is dry. A slug moves by rhythmic waves of muscular contraction on the underside of its foot. It simultaneously secretes a layer of mucus on which it travels, which helps prevent damage to the tissues of the foot. Some species of slugs hibernate underground during the winter in temperate climates, but in other species, the adults die in the autumn.

Slugs produce two types of mucus, one which is thin and watery, and another which is thick and sticky. The thin mucus is spread out from the centre of the foot to the edges, whereas the thick mucus spreads out from front to back. They also produce thick mucus which coats the whole body of the animal. The mucus secreted by the foot contains fibres which help prevent the slug from slipping down vertical surfaces. Other slugs coming across a slime trail can recognize others of the same species, which is useful in preparation to mating.

The thick body mucus provides some protection against predators, as it can make the slug hard to pick up and hold, for example in a bird’s beak. Some species of slug secrete slime cords to lower themselves onto the ground, or to suspend a pair of slugs during copulation.

Slugs play an important role in ecosystems by eating dead leaves, fungus, and decaying vegetable material. Other species eat parts of living plants. Some slugs are predators, eating other slugs and snails, or earthworms. Frogs, toads, snakes, hedgehogs, Salamanders, eastern box turtles, humans and also some birds and beetles are slug predators.

Slugs, when attacked, can contract their body, making themselves harder and more compact, and thus more difficult for many animals to grasp when combined with the slippery texture of the mucus that coats the animal. The unpleasant taste of the mucus is also a deterrent.

Most slugs are harmless to humans and their interests, but a small number of species of slugs are great pests of agriculture and horticulture. They feed on fruits and vegetables prior to harvest, making holes in the crop, which can make individual items unsuitable to sell for aesthetic reasons and which can make the crop more vulnerable to rot and disease.

In rural southern Italy, the garden slug Arion hortensis is used to treat gastritis or stomach ulcer by swallowing it whole and alive. A clear mucous produced by the slug is used to treat various skin conditions including dermatitis, warts, inflammations, calluses, acne and wounds. A banana slug named “Sammy” is the mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Hierarchy

A strange loop arises when, by moving up or down through a hierarchical system, one finds oneself back where one started. It is a hierarchy of levels, each of which is linked to at least one other by some type of relationship. A strange loop hierarchy, however, is “tangled” (Hofstadter refers to this a “heterarchy”), in that there is no well defined highest or lowest level; moving through the levels one eventually returns to the starting point, i.e., the original level. Examples of strange loops that Hofstadter offers include: many of the works of M. C. Escher, the information flow network between DNA and enzymes through protein synthesis and DNA replication, and self-referential Gödelian statements in formal systems.

In I Am a Strange Loop, Hofstadter defines strange loops as follows:

“ What I mean by “strange loop” is — here goes a first stab, anyway — not a physical circuit but an abstract loop in which, in the series of stages that constitute the cycling-around, there is a shift from one level of abstraction (or structure) to another, which feels like an upwards movement in a hierarchy, and yet somehow the successive “upward” shifts turn out to give rise to a closed cycle. That is, despite one’s sense of departing ever further from one’s origin, one winds up, to one’s shock, exactly where one had started out. In short, a strange loop is a paradoxical level-crossing feedback loop.

Hofstadter claims a similar “flipping around of causality” happens in minds possessing self-consciousness. The mind perceives itself as the cause of certain feelings, (“I” am the source of my desires), while scientifically, feelings and desires are strictly caused by the interactions of neurons, and ultimately, the probabilistic laws of quantum mechanics.

Diffusion

The garnet group includes a group of minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. It is a key mineral in interpreting the genesis of many igneous and metamorphic rocks via geothermobarometry. Diffusion of elements is relatively slow in garnet compared to rates in many other minerals, and garnets are also relatively resistant to alteration. Hence, individual garnets commonly preserve compositional zonations that are used to interpret the temperature-time histories of the rocks in which they grew. Garnet grains that lack compositional zonation commonly are interpreted as having been homogenized by diffusion, and the inferred homogenization also has implications for the history of the host rock.

Garnet sand is a good abrasive, and a common replacement for silica sand in sand blasting. Mixed with very high pressure water, garnet is used to cut steel and other materials in water jets. Garnet sand is also used for water filtration media. There are different kinds of abrasive garnets which can be divided based on their origin. The largest source of abrasive garnet today is garnet rich beach sand which is quite abundant on Indian and Australian coasts.

Rock garnet is perhaps the garnet type used for the longest period of time. This type of garnet is produced in America, China and western India. These crystals are crushed in mills and then purified by wind blowing, magnetic separation, sieving and if required, washing. Being freshly crushed, this garnet has the sharpest edges and therefore performs far better than other kinds of garnet. Both the river and the beach garnet suffer from the tumbling effect of hundreds of thousands of years which rounds off the edges.

Garnet has been mined in western Rajasthan for the past 200 years, but mainly for the gemstone grade stones. Abrasive garnet was mainly mined as a secondary product while mining for gem garnets and was used as lapping and polishing media for the glass industries.

Extension

The mind-body dichotomy is the view that mental phenomena are, in some respects, distinct from the body. In a religious sense, it refers to the separation of body and soul. The mind-body dichotomy is the starting point of Dualism, and became conceptualized in the form known to the modern Western world in René Descartes’ philosophy, though it also surfaced in pre-Aristotelian concepts and in Avicennian philosophy.

Plato argued that, as the body is from the material world, the soul is from the world of ideas and thus immortal. He believed the soul was temporarily united with the body and would only be separated at death where it would then go back to the world of forms. As the soul does not exist in time and space like the body, it can access universal truths from the world of ideas.For Plato, ideas are the true reality, (in terms of the Platonic forms) and are experienced by the soul. Experience is not relevant to this, so the body is given no real part in reality. The body is for Plato empty in that it can not access the abstract reality of the world; it can only experience shadows. This is determined by Plato’s essentially rationalistic epistemology.

This view of reality leads one to consider the corporeal as little valued and trivial. The rejection of the mind-body dichotomy is found in French Structuralism, and is a position that generally characterized post-war French philosophy. The absence of an empirically identifiable meeting point between the non-physical mind and its physical extension has proven problematic to dualism and many modern philosophers of mind maintain that the mind is not something separate from the body. These approaches have been particularly influential in the sciences, particularly in the fields of sociobiology, computer science, evolutionary psychology and the various neurosciences.