What Types of Lighting Can Dar Lighting Provide for the Home?

Introduction to Dar

The Dar lighting company is a major manufacturer of products for interior and exterior environments, for homes and commercial businesses. Based in Banbury, the company has been operating for 30 years, and has seen its business expand almost continuously. There is a very large display range of products on offer. For home owners and renovators looking for home interior, the company boasts a large range of fixtures for any home.

Bathrooms

The Dar lighting company features a large range of different styles for bathrooms, from the simple and safe circular ceiling and wall light fixtures, to far more elaborate styles of their Crawford collection. These lights are specially made for bathroom environments, and while good lighting is important to such an environment, so is safety.

Flushes

This type consists of large fixtures with a translucent shade over the light to give a diffuse glow to any room, minimising any glare from the light. They come in a variety of designs to suit many interiors, though ideally they work better in a kitchen or bathroom environment, where they give a good level of overall light.

Pendant

This style by Dar lighting covers the range of hanging ceiling lights and chandeliers. It is ideal for most living areas of a home, from bedrooms, to dining rooms, lounges, hallways, and offices. The range offered covers the simple single designs, to highly elaborate disco balls and chandeliers in many different sizes and styles to suit any interior.

Spotlighting

The range of spotlights offered by Dar covers a huge range of fixtures, both ceiling and wall lights that offers directioned lighting for the home. These fixtures are ideal for workplaces such as in the kitchen, offices and study areas.

Table and Floor

Table and floor lamps come in a great range of styles, from the simple, chrome, modern designs, to decorative pieces of Grecian and Roman style. This range encompasses all tall floor lamps to bedside table lamps, but are free to be placed anywhere within a room.

Wall Lights

These lights are mounted around the walls of a room, to either give a wide diffusive glow, or are pointed, aimed at illuminating an area, such as over bathroom sinks. The styles are generally modern, and unless the home interior is of a modern design as well, they are more suitable within the bathroom and kitchen areas.

David Hunt

A specialised company within Dar lighting, the David Hunt collection covers a range of designer styles, offering many varying types of fixtures for a modern, vintage, and especially for the art and design oriented home. Examples include the antler ceiling and wall fixtures, the Art Nouveau style Campden range, the light coloured Citrus range, the Classic range of brass fittings would be very suitable for a vintage home, and the outlandish Jigsaw and Joshua designs.

Experiential Learning: Helping Management Overcome Barriers to Change

As the saying goes, “the only constant thing in this world is change.” Change happens everywhere and in everything whether we like it or not. In the workplace, things can change without our participation or even without knowing. Change will happen, and if we don’t adapt, we’ll simply be left behind.

Businesses don’t only have to adapt to change, they have to be faster and be able to predict change. If management only relies on reacting to change, by the time they are able to educate their organization about the changes, they will have already been left behind.

Market trends change very quickly. Today’s popular items might be forgotten already by next week. But don’t discount old classics yet as some of them tend to make a comeback several years later. Take a look at fashion; some designers have new takes on old favorites.

All organizations are under constant pressure to learn, adapt, innovate, and grow. This presents a few significant challenges to any organization:

• Understanding which changes are pertinent to the business

• Weeding out the changes unrelated to the business

• Appreciating the impact and the benefits of the changes related to the business

• Educating the organization and implementing related programs to adapt to the change

As constant as change is, so are the barriers to change. There are the expected barriers, limited budgets, time, unavailability of resources, and increased complexity among others. Then there are the people-related barriers such as resistance to change and the unwillingness to learn. It might not be readily apparent, but people-related elements are the most significant barriers to change in an organization. Sometimes, it’s not just the people within the organization that are resistant to change, but people outside as well, like customers.

The challenge here then is how to overcome these people-related barriers to change. A number of organizations have tried to keep up by investing in technology-enhanced learning, like computer-based training and virtual classrooms. Unfortunately, much like traditional education in a real classroom, these methods have their drawbacks.

• There is lack of immersion

• Often expensive

• Time consuming

• Poor retention rates

However, there is a highly effective alternative known as experiential learning. Some define this method as ‘the process of engaging participants in authentic experiences with benefits and consequences.’ In other words, it’s learning from experience. But what makes it effective?

• It’s practical. Practice makes perfect. And by practicing theories, you learn better, especially when you are more aware of the consequences and benefits of your actions.

• It is interactive and immersive. Participants not only engage in their own roles, but in other people’s roles (especially unfamiliar ones for realization purposes) helping them understand the importance of other people and their roles in the organization.

• It is relevant to the job. Experiential learning is based on realistic and practical scenarios.

• It is emotionally engaging making it more memorable. Not only do participants retain the experience, they retain the education and the skills learned.

Experiential learning helps members of the organization be more aware of their roles and the roles of others. This gives a common understanding of bigger picture and the need for change.

Getting Rid Of Cockroaches By Knowing What They Eat

If a group of cockroaches decides to come live under your roof, they do so for a very good reason. And you probably already know what that reason is; food. The only thing a roach fears more than the bottom of your shoe is a lack of food and water. Therefore it’s good to know what they eat if you want to get rid of roaches.

A cockroach isn’t picky, unless it comes to where he wants to live. The creeps carefully choose a home with plenty of food and water. If that’s yours, you know what to do. A: get rid of the roaches. B: make sure they never come back again.

Getting rid of roaches isn’t all that easy. But once you’ve won the fight, the battle ain’t over. Then it comes to eliminating all the things cockroaches love. Therefore it’s important to know what they eat, what they drink and where they will most likely find it.

Let’s start with the bad news. Cockroaches eat about anything. Soap, paper, clothes, cigarette buts, your favorite book, wood, human hair and nail clippings, leather, feces, fabric and even the glue on the back of wallpaper and stamps. And if they have to, they’ll eat each other. They are classified as omnivores, meaning they eat any type of organic food source they find. Like I said: roaches aren’t picky. .

Cockroaches are nocturnal by nature, preferring to hide in a dark place during the daylight hours and scavenging for food at night. There is one peculiar exception to this rule. The Oriental cockroach seems to be attracted to light.

Cockroaches locate food and they then communicate to other cockroaches in the community by leaving chemical trails in their feces. Other cockroaches will follow these trails to locate food sources or other cockroaches. That’s why a cockroach never seems to come alone.

Roaches’ favorite place? Your kitchen. All it takes is for you to make a sandwich and not wipe down the counter afterwards. One trivial, carelessness and you will have unwittingly spread a delicious buffet for the cockroaches in your house.

Once you’ve got rid of the roaches, you need to take straightforward precautions: put away all (all!) food items into plastic containers that can be sealed tightly. Open water also breeds roaches. A single drop of water will attract roaches so make sure to wipe down the sink and counter before you go to bed. Not just today, but make it habit. There is always a cockroach around looking for food. And the creep never comes alone.

Detecting and Correcting Bouncy, Sloping and Wavy Floors

There can be several reasons why the floors above a crawl space foundation seem bouncy, out of level or wavy. Floors that sag or bounce are not only a huge nuisance to homeowners; but can also leave homeowners wondering if there’s a possible safety issue, or an expensive structural repair lurking in the future.

Bouncy Floors

If you have bouncy floors in your home, you can usually detect this condition simply by walking across the floor in question. You can literally feel the floor shake or bounce up and down. Sometimes when walking across a bouncy floor you’ll even hear it squeak or make other noises. In other cases, you’ll notice that items in cabinets or on nearby tables or countertops will start to shake.

Obviously, these telltale signs of flawed floors are upsetting. Any homeowner who encounters this problem will want to know what is causing bouncy floors, what can be done to correct the problem, and how much this repair work will cost.

The good news is that an experienced foundation repair contractor will usually be able to provide succinct answers to the above-mentioned questions. Bouncy floors are sometimes due to undersized floor joists -a miscalculation that occurred when the house was built.

In other cases, the beam that provides mid-span support for the joists on the first floor may have settled or bent downward due to support posts that have deteriorated or shifted. After all, many older homes were built with wood support posts in the crawl space or basement rather than steel posts. Wood posts are vulnerable to rot and insect attacks.

Fortunately, these causes of bouncy floors can be corrected without major disruptions to the living space. An experienced foundation repair contractor will have to tools and materials to reinforce undersized joists and elevate a settled mid-span beam back to its original position, this time installing steel columns that won’t succumb to rot or insect attack.

Sloping Floors

Sloping floors can be more difficult to detect in a home than bouncy floors. Bouncy floors have a distinctive spongy feel underfoot, and can even creak or make other noises, while sloping floors can still feel solid. If you suspect that the floor in a room slopes, it’s easy enough to test your theory. Place a small to medium-sized marble on what you suspect to be the “high” side of the floor and see if it rolls downward.

A sloping floor can be caused by the same conditions that turn a stiff floor into a bouncy one– even though one feels solid while the other doesn’t. When the floor slopes toward the center of the house, a foundation repair specialist will probably suspect the center beam in the crawl space (or basement).

If the floor slopes downward as you move toward an exterior wall of the house, a couple of conditions may be causing the problem. The ends of the floor joists and rim joist along this side of the house may have rotted and collapsed, causing the floor to sink down. Or the foundation wall may have settled, causing the entire side of the house to settle. In either case, an expert contractor will have to conduct the repairs.

Wavy Floors

Unfortunately, wavy floors can be more difficult to diagnose and correct. Sometimes wood flooring (like common oak strip flooring, for example) can swell and buckle if it gets wet because of a leak or spill. In other cases, it’s possible for a wood floor to become uneven or wavy because the flooring itself hasn’t been properly installed.

Wavy flooring can be caused by problems with the beam that provides mid-span support beneath the floor joists on the first floor. If there’s just a small section of the floor that is uneven, the problem can sometimes be traced to a single joist that has a defect such as a crack or knot which causes the joist to bow up or down.

Professional solutions

Floors that sag, bounce, or present a wavy, uneven surface affect a home’s appearance, comfort, safety and resale value. That’s why these problems should be addressed sooner rather than later. An experienced foundation repair contractor is most likely to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of unstable floor problems, and provide the most successful, long-lasting solutions to these problems.

GM Chevrolet and GMC Brake Module/EBCM Repair

To many mechanics that work on 1999-2005 GM Trucks regularly it’s a well-known fact that plenty of problems exist with their Brake Control Modules, also known as an EBCM. Most customers complain of an ABS light on, or hear a constant noise from the ABS Pump Motor underneath the truck. Many of those same customers also get the sticker shock of how much a new module will cost.

Fortunately there are other options for those of you that want to keep the $1100 to $1600 a new module would cost. While there is always the option of buying used, it is not a good idea because of the modules failure rate. A used module would likely go bad in a very short period of time or will not work from the moment of installation. The best alternative is to have your module repaired. Most of the time you can get out for less than $100 if you were to have yours rebuild by a qualified rebuilder.

Automobile manufacturer’s thirst for more and more electronics on their vehicles there has spawned specialized companies known as “Remanufacturers” that repair these electronic modules for far less than a replacement part. The Kelsey-Hayes Brake Module found on these GM Trucks is one of those electronic parts that can easily be repaired by a qualified re-manufacturer or rebuilder.

There are common codes that the modules get like a C0265 that are repaired by a faulty relay, but only a qualified rebuilder will take care of all of the issues that these modules posses. One of the better reasons to have them rebuilt is that these trucks can even be driven without the module while it’s being repaired.

Another common issue of these units is a running pump motor. The running pump motor is also caused by a faulty module, but again this issue is also repairable. If your unit is making a grinding noise beneath the vehicle, which is a running ABS pump motor, you can unplug it or pull the 60A ABS Fuse under the hood to make it stop. It is very important that the pump motor be stopped as soon as possible. If the motor continues to run it is very important that it be stopped so the motor is not ruined.

It’s always worth doing some research when you’ve been told your car needs a really expensive electronic part, because there may just be someone who can repair it for a reasonable price.

Yes, You Can Build Muscle-Lose Fat at the Same Time

When I was just a youngster in my twenties, I desperately wanted to gain muscle mass. Like many guys at that age, I longed to have big arms, wide shoulders, powerful and sweeping thighs, and a V-shape that tapered down to a small waist.

Unfortunately, that’s not how I looked. When I glance at old pictures, it appears that I was fooling myself into believing I looked less like the Pillsbury Doughboy than I really did. What was wrong? I pumped iron, downed high quantities of protein, ingested carbs during the so-called “two-hour window” after my workout. And most importantly in my mind; I kept my calorie intake high because all the available information said I needed to “bulk up” – to eat many more calories than I was burning so I could gain that desired muscle mass.

Now in my forties, I’m easily gaining natural muscle that I longed for twenty years ago. Not only that, I’m doing it while staying lean. Just recently, I decided to lean down even further – getting my body fat down in the mid-single digits. I was actually gaining strength and muscle while doing it.

How can that be? We’re told over and over that in order to gain muscle size, we need to eat a lot. Oh… and if you have a “fast metabolism” (i.e. blessed with really low body fat), they’ll tell you to turn yourself into a gorging pig because that’s the magic bullet for “getting big”… right? Well, that will get you “big”, but not with the kind of size that helps you land dates on Saturday night.

The fast metabolism people are being told to eat a lot more calories than they burn so they can gain muscle. They are assured by their muscle building gurus that they’ll go to a different phase after they’ve gained the muscle; a phase in which they’ll burn the fat.

Those with unwanted body fat are being told they’ll need to focus on losing the fat before they can gain any appreciable muscle. It’s said that the restrictive diet they’ll need to adhere to will prevent them from gaining muscle size.

So here’s a quiz question: If the skinny person can’t gain muscle without eating a lot of excess calories and the fat person got fat by eating excess calories, how is the former fat person ever going to gain muscle without gaining back fat and how is the skinny person going to lose fat once he’s “bulked up” without ending up skinny again? Maybe someone’s feeding us something other than food.

The answer: Fat and muscle are completely different tissues sitting side-by-side on the body. Don’t confuse the method by which one is gained or lost with how the other one is. If you’re slender and you shovel down truckloads of extra calories while inadvertently missing the ideal muscle breakdown/recuperation ratio, you’ll just end up fat.

Here’s a question for the “fast metabolism group”. Have you ever followed the advice of bodybuilding experts and didn’t gain the muscle you expected? You know the advice I’m talking about; eat A LOT of food, train “HEAVY” (relative term – how about “make heavy weights into light ones”?), use big compound exercises, try to sit on your ass as much as possible, and uh… set your alarm to go off in the middle of your sleep so you can chug some 2AM whey protein. Ugh… I don’t know about you, but you’ll never pull me out of a good night’s sleep just to force down some chalky powder.

Would you like to know what doing tons of compound exercises, forced reps, three, four and five-day splits and eating a lot of calories did for me? It turned me from a slim guy into a fat guy. When it was time to lose the fat, the muscle gains were disappointing. Anyone who’s been to my website can attest; whatever muscle was lying dormant under my body fat – it didn’t amount to much.

So the big question: How did I recently gain strength and muscle size while getting super lean?

I did it by eating slightly more protein than usual. I used 45 minutes of low-intensity cardio work to burn fat as soon as I got up in the morning. Above all, I made sure my muscles continued to be trained and recuperated at the ideal ratio and in my unorthodox manner. That’s what’s more important than adhering to some precise caloric regimen.

I’ll never again listen to anyone who claims you can only do one or the other; you CAN gain muscle and lose fat (or remain lean) simultaneously.

Home Based Business – 12 Ergonomic Tips For Your Computer Workstation

When working from your home office you may have a tendency not to take as many breaks as if you were in a traditional office. You may find yourself working for hours before getting up from your chair, as the interruptions are normally fewer to distract you. Because of this it is critical that you take care of yourself – and arm yourself with the basic ergonomics to prevent or at least minimize any physical strain due to computer work.

Here are 12 tips for setting up an ergonomic computer workstation:

1. Use a good chair with a dynamic chair back and seat pan. Sit back and use it instead of leaning forward

2. Position the top of monitor casing 2-3″ (5-8 cm) above eye level

3. Use a no glare screen, and an optical glass anti-glare filter where needed

4. Sit at arms length from the monitor

5. Place your feet on floor or stable footrest

6. Use a document holder, preferably in-line with the computer screen

7. Keep wrists flat and straight in relation to forearms to use keyboard/mouse/input device

8. Your arms and elbows should be relaxed and close to body

9. Center your monitor and keyboard in front of you so you are not turning to use them

10. Use a negative tilt keyboard tray with an upper mouse platform or downward tiltable platform adjacent to the keyboard for best wrist angle

11. Use a stable work surface and stable (no bounce) keyboard tray

12. Take frequent short breaks (microbreaks)

Ideal typing posture: Negative slope keyboard support

In the ideal typing posture both static and dynamic muscle loads are minimized. This posture is achieved when the keyboard is below seated elbow height and the keyboard base is gently sloped away from the user so that the key tops are accessible to the hands in a neutral posture. In this position the arms, shoulders, neck and back can relax, especially during brief rest pauses. Also, in this slightly reclined sitting position the low back rests against the lumbar support of the chair, the elbow angle is opened to promote circulation to the lower arm and hand, the abdominal angle, and the popliteal angle (behind the knees) are opened to promote blood circulation. The feet rest firmly upon the floor.

Problem postures:

Desk top keyboard – Typing at a keyboard on a desk is a common work posture for many computer users. In this position it is difficult to maintain the wrist is in a neutral posture, because the forearms sag as they tire and this puts the wrists into greater wrist extension. Also, most users have to work with their elbows flexed, which can compress the median and ulnar nerves at the elbow and restrict blood flow to the hands. Working with the forearms sloping up increase muscle loads in the upper arms, shoulders, and neck. Working in this position for more than 3-4 hours invariably leads to muscle fatigue.

Conventional keyboard tray – Typing at a keyboard on a conventional articulating keyboard tray can increase postural problems for users. Working with the keyboard more steeply angled on the tray is a common work posture for many computer users. In this position it is also difficult to maintain the wrist is in a neutral posture, because the forearms sag as they tire and this puts the wrists into greater wrist extension. Studies have failed to show that conventional keyboard trays substantially improve wrist posture.

Of course there are other ergonomic factors as well such as proper lighting, ventilation, mouse use, furniture heights and styles, plus phone equipment to name a few. Be sure to research what will be best for your specific situation and budget. Take care of your body now and it will take care of you in the future.

Basic Motorcycle Riding Techniques

There are three basic techniques that every motorcycle rider should know. Even advanced motorcycle riders can use a refresher on the basics:

1. Head & eyes

2. Using the friction zone

3. Controlling the rear brake

First, you must master the “head and eyes” technique. This means exactly that wherever you look is where the motorcycle will go. The reason the phrase “head and eyes” is used is that if you turn your head to the left, but your eyes look straight ahead, this motorcycle riding technique won’t work. Both your head and eyes must turn in the direction you want the motorcycle to go. Don’t ever look down unless you want to go down. The “head and eyes” technique takes practice to become second nature. Fortunately, you can practice this riding technique every time you ride your motorcycle. For instance, if you are turning to the right from a stop sign, turn your head and eyes to the right, look down the road where you want the motorcycle to go and you’ll immediately notice you will be making a much tighter turn than normal. When you stop at a stop sign and are about to make a left hand turn, turn your head and eyes to the left, avoid looking at the curb or the center line of the road and focus on where you want the bike to end up and you will find you will never drift towards the curb or the center line of the road. You can even practice the “head and eyes” technique while riding a bicycle by making U-turns on the road in front of your own house.

Second, you must learn how to use the friction zone. The friction zone is the area on the clutch between fully open and fully closed. In other words, as you let the clutch out and the motorcycle starts to move, you’re entering the friction zone. A simple way to become accustomed to riding a motorcycle in the friction zone is to practice what’s called the slow race. That is merely going as slow as you possibly can without releasing the clutch all the way.

Third, you need to properly use the rear or controlling brake. With the bike in the friction zone, keep your foot on the rear brake and feather it as the motorcycle starts to move. By doing this you are making the bike think it’s going faster than it is. When you apply power and keep your foot on the rear brake, it keeps the bike from falling over at low speeds that is where most people have difficulty. I’ve never heard of anyone having problems balancing their bike at 50 or 60 MPH. If you don’t use these motorcycle riding techniques at 5 or 10 MPH, the motorcycle feels clumsy and wants to fall over on its side.

AVOID using the front brake at all costs when riding at parking lot speeds, as applying the front brake at 5 or 10 MPH with the handlebars turned even slightly will pull you to the ground like a magnet. Of course, once above parking lot speeds, you must use the front brake as well as the rear brake, as 70% of your braking power comes from the front brake.

Avoid dragging your feet along the ground as this tends to upset the balance of the bike, and of course, if your feet are dragging on the ground you cannot have your foot on the brake. As soon as you start to move your bike from a complete stop, both feet should automatically come up to the pegs or floorboards and your right foot should be feathering the rear brake. Once you conquer these 3 simple techniques, you will be amazed at the tight maneuvers your motorcycle can perform. You’ll know you’ve gotten it right when you can make full lock turns in both directions at 5 MPH with the pegs or boards scraping a perfect circle in the pavement.

Even if you have been through advanced motorcycle training, a refresher on the basics is always a good idea.

Remember, all it takes is a little practice on your motorcycle. Good Luck!

Build a Golden Bridge to Get Past No When Negotiating

With my martial art and military background, it is probably not surprising that I liked seeing William Ury open the fourth chapter of his book “Getting Past No: Negotiating In Difficult Situations” with a quote from Sun Tzu, “Build your opponent a golden bride to retreat across.” Ury titled the chapter on not pushing, “Build Them A Golden Bridge,” and it is a good concept to remember when facing obstacles to agreement.

Ury points out four of the most common reasons for impasse: The proposal was not their idea, one of their basic interests hasn’t been met, the fear of losing face, and things are going too fast and the prospect of agreeing appears overwhelming. These are all reasons to be reluctant to agreement, and to break through them, a skilled negotiator needs to refrain from pushing, despite how temping it might be to push, cajole, insist, or apply pressure.

You can look at the situation as having a chasm between their position and the agreement you want. Instead of pushing them toward the agreement, which just might push them over the edge of the chasm, resulting in no agreement whatsoever, you can follow Sun Tsu and Ury’s advice to draw them in the direction you want them to move by building a golden bridge across the chasm.

Ury uses an example with filmmaker Steven Spielberg that I not only believe is a great negotiation example, but a safety and self-defense example as well. When tormented by a bully, the thirteen year old Spielberg offered the larger boy a part in a movie he was making. They became friends because Spielberg offered the bully an alternative path to recognition. This was a successful negotiation of a ceasefire and an example of building a golden bridge.

To be successful, you need to start from where the other person is, not where you are. Your job is to guide the opposing party toward an eventual agreement. You want to make it easier for the other side to surmount the obstacles to agreement. Ensure they are actively engaged in the process and devise a solution that becomes their idea, not just yours. Make sure you satisfy their interests and help them save face if that is an issue. The easier you can make the negotiations for the other side by building the golden bridge for them, but involving them in the crafting of the agreement, the more likely you will break through impasse and move toward an agreement where both parties feel victorious.

To learn more about building them a golden bridge, as well as other negotiating strategies for turning adversaries into negotiating partners, I strongly recommend William Ury’s “Getting Past No.” It belongs on every negotiator and mediator’s bookshelf.

5 Signs of a Failing Honda CV Joint

Honda vehicles are known for their reliability, quality parts and excellent gas mileage. Their ATV’s are no different. These are powerful machines that are known to withstand rough terrain, weather and driving. However, just like any vehicle they are prone to breakdown especially if not carefully maintained and looked after.

The Honda CV Joint

The Constant Velocity joint or the CV joint is a very important part of the ATV as it is essential in providing proper control and maneuverability. The axle assembly of a Honda model ATV is used to shift power from the transmission to the wheels. This is the place where the CV joint is located. It is part of a drive shaft that attaches to the ATV’s transmission at one end and the wheel at the other. They are designed to be able to bend in any direction while continuing to turn the drive wheels at a constant velocity.

Aggressive use of a Honda CV joint can wear it down and therefore it must either be repaired or replaced. However before it completely fails, there are signs that it is breaking down. One doesn’t have to be an expert mechanic to notice these indications. Here we will go over some of these symptoms. This will help aid drivers in discovering a faulty CV Joint beforehand and avoid costly repairs.

1. Clicking Noise when Turning

This is the most noticeable indication that something is wrong. While turning, the CV joint will make a popping or clicking sound repeatedly. This will be especially noticeable when making sharp turns at slow speeds as the clicking noise will get excruciatingly loud.

2. Vibration during Acceleration

Another very noticeable sign observed while driving is that the steering wheel will vibrate or shake heavily especially when accelerating. It is best to pull over or reduce speed and make it to a safe location and have it checked immediately.

3. Growing Humming Noise

This sign will most likely be in conjunction with vibration during increasing speed. While driving, the car will make a humming noise that will grow with acceleration and cease with deceleration.

4. Clunk Type Noise when Accelerating

This type of noise is experienced in the inner joints or outer joints of ATV vehicles. This noise can also be the result of extreme backlash in differential gears. One good way to verify this symptom is to put the vehicle in reverse and accelerate. If the clunk is even more noticeable, then it’s a sure sign the inner CV joint is bad.

5. Vibration at High Speeds

There could be many reasons for this vibration to occur such as an out of balance tire or faulty alignment. However, its occurrence in conjunction with any of the above symptoms should be regarded as a sure sign of a faulty CV joint.

These are a few signs of a failing Honda CV Joint. It is always best to keep them in check through regular checkups and inspection. The fact that ATVs are used so aggressively makes it even more important.

Several Ways to Customize Your Leased Vehicle’s Entertainment System

Do you own a leased car, truck or SUV, but aren’t quite happy with the dealer-installed sound system? Would you like to have a video system in your leased vehicle, but are deterred by the expensive costs of the DVD player and overhead drop-down screens offered by the dealership. In the past, if you were unhappy with the entertainment system in your leased vehicle, you either had to accept the system as it was or pay to have it customized to your preferred taste and then pay once again for the original equipment to be reinstalled before returning your leased vehicle to the dealership. On top of that, if your custom installer did not restore all of the original equipment to make it look as if nothing had been changed, the dealer would tack on yet another fee.

This situation is obviously very reasonable unless you really love a quality automotive entertainment center and you have plenty of money to burn. Luckily, over the past few years, there have been products to hit the market that directly meet the needs of those who own leased vehicles and also enjoy the benefits of a quality sound and video system in their vehicle.

To enhance your sound system, consider an easy-to-install XM Satellite receiver. There are kits available that offer the receiver along with plenty of mounting and placement options. The kits include mounting hardware, a micro antenna, and both a cassette and power adaptor that allow you to play the XM Satellite radio through your vehicle’s original sound system. There are also wireless kits to accommodate vehicles that don’t have a cassette player.

In the video arena, there are new and innovative products that give you more options than the traditional drop-down or in-dash video screens. Now there are video monitor headrests and sun visors designed to replace the headrests or passenger-side sun visor in your vehicle. The manufacturers have even been so creative as to match the fabric, leather or vinyl to what is in your particular vehicle’s model and color. They’ve even gone so far as to match the stitching as well! The monitors easily connect to your vehicle’s sound system. They can also easily be connected to a DVD player or video game system. There are absolutely no holes involved as the wires run easily through the posts of the headrest. When you are ready to return your leased vehicle, you simply pop out the headrest monitors and reattach the original headrests.

These are just two examples of how you can customize the entertainment system in your leased vehicle. There are several other devices that can accommodate the needs of a leased vehicle owner as well. Just because you drive a leased vehicle doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it as if you owned it!

Interesting Facts About Jade

When jade is found it comes inside stones, rocks and even boulders, and the value cannot be seen but only guessed upon and in fact it may not contain jade at all. One method of knowing is to strike the stone with a hammer or sledgehammer since a jade stone will rebound the hammer. Once ascertained that it is indeed jade a small window is cut into the stone and from this the expert dealers have to estimate or even guess at the value and quality within. They don’t always get it right. A Burmese taxi driver bought a jade stone for 23 U.S. dollars. He sold it on for 5000 U.S. dollars to a dealer who resold it for 23,000 U.S dollars. Once a stone is cut and the jade carved into the largest artifact it will allow, the smaller pieces are used for beads and rings and even the tiniest of pieces are ground up and combined with other ingredients to produce building materials said to promote a calm and peaceful environment in which to live or work.

Today Myanmar (Burma) is the largest exporter of jade, with some exports coming from Guatemala, New Zealand, Australia and a growing trade from Canada. Although jade is most commonly associated with China its supply is mostly exhausted and as few or no records are kept it is mostly impossible to tell where a piece of jade comes from.

The largest Jade boulder ever found is in Myanmar, estimated to weigh 3000 tons, it is buried forty feet underground and measures twenty-one meters by five meters by ten meters. There are many claims as to the largest jade carving. In Beijing there is a carving of a ship twenty feet long. In Anshan Temple, China, stands a Buddha eight meters tall weighing 260 tons. It took eighteen months and 120 sculptures to complete and is housed in a Temple building 33 meters high representing the 33 layers of heaven in Buddhism. A piece of gem-stone quality jade stone found in Canada has been carved into a 4 ton, seven feet high Buddha. Currently on display in Florida, it denotes peace and will be displayed around the world before permanently residing in Australia.

Because of its strength Jade, both Nephrite Jade and Jadeite, can be carved into the most intricate and exquisite designs depicting country scenes, dragons, herds of horses, beautiful rings, earrings or necklaces. Because of its antiquity, estimated at being 141-570 million years old, it is rising in value rapidly. Asian dealers are on a huge buy-back scheme very aggressively bidding on pieces turning up in auction rooms around the world. At Sotheby’s Auction House in Hong Kong recently a white jade seal valued at 6.4 million U.S. dollars sold for 12.29 million U.S. dollars. A small green jade elephant that sat in a bank vault for almost seventy years, valued at 150.000 pounds sterling, sold in a small English country auction house for 4.2 million pounds sterling.

What other gem holds such mystique? What other gem can be carved into such a large object and such a tiny artifact. It is valued for its artistic sentiment, its investment appreciation and its health giving benefits, bestowing calm and peace on its wearer. What other gemstone can hold its value when flawed? Some imperfect jade is all the more valuable because of it. Jade, a small piece of heaven bestowed upon mankind by the Gods.

A Biblical View of Punishment Redefined

A biblical perspective: abandoning retribution as a doctrine for legal punishment

I. Introduction

The Old Testament is filled with different mandates regarding punishment for certain acts and crimes, a great deal of which includes the penalty of death. Conversely, the New Testament somewhat disregards the Old Testament idea of punishment, in that it became secondary to Jesus’ message of love and redemption. In this respect, both reward and punishment are seen as taking place in eternity, rather than in this life. How do we reconcile these differing views? What are the reasons for the sharp shifts in these fundamental concepts? Moreover, to what extent should our system of criminal law incorporate these biblical models of justice?

II. Criminal Law

Two broad theories of punishment exist which guide our current criminal justice system: utilitarianism and retribution. These theories guide lawmakers in developing general principles of criminal responsibility.

Utilitarianism

From a utilitarian perspective, punishment exists to ensure the continuance of society and to deter people from committing crimes. The primary utilitarianism objective is to augment the total happiness of the community by excluding everything that subtracts from that happiness. There are three distinct forms of utilitarianism: A.

Deterrence

The theory of deterrence suggests that the pain inflicted upon a person who has committed a crime will dissuade the offender (and others) from repeating the crime. Deterrence hinges around the idea that punishment has to be appropriate, prompt, and inevitable. Deterrence protects the social order by sending a message to the public at large. An English judge once defined the standard long ago when he remarked, “Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.” The general theory of deterrence is further divided into two categories. General deterrence describes the effect that punishment has when it serves as a public example that deters people other than the initial offender from committing similar crimes. General deterrence illustrates punishment delivered in order to send a message to everyone that crime doesn’t pay. Specific deterrence describes the punishment of an individual designed to prevent that individual person from committing future crimes. This idea generates from the concept that it is impossible for an individual to commit another crime while they’re in prison. Both forms of deterrence as punishment methods are meant to discourage individuals from recidivating.

B. Incapacitation

Specific deterrence is very similar to and often takes the form of the notion of incapacitation. Incapacitating a known criminal makes it impossible for this individual to commit another crime. If a criminal is confined, executed, or otherwise incapacitated, such punishment will deny the criminal the ability or opportunity to commit further crimes which will harm society. The only total, irrevocable punishment is the death penalty. Other punishments, such as imprisonment, produce only partial and temporary incapacitation. Incapacitation, however, does not decrease offenses of convicts who would have not committed additional offenses anyway. Examples of this would include generally law-abiding citizens who committed a “crime of passion” in a specific, non-recurring situation.

C. Rehabilitation

Advocates of the rehabilitative form of utilitarianism believe that punishment will prevent future crimes by reforming prisoners by providing them with skills and assets that could help them lead a productive life after their release. Supporters of rehabilitation seek to prevent crime by providing offenders with the education and treatment necessary to eliminate criminal tendencies, as well as the skills to become productive members of society. Rehabilitation seeks, by means of education or therapy, to “bring a criminal into a more normal state of mind and into an attitude which would be helpful to society.” Rehabilitation is based on the notion that punishment is to be inflicted on an offender to reform them as to make their re-integration into society easier. This theory is firmly grounded in the belief that one cannot inflict a severe term of imprisonment and expect the offender to be reformed and to able to adjust into society upon his release without some form of help.

Retribution

The theory of retribution is grounded in the belief that punishment of a wrongdoer is justified as a deserved response to a wrongdoing. Unlike utilitarianism, which punishes in order to prevent future harm, retributivists punish because of the wrongdoing. Thus, the criminal gets his “just deserts” regardless of whether the punishment serves to prevent any future crime. An assessment of desert will take into account “both the harm done and the offender’s culpability.” The focus on culpability is based on the “presupposition that people are morally responsible for their actions, and requires the court to take into account mitigating factors or excuses such as diminished capacity, duress, and provocation.” Under a retributive theory of penal law, a convicted defendant is punished simply because he deserves it and for no other purpose. There is no exterior motive such as deterring others from crime or protecting society – the goal is simply to make the defendant suffer in order to pay for his wrongdoing. Some scholars believe that it is entirely natural for an individual to seek revenge and retribution when injured or harmed by another. Thus, one of the primary reasons for the existence of retribution as a doctrine recognizes the reality that people often need to be relieved of their need to retaliate against those who have wronged them. In fact, it can be argued that it is potentially harmful to the state if it does not satisfy these needs and urges. If the people are not satisfied, as history has shown, then people will sometimes take the law into their own hands in the form of mobs and vigilantes.

III. Biblical Concepts of Punishment

The Old Testament is replete with references and examples of God punishing the Israelites for their transgressions. In Genesis God defines that punishment is based upon a belief in the sanctity of life. God instructs the Israelites in several places within the Pentateuch that with respect to certain crimes, the penalty shall be an “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” A closer look at this historical tradition, however, seems to teach that this penalty was not to be interpreted literally. Instead, what the Biblical instruction really intended was for the victim of an assault or another crime to receive from the criminal the equivalent value of whatever was taken. Regardless, the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” axiom has become synonymous with harsh retribution and supporters of this theory sometimes justify their viewpoint based on this rationale. As well, how do we properly reconcile the prevailing view under the Mosaic Law with the teaching of Jesus? The scriptures tell us that Jesus asked God to forgive his executioners and promised the repentant thief beside him that they would be together in paradise when being crucified. Jesus also told his followers that they were to forgive their enemies, turn the other cheek when assaulted, refrain from judging others, minister to crime victims, visit prisoners, proclaim release to captives and liberty to the oppressed. All of these concepts seem to be in direct contradiction to the punishment concepts laid out under the Mosaic Law, so analyzing the teaching of Jesus to develop our own theory of punishment would prove worthwhile.

Mosaic Law

According to Hebrew teachings, Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt around 1250 B.C. and received the 10 Commandments from God. The Hebrews then put the commandments and other principles into written form as a code of religious and moral laws known as the Mosaic Law. The laws given were in the context of a treaty with the Israelites so they could live according to God’s plan and engage in a meaningful relationship with Him. The Hebrew word law when translated always has a positive meaning and is commonly identified as the term “instruction.” The law, therefore, was “like an outstretched finger pointing the direction a person should take in life.” The Mosaic Law was explicit in its teaching regarding punishment. The sixth commandment was, “thou shall not commit murder.” Accordingly, the punishment for murder was, “he who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.” There are 36 eight capital offenses under the Mosaic system detailed in the Pentateuch which prescribed the death penalty. The Mosaic Law even prescribed the death penalty for violating the Sabbath. It would seem on first glance that the Mosaic era centered its system of punishment around principles of retribution. The phrase “an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” expressed a principle of justice also known as lex talionis, which in Latin translates to the “law of retaliation.” The literal meaning of this passage would undoubtedly lead one to presume that this calls for punishment very similar to retribution. Prosecutors have even used the phrase in closing arguments in trials to persuade jurors to return particularly harsh punishments, including the death penalty. Accordingly, “an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” is widely understood to equate to harsh retribution pursuant to a mentality commonly referred to as “Old Testament justice.” However, what the lex talionis actually called for was simply proportionate punishment commensurate with the crime.

If punishment was to be administered, the guilty man was to receive “the number of lashes his crime deserves.” Another passage that disregards the literal interpretation of “an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” is illustrated by the decree in Exodus how a “person who injured their servant was to let them go free as compensation.” In other words, a free mandate for mutilation was not given. Instead, “the aim was proportionate and not imitative retribution, often by way of compensation or restitution.” From this, it appears that punishment should be imposed on an offender – normally and certainly no more than – in proportion to what their offense deserves. New Testament The Old Testament’s “eye for an eye” is often contrasted with the “turn the other cheek” compassion of the New Testament. Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament never directly concentrates on the subject of what method is best to punish criminals. In fact, it should be noted that Jesus’ main teaching point focuses on the unseen, remarking, “My kingdom is not of this world.” One of the main scriptural references that is readily apparent, which accurately demonstrates this concept is the thief on the cross: Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” It is pertinent to recognize that Jesus’ assurance of salvation only came into effect after the thief died. It should be noted that Jesus did not restore the thief to his status on this earth, which would have thereby recognized his rehabilitation and repentance for his earthly sins. As shown previously, the concepts of justice and proportionality were recognized under the Mosaic Law, while in the New Testament “the virtues of redemption and forgiveness are frequently extolled.” Therefore, what the Old Testament says has to be tempered by the examples of mercy shown by Jesus. Christian interpretation of the biblical passage regarding the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” passage has been heavily influenced by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus urges his followers to turn the other cheek when confronted by violence: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.

When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” Analyzing this passage would assuredly lead one to conclude that Jesus’ teaching does not promote a system of justice analogous to the retributive principles discussed previously. Another New Testament passage that is relevant when analyzing how punishment should be considered is the story of the man and woman caught in adultery: At dawn He appeared in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around Him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees then brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses commanded that such women be stoned. But what do you say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger, as though he did not hear. When they kept questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first even until the last. And Jesus was left alone with the woman standing in His midst. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said to her, “Then neither do I condemn you; go now and sin no more.” This passage typifies Jesus’ message of forgiveness and redemption. It is hard to justify condemning a person for any offense in light of Jesus’ teaching here.

This passage conveys that Jesus personified the message of hope and compassion to those who are perhaps undeserving. I personally believe that Jesus’ teaching here was a message to the people that they had perhaps taken the Mosaic Law out of context over the years. Assuming this proposition to be true, it would be hard to rely on the Mosaic Law as a justification for any of the punishment methods in our current society. An additional passage that could be interpreted with regards to those incarcerated is Jesus’ teaching describing how He will separate the “sheep from the goats” based on how people treat others: Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?” The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.” Jesus’ teaching in this passage is in direct opposition to anything resembling an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to leaving prisoners detained for incapacitation or specific deterrent reasons. Instead, Jesus directly mentions the virtue of visiting prisoners while they are incarcerated and maintains that the righteous are those who remember to consider the individuals who society has forgotten. Taken as a whole, it seems at the very least Jesus warns against not having compassion for those in prison. Jesus’ entire message focused on love and forgiveness. When Christ was executed, he gave a model response to his enemies in His dying words: “Father, please forgive them.” Before God, all of us are accused and found guilty. This alone stands for the assertion that all of us fall short of God’s grace in many ways, yet Jesus through his divine love still finds the compassion to plead for our forgiveness. Given this, I believe it should be hard for any man to stand in judgment against another. Jesus imparted this knowledge in the Sermon on the Mount: “Judge not, or you will be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Based on this, it should be hard for Christians to justify punishment based on traditional retributive principles of letting those harmed seek retaliation in response to a wrongdoing.

Ancient Israel

When interpreting the Mosaic Law it is important to consider that their society was far different from our own. Most religious scholars believe that God revealed to Moses the Torah around the thirteenth century B.C. It was not until the fifth century B.C. that the Hebrews actually put the commandments and other legal principles into written form. According to Jewish tradition, the written Torah was never meant to be read entirely by itself. Rather, it was the starting point for learning the Oral Law, which supplemented the written text in many ways. Considering this, scholars believe that most of the seemingly harsh criminal laws were never applied literally. As such, an “eye for an eye” was never meant to include an actual maiming of an offender. Rather, it called for the monetary compensation for the value of the victim’s lost eye. Likewise, there were many significant evidentiary and procedural safeguards for criminal defendants that caused a court to rarely carry out the death penalty, believing God was better suited to “settle accounts.” Restitution, rehabilitation, and atonement were paramount considerations regarding criminal punishment – not retribution – contrary to what would likely be assumed given the explicit meaning of “an eye for an eye.” Moreover, prison as a method of punishment was virtually non-existent. The use of prisons was limited primarily because the retributive aspect which is so prevalent in our system was not subscribed to as a reason for punishment. That being said, the idea of a violent criminal being able to roam free in the city while trying to make restitution is an absurd idea. It is for this reason why “cities of refuge” were implemented where manslayers were exiled.

IV. Imprisonment as a Form of Punishment in the United States

What is the true aim of our prison system? Some would argue that it is to punish those who have committed wrongs asserting the theory of retribution as justification. However, the more important goal of prisons, arguably, should be in rehabilitating and reintegrating criminals to function in society. John Braithwaite is a renowned scholar and proponent of the restorative justice movement. Braithwaite’s hypothesizes in his book Crime, Shame, and Reintegration that fear of shame and having pride in being law-abiding should be the major social forces for preventing crime, but modern criminal justice has become “severely disconnected from those emotions.” Instead, the criminal justice system often creates “anger and indignation at the state for offending citizens’ dignity in response to the inhumane conditions of prison life.” To further support his theory, he invokes the New Testament theory of “hating the sin but loving the sinner.” In large part, this rationale is maintained by our increasing reliance on confining individuals within a penitentiary for wrongdoing while having virtually no alternate forms of punishment.

Theory of Incarceration

The overarching remedy in the United States is to punish people when they commit crimes through incarceration. Restitution is sometimes included, although most often it is afforded as a civil remedy and is not considered in the criminal context. As Americans we pride ourselves in our freedom and our ability to freely engage in the “pursuit of happiness.” Perhaps the reason we rely so heavily on threatening offenders with incarceration is because by doing this society is effectively taking away a fundamental privilege enjoyed by every American citizen. However, it would unquestionably be wise if legislators and policymakers would evaluate if incarceration is indeed the only way to achieve the objective of discouraging crime. A prevailing view among the law enforcement community reflects the attitude “if you commit the crime, you do the time.” Once a person willingly engages in an activity that is prohibited by law we feel that person has subjected itself to the absolute certainty of imprisonment if apprehended. Once incarcerated the prisoner will spend their sentence in the hostile environment of a penitentiary awaiting either parole or release, often subjected to violent crimes from other inmates which are sometimes ignored by prison officials. Our prisoners often face degrading living conditions, filled with overcrowding and a general atmosphere of brutality of physical and sexual violence. These conditions undoubtedly create stress, fear, and anger which promote dysfunctional behavior that is damaging and dangerous to society once the prisoner is released. According to Michael Foucault, given the isolation, boredom, and violence prisoner’s face, “the prison cannot fail to produce delinquents.” As noted previously prison was almost completely ignored in Ancient Israel as a method of punishment. The Israelites did not see any objective to locking someone up in a cell without using this time to make them more productive members of society. One flaw of our system that was recognized with the Ancient Israelites centuries ago was the benefit of segregating criminals within the cities of refuge based on the degree of offense. Only negligent killers were allowed asylum in the cities of refuge, while intentional and reckless killers were not afforded this privilege. In our current system violent criminals often are interspersed with other offenders who are confined for far less serious offenses. Empirical studies have shown that recidivism rates are far lower if low-risk offenders are segregated from more serious offenders.

A Debt Owed to Society

It is often said that a criminal who has served a term of imprisonment has “paid his debt to society.” In almost every case, however, the crime usually involves the criminal offender and some victim. Notwithstanding, society as a third party intervenes and our concept of justice revolves around payment to, it as opposed to the victim. Victim participation, from arrest to sentencing, needs careful examination as to what extent the government should actually play in these roles. The idea that the criminal pays a debt to society when punished assumes that “all members of society have made a tacit promise to obey its laws that they have broken.” They then pays this debt when the “compensates society for their broken promises.” This assumption presumes a membership that is not “voluntary which cannot be avoided and implies a promise made without assent.” So, if the criminal did not “technically promise to do anything, the lawbreaker had no promise to keep, and therefore no debt to pay.” For this reason few offenders accept punishment and even fewer repent of their offenses. Our system has lost sight in many respects the role of the victim in most crimes. For instance, with most thefts monetary restitution is usually neglected in our present legal practices. Punishment is not concerned with the actual loss or damage caused by the prohibited act, but only with the integrity of preserving the legal order. The punishment threatened by society proclaims the wrongness of the act and seeks to deter potential offenders, rather than actually compensate individual victims. If society is to be compensated for anything it should be for the breach of its peace. Our criminal justice system knows no other remedy except imprisonment in order to punish for crimes which possibly could be satisfied by alternate means.

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a growing movement that involves an approach which strives to maximize forgiveness, hope, and a positive outcome for all parties. The Dalai Lama is a strong proponent of restorative justice, and has taught that “the more evil the crime, the greater opportunity for grace.” In the words of the Dalai Lama: “Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger, the more so when provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and for others.” Advocates of restorative justice see “crime as an opportunity to prevent greater evils, to confront crime with a grace that transforms human lives to paths of love and giving.” Current restorative justice philosophy centers around “bringing together all stakeholders to engage in neutral dialogue regarding the consequences of the injustice which has been done.” These stakeholders meet in a circle to discuss how they have been affected by the harm and come to some agreement as to what should be done to right any wrongs affected. The key component to restorative justice is that it is wholly distinguishable from punitive state justice. Restorative justice is about healing rather than hurting. Responding to the hurt of crime with the hurt of punishment is rejected because the idea is that the “value of healing is the crucial dynamic.” The restorative justice movement has been growing in strength, although there are different and conflicting conceptions of what exactly the concept entails. The central theme is a process of reparation or restoration between offender, victim and other interested parties.

Rehabilitation

As a society we must help alienated people by reviving their dignity and giving them the skills and knowledge to help themselves. Through education and job training, criminals can have the power to take control of their own life and contribute to the community when they are released. Once able to contribute to the community, a person will feel a sense of ownership to the community. They will therefore want to protect the community, and uphold its laws. In short, a criminal with the right rehabilitation can be turned from a menace to society into a very valuable asset. The primary goal optimally should be the reintegration of the suspended individual back into the main stream of life, preferably at level greater than before. Many individuals after their stint in prison try to make it on the outside, but sometimes have to resort to committing more crime in order to survive. Most convicts have no money, education, or training and have a “stigma of being an ex-convict” which makes finding employment all the more difficult. Most of those who are caught and convicted are released either free or on probation at some point. However, they rarely receive the benefit of treatment. A prisoner who is not given the chance to get an education, receive job training, and have healthy interactions with others is likely to walk out of prison in worse shape than when he went in. Conversely, after undergoing effective reform programs and treatment, he could hopefully have a positive impact on the community when he re-enters. The true aim of our prison system, therefore, should be to reform and rehabilitate criminals, not simply to punish them.

VI. Conclusion

Policy towards offenders has grown more punitive, and thus more retributive, over the last few decades. Most states and the federal government have instituted mandatory sentencing guidelines, the lengths of sentencing has grown tougher, and harsher penalties have been imposed reflecting this retributive shift. As a result, the prison population has exploded out of control and the rate of incarceration has increased exponentially. Considering the amount of individuals who have spent time in some form of a correctional facility within the United States, we must collectively assess what we realistically expect of these people after they are released. This article is not advocating that we incorporate implicitly the techniques used by the Ancient Israelites such as the cities of refuge or involuntary servitude because these methods are likely outdated. Rather, it is suggesting that anyone using a conception of punishment based on strict principles of harsh retribution using “Old Testament justice” as justification are relying on a misguided view. Although popular perception might be that the Ancient Israelites used harsh retribution as the cornerstone for meting punishment, a closer examination indicates that rehabilitation and restitution were their primary goals. As such, while specifically incorporating their ideas such as the cities of refuge might be impracticable in our current society, their underlying ideas for their use may not be. Surrounding criminals with positive influences, preserving a humane environment for prisoners, protecting their physical safety, allowing for opportunities for education, and an increased reliance on intermediate forms of confinement are all factors that might serve to collectively improve the U.S. penal system. These are all utilitarian objectives aimed at improving society, so abandoning the notion of retribution as punishment might be required under a Biblical conception. Moreover, while the teaching of Jesus focused on the eternal concepts of life, it is undeniable that His message included the virtues of exhibiting grace and mercy to those undeserving. Therefore, locking prisoners in an inhumane environment with absolutely no consideration for their well-being is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught that his grace and love is available for anyone who will receive Him. The scripture never indicates that there is anyone who is beyond the infinite love of the Savior of our world. Accordingly, anything akin to an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to warehousing criminals in a cruel and callous environment assuredly cannot be justified pursuant to the teachings of Jesus.

Critical Analysis: Liberty Leading The People, A Painting By Delacroix

Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), a French painter of romantic period known for his exuberant colors and radical themes. His painting “Liberty Leading the People” is one of the most famous and radical picture of its time. It is a sort of work that in very first glance just capture the viewer’s eye through its dynamic subject. This painting was produced in 1830 with a size of approx. 8 ft 6 in x 10 ft 8 in. The medium of this work is oil on canvas rendered in Romantic style. The subject of this work is derived from the world famous French Revolution that began in 1789 when common people or bourgeois stood for their rights.

This painting is a connotation of strides for uprising, focusing on the determination, commitment and intellectual strength that forced the working middle class of France to get their destination by changing their destiny. We will analyze this work formally as well as contextually by keeping in view the elements and form of the work as well as the historical, psychological and social grounds.

Most of Delacroix’s canvases are dark in background against which he put the vibrant colors to get the desired, visually stimulant effect. This painting is very strong triangularly composed work with figures put mainly in two categories, the figures just lying dead in the foreground in the left-lower triangle of the canvas and the dynamically marching figures on the top-left triangle. Apart from this division, the main female figure is composed just right to the center of the painting with French flag poised exactly in the middle of the frame. This composition itself denotes the main figure with the flag, the determination of the cause; the uprising and the struggle to achieve it, shown by the strides forward, which have placed her high in the picture. With gun in left lowering hand and the tricolor flag in the right rising hand show the hype and importance of the woman. Tricolor flag also harmonized with the triangular composition.

The lively lines used by the painter in this work suggest the unrest that was present at that juncture of time. The uprising is denoted by the movement of lines coming upward from dark bottom part of the canvas. The contrast of dynamic and static lines has put an interesting study in the painting as the foreground with people lying dead represent the horizontality of the area which is without any movement and providing space to the main female figure, who in curvy, live and vertical linear representation portray the energy and effort she is putting in. but the upright posture again manifest the straightness and affirmation of the intention behind the effort.

The flag and the clouds are treated in the same wavy outlines giving a sense of movement, as flag and clouds are linked here for the representation of the liveliness and protectiveness of the cause. The total environment of the painting suggests the change from static, mournful and depressed life to lively, colorful and energetic one. The upper portion of the painting physically stands for the goals that are to be achieved after all the effort. The uprising is rendered physically by upper portion and the deteriorated condition from which the revolt erupted, is denoted by lower dark part of the frame.

Colors used in the painting correspond to the dark foreground with dead bodies and as we go upward, there is light, brightness and sharpness in hues. This treatment of colors is representation of an uprising as darkness represents the gloomy, sorrowful and regretful attitude towards life while the sharp and bright colors on the upper portion suggest the change or hype; all the efforts have been put forth for.

Although Delacroix has treated all parts of the canvass with same technique and the texture of the painting is evenly uniform but he has, by showing clouds and flag moving, created a visual texture to signify the change. The dull and dark lower part has darks and lights but the upper part has got texture within the brightness caused by the smoke of a cannon.

This brightness put against the darkness of the bottom part of the painting, creates chiaroscuro, an optical element that can add movement to any painting, but here keeping in view the French revolution and the efforts for uprising by the middle-working or bourgeois class, the chiaroscuro presented in the painting diagonally, put emphasis on the expedition from darkness towards light. In this painting the presence of dark and light actually refer to struggle for change from low, gloomy and stingy condition to high, bright and satisfied state; an uprising, for what all the people of working middle class gathered and got out of the darkness of mind as well as of fate. The light on the upper right corner of the canvass advocate the shift or swing of the collective as well as the individual psyche of the people that caused them to stride for uprising.

As the main figure of half-goddess, half-human is leading people or showing them the way to uprising, Delacroix has put volume to her figure. She is not a soft skinned, fragile looking semi nude as most of the Rembrandt’s or Renoir’s figures are in keyhole or bathing paintings, but a very strongly built, motivated woman with solid body from caped head to firmly striding toe, showing her stance for a certain cause. Apart from her, no one else has got this quality of “solidity”. The detail of her anatomy, the folds of her dress and the flying tricolor add to her personality massively. The other massive thing is smoke that is painted significantly to show the complete abolishment of the royal rule. Therefore, the volume of smoke is referring an end while the solidity of the female figure represents the beginning of something high and grandeur.

The idea of uprising is so importantly portrayed in this picture, that everything behind has been put ambiguously in the smoke, so we can say the element of perspective is not precisely created, although not neglected. The sole architecture of the Norte Dam on the right suggest the depth or a feeling of distance, or the obscurely painted swords and rifles with emerging heads of few figures from thick smoke of guns or cannons behind the main figure of Liberty suggest a sense of perspective. Otherwise, everything is unclear in the background, which may be intentionally done by the painter, as his main concern is to focus the marching strides towards a destination of uprising, as the entire revolutions do, leaving everything behind.

The plan for this painting is quite symmetrical with lines from both lower corners, going towards a high point in the top middle of the canvass where the tricolor is flying, generating a close composition. The main figure is slightly right from the middle of the canvas while flag and the rifle in both hands imply a sense of triangular symmetry. Basically this painting is on triangular plan, divided further diagonally into two right angle triangles. So it could be said that the painting is balanced due to the fact that the middle figure along with three other marching figures representing the uprising, make a triangular composition. The light and the dark areas also render two triangles; moreover, the canvass is divided into two horizontal rectangles consisting of lying dead bodies and active human beings respectively. Since the space is divided into triangles and rectangles which are balanced geometrical shapes, we can say that the whole composition is balanced and symmetrical.

All the elements of the painting let the viewer to focus on the main figure and her activity that leads to understand the importance and the fatality of the cause; the uprising, for which all the working middle class struggled hard. This struggle has made the whole painting revolving around the main female figure; her body is presented standing high and firm in proportion to the high erected building of the Norte Dame on the right side. Apart from these two elements, all is in supportive proportion. All other figures, background elements, foreground corpse and the centrally placed tricolor (the French Flag) all the elements are suggesting an upward sense which is synonymous to uprising.

There are two focal points juxtaposed close to each other, denoting the struggle and the objective, the uprising would carry about. One is the flying tricolor flag and the other is just beneath that; the exposed upper body of the main figure. Viewer’s eye is on the move from one to the other, causing an upward motion towards the flag; the symbol of successfully achieved goal and the revealing shoulders and breasts of the Liberty; denotation of the sacrifice and struggle the nation has put forth. But at the same time the sympathetic focal point may lay on the central figure with everything live or dynamic behind her. Only the tricolor flag is above her which shows the importance of the flag to fly high as a symbol of the developed mental and social condition of the bourgeois class.

In order to value the strides for the uprising the number three is another dominating factor in the painting. The main active figures other than the main figure are three in number relating to the three color French flag. There are three lying figures in the foreground as well, two dead ones and one alive. The composition of the painting is in triangular pattern, and there are three guns visible in the hands of the activists. The wooden pieces lying on the right side of the painting are also three in number which also bore the name of the painter and the year of the painting. So, there is a repetition of “three” that may also relate the revolution as a sacred activity to the concept of trinity in Christianity.

As the revolution and the relevant struggle were towards a certain goal of uprising, there is not mach variety present in the subject as well as in technique. All the figures and the background represent a radical mode. So there may be found repetition in all the elements but not variety except the light and dark parts which are more to create chiaroscuro.

It could be said that this work is a close composition with central female figure representing the struggle or strides for the uprising. The tall, marching forward female has got the highest point with head turned towards her right shoulder making a connection to the past or people following her. All the other elements in the painting are on both side of the main figure and lesser in height that marks a close composition in a triangular plan. This close composition is actually forcing the viewer to lead to the focal point to imply the importance of the cause, the revolution was all about. Therefore the unity in composition, keeping in consideration the close composition, is a vital factor. This quality is usually present in all the Delacroix’s work since mostly his subjects for paintings are from mythology or deducted from literature. Therefore, he has to consider the unity of composition for the expression that may always be within the limits of his comprehension and its interpretation through painting.

This work of Delacroix is definitely his contribution towards the French revolution, which is also visible through the three wooden pieces lying on the lower right corner of the frame, on which he has put his signatures and the year of the painting. Some critics have suggested that the figure with top hate on, (to the right of the main female figure) is actually the painter himself, but as a painter he is more concerned about his activity as an artist rather than his mere presence in the frame.

On October 12, 1830 Delacroix wrote to his brother Charles,

“I have undertaken a modern subject, a barricade, and if I have not fought for my country, at least I will paint for her.”

In my personal opinion; this is very much the case. The passion Delacroix has put in the dynamic atmosphere of the painting is not just for the artistic requirements. But it was due to the fervor and force, which was behind the revolution, which inspired all the people who had got some sentimentality. Since the artists were also very active along with the writers, one can assume the true sense of participation in the activity. Delacroix was very romantic in his approach towards choosing the subjects of his paintings as he always looked upon mythology, history and literature. He was very much inspired by the dramatic subjects of Shakespeare, so a real drama in the form of revolution should always inspire him.

This work is basically in a romantic style as the idea or the concept is very romantic. But the whole technique of the painting from dynamic lines to chiaroscuro, from triangular closed composition to the mist of smoke, every thing is under a certain peculiar style which is as real as a historically rendered document could be but, at the same time, it is very romantic in its concept and the theme. The semi nude representation of a female figure as the chief character, which seems half-god and half-human also suggests the romantic spell the painter is under while painting this work. The way Delacroix has signed this canvas by putting his name on the wooden pieces shown in the right corner of the frame is also of the same nature of portraying internal feeling of the artist towards the revolution.

To me, at first glance, this painting is like other works of Delacroix but after the detailed study, I would say, this painting is more of an elaboration of Delacroix’s personality, his emotional association with the desired change and the efforts for attaining it.

Although this work intrinsically is a connotation of human emotions and his struggle for the identity, but at the same time, extrinsically this work lies in the romantic time period as well. Therefore, the combination of concept along with form with a sense of dynamism within the canvas and within the subject as well make this work a true picture of the political, social and psychological growth, the French middle working class was experiencing at the time of revolution. The strides of the main characters are the efforts to get the height, the uprising.

How to Wear a Cross Body Bag

Cross body handbags are one of the most popular fashion trends in recent years, with this design being able to be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. There are also numerous high street and designer options in many different styles, which means that there really is a style that will suit everyone and fit all different types of budget too.

This kind of handbag, however, can be relatively difficult to style, with many people not knowing whether it is more suited for a day look or an evening look, or if it suits their particular body shape. Others can be concerned with how large the bag should be, or how low it should hang.

The first thing to bear in mind is that cross body handbags are a great practical option; that is to say they are much more about a blend of style and practicality rather than just a stylish accessory. These are the bags that you will take out shopping with you, or on a day out when you need your wallet, sunglasses, makeup, cardigan, your phone and a spare pair of ballerina flats.

Of course, these bags – like every type of bag – will vary in size and how much you can fit in them, but the fact remains that they are a practice absolution that can hold all your essential stuff and be easy to wear.

The golden rule to styling any bag to suit your body shape is to choose one that is in proportion to your body. This is, in fact, a golden rule for anything you wear on your body, but is especially true of these accessories as they make up an eye-catching part of your outfit.

If you are petite in size, it is best to therefore go for cross body handbags that also smaller in size, so you are not overpowered by a large bag that can make you look like you are labored with a mail man’s sack! Larger ladies can wear larger designs, as this will put their figures into proportion, whereas smaller bags can make them look larger by comparison.

Although many are concerned that their bag simply holds all of their things rather than puts their body in proportion, this is something to bear in mind if you are styling an outfit that you want to look great in, perhaps for a special occasion or a date.

It is important to consider how you wear your cross body too, as straps that are too long can make the item very uncomfortable and impractical to wear. On the other hand, straps that are too short can be both uncomfortable and stylish in their own way.

The solution to this is searching for a bag that suits your height. Ideally bags should hang by your hip or above, with one of the most popular looks at the moment involving the bag hanging by the wearer’s midriff. If the strap is too long, however, there are several things that you can do to remedy the situation.

One of these is to alter the strap of the bag yourself, although this will require some skills and you can risk ruining the bag. Look online for tutorials from fashions who can give you step by step instructions on this depending on the material that your bag is made from.

Another solution – and an extremely trendy one – is to simply tie a knot in the top of a strap that is too long beforehand it. This knot is actually a style statement in itself, and makes a great addition to a casual or grungy outfit.

Our final tip for styling cross body handbags is remembering to match your outfit with the level of elegance that your bag has. A school like satchel can look great as a casual day look, but will look out of place on an evening out. For the latter occasion however, a delicate cross body adorned with chains or crystals can look very fitting.