Marcel Proust: French Novelist Who was First to Perceive Smell as Memory Stimulant

Long before scientific studies were conducted on how smells have a powerful ability to trigger the recall of memories, famed 20th century French novelist Marcel Proust had already used the idea in his book ”Remembrance of Things Past.” The literature is a 7-part novel released between 1913 and 1927, in which Proust’s narrative delved on how people can relive important events of the past through smells.

Maria Larsson of the Gösta Ekman Laboratory, Department of Psychology at the Stockholm University, is an expert in the study of memory. She became interested in the study of smell when it dawned on her that novelists like Marcel Proust narrated descriptions about the connection between smells and memories.

Yet, when she looked for scientific literature that can provide scientific evidence, she found that the effect of smells on human memory as told by Proust, has yet to be proven. Larson then set out to embark on a scientific mission to prove if smells can really trigger emotional memories.

The Proust Effect as Proven by Scientific Studies

An expert in the field of perception and psychophysics, Ms. Larson modeled her work after Proust’s literature. She carried on by exposing older people to a variety of smells and later interviewed them about the memory evoked by a particular smell.

Ms. Larson was amazed at the results of their experiment, saying they came to a conclusion that memories brought on by smells were more vivid and emotional, when compared to memories evoked by visual or verbal prompts.

She was amazed to learn that the peak of memories recalled via smells can go as far back as age 5.

It was really, totally clear that when they recollected a specific memory, that memory was localized to the childhood period.”

Scents today find use not only as enhancers of human body odor. Since it has been established that people tend to process smells by associating it to certain memories stored in the back of their minds, modern day product designers now use scintillating and aromatic fragrances as a form of consumer enticement.

Graduating from High School: If Not College, What’s the Next Best Thing to Do After?

Receiving a high school diploma is deemed as one major achievement that must be accomplished in life. First off, it opens up avenues for a college education, which in turn provides individuals with credentials to embark on related careers.

However, for one reason or another, a college education is not always possible for all those graduating from high school.Nonetheless, not being able to pursue a college degree does not mean the end of the road for those seeking to have a successful career in the future.

Post-High School Graduation Alternatives to Attending College

Most students graduating from high school, actually feel unprepared to enter college even if their parents have set aside funds to see them through a college education.

In the Achieve survey report, ”Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work?” released in 2014, it was gathered that an estimated 50% of high school graduates were unprepared for the challenges they were about to face; either in college or in a workplace.

That being the case, most of those students were advised to engage in meaningful occupations that will give them opportunities for overcoming reasons that stopped them from pursuing a college education. The following are only some of the post-high school graduation alternatives to consider.

Take on Apprenticeship Work

Apprenticeships are work-based training programs participated in by many US employers, because they not only help in developing young workers into becoming potential employees who can render skilled and efficient services. Apprenticeship programs also offer productivity incentives that employer-participants can claim on every dollar spent on apprenticeship programs.

Most high school graduates find apprenticeship opportunities in industries involved in construction, health technology, electricals, equipment installations and maintenance, or in fire medics. As apprentices, young workers receive special protection particularly with regard to working time. Under normal circumstances, apprentices are expected to render at least 30 hours of work during the week. They stand to receive compensation based on the national minimum wage rates stipulated in accordance with the age of the apprentice and the industry classification.

Most important of all, completing an apprenticeship program, qualifies an apprentice to receive credentials equivalent to an associate or bachelor’s degree. Entry level job opportunities in fields related to the apprenticeship program, term this qualification as “work experience equivalent to a college degree.”

Apply for Work that Do Not Require a College Degree

This option requires greater interest in performing a specific task, in order to build a promising career even without a college degree. Some examples include work as Postal Service Mail Carriers, Penal Correction Officers (prison guards), or Boilermakers, assemblers, installer or repairers of bollers.

Engage in Volunteer Work

In this aspect, there are no specific employment programs offered governing a young workers’ involvement, since the latter will render voluntary work. Still, those soliciting voluntary work are required to have Voluntary Work Programs in place.

The payback for voluntary work among young people, include receiving Living Allowance, in addition to provision of skills and training. AmeriCorps for one, also confer educational awards that grant financial rewards to use in paying for college education, vocational training, or if applicable for graduate school or for repaying student loans. In addition, most volunteer workers who does well in their line of work, eventually land well-paying jobs at public, private or non-profit organizations.

Enlist in a Military Sector

High school graduates who are confident they have what it takes to build a military career, enlist right after high school graduation. Still, even if one is not planning on a military career, gaining a job by successfully passing military training, equates to receiving regular paychecks. After at least 2 years of military service, other incentives like annual salary raises, housing and medical benefits, as well as educational assistance programs will become available.

Teach Children How to Know if Water is Safe to Drink

Parents often times make it a point to stress the importance of drinking water in order to stay in good health. However, when on his or her own at school, in camps or in any place away from home, will a child know if the water he or she is about to drink, is safe?

It is important therefore to give children, at least some basic guidelines on what to drink or not to drink.

Safety Pointers that Children Must Know When Drinking Water

Most adults know that for a drinking water to be safe, it must not contain metals, chemicals, bacteria, fluoride, chlorine and other similar contaminants. When on their own, children do not have an inkling how to know about those..

The best way therefore is to orient them about the sources of safe and unsafe drinking water, in addition to explaining what makes a source safe or unsafe.

  • Let your children know that schools in the US are required to provide clean and safe drinking water. Water must be derived from protected sources such as piped water, dug wells, tubewells, or by way of commercially delivered purified water.
  • As part of their knowledge, make them aware that a water source is not protected if it shows signs of leakages. In most cases, contaminants coming from wastes have potential to enter through a pipe breach.
  • Tell children not to drink from the protected water source if there is flooding in the area. As parent, it is your responsibility to provide them with safe drinking water that they can bring to school. Do this until you have ascertained that school administrators have had water coming out from protected sources, checked and tested as free from contaminants.

  • When eating in malls or fast food outlets, advise them not to drink water provided by the establishment. Even if water comes from a protected source, or even if purified water is served, they might drink from tumblers that have not been properly washed, or stored protected from crawling insects. To satisfy thirst, it would be better to buy bottled drinking water to stay safe.
  • Children often spend their vacation outdoors, usually swimming with friends in community lakes, or in a friend’s private swimming pool. Instill in your children the importance of not taking chances in dirty bodies of water or in swimming pools that have not been cleaned and treated. Contaminated water entering through any body openings will allow microorganisms to invade their body. The important microorganism to avoid is e.coli, because having them in one’s bloodstream can result to severe health disorders.

In time, as your children get older, they will have learned how to determine if the water they are about to drink is safe or not.

When Will Students Learn the Consequences of Bringing an Airsoft Gun to School?

Despite stricter laws imposed by state governments regarding replica firearms such as airsoft, air or BB guns, incidents in which a realistic-looking airsoft gun is brought to school, still happen.

 

Apparently unaware of the consequences of such action, some students still cause alarm and apprehension to fellow students by bringing a replica gun to school even if for a harmless reason. As a result, other students will send text messages to their parents or to a school authority, or approach an adult in charge.

In 2 separate school incidents in Michigan, school authorities alerted the local police after receiving text messages that a student brought a firearm to school. One of which took place in Lapeer County’s Almont Community Schools in Feb. 20, 2018. The other incident happened in Mt. Morris City at Montague Elementary School. The Mt. Morris City Police Department school liaison officer was able to immediately get hold of the replica gun.

In both cases, local police authorities handled the confiscation actions and investigations, and if called for, the student’s detention.

The Mt. Morris officer stated that even if the gun was found unloaded and inoperable, the state prohibits the act of bringing any type of gun to school. Severe school disciplinary actions must be carried out, even if necessitating the involvement of law enforcers.

Apparently, not a few children are aware that in Michigan, the penalties for bringing a replica or real firearm in school include up to 93 days imprisonment, 100 hours of community service, a fine of up to $2000, which in all probability will be imposed on a parent if the erring student is a minor.

Why the Presence of Airsoft Guns in School is Not a Trivial Matter

 

The bringing of a replica gun to school is no longer treated as a trivial matter that can be addressed later. First off, it is not easy to instantly tell if a gun in the school premise is only an imitation firearm. Mainly because airsoft guns are intentionally designed and built to resemble a genuine firearm. If a brand or edition of an airsoft rifle is touted as the best airsoft sniper rifle, then it practically looks the same as its real-life counterpart.

Secondly, there were past incidents of school mass shootings that could have been prevented, had school and law enforcement authorities, been notified as soon as the assailant’s firearm was spotted. That being the case, parents and school administrations have raised children’s awareness about the criticality of alerting school authorities, once they see or detect the presence of a firearm; regardless of whether the students think the gun is real or not.

Understanding Learning Styles

Learning styles (LS) generally refer to the set of factors occurring as patterns of  learning behavior and attitudes among students, which can be utilized as effective method of teaching.

 

A set of LS poses as influences to the approach preferred by a learner when acquiring knowledge. In the academic world, the use of learning styles as basis for teaching methods became popular as educational practice as far back as the 1970s. The approach though is not without criticism, since every individual possesses different cognitive, physiological and affective behaviors.

In a typical learning environment, several learners interact with a single teacher. Ideally, assessment of individual learning styles is undertaken to determine the most preferred modes of instructions that will optimize the educator’s teaching method. Recent studies though expressed skepticism regarding learning styles as determining factors. The common contentions are the unreliable measurement and the absence of systematic studies supporting such measures.

The Seven Basic Learning Styles

There are seven (7) basic learning styles, namely Auditory, Visual, Kinaesthetic, Kinaesthetic-Auditory, Visual-Auditory, Visual-Kinaesthetic, and Auditory-Kinaesthetic-Visual. Auditory refers to learning by listening, Kinaesthetic means learning thru physical activities, while Visual pertains to learning by way of images, examples, charts and the like. The rest therefore are combinations of two or three learning techniques.

Visual-Auditory teaching methods usually combine oral and written instructions and materials. Visual-Kinaesthetic LS enables a student to learn faster by carrying out tasks related to a lecture. Such tasks may include creating posters, powerpoint presentations, conducting surveys, and other similar activities. Auditory-Kinaesthetic uses sound related physical activities. Teaching methods usually task students to convert a certain lesson into a song, create a commercial jingle or music video.

Studies show that it is unlikely that one individual has only one learning style. Yet it has been widely observed that one learning style is dominant over another. The important point driven at by LS critics is that teaching methods must not be confined to learning styles claimed as the most effective. Utilizing instructional methods attuned to one LS at a time, gives students a chance to develop less dominant learning senses. In time, teaching methods may later advance to using multi-sensory learning approaches.

Giving the Best Care and Attention to Rescued Chinchillas

Fur farms in several European countries are undergoing a phase-out period as precursor to the full implementation of the fur farming ban in their respective regions. During which, animals like minks, foxes, rabbits and chinchillas are being transferred to animal welfare organizations that will put them up for adoption. If you are planning to adopt one, it would be best to know beforehand the basic dos and don’ts related to the animal you intend to adopt.

Things to Keep in Mind When Adopting a Rescued Chinchilla

The chinchillas are the likeliest candidates for home adoption. Unlike minks, rabbits and foxes that can survive in the wilds, chinchillas possess certain traits and habits that require addressing in the best ways possible. In regions with perennial cold climate, it is important to know beforehand that draught (draft) poses as danger to chinchillas. On the other hand, warm conditions can trigger heatstroke. That is why it is best to place them in rooms with controlled temperature and away from direct sunlight.

It is also important to know that rescue centers in charge of transferring chinchillas to new owners, carefully screen individuals applying for chinchilla adoption. A rescue worker will ask questions pertaining to personal backgrounds, such as lifestyle, type of dwelling, work schedule and of one’s natural inclination to care for animals. Potential owners will then be asked questions aimed at gauging knowledge on chinchilla fostering. Aside from knowing which cage for small animals suits a chinchilla pet, basic knowledge of chinchilla habits and needs is likewise important.

Some may find the process too rigorous when compared to how dog or cat shelters simply require payment of a minimal fee. Keep in mind that the animals up for adoption were rescued from extremely harsh conditions, from whence they experienced stress, fear, and physical hardship. They were handled by workers who were more concerned in maintaining the quality of their pelt, to ensure their fur will command the most competitive price in the business.

Important Things to Know About Chinchillas

Nature and Habits – Chinchillas are gentle but energetic creatures that sleep during daytime and stay active at night. They are inclined to run around and jump, capable of leaping up to 6 feet high. Their teeth grow continuously, therefore constantly needing safe objects on which to chew. When experiencing stress, the creature manifests such condition by chewing on its furs. Care must be observed in handling or petting chinchillas since they have a very fragile rib cage.

Diet – Chinchillas are herbivores, best fed by way of timothy hay and premium chinchilla pellets made from balanced combination of lucerne/alfalfa, soybean, wheat, soya hulls, locust beans, plantain, parsley, linseed, salt, monocalcium and calcium carbonates. When fed with vegetables and/or fruits, they must be given in limited amounts. Their drinking water must always be fresh and free from chlorine. Feeding them with chocolates, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and treats with high-fat content can become causes of a serious health disorder.

Hygiene – Caring for chinchillas require providing them with dust bath with which they roll in as method of cleaning their fur. Dust bath purchased from stores contain substances similar to the organic dusts found in natural chinchilla habitats. Keep them away from areas where they can get wet, and if ever, dry their fur thoroughly to avoid molds from setting in. Cages or areas in which a chinchilla pet nestles must be cleaned and disinfected regulary at least once a week. Make certain to put the chinchilla back only when the cage or area is completely dry.