Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amazoncom case analysis

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The first thing to know about Amazon’s business design is that there are no physical stores as opposed to Barnes and Noble that have retail outlets in every state of the U.S. and all around the globe. This poses a problem for Amazon because e-business requires very active customers. The customer has to know what they want and the customer has to know how to use and navigate the Internet. Delivery costs are higher for Amazon when compared to Barnes and Noble because when a customer goes to Barnes and Noble they can buy the product and immediately take it home with them. Amazon has to charge for shipping and there is no immediate consumption of the product. As we studied before about Internet delivery, the customer is not present. The customer needs to feel safe when giving information to Amazon, and Amazon has a secured server that can keep records of credit card numbers and mailing addresses if the customer authorizes Amazon to do so. With Barnes and Noble there is no transfer of sensitive information because the customer can purchase with cash or check, and if using a credit card all that happens is a swipe of the card and a signature from the customer. Amazon needs to exercise good response time on the delivery and inform the customer through email which Amazon already does. The Amazon website recognizes the customer when they log in and displays a page with the name of the customer and recent purchases as well as suggestions for other products based on these purchases. When a customer has not visited the Amazon website in a long period of time, Amazon sends an email encouraging the customer to visit Amazon.com, and gives a list of recommendations on products for the customer to look at on the next visit. This overcomes the problem of having an employee talking to the customer face to face and gives recommendations by keeping track of recent purchases and offering advice for other purchases. Amazon has a simple web page that is easy to understand and Amazon avoids large graphics that can slow down the loading of a page. From a customer’s perspective, the advantages of Amazon’s design are based on technology. There is no face-to-face interaction that may cause a customer to feel uncomfortable or pressured into buying, and for people who know exactly what they want this is a nice feature because it reduces the stress and time of shopping. Customers can shop at anytime on Amazon where Barnes and Noble have daily hours of operation restricting availability. E-commerce offers access from the home or office via a computer, but sometimes this can be bad because computers do not always work and networks can shut down. With Barnes and Noble the customer has to travel to the store, walk around to find what they want, and then pay at the counter which uses a lot of extra time. Amazon has a worldwide market are because it is available on the Internet, where as Barnes and Noble is only available locally. The customers of Amazon are anonymous and can enjoy the convenience of shopping from their home, while Barnes and Noble offers customers a personalized social interaction that some people may prefer. Shopping online is convenient and quick, but it also reduces those impulse buys when a customer sees something they like and end up buying the product for no real purpose. Traditional shopping allows the customer to use all five senses when shopping and allows them to sample the product first hand instead of looking at the product on a screen. The disadvantages of online shopping are less price and selection control, usually there is a delivery fee for the product, and the customer has to rely on a computer that is not always dependable. When traditionally shopping the process is very time consuming and there is the possibility of having to wait in lines and trouble finding a parking spot.

Amazon.com has not turned a profit yet because it takes a lot of capital to run an e-business. The main costs are managing the website, and making sure that distribution channels are open and operational. Another reason for the low profits is that Amazon is continually investing in new markets and trying to gain a bigger market share wherever possible. In order to achieve profitability, Amazon needs to specialize in a few markets and limit the amount of money being invested in expansion. The ability of other competitors to become available online was unavoidable due to the availability of technology. Amazon cannot do anything to stop this. This is why Amazon needs to develop some core competences and maximize those. In fact, I am not sure that Amazon will ever turn a profit because all of the money that is made is being reinvested for expansion instead of concentration.

I think that Amazon will be able to stay ahead “click-and-mortar” competitors like Barnes and Noble because Amazon already has a website and network setup with an established position in e-commerce. Amazon is on top, but I think it will experience some declines in business due to the fact that more companies are turning to the Internet to boost sells. This will inevitably draw some customers away from Amazon, but Amazon is helpless against that fact. Amazon already has the knowledge to run an e-business where companies like Barnes and Noble will have to invest time and money before they develop its knowledge of e-commerce. Amazon could profit from this situation by offering some sort of consulting to companies looking to on the Internet.

I think that Amazon.com is an insight to the future of the retail business. More customers are shopping online everyday, and new customers will eventually experiment with online shopping and start to like it better for its convenience. As long as technology continues to catch on around the world and people are still reproducing, e-commerce is going to always be there. I think that it is just one step in the evolution of business and I think it will open up new windows of opportunity for customers and businesses.

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SWOT Analysis

Amazon’s core strength is that its business is very customer oriented. And all e-businesses need to be. Amazon sought to create a friendly site that would not demand a high level of computer literacy. Amazon.com builds customer relationships by customizing its service, involving its website visitors in the service, and creating a collective spirit. Focus on the customer is key for developing customer loyalty. The customers are included in many ways. One way is that customers can partake in the Discussion Board service. This service presents an opportunity to read comments from readers about books of interest to the customer. The customer can also talk to other Discussion Board participants. Another feature of the Discussion Board is the Author’s Corner, which sometimes allows readers to interact with their favorite writers. The “wish list” is another service that Amazon offers. A customer can enter titles of books or music that he or she would like to have in a personal wish list. Someone who wants to give a friend a book as a gift can make a selection from the friend’s wish list. Amazon also makes personalized recommendations to individual customers. Some of these recommendations are based on the customer’s previous purchases, and other recommendations are based on the behavior of past customers who have made purchases similar to those of the customer. Using “collaborative filtering” Amazon software determines what books are popular among similar customers, and then Amazon creates a list of proposed products for the customer based on this information. Amazon uses this technique to provide the same friendly and personalized purchasing advice that a local store like Barnes and Noble can, but it achieves better accuracy and convenience at a fraction of the cost. When repeat customers log on to the website, a personalized web page appears and greets the customer by name and allows him or her to view the new recommendations made by the collaborative filtering tool. Amazon also allows customers to store information on the company’s secure server. Customers can authorize Amazon to keep a record of their credit cards and mailing information, for example. If a customer does not visit the site for a certain amount of time, Amazon sends and email to the customer encouraging him or her to visit Amazon.com, and gives a list of recommendations on items to look at on their next visit. Amazon also has a powerful search engine that recognizes the spelling mistakes that customers often make and changes the search function to account for these mistakes.

A weakness of Amazon is its want to expand. As I said earlier it takes a lot of investment to expand into other retailing markets. This is a cause of Amazon’s low profitability. This fast expansion has its dangers because if Amazon expands too quickly, it could destroy its brand image. For example, Amazon recently integrated an online auction business, which is risky because there is no way for a customer or Amazon to ensure the quality of sellers and their honesty. Not being able to see the product in person is a weakness that forces Amazon to expend extra energy in assuring the customer of product quality and dependability. There is no personal interaction with the customers in e-business which some people like and do not like. Quality control is another soft spot for Amazon because it cannot be absolutely sure of the sellers that it allows to use their website to sell used items.

I think that Amazon has an opportunity in helping other businesses develop an e-business. Amazon has superior technical and market knowledge that it can sell to interested businesses, even though the might be a competitor. Online auctioning has great potential for Amazon, but the one problem is Ebay. If Amazon can specialize in auctioning just books or music first and then try to expand into auctioning other products like consumer electronics it can benefit. For example, Amazon could sell autographed books and music paraphernalia to customers, whom Ebay does offer, but because Amazon is known for its books and music customers will turn to Amazon for the right item.

The biggest reheat to Amazon is technology. Sure Amazon has a competitive advantage on its competitors right now, but once these competitors figure out how to be successful in e-commerce Amazon is in trouble. Some of Amazon’s customer will inevitably shop somewhere else, unless Amazon can find a way to stay one step ahead of the competition. I do not think that Amazon should open up some retail stores because that is not their strength. Amazon will not be able to compete with stores like Barnes and Noble because Amazon does not have the knowledge to break into that market and profit from doing so. Amazon’s online auction is suspect to failure due to Ebay’s commanding market position in that arena; this poses another threat to Amazon.



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Moving and Dance

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Dad’s job relocations and dance. One kept me moving, one kept me grounded. I’ve lived in six states and seven cities Indianapolis, IN; Racine, WI; New Brighton, MN; Denver, CO; Mission Viejo, CA; Milwaukee, WI. What have I learned from all of this moving? It’s simple a larger bedroom is better than a smaller one, having kids your own age in the neighborhood is a big plus, it’s not so bad being around your family all the time, and there is always somewhere to find friends.

Dance is what made moving easier for me. I’ve been on the stage since first grade. My debut was with “Kids are Music” during my California years. Just when I had started to think, “Hey, this is cool,” we were on the road again, to Wisconsin. At eight years old, I began dancing in earnest at the Milwaukee Ballet School. I was accepted into their junior company following eighth grade. Talk about a huge accomplishment! Not only would we perform at all of the companys events, but it also meant being eligible for auditions at other companies around the country. Shortly after I received that acceptance letter, my dad informed the family of another move. I was devastated.

After living in Stillwater for two months, I asked my mom to pick me up late from school so I could audition for the schools dance team. To my relief, I made it! I was on the team for six seasons and was captain for three. I am also a member of the competition group at my local studio and have been on the top line for the past three years.

All of this training has kept me super busy and has helped me forget how hard moving is. It has given me discipline and confidence and has taught me to wear a smile. The best part about dance is having bunches of friends that share something I love. Being a dancer allows you to take a class anywhere and immediately find people you can bond with.

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I know firsthand that moving isn’t fun, but dancing is. And dancing helps make it easier to find friends in a new locale. I hope my next move will be a meaningful experience, a journey to St. Peter, and that the Gustavus dance team and college life will bring me a whole new set of friends.



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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

aha

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Philosophy 101 -- week VI outline


I. A note about ideas


Descartes thinks that some things can be thought only very abstractly -- like love, justice, God, truth, etc. These just happen to be the subject matter of philosophy.


Descartes also thinks that human beings hate thinking abstractly. Instead, they are inclined to think of things by means of picture-ideas. For example, to think of love, we might just think of a heart. Or, to think of God, we might just think of a powerful bearded guy on a cloud.


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PROBLEM. We may think that we are thinking of love when we think of a heart, but what are we really thinking? We are thinking of a heart. Same thing with God -- if all we are thinking of is a bearded guy on a cloud, then our idea is not of God, its of a bearded guy on a cloud.


One of Descartes aims in the Meditations is to prove some results about abstract philosophical matters -- esp. the soul and God. But, he thinks that we are inclined to think of these things by means of picture-ideas; that is, we are not thinking of the soul or God at all. Before Descartes offers his proofs about the soul and God, he has to fix up our ideas. If he doesnt, then when we consider his proofs, we will be thinking of what we take to be the soul and God; that is, we wont be thinking of the soul or God at all. To get us to see that God exists, etc., Descartes has to make sure that we have an idea that really is of God.


In the First Meditation, Descartes gets us to doubt our beliefs so that we can arrive at some beliefs that are indubitable. This is one of his aims. But he is also trying to get us to get into the habit of thinking abstractly. All of the First Meditation doubts lead us to this -- to thinking abstractly in the Second Meditation.


II. Beliefs sometimes rest on other beliefs.


Descartes notes early in the First Meditation that when he was a child he believed things that later turned out to be false. He also notes that any beliefs that he subsequently based on these beliefs would be on shaky ground. He concludes that it would be of value to check out the beliefs on which his other beliefs rest to make sure that these first beliefs are stable.


He doesnt want to rest his beliefs even on beliefs he trusts a lot, because these might be false as well. They might be things that he trusts but that are based on a source that was not reliable. To make sure that he rests his beliefs on things he can be completely sure of, he tries to isolate beliefs that are absolutely indubitable.


He will doubt his beliefs as much as possible. Any that remain standing are indubitable and are the ones from which hell build back up.


He wont doubt his beliefs individually -- he has too many of them, and this would take forever -- so hell lump them into classes.


first, beliefs based on the senses. if these beliefs prove to be doubtable, then we cant use them in our belief-foundation.


second, beliefs that are not based on the senses. if these beliefs are indubitable, then we can use them to build back up. if these beliefs are doubtable, then we have to look elsewhere for a belief that is indubitable, or else just admit that nothing can be known for certain.


III. The argument from sensory deception -- the senses sometimes deceive us.


IV. The dream argument


how is this an advance on the first argument?


what is it about the cause of a perception that makes us unable to be sure that it resembles the perception?


V. The Painter Analogy


what are the simples that survive the dream argument?


VI. Defective Nature Doubt


the grand-daddy of doubts -- if my mind is defective, how can I be sure about anything?


maybe God made me with a defective mind, or maybe I just evolved...


remembering all of this abstract argumentation is difficult -- thinking of the Evil Demon helps us.


Defective Nature Doubt is indirect.


take anything that our mind is sure is true -- like that there are simples that give rise to our perceptions, or that +=5, etc. -- and we still might be wrong about it. if our mind tells us its true, we cannot doubt it while thinking about it, but we can doubt it indirectly by thinking instead about our mind -- thinking that maybe our mind is wrong even about things that are evident to it.


VII. The structure of the First Meditation


Descartes thinks we should examine our beliefs and make sure that they rest on a foundation about which we can be certain. He offers a number of skeptical arguments to get us to admit that none of the beliefs that we thought were indubitable really are indubitable. The only belief that is is I think, I am.


Descartes wants to get us to see that the only belief that is absolutely indubitable is I think, I am. He start in the First Meditation. To get us to see that all of the rest of our beliefs are doubtable, he offers arguments to get us to question these beliefs. First, he offers the argument re sensory deception. When this isnt strong enough to get us to doubt our beliefs about what is right in front of us, he offers the dream argument. When the dream argument isnt strong enough to get us to doubt the rest of our beliefs -- our belief that there must be some physical reality out there making us have perceptions, and also all beliefs that arent based on our senses -- Descartes offers defective nature doubt. With this he convinces us that the only thing that is truly indubitable is I think, I am (in the Second Meditation). Hell build back up from this, and try to prove from it that God exists.


But Descartes is doing something else also. He thinks that philosophy is about abstract things like justice, goodness, love, God, and truth. He also thinks that most people dislike thinking abstractly and are in the habit of thinking by means of picture-ideas. A problem is that if we only think by means of picture-ideas, we cannot think of abstract things like justice, love, God, etc. So, to get us to the point where we can even think about these things, Descartes has to get us to start thinking abstractly. All of the skeptical arguments of the First Meditation work to this end -- they make us isolate the abstract thought I think, I am. We will use this as a model for thinking about other abstract things in the First Meditation.





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tree houses

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Rotting boards hanging from the branches a tree or the remains of someones abandoned tree house, cause an instant flash back to childhood. These creations of wood and nails can capture the imagination of the child that resides in everyone, and they have never ceased to appeal to young children. Tree houses offer an important outlet for thousands of people around the world. Construction of tree houses should be encouraged as an artistic learning opportunity for both children and adults alike. Anyone can choose to build a tree house for his or her children or even themselves. However building a tree house that is both aesthetic and functional requires the proper site selection, careful construction, and proper planning.


Selecting the proper site is imperative to both the appearance and function of the tree house. The proper height is required for the construction of the tree house. The higher the tree house is the greater the sense of freedom and the more fulfilling the views of the ground will be. However, safety must be the first priority- in terms of prevention of falls, controlling the wind speeds, and insuring the quality of support. Tree houses built for children are better suited close to the ground, more then meters from the ground. This minimizes the danger caused by a fall, because accidents happen. Trees can move quite a bit in the wind without the added weight of a tree house so an improperly constructed tree house will irritate the situation. In a normal situation (without the tree house attached to it), a tree can compensate for the wind by loosing some of its leaves or branches. If the house must be built in a high wind area, it needs to be built in the lower portion of the tree, where wind speeds are lower. If wind poses a serious danger, then the proper branch thickness is required.


Branch thickness is essential to the strength of the tree house. The branches must be strong enough to support the size of house that is being built. Facilitating the construction becomes simpler with few long supports and when using many small supports. Though will longer supports more attachments are needed across different trees. However, the strength of the branch varies from tree species to tree species, there are some guidelines that you can follow. The best trees to use are oak, beech, maple, fir, and hemlock. These trees will generally support any type of tree house you build. However, the strength not only varies from species to species, but from tree to tree, so test each tree carefully to insure that the project come out to the specified design.


Careful construction of the tree house grantees that it will be both eye pleasing and safe. When building the tree house there must be a plan to follow. It is very easy to want to add or take away pieces while the house is being built. By having, a blue print already drawn up the work is accomplished with fewer problems. Depending on the size and complexity of the tree house, a professional can help. Professional planning insures that the tree house will


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be constructed carefully. There are few companies that offer assistance for such a small project, but research will pay off. One company that is a great resource is Patrick Fultons Construction Company.


The actual construction of the tree house takes skill and patience. If professional help is not necessary then it is imperative that the house is built with care. Using the right equipment, besides the obvious hammer and nails, is important. There is a simple machine for example called a donkey that will assist with all heavy lifting.


Finally managing the tree house after it is built is necessary to maintain an eye catching house. Trees continue to grow even after they are built on. The tree will require trimming and will also require proper use, which means taking care not to damage the bark or important branches. In addition, the tree house must continually check to make sure the structural integrity is intact.


As the popularity of tree houses spreads people need to be educated on the proper was of constructing them. Every little boy who desires a place of refuge, for adults who loves to build, the tree house is the perfect thing for them. The building of tree houses must be preserved, and it should be preserved with the proper knowledge of how to construct them. If the knowledge is not passed then a part of childhood as it is know will be lost with it.





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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Health of Polar Bears

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Polar bears are increasingly becoming a rare species. We need to protect the fragile environment that they inhabit with the utmost care.


Let us deal with the points one by one. Firstly the effect of the ozone layer depletion. As more and more CFC ( Carbon Fluro Carbons ) are released in to the atmosphere the amount of ozone in the ozone layer. Thus increasing the amount of harmful radiation entering the planet. This leads to a rise in global temperatures. Also with the release of green house gases into the atmosphere in huge quantities the global temperature rise beomes significant. Now as we all know that a slight increase in global temperatures can reduce the polar ice caps by a significant margin, hence the fagile eco system of the polar bears, which are found only in north pole, is in grave danger.


Also recently it has been observed that the levels of PCBs in the worlds oceans have risen significantly in the last decade. The currents also have a tendency of carrying these poisonous chemicals towards the poles. Thus increasing the concentration of these harmful chemicals in these eco systems to beyond alarming levels. These chemicals then pass into the food chain affecting all the animals in it. Polar bears happen to be on top of the food chain. Hence receive the most concentrated doses of these chemicals. The worst part is that these chemicals cause impotency. Without this given problem polar bears have a very low multiplication rate. Thus significantly increasing their chances of extinction.


Hopefully, with international awareness growing and with opinion stongly in favour of presevation of these magnificient animals, something fruitful will turn up in the not so distant future. Otherwise we have pushed these Gods Gifts way past the brink of extinction.


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Illustration of Method Used to Calculate Beta

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Beta is an asset’s volatility relative to “the market.” An asset with a beta coefficient of 1.0


has tended to experience up and down movements of roughly the same magnitude as


the market. One with a beta of 1. has tended to gain roughly 0% more than the market


during rising periods, and has tended to experience declines 0% more severe than the


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market during periods of falling prices. The name “beta” refers to the “b” (the “slope”) in


the linear equation Y= a + bX.


CALCULATION METHODOLOGY


This method compares an asset’s volatility relative to “the market.” A formula is designed


to create a log-log regression of an asset. This is accomplished by using “log price


relatives” (the natural logarithms of the price relatives).


Factual Data


Time


Period “Market” % Fund %


1 0 0


0 -40


40 40


4 0 0


5 -10 -50


Step 1 Determine the Price Relative of each time period for both “the market” and the


fund using the following formula


Fund or Market Return/100 + 1 = Price Relative


Example


0/100 + 1 = 1. 0/100 + 1 = 1.0


0/100 + 1 = 1.0 -40/100 + 1 = 0.6


40/100 + 1 = 1.4 40/100 + 1 = 1.4


0/100 + 1 = 1. 0/100 + 1 = 1.


-10/100 + 1 = 0. -50/100 + 1 = 0.5


Step After you calculate the Price Relatives for all the time periods, you must convert


each value using “Log Price Relatives” (the natural logarithms of the price relatives). Do


this by using a financial calculator or a spreadsheet program with formulas.


Example From the previous example use the calculated price relatives to determine the


“Log Price Relatives”. Add the figures for each to calculate Sigma X and Sigma Y.


“ Market” (X) Fund (Y)


1. = 0.18 1.0 = 0.00000


1.0 = 0.00000 0.6 = -0.5108


1.4 = 0.647 1.4 = 0.647


1. = 0.66 1. = 0.66


0. = -0.1056 0.5 = -0.615


Sigma X = 0.67580 -0.60514 = Sigma Y


Step Multiply each log price relative against each other and then add the total together


to get Sigma XY.


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Example


XY


0.08 0.00000 = 0.00000


0.00000 -0.5108 = 0.00000


0.647 0.647 = 0.111


0.66 0.66 = 0.06884


-0.1.056 -0.615 = 0.070


Sigma XY = 0.5508


Step 4 Square both X and Y to calculate Sigma X squared and Sigma Y squared.


Example


0.18 0.18 = 0.04 0.00000 0.00000 = 0.00000


0.00000 0.00000 = 0.00000 -0.5108 -0.5180 = 0.604


0.647 0.647 = 0.111 0.647 0.647 = 0.111


0.66 0.66 = 0.06884 0.66 0.66 = 0.06884


-0.1056 -0.1056 = 0.0110 -0.615 -0.615 = 0.48045


Sigma X = 0.6 Sigma Y = 0.44


Step 5 Calculate “beta” using the following formula


Beta Coefficient =


n xy x y


n x x


-


-


å å å


å å ( )


Example


5 0.5508 - .67580 (-.60514)


Beta =


5 .6 - .67580 = .4445


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Monday, May 14, 2012

Shakespeare's Sonnets

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William Shakespeare is widely known for his simultaneous use of ambiguity and precision in his works. His plays on words go beyond common convention and force the reader to search for further meaning. Shakespeare’s flair expressed in his works engage his readers, urging them to solve his puzzle and the story he is trying to tell. His emotions and feelings of love constantly develop and shift illuminating different literary characteristics and qualities immersed inside each sonnet. Sonnet 10 is a prime example of one that compares the speaker’s lover to many other beauties�yet these comparisons are never in the lover’s favor.


This particular sonnet plays an elaborate joke on conventional love poetry written in Shakespeare’s time and is told so well, that the joke remains funny when read today. Most sonnet sequences from Elizabethan England modeled themselves after Petrarch’s sonnets. Petrarch commonly used elements of nature to describe the greatness of his mistress. At the time, Petrarchan metaphors comparing beautiful women with natural things were almost over used. The poet is being realistic and saying that his mistress is nothing like the beauty found in these things, she is rather ordinary, yet she still is attractive. Shakespeare’s sonnets undermine and sabotage the traditions established in the Petrarchan love style of writing. He chose an admittedly imperfect man to idolize with his sonnets, and almost writes with disgust about the dark lady.


Sonnet 10 is written around an alternating rhyme scheme where the last word in line 1 rhymes with the last word in line , the last word in line rhymes with the last word in line 4, and so on. In addition, iambic pentameter is used evenly throughout this particular sonnet. The metaphorical construction of this sonnet is important to its effect. In the first quatrain, the speaker spends one line on each comparison between his mistress and something else (the sun, coral, snow, and wires)--the one positive thing in the whole poem that some part of his mistress is like. His attractiveness for her he admits is due to her status as a highly sexual being. In the second and third quatrains, he expands the descriptions to occupy two lines each, so that roses/cheeks, perfume/breath, music/voice, and goddess/mistress each receive a pair of unrhymed lines. This creates the effect of an expanding and developing argument, and neatly prevents the poem--which does, after all, rely on a single kind of joke for its first twelve lines--from becoming stagnant and dull. This particular form and style of sonnet writing keeps the reader amused while at the same time gives a set cohesiveness to the piece.


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During the Renaissance, it was common for poets to employ Petrarchan conceit to praise their lovers. Applying this type of metaphor, an author makes elaborate comparisons of his beloved to one or more very dissimilar things. Such hyperbole was often used to idolize a mistress while lamenting her cruelty. Shakespeare utterly abandons the poetic convention of Petrarchan conceit in Sonnet 10. In this poem, Shakespeare denies his mistress all of the praises Renaissance poets customarily attributed to their lovers.


The first quatrain is filled exclusively with the Shakespeares seeming insults of his mistress. The first line starts the sonnet out describing the eyes of the woman who we have labeled as the “Dark Lady” with a traditional comparison. Shakespeare’s choice of the word “mistress” to label this woman is particularly interesting with the word “stress” embedded within it. Perhaps the stress originates from lusting and loving something he knows is not conventionally or normally thought of as beautiful added to the fact that she is denying him. The emotion felt in this line is a gloomy on of disappointment and dissatisfaction in an expectance for more superficial attractiveness.


Line follows a pattern set in the first line with the use of something found in nature to describe the woman. It adds to the power of the first line with the comparison of lips like coral, another traditional comparison. Yet he is again stating that coral is redder than her lips, a statement that comes off as an almost poetic insult. Along with the lack of brightness in her eyes, the lack of redness in her lips go together to increase the emotion of a dismal displeasure with this woman’s appearance. As the lines of the first quatrain progress from one to four, the particular body part being described also progresses in sensuality. From the mistress’ eyes to her lips and now her breasts that the poet is speaking of, we continue to get a feel of frustrated disappointment. Skin and breasts were often described as whiter than snow. Breasts were also compared to pearl and ivory. The wittiness of this line is in the use of the word dun, which brings the reader down to earth with a bump. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as Of a dull or dingy brown colour; now esp. dull greyish brown, like the hair of the ass and mouse. Logically, since snow is white, one should accept that her breasts were dun colored, i.e. somewhat brownish. Whether this confirms or not that his mistress was truly dark seems doubtful, for the most likely cause of the claim here to her darkness is that of being deliberately provocative. Skin is never as purely white as snow, or as lilies, therefore to go against the extravagant claims of other poets by a simple declaration of something closer to reality might jolt everyone to a truer appraisal of love and the experience of loving. Although the poet is making the woman’s features seem insignificant, the fact that he is writing his sonnet about her shows that these particular parts hold meaning to the narrator. The Dark Lady seems to be viewed primarily as a sexual object, and the selected parts to be described are most commonly associated with the act of loving.


The last line of the first quatrain continues this pattern of describing a woman’s sexual parts with the fourth line that describes her “head”. At first glance, the “black wires” that grow on her head could be seen as the narrator talking about hair growing on her head. This adds to the feeling that the Dark Lady is of African descent. However, following the sexual theme established in the previous lines, the black wires growing on her head may represent pubic hairs. The emotion stays relatively uniform in the first quatrain but increases vulgarity in a sexual manner. Perhaps the poet is judging the Dark Lady and her multiple flings that seem to be for nothing but pure physical sex. He may be contrasting her beauty to lovely things to label her promiscuity and sexual freeness in a negative light. Although, in preceding sonnets, Shakespeare out rightly admits that he lusts after her, yet is denied and cannot have her. A writer who is obsessed with the process of love such as William Shakespeare may perhaps be condescending of someone who loves primarily for raw sex, and avoids loving.


In the beginning of the second quatrain, line 5 is paired with line 6. The speaker states that they have seen women with charming rose cheeks, a feature lacking in the Dark Lady. The sixth line gives an illustration of a beauty literally portrayed according to the extravagant conceits of the time. Her cheeks have roses growing in them; this is another quite literal description that uses nature and its elements to illustrate her beauty, or lack of. The words used in these lines change slightly to a more delicate and charming feel, yet because the description is again contrasting to these beautiful elements of nature, the emotion is again a dark and bland one of inadequacy


The next two lines form a couplet as well. The poet uses a humorous comparison of pleasant smelling perfume to breath that reeks. It’s curious that even though he is insulting her, the repulsiveness that he finds in her is does not sway him from lusting after her. Often in sonnets and poetry the beloveds breath is described as smelling sweeter than all perfumes. It was part of the courtly tradition of love to declare (and believe) that the goddess whom one adored had virtually no human qualities. All her qualities were divine. The use of the word reeks in Shakespeare’s time tended to be associated with steamy, sweaty and unsavory smells. The original meaning seems to have been to emit smoke’; a meaning which is still retained in the Scottish expression Lang may your reek, Long may your chimney smoke. There seems to be little doubt that Shakespeare could have used a gentler and more flattering word if he wished to imply that his mistress was a paragon of earthly delights. The expression is on a par with the earlier descriptions of dun breasts and hair made of black wire. It also lends to the sexual theme already established. The initiation of sexual acts often leads to heavy breathing and sweating, thus the steamy, sweaty and unsavory smells the poet illustrates are probably products of sex. Line 7 and line 8 shifts the emotion from inadequacy to be more of disgust and repulsion, yet a feeling of desire and yearning remains.


Line and line 10 describes the woman in a gentler yet still negative tone. Line is the first and only time that the poet uses the word love, a term often used in a sonnet. Because he says that he loves to listen to her, he is actually complimenting the Dark Lady in this line alluding to her intelligence. In the following line, he does state that the sound of her voice is not as lovely as what is being said. The mere introduction of the term music enlightens the readers ear to the quality of experience the poet derives from listening to his beloved. Technically the effect is perhaps achieved by the directness of the statement I love to hear her speak’; the whole effect is then consolidated by the pleasing sound of music which follows. The tone of the poem changes in line nine of the second quatrain, where Shakespeare qualifies his next insult, stating that he loves to hear his mistress speak. Shakespeare is certain that his mistresss voice is not as delightful as music, and that she does not glide gracefully as a goddess-she walks on the ground like the rest of us (8; -11).


The change in tone, though followed by more insults, begins to indicate the purpose of the speakers presumably derogatory candor. Shakespeare, tired of clich�d praise, wishes to compliment the value of genuine beauty. This theme of sincerity is furthered by the concluding couplet, And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare (1-14). Although he does not endow his love with unattainable beauty conferred to lovers by his predecessors and contemporaries, he finds her quite exceptional. As Shakespeares mistress is remarkable despite his honesty, his sonnet is remarkable because of it, not only ignoring the pretense of Petrarchan arrogance, but also mocking its false compare (15). His admiration for this woman is blatantly there, yet his realistic and bare description of her beauty is described first by stating what she lacks, but then by stating what she has and why she is beautiful to him.


In this sonnet, he ridicules the most common comparisons of the human realm and nature-the poets metaphors between woman and natures objects of beauty. By accentuating the shortcomings of the banal hyperbole of the Elizabethan poet, in Sonnet 10, Shakespeare suggests both the futility and the foolishness of attempting to compare humans and nature.


In sonnet 10, Shakespeare contemptuously describes his Dark Lady introduced in the previous few sonnets. The poet satirizes the tradition of comparing one’s beloved to all things beautiful under the sun, and to things divine and immortal as well. On the contrary, although the octet makes many negative comparisons, the sestet contrives to make one believe that the sound of her voice is sweeter than any music, and that she far outdistances any goddess in her merely human beauties and her mortal approachability. Many sonnets of the time use such lofty comparisons to praise a beloved idol, a practice of flattering praise in this vein that stretches back to Petrarch and his sonnets.











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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Evaluation of McDonalds' Advertisement

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1. Introduction


The role of advertising and other forms of promotion is constantly changing in the modern world of marketing. Today, many companies integrate their advertising efforts with a variety of other communication techniques to ensure the attraction and retention of existing and potential customers through effective delivery of messages. In this assignment, I have chosen a McDonalds TV advertisement for in-depth analyzing. The purpose of this assignment is to understand how McDonalds implemented its communication strategy to reach its target audience and the main objective is to evaluate the strategies that McDonalds had used in its TV advertisement to reassure and predispose its target audience.


. Background of the Advertisement


I had seen this TV advertisement in Singapore during my summer vacation last year. It was frequently shown on Channel 5, Channel 8 and Channel U (i.e.English and Mandarin channels) and usually, the advertisement would be shown between 8pm to 10 pm (the ‘Golden Viewing Slots’ in Singapore). The length of the Ad is about 0 seconds long.


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.1 Description of Advertisement


The first scene showed several children running happily across the grassland towards a school when they heard the bell ring. In the next scene, a picture (drawn by one of the children) attached to the wall is shown. The picture shows a little girl standing in the center with digits ‘1’ to ‘4’ right above her. Next, the teacher starts teaching and she writes ‘1’ on the whiteboard. The children follow her and write ‘1’ on their own tiny cardboard and raise it up to show their teacher. The satisfied teacher goes on to write ‘’ and likewise, the children follow her. The teacher then writes ‘’ and this time round, the children scratch their heads and appear that they do not understand what their teacher is writing (here, you can hear one of the kids says ‘Uh-oh’). Among the confusion of the digit ‘’, one of the little boys smile and tilts his head to the right (here, you can hear the kids saying ‘Oh...’ and a happy tune is played). Everybody follows him and tilts their heads and the next scene shows a tilting whiteboard with a ‘horizontal’ digit ‘’ (which becomes a ‘m’). The children laugh and write ‘m’ on their cardboard and raise it up to show to their teacher. The amazed teacher stares at them, smiles and tilts her head to the right like the little children, and accepts the ‘m’ as a ‘’. At the end of the commercial, the tag line ‘ ҢҢGˬˎˬס‘ (i.e. Chinese characters) is shown at the bottom right hand corner with McDonald’s symbol. This line means that McDonalds would bring laughter into every second of a kid’s life.


(Refer to Appendices I for storyboard of the Advertisement)


. Target Audience


From the TV advertisement, I reckon that the primary target audience would be children aged between to 1 years old (regardless of race and gender). However, since young children do not have any purchasing power, the TV advertisement also targets at a group of secondary target audiences.


This group of secondary target audience includes teenagers aged between 1 to 1 years old as well as parents.


I think that the target market is appropriate for this advertisement that I have chosen. Firstly, the primary target audience is pretty obvious as seen from the TV advertisement. In the advertisement, we can see little young children (probably aged between 4 to 7 years old) attending school and learning how to write. They are the main focus in the advertisement. Young children would be attracted to this advertisement because the nature and content of the advertisement actually relates to their everyday life (i.e. attending school and writing numbers). Before the airing of this advertisement, I believe that children are unable to recognize and distinguish the inverted ‘’ as the symbol of McDonalds. Now, children are able to identify McDonalds through the learning process as well as relate its symbol to their everyday life.


This advertisement also targets teenagers aged between 1 to 1 years old. This age group is the frequent patrons of McDonalds as they seek convenience in their purchases. Taking myself as an example, I remember that I was deeply attracted to this advertisement as it touches on my childhood memories. The advertisement somehow acts as a ‘time-machine’ and brings me back to my childhood days (i.e. the first time I learn to write ‘’, attending school, discover new things etc…).


The advertisement also targets parents as ultimately, they are the ones with the purchasing power. In this advertisement, the image of McDonalds is tied to the educational aspect and this seems as an encouraging factor for parents to make purchases (i.e. the advertisement encourages children to learn).


. Effectiveness of Advertisement Strategy


This advertisement has employed ‘signs and symbols’ (Chmielewski, 00 Lecture 8) to generate additional meaning for McDonalds. For instance, the advertisement employed ‘’ (a sign) and used its inverted form to generate the symbol of McDonalds (‘m’ � a symbol). It is obvious that the symbol of McDonalds is the alphabet ‘M’. The advertisement further derived the symbol’s meaning from the digit ‘’, thus enabling children to identify McDonalds even when they are learning. The perception used would hence generate affective feelings from the target audience to stimuli evoked within them when presented with either the digit ‘’ or ‘m’. The advertisement also has a comparative advantage by attaching the image of McDonalds with an educational aspect (i.e. learning process). (Refer to Appendices II for Semiotic Analysis of the Advertisement)


.1 Effectiveness in Capturing Attention


The advertisement is also attention grabbing as compared to other fast food advertisements shown then. Firstly, the advertisement made use of novel and intense stimuli to capture the attention of the target audience (Chmielewski, 00 Lecture ). The stimulus generated is unexpected (i.e. from a digit ‘’ to the McDonald’s symbol ‘M’). No product of McDonalds is shown throughout the advertisement (which makes it distinguishable from other fast food advertisements). Happy and exciting music is used and the advertisement employs excellent colours usage (i.e. bright, brilliant and cheery). The advertisement is also depicted under the slice of life category whereby attending school and the learning process is a daily routine expected of all children.


Secondly, the advertisement is pretty easy to comprehend which leads to the understanding of the stimulus. Features of the advertisement include a group of cute enthusiastic children, a pretty teacher and the background gives the advertisement a ‘school feel’ (i.e. blackboard, magic pens, drawings pinned on the walls). McDonalds stands at an advantage by presenting its brand through the learning process (i.e. educational aspect).


The mood created in the advertisement is pretty relaxed and soothing. For instance, children are eager and happy to learn how to write. At the same time, children can discover ‘new knowledge’ through learning (from digit ‘’ to symbol ‘m’). Hence, a happy and fun atmosphere is created. The advertisement also helps to display the children’s naïve charm and reflects their enthusiasm towards learning which in return, enables consumers to react to the advertisement positively as well as to remember the advertisement.


Thirdly, children would accept the comprehension of the message whereby learning is an enjoyable process with McDonalds close to your heart because the message delivered is credible (i.e. the fact that an inverted ‘’ is the symbol of McDonalds). The advertisement is also compatible with values (i.e. learning is important and creative) that are important to the audience.


. CPM & HEM Needs


I think that the advertisement emphasizes on both CPM and HEM needs (Chmielewski, 00 Lecture ). It emphasizes on CPM in a sense that everyone knows that McDonalds is a fast food restaurant (i.e. satisfy physiological needs). However, on the other hand, the advertisement appeals to the feelings of enjoyable and fun times in school and at the same time, a bond between the children and McDonalds is established through the learning process. The advertisement also induces purchase decisions in the anticipation of sensory stimulation.


. The Role of Persuasion


I personally think that the advertisement that I have chosen did not employ much persuasion techniques. However, the advertisement did engage an indirect source (Belch & Belch, 001/004) to draw attention and further enhanced itself (i.e. use of adorable children and classroom environment).


..1 Source Attributes (Attractiveness)


The advertisement has applied similarity (Chmielewski, 00 Lecture 10) to influence the viewers’ attitude and behaviour. After seeing the advertisement, children would be motivated to employ the same studying attitude like those kids in the commercial and also relate themselves to McDonalds. Young viewers are more likely to accept the message and be reminded of McDonalds because the characters used, circumstances and environment as seen from the advertisement are similar to their everyday lives. In this slice of life commercial, a bond between the communicator (i.e. those children) and the primary receiver is established and viewers are also likely to identify the enjoyable learning process and understand the happiness (i.e. when those children are reminded of McDonalds through the digit ‘’) as revealed in the advertisement.


.. ELM


It is obvious that McDonalds has engaged the peripheral route to persuasion (Chmielewski, 00 Lecture 11) in the advertisement because no products are actually shown throughout the airing of the advertisement. The music, setting and characters used are totally unrelated to McDonalds.


.. What If…


I think that the advertisement would be more effective if it applied likability (Belch & Belch, 001/004) with the use of celebrity endorsement. For instance, in Singapore, there is this celebrity (LiPing, Chen) and she always acts as a role of a teacher in various dramas. Every child likes her and most parents believe that she would bring good influence upon their children (i.e. educational role). If LiPing is the teacher in the advertisement, LiPing would further help to draw more attention and favorably influence the children’s feelings, attitudes and parent’s purchasing behaviours (i.e. she has the stopping power). Parent’s perceptions of McDonalds would also be enhanced (i.e. most parents usually think that McDonald’s advertisements would bring bad influence to the child) and message credibility would also increase. (Refer to Appendices III)


.4 Creativity of Advertisement


As seen from the advertisement, it generates fresh, unique and appropriate ideas through the conversion and relation of digit ‘’ to McDonald’s symbol ‘M’. The two major selling ideas are that McDonalds ‘lives’ in every child’s heart and that McDonalds relates itself to the children’s everyday life. This appeal is definitely effective to its target audience because children are able to ‘live’ with the message.


The advertisement is simple and easy to comprehend. The advertisement has implemented the ‘resonance strategy’ (Chmielewski, 00 Lecture 1) whereby the setting and environment resonates the familiar situation of schooling and learning (i.e. involved in the children’s life). Memorability is hence resulted.


The advertisement is straightforward yet meaningful and it touches on viewers’ emotions. The advertisement also relates that children’s experience with McDonalds is enjoyable and educational and it evokes an association with its target audience (i.e. studying) and creates a strong emotional appeal within. Besides that, the words (i.e. ‘Uh-Oh’ & ‘Oh’) and lively music used also helped to create a positive mood that makes consumers more receptive towards the advertising message. (Refer to Appendices IV for the Ad’s Means-End Chain) The lightings, graphics, sound and colours are also cleverly employed (i.e. target audience would be attracted to bright colours and lively music).


Overall, a clear and convincing message is communicated and the creative approach is definitely appropriate for the target audience (Belch & Belch, 001/004). As mentioned, slice of life execution (Belch & Belch, 001/004) is also implemented and more emotions included in this advertisement would further help McDonalds to evoke a feel-good connection with consumers as well as to influence consumers’ interpretation of ‘The McDonald’s Experience’.


4. Improvements on Advertisement Campaign


In Singapore, McDonalds has already established a strong brand equity whereby people are familiar with the brand and through most of its advertisements and campaigns, favourable and unique associations in memory about McDonalds are developed.


For this advertisement chosen, I think that the appeal and response would be better if McDonalds incorporates sales promotions in the advertisement campaign. For instance, everybody knows that McDonalds provides ‘Happy Meal’ for children and consumers would be entitled a free toy. Perhaps after the airing of the commercial, McDonalds could continue to elaborate more about the current promotion. Elaboration of the sales promotion is as follows


Since the advertisement focuses primarily on children, McDonalds could perhaps give away free colouring books or picture books (i.e. free premium) with every ‘Happy Meal’ purchase. At the same time, McDonalds could also implement a ‘Drawing & Colouring Contest’ or a ‘Story-Telling Contest’ (i.e. Consumer-Oriented promotion). Consumers would be encouraged to send in their entries and both details and application forms for both contests would be found in the ‘Happy Meal’ box. McDonalds could also give away free balloons on weekends to help further stimulate entries.


The Contest could be held one month later so that the children would have sufficient preparation time. On the day of the contest, McDonalds could further incorporate more ‘ideas’. For instance, McDonalds could have magic shows and scavenger hunts whereby both parents and children could participate in. Balloons and sweets could be distributed too.


This sales promotion activity would further stimulate quick buyer action as parents (i.e. who hold the purchasing power) would be persuaded to make purchases as the gifts given are tied to educational aspects (i.e. learning process). It would also help to establish a closer bond between McDonalds and its target audience.


5. Conclusion


To conclude, I think McDonalds has been effective in reaching its target audience using educational aspect. They are also clever to play with ‘signs and symbols’ (i.e. ‘’ and ‘m’) and the focus on children on the advertisement further helps to establish a closer bond with the target audience. The advertisement is definitely attention grabbing which results in effective delivery of the message as well as the ability to cast a memorable experience in the minds of the target audience.


Bibliography


• Belch, George E. & Belch, Michael A (001/004), ‘Chapter Five The Communication Process’ in Advertising and Promotion An Integrated Marketing Communications Persepctive Sixth Edition, New York McGraw-Hill/Irwin


• Belch, George E. & Belch, Michael A (001/004), ‘Chapter Six Source, Message, and Channel Factors’ in Advertising and Promotion An Integrated Marketing Communications Persepctive Sixth Edition, New York McGraw-Hill/Irwin


• Belch, George E. & Belch, Michael A (001/004), ‘Chapter Sixteen Sales Promotion’ in Advertising and Promotion An Integrated Marketing Communications Persepctive Sixth Edition, New York McGraw-Hill/Irwin


• Belch, George E. & Belch, Michael A (001/004), ‘Chapter Nine Creative Strategy � Implementation & Evaluation’ in Advertising and Promotion An Integrated Marketing Communications Persepctive Sixth Edition, New York McGraw-Hill/Irwin


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘An Overview of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)’ in Lecture Four, The University Of Melbourne, 6th August 00


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘Communications and Buyer Behaviour (I)’ in Lecture Eight, The University Of Melbourne, 0th August 00


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘Communications and Buyer Behaviour (II)’ in Lecture Nine, The University Of Melbourne, 5th August 00


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘The Role Of Persuasion (I)’ in Lecture Ten, The University Of Melbourne, 7th August 00


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘The Role Of Persuasion (II)’ in Lecture Eleven, The University Of Melbourne, 1st September 00


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘Managing Creative Communications (I)’ in Lecture Twelve, The University Of Melbourne, rd September 00


• Chmielewski, Danielle (00), ‘Managing Creative Communications (II)’ in Lecture Thirteen, The University Of Melbourne, 8rd September 00


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"On The Road", Dean Morriarty

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Dean Morriarty Essay


Great fiction depends on strong characters and characterization and Jack Kerouac’s signature novel “On The Road” presents two major characters, each a projection of aspects of the writer. This novel is a striking description of life at that time. The focal point of the narrative is Dean Morriarty, a fictional representation of the real life Neal Cassidy.


Jack Kerouac documented his journeys across America in the guise of Sal paradise. His novel was a fascinating tail of adventure, people, and life. The writing style, train of thought directly to paper, makes this book seem that much more real and unique. Sal wants to get out and trek across the country and go where ever life may lead him. His primary motivation behind this “quest” is the one and only Dean Morriarty.


Dean Morriarty is introduced to us through the thoughts, the feelings and the visions of Sal Paradise, further filtered by the lens of memory. The first impression of Dean is “of a young Gene Autry - trim, thin hipped, blue eyed, with a real Oklahoma accent � a side burned hero of the snowy west.” Dean’s million-mile-an-hour lifestyle attracts Sal to the point where he drives across the country to see him. Sal changes his views on dean several times as the story progresses.


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Dean Morriarty is the sort of person who has to be on the go all the time. “Dean just raced in society, eager for bread and love; he didn’t care one way or another.” This just show’s that Dean is exuberant and a guy with not a care in the world, he is a man who does what he wants when he wants.


The book covers in four parts and an epilogue, the accounts of four trips inspired by Dean. These turn more fast-paced, frantic, and breathless depending on Sal’s involvement with Dean. Like when Dean meets Carlo Marx, Sal drop’s back and watch’s them. Having grown up without being subdued to parental supervision, or school, Dean could escape societal indoctrination and become a “hero of the snowy west.” Irresponsibility marks his peculiar individualism pared with an obvious disrespect for private property. When Dean is offered the chance to steal a tank of gasoline he does not hesitate to forgo payment. He is an outside and he associates with the outcasts of society, while he continues to search for his father in the skid rows.


However, while searching for his father, Dean Morriarty is selfish, inconsiderate, and ostentatious, “an undecipherable puzzle of contradictions.” This could be because his mother died early, Which meant Dean travelled with his father, a footloose drunkard, all over the west during his boyhood, from city to city, from skid-row to skid-row, and this is how Dean avoided being swallowed up by “America and its ridiculous system of order and laws.”


Dean’s radiant energy attracts Sal, the writer looking for a topic, “the ecstatic and rugged joy of pure being.” Is Deans driving force? He is married to women at once, without feeling more than a sexual attention to all of them. He is a personification of free will, called “mad” by Sal who admires and is repelled by Dean’s subjectivity which challenges any official authority. For dean, sex was the one and only important thing in life.


Dean is the most lovable, annoying, happy, undependable character in the novel. He is everything in one, the hero, the antagonist, and the conflict. He is the character that everyone loves to hate.





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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Animal Farm

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“The Animal Farm”


Chapter Five


Comprehension Questions


1. Clover accuses Mollie of looking over the hedge that divides Animal Farm from Foxwood and allowing one of Mr. Pilkingtons men to stroke her nose. An offensive action considered to be by the whole animal farm population.


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. What clover finds hidden under the straw in Mollie’s straw were a little pile of lump sugar and several bunches of ribbon of different colours.


. Three days later Mollie disappeared, for some weeks nothing was known of her whereabouts, but later on they were provided with all the information of were she was by the pigeons. After a while passed none of the animals ever mentioned Mollie again.


4. After surveying the ground Snowball declared that his was just the place for a windmill, which could be mate to operate a dynamo and supply the farm with electrical power. This would light the stalls and warm them in winter, and would also run a circular saw, a chaff cutter, a mangle slicer and the electrical milking machine.


5. They were thrown out of power by snowball; he has decided that all the decisions were going to be made by him. As a result he is changing the government to a communist based ruling. Some ware in the near future I can see this is the wrong decision.


6. Napolean is jealous of snowball because he has all the power, and Napolean does not sit well with this action that has taken place.


7. Napoleon has trained his dogs to take his every order, it’s like he trained the dogs to be his body guards. The dogs seem to be really attached to napoleon, I am getting the feeling that he has brainwashed them to obey his every order.


8. He decides to give out a speech to somehow get the voters back on his side.


. Squealer is send around to explain the new arrangements to the animals; his other purpose is to make a bad name for Napoleon so the animals go against of what he does.


10. According to squealer, Napoleon decides to go ahead and build the windmill is to try to get rid of snowball.


Vocabulary


1. Pretext-An ostensible or professed purpose; an excuse


. Blithely-Carefree and light-hearted.


. Publican-The keeper of a public house or tavern.


4. Dynamo-A generator, especially one for producing direct current.


5. Procure-To get by special effort; obtain or acquire.


6. Sordid-Filthy or dirty; foul.


7. Marshal-A military officer of the highest rank in some countries.


8. Tactics -The military science that deals with securing objectives set by strategy, especially the technique of deploying and directing troops, ships, and aircraft in effective maneuvers against an enemy.





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World Car Market Case Study

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Introduction


Globalization is based on the belief that the world is becoming more homogenous; distinctions between national markets are fading and for some products may actually disappear. As a consequence of globalization, firms are able to capitalize on the blending of national markets through attacking these markets with universal strategies and products. Firms are also able to capitalize on the disparities of production costs between nations through locating their production facilities in the low cost markets; although this is less of a benefit in the automotive industry due to the high logistics costs involved in transporting vehicles between markets. In the automotive industry, globalization can have tremendous cost benefits. European car manufacturers have not fully adapted to this concept.


This assignment will answer and analyze the following questions


· What must European car manufacturers do in order to face the global realities of their industry to survive and succeed?


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· Why have neither the two largest car manufacturers in Europe, General Motors and Ford, been targeted by European Commission moves?


· What will the realignment of the auto industry mean to governments, carmakers, and customers?


Tackling global realities


The European industry faces several challenges to its prosperity. “Namely the need to close the gap in productivity, quality and technology with both the Japanese car plants in Europe and with those US producers who are adopting lean production systems; and the need to construct a strategy for a post-national automobile industry, which is global in nature and not just European” (globaledge.edu). Both European manufacturers and suppliers need to adopt significant structural changes to meet these challenges, since the global nature of the Japanese production system means they can no longer hide behind trade barriers and tariffs. The global strategy of Japanese car companies not only allows them to avoid the instability of exchange rates, but also enables them to avoid the consequences of foreign protection.


European car manufacturers must adopt the Japanese industry’s manufacturing structure. It now has the opportunity to restructure and expand its capabilities in order to build a world-class manufacturing and supply base. Europe has an industrial culture based upon engineering and design that is increasingly in demand in the modern world and has the desire and willingness to learn from its competitors. The immediate goal of the industry must be to establish mutual trust and understanding between the assemblers, suppliers and the governments of Europe in order to reestablish the automotive sector as the main engine for economic growth and prosperity for the twenty-first century. “General Motors is the latest company to warn of a slowdown in Europe” (bbcnews.com) Europe must act now if they want to begin to rapidly grow once again.


In reference to the quote in the book, ‘Comeback The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry’, “while Detroit decried free trade as a threat to its existence, free trade is what saved Detroit by forcing to improve”, I completely agree with the authors’ statement. It forced Detroit to improve efficiency, quality and service. “The books’ heroes are the managers who awoke early to the changing climate and fought for years to get their companies to adapt” (businessweek.com).


General Motors & Ford in Europe


According to the text, “two of the largest car manufacturers in Europe are General Motors and Ford. Neither has been targeted by European Commissions moves, and they are not generally seen as a threat” (Czinkota & Ronkainen, 001, p. 1). I believe that the European Commission does not target General Motors and Ford because they are each one of the world’s largest carmakers. For this reason, these two manufacturers help increase and develop the European car market. Also, General Motors and Ford came into Europe over sixty years ago. They are established corporations in Europe, which have lead Europe’s car manufacturers its success since then.


Realignment of the European auto industry


At the present time only Ford and General Motors can be considered as truly European companies, with facilities spread throughout Europe. All the European producers are dependent on the European market for sales and supplies but all have markedly different commercial and practical interests which influence future common policy.


The European market strategy for post 1 is challenging car producers to consider how they move from being national producers, largely dependent on sales in their home market, to becoming European. At the same time there will have to be a European initiative to replace national barriers to trade. As the text mentioned, the “1” process has had little or no effect on real costs in the industry. Nonetheless, the European Commission will, however, have to guarantee a level of free-trade and movement throughout the community at the same time as trying to avoid trade imbalances and rising unemployment. “At the end of last year, General Motors decided to close one of its Vauxhall car plants in Luton, Bedfordshire, as part of a Europe-wide programme of cutbacks” (bbcnews.com).


Collaboration is the key to survival in the next economy. Automakers must be prepared to leverage relationships with suppliers, distributors, technology alliance partners, and customers more intensively. Only those firms that skillfully develop and manage the capabilities of this extended enterprise will thrive. I believe that the realignment will allow merging companies to drive greater efficiency and will serve as an intelligent use of the resources available. This will ensure increases of production effectiveness and competition, while enabling plants to demonstrate its commitment to continuous improvement. Hopefully the realignment will also involve greater employment.


Conclusion


As indicated earlier, the European auto industry faces several challenges to its success. During the past decade, Japan has added to the global overcapacity problem. This is now being resolved by using lean production. This outcome clearly raises concern in Europe because of implications for national competitiveness and employment as a result of plants. A clear European Commission policy will be needed to cope with the Japanese challenge. A strategy is required to ensure maximum integration of Japanese production in Europe as it comes into Europe, taking into account national economic, political and social concerns.


The European auto industry clearly faces the most critical challenges in its history, not only from the arrival of the Japanese plants, but through the global revolution in manufacturing. Europe must realize that globalization and realignment are the keys to overcoming the challenges they are facing.


References


1. BusinessWeek.com web site. Retrieved September 8, 00 from the World Wide Web http//www.businessweek.com/18-4/pre4/b400.htm


. Czinkota, M. R., & Ronkainen, I. A. (001). International Marketing (6th ed.). Fort Worth, TX Harcourt.


Globaledge.com web site. Retrieved September 8, 00 from the World Wide Web http//globaledge.msu.edu/KnowledgeRoom/FeaturedInsights/0018.pdf


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Friday, May 11, 2012

pornography

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Pornography is tearing apart the very fabric of our society. Yet Christians are often ignorant of its impact and apathetic about the need to control this menace.


Pornography is an $8 billion a year business with close ties to organized crime.(1) The wages of sin are enormous when pornography is involved


Pornography involves books, magazines, videos, and devices and has moved from the periphery of society into the mainstream through the renting of video cassettes, sales of so-called soft-porn magazines, and the airing of sexually explicit movies on cable television. To some, pornography is nothing more than a few pictures of scantily-clad women in seductive poses. But pornography has become much more than just photographs of nude women.


Nearly 00 theaters show pornographic films and more than 15,000 adult bookstores and video stores offer pornographic material. Adult bookstores outnumber McDonalds restaurants in the United States by a margin of at least three to one.


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defined pornography as material that is predominantly sexually explicit and intended primarily for the purpose of sexual arousal. Hard core pornography is sexually explicit in the extreme, and devoid of any other apparent content or purpose.


Another important term is the definition of obscenity.


The first type of pornography is adult magazines. These are primarily directed toward an adult male audience (but not exclusively). The magazines which have the widest distribution (e.g., Playboy, Penthouse) do not violate the Miller standard of obscenity and thus can be legally distributed. But other magazines which do violate these standards are still readily available in many adult bookstores.


The second type of pornography is video cassettes. These are rented or sold in most adult bookstores and have become a growth industry for pornography. People who would never go into an adult bookstore or theater to watch a pornographic movie will obtain these video cassettes through bookstores or in the mail and watch them in the privacy of their homes. Usually these videos display a high degree of hard core pornography and illegal acts.


The third type of pornography is motion pictures. Ratings standards are being relaxed and many pornographic movies are being shown and distributed carrying R and NC-17 ratings. Many of these so-called hard R rated films would have been considered obscene just a decade ago.


A fourth type of pornography is television. As in motion pictures, standards for commercial television have been continuously lowered. But cable television poses an even greater threat. The FCC does not regulate cable in the same way it does public access stations. Thus, many pornographic movies are shown on cable television. Like video cassettes, cable TV provides the average person with easy access to pornographic material. People who would never go to an adult bookstore can now view the same sexually explicit material in the privacy of their homes, making cable TV the ultimate brown wrapper.


A fifth type of pornography is cyberporn. Hard core pictures, movies, online chat, and even live sex acts can be downloaded and viewed by virtually anyone through the Internet. Sexually explicit images can be found on web pages and in news groups and are far too easy for anyone of any age to view. What was only available to a small number of people willing to drive to the bad side of town can now be viewed at any time in the privacy of ones home.


A final type of pornography is audio porn. This includes Dial-a- porn telephone calls which are the second fastest growth market of pornography. Although most of the messages are within the Miller definition of obscenity, these businesses continue to thrive and are often used most by children.


Pornography should be banned as a threat to women because it dehumanizes women into becoming sexual objects - things, commodities. Women in pornographic movies are often raped and forced to act in degrading ways. But viewers of these films come to believe that these women enjoy these acts, leading men into believing that this is the way that all women like to be treated.


When the thought of pornography comes to a persons mind, one usually thinks of a Playboy magazine and very explicit sexual videos, but pornography goes way beyond those immediate stereotypes and preconceived notions. For a person to really get a grasp on the whole issue, you must look at many other factors that contribute to this controversial topic. You can look at the many reasons why people, women as well as men, are so fascinated by this and what causes them to want more of it, and you can also look at the many consequences that pornography inflicts.


Many womens rights organizations feel that pornography is degrading to women and sets them back to a time when they were looked upon as mere sex objects and nothing more. Others also argue that many violent attacks such as rape and domestic violence are dramatically increased after being exposed to pornography.





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