Spinoza’s Ethics of Strength of the Emotions in W Somerset Maughm’s Of Human Bondage

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The writer probes on the complex world of W. Somerset Maughm’s protagonist in the novel Of Human Bondage, using the propositions the Jewish Portuguese philosopher Baruch Spinoza postulated in his book Ethics in 1674. Some of Spinoza’s propositions are as follows( Morgan, 2006, pp 108-120):

The following propositions of Spinoza enlighten the changing character of Philip in his own bildungsromans of his life. The force and increase of any passive emotion and its persistence in existing is defined not by the power whereby we ourselves endeavour to persist in existing, but by the power of external causes compared with our own power;

The force of any passive emotion can surpass the rest of man’s activities or power so that the emotion stays firmly fixed in him;

An emotion cannot be checked or destroyed except by a contrary emotion which is stronger than the emotion which is to be checked;

Knowledge of good and evil is nothing other than the emotion of pleasure or pain insofar as we are conscious of it;

An emotion whose cause we think to be with us in the present is stronger than it would be if we did not think the said cause to be with us;

We are affected toward a future thing which we imagine to be imminent mo intensely than if we were to imagine its time of existence tofarther away from the present. We are also affected by a remembrance of a thing we imagine to belong to the near past more intensely if we were to imagine it to belong to the distant past;

An emotion toward a thing which we think of as inevitable [necessarius] is more intense, other things being equal, than emotion toward a thing possible or contingent, that is, not inevitable;

Emotion toward a thing which we know not exist in the present, and which we imagine to be possible, is, other things being equal, more intense than emotion toward a contingent thing;

Emotion toward a contingent thing which we know not to exist in the present, is, other things being equal, feebler than emotion toward a thing past;

No emotion can be checked by the true knowledge of good and evil, insofar as it is true, but only insofar as it is;

Desire that arises from the true knowledge of good and evil can be extinguished or checked by many other desires that arise from the emotions by which we are assailed;

The desires that arises from a knowledge of good and evil insofar as this knowledge has regard to to the future can be the more easily checked or extinguished by desire of things that are attractive in the present;

Desire that arises from the true knowledge of good and evil insofar as this knowledge is concerned with contingent things can be even more easily checked by desire for things which are present;

Desire arising from pleasure is, other things being equal, stronger than desire arising from pain;

Every man, from the laws of his nature, necessarily seeks or avoids what he judges to be good or evil.

The more every man endeavours and is able to seek advantage, that is, to preserve his own being, the more he is endowed with virtue. On the other hand insofar as he neglects to preserve what is to his advantage, that is, his own being to that extent he is weak.

Philip is highly affected by nature. There is in Nature no individual thing that is surpassed in strength and power by some other thing. Whatsoever thing there is, there is another more powerful by which the said thing can be destroyed. And he was able to surpass all his problems because of the incoming different emotions, problems which proved to make him stronger if not released from „Human Bondage“.

The force whereby a man persist in existing is limited, and infinitely surpassed by the power of external causes.

Philip’s deformity limits his own persistence to live. But his meeting with Hayward, Clutton and Lawson, his former classmates in France, who taught him that life is all about passion and the pursuit of it, he became engross in his art. France did not also care about his clubfoot. Cronshaw taught him more philosophy in life about living in let live. Cronshaw even on his death bed, defied doctors‘ prohibition. His life is anyway to end just like any other’s lives.

Set in Kent, England, a sub-urban near London, the novel presents the multifaceted personal, social, political and religious experiences of Philip carey from his childhood to his middle age of thirty. A bildungsroman (1991, Smiley) in style, which highlights the formation of a youngman’s character through education, travels and early life experiences. Philip at the age of nine, as a young boy, is set apart from his peers by some misfortune and undergoes a humiliating experience that later proves strengthening. his first experience of love is unsuccessful or problematic one that nevertheless paves the way to a happy marriage with a suitable mate. The novel has ample observation, if not criticism, with the character’s institutions such as schools, churches and class structures.

Philip’s personal life is truly an amalgam of life’s tragedies. But how he surpassed the seemingly insurmountable heap of oppressing weight, if not the meaninglessness or nothingness of life, is the focus of this attempt anchored on Spinoza’s propositions. To enumerate, at an early age, his mother died of tuberculosis and his father, a medical doctor, died of lung cancer. His innocence never understood the situation. He has only the temporary joy of travelling to Blackstable to live with his uncle William and childless Auntie Louisa. Forcibly liking his second family as an orphan, he is left reading his books without noise for his uncle, a Vicar in the community, is irated with children’s unruly behaviour. Aunt Louisa is incapable of understanding Philip. he is left with the care of the governess. His personal disability or deformity, being born with a club-foot, proves to be the stigma of his life forever. His early education in Kingston School, caused his early childhood bitter as his peers laughed at him, mocked and physically abused him because of his physical abnormality. Then, his adolescence which brings him to Heidelberg, Germany to study foreign languages, is never sweet. Girls chided him for his deformity. the consolation is meeting friends like Hayward and Miss Wilkinson, who flirted with him, to his disgust. His sojourn to France, albeit, his uncle’s disappointment, proves to be annihilating. His lack of talent in painting plus his deformity, made him a mediocre student. His classmate Fanny Price, who fell in love with him, on the pretext of sharing the same abnormality (hers is lack of beauty), committed suicide out of hunger and wretchedness.

Then everything escalated to its height, when realizing that painting is not his passion, he goes back to England. He decides to change again to pursue what his uncle William tells him to do: to follow the footsteps of his father. To be a doctor. feeling he has nothing to do, he embraces the new idea. Sauntering along the Parliamentary Street of London, he is driven to dine in a cafe where he meets the slatternly waitress Mildred Rogers who awakens his sexual desire. But his languid mien, caused by his club-foot proves to be a disadvantage. the waitress prefers rugged and rich men. But his desire to pursue the pale, anaemic, aloof Mildred, beomes a challenge to him. Gradually, the two becomeclose. But the ambitious and materialistic waitress always insults him because of his deformity. to slander him cripple, would totally „cripple“ his mood and emotion. Even when Philip is generous to the moody Mildred, she hurt him by marrying a German businessman Miller. His desperation is tantamount to his yearning for Mildred. He is left believing that one day, he would see Mildred again. His concentration with his medical study is forlorned. And Mildred came back,looking sickly, with a child. His generosity and forgiveness for his first love, who hurts him the most, is even greater than life. The ingrate waitress after a little recovery from poverty, elopes with Griffith, Philip’s handsome and robust classmate. That is the height of Mildred’s shamelessness. So her expected return is welcomed with derision by the newly awakened Philip. Even when Mildred turns into a prostitute, Philip is only capable of compassion, without passion or sexual desire. She is freed at last. And Philip is extricated from the pains excruciatingly caused by the destitute Mildred.

His obsession to Mildred costs Philip his fortune and gradually his savings is left with seven pounds. He is forced to stop from his medical studies that brings him to experience unbelievable poverty. He meets the generous Athelneys who fed and sheltered him in his misery. His uncle’s death, leaving an average fortune, helps him to finish his medical studies. His fateful shelter with the Athelneys brings him to his final, harmonious and peaceful resolution to marry Sally Athelney and go on with his life beautifully. Shakespeare is affirmed by saying that „all is well that ends well.

At this juncture, it is noteworthy to enumerate Spinoza’s propositions to elucidate Philip’s „bondage“ and his strength of his emotion. Spinoza in his preface to his philosophical treatise wrote:

I assign the term „bondage“ to man’s lack of power to control and check the emotions. For a man at the mercy of his emotions is not his own master but is subject to fortune, in whose power he so lies that he is often compelled, although he sees the better course, to pursue the worse. In this Part I have set myself the task of demonstrating why is so, and also what is good and what is bad in emotions. But before I begin, I should like to make a few preliminary observations on perfection and imperfection, and on good and bad ( Morgan, 2006).

In the beginning, Philip is a slave if not a victim of his emotion. His physical deformity, his club-foot, caused him too much pain. He learned to hate his classmates and,worst, abandoned his belief in God. He could not appreciate the God of his uncle vicar when God cannot give him the miracle he wanted to have normal feet. His painful childhood in school changed him to be rough character. He never wanted to become a vicar anymore. His obsession to Mildred indeed showed his real weakness as a man, and even wretchedness as a human being because of his deformity. he would always think that women cannot love him as he is because of his deformity.

He who has undertaken something and has brought it to completion will say that the thing is completed; and not only he but everyone who rightly knew, or thought he knew, the intention and aim of the author of that work. For example, if anyone sees a work (which I assumed is not yet finished) and knows that the aim of author is to build a house, he will say the house is imperfect. On the other hand, as soon as he sees that the work has been brought to the conclusion that its author had intended to give it, he will say that the house is perfect. But if anyone sees a work whose like he had never seen before, and he does not know the artifecer’s intention, he cannot possibly know whether the work is perfect or imperfect.

This appears to have been the original meaning of these terms. But when men began to form general ideas and to devise ideal type of houses, buildings, towers, and so on, and to prefer some models to others, it came about that each called „perfect“ that which he saw at variance with his own preconceived ideal, although in the artifecer’s opinion it had been fully completed. There seems to be no other reason why even natural phenomena (those not made by human hand) should commonly be called perfect or imperfect. For men there are wont to form general ideas both natural phenomena and artifacts, and these ideas they regard as models, and they believed that Nature (which they consider does nothing without an end in view) looks to this ideas and holds them before herself as models. So when they see something occurring in Nature at variance with their preconceived ideal of the thing in question, they believed that Nature has then failed or blundered and has left that thing imperfect from their own preconceptions rather than from true knowledge.

So perfection and imperfection are in reality only models of thinking, notions which we are wont to invent from comparing individuals of the same species or kind; and it is for this reason that I previously said (Def. 6, II) that by reality and perfection I mean the same thing. For we are wont to classify all the individuals in Nature under one genus which is called the highest genus, namely, the notion of Entity, which pertains to all the individuals in Nature without exception. Therefore insofar as we classify individuals in Nature under this genus and compare them with one another and find that some have more being or reality than others, to that extent we say that some are more perfect than the others. And insofar as we attribute to them something involving negotiation, such as limit, end, impotence and so on, to that extent we call them imperfect because they do not affect our minds as much as those we call perfect, and not because they lack something of anything except that which follows from the necessity of nature of its efficient cause; and whatever follows from the necessity of the nature of its efficient cause must be necessarily be so.

To be a master of his emotion is to attain perfection. It may not be physical but spiritual, mental and emotional. His challenges may have hardened him but enlightened him to loosen up and later, embrace the beauty of life. The unattainable perfection, was answered, through his friend Cronshaw, a poet whom he met in France, that the meaning of life cannot be answered unless one lives it. he realized that men are born, study, work, marry, have children and die is the most beautiful pattern that the Persian rug edifies.

As for the terms „good“ and „bad,“ they likewise indicate nothing positive in things considered in themselves, and nothing but models of thinking, or notions which we form from comparing things with one another. For one and the same thing can at the same time be good and bad, and also indifferent. For example, music is good for one who is melancholy, bad for one in mourning, and neither good or bad for the deaf. However, although this is so, these terms ought to be retained. For since we desire to form the idea of man which we may look to as model of human nature, we shall find it useful to keep these terms in the sense I have indicated. So in what follows I shall mean by „good“ that which we certainly know to be the means for our approaching nearer to the model of human nature that we set before ourselves, and by „bad“ that which we certainly know prevents us from reproducing the said model. For it is important to note that when I say somebody passes from a state of less perfection, to a state of greater perfection, and vice versa, I do not mean that he changes from one essence or to form to another (for example, a horse is as completely destroyed if it changes into a man as it would be if it were to change into an insect), but that we conceive his power of activity, insofar as this is understood through his nature, to be increased or diminished.

Philip may have been both good and bad due to circumstances. he was good in the Blackstable with his Auntie Louisa and Uncle William. he became bad in school because his classmates taunted him because of his clubfoot. In Heidelberg, he is good to all the people even if he did not understand their silence and even their insolence. In France, was forced to become bad, to protect himself from the looming abuses of other foreigners. The death of an anti-social fanny Price, showed him to be the only compassionate painting student.

Hence, after a series of Philip’s tragedy, his experiences, his meeting with different people, his education, his travel to Heidelberg, to Paris and to London, his affluence and reversal of his fortune to poverty taught him greatest lessons in life. That life can be beautiful if man knows to master his emotion, moderate his desire and be reasonable in every decision. A man is finally freed from the chains and cufflinks “ Of Human Bondage“.

References:

Maughm, Somerset W. (1991). Of Human Bondage.

Canada: Bantam Book Doubleday.

Morgan, Michael (ed.). (2006). The Essential Spinoza: Ethics And Related Writings.

Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, Inc.

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Top Ten Sehenswürdigkeiten in Deutschland

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Dank der atemberaubenden Landschaft, der landschaftlichen Schönheit der natürlichen Umgebung und der besten Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten zieht Deutschland jedes Jahr Touristen aus der ganzen Welt an. Die Gastfreundschaft der deutschen Bevölkerung trägt zur touristischen Bedeutung Deutschlands bei. Es gibt einige touristische Attraktionen in Deutschland, die für ausländische Touristen ein Muss sind. Die touristischen Attraktionen Deutschlands sprechen die preisbewussten Reisenden dank der günstigen und komfortablen Unterkünfte in Deutschland an. Zu den Top Ten der touristischen Attraktionen Deutschlands zählen einige international renommierte Namen.

Der Schwarzwald

Der Schwarzwald liegt im Südwesten Deutschlands und ist bekannt für die Entstehung der Kuckucksuhren. Camping, Wandern und Skifahren sind die beliebtesten Aktivitäten, die sich die Touristen im Schwarzwald gönnen können.

Die friesische Insel:

Diese beliebte Insel umgibt Länder wie Deutsch, Dänemark und die Niederlande. Sylt und Amrum sind zwei Hauptinseln der Frasischen Inseln, die ein beliebter Touristenort mit ruhigen Stränden und Panoramablick sind.

München:

Die bayerische Landeshauptstadt München liegt an der Isar, die sich nördlich der bayerischen Alpen befindet. München ist vor allem wegen des Oktoberfestes ein beliebtes Touristenziel in Deutschland. Das Oktoberfest ist weltweit beliebt für die Feier des bayerischen Bieres.

Berlin:

Die Stadt Berlin ist eine der beliebtesten Städte Deutschlands. Der Ort hat einen historischen Wert, der Touristen aus der ganzen Welt anzieht.

Schloss Neuschwanstein:

Dieses Schloss befindet sich in der Nähe der Grenze zu Österreich und ist bekannt als ein Ort, der eine Reihe architektonischer Wunder bietet. Das beliebte Schloss, das vom Konzept des Dornröschenschlosses inspiriert ist, ist das beliebteste aller Burgen Deutschlands.

Bodensee:

Der Bodensee ist einer der längsten Flüsse Europas und eine bekannte und malerische Touristenattraktion in Deutschland.

Die romantische Straße:

Die Romantische Straße ist eine der malerischsten Touristenattraktionen Deutschlands, die sich vom Main im Norden in Richtung Süden durch die malerischen Dörfer und Städte zieht.

Köln:

Köln in Deutschland ist eine weitere beliebte Touristenattraktion, die sich tatsächlich am Rhein befindet. Die malerische Stadt Köln ist von beeindruckender Naturschönheit und einem eigenen Bierstil geprägt.

Heidelberg:

Heidelberg ist eine malerische Stadt mit einer atemberaubenden Skyline und einem wunderschönen Schloss.

Dachau:

Dachau ist ein weiterer touristischer Ort in Deutschland, der ein Bild der Schrecken zeigt, die dort stattgefunden haben. Es gibt eine Führung, die die Touristen rund um die Konzentrationslager in Dachau führt.

Besuchen Sie Deutschland und genießen Sie die verschiedenen Sehenswürdigkeiten, die die Naturliebhaber immer wieder in ihren Bereich ziehen. Deutschland hat viel zu bieten, von der Geschichte über Kunst über Kultur bis zu Naturwundern.

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Plants – Neurobiology Analogous to Cnidarian Nerve Nets

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Although animal neuroscience is an established and accepted fact, the neurobiology of plants remains controversial despite the fact that electrical signaling in plants was described by M.L. Berthelon in De l’Electricité des Végétaux (Aylon, Paris) 1783, eight years before the first reference of animal electrical signaling by L. Galvani in 1791. This is likely because plant responses to environmental stimuli are significantly (1000 to 100,000 times based on measured refractory periods for action potentials (APs) in Lupinus shoots by Adam Paszewski and Tadeusz Zawadzki, Action Potentials in Lupinus angustifolius L. Shoots (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland 1976)) slower than those in animals (with the exception of a few – the touch-sensitive mimosa (Mimosa pudica) and Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) that require speed to close their leaves and shut their traps since in general, plants do not require the speed of animals to escape predators or capture prey) and because of flawed views that persisted until recently that plants are helpless, passive organisms at the mercy of their environment with little need for rapid signaling.

In reality, plants possess neurobiology analogous to cnidarian nerve nets, in which the existence of a brain or central nervous system is not a prerequisite. This should not be surprising when considering the identical nature between plants and animals as pointed out by Frantisek Baluska, Dieter Volkmann, Andrej Hlavacka, Stefano Mancuso and Peter W. Barlow in Neurobiological View of Plants and Their Body Plan (Communication in Plants, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006) in that both rely on identical sexual processes utilizing fusion between sperm cells and oocytes (female egg cells), both develop immunity when attacked by pathogens, and both use the same methods and means to drive their circadian rhythms (patterns of biological activity synchronized to day-night cycles). In addition, plants and animals transmit electrical signals over both short and long distances and rely on the same pathways and molecules to control their physiological responses (e.g. movement in animals, growth in plants).

Cnidarians and Plants: Convergent Neurobiology

Plants and cnidarians (e.g. anemones, hydra, jellyfish) have analogous nervous systems, in which stimuli is communicated via a nerve network or web of interconnecting neurons. Neither have a brain (though some theories postulate that root apices may serve as a brain in plants) or central nervous system in the context of advanced animal life. Consistent with plant neurobiology, in which a network of electrical and chemical signaling is used to detect and respond to environmental stimuli (biotic and abiotic), cnidarians do not feel pain per se; they merely react to stimuli.

Cnidaria (a phylum of over 9000 simple aquatic animals) rely on decentralized nerve nets consisting of sensory neurons that generate signals in response to stimuli, motor neurons that instruct muscles to contract and „cobwebs“ of intermediate neurons.[1] Hydras rely on a structurally simple nerve net to bridge sensory photoreceptors and touch-sensitive nerve cells located on their body wall and tentacles. Jellyfish also depend on a loose network of nerves located within their epidermal and gastrodermal tissue (outer and inner body walls, respectively) to detect touch and a circular ring throughout the rhopalial lappet located at the rim of their body. Intercellular communication occurs in cnidaria through electronic signaling via synapses or small gaps across which electro-chemicals (called neurotransmitters) flow.

Cnidarian nerves (unlike those in advanced species) rely on neurotransmitters on both sides of their synapses enabling bi-directional action potential (AP) transmission. Cnidarian neurons communicate with all other neurons wherever they cross with such communication utilizing at least three specific pathways without preference. Basically, in cnidaria, stimuli at any point results in an impulse that radiates away in every direction providing optimal intercellular communication throughout the organism.

In both plants and cnidaria, electrical signals are transmitted through non-nerve tissues, from cell to cell through utilization of gap junctions. These gap junctions in a plant’s cell wall are called plasmodesmata.

Consistent with cnidaria, plants rely on action potentials (AP) and synaptic intercellular communication utilizing auxin as their primary neurotransmitter with vascular strands representing nerves. Like cnidarians, plants rely on electrical signaling and developed pathways (phloem and sieve tubes in vascular plants; non-phloem tissue in non-vascular plants such as algae and liverworts) analogous to a nerve net „to respond rapidly to environmental stress factors (e.g. insect herbivory, pathogens, mechanical damage, etc.)“ and environmental conditions (e.g. changes in temperature, light intensity, water availability, osmotic pressure, and the presence of chemical compounds). Through electrical signaling, plants „are able to rapidly transmit information over long distances… at the tissue and whole plant levels from leaves to roots and shoots and vice versa through utilization of ion channels.“[2]

Evidence of Plant Neurobiological Processes:

1. Voltage levels change when mimosa leaves are touched (causing them to close) and the hairs of a Venus flytrap are triggered (causing the trap to snap shut). Scientists have measured action potentials (APs) in both plants dating back to the 1870s. Furthermore based on studies involving electrical stimuli applied between the midrib and lobe of a Venus flytrap’s trap (which results in closing without the need to stimulate the trigger hairs), Dionaea muscipula have demonstrated three stages of electrical responses – stimulus perception, electrical signal transmission, and induction of response – and the existence of a short-term electrical memory (in that the trap does not close if repeated sub-threshold charges are applied).

2. Wounding in one part of a plant initiates a response elsewhere, which is not confined to the injury site nor duration of the initial wounding.

3. Electrical activity consistent with that in cnidaria occurs in the shoots of tomato plants when their leaves are crushed. Such signals are strongest in the phloem, which carries nutrients from the leaves to the roots and triggers the release of proteinase, which serves as a defense mechanism against insect herbivory.

4. Plants generate electrical signals in response to water and light/darkness conditions based on the results of studies involving fruit trees (namely, avocado, blueberry, lemon, and olive) in which electrical potential (EP) fluctuates between light and dark periods, decreases as water stress increases and increases as the transpiration rate rises per Luis A. Gurovich and Paulo Hermosilla, Electric signaling in fruit trees in response to water applications and light-darkness conditions (Journal of Plant Physiology 166, Elsevier, 2009). In addition, when a young leaf is exposed to light, such light elicits a release of action potentials (APs) that unleash a sequence of metabolic events that lead to growth.

5. Per Carol Kaesuk Yoon, Plants Found to Send Nerve-Like Messages (The New York Times, November 17, 1992) when electrical signals were permitted to flow freely from a caterpillar damaged tomato plant leaf, unaffected leaves initiated chemical defense mechanisms; when such electrical signals were blocked, no such defense response was initiated; and when movement of hormones was blocked, unaffected leaves still initiated defense mechanisms proving that electrical rather than chemical signals activate a plant’s defense mechanisms.

6. Plants produce glutamate, GABA dopamine, and serotonin – substances associated with animal neurotransmitters even though not much is known about their function in plants and auxin appears to be their primary neurotransmitter.

Types of Electrical Signaling in Plants:

Plants rely on three known types of electrical signals – Action Potentials (AP), Variation Potentials (VP), and System Potentials (SP) to carry out critical life functions (e.g. respiration, photosynthesis, water uptake, etc.) and to respond to environmental stimuli and stresses. All three types of electrical signals travel intracellularly (within a cell) and extra/inter-cellularly or apoplastically (outside or between cells) and per Matthias R. Zimmermann et al System Potentials, a Novel Electrical Long-Distance Apoplastic Signal in Plants, Induced by Wounding, „may act as forerunners of slower traveling chemical signals“ while serving as a back up to each other and overlapping in some instances.

APs are rapid „all or nothing“ self-propagating electrical signals that occur in both plants and animals characterized (based on Eric Davies, Electrical Signals in Plants: Facts and Hypotheses (Plant Electrophysiology – Theory & Methods, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2006)) by „a sharp rise, brief peak, and sharp return to near baseline.“ They travel at a constant speed and amplitude regardless of distance when stimuli reach a certain threshold (consistent with AP activity in cnidaria) that triggers membrane depolarization. Based on Electrical signals and their physiological significance in plants (Plant, Cell and Environment, Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2007) by Jörg Fromm and Silke Lautner, „an AP can propagate over short distances through plasmodesmata, and after it has reached the sieve element/companion cell complex, it can travel over long distances along the sieve element plasma membrane (in the phloem, which extends throughout a vascular plant) in both directions.“ APs travel at a speed of between 20-400 cm per minute. The duration of a typical AP is less than 20 seconds. Once an AP passes, a period of delay called a refractory period follows in which an additional AP cannot be generated.

VPs are slower non-self-propagating electrical signals that are elicited by stimuli that trigger a change in potential (depolarization and subsequent repolarization) at the plasma membrane of parenchyma cells that reside adjacent to xylem vessels due to a rapid loss of turgor. They are characterized (based on Eric Davies, Electrical Signals in Plants: Facts and Hypotheses (Plant Electrophysiology) by „a sharp rise followed by a lingering decline, often with spikes.“ Unlike APs, membrane repolarization is delayed and the signals are graded and travel at varying amplitudes (which are reduced as the distance increases) based on intensity of the stimulus. VPs also utilize the sieve element plasma membrane and plasmodesmata. VPs travel at a speed of between Electrical Signals in Plants: Facts and Hypotheses APs are generally caused by non-damaging stimuli such as „electrical stimulation, light/dark transitions, brief cooling, pollination [and sometimes] excision“ and VPs are caused by damaging stimuli such as „severe wounding, [organ excision, and flaming].“ SPs are generally caused by cutting and cations.

Physiological Effects of Plant Electrical Signaling:

Primarily based on Jörg Fromm and Silke Lautner, Electrical signals and their physiological significance in plants (Plant, Cell and Environment, Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2007)

1. Mechanical (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea) – Trap Closure; Release of Digestive Enzymes (Physiological Effects)

2. Mechanical (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Sundew (Drosera) – Tentacle movement to trap an insect (Physiological Effect)

3. Cold Shock, Mechanical (Stimuli) – AP (Signal) – The Sensitive Plant (Mimosa) – Leaf Movement (Physiological Effect)

4. Electrical (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Muskgrass (Chara) – Cessation of cytoplasmic streaming (Physiological Effect)

5. Electrical (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Liverwort (Conocephalum) – Increase in Respiration (Physiological Effect)

6. Pollination (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Flowering Shrubs (Incarvilea, Hibiscus) – Increase in Respiration (Physiological Effect)

7. Cold Shock (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Maize (Zea) – Reduction in Phloem transport (Physiological Effect)

8. Re-Irrigation (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Maize (Zea) – Reduction in Phloem Transport (Physiological Effect)

9. Cooling, Electrical (Stimuli) – AP (Signal) – Sponge Gourd (Luffa) – Decrease of Stem elongation growth (Physiological Effect)

10. Electrical (Stimulus) – AP (Signal) – Tomato (Lycopersicon) – Induction of proteinase inhibitor2 (pin2) gene expression (Physiological Effect)

11. Heating (Stimulus) – VP (Signal) – The Sensitive Plant (Mimosa) and Poplar (Populus) – Transient Reduction in Photosynthesis (Physiological Effect)

12. Heating (Stimulus) – VP (Signal) – Bean plants (Vicia) – Increase in Respiration (Physiological Effect)

13. Heating (Stimulus) – VP (Signal) – Nightshade (Solanum) – Induction of jasmonic acid biosynthesis and pin2 gene expression (Physiological Effects)

14. Wounding (Stimulus) – VP (Signal) – Garden Pea (Pisum) – Inhibition of Protein Synthesis, Formation of Polysomes (Physiological Effects)

15. Insect Herbivory (Stimulus) – SP (Signal) – Barley (Hordeum vulgare), Field Bean (Vicia faba), Maize (Zea), Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) – Activation of Chemical Defense Mechanisms (Physiological Effects)

Conclusion:

Plants, through the use of neurobiology analogous to that of cnidaria, in which the presence of a brain and central nervous system are not prerequisite for interpretation and response, have proven their ability to respond intelligently and rapidly to complex environmental stimuli. Although plants and cnidaria do not feel pain per se as advanced animal life, both, because of their respective neurobiology are not „unfeeling“ and can sense, perceive and respond accordingly. Electrical signals in plants and cnidaria provide an efficient means to rapidly transmit information systemically, detect and respond to danger (whether predators – insect herbivory with regard to plants, or pathogens) and other environmental stresses. In short, with their capacity to sense and perceive, plants are not passive, unfeeling organisms as defined by flawed paradigms.

_______

[1] Cnidaria. Wikipedia.org. 24 August 2009. 21 September 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnidaria

[2] Alexander Volkov, Holly Carrell, Tejumade Adesina, Vladislav S. markin and Emil Jovanov. Plant Electrical Memory. Plant Signaling & Behavior 3:7. July 2008. 490.

Additional Sources:

Matthias R. Zimmermann, Heiko Maischak, Axel Mithöfer, Wilhelm Boland, and Hubert H. Felle. System Potentials, a Novel Electrical Long-Distance Apoplastic Signal in Plants, Induced by Wounding. Plant Physiology, Vol. 149. American Society of Plant Biologists. March 2009.

Uncovering the molecular basis of electrical signaling in plants. Elexignal Project. agropolis fondation. 18 March 2009.

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Fixpoint 45271 A+, Lupenleuchte, Plastik, 7.5 W, weiß, 6.5 x 75 x 23 cm

Fixpoint 45271 A+, Lupenleuchte, Plastik, 7.5 W, weiß, 6.5 x 75 x 23 cm

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WZ Lupenleuchte 125 LED weißLED Klemm-Lupenleuchte mit 7, 5W LED Lampe mit 520 Lumen. 125mm Glaslinse mit 1, 75x Vergrößerung
125mm Lupendurchmesser mit schattenfreier LED-Ringbeleuchtung. Standard-Glaslinse mit 3 Dioptrien und 1, 75x Vergrößerung
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"Europa für die Sinne" von Vicki Landes: Buchbesprechung

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Booksurge (2005)

ISBN 1419629441

Bewertet von Irene Watson für Leser (12/06)

Weltreisender Vicki Landes porträtiert Europa auf die schönste Weise, die man sich vorstellen kann. Mit ihrem präzisen Auge fängt sie in ihrem bezaubernden Couchtischbuch die Blicke der Freude, des Staunens und der Schönheit ein.

Es ist bezaubernd, wenn Landes den Leser durch verschiedene Gebiete Europas führt und nicht nur durch Bilder, sondern auch durch die anderen Sinne das Sehen erweckt. Obwohl man denken würde, dass ihre Fotos nur durch die Site Wertschätzung hervorrufen würden, sind die Fotos von Landes so definiert, dass sie echt wirken. Ich berührte die Bilder und erwartete, die hellgrünen Farne zu fühlen. Ich stellte mir den Geruch der Wasserblüten vor und hörte fast die Pfeifenorgel in der Fraumünster-Kirche.

Die andere Sache, die ich reizend fand, war Fotos von Orten zu sehen, an denen ich war: Linderhof-Brunnen, Venus-Tempel, Stadtansicht von einem Heidelberger Schloss, Kölner Dom und natürlich der Schiefe Turm von Pisa. Das Buch von Landes zu durchlaufen war wie eine Wiederholung Europas.

"Europa für die Sinne" ist mehr als ein Bilderbuch. Landes erklärt auch einige Architekturen. Ein Beispiel ist: "Pisa ist eine Sammlung von tonfarbenen Dächern, die durch ein bleiches Quadrat aus Marmorkonstruktionen unterbrochen wird. Wenn Sie über Pisas einzigen Anspruch auf Ruhm nachdenken, handelt es sich um einen Konstruktionsfehler. Stellen Sie sich die verblüffende Mischung aus Stolz und Verlegenheit für seinen Schöpfer vor , die Welt zu kennen, erinnert Sie an diesen krummen Turm, der zu instabil ist, um seine eigenen Glocken zu läuten. "

Landes fügt einen wundervollen Abschnitt über Österreich hinzu. Österreich ist für mich eines der schönsten Länder, in denen ich je gewesen bin. Die Fotos von Gartenurnen und Brunnen sind magisch. Ich liebe die Statuen in den Gärten und habe versucht, die gleiche Atmosphäre in unserem eigenen Innenhof wieder herzustellen. Sie fügt auch Fotos von den verschiedenen Fresken im St. Charles Cathedral hinzu.

Zweitens, ich liebe die Niederlande, und natürlich hat Landes eine wunderbare Rubrik hinzugefügt. Sie erklärt "Reihen von bunten Tulpen so weit das Auge reicht … in den Niederlanden ist Tulpenzeit. Wenn jede Blume gierig nach der Sonne greift, schnappen unzählige Besucher im Keukenhof Gardens Bilder und kaufen Zwiebeln und Sämlinge." Es ist offensichtlich, dass Landes eines dieser schnappenden Bilder war. Der Regenbogen aus Farben, der auf den Fotos von "Europa für die Sinne" dargestellt wird, ist spektakulär und die Hyazinthen sind so wahr, dass ich meine Nase in das Bild stecke. Ich bin mir sicher, dass ich sogar die Blumen riechen kann!

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Celtic Curse, Mad Cow, and Other Hemochromatosis Risk Factors For Americans

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Here’s a pop quiz to try the next time you see your doctor: What’s most common genetic disease in the Western world? If the answer you get is cystic fibrosis or muscular dystrophy then you need to educate your doctor. The correct answer is hemochromatosis. And it’s not a new answer. Consider how the incidence of hereditary hemochromatosis was described in 1995 in the journal Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases: „It greatly exceeds that of better known diseases such as cystic fibrosis or muscular dystrophy.“

Hereditary hemochromatosis is referred to as Celtic Curse because of its high prevalence among people of Celtic ancestry (and Celtic Curse is called genetic heamochromatosis if you’re on the right-hand side of the North Atlantic). However, it is important to note that you don’t have to have Irish or Scottish ancestry to suffer from this condition. And suffer is the right word because, unless you are fortunate to be diagnosed and treated early, hemochromatosis causes a metabolic disorder known as iron overload. Here’s what happens:

The body cannot get rid of surplus iron, so it is deposited both in organs like the liver, the pancreas and the heart and also in the joints, thus impairing their normal functions. Liver cancer, diabetes mellitus, myocardial insufficiency and disorders of the joints are the result. (Source: Heidelberg University Hospital.)

And that’s not all, according to the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, „Without any kind of intervention, damage to organs from too much iron can eventually result in life-threatening significant diseases.“ These include diabetes and congestive heart failure as well as cirrhosis, with all its complications such as liver cancer and internal hemorrhage.

Despite the fact that this condition can be fatal, and the strong likelihood that over one million Americans have this condition, very few Americans-and woefully few American doctors-know much about it. But before we get to the role that mad cow disease plays in this story, you need to know there is some good news about hereditary hemochromatosis.

The first piece of good news is that iron overload cheap and easy to treat. You simply give blood. If the levels of iron in your blood are too high you might have to give blood more often than the normal maximum of once every 56 days. In that case your doctor can prescribe a schedule of therapeutic phlebotomy (drawing of blood). For some patients this might be as many as once a week to start out, but typically tapering off to less frequent drawings as iron levels come down (a well-administered course of therapeutic phlebotomy will include frequent blood tests to check iron levels).

The second piece of good news about hereditary hemochromatosis is that testing for the condition is relatively cheap. A genetic test for hereditary hemochromatosis costs about $200. Such a test can either be arranged by your regular doctor or you can do it at home, the latter option being preferred by people concerned about privacy or nervous about how insurance companies might respond, now or at some later date, to knowledge of a potentially fatal genetic condition.

Not all cases of hemochromatosis are hereditary. There are non-genetic tests that can point to iron overload from whatever cause and these are also relatively cheap and easy. A blood test sometimes called an iron series profile will measure serum ferritin (SF) and transferrin saturation (TS) or total iron binding capacity. Serum ferritin and transferrin saturation measurements reflect how much iron is in the body and how much is being transported and stored. If the levels are high your doctor should consider drawing blood.

So now let’s get to the risk factors for this condition and the strange role that mad cow disease can play. The science of genetics has clearly established that Celtic ancestry is an underlying risk factor for hemochromatosis, but the condition is not confined to this group of people. Of course, if you happen to know for sure that your ancestry is Celtic and you find you are having heart, liver, or joint problems, then you really should look into hemochromatosis testing if only to rule it out. However, some of the risk factors are more logistic than genetic, though no less important. One of these relates to being a blood donor.

Just to be clear, you can’t „catch“ hemochromatosis through blood donation. The problem is more subtle. Suppose you’re a man who regularly donates blood. This is an admirable thing to do. But what if you happen to have hemochromatosis? Your admirable civic act is also preventing the build-up of iron that your condition would otherwise cause, which raises the question: What if you stop giving blood?

Perhaps you move to a new town and there is no convenient place to donate. If you stop giving blood and you do have hemochromatosis, then the iron will start to build up in your system. The same is true with women when monthly blood loss from menstruation is interrupted. This can happen due to a hysterectomy, some forms of birth control, and of course, menopause.

Indeed, there is something of a menopause-iron-overload syndrome right now because large numbers of women born in the baby boom years of 1943-1963 have been reaching menopause. Owing to a lack of awareness of hemochromatosis in the medical community, and a lack of iron overload screening, women who have hemochromatosis are finding that menopause brings serious health issues that are frequently misdiagnosed and not treated appropriately. The result? A whole raft of iron overload induced diseases that can be crippling or even fatal.

So, unless you know for sure that you don’t have hereditary hemochromatosis it makes sense to have your blood iron levels monitored when faced with any of these risk factors:

1. the prolonged interruption of menstrual bleeding 2. permanent cessation of menstrual bleeding 3. prolonged interruption of a blood donation regime 4. permanent cessation of a blood donation regime

And this is point at which mad cow disease enters the story, specifically at point number 4. As you may know, mad cow disease is the colloquial term for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). If humans eat beef contaminated with BSE it can cause CJD or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which is a very nasty way to die.

While research into the potential for CJD to be transmitted through blood transfusions is still ongoing, American institutions that handle blood donations understandably refuse to accept blood from people who were in the United Kingdom for a total of three months or more during the period 1980-1996. The same applies to people who have lived in the rest of Europe for a total of five years or more between 1980 and the present. This ban started to go into effect as early as 1996 in some parts of America and has been universally enforced since 2000 (or 2002 depending on which sources you consult).

Consider this scenario: You have European ancestry and you have undetected hereditary hemochromatosis, the presence of which you have been masking through regular blood donation, then the blood donation has to stop because you spent time in Europe or the UK. You suddenly face a serious risk that iron overload will start to damage your internal organs.

It should also be noted that other factors can prevent or defer blood donation, including high or low blood pressure, body piercing, Chagas disease, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, organ or tissue transplants, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted disease (Source: America’s Blood Centers).There are sound reasons for these factors to be considered by the organizations that look after the nation’s blood supply, and giving blood is almost always a good idea if you are fit and healthy. But there needs to be wider understanding of the fact that giving blood can mask a potentially fatal condition, and ironically this condition, Celtic Curse, may start doing damage when you stop giving.

For more information, visit www.CelticCurse.org

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Brennenstuhl Premium-Line, Technik Steckdosenleiste 8-fach Duo mit 4-fach schaltbaren Steckdosen (mit 3m Kabel) Farbe: schwarz / lichtgrau

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Friedrich Ebert

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Friedrich Ebert played an extremely important role in the story of German democracy. As the first ever democratically elected president of Germany, and also as the leader of the Social Democratic campaign, he made seminal efforts in getting about the Weimar constitution that turned Germany into a republic at first chance and then attempted to unite it after the defeat in World War I. He was president of the Weimar Republic from 1919 until the death of his in 1925.

Ebert was born in Heidelberg in 1871. He mastered the saddler’s industry and traveled through Germany as a journeyman saddler. He quickly evolved into a Social Democrat plus unionist, representing the so called revisionist – gradualist, liberal – „trade union“ wing of the party which was much less active in the ideological struggles of Marxism. His focus was always directed toward pragmatic enhancement within the existing conditions of the German working class and, above many, its personal betterment.

In 1905 Ebert became secretary general of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and also in 1913 succeeded August Bebel as party chairman. By the precious time he was chairman, the SPD was started as a serious democratic force, despite years of repression and continuing harassment from the ultra conservative powers in Germany.

Under the leadership of his, increasing influence in German national politics were gained by the Social Democratic movement. But he couldn’t hold the whole party to the course of his for long. In March 1917 a left wing faction left the party to be the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD), hard rejecting Germany’s battle policy. Another team split from the SPD to develop the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). The leftists that had withdrawn from the SPD desired a cultural revolution, while The majority and friedrich Ebert of his party needed to build a German parliamentary democracy. In the midst of the battle, the Catholic Centre Party, the Democratic Party (previously the Progressive Party), and the Social Democrats had created the so-called Weimar coalition to push for a change of the monarchy.

With Ebert’s effective cooperation, a brand new government, headed by Prince Max of Baden as well as that comprise of the 3 people of the Weimar coalition, was structured in October 1918 by way of a sweeping constitutional reform that in important aspects foreshadowed the Weimar Constitution. Thus, Germany wouldn’t have required a revolution to attain parliamentary democratic change, as well as Ebert did almost everything he might to avoid such a revolution from happening. He was fearful of the usually brutal effects of revolutions and of the tyranny of extremists groups, as mirrored in the statement of his at the level of the unavoidable revolution:

„Without democracy there’s absolutely no freedom. Violence, no matter who’s using it, is constantly reactionary.“

The revolution came 3 times before the armistice. It triumphed in Berlin on November nine, and also on the same day Prince Max of Baden, acting on his power, requested Friedrich Ebert to replace him as chancellor. Ebert in fact held office as chancellor underneath the empirial constitution for 1 day. On November ten he yielded to the fait accompli of the revolution and also create an entirely Socialist government, with reps from the SPD as well as USPD. Ebert was motivated to put the energy of the groundbreaking government quickly in the hands of a freely elected German parliament. He desired to visit a legitimately elected coalition government in strength instead of a Socialist regime.

The elections of January 1919 gave the Weimar coalition a sweeping victory with a vast majority of eighty five percent, showing the solid support of the German folks for Ebert’s place. The brand new German constitution, the Weimar Constitution, so named after the city where it was pulled up, was the job of the coalition. By the votes on the 3 people developing the coalition, Ebert was elected the 1st president of the republic.

Still with the elections to the republic’s very first parliament on June six, 1920, the Weimar coalition lost its bulk and was never to restore it. The Social Democratic Party thereby lost its commanding place in the Reich, and also the political constellation where Ebert’s leadership was based dissolved. The electoral defeat became a direct consequence of the Treaty of Versailles. At that time many Germans were convinced the peace of Versailles targeted at the damage of Germany. The ensuing loss in confidence in the ruling democratic people was the death blow of the Weimar republic.

Reactionary forces, especially groups loyal to the German army, continued to systematically weaken Ebert’s energy to reconcile the politically split German modern society and treated him with outright hostility. The efforts of his to keep the struggling fragile democracy afloat found no assistance of the German right, that ultimately succeeded in their attempt to abolish democracy with sad effects.

The judgement associated with a German court, which ruled Ebert had dedicated high treason, at minimum in the legal sense, during the battle by the support of his of any munition workers‘ hit, contributed to the early death of his in 1925.

To be able to honor his steadfast think in democracy, peace and freedom, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung was established shortly after the death of his. Building on the experience of his, the foundation offers a triple aim:

– to further a political society dependent on pluralism and democracy using civic training for every strata of German culture.

– to facilitate a chance to access advanced schooling for gifted kids from the less advantaged organizations of the German public by means of scholarships,

– and also to contribute to international cooperation and understanding wherever feasible as a safeguard against completely new conflicts and wars.

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Beste Road Trips – Der Pacific Coast Highway zur Amalfi Coast Road

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Beste Road Trips für Abenteuer: Entdecken Sie die Ränder der Karte auf diesen abgelegenen Straßen.

Klassische amerikanische Ausflugziele, Death Valley und der Pacific Coast Highway, haben beide einen Namen, der Abenteuer verspricht. Death Valley und die Geisterstädte, enge Schluchten und offene Wüsten sind eine Einladung für harte Jungs und Leute, die der Gesellschaft die Bars entziehen möchten, während der Pacific Coast Highway die klare Schönheit der amerikanischen Schönheit am Meer verspricht – dramatische Klippen, Strände, Strände. einsame Buchten, Bergwälder und geschützte Tierwelt.

Beste Road Trips für Luxus: Stilvoll Wind in den Haaren.

Diese Roadtrips sind für Flitterwochen gedacht. Im besten Fall ist das Auto etwas Schlankes, Italienisches und Italienisches. Das klare Meer, die hellen Dörfer und Steinkirchen der Amalfiküste zwischen Positano, Sorrento, Ravello und Amalfi sind mit kleinen Boutiquehotels, versteckten Buchten und gemütlichen Caféterrassen bestückt, auf denen Sie den Sonnenuntergang beobachten können elopers traum. Eine Reise entlang der Côte d'Azur zwischen Nizza und Monte Carlo stinkt nach Playboy-Chic, vor allem, wenn Sie in einem der Casinos an der Strecke Geld gewinnen. Für Liebhaber von Titeln führt die Romantische Straße vom Heidelberger Schloss zum Schloss Neuschwanstein entlang der alten Handelsstraße zwischen mittelalterlichen Städten und Märchenschlössern.

Der Karakoram Highway folgt der Route der alten Seidenstraße bis zu einer der höchsten Passagen der Welt zwischen einigen der höchsten Landschaften der Welt rund um K2, Nanga Parbat und Gasherbrums I-IV. Der Carretera Austral oder der Southern Highway verläuft auf einer weitgehend unbefestigten Odyssee durch Patagonien und hält unterwegs in abgelegenen Städten.

Eine Reise zwischen Marrakesch und Essaouira über das Atlas-Gebirge ist ein wenig hinderlich, aber die Fahrt in den Süden, durch spektakuläre Wüstenlandschaften, zwischen den schneebedeckten Wolkenkratzern des Atlas-Gebirges und entlang von Hügeln über üppige, versteckte Täler führt Sie zu der Rand der Sahara sowie in die Atlanten, bevor die Küste bei Essaouira vor Ihnen liegt.

Beste Ausflugstouren zum Sightseeing: Fahren Sie an einigen der besten Sehenswürdigkeiten der Welt vorbei.

Für landschaftlich reizvolle Tage voller Ablenkungen und Attraktionen und Abende, die in komfortablen B & Bs verbracht werden, eine Reise entlang der irischen Antrim Coast Road, vorbei an den Mourne Mountains, dem Carrickfergus Castle, den Bushmills, dem Dunluce Castle, dem Giant's Causeway und den Glens of Antrim oder Amerikas Blue Ridge Parkway, obwohl die Great Smoky Mountains, sind große Familienausflüge.

Finnlands 1000 Lakes Trip ist ein acht oder neun Tage langer skandinavischer Familienklassiker. Von Helsinki aus schlängelt es sich zwischen 187.000 Seen um das wunderschöne Seeland, mit Übernachtungen in gemütlichen Landstädten. Die Route von Reykjavik nach Akureyri durch Geysir, die Halbinsel Reykjanes und die Halbinsel Snæfellsnes ist eine weitere ausgezeichnete Wahl für Sightseeing. Sie können dies an einem Tag tun, Schnappschüsse auf dem Weg machen oder die Sehenswürdigkeiten bewundern.

Der Hana Highway von Hawaii, von Pa'ia nach Hana, ist eine viel kürzere Reise, aber es gibt viel zu sehen: von Bambus- und Eukalyptushainen an Wasserfällen bis zu Panoramablicken auf den Pazifik, an die Sie sich während Ihres gesamten Lebens erinnern werden Der Overseas Highway von Miami nach Key West, der 113 Meilen lang über 43 lange, flache, gerade Meeresbrücken verläuft, ist der Ausflug, der einem Inselhüpfen gleichkommt.

Beste Roadtrips für die Geschichte: Historische Routen zurückverfolgen.

Folgen Sie den unbefestigten Spuren von Che Guevara zwischen Santa Cruz und Vallegrande, während Sie durch Bolivien reisen und schließlich zur Ruhe kommen, oder verfolgen Sie den ersten Weg des Viking auf dem Viking Trail nach Kanada. An der nordischen Landestelle in L'Anse aux Meadows vorbei, und obwohl der Nationalpark Gros Morne wegen der Felskunst dort bleibt, führt dieser Ausflug auch zwischen hübschen Küstenstädten, von denen die meisten über ein lokales Viking-Museum verfügen, in dem die Einheimischen untergebracht werden können Relikte.

Die Route 66 ist die klassische Autoreise in die amerikanische Folklore, die der alten Handelsstraße zwischen ländlichen Dörfern folgt. Von den Feldern von Illinois, Kansas und Oklahoma über die Wüsten von Texas und New Mexico bis hin zur Küstenlinie von Kalifornien wird diese Straße auch als Main Street USA bezeichnet.

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Europe Offers the Best Study Abroad Platform For International Students

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Among the seven continents of the world, Europe has more economically and technically developed countries. Each country in this continent has its own unique history, culture, language and people. So, if you’re toying with the idea of studying abroad, Europe proves to be a potent option that offers you plenty of opportunities to gain firsthand knowledge of various cultures as well as bolster your career path. In this article, we’ll give a careful consideration to three European countries, namely Germany, France and Netherlands.

Germany as a study abroad alternative has a lot to offer to international students. Keeping the requirements of international education in mind, its renowned universities and colleges have started to offer more than 12,000 programs that are recognized all over the world. Whether you pursue a bachelor or a master level course, you can always further your career on the basis of the degree acquired there. For the benefit of foreign students, the majority of courses are offered both in German and English languages. Students can also grab the golden opportunity to learn German during their study in Germany. Most of the German universities are famous for their innovative research works in the field of medicine, technology, and natural sciences. According to a particular world university ranking, eleven universities from Germany made it to the list of top-200 universities around the world, in terms of excellence in teaching and research. Some of the top German universities are the Free University of Berlin, University of Freiburg, University of Heidelberg, Technical University of Munich, University of Marburg, and University of Bamberg.

If you seek a beautiful country with equally beautiful, courteous and friendly people for your study abroad, then a study in France is the most viable option before you. The country is of great prominence on the global scenario with major contributions in the areas of politics, philosophy, trade, technology, automobile, arts, science, fashion and economics. As a result, the most sought after programs in the country are naturally related to information technology, business administration, and art and design. The high-quality and innovative education system and research in France have made it the sixth biggest economy of the world. More than 2,30,000 students head for the country every year to pursue courses in engineering, management, arts or humanities. The University of Provence, University of the Mediterranean, University of Avignon, University of Picardie Jules Verne and the American University of Paris are some of the major universities in France.

The Netherlands is a country with richness in culture and history. Located in Western Europe, the country boasts an abundance of study abroad programs that are imparted completely in English. Students having a desire to study in Netherlands come across more than 1,000 courses in different subjects. The teaching methodology in the country aims at enhancing the problem-solving capabilities of students who assess and get solutions to the problems on their own. The reasonable cost of living and study here also attracts more and more foreign students. Various universities in Netherlands are unique in terms of their location, teaching environment and programs offered. These include University of Amsterdam, Leiden University, University of Groningen, and Academic Medical Center.

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