Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beginning of Baskets

The weaving of baskets is as old as the history of men. Traces of baskets have been found in Egyptian pyramids . Woven baskets liners have left their impressions inside the fragments of ancient pottery. As soon as men (and women!) were able to plait fibers together, they began to experiment with structures for woven containers.

Baskets were needed as containers for everything imaginable - food, clothing, seeds, storage, and transport. (Hebert, 2001)

The word "basket" is delivered from the Greek word kophinos, which is a basket woven of plaited branches and twigs. As early as 4,000 BC, Sumerians used baskets to bury their dead. (Polaski, n.d.)

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Day

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."

(Eleanor Roosevelt)


Friday, June 26, 2015

Logic: Common Pitfall in Arguing

Perhaps you've participated in these situations in the past: raised voices, insist by repetition, and got to the off-topic distractions.

Please give it some thought: if a statement made in a loud voice, will it make more or less true? What if the argument is repeated by using different words? What if a person says "trust me" before making a statement. Does it affect the truth of the statement? If someone makes a statement that they feel strongly about, does it affect the truth? Does it matter how upset you are? How angry you are? How often the person argues about the same topic? Why the emotional context so common in arguments, if it doesn't impact the truth in any way?

Perhaps the greatest difficulty in logical arguments is detecting non-relevant factors. Many arguments would be pointless without any emotional displays. There are some practical tips for logical arguments:
  • Be willing and motivate to argue logically
  • Be capable intellectually to take on a logical argument
  • Have the time and patience to see the argument through logically
  • Be prepared with the body of knowledge in the process of logical argumentation
Conclusion: There are no assumptions, because if contradictions are found in at least one of the assumptions, it is possible that one of the steps in the argument, must be incorrect.
Weinberg, Arnon. (2012) How to Have a Logical Argument in Real Life. - 10 pages.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Black Swan Theory

What it means? What is the definition behind this theory? It was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book entitled "The Black Swan." It is assumed that all swans are white. So the black swans, which do in fact exist in nature, are very rare, unique, and extraordinary.

According to Taleb, the "black swan events" have three major characteristics:
a. It is a surprise
b. It has a major impact
c. "Black swan events" are very powerful and may change the course of history, science, art, and technology.

Taking risk, thinking 'outside the box' may be occur by high-level leadership contributing to the natural phenomenon. The new era of freedom and creativity is an inspiration for young talented people that always helped to nourish a new generation of poets and artists - an adventurous generation steeped in the world of culture..

"Black swan events" open the new avenue to be engage in free and open dialogue with writers, artists, and scholars from North to South, from East to West - shaping the transformational effect on the work of these individual artists.

So, when you have the next black swan accouter, in culture or in the society, you will be able to recognized the contributions made to the contemporary culture, and to invigorate from it, in the words of Mandelstam, by a "longing for world culture."

Saturday, June 20, 2015


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse of selfish, ulterior motives'
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you'
Be honest and frank anyway.
When you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
Read by Ida Tomshinsky at IFAC Reunion: 50th Anniversary
at The Porter's Mansion in Miami Beach, FL
on June 20, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Heart Knows and Feels

The heart knows and feels
What you need to prosper -

To gain knowledge and skills,
Why not to enter ITT to succeed?!

Information literacy prerequisites,
The LRC study and learning for tests

Are the future career fundamentals,
Considered worthwhile investments!

Planting wildflowers,
Letting them grow into
Student success and nation's leaders
Producing butterfly's habitat
Of education and professionalism!

Text and photo: Ms. Ida Tomshinsky

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reticules: Beginning of the Handbag

During the eighteenth century, most accessories had some practical function, but their precise form was dictated by fashion and so sometimes their design detracted from their usefulness.

Until the late eighteenth century, pockets attached to tapes tied at the waist were worn under the pannier and underskirt, reached through slits in the overskirt. Handbags, called reticules, became necessary at the end of the century when dresses had no room for pockets underneath.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Old Goriot" by Honore de Balzac

"Old Goriot" was written in 1834, when Balzac was thirty-five and at height of his powers. The story is about Eugene de Rastignac the young provincial who came to Paris to make a career for himself. The talented Rastignac, confused and ambitious law student from the country, was making his way in Paris against odds.

The character of Old Goriot gave the author a chance to mount the rostrum and vent his ideas on the differences in the social structure. Goriot himself, who grew rich out of the French Revolution, never understood or cared for what it represented. He represents the power of money, and his possessive greed too, in the hands of the rising new middle class.

This novel may be compare to Shakespeare's "King Lear" and Turgenev's novelette entitled "A Lear of the Steppes." All three tell the story of a sacrificing father and ungrateful daughters. If Balzac and Turgenev borrowed their ideas, their borrowing was from the common pool of human experience into which great artists must always dip.

Honore de Balzac had two great gifts: observation and imagination, always inextricably blended. When he was about twenty years old, he gave up the study of law for literature. He literally killed himself by overwork, dying at the age of fifty-one, with more than forty books as his gift to posterity.