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Mysore Zoo, Mysore

5 Most Popular Zoos in India

India is known to be home to a number of exotic species of animals including Snow Leopard, Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Lion. The reasons for this diverse existence of fauna in the country are attributed to many salient factors including the tropical climate and variation in landscape, resulting in habitation of species that thrive in certain regions. Zoos in India are known to harbor exotic animal species that are an essential part of the earth’s ecosystems. The nurture and sustenance for these animals is carried out with extreme care and dedication on behalf of the zoos and a natural environment is fostered within their enclosures to help maintain unhindered growth for these animals. Not only do these zoos provide an asylum for endangered and exotic animals, they also encourage education on wildlife and a source of practical observation for the masses. India houses 8.1 percent of the total diversity of the planet’s species. Listed below are some of the most famous zoos in the countries that support a rich diversity of animal species. Read more

the giver discussion

Bringing it Back: The Giver

The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, is a novel that stimulates deep thought’s about our world and the personal philosophy each of us holds about it. Sometimes taking a look back at a book written in older times can still be of extreme relevance today. This case is a great example of that, and should not be dismissed because of its publish date, some time in 1933.

the giver discussion

A library still incorporating The Giver into their learning program. Taken by CACC North Library.

The book is based on a Utopian society where it practices the idea of sameness to keep a calm and quiet community. With this being the case, there are no emotions, color, feelings, climate, or temperature. This ensures no one feels anything they may be affected negatively by. There is one person in this town which is given the privilege of having a full range of normal emotion, feelings, etc. This person is called ‘The Giver‘ because they give knowledge of the real world to keep the society at peace. The book is about Jonas, a twelve year old boy is next in line to become the giver. As he discovers the truth about life and reality outside of the society, it becomes a big burden for him to carry. He is faced with many troubles about the quality of life his society is experiencing, and cannot discuss this matter with anyone. The more he learns about the real world, the harder the process is for him to continue. He eventually finds a way to escape, despite the strict conditions of the town.

This book is often incorporated into school’s reading programs, but in recent years, has been labeled as controversial. Some people believe this book teaches and has too much violence. I think the issue of whether or not Hemingway was sexist in his writing for this story is probably less of an issue There is also a mention of suicide by Jonas as he learns about the truth of life, and several parents find this to be dangerous for kids to read. The book still exists in many schools today, but the ban has also cut it from several others.

This book creates many of our own thoughts about the future time mentioned in this book. It allows us to think about our life, the joy and the pain. Yes, life could exist without both of those, but what would life be at that point? It makes us appreciate the experiences we have encountered throughout our life, and maybe have a new view at our philosophy of life. This is helpful for educational purposes, especially for middle school students. The positive results highly outweigh the negative, and people should appreciate the fresh perspective.

In the end of the book, Jonas is faced with the challenge of saving a baby brought to his family. The baby is to be released (killed) because of population issues. Jonas escapes with the baby, and is off to find a place called Elsewhere. He has to use the skills and memories he learned from the giver to try and survive. The end of the book leaves doubt as to whether Jonas has found Elsewhere, or if he is experiencing a memory. However, in an interview after the book was released, the author stated that Jonas had lived. This positive ending is much needed for a story of this intensity, especially for children.

Hemingway: The Sexist Or The Victim?

While he may be a bit of a popular and controversial figure, in the literary world and in popular culture, Ernest Hemingway has been loved on one hand and then reluctantly accepted or even openly hated in the other.  He’s been criticized in some circles for the way his writing has often portrayed the female characters of his short stories and novels.  Personally, in my youth I was ignorant to those aspects and I suppose I can attribute that to a lack of knowledge of the world and in literature.  Now while I can understand some of those criticisms, I still find myself wanting to like his writing at the very least out of respect for his skill with the art and craft of writing. The book is based on a Utopian society where it practices the idea of sameness to keep a calm and quiet community.

hemingway-quote

I really like this photo of a young Ernest Hemingway and the quote from his is spoken aptly like a true writer.  A big thank you goes to DJ Andy W.com (or ビッグアップジャパン on his flickr.com page) for posting this image!

When I was first reading Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” I was honestly a little bored (please forgive me, I was a teenager at the time and the subtlety of advanced literature was beyond me!) but after I actually read the entire story and fully processed the entire plot and underlying subtext, I was quite satisfied. I think the issue of whether or not Hemingway was sexist in his writing for this story is probably less of an issue, particularly since there are very few characters involved with the plot.  However, with the one and only female being a less sympathetic, (and generally considered to be also shallow) flat and antagonistic character, I can certainly see why many would find some fault in Hemingway’s characterization.  Although that is not to say I agree with it, I do understand their point of view.

mount-kilimanjaro

This stunning photo of the actual Mount Kilimanjaro is here due to Mike McHolm posting it online.  I can understand why Hemingway had such a romanticized idea of the mountain and felt compelled to use it as the setting of his story.

It’s not secret among those who have studied Hemingway that his personal life and his relationships with women were a huge influence on his writing.  He had a strained relationship with his mother (who he blamed for his father’s suicide) and would later blame Pauline, the mother of his children over one of his son’s (Greg) arrest (which was his own fault and involved his experimentation with drugs).  Greg would later detail how Ernest had aggravated Pauline’s medical condition by arguing so violently with her over the phone and that he was to blame for her death.  Ernest would kill himself a year later.  I can’t help but pity Hemingway a great deal and find him to be at once both responsible for the problems in his personal life, and also a victim of circumstance.

mature-hemingway

This is my personal favorite picture of Hemingway (© Marek.Krzystkiewicz).  You can sense an almost palpable struggle with his personal pains and genius talent in his facial expression.