Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Savant syndrome (pronounced /səˈvɑːnt/), sometimes referred to as savantism, is a rare condition in which people with developmental disorders have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance that are in contrast with the individual's overall limitations. Although not a recognized medical diagnosis, researcher Darold Treffert says the condition may be either genetic or acquired.
According to Treffert, about half of all people with savant syndrome have autistic disorder, while the other half have another developmental disability, mental retardation, brain injury or disease. He says, "... not all autistic people have savant syndrome and not all people with savant syndrome have autistic disorder". Other researchers state that autistic traits and savant skills may be linked, or have challenged some earlier conclusions about savant syndrome as "hearsay, uncorroborated by independent scrutiny".
Though it is even more rare than the savant condition itself, some savants have no apparent abnormalities other than their unique abilities. This does not mean that these abilities weren't triggered by a brain dysfunction of some sort but does temper the theory that all savants are disabled and that some sort of trade-off is required.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
A dam constructed in a valley relies on the natural topography to provide most of the basin of the reservoir. Dams are typically located at a narrow part of a valley downstream of a natural basin. The valley sides act as natural walls with the dam located at the narrowest practical point to provide strength and the lowest practical cost of construction. In many reservoir construction projects people have to be moved and re-housed, historical artefacts moved or rare environments relocated. Examples include the temples of Abu Simbel ( which were moved before the construction of the Aswan Dam to create Lake Nasser from the Nile in Egypt ) and the re-location of the village of Capel Celyn during the construction of Llyn Celyn.
In hilly regions reservoirs are often constructed by enlarging existing lakes. Sometimes in such reservoirs the new top water level exceeds the watershed height on one or more of the feeder streams such as at Llyn Clywedog in Mid Wales. In such cases additional side dams are required to contain the reservoir.
Where the topography is poorly suited to a single large reservoir, a number of smaller reservoirs may be constructed in a chain such as in the River Taff valley where the three reservoirs Llwyn-on Reservoir, Cantref Reservoir and Beacons Reservoir form a chain up the valley.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Diction, in its original, primary meaning, refers to the writer's or the speaker's distinctive vocabulary choices and style of expression. A secondary, common meaning of "diction" is more precisely expressed with the word enunciation — the art of speaking clearly so that each word is clearly heard and understood to its fullest complexity and extremity. This secondary sense concerns pronunciation and tone, rather than word choice and style.
Diction has multiple concerns; register — words being either formal or informal in social context — is foremost. Literary diction analysis reveals how a passage establishes tone and characterization, e.g. a preponderance of verbs relating physical movement suggests an active character, while a preponderance of verbs relating states of mind portrays an introspective character. Diction also has an impact upon word choice and syntax.
Diction comprises eight elements: Phoneme, Syllable, Conjunction, Connective, Noun, Verb, Inflection, and Utterance.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The denotative meaning of a word is its actual meaning, with no spin on it intended to persuade. The same word's connotative meaning is what the word suggests after such a spin has been applied.
For example, the actual meaning of the word “propaganda” is “plan for the propagation of a doctrine or of a system of principles.” There's no implication here that such a doctrine or system is either good or bad. But primarily because of its use by the Nazis, “propaganda” is now given its connotative meaning by many people, rather than the denotative. So it now suggests lies, exploitation, concealment of truth, and other pejorative characteristics or purposes.
Now if you're not aware of this, you can be grossly mislead by a word.
One of the leading ladies in that category today is the word “proof.” Its denotative meaning is “evidence that compels acceptance by the mind.” Please note that in this definition, there's still room for doubt in whatever it is that the evidence is supposed to support.
But that's not the way people generally react to the word. To such people, “proof” means certainty, no room for disagreement, case closed. And so when someone tells them that something has been proved, they tend to accept the statement uncritically and proceed to shut down their thinking mechanism. From that point on, it's a piece of cake to manipulate them.
So if you want to avoid being taken in by others offering you “proof” of something, here's what I suggest. Every time you hear the word “proof," silently ask yourself if you've been persuaded of the actual validity of what's been “proved.”
Because if you haven't, and you uncritically accept what's been said as gospel, then, in effect, nothing's been proved. You've just been conned.
taken from here
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This is one of twelve "Classic Spirals", from the established series for reluctant readers with a track record of over 25 years. It features dynamic plots and storylines, which encourage readers to pick them up again and again. It includes engaging themes without being immature or patronising and attractive cover designs in new paperback style binding are designed to motivate pupils. Short but substantial chapters are provided to give a sense of achievement in reading whole texts. Clearly laid out text, without illustrations and activities, encourages focus on reading and enables low achievers to improve at their own pace.