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Non-Fictional Prose

ckosarek's picture

Collectivism As a Cause for Suicide

I came across an online book on Tripod entitled Suicide Bombers: The Psychological, Religious and Other Imperatives compiled by Mary Sharp. The book has an article in it by Ofed Grosbar called "The Drama of the Suicide Terrorist," which reads:

rachelr's picture

Anat Berko: As Bruce Bennett said, "All clients' needs and expectations are vastly different"

 I found The Path to Paradise to be one of the best books that I have read in a long time. The language used and the writing style made for a read easy on the eyes, although the complexity of the ideas, history, and emotion forced me to take my time with each paragraph. I loved the conversational style mixed in with Berko's own experiences and interpretations, and the combination of the historical and cultural details along with the personal depth that Berko gained in her interviews compelled me to keep reading. Reading The Path to Paradise, I thought that Berko essentially spelled out who she is to us: she is a Jew from Israel who spent hundreds and hundreds of hours interviewing suicide bombers and their dispatchers.

EVD's picture

Washington Times Review of Path to Paradise


I was curious to see what the reviews of Path to Paradise were like so I searched a little bit online to find some. Most of the reviews I found were very positive (because most of the ones I found were on sites trying to endorse sale of the book) but one I found particularly interesting was a Washington Times review:

ckosarek's picture

Emotional reaction to the Commission report?

 The first chapter of the graphic representation of the 9/11 report struck me the hardest. Even though it wasn't constructed to elicit emotion (because it seemed to try to focus on the facts and not their emotional implications), I still found myself caught reliving the emotions of that day. I had a neighbor who worked in one of the twin towers; I was good friends (at the time) with his daughter, who is my age. I remember getting the news that he was lost, and I remember getting the news some days later that his torso had been found, wedding band still wrapped around his finger. Maybe the power of these first few pages is found in the fact that they are factual rather than anecdotal or personal or emotional.

ckosarek's picture

Course notes, 10/28/10

  Scene I: Computer Troubles. 

We couldn't get the computer to work. It was straight-up G (that's a pun, because the "g" key was stuck down and we couldn't get a letter in edgewise). In light of this, J asked for reactions to Tarnation. 

J: It's scary and shocking. 

EVD's picture


I'm still watching the movie but I thought I would post some initial reactions. The introduction portion of the movie is one of the creepiest things I've watched in a long time. Since this portion is also one of the parts of the movie that really is a creation of art rather than a documentary, I think its really interesting that the creators of the film chose to introduce the movie in this way. Flashing images of people and playing eerie music sets up the film as a kind of real life horror story. I'd be really interested in knowing how much of this documentary was part of Jonathan Caouette's initial idea for the film and which parts were added as a result of input from other directors.

SuperMarioGirl's picture

Urban or M-W?

 An interesting question came up in my group yesterday when I was talking about the value of both the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and the Urban dictionary. Which one would I choose to reference from here on out if I could only have one?

My first answer was obviously M-W, because it's universally accepted as a credible English dictionary. The definitions are strictly factual, and quite limiting in their meanings. It's difficult to place the words in context. When studying for the SAT a few years ago, I spent a lot of time looking at dictionaries, and even if I had a word's definition memorized, I lacked a thorough understanding of it because there was almost no context to look at. So conversationally, M-W doesn't do much for me.

ckosarek's picture

The uncertainty of etymology

 Fingo, Fingere, Finxi, Fictus - v., 3rd conj., "pretend, feign, disassemble."; from the Proto-Indo-European word meaning, "to mold."

In Latin, words do not have a direct translation. Instead they have "senses." For example, the "sense" of the adjective, "honestus" is "honorable" or "commendable"; either "honorable" or "commendable" would be an appropriate translation of "honestus", depending on context. Context determines the meaning of a word; words have no concrete meaning on their own - they only have "senses", the innate properties that mean nothing without surrounding verbal framework. 

EVD's picture

War of the Worlds Broadcast

When I started reading a little bit about the reaction to the War of the Worlds broadcast (I haven't watched F for Fake yet) I was REALLY surprised by the alleged hysteria over the broadcast. Apparently The Radio Project which is a social research project on the effects of mass media on society found that of the approx. 6 million people who heard the broadcast about 25% of them thought it was real and that most of the people who panicked in response to the broadcast thought it meant that there was an invasion by the Germans. Anyway...this might be brought up in the documentary but I look forward to seeing the depiction of these reactions in the film.

ckosarek's picture

working, working on, and working toward

 What's working? Well, we all seem to be able to work cooperatively, especially online. I like how our class is able to feed off of each other's ideas on the course forum. Actually, I'd say that what works most in this course is its heavy use of an online community. By posting online, whether it be the webpapers or a weekly posting, I have found that my attitude toward writing has shifted. No longer do I write for a professor - I'm writing for something more global. My writing is about conversation, about involving as many people as I can in a dialogue. And even more exciting, that dialogue has a chance to cross from the virtual world into reality as my classmates respond to what I've posted.

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