Superstitions can have a significant impact on the conduct of some people. It is the belief of many people that bad luck can result from such trivial things as walking under the ladder, spilling salt, breaking a mirror, or having a black cat cross your path. A self-help book entitled “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne has a similar basis on the premise that one’s thinking can be impactful in that the positive thinking brings improvements in one’s life while the negative thoughts can have adverse results in one’s life. Astrology is also based on the tenet that one’s date of birth can have a powerful and a lasting impact on a person’s personal traits, love life, success at work and much more. Also, numbers are believed to be crucial. Some numbers can have their luck or unlucky members depending on how they conceive those numbers or what they have been made to believe about them. One of such numbers is 13 that are almost universally considered as an unlucky number in the European culture. Also, the Friday 13th is considered universally as being inauspicious.
It is hard to imagine the rational foundation of superstition. There are many researchers that have tried to formulate models to help in understands about the persistence of superstition. For instance, Fundenberg and Levine (2006) came up with the game-theoretical model to show how superstition persists even when people are rational, and it discusses the types of superstitious that have a high likelihood of persisting. Two essential conclusions are that people shape their beliefs in the superstitions and that superstitions are possible under rationality. The superstitions develop when the occurrence of the trigger event has an occasional association with the correct outcome, but the payoff to that outcome needs to be sufficiently large.
Whether they are rational or not, superstitions can result in vital consequences. For that reason, some people have been known to consult horoscopes ahead to making important decisions, and a common example among these people is President Reagan that sought for advice from his astrologist concerning many issues such as, how to approach Mikhail Gorbachev in the discussion on how to end the Cold War in 1985. The tenets in unlucky numbers are widespread. In the United Kingdom, it has been reported that around 28 percent of the streets do not have number 13. Some people also refuse to commence new projects or avoid making major purchase decisions on Friday 13th. There is an estimate that puts business losses in the United States at $1 billion. Another recent report also found out that the flights taking place on Friday 13th are cheaper as compared to the flights taking place on other days in France, Sweden, Australia, and the UK. In contrast, Friday the 13th impact on the stock market has nil, or it may be positive even though it is small (Lucey, 2001; Chung, Darrat & Li, 2014).
In this research paper, we undertake a search he evidence that superstitions can have by looking at the stock market index of some countries. More specifically there will be an analysis and a calculation of the percentage change in the stock market index of 62 countries between the years 2008 and 2009 and the results will be useful in concluding if the average percentage is substantial for the Friday the 13th. There is the usage of the panel regression model with the corrected standard errors. The other aspect that will have examination is the turn of the month effect on Fridays. Three crucial results are associated with the Friday the 13th are observed. The first thing is that the depressed Friday the 13th impact is present when there is a negative return on the previous day. Secondly, when there is a positive return on the previous day, there is no depressed Friday the 13th impact. Thirdly, it is found that Friday the 13th effect does not depend on the growth domestic production of a country when the returns on otehr4 Fridays are leveraged as the yardstick.
The background material that needs to be known for this research is the international stock indices’ unequivocal results found out by Lucey (2000) for the period of 2008 to 2009. The model specified in this paper takes into account some points that help in the analysis of the data at validating the results. The first thing is that Friday the '13th only applies to Fridays. Therefore, as adopted in the previous results, the paper focuses on the daily returns on Fridays. The paper does not incorporate the analysis of the non-Friday days in the analysis. Secondly, the presence of the turn of the Friday’s month effect has to be taken into consideration. One of the choices that will be taken into account is the deletion of the returns at the turn of the month, and the other choice is the addition of a dummy variable to those days. However, the latter is adopted because it enables a convenient distinction of the controversial Friday the 13th impact with the turn of the month effect established. The returns of the days that do not fall in Friday the 13th are used as a control for the assessment.
Thirdly, we use the same data from the DataStream to find out the prior day effect by examining the returns on Mondays. Dummy variables are used to be based on the sign of prior day’s returns. The importance of the dummy variable is that it helps to capture the impacts of the one-day serial correlation. Fourth, previous research work into the area of Friday 13th effect examined the results for the individual stock exchange by country-to-country. We make use of the per capita GDP as a variable to explain the between-country variable. The effects are examined using the panel model. The fifth thing is that the data follows on the one for Lucey. That is because the decision constraints the time we are interested in studying.
We obtain the time series of the daily stock index prices for 62 countries from the DataStream. It covers the period between June 1, 2000, And August 31, 2008. The calculation is then done for the daily returns (Ri,t) for the day t of the country I as percentages using the panel regression model below.
Ri,t = ln(Ii,t / Ii,t-1) * 100,
Ii,t-1 is the closing value of the day representing the index on the day t for the country designated i. The theoretical sample, the size used shows that there are 26,722 Fridays whereby there are 431 per country; the bad Thursdays are 11,694; and the turn of the month days are 3,595; while Friday the 13th. These days, of course, may be occasioned by unpredictable events such as holidays, and unexpected closures. Therefore, in case one of the indexes in the equation is missing, it also means that the day t is missing. From the theoretical sample size where Fridays are 26,722, the missing returns on prior Thursdays or Fridays reduce sample size to 25,101 which is a loss of 6 percent. The number of values that are missing on Fridays the 13th and the turn of the Fridays of the month is the same but higher as compared to the number that is missing on the control Fridays. Even though the explanations for the latter results do not offer the concrete grounds for making conclusions, it appears that Fridays the 13th, as well as the turn of the month Fridays, are unlucky days.
The first step in the data analysis is to leverage the conventional approach to finding out the magnitude of the Friday 13th effect. Below is the model that is used:
Ri,t = α0 + α1F13t + β0GDP + β1 (F13t * GDPi)+ δi + Ƹi,t
The model is used to the pooled data of 62 countries with the panel regression approach that as outlined earlier. The purpose of the GDPi expression is to make sure that the estimated coefficient α0 effectively measures the average of the intercepts for the countries if each of the countries is individually applied to the above equation. The same sentiments are also applied to the F13t * GDPi variable and the estimated coefficient designated by α1. The results demonstrate that the presence the depressed Friday the 13th impact (P = 0.009, α1 = -0.103) as compared to the other Fridays. It is shown below that these results are biased towards the determination of a significant effect of Friday the 13th because returns on the used control Fridays have enhancement by the effect of the turn of the month.
According to Chamberlain and his colleagues (1991), adding dummy variable for the turn of the month, TOMt produces the model
Ri,t = α’0 + α’1F13t + α’2TOMt + β’0GDPi + β’1 (F13t * GDPi)+ β’2 (TOMt * GDPi ) + δ’i + Ƹ’i,t
The three variables that contain the GDPi term have addition to the formula due to the reasons explained earlier. The results show that there is a turn of the month effect on the Fridays (α’2 = 0.283, P<0.001) when it if referenced against the other Fridays acting as the control. The findings are consistent with the turn of the month effect contained in some earlier literature such as the one for Kunkel et al., 2003 and McConnel & Xu, 2008. Thus, the addition of the dummy variable to the model reduces the magnitude of the effect of the Friday the 13th (P – 0.10, α’1= -0.064).
The GDP for the unlucky Fridays the 13th, that is, Bt i = 1 and F13t = 1. That shows the average return on the unlucky Fridays the 13th is persistently lower as compared to the average return on the control Fridays across all the 62 countries. The results clearly imply that the depressed effect of Friday the 13th is brought about by the bad day impact. Also, the parallelism shows that the impact is independent of the country as evidenced by their GDP per capita considering the bad control Friday effect.
Conclusion and Remarks
There are three conclusions possible from this study. The first one is that the enhanced good effect of the prior day and the depressed bad effect of the prior day as seen on the control Fridays are part of the GDP function. Those effects are attributed to the variation in the market efficiency. Cognate gross domestic production impacts are exhibited by Fridays the 13th as well as the turn of the Fridays of the month. The differences in the market efficiency also influence the effects. Secondly, it can be observable that there is an enhanced effect of the ‘turn of the month’ on Fridays. If we consider the effect of the prior day control Friday, there is a uniform month effect on Fridays across all the countries examined. The third concussion is that a depressed Friday the 13th effect is also valid. The results, however, shows that a depressed Friday the 13th impact is possible when there is a negative return on the Thursdays the 12th.
It is not easy to satisfactorily explain the reasons for the differences in the results from the findings of Lucey (2000). We can tentatively suggest that earlier findings, such as the one for Agrawal and Tandon (1994) are equivocal. One of the explanations possible might be due the impact of the prior Thursday the 12th. The prior research does not acknowledge the prior effect as they only focus on the returns. The degree that the average returns are negative will depend on the weighted mean of the good and the bad days’ impact. It is paramount that the effects of the Thursday the 12th be put into consideration. It is observed that the returns on good days of Friday the thirteenth are not very different Friday from the returns of the good control Fridays. The bad Fridays the thirteenth are the only days that experience the frightening effect. When the returns from the prior day are positive, the results of Friday the thirteenth are also positive. The reason for that is that on Thursdays the thirteenth, stock markets around the globe persistently assess the Friday the thirteenth as they do to the other Fridays.
Agrawal, A., & Tandon, K. (1994). Anomalies or illusions? Evidence from stock markets in eighteen countries. Journal of international Money and Finance, 13(1), 83-106.
Chamberlain, T. W., Cheung, C. S., & Kwan, C. C. (1991). The Friday the thirteenth effect: Myth or reality?. Quarterly Journal of Business and Economics, 111-117.
Lucey, B. M. (2000). Friday the 13th and the philosophical basis of financial economics. Journal of Economics and Finance, 24(3), 294-301.
McConnell, J. J., & Xu, W. (2008). Equity Returns at the Turn of the Month. Financial Analysts Journal, 64(2), 49-64.
Fudenberg, D., & Levine, D. K. (2006). Superstition and rational learning. Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper, (2114).
Chung, R., Darrat, A. F., & Li, B. (2014). Superstitions and stock trading: some new evidence. Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 19(4), 527-538.
The rise and fall of consumer culture is an article by Erik Assadourian, which is an article with different reasoning and opinions which is believed to having shaped culture. According to this author, he presents his idea about how civilization can help in solving environmental problems. The author argues that, through saving human civilization, it will necessitate a radical revamp in our current culture which is the culture of consumerism. There are different things that the author focus on in the article which tends to reflect on his opinion about the role of countries in consumerism and the way it has affected today’s culture. Erik views consumerism as corruption and people should try to avoid it despite being something that people know it naturally (Assadourian, 2010).
Today, when people are growing up, we tend to be faced with different kinds of consumerism where advertisement in houses, cars, clothes, foods, and luxury items are normally put in front of us n a daily basis. The culture is what usually molds people in the manner that people act and think. According to this article, it indicates how people think that they are brought up in an environment where they believe that there are certain items that they should buy so that to survive.
We must understand that it is an act of survival and people need to decide whether their consumerism is a necessity or if it extends to the desires and wants beyond need. In regards to today’s life, the article, indicate that humanity tend to use 1/3 more than the capacity available on earth. Today, a key stimulator to consumerism is the media which people have been adapting to take the knowledge in as it is from the media that people learn about items that are being sold (Assadourian, 2010).
Assadourian, E (2010). The rise and fall of consumer cultures World Watch Institute
The Bahai Faith was founded in about one and a half century ago by Bahaullah, and it is currently among the fastest growing religions of the world. It is a monotheistic religion that emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are three core principles that establish a basis for Bahai’s doctrines and teaching, and this include the unity of God, religion, and that of humankind. As the youngest of the independent religions of the world, Bahai stands out from other religions in several ways; it has unique global administration system and it also uses a distinctive approach to handle contemporary social problems (Bahai Org., 2013). This paper observes the concepts of deity, cosmogony, ethics, and theodicy in Bahai faith.
Baha’i as a monotheistic religion, believes in one powerful creator; God. This religion believes that the universe and all the creatures dwelling in it were created by this super being, which has control over all his creation, as well as a complete and perfect knowledge of it (Interfaith Calendar, 2012). Perhaps, different concepts of God’s nature may exist; different languages of praying to him, different names, but He is the same unique being. Bahai teachings indicate that God is too great for the finite of the human mind to adequately understand Him or construct an accurate image of him. He is far beyond His creations, and throughout all eternity human beings will only appreciate
His superior nature, but they will never formulate His clear image. In fact, human beings will always use terms such as “God is the all-powerful, all-loving, and infinitely just,” but the knowledge of human beings will always be limited to their knowledge of such attributes. Therefore, for human beings, the knowledge of God is not a direct knowledge of His essence, but it means knowledge of God’s attributes and His Qualities. Human beings attain the knowledge of qualities and attributes of God by reflecting on His deeds and the creations. Ultimately, God manifest himself through His written word, therefore, meditation on His word, which is achieved through the study of the holy writings forms the important part understanding God. Therefore, in order to gain a deep knowledge and understating of God, Baha’ism emphasizes on study, practical application based on the study, meditation and prayer (Interfaith Calendar, 2013).
Baha’i cosmology is the understanding of Baha’i’s faith reality, which is basically divided into three; God, God’s logos, and the creation. In Baha’ism God is perceived to be pre existent and the rest of creation is contingent to Him. God’s logos, on the other hand, are the realm of God’s grace and commands that pervade all created things. Appearances of the logos manifests God’s message in the physical world. Creation includes the physical world, and it is not perceived to be confined to the material universe, but breaks down into the constituent parts. Therefore, the current universe is perceived to be as a result of long lasting processes evolving to its current state; cosmological time scales. According to Baha’i, the whole universe is a God’s sign, and it is dependent on Him. Moreover, humanity was created to know God and serve his purposes. In fact, the founder of Baha’i faith (Bahaullah) wrote many words about God.
In the Suriy-i-Vafa, Bahaullah wrote “the words of God are Countless in number, and they are infinite in range.” Therefore, no one can reckon or comprehend God’s words except God himself. Bahaullah recognized five realms to exist, and these include Hahut, Lahut, Jabarut, Malakut (the angelic realm), Nasut (the physical world, which is subdivided into animals, vegetation, and minerals). Therefore, God is manifested in all the five levels, but his manifestations are within the first level, and all humans exist between the physical and the angelic realms and can choose, which to live in. Bahaullah also indicated that even though humans ought to seek knowledge, there is no human who actually understand the nature of God and his creation. While God has given rational mind to the Humans, they are unable to comprehend the deep reality since they are limited by creation (Oxford Bibliographies, 2013).
According to World Religion (2013), Baha’i Faith offers theological, spiritual, and social teachings that were established its founder; Bahaullah. These teachings were presented in various writing of Baha’i. Baha’is regard the combined teaching of this religion with that of Christianity and Islam, as the teachings that were revealed by God. These teachings, therefore, include theological statements regarding God, God’s messengers and humans, and also the social teachings that include equality of all humans, irrespective of the race, class, and gender, the harmony of religious science, compulsory education, and the process of elimination of extreme poverty and wealth, among others. Patheos (2013) indicates that the principles of Baha’i’s teachings strongly emphasize on unity and love as exemplified by the
Golden rule and other social principles. Baha’is search for truth independent of superstition and tradition. This fundamental doctrine of faith condemns all forms of prejudice regardless of the form and nature and insists that harmony must exist between religion and science. Therefore, it advocates for equality of men and women, introduction of compulsory education, abolition of extreme poverty and wealth, institution of a world tribunal to adjudicate disputes between nations, adoption of a universal language, exaltation of work, glorification of justice to be the ruling principle in the human society, establishment of universal and permanent peace, and other elements that are essential for welfare of the human being.
According to Baha’is unity is regarded as “three oneness,” and it is central in the teaching of the religion. Therefore, Baha’i faith advocates for unity for God, religion, and mankind. The oneness of God views God as essentially monotheistic and as sources of all existence, revelation, eternity, and mightiness. Therefore, even though religions differ in one way or another, God nevertheless is the same. The oneness in humanity transcends all divisions of nation, race, gender, social class, and caste.
The problem of evil is a feature that has been tried to be reconciled in the philosophy of religion. This reconciliation is towards deity; omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient. Theodicy, therefore, attempts to show the contrary between evil and deity. A great deal of response has been given to the problem of evil, and this includes an explanation that God’s act of creation and His act of judgment are just the same. Baha’is believes that God condemn evil, and this is executed and expressed in His Created-world, and his powerful opinion will be seen during the judgment day. Therefore, God’s opinion is perceived to be good because evil is bad and deserves to be punished. Baha’is also insists that God exists, omniscient, omnipotent, and He is perfectly good. Therefore, He condemns evil because a perfectly good being would always want to condemn evil.
Since He is omniscient he knows where evil comes into existence, and he has the power to prevent it as an omnipotent being. However, the fact that evil exists does not mean that God does not exist, or He is not a super-being, but it is justified by the fact that God can identify the evil doers and punish them accordingly to bring justice (Badi Blog, 2013).
The Bahai Faith is one of the recently founded religions of the world, but it has, however, gained a great in the world. It is monotheistic in nature emphasizing the spiritual unity of humankind. Its doctrines and teaching and this include the unity of God, religion and more so the unity of humankind. It also has a unique global administration system and it also use a distinctive approach to handle contemporary social problems.
Bahai Org., (2013). The Baha’i Faith. Retrieved From, http://www.bahai.org/faq/facts/bahai_faith On June 10, 2013.
Interfaith Calendar (2013). Bahai Single Deity. Retrieved From, http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/Baha'i.htm On June 10, 2013.
Interfaith Calendar, (2012). Baha’i’s beliefs. Retrieved From, http://www.religionfacts.com/bahai/beliefs.html On June 10, 2013.
Oxford Bibliographies, (2013). Bahai Faith. Retrieved From, http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195390155/obo-9780195390155-0165.xml On June 10, 2013.
World Religion, (2013). Baha’I Faith Overview. Retrieved From http://www.worldreligions.com/index.php/bahai-faith On June 10, 2013.
Patheos, (2013). Ethics and Community. Retrieved From, http://www.patheos.com/Library/Bahai/Ethics-Morality-Community On June 10, 2013.
Badi Blog, (2013). Justice on Evil. Retrieved From, http://badiblog.blogspot.com/2007/07/g.html On June 10, 2013.
As the world navigates the first quarter of the 21st century, the world has experienced many achievements including the introduction of universal primary education (Wolfe, 2001). There are events that have particularly enhanced delivery and quality of higher education learning. The impact of the G.I. Bill (1944), introduction of standardized, non-referenced testing, and introduction of computers and distance learning are discussed.
1. The G. I. Bill of 1944
This bill was signed into in 1944 by President Franklin Roosevelt to guide the re-adjustment of the civilian life of the returning war veterans of World War II. The G.I. Bill of Rights brought wider access to higher education for the United States’ citizens. The bill was intended to reward the military people. The bill emphasized the concept of the significance of post secondary education. The consequent achievements following enactment of the law include the rise in enrollments in baccalaureate and graduate enrolments. The bill also resulted in the creation of the system of proprietary schools and expansion of the system of community college. The bill changed the standards for public schools, which were required to nurture students through the standard curriculum of reading, counting, writing, and science, and to prepare young students for entrance requirements for college, which depended on individual college rather that the individual young students. This was because the bill was designed to control the flow of World War II veterans into the United States.
The bill became the foundation for the development of educational reforms, and standards at all levels of learning. By 1964, the government through the veterans administration reported that the bill had resulted in 243,000 accountants, 180,000 doctors, nurses, and dentists, 360,000 school teachers, 150, scientists, 450,000 engineers, and 36,000 clergymen. The consequence of this was that the country was well rewarded. There was a development of an educated and hard-working middle class in numbers greater than the pre-war year. The taxes that were collected from the one-time citizen soldiers helped the government fund various public sector services and projects. The bill created hope and expectation of a college education for young men and women.
2. The Development of Standardized, Norm-Referenced Testing
The introduction of standardized, norm-referenced testing was motivated by the need for sufficient quality and quantity of teachers required in American schools (Wolfe, 2001). During the second part of the 20th century, it was realized that approximately 1,250 schools, institutions of higher learning, and education departments could not produce a sufficient number of qualified teachers required to educate approximately 15 million marginalized children in the United States. The problem is that, at the start of the 21st century, it is estimated that 2 million teachers will be required. The problem is compounded by the fact that the teachers that were prepared through the traditional system either do not take jobs or resign within three years after taking the job. The various state departments of education have adopted a flexible approach, in terms of deregulation of teacher certification. As a result of the change in testing system, quality teachers have been developed who are now active student mentors in class.
The process of licensing was changed from counting the number of courses that have been done by the prospective teacher to assessing the actual competence in teaching children (Billings & Halstead, 2009). The profile of the teaching fraternities in various schools has changed significantly from the traditional women-only teachers to a teaching group representative of the country, in terms of gender and racial divide.
3. The Advent of Computers and Distance Learning
Higher education has experienced massive changes since the introduction of personal computer and internet (Bates & Poole, 2003). In relation to higher learning, the introduction of computers has increased interest in distance learning. Universities and colleges that offer programs for distance learning now recognize the need to provide services and instructions to learners anywhere in the virtual environment. Mediums for telecommunications give the learner the same privileges and advantages. Technologies that facilitate data transfer of video and voice have been designed to enable students to access them at home. Distance learning has taken a wide variety of forms such as videoconferencing or delivery of mailed printed materials. In terms of the future prospect for higher education, introduction of computers has increased flexibility, motivation, cost-effective technology, and regular meetings among students and between teachers and students. Due to computers and the internet, the concepts of virtual universities and e-libraries have become the order of the modern-day education. The full potential of computers and e-learning will be realized in the 21st century.
Enactment of education bills, development of standards, and introduction of computers and distance learning has helped transform higher education. Through the innovations and events that occur in the education department the world has been transformed into a system that is flexible and convenient, in terms of the access of education by world citizens. While computers and distance learning increase connectivity for education purposes, introduction of standards and higher education bills serve to increase the quality of education, in the 21st century world.
Bates, A.W., & Poole, G. (2003), “Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success”. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons
Billings, D.M., & Halstead, J.A. (2009), “Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty (3rd ed.)”, Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders
Wolfe, MP (2001), “Reflections on the most important educational developments of the 21st century: Kappa Delta Pi Laureates”, The Educational Forum, 65 (2): 146
In American history, the period between 1945 and 1964 was an era of economic growth, war, and prosperity that saw the victory of World War II confronting each other in the cold war. Counterculture is a term which is used in describing a cultural group whose norms and values are at odds with those of the social majority. This is a term that was being used in referring to youth rebellion, which swept the western society in 1960s and in early 1970s. Counterculture in 1960s was populated by people who were known as the hippies, and it arose in United States as a whole movement that was opposed to the Vietnam War . The young people got engaged in various activities of revolt which included using drugs, participating in riots, demonstrations, and also protesting. This is an atmosphere that was directly related to the involvement of US in Vietnam.
Most of the hippies used drugs and also sold the drugs and considered it as a shortcut to reality. The young people used drugs as a means to say they are not part of the system that has been created and messed up. Some of the drugs that were used by these people include mescaline, peyote, marijuana, and LSD. Stimulants and sedatives were also used. The hippies formed communes to live outside of the established system. The aspect of counterculture did reject active involvement in politics with the mainstream.
Members of the hippie movement grew older, and they moderated their views and lives and counterculture in 1960 was at some extent absorbed by the mainstream that left a lasting impact on lifestyle, morality, and fashion. Counterculture movement did divide the country where some American thought of the attributes as Americans ideal of free speech, equality, pursuit of happiness, and world peace . However, some thought of the movement as a reflection of self indulgent, unpatriotic, pointlessly rebellious, and assault on the traditional moral order of America.
The movement of counterculture was a reaction against the conservative social norms in 1950s. Sometimes it is discussed as the inheritor of the beat generation. The youth rebellion originated from the college campuses. One example is the Free Speech Movement in university of California where socially privileged students started to identify as having interests as a class which was at odds with the practices and interests of the university and its sponsors. In the 60s, the Vietnam War became a high profile object of criticism and the younger generation wished to create a new and different society gained momentum . Most of the young people opposed US involvement in the war and there were several organizations that had developed during this time and the young people who opposed the war could express themselves through such groups. Some of the organizations were Student for a Democratic Society (SDC) and the Student nonviolent Coordinating Committee .
These are organizations that wanted the government to do some major changes in the way things were being done. SDC was an organization with college students who believed in drastic political views. These students opposed the presence of benevolence virtue, and religion which did exist in the American society. This organization used students’ strikes, propaganda, and mass demonstration as a strategy to express their left beliefs. In the year 1965, SDC started to be militant about the issue that relates to Vietnam like drafting of the students . This is a time when there were many demonstrations taking place in US. These are demonstrations that were conducted in protest of the involvement of US in Vietnam Way. At the start, it was peaceful, but it turned out to be riots where the police started to overreact, and they used violence against the protestors.
This is something that resulted to new theories about culture and personal identity, and also the traditional non western ideas emerged with particular regard on religion, spiritual enlightenment, and social organization. Most the youths at this period were educated as compared with the earlier periods that lead to an interest in political philosophies. Therefore, on the youth culture view of the phenomenon, all sorts of outlook and political philosophy except the social conservatism can be expected to flourish. With the era capacity for media and direct communication, it is enough that some members of the older generation can be influenced by and contribute to the social current in the society.
During this period, the new cultural forms, which were being perceived to be old, emerged that include pop music of the Beatles, and it rapidly evolved to reflect and shape the culture of the youths with emphasis on change and implementation. The underground newspapers sprang up in most of the college towns and cities which served to communicate and define the range of phenomena which defined counterculture approaches to music, cinema, and art and the uninhibited indulgence in drugs and sex as a symbol of freedom . The occurrence of counterculture in 1960 has made America be far much ecologically conscious than it was years back. The work place was transformed with job sharing, e commuting, and flex time that contrast with the corporate culture of 1950.
The sexual ethics in America has undergone revolutionary change whereby in 1963 it was illegal to use contraceptive, but in 2009, condoms could be seen to being distributed in schools. According to 2008 report on census, it was reported to having 6.4 million unmarried heterosexual couples who were living together while, during 1980, there were less than one million . The attitude towards drug use has also softened whereby in 1975, a president’s son admitted of having used marijuana which was stormed by the public, but when Barack Obama acknowledged of having used cocaine nothing happened. Counterculture continues to have an influence on art, music, social movement, and the society. The past 1973 mainstream society is a hybrid of the 1960 counterculture and establishment.
The young Americans in 1960 had an influence on rebellion taking place during the involvement of United States in Vietnam War. The results included the use of drugs violent protest, and involvement in the student organizations. Because of these factors, the events of 1960 have carried on to the present day. Counterculture of the 1962 has grown to be dominant expression in an entire generation. Its images have lasted longer, and the styles still persist much longer, more than half century, the music of that time is still performed, the styles are being imitated, and the slogans continue to draw a cheer. The events of the 60s are still with is where profound change can be observed on how people think, live, and work.
Perone, J (2004). Music of the counterculture Greenwood Publishing Group
Doyle, M & Braustein, P (2002). Imagine nation Taylor & Francis Group
Gair, C (2007). The American counterculture Edinburgh University Press
Coffee is a brewed beverage that is prepared from roasted coffee berries of the coffee plant. Coffee has continued to dominate as a preferred beverage compared to other beverages such as tea and chocolate. With its origins being from Africa, coffee is a beverage that has stood the test of time and has endeared million of drinkers globally. There are two species of coffee; Arabica and Robusta coffee. The Arabica species of coffee is highly preferred for the brewing of coffee due to its high quality taste. With history indicating the origins of coffee to be in Ethiopia, Africa, the number of coffee drinkers has increased globally. Coffee has been adopted by many cultures as a preferred drink. There are many factors associated with the increased popularity of coffee. Some of these factors include the entry of coffee into the commercial filed, the benefits of coffee from the social perspective and the health benefits of the beverage.
Entry of coffee in the commercial Field
According to Laws (2011) coffee has had transforming effects on history. The discovery of coffee in Ethiopian led to the introduction of the coffee beverage to the world. Coffee came to be acknowledged as the black gold due to the high value and demand that it was accorded. The Arab world had already begun to trade their coffee beans. The Arabs had realized the value of coffee and had already begun to purchase more of it for themselves. Coffee is an old beverage, and by 1615 other regions such as Venice had also began brewing coffee. The introduction of the coffee beverage led to increased competition as other beverages such as chocolate and tea had become popular among beverage drinkers. By 1616, the Dutch had already propagated the first coffee tree in their land hence began cultivating the plant.
The French also adopted the beverage from 1720 with the planting of the first tree (Civitello, 2011). With its origin traced to Ethiopia, increasing coffee consumption led to a rise of third world economies. Third world economies were ill-prepared for the high demand of coffee hence the need to ship the trees to developed countries. The rise of coffee plantation in developed countries, as well as the rise of coffee factories saw a rise in consumption as the beverage became readily available.
The passion for the coffee beverage saw coffee lovers and entrepreneur’s think of ingenuous ways to introduce the beverage the public.
As a new beverage, it would be difficult to attract customers who had already cut out their preference in drinks such as tea and chocolate.
Early coffee sellers adopted strategies such as the door to door coffee services. The promotion strategy was to take the coffee drink to potential customers, and the irresistible aroma would make customers taste the coffee. The door to door sale involved selling ready to drink coffee which proved successful in introducing people to the beverage. Soon, coffee houses began to be established and expand as the need for the beverage heightened. Records indicate coffee houses, regarded as important political institutions, were established as early as the 15th century (Harrison, & Gauthier, 2005). Coffee houses and cafes turned out to be a meeting point for ship owners and a starting place for insurance companies. To-date the establishment of coffee houses has continued. Establishments such as Starbucks coffee house have risen to become global coffee companies with coffeehouse chains across the globe. The establishment of Starbucks coffeehouse in china has, for instance, been seen as a North American concept exported to Asia (Harrison, & Gauthier, 2005). Starbucks was established, in 1971 to sell coffee, tea and spice, but as the business grew there was realization that customers were drawn to
Starbucks coffee. Starbucks thus began to specialize in coffee production.
Starbuck has also established itself in Japan as well as in other close to 1000 international outlets. The expansion of Starbucks into the international market is an indicator that the love for coffee is not about to cease (Gordon, 2011). The discovery of coffee also led to different trials to discover the best coffee beverage. The first people to experiment with coffee berries attempted to eaten the coffee berries by crashing them eating them raw; however, the taste was unpleasant. They then decided to boil the crushed coffee berries; however, it was still unpleasant. Later, they decided to roast, crush and mix the coffee kernels with water. The liquid mixture was then sieved and sweetened when mixed with honey. This discovery led to the introduction of coffee and its varieties.
Coffee varieties are dependent on factors such as species of coffee. The Arabica brewed coffee is preferred over the Robusta. Arabica is highly favored and less acidic that Robusta with is considered highly acidic. The increased popularity of Arabica over other varieties of coffee has seen 70% of coffee production being Arabica (Harrison, & Gauthier2005). Other varieties such as liberica, excelsa, Jamaican blue and Brazil mundo novo trail behind with regard to taste and quality. It should be noted that the different varieties are named according to their place of origin. Taste and quality vary due to other environmental factors depending on whether the coffee plant is grown.
The Positive Impact of Coffee: Social Perspective
The effects of coffee greatly depend on the coffee beans used and how the beans were roasted. Compared to beverages such as tea, coffee has more caffeine than tea; decaffeinated coffee has 2-4mg of caffeine hence quite insignificant compared to caffeinated coffee. Caffeine found in coffee is classified as a drug and excessive consumption is considered lethal. A hundred cups of coffee i.e. 10grams of caffeine is considered dangerous and instead of initiating beneficial effects; it can be lethal. A reasonable amount of coffee e.g. 2-4 cups is considered reasonable. As mentioned earlier, the introduction of coffee into different countries led to increased competition with other drinks such as tea and chocolate. Earlier established coffee houses became the meeting place for groups of people such as sailors. Coffee thus became the symbol of social interactions. People would meet for a cup of coffee as they discussed other business and personal matter.
From a social perspective coffee has become a beverage that gives families and friends an opportunity to gather. In the modern world today, busy schedules have turned human beings into island such that there is no time for social relations. The situation has been worsened with the emergence of technology where the need for face to face interaction has further dwindled. Coffee houses and coffee shops have become joints for interaction where people make new friends and bind with others. Friends can meet at coffee houses for a cup of coffee hence strengthens their friendship bond. Similarly, family members overwhelmed by work and personal responsibilities can organize, for coffee gathering to enhance family unit. Friends, as well as family members get together to discuss their personal live, their progresses in life and catch up on events. Coffee meetings at the workplace are also ideal ways to reduce formality and tension associated with workplaces.
The increasing consumption of coffee has also led to the rise of the coffee culture. Coffee drinkers identify themselves as people who appreciate the stimulating effect as well as the grand taste of coffee. The emergence and increased popularity of coffee led to increased social interaction as people began to meet and sit for a cup of coffee (Harvard Health publications, 2013). Gradually, coffee became the symbol of social interaction i.e. where people are gathered, then they must be coffee. Historically, coffee was considered a drink for intellectual and among the Arabs; it was considered a drink for thinkers and chess players. Coffee houses and coffee shops continue to flourish as the popularity of the drink persists. People still meet, in these shops to interact over a cup of coffee. Coffee thus remains a symbol of social interaction and strives to retain individuals in societies closely woven.
The demand for coffee has also infiltrated homes, and it is almost impossible to find a home without coffee. Coffee is the ultimate drink that is offered to visitors who visit other people in their homes. The presence of coffee in homes is based on the known fact that a majority of people cannot go for a day without coffee (Bell, 2009). Coffee is a first choice for many hence the symbol of hospitality in homes. Coffee has been used to welcome people to homes, relax them and ensure that they have enjoyed their visit.
According to Brody (2012) coffee has the ability to extend life. Brody (2012) makes these claims based on a 14 year study that reveals that coffee drinkers live longer than those who do not take the beverage. The study’s further revealed that the more coffee a person takes the higher the likelihood to live longer. The study revealed that the death rate coffee drinkers was 10-15% lower than death rates among non-coffee drinkers. With US being one of the leading nations in terms of coffee consumptions, these figures as a relief to many who cannot live a day without a cup or two of coffee. Critics have argued that some of the chemicals found in coffee are harmful. Critics pinpoint chemicals such as cafestol and kahweol as harmful chemicals found in coffee beans. These chemicals have been found to increase the blood level of cholesterol. However, most coffee sold is filtered, and through filtration these harmful chemicals are eliminated. There have also been concerns that coffee can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. However, long term, studies have revealed a significantly low rate of heart disease among coffee drinkers (Harvard Health publications, 2013).
Caffeine from coffee has been found to enhance the performance of drugs such as aspirin. Caffeine does not necessarily make the pain relieving effects of aspiring powerful; instead, it speeds up the relief process. As mentioned earlier, caffeine speeds heart rate which in turn increases speed of blood flow into the system. The fast flow of blood means that the aspirin components will reach the entire body fast.
Greenberg & Geliebter (2006) indicates that coffee is closely linked to aspects of weight gain and weight control. Greenberg & Geliebter (2006) conducted a study to determine whether coffee as found in coffee contributes to weight loss. Using rodents as their sample, the study revealed that caffeine plays a significant role in decreases the body weight of rodents. The study reveals that long term consumption of coffee can significant result to weight loss in human beings. Caffeine has been found to have thermogenesis effects and enhance lipolysis and fat oxidations. The ability of caffeine to increases thermogenesis, fat oxidation, and lipolysis has also been attributed to the ability of individuals to avert obesity. Obesity is turning to be a global pandemic due to life style changes. Individuals that are overweight and at risk of being obese can rely on caffeine from coffee to avert the occurrence of obesity. Caffeine does not directly burn fats, but it functions with other constituents of the body such as epinephrine found in human beings to increase activities resulting to increase the burning of fats.
The discovery of coffee as a brew was almost like an accident. First discovered in Ethiopia, herders reported that their goats ate some red cherries and instead of remaining calm; they became hyper active. This is a unique quality of coffee; coffee acts as a stimulant and can rejuvenate a drinker and restore energy. Coffee makes a drinker alert and improves concentration. In fact, it is believed that the earlier brewers of coffee used to drink it so that they can stay up late for the night prayers (as per the Islam tenets). Coffee with caffeine has also been found to be beneficial to individual engaging in strenuous activities.
Strenuous activities are known to wear out someone. However, research indicates that individuals taking coffee with caffeine are able to remain energized for long durations. Caffeine in the coffee enables muscles to burn fatty acids and convert them to energy. Coffee drinkers exposed to strenuous task tire less quickly than non-coffee drinkers. Coffee drinkers also recover faster from fatigue. According to Greenberg & Geliebter (2006) caffeine in coffee increases physical activity in human beings. Caffeine also increases exercise performance hence encouraging increased physical activity. Increased physical activity keeps individual’s healthy and keeps diseases such as obesity at bay.
The entry of coffee in the commercial field was purely by chance. From a group of goat-herders, coffee was discovered and brewed locally then internationally. Coffee was introduced in society and took over the beverage industry trouncing existing beverages such as tea and coffee. The emergence of coffee as a preference beverage led to the establishment of coffee houses and coffee shops where coffee lovers gather to enjoy their cup of coffee and have funs. The coffee shop and coffee houses became the meeting point for friends and families hence improved social relations among members of communities. Components of coffee such as caffeine have been found to have beneficial health benefits. Caffeine is a stimulant that enhances concentration, enhances endurance in the face of strenuous activities and enhances the performance of medication such as aspirin. Coffee also offers other instantaneous benefits such as the ability to remain focused for long. Coffee also enables the drinker to remain alert and activity for a longer duration that a non-coffee drinker.
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Greenberg, J. & Geliebter, A. (2006). Coffee, diabetes and weight control. The American journal of clinical nutrition. Vol. 84: 682-93
Harrison, J. & Gauthier, C. (2005). Exporting a North American concept to Asia. Cornell hotel and restaurant administration quarterly. Vol. 46: 275
Harvard Health publications, (2013). What is it about coffee? Harvard University
Laws, B. (2011). Fifty plants that changed the course of history. Caid Publishing