November 14, 2008


(pronounced [ˈt͡saɪtgaɪst]) is a German language expression literally translated: Zeit, time; Geist, spirit, meaning "the spirit of the age and its society". The word zeitgeist describes the intellectual, cultural, ethical and political climate of an era or also a trend. In German, the word has more layers of meaning than the English translation, including the fact that Zeitgeist can only be observed for past events.


The concept of Zeitgeist goes back to Johann Gottfried Herder and other German Romantics such as Cornelius Jagdmann, but is best known in relation to Hegel's philosophy of history. In 1769 Herder wrote a critique of the work Genius seculi by the philologist Christian Adolph Klotz and introduced the word Zeitgeist into German as a translation of genius seculi (Latin: genius - "guardian spirit" and saeculi - "of the century").

The German Romantics, habitually tempted to reduce the past to essences, treated the Zeitgeist as a historical character in its own right, rather than a generalized description for an era.


"Zeitgeist" refers to the ethos of an identified group of people, that expresses a particular world view which is prevalent at a particular period of socio-cultural progression.

Zeitgeist is the experience of a dominant cultural climate that defines, particularly in Hegelian thinking, an era in the dialectical progression of a people or the world at large. Hegel's main contribution to the formulation of the concept of Volksgeist is the attribution of a historical character to the concept. The spirit of a nation is one of the manifestations of "World Spirit" (Weltgeist). That Spirit is essentially alive and active throughout mankind's history. Now, the spirit of a nation is an intermediate stage of world history as the history of the World Spirit. The World Spirit gives impetus to the realization of the historical spirits of various nations (Volksgeister').

The spirits of individual nations are both the articulations (Gliederungen) of an organization and its realization. The spirits of individual nations represent a segment of the World Spirit out of which emerges the unlimited universal spirit. A comparison is introduced here between the status of an individual and that of a nation's spirit. In the process of his formation the individual undergoes various changes without, however, losing his identity. As a part of world history, a nation—exhibiting a certain trend expressed in its Volksgeist— plays its part in the total process of world history. But once it contributes its share to world history it can no longer play a role in the process of world history. The submersion in the total process prevents a people's cultural rebirth, because it has exhausted its creativity in the historical growth of its guiding spirit.

Source: Wikipedia

Ann Dunwoody

From its humble beginning 33 years ago at Fort Sill, Okla., the career of Ann E. Dunwoody ascended Friday to a peak never before reached by a woman in the U.S. military: four-star general.

At an emotional promotion ceremony, Dunwoody added a fourth star and, looking back on her years in uniform, said it was a credit to the Army that she was given a chance to rise through the ranks in a male-dominated military.

"Thirty-three years after I took the oath as a second lieutenant, I have to tell you this is not exactly how I envisioned my life unfolding," she told a standing-room-only auditorium. "Even as a young kid, all I ever wanted to do was teach physical education and raise a family."

"It was clear to me that my Army experience was just going to be a two-year detour en route to my fitness profession," she added. "So when asked, `Ann, did you ever think you were going to be a general officer, to say nothing about a four-star?' I say, `Not in my wildest dreams.'

"There is no one more surprised than I — except, of course, my husband. You know what they say, `Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.'"

Later, at Fort Belvoir, Va. — her birthplace — Dunwoody was being sworn in as commander of the Army Materiel Command, responsible for equipping, outfitting and arming all soldiers. Just five months ago, she became the first female deputy commander there.

Dunwoody, 55, has made it clear that she feels no need for special acclaim for her historic achievement.

"The recognition makes her a little bit uncomfortable from the standpoint of the gender aspect — that we're making a big deal (that) she is the first female general officer," Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday in announcing that Defense Secretary Robert Gates would attend her promotion ceremony.

When she was nominated by President George W. Bush in June for promotion to four-star rank, Dunwoody issued a statement saying she was humbled.

"I grew up in a family that didn't know what glass ceilings were," she said. "This nomination only reaffirms what I have known to be true about the military throughout my career — that the doors continue to open for men and women in uniform."

She also told an internal Army publication, "While I may be the first, I know I won't be the last."

Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in July.

There are 21 female general officers in the Army — all but four at the one-star rank of brigadier. It was not until 1970 that the Army had its first one-star: Anna Mae Hays, chief of the Army Nurse Corps.

Women now make up about 14 percent of the active-duty Army and are allowed to serve in a wide variety of assignments. They are still excluded from units designed primarily to engage in direct combat, such as infantry and tank units, but their opportunities have expanded over the past two decades.

Dunwoody received her Army commission after graduating from the State University of New York in 1975.

Her first assignment was to Fort Sill, as supply platoon leader in June 1976, and she remained at Sill in various positions until she was sent to quartermaster officer school at Fort Lee, Va., in July 1980.

She later served in Germany and Saudi Arabia.

After graduating from the Command and General Staff College in 1987, she was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C., where she became the 82nd Airborne Division's first female battalion commander.

She has numerous decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal and Defense Superior Service Medal.


Fire Destroys Westmont College Buildings

Wildfire Destroys Homes in California

California fires ripped through Westmont College last night, destroying several buildings at the Christian liberal arts college.

The flames destroyed several buildings that house the physics and psychology departments, a dormitory and at least one faculty home, college spokesman Scott Craig told the Associated Press.

An automated message on the college's switchboard says, "Westmont College has suffered major damage due to a wild man fire, but all students and employees are safe. All major campus buildings are unscathed, but we did lose 8 smaller buildings and 14 faculty homes in the adjacent development." Classes are canceled today, but the college hopes to resume on Monday.

The fire burned around 1,500 acres and destroyed at least 80 homes in the surrounding neighborhood, according to the Los Angeles Times. The fire is not yet extinguished, but authorities believe they have contained it.

The AP reports:

Hundreds of students fled to a gym, where they spent the night sleeping on the floor. Some stood in groups praying, others sobbed openly and comforted each other.

Beth Lazor, 18, said she was in her dorm when the alarm went off. She said she only had time to grab her laptop, phone, a teddy bear and a debit card before fleeing the burning building.

The college's website and student newspaper website are currently down, but Ray Ford has photos of the fire on his site.

The Chronicle of Higher Education writes that last night, the website listed structures partially or completed destroyed as including “the Physics Building, the old math building, Bauder Hall, and the Quonset huts.”

The college lost electricity after a natural-gas line broke, interrupting the fuel supply for the college’s generators. The Red Cross brought cots and blankets to the gym for people who wanted to remain there, but students and others who wanted to leave the campus were being allowed to depart.


Shayma Tash Is Comic Actress

Meet Shayma Tash, a stand-up comedian and actress who is a rising star. Read her biography and see photos and video here.

Shayma Tash is a comedian and actress who is gaining quite an impressive resume. She has opened shows for George Lopez and Bill Mahr, and played several pranks on celebrities on MTV’s Punk’d.

Shayma Tash was born in San Francisco, and as a child she spent time shuttling between and San Diego. Her parents were divorced so she shared time with both parents and her step-parents. She is of Turkish decent, which is where she gets her unique beauty from.

When she grew up Shayma tried out many aspects of employment, including working as a black jack dealer on an Indian reservation, and a deli cashier. Eventually Shayma auditioned for the open mike night at the Comedy Store in LaJolla, which led to regular performances at the club. She also joined the Comedy Store Players sketch group, which helped her develop characters and timing.

Shayma Tash now lives in L.A. and has several television credits to her name, including the Keenan Ivory Wayans show and Make Me Laugh. She has also Punk’d celebrities on Ashton Kutcher’s famous MTV show. This year, Shayma says she just auditioned for an NBC pilot and going on a short comedy tour/documentary on “female comics” with Andrea Nittoli.

Check out more photos along with video below!

Shayma Tash 1Shayma Tash 2Shayma Tash 4Shayma Tash 5Shayma Tash
Shayma Tash Pictures

Shayma Tash Video

Abby Elliot and Michaela Watkins Join SNL

NBC announced Thursday that Abby Elliot and Michaela Watkins will be joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, replacing Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

Elliot likely got a good recommendation from Poehler, who founded the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre that she was plucked form. Elliot already had ties to SNL as well, her father Chris Elliot had a two-year stint on the show in 94 & 95. Chris's father was the Bob half of the legendary comedy duo, Bob & Ray.

Watkins is following in the footsteps of Will Ferrell, Phil Hartman and Laraine Newman, who all did time on the Groundlings comedy troupe before being invited to comedies biggest TV stage.

While Fey left the regular cast of the show two years ago to star in "30 Rock", she has re-appeared often, most recently as Sarah Palin during the run-up shows to the election. Poehler made her last day Oct 23, two days before she gave birth to a son, Archie Arnett.


New York Bar Exam

It's the one nerve-wracking experience every New York lawyer has in common: taking the New York Bar Examination, and waiting the long months for the results to be released. It's no secret how to survive the ordeal: study like a madman during the months before the test, and think about anything but the exam during the months afterward.

Lists of candidates who passed:

  • February 2008
  • July 2007
  • February 2007
  • July 2006
  • February 2006
  • July 2005
  • February 2005
  • July 2004
  • February 2004
  • July 2003
  • February 2003
  • July 2002
  • February 2002
  • July 2001
  • February 2001
  • July 2000
  • February 2000
  • July 1999
  • February 1999
  • July 1998
  • February 1998
  • July 1997
  • February 1997
  • July 1996
  • The New York Board of Law Examiners offers application materials as well as listing test dates and locations.
  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners provides information about the Multistate Performance Test and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

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