Homer

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The Blame Game Mortals Versus Immortals


Cultures throughout time often created codes of conduct that individuals were expected to obey. Homer’s �Iliad” demonstrated such expectations were not always met and if that was the case, there were consequences. Whether deviating from these expectations were the result of a mortal’s character or divine interference remains to been determined.


Some situations in the �Iliad” illustrated that mortals’ imperfect characters can lead to turmoil. This was the case when Agamemnon, behaving much like a spoiled child, demanded Briseis from Achilles. There was no implication here of foul play by the gods but rather of flaws in Agamemnon’s temperament. It was his stubbornness that resulted in the death of many Greek warriors.


Another contributing factor to the death of numerous Greeks warriors resulted from an imperfection on Achilles’ part. The actions of Agamemnon left Achilles’ pride damaged. This is shown some books later when Achilles is asked to help with the war. He responds by saying �I will not share in council or deeds with him, for he deceived and sinned against me” (Book IX). This statement illustrates Achilles’ unmoving attitude without reference to interference by a god. The gods were, therefore not to blame for Achilles excessive pride, as they were not shown to influence this particular flaw in character. The obstinate attitude of Achilles led to his ruin through the death of his close friend, Patroklos.


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The validity of the above two examples may be challenged at first glance by an earlier event. In the beginning of book I, �Hera put the thought into [Achilles’] heart” to find why Greeks were suffering. In doing so, Achilles found that Agamemnon was to blame. It would be false to assume the two men’s sentiments towards one another were influenced by Hera. Though she may have put the two men face to face, she was not to blame for Agamemnon’s childlike actions or Achilles’ excessive resentment. Thus, gods were not direct contributing agents behind imperfect natures of Agamemnon and Achilles. Though Hera found a reason for two heroes to quarrel, she did so unintentionally. This is especially true considering Hera favored Greeks and would want Achilles to fight.


Contrastingly there were situations in the �Iliad” where gods directly toyed with mortals’ emotions and in fact, their character. Such was the case when Athena persuaded Pandaros �to shoot a swift arrow at Menelaus and win thanks and glory from all the Trojans” (Book IV). Athena, as directed by Zeus, roused Pandaros to break a truce that was present between Greeks and Trojans. By �persuading the heart of a fool,” Athena was clearly Pandaros’ puppeteer (Book IV). Thus actions of gods – not humans – reinitiated the war.


In book XVI, a god’s interference altered the normal conduct of Hector and Patroclus.


But even stronger than the mind of men is that of Zeus; sometimes he puts even a brave man to flight and easily takes away victory, yet sometimes himself he urges a man to battle. He it was who then aroused the spirit in Patroclus’ breast.


To protect the body of Sarpedon, Zeus made Hector, a normally valiant Trojan warrior, become cowardly. Zeus also played with Patroclus’ character such that he continued fighting when he was advised to stop. The actions of a god, namely Zeus led to the demise of Patroclus. In some situations is it clear who causes mortals to deviate from their normal behavior – themselves or gods.


Interestingly, there were parallels between mortals and immortals in regards to outcomes when deviating from normal conduct. Similar to mortals, the �Iliad” described a situation where a god acts beyond her normal realm and had to face consequences. In book V, Diomedes wounds Aphrodite. After she returned to Olympus, Zeus states that Aphrodite was not assigned to dealings of war but of marriage. Having acted out of character by assuming the roles of Ares and Athena, Aphrodite was wounded, as a mortal would have been. There are other incidents of distress that fell upon immortals, which are similar to those of mortals.


In another case, immortals were shown to mislead other immortals, in addition to humans. Hera, upon seeing Greeks falling behind in battle, decided to interfere with the normally attentive Zeus. With help from Aphrodite, �the Father slept quietly on Gargarus’ peak, overwhelmed by sleep and love” (Book XIV). While he slept, Greeks gained the upper hand and pushed Trojans back. As a result, Hector was also wounded. Hence, Zeus, a normally careful observer of the fates was, by trickery led to close his eyes on the war. This situation shows that gods could influence one another, as well as mortals. Such an occurrence was of consequence to Zeus’ plans, as well as Trojans and Greeks.


Whether speaking of gods or mortal men, their digression from an appropriate character left a dark stain - quite often literally - on themselves or others. In Homer’s �Iliad”, either the gods’ actions or mortals’ natural flaws caused these deviations. It appears, out of both gods and mortals, only the fates could be free from imperfection as Zeus respected their unwavering duty.





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grapes of wrath-bible

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The Grapes of Wrath includes many biblical allusions. First of all, we see Jim Casey as a Jesus figure. In the most obvious of senses, Casey has the same initials as Jesus, JC. Also, the 1 people who begin the journey with Casey represent the twelve disciples that Jesus had. The traitor in The Grapes of Wrath was Connie, and in the bible it was Judas. Connie and Judas both abandon their groups for their own selfish reasons. Casey even goes so far as to compare himself to Christ by saying, “I been in the hills, thinkin’, almost you might say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think his way out of a mess of troubles” (10). In this first half of the book, he is thinking and gathering ideas. When Casey, like Christ, finally tries to put his ideas into action, he makes the authorities angry and is brutally killed. He dies saying to those who murder him, just as Jesus did, “You don’t know what you’re a doin’” (57). Rose of Sharon is another person in the novel who represents a biblical allusion. After she gives birth to a dead child, she gives life to a starving man by breast feeding him. Her sacrifice suggests the notion of rebirth through Christ’s physical body which is still symbolized today in the ritual of communion. She also alludes to the Last Supper when she tells the man to drink from her breast as Christ said to his disciples, “Take, drink, this is my blood.” Rose of Sharon exemplifies the idea of helping others in need through her actions in the end of the novel. This is a very important concept in the bible. The Joads’ journey from Oklahoma can also be paralleled to the Israelites flight from Egypt. The Joads are forced to leave Oklahoma because they are evicted from their farms when the Dust Bowl causes their land to become unfertile just as the Israelites leave Egypt to escape from slavery. The Joads travel through the “desert” which has been created by the Dust Bowl, like the Israelites travel through an actual desert in search of the Promised Land. Both groups experience many troubles on their way to their own promised lands. In the case of the Israelites, this is Canaan, whereas in the case of the Joads, it is California. The journey to the Promised Land lasted many years, and the oldest generation died out before reaching it. In the same way, Granma and Granpa die before they reach California. At the end of the novel, the flood is similar to the story of Noah’s Ark. In both stories, heavy rains cause a flood to occur, and many other families leave their homes. However, the Joads and Wainwrights, gather their belongings onto a platform and wait out the flood. Similarly, Noah’s family gathers onto the ark for forty days until the rain stops. Lastly, we see that Christ’s teaching throughout the novel which says that in the face of weakness, people must unite to become stronger. Steinbeck continually makes biblical allusions during The Grapes of Wrath.


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GTSI - A Financial Analysis

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Government Technology Services, Inc


(GTSI)


“A Financial Analysis”





Individual Project


By


Charles Garberson


October 00


Financial Management, MGT 60


Course Description Financial Management The role of


financial management through the development of a framework


appropriate to financial decision making. Emphasis on obtaining


and effectively utilizing the funds necessary for the operation


of an enterprise. Elements of financial planning, capital


budgeting, and consideration of alternative sources of funds.





Industry Background Computers (Hardware)


Recent trends in computer equipment spending, has displayed some stabilization, on both the consumer and business sides of the industry. Overall spending growth on computer equipment fell in the fourth quarter 00, with growth just barely approaching 10% and dollar volume decreasing. Since then, however, more positive signs have developed. The fall in consumer IT spending was concentrated in the late fall months of October and November. December spending actually rose, and another modest increase was reported for January. Since most consumer equipment is built overseas, new orders for computer equipment are generally a good indicator of business IT demand. As such, current performance signals for business IT spending are mixed, with an increase in new orders for computer equipment, yet reports from IT suppliers show signs of weak conditions. It is likely that business IT spending is still experiencing positive growth, but is so close to zero that weaker results would push it into negative territory. Declining profit margins in several industries and uncertainties regarding capital costs brought on by the falling equity market have led to increased caution and delays for capital spending plans.


Company Background GTSI


The company’s principal activities are distribution of microcomputer and Unix workstation hardware, software and networking products to the Federal government market. The company also performs network integration services like configuring, installing and maintaining microcomputers in local area networks. GTSI offers its customers a convenient and cost-effective centralized source for microcomputer and workstation products through its competitive pricing, broad product selection and procurement expertise. The major trademark of the company is GTSI. The products of GTSI consist of microcomputer and workstation hardware, software and peripherals. The customers are primarily federal, state and local government agencies and prime contractors to the Government, including systems integrators. Hardware products accounted for 7% of 00 revenues; software products, 1% and service revenues, 7%.


GTSI Corp operates in the Computer Hardware equipment industry. This analysis compares GTSI Corp with three other companies in this sector in the United States Symbol Technologies, Inc (00 sales of $1. billion ), Extreme Networks Incorporated ($441.61 million of which 100% was LAN switches, maintenance and training), and Zebra Technologies Corporation ($475.61 million of which 100% was Label printers).


GTSI Corp reported sales of $4.7 million for the year ending December of 00. This represents an increase of 1.% versus 001, when the companys sales were $78.50 million. Sales at GTSI Corp have increased during each of the previous five years (and since 17, sales have increased a total of %).


During 00, the companys sales increased at a faster rate than all three comparable companies. While GTSI Corp enjoyed a sales increase of 1.%, the other companies saw smaller increases Symbol Technologies, Inc sales were down .1%, Extreme Networks Incorporated decreased 10.1%, and Zebra Technologies Corporation experienced growth of 5.7%.





GTSI Corporation


FINANCIAL ANALYSIS INDIVIDUAL PROJECT


MG 60 Financial Management


Name Garberson, Charles


Date September 00


Ratio or Other


Measurement Method of Computation Financial Year


000 Financial Year


001 Financial Year


00


Measure of


Profitability ratios


(In Thousands)


(In Thousands) (In Thousands)





Profit margin Net Income $10,617 / $677,754


= 1.6% $4,486 /


$78,46


= 0.1% $,5 /


$4,70


= 1.0%


Net Sales


Measures of Asset utilization ratios


Receivables turnover Sales (credit) $677,755 /


$17,181


= 4. $78,46 /


$150,166


= 5. $4,70 /


$1,47


= 6.7


Receivables


Inventory


turnover Sales $677,754 /


$54,000


= 1.55 days $78,46 /


$61,000


= 1.84 days $4,70 /


$56,000


= 16.6 days


Inventory


Measure of Liquidity ratio








Quick Ratio





Current assets - Inventory $0,000 � $54,000/ 165,000


= .4 $,000 �


$61,000 / $187,000


= .86 $11,000 �


$56,000 / $148,000


= 1.05





Current Liabilities


Return on Assets


Net Income $10,617 / $7,000


= 4.7% $4,486 / $5,000


= 1.8%


$,5 / $5,000


= 4.%


Total Assets


Measure of Debt utilization ratio














Debt to total assets Total debt $16,000 / $7,000


= 74.4% $18,000 / $5,000


= 75.0% $14,000 / $5,000 = 66.%


Total assets





Industry Statistics - Computer Hardware


Valuation Ratios


P/E (ttm) 4.75


P/Sales (ttm) 6.18


P/Book (mrq) 4.16


P/Cash Flow (mrq) 7.56





Profitability (ttm)


Gross Margin % 54.41


Opererting Margin % 10.85


Net Profit Margin % 16.65





Financial Strength (mrq)


Quick Ratio .41


Current Ratio .7


LT Debt/Equity .150


Total Debt/Equity .17





Mgt. Effectiveness (ttm)


Return on Invstmt % .741


Return on Assets % .6


Return on Equity % .816


Comparison to Industry Average


And


Analysis of Financial Ratios


GTSIC


Corp. (00)


Industry


Average


Conclusion


A. PROFITABILITY


1. Profit Margin 1.0 % 16.65 % GTSI’s profit margin is way below the industry standard. This is reason for concern and a negative factor


. PE Ratio 1.5 4.75 GTSI’s common stock is trading at a price more representable of its earnings. The current price of the stock is trading at a smaller multiple of its earnings, that being a positive sign.


B. ASSET UTILIZATION


. Receivables Turnover 6.7 10.1 GTSI collects its receivables at a slower rate then the industry. This could be a negative factor as it could lead to cash flow problems.


4. Inventory Turnover 16.6 15.1 GTSI turns its inventory over faster then the industry average. This is a positive factor because it means that they are generating more sales per dollar of inventory then the industry average.


C. Liquidity


5. Quick Ratio 1.05 .41 GTSI’s quick ratio is somewhat suspect. I would rank this as a negative factor because it shows that their current asset minus its inventory barely covers its liabilities.


6. Return on Assets 4. % .6 % The return on assets figure of 4.% shows that it returns 4.% on its investments. This a positive factor because it outperforms the industry average. However, taking this with the profit margin figure shows that there is a more rapid turnover of assets then the industry average.


D. DEBT UTILIZATION


7. Debt to Total Assets 66.% N/A Standard Debt to Total Assets should average in the 50% range. Approaching 66.5 %, GTSI may find it hard to raise future capital or may have to pay a premium interest rate. This is a negative factor.


Conclusion


In conclusion, if I were deciding on whether to invest in this company or not, after determining the above ratios and comparing them to the industry averages, my decision would be to look for another company in this industry to invest in. (For analysis of comparison of company ratios to industry averages see table above.) With GTSI’s profit level so low and their debt to total assets coming in at 66.%, I would question whether this company can survive the swings in this industry’s business cycle. Realizing that the main customers are federal, state and local governments however, does relieve some concern of this company’s financial condition. I still believe that there are better corporations that are more financially sound.





References


1. Corporate Information.com, Wright Investors’ Service. Retrieved on 17 Sep 0 from


http//www.corporateinformation.com/


. Dun and Bradstreet, Company Profile. Retrieved on 1 Sep 0 from


http//www.zapdata.com/


. GTSI Corporate Web Site. Retrieved on 0 Sep 0 from


http//www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=GTSI&script=100


4. MSN Money, Corporation Information. Retrieved on 4 Sep o from


http//moneycentral.msn.com/investor/invsub/results/compare.asp?Symbol=GTSI


5. Yahoo Finance, Industry-Computer Hardware. Retrieved on 0 Sep 0 from


http//biz.yahoo.com/ic/cmptrs.html


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GLobal buyup

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Do Environmental Restrictions Violate Basic Economic Freedoms?


YES-John Shanahan


Shanahan argues that the environment is in no state of emergency, and with proper actions, the idea of using protected lands is a wise decision. People do want to see the environment protected, but in the same breath many other important issues are raised which seem to move ahead of it. There is the idea of our economy, a most vital part of the worlds stability, but more importantly our own. Then we must deal with the taxing and the funding. It simply becomes to many extra dollars taken out of our pockets to work, when we could be using it to put money back in them. As Shanahan states, ?The country cannot afford to eliminate every risk.? In essence, we need to find methods to simply bring together both worlds and just try to bring the risk down to acceptable levels in both sides. One of the biggest points that Shanahan makes is that, ??government surveys conducted on the environment are simply making assumptions to estimate these uncertainties.?


NO-Paul and Anne Ehrlich





Both Paul and Anne Ehrlich feel that in the past 0 years many people were heavily in favor for the movement of keeping the environment protected. Now, they are expressing their opinion that the support is beginning to crumble, because people are on a ?brownlash.? The term brownlash was given to the movement that is against the environment ?green? policies. They believe that this movement is on the rise due to misleading information about anti-environment theories which are simply false statements polluting the truth. They both also feel that the economy plays no important role in whether or not the environment should be protected, because it never has and never will. They feel that is one of the many false mistrtuths.


SUMMARY


After reading both sides of the argument, I feel that there are truths to both sides that need to looked over very closely. They bring to my attention new warnings and facts that I was unaware of as a young adult. I would have been more quick to favor the economy bubble and over look a lot of the environmental issues. However, Paul and Anne Ehrlich bring many key points to attention, and uncover some false visions of what environmentalism is about.





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Intelligence and IQ Testing

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Intelligence is a word that describes the ability of an individual to perform desired tasks well. Over the years many people have come up with their own idea of what intelligence is, based on what they feel is important. It has been a trend in the past for people to think that intelligence is correlated to academic achievement. That is, the ability to perform well at linguistics, mathematics, logics and other school-based forms of intelligence as discussed in class. Recently there has been a switch to try to include a wider range of things in the definition of intelligence, such as problem solving skills, abstract reasoning, adaptability to the environment, mental processing speed, creativity, motivation, goal-directed behavior, sensory acuity, and the ability to acquire knowledge as well as many other things as discussed in class. People have begun to believe that intelligence takes different forms depending on the requirements of the environment and the culture that you live and are raised in as discussed in class. As a result it has been difficult to develop a clear-cut definition of intelligence that will suit everyone’s beliefs.


In 105 Alfred Binet designed the first IQ test, which was used to predict children’s academic achievement as discussed in class. Even at this point in time, people were beginning to understand the implications that these tests had. Their desired outcome was to get increased assistance for children who needed it in school, but it is easy to see how this wouldn’t always be the result as discussed in class. It is believed that knowing a person’s intelligence can limit their strive to perform better, and inadvertently cause them and others to set a standard for them to meet which may be above or below their actual ability. Nonetheless intelligence testing has become a very common practice. A man by the name of David Wechsler developed the intelligence tests for children and adults that are used today as discussed in class. These tests attempt to assess various aspects of a person’s intelligence, and have been standardized to a great extent.


Aside from the standard tests described above, in today’s age of technology, there are also many intelligence-based tests on the Internet. These test vary in validity, as do all other things on the Internet, yet some of them test quite similar knowledge and ability to the standardized ones. To test the validity of some Internet tests, I took two of them that were listed on the website http//www.wizardrealm.com/tests/. I will compare the test results, and compare the types of questions, or knowledge tested, to that of the Wechsler IQ test.


The first test I too was Rozie’s test, at http//www.rozies.com/Zzzz/Tests/cyiq-test.html. This test had 60 questions, and was self scoring. Upon completing the test I was told my IQ was 14, which it said was higher than 4% of the population. To show that this maybe statistically accurate they stated the number of people who have taken the test, and also had a list of the top 100 people’s names and scores. This is an indication that this site was validly assessing intelligence. I believe that that assessment of my intelligence was probably a bit high, but perhaps that is because it was testing types of knowledge that I am good at.


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This test asked questions of many types. There were questions about the meaning of words, and comparison of similar words. These types of questions test language comprehension. There were also questions that compared various objects or animals, which would test someone’s general knowledge, as well as abstract reasoning and their ability to comprehend language, and see similarities. Asking the category that a scrambled word belonged in also tested linguistics. There were many questions on the test, which examined logic by testing people’s ability to draw logical conclusions from a few facts. These were questions that involved comparing pictorial objects and shapes. This would test some of the same things as the questions comparing words, but would not test language comprehension. This is important incase people have the ability to compare and contrast things, but have little knowledge of language. Some questions gave a list of objects, and asked which one was different, or which didn’t belong. This tested the ability of people to pick out subtle differences between objects, showing that they could pay attention to detail and also tested people’s abstract reasoning. Many questions involved picking the number that didn’t belong out of a sequence. This tested the ability of a person to recognize basic and complex patterns. There were also mathematical questions that tested the ability of a person to use mathematics to solve a problem. This tested problem-solving skills and mathematical skills as well as logic. Many questions were analogies, which mostly tested abstract reasoning. I believe that this test gives a relatively accurate because it tests many of the aspects that are believed to comprise intelligence.


The test examined many of the aspects that are believed to be involved in intelligence, however there are some aspects that it did not address. The test was supposed to be preformed within a time limit, which indirectly tests the mental processing speed of an individual, but nothing can be inferred about it from this test. The test made no attempt to assess people’s adaptability to their environment, creativity, goal directedness or motivation. These aspects would be very difficult to assess by simply taking a test on the Internet or on paper, so it isn’t a big surprise that these aspects were not touched upon in the examination.


The second test I took was from http//www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1641/iqown.html. This test also had 60 questions, but it was not self-scoring. Most of the questions were of the same variety as the test above. This test was chosen for the reasons stated above to minimalize the differences between the tests, so they could be compared more accurately. There seemed to be more abstract reasoning involved in this test than in the previous test, however the questions were largely similar. On this test my IQ was said to be 14. This is 10 points higher than the first one, and it works out to be higher than 8% of the population on their scale. I definitely think that this assessment of my intelligence is too high, however I do have a biased opinion because it is I who took the test.


The difference in scores between the two tests maybe be do to the fact that the tests were similar, so the practice effect may have been an issue. The first test however stated that it could be done twice and still be accurate, as long as an hour was left between the two attempts. The fact that I did the other test the next day should have therefore meant that there would be no practice effect. Since both tests were immensely similar in question style, however, it suggests that the practice effect did come into play. To check this out, I did the first test again, and came out with the exact same result as the first time. This indicates that doing that test twice doesn’t have an effect on your score, however it says nothing about whether or not the second test could have been affected by the practice effect. This also indicated that the test was reliable and valid because it gave me the exact same result upon completing it twice. Both of the tests indicated that my intelligence is above that of the average person, but they both showed differences in how much higher. I think that the two tests accurately tested my abstract reasoning, my mathematical and problem solving skills, and my ability to comprehend language. As stated above, there are many aspects that can be considered part of intelligence that the test did not assess.


The tests could have assessed mental processing speed by having timed portions of the test, however on the Internet it is difficult to have portions timed accurately. It is possible that by asking situational questions, the tests could have more accurately assessed my ability to adapt to the environment, and my ability to acquire and apply knowledge. By asking questions that involve categorizing a list of professions or tasks it may have been possible to tap into the goal-directedness of a person, or their motivation. It would however be vary hard to prove whether any of these things were actually being accurately assessed when there is no prior knowledge of the person. These aspects would all be assessed more easily in person because the examiner would be able to observe the person, ask them questions, and time portions of the exam.


As you can see it is very difficult to define and test intelligence. One of the major problems is that intelligence has different focuses for different people depending on their background, environment, and culture. Intelligence tests are designed to assess people’s abilities in areas that a majority of people believe to be correlated with intelligence. These tests show certain aspects of intelligence, but as suggested above, it is impossible to test them all. These tests tell their maker if an individual is intelligent in the areas that the test was designed to test based on the maker’s own beliefs of what comprises intelligence. This means that the test will give an accurate assessment of an individual’s intelligence, as defined by whoever made the tests. An individual’s scores can be compared to the scores of other people, however the meaning is really only relevant to people who define intelligence in a similar way to the maker of the test. For example if you went to the Serengeti of Africa and told a tribe leader that his tribe had a certain IQ, it would be meaningless to him because different cultures and environments value different aspects of human intelligence.


Why does our society put so much focus on trying to categorize people as to whether or not they do well on a certain test? What we should all realize is that each person has their own abilities, and we should not categorize them if their abilities don’t coincide with our view of being intelligent.





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