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Comments Off on Tips to Look Good Wearing a Cashmere Set of Sweater and Blazer Combo

Tips to Look Good Wearing a Cashmere Set of Sweater and Blazer Combo

| Articles | May 31, 2013

Cashmere is one of the loveliest fabrics to use and wear because of its unbelievably soft texture. Cashmere outfits are well-known for being able to make its wearer feel warm, comfortable, and beautiful at the same time. If you’re intending to shop for a cashmere set that’s made up of a sweater and blazer combination, here are several shopping and fashion tips that address the need of every body type.

Tips on Looking Good with a Cashmere Set of Sweater and Blazer Combo

If you have wide shoulders, you should consider purchasing cashmere sweaters and blazers that don’t have any shoulder padding because this will only make your shoulders look even wider. It will also be better if the cashmere sweater inside has a V-neckline to transfer attention from your shoulders and to a more attractive part of your body.

If you have a long-waisted frame, you will particularly benefit from wearing a cashmere sweater set because of its layered look. Even better if you opt to match your cashmere set with high-waisted slacks to make your body seem more proportional. If your outfit allows the use of belt, make sure that you choose one that’s wide but not something that will ride on your hips instead of your waist.

If your waistline doesn’t fall under the category of small and trim, that’s alright because cashmere blazers and sweaters are particularly good for your body type. If possible, purchase a cashmere set in which the blazer is slightly longer than the inside sweater as this will successfully conceal your thick waistline. Secondly, take advantage of low-slung belts as this will also transfer people’s attention from your waist to your hips.

If you’re blessed with generous chest, make sure that you purchase a cashmere sweater set that’s not tight fitting and has long sleeves. There are several instances that attention to your chest is not desirable and can indeed make you feel somewhat indecent or unrespectable. If today’s one of those times, wearing a cashmere sweater set such as the one described above will definitely prevent people from having any such thoughts when they see you.

If you feel you’re cursed with a rather short neck, that’s no reason to feel unable to dress fashionably all the time. You can make a cashmere sweater set work, for instance, by ensuring that the sweater either has a scooped or V neckline. Also, make sure that you leave your cashmere blazer open. If you wish to add accessories to your cashmere sweater set, wear necklaces of considerable length and do avoid wearing chokers because they place undesirable emphasis on your neck.

If you have a petite frame, there are certain considerations that you should observe before a cashmere sweater set can work for you, but rest assured that they will work for you indeed. Firstly, avoid any cashmere sweater set that makes use of too much colors and patterns. Secondly, choose one that makes use of one main color. Thirdly, opt for a cashmere sweater set that has long sleeves.

If you’re particularly heavy in the hip or thigh area, a cashmere sweater set can easily work for you just as long as you use a complimentary bottom. Firstly, make sure that you wear dark colored bottoms. Secondly, avoid wearing bottoms that make use of too much colors especially bright ones horizontal stripes, or too much print.

Comments Off on Tips on How to Make Cashmere Sweaters Work for a Plus Size

Tips on How to Make Cashmere Sweaters Work for a Plus Size

| Articles | May 29, 2013

Just because you’re blessed with a healthy appetite and a figure that was en vogue centuries ago doesn’t mean you have to throw fashion out of the window. With a little more effort on choosing your clothes’ colors, patterns, styles, and accessories, you can still go out and feel beautiful and confident about yourself. So let’s start with lesson #1: how to make cashmere sweaters work for you.

The Myth about Cashmere Sweaters and Plus Size Frames

Originally, plus size people chose to fill up their wardrobes with cashmere sweaters because they thought that it was efficient in hiding the flaws of their bodies. Worse, they deliberately purchased cashmere sweaters that were a tad bigger than their actual size for the same reason.

They were wrong of course. Cashmere sweaters and plus size frames will go together only if cashmere sweaters were of the right size. If you have a plus size frame, you’re going about the wrong way if you’re trying to hide all of your curves. The key to plus size fashion is the same as with any other body type: accentuating what you have and downplaying what you don’t.

Cashmere Plus Size Sweater and Turtlenecks

Having a plus size frame doesn’t mean you have nothing to like about your body. Let’s start with the neck area. If you have an elegantly long neck, you should emphasize this beautiful asset by wearing a cashmere plus size sweater turtleneck.

Contrary to popular opinion, turtlenecks don’t make people with long necks look like ostriches. Rather, they make people with long necks regardless of whether or not they have a plus size frame as well look simply better.

Go for One for Cashmere Plus Size Sweaters

Firstly, outfits that make use of one primary shade alone are always flattering to people with plus size frames. One colored outfits, instead of appearing dull or unfashionable, can actually make a person look taller and slimmer just as long they’re using the right pattern and style as well.

As such, it’s important that you choose a cashmere plus size sweater whose color is something you have a bottom (pants, skirts, or even a pair of shorts) to match in shade as well.

Secondly, one-piece outfits are also generally better for people with plus size frames. One-piece outfits include but are not limited to swimsuits, dresses, gowns, and jumpers. Thus, wearing a one-piece bathing suit is better than a bikini and so forth.

Never Forget the Loose-Tight Principle

This fashion principle applies to everyone, including plus size peoples. Earlier on, we established the need for cashmere plus size sweaters that make a perfect fit. If your cashmere plus size sweater makes a snug fit, you should consequently use a loose-fitting bottom (again, it can be anything between pants and skirts) to adhere to the loose-tight principle.

Yes to Scarves and No to Belts

Lastly, scarves are one accessory that looks exceptionally well when worn with a cashmere plus size sweater, especially if it’s considerably long. The best way to wear a scarf with your sweater is by knotting it loosely on your shoulders and letting the ends dangle softly against your body.

As with belts, it’s virtually pointless to wear them if the ends of your cashmere plus size sweater will hide it completely from view. But if you do insist on wearing one, make sure that you choose tiny cute belts and not large ones as the latter detracts from your appearance.

Comments Off on Tips on How Not to Sweat It out When Taking Care of Your Cashmere Sweater

Tips on How Not to Sweat It out When Taking Care of Your Cashmere Sweater

| Articles | May 29, 2013

Cashmere is an expensive fabric priced for its incomparably luxuriously soft texture, a quality that is due to its source: goats that are raised in Kashmir, one of the coldest regions in the world. Because of the climate, Kashmir goats are naturally blessed with skin that’s not only soft but capable of providing them sufficient warmth as well. Nowadays, however, cashmere is already produced in other parts of the world such as Iran and Tibet, and in recent times, even the United States.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Cashmere Sweater

100% Cashmere You’ll always feel warmer and more beautiful if you’re wearing a sweater made from 100% cashmere. Unfortunately, the demand for cashmere sweaters has made fraudulent sellers intentionally brand their products incorrectly in the hopes of passing off sweaters as 100% cashmere as well even if they’re not.

You can use your own hands to gauge the texture of cashmere sweaters. If it appears to have a slick texture to it, you’re most likely holding something that’s either not made of 100% cashmere or one that hasn’t been produced with superior quality control.

Two-Ply It’s better to buy two-ply cashmere sweaters than those that make use of one-ply threads because the former is sturdier and more resistant to all sorts of damage.

Long Fibers It has been observed that cashmere sweaters made from long fibers are less prone to pilling than those that are made from shorter fibers.

Ideal Tension If cashmere is woven too tightly, the resulting sweater wouldn’t feel as soft as it should be. If it’s woven too loosely, on the other hand, the resulting sweater wouldn’t be able to hold its shape effectively and may look particularly drab when worn.

Dos and Don’ts for Wearing Cashmere Sweaters

Pilling is part and parcel of wearing cashmere sweaters, and it can happen earlier than usual if you wear your cashmere sweater often. It often appears on the elbow area and other parts of the sweater which is greatly exposed to abuse. To reduce chances of pilling, avoid having your cashmere sweater in contact with abrasive materials and accessories.

The safest way to get rid of it is by manually removing them one by one but you can also choose to use a razor to cut them off smoothly from your cashmere sweater. Avoid brushing or rubbing away loose threads as this will only cause further damage to your cashmere sweater.

If you’re going to use deodorant, lotion, cologne or perfume, make sure that you apply them all and have it dried completely before wearing your cashmere sweater. This will prevent any chances of the chemicals found in the items mentioned earlier on to cause visible stains on your sweater.

After wearing, have it air-dried. Do wear your cashmere sweater several times before sending it to the laundry. Frequent washing can ruin your sweater’s color and shape.

You can add certain accessories to your cashmere sweater depending on your body type. People with plus size frames for instance will look better when they wear a long scarf tied around shoulders with their cardigan. Pearls also go well with cashmere sweaters not only because they’re visually attractive but also because they have a finer and softer surface than other gems and minerals.

We hope you learned a lot of new things regarding buying and wearing cashmere sweaters. Have fun shopping for them!

Comments Off on TIPS FOR THE SAFETY OF KIDS

TIPS FOR THE SAFETY OF KIDS

| Articles | May 28, 2013

What we should do?

——————

1, Always keep the baby neat and clean.

2, Cut the nails properly with utmost care.

3, Wet nappy should be removed and parts should be cleaned with soap.

4, Take care of the genitals because fungal infection is common in that area. Parts should be kept dry.

5,Care of the scalp is very important.Fungal infections, dermatitis ect can be prevented by proper cleaning.

6,Tight dress can cause irritation, hence dress should be loose and should allow entry of air.

7,Room should have sufficient light and ventilation.It should be free from dust and insects.

8,Seperate bed preferably water proof is needed for kids .It should be arranged near mother’s bed.

9, Always keep some music making toys near the baby.

10, While carrying the baby support the head with hand.Since the neck muscles are weak sudden fall of head can be dangerous.

11, Mothers milk is the best nutrition for the baby,it also gives emotional attachment.Breast milk should be given as per the babies need preferably in mother sitting position.Proper cleaning of nipple is also necessary.Mother should take good nutritious diet throughout lactating period.

12, If there is some contraindication for breast feeding cows milk can be given.Feeding bottle should be cleaned with warm water and should be kept dry till next use.

13, Cows milk should be boiled and cooled.Some diseases like bovine tuberculosis,brucellosis ect spread through raw milk.

14, Some children are allergic to some substances like food,milk,dress,cosmetics ect.. Try to find out the material causing allergy and avoid such things.

15, Mosquito nets should be used regularly.Diseases like malaria,dengue ,filariasis,yellow fever and ect spread through mosquito bites. Mosquito bite can also produce skin eruptions with some allergic reactions.It also disturbes sound sleep.

16, A calm atmosphere should be maintained for a good sleep.Compared to adults infants need more sleep.It is said that growth hormone secretion is activated during sleep.

17, Growth developement,behavioral developement,motor developement,personal social developement,language developement ect should be noted down in relation to age. However parents need not be over anxious because slight variations are seen from individual to individual.

18,Assessment of growth by measuring height and weight is necessary.

19, In the early months of life infant may defecate after every feed.Proper toilet training should be given when the infant grows.The infant can be placed on the toilet seat by the age of ten months.

20, The toilet seat (potty seat) should be cleaned with antiseptic liquid before and after use.It should not be shared by other children.

21, If the baby shows some signs of distress like excessive crying,convulsions,fever with rigor,stiffness of neck,frequent vomiting and diarrhoea,bluish discolouration of the body,difficult breathing with grunting, ect pay attention and consult your doctor.

22,A first aid box should be kept in the room ,which should contain sterile cotton,dressing materials,antiseptic lotion and ointment and forceps.Seperate book should be maintained to note down the phone numbers of doctors, ambulance,police ect.

23,Child’s medicines should be kept in seperate box.Information regarding dose and mode of administration should be written in a paper and affixed on the box.

24, while driving keep the baby in seperate seat belt.

25, When you are going out with the baby keep an identity card with your phone number and address inside his small pocket.

26, When the infant starts walking always accompany him to prevent a fall and injuries thereby.

27, In emergencies take the first aid measures and take the victim to nearby hospital.

Choking :–The baby may swallow some solid objects and cause obstruction. Immediately make the baby to lie on the abdomen in head low position and press the abdomen backwards and towards the chest. Stroking the upper back is also useful. If no result call a trained person to take the material with the help of forceps.

Accidental poisoning:– Try to takeout the poisonous subatance and induce vomiting (except kerosine & acids). Wash the body with water to reduce absorption through skin.Identify the pioson and take the victim to the hospital.

Burns:–First of all remove the source of heat and put clean cold water.Burned cloaths should not be removed immediately. Cover the wound with sterile cotton and take to nearby hospital.

Wounds :–Clean the wound with clean water and stop the bleeding by compressing,raising the wound above the level of heart or use a tourniquet to compress blood vessels. Then dress the wound with sterile cotton and bandage and consult a doctor.

Drowning in bath tub:–Take the baby immediately and keep in head low position ,press the abdomen gentely or give a mouth to mouth sucking till the air way is clear. Give mouth to mouth breathing and cardiac massage and take the victim to the hospital.

Electric shock:–Stop the source of current. Then observe the victim,if no breathing give mouth to mouth breath along with cardiac massage and take to the hospital.

28, And the last but not the least, give your child maximum care, love and support to make him healthy and happy for ever.

What we should not do?

———————-

1, Never shake the baby, it can cause damage to the brain.

2,Don’t keep any small articles near the baby .

3,Sharp pointed articles like pen, pencil, ect should not be given to kids.

4,Avoid entry of water in to the ear while giving a bath.

5,Food should not be given forcibly when the baby is crying or coughing continuously.

6,Should not overfeed the baby.

7,Articles like mosquito repellents ,moth balls,ink,gum,medicines,ect should be kept away.

8,Avoid tight cloathings.

9,Should not be placed near the edge of the bed.

10,Should not give the baby to strangers and avoid close contact with others.

11,All electrical instruments should be kept away,and bed should not be arranged near electrical sockets and wires.

12,Kitchen is a dangerous place for children.Don’t keep them alone in the kitchen.

13,Water level in the bath tub should be minimum and don’t go for any other works(to attent phone call or calling bell ect) when the baby is in the tub.

14,Avoid smoking inside the house.

15,Should not allow pet animals to be in very close contact with the kids.(anti rabies injections should be given to pets and cut their nails properly)

16,When the child starts walking should not be kept alone on the upstairs and should not allow them to climb the steps.

17,Strong light should be avoided in the room.

18,When you are travelling don’t give the food articles given by co passengers.

19,Baby should not be allowed to crawl on the soil.

20,If you are sick or someone else is sick be away from the kids.

21,Dont take the baby to hospital wards,crowded market places and polluted dusty areas.

22,Table lamp should not be kept near the kids,this will attract insects at night and cause problems.

23,Others medicine should not be given to the children.

24,Medicine which has crossed the expiery date should not be used.

Comments Off on Tips for Building an Enclosure for an Iguana

Tips for Building an Enclosure for an Iguana

| Articles | May 27, 2013

Iguanas are cold blooded creatures and they are active and energetic. They will need a shelter where they can move around freely and at the same time it is warm and comfortable for them. The young iguana will also grow faster to a larger size with proper food and environment.

They like to bask in sun during the day break to get warmth to keep their body at a higher temperature. So you should be able to care of these primary needs when you plan to construct a shelter for them.

You can consider some of possibilities for iguana enclosures as discussed below:

One of the options is to make a shelter for iguana in a closet. It may though take some time to recycle the closet, but it will make a perfect home for iguana. You can use a secured closet. The size should be big enough for iguana to roam around in it. A two foot or higher depth can be used, if it has sufficient height. This size is enough for a small iguana. The male iguana will find it as a confinement unless there is additional provision for him to move outside the closet to play and jump around. If you interact with your pet daily, it will make him more homely and it will have confidence in you.

An open cage may not be suitable in view of the climate, and iguana will feel cold and may become sick. The closet is a better alternative in that respect to provide the heated place with a controlled temperature. But there are some disadvantages with using a closet. It has a confined space and it is difficult to clean it. At the same time, you have to provide water in it and it may not be closer to a sink or bathroom. Making the closet a safe and clean shelter for you iguana is a real perplexing task.

You should not provide a very big space also as iguana may hide somewhere away from heat. You can use the lower two feet storage place. Some iguana will usually try to hide in the bottom portion. They may fall sick and get hypothermia.

It is better to provide a circular closet bar and a shelf on top. If you fix the lights on bar, these will lie too low. The lights can be fixed at the top with some clips. Always try to allow for the maximum space for iguana. You can use the closet doors for its enclosure. It will retain the heat inside, but at the same time stop the air circulation. So, alternatively you can put a screen door at the place of closet door.

The screen door can be inset on one side and you can pull the lock during cold nights. The Plexiglas front doors will be better. There should be the vent holes provided on the wall above the door for ventilation

These are a few ideas for using the closet as an enclosure for iguana’s dwelling.

You can improvise your way for comfort and safety of your pet iguana.

Comments Off on Things You Need to Know About Online Family Search

Things You Need to Know About Online Family Search

| Articles | May 26, 2013

Much has been said about online family search resource programs and there are things you need to know about some other family search history methods.

There are people contemplating whether to pursue online family search resource programs versus the conventional research set-up, but with the many success stories of individuals that have gone through online family search resource programs, taking the step to make use of online family search resource programs is no longer difficult.

Still many remain skeptical about the integrity and credibility of online family search resource programs, since people are used to the conventional research processes, especially one that involves a the old process of tedious pen and paper note -taking.

Stating the obvious – since like many new trends- myths and fallacies abound for online family search processes, especially since it is a common perception that anything new is often met with reluctance and sheer doubts as to its effectiveness and sustainability.

Let us try to break down some of the common perceptions about online family search resource programs and how it can affect your decision whether to make use of one or not.

One of the biggest concerns many people have tried to raise against online family search resource programs is that ‘it is a less respectable’ manner of getting the valuable information needed.

This may have perhaps stemmed from the previous reports that there exists unaccredited online sites that offer online family search resource programs, which are linked to some other sites totally unrelated from what is actually being advertised or promoted.

But one can rest assured that with the current competition from other developers offering online family search resource programs, making their feature offerings that are widely and globally credible will serve as their benchmark attractions for those wishing to make use of their online family search resource programs.

There is also the reluctance of many to make use of online family search resource programs, claiming that it may not provide the most accurate information possible, however, it is still best advised to validate any information that has been collected, regardless of whether the process adopted is conventional or modern.

Many believe that online family search programs are easier than traditional research methods however, just like any other research processes, it also bears the same nature of information needed for the purpose it was established for, depending on the necessity of information available for use.

Some online family research programs may even take more time to complete than traditional ones, where in many cases, researchers usually take up more time for independent studies as they work or study in between, compared to traditional research processes where it is mostly time-dependent.

In a nutshell, regardless of whether you hope to make use of an online family degree or a traditional research process, it would still be important for you to take all the possible necessary precautions to avoid complications later on.

One of your foremost concern would be to do your research and try to establish what you want and what information you hope to get, that way you are well aware of all possible things that you need to know about online family search resource programs.

Comments Off on The New Entertainer

The New Entertainer

| Articles | May 25, 2013

Digital music players caused a furore when they first arrived on the scene, as music moguls everywhere feared that without the need to purchase a hardcopy of an album, consumers would enjoy artists’ hard work for free, and the profits derived from an enormously lucrative industry would be depleted in a serious way. A few years on, it’s obvious that the industry of music creation hasn’t collapsed under the weight of such digital music players as the iPod, which holds a ninety percent share of the digital music player market. But now, it seems, another area of the music industry is in fear of its life.

You may have heard the term ‘iPod wedding’ being bandied about, but rest assured that humanity has not yet lost all respect for the sacred bonds of marriage and begun to indulge in formalized commitments to their electronic gadgets. The term, in fact, refers to the new, money saving trend of ditching the wedding singer or DJ in favor of another musical mediator. Newly wed couples are now celebrating their nuptials to the sounds that emanate from their iPods.

And with the expense of weddings rising, seemingly, every year, who can blame them. To have a live band play at your wedding can cost upward of a thousand dollars, while a DJ can cost less, but not much, at a price tag of about six hundred. For many brides and grooms, the opportunities for cutting financial corners are slim, with many couples unwilling to compromise on other such other wedding essentials as the rings and the bride’s gown. Setting up your iPod then, with its enormous capacity for storing a huge variety of songs, to take care of your music for the occasion seems to make a whole of sense.

There are a multitude of other advantages to choosing an iPod as your wedding day entertainer. The newly married couple are free to choose precisely the music they want played at their special event, without worrying about the weird and wonderful tastes of a band or DJ. An iPod is also around half the price of a DJ, and as the couple can use it after the wedding for their own personal use, represents a double bargain. With the giving of favors to wedding guests a popular tradition, a wedding iPod is also a wonderful favor for the couple to give themselves, allowing them use and enjoy every day an item that is likely to evoke wonderful memories of a happy day.

An iPod is an ideal way to save money at any big occasion, and allows you to share the music you love with the people you care about. But while the iPod is a powerful tool, DJs and bands shouldn’t throw in the hat just yet the iPod didn’t kill the music industry and with the continuing popularity of live music at weddings, it’s unlike to ruin their business either.

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The Essence of Freedom

| Articles | May 24, 2013

Life is too hard and too risky in the eyes of many. By contrast, others are such proponents of a virile existence, demanding great courage and giving great pride, that they are ready to leave the coziness of their home to scale Mount Everest and breast the elements for the sheer joy of conquering the summit. Whatever the perspective, the nature of things remains unchanged. There are rules, necessities and duties, and limits, possibilities and impossibilities. Until doom, one can accept them and make the best of them, much to one’s pleasure and honor, or one can do the opposite and suffer the consequences. The choice between these two options is the very essence of freedom. Personally, I have no use for the second option: a self-inflicted misery that is without the slightest doubt a pitiable way of life.

The first option, on the other hand, is a pleasurable and honorable alternative that I find compelling, though uphill. It is applicable to any situation encountered in the course of one’s living venture, provided one is not unfortunate to the point of being hopelessly unable to cope. The range of this applicability corresponds with the range of one’s adaptability. It is normally considerable, despite the tendency to cling to old gratifying habits even after they have become impracticable or unsuitable, owing to a change of situation. One can be weaned from such habits onto new gratifying habits, in the same way as a baby can be weaned onto solids. The more the change is significant and one is reluctant to adapt to it, the more the weaning process is difficult and long in producing the desired effect. Again, the only option worthy of one’s attention consists in taking things as they come and making the most of them, for one’s sake and that of others. The reverse is foolish and harmful, a deplorable waste of humanity.

On the whole, the power to live in a well-adjusted and high-minded way and the freedom to choose this way in preference to the alternate, illegitimate, way are the foundations of the life one builds. The exercise of this power does not necessarily imply a principled resignation toward the status quo. One may be faced with a remediable evil that calls for a struggle to remedy it, effectively and rightly. In that case, living in a well-adjusted and high-minded way entails accepting the need for this struggle and the means of waging it, and sparing no effort to attain one’s end. Ills are a test of will, an opportunity to show dignity.

They are also an opportunity to probe and appraise one’s inner resources. Over the years, I have improved my situation and especially my attitude, whose negativity was the most unfavorable and improvable aspect of my life. In so doing, I have discovered my true richness. Nature has endowed me with an adaptable capacity for happiness within the limits of my changeable reality. According to my observations, this capacity is not unusually great, compared with that of most people. I am even tempted to think it is somewhat lagging behind. Eleven years plus to adapt in triumph to my physical disability is no feat for the Guinness Book of World Records!

During that time, the riddle of life had more or less baffled me. Yet, laboriously, with the help of many books and much thought, I had managed by degrees to clear it up, enough to find a meaning to my life. This riddle is comparable to a mire: The slower you go through it, the deeper you get into it. Perhaps thinkers are commonly untalented in the art of living and their saving grace is their dogged determination to redeem this lack of talent by dint of studying the human soul. Amusingly enough, these untalented individuals are often perceived as gifted, once they have seen the light and reflected it with the numerous mirrors of an elaborate analysis, after a tentative and protracted search in the dark.

This sort of overcompensation is typical of people who experience difficulties in a certain area, but refuse to admit defeat. While some fare well in this area with a minimum of effort, they try hard to overcome these difficulties, with the result that they often fare better than the others. Their redeeming feature is their willpower in the face of their shortcoming, which they use as a reason to redouble their efforts, not as an excuse to throw in the towel. This is a recipe for a worthy success. They discipline and surpass themselves, and thus proudly turn things around.

Comments Off on The Columnist in the Mousetrap

The Columnist in the Mousetrap

| Articles | May 22, 2013

I am a voracious reader of the most convoluted and lexiphanic texts – yet, there is one author I prefer to most. She gives me the greatest pleasure and leaves me tranquil and craving for more when I am through devouring one of her countless tomes. A philosopher of the mundane, a scholar of death, an exquisite chronicler of decay and decadence – she is Dame Agatha Christie. I spend as much time wondering what so mesmerizes me in her pulp fiction as I do trying to decipher her deliciously contorted stratagems.

First, there is the claustrophobia. Modernity revolves around the rapid depletion of our personal spaces – from pastures and manors to cubicles and studio apartments. Christie – like Edgar Ellen Poe before her – imbues even the most confined rooms with endless opportunities for vice and malice, where countless potential scenarios can and do unfold kaleidoscopically. A Universe of plots and countervailing subplots which permeate even the most cramped of her locations. It is nothing short of consummate magic.

Then there is the realization of the ubiquity of our pathologies. In Christie’s masterpieces, even the champions of good are paragons of mental illness. Hercules Poirot, the quintessential narcissist, self-grooming, haughty, and delusional. Miss Marple, a schizoid busybody, who savors neither human company, nor her inevitable encounters with an intruding world. Indeed, it is deformity that gifts these two with their eerily penetrating insights into the infirmities of others.

Then, there is the death of innocence. Dame Agatha’s detective novels are quaint, set in a Ruritanian Britain that is no more and likely had never existed. Technologies make their debut: the car, the telephone, the radio, electric light. The very nature of evil is transformed from the puerile directness of the highway robber and the passion killer – to the scheming, cunning, and disguised automatism of her villains. Crime in her books is calculated, the outcome of plotting and conspiring, a confluence of unbridled and corrupted appetites and a malignant mutation of individualism. Her opus is a portrait of our age as it emerged, all bloodied and repellent, from the womb the dying Victorian era.

Christie’s weapons of choice are simple – the surreptitious poison, a stealthy dagger, the cocked revolver, a hideous drowning. Some acquaintance with the sciences of Chemistry and Physics is indispensable, of course. Archeology comes third. But Christie’s main concerns are human nature and morality. The riddles that she so fiendishly posits cannot be solved without taking both into account.

As Miss Marple keeps insisting throughout her numerous adventures, people are the same everywhere, regardless of their social standing, wealth, or upbringing. The foibles, motives, and likely actions of protagonists – criminals as well as victims – are inferred by Marple from character studies of her village folks back home. Human nature is immutable and universal is Christie’s message.

Not so morality. Formal justice is a slippery concept, often opposed to the natural sort. Life is in shades of gray. Murders sometimes are justified, especially when they serve to rectify past wrongs or prevent a greater evil. Some victims had it coming. Crime is part of a cycle of karmic retribution. The detective’s role is to restore order to a chaotic situation, to interpret reality for us (in an inevitable final chapter), and to administer true and impartial justice, not shackled by social or legalistic norms.

Thus, nothing is as it seems.

It is perhaps Christie’s greatest allure. Beneath the polished, petite-bourgeois, rule-driven, surface, lurks another world, replete with demons and with angels, volcanic passions and stochastic drives, the mirrors and the mirrored, where no ratio rules and no laws obtain. Catapulted into this nightmarish, surrealistic landscape, like the survivors of a shipwreck, we wander, bedazzled, readers and detectives, heroes and villains, damsels and their lovers, doomed to await the denouement. When that moment comes, redeemed by reason, we emerge, reassured, into our reinstated, ordered, Before Christ(ie) existence.

Her novels are the substance of our dreams, woven from the fabric of our fears, an open invitation to plunge into our psyches and courageously confront the abyss. Hence Christie’s irresistibility – her utter acquaintance with our deepest quiddity. Who can forgo such narcissistic pleasure? Not your columnist, for sure!

Comments Off on The Capacity for Happiness and Respectability

The Capacity for Happiness and Respectability

| Articles | May 21, 2013

Humans are liable to experience a variety of afflictions, but they are commonly endowed with a capacity for happiness and respectability. There is no guarantee, however, that they will exercise this capacity at all times and to the maximum, whatever happens. Depression and shame remain a possibility, which increases with the severity of their afflictions and the difficulty of living up to the values that are necessary for their happiness and respectability: courage, efficiency, wisdom, and nobility.

Living up to these values is never easy, even under extremely favorable circumstances. It requires an effort of will. To make or not to make this effort is the question, central to the human existence. This question is difficult in proportion to the weight of suffering that bears on humans, while their dignity hangs in the balance. The more burdensome this weight, the more tempting it is for them to take the easy way out. The fear of losing their dignity, however, is a strong deterrent. There is no greater loss than that of dignity, save the loss of life itself. Yet, the easy way out is a very powerful temptation in extremely unfavorable circumstances. Giving up instead of living up to the values mentioned above is then deplorable but understandable. Excruciating circumstances are extenuating ones.

Amazingly enough, despite the burden of suffering that is oppressive to many, the incidence of moral collapse in the form of errant ways like carelessness, vagrancy, and crime, often accompanied by alcohol or drug abuse to fuddle the conscience is small in comparison with the incidence of worthy behavior. Furthermore, a moral collapse is remediable, except when the person concerned shows an inveterate or congenital weakness, or a mental illness that is beyond cure. On the whole, dignity can be lost and regained.

As for those who resist quitting the struggle for worthiness, they rarely do their best. In many instances their spirit is tainted with some degree of indulgence in laziness, cowardliness, ineffectiveness, foolishness, selfishness, and meanness. It has the grayness of dawn. Even those who shine like a late morning sun have a shadow of imperfection at their heels. In short, humanity has yet to fulfill its potential. While there is much courage, efficiency, wisdom, and nobility in the world, much happiness and respectability, there could be a whole lot more. The key to this rise is an effort of will.

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