We're now dashing at full pelt, baubles a-jangling, into the time of year that for most means filling stockings and annual indulgence quotas with food, drink, and a more generous number of shopping trips than we'd normally allow ourselves. It's about this time that penny-pinching and careful budgeting are bid farewell for a few festive weeks, when pockets and department stores are emptied of their contents.
It's easy, especially at Christmas, to get rather cynical and censorious about our fondness for material things. Materialism is, apparently, the root cause of the world's ills, a byword for modern-age corruption, an unhealthy, aggressive mindset epitomised by that stock fictional character firmly embedded in the popular consciousness: the rotten rich idiot. We know him from Hollywood, from Dickens and Thackeray, from Rabelais and Amis. The desire to possess seems synonymous with shallowness, selfishness, concern with only the skin-deep.
Society's more spiritual voices might tell us that attempting to buy one's way to contentment through the accumulation of material things - of stuff - is fundamentally misguided. But the span of such blanket judgements is, perhaps, a little too broad; the pure fact of buying things, and of wanting to buy things, isn't really the problem.
Material possession can play not merely a physical, but also a psychological role in giving more definite shape to who we are, and who we would like to be.
🖋To be continued on #VelvetSunday (blog link's in the bio). Photographed by @ianwallman. Wearing a Fope necklace from @goldsmiths_uk ‘s new store in Westgate, Oxford.
On this day in 1863 astronomer Annie Jump Cannon was born. In 1925 she became the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, for her work on stellar classification.
She helped to devise the Harvard system for classifying stars in relation to their temperature, with some small changes this is still the system we use today.
The image above is one of MHS’s star spectroscopes (inv. 54274), used by amateur astronomers to see the star spectra for themselves.
Throughout his academic career, John has always studied the human-wildlife interface. This is the part of conservation that interests him the most, the intersection between social, human variables and biological ones. He looked at the evolution of the conservation movement in the United States during his Bachelor’s degree at Yale and then focused on evolutionary biology for his Master’s at Louisiana State University. John grew up in a very conservation-minded family so his background combined with his own interest in the subject made a career (and a PhD) in conservation almost inevitable. John explains that “Effective conservation requires knowledge of both biology, like where a species lives, what it eats, its population size, etc., and social factors, such as how people view a species, what do they use it for, and do they like it.” His research focuses on the “social factors” part. He’s using a big data approach to look at patterns of human interest in different species to get insights for conservation priorities.⠀
Read John's story at: http://bit.ly/2AXvb9I⠀
⚖️🎓Even if it was just short courses, Harvard and Oxford University gives you fantastic resources all throughout your studies. Both has given me indispensable knowledge. It is the gold standard of legal education. Most firms considered Harvard Grad / Students to be more pragmatic. And so is Oxford University. I've been given the opportunity to start learning again, since I didn't continue my studies in Business International and left me with no degree then. I've worked really hard to obtain the tuition fees for these. It cost an arm and a leg but well worth it all. I dedicate this to my Mum and Dad who never got the chance to earn a Degree due to having a family in an early age. And for my child and my partner, I will continue to make them proud towards my life achievements. "Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching." God has given me blessings and I will continue to nourish and grow spiritually. #LawSchool#HarvardUniversity#OxfordUniversity