Month: August 2019
Explore further Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In this line of thinking, morality is not an adaptation but an exaptation, which is when a trait evolves because it served one particular function, but later comes to serve another function, which was not originally the target of natural selection. Ayala proposes that, once morality evolved as a byproduct of higher intelligence, it influenced individuals to behave in ways that increased cooperation, benefitting the social group and providing an evolutionary advantage, so that it eventually became an adaptation in and of itself. Although a kind of natural selection, called group selection, is generally not considered an evolutionary stable strategy, Ayala points out Darwin’s argument that, unlike other animals, humans can understand the benefits of morality, cooperation, and altruistic behavior. This understanding has inspired humans to create laws that enforce the moral codes that benefit their society. The cultural evolution that drives these moral codes is, as Ayala explains, a more effective and faster form of evolution compared with biological evolution, and also explains the diversity of moral codes in different cultures. If human morality originated both biologically and culturally, in the way that Ayala suggests, then it seems that it would be very unlikely for other animals to have evolved the same degree of morality in the same way, if at all. Because morality relies on several evolutionary prerequisites that themselves seem unique to humans, it might even be considered one of the human traits that is furthest from the other animals, in accordance with Darwin’s original suggestion. Perhaps, this distinctively human trait could even provide a solution to a distinctively human problem, as Ayala quotes the prominent psychologist Steven Pinker when he writes that “Morality is not just any old topic in psychology, but close to our connection of the meaning of life. Moral goodness is what gives each of us the sense that we are worthy human beings.”“Morality is a unique human trait, one of the most important and most distinctive traits that characterize humanity,” Ayala said. “Obviously, it is also overwhelmingly important in determining the welfare of human societies. The distinction I use in characterizing morality (behavior versus norms) can be largely extended to other distinctive human attributes, like religion. We are concerned about the meaning and purpose of life, as a consequence of our exalted intelligence, which came about by biological evolution and allows us to anticipate the future and to know that we will die. But the diversity of religions comes about as the result of cultural — not biological — evolution.” Citation: Professor examines the complex evolution of human morality (2010, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-professor-complex-evolution-human-morality.html (PhysOrg.com) — Although the question of what makes humans different from other animals doesn’t have a single obvious answer, one seemingly conspicuous human trait is morality. Darwin, in his book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, singled out “the moral sense or conscience” as by far the most important difference between humans and other animals. Darwin’s argument was, of course, strongly based on the concepts of biological evolution and natural selection. Now, upon further investigating the origins of morality, Francisco Ayala, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, has proposed a Darwin-inspired explanation of how human morality might have evolved. Ayala defines moral or ethical behavior as “the actions of a person who takes into account in a sympathetic way the impact the actions have on others.” While philosophers and biologists have long debated whether the origins of morality are cultural or biological, respectively, Ayala argues that it’s actually a combination of both. He sees morality as consisting of two parts: the capacity for ethics and the specific moral codes that we follow. He proposes that, while ethical capacity is a product of biological evolution, moral codes are products of cultural evolution. This more complex theory of morality’s origins is very similar to Darwin’s perspective.“Many biologists, including sociobiologists, argue that morality is a biologically determined trait,” Ayala told PhysOrg.com. “Most philosophers and theologians see morality as a product of cultural evolution and/or religious faith. I distinguish between the ‘capacity for ethics,’ which is biologically determined as a result of biological evolution; and the ‘moral codes’ or ethical norms, which are largely outcomes of cultural evolution, including religious beliefs.”Ayala further explains that the capacity for moral behavior is not adaptive in itself, but it is a consequence of a higher intellectual ability that is adaptive, being directly promoted through natural selection due to its ability to improve survival rates (such as by allowing us to construct tools, develop hunting strategies, etc.). Ayala identifies three necessary conditions for moral behavior that could have evolved with intelligence: the ability to anticipate the consequences of our actions, to evaluate such consequences, and to choose accordingly how to act. While overall intellectual capacities evolved gradually, he speculates that the three necessary conditions for moral behavior only came about after crossing an evolutionary threshold, as they require abilities such as the formation of abstract concepts. And only after humans possessed all three abilities could we possess a moral capacity. Morality research sheds light on the origins of religion More information: Francisco J. Ayala. “The difference of being human: Morality.” PNAS. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/suppl.2/9015.abstract“What the Biological Sciences Can and Cannot Contribute to Ethics,” chap. 18, pp. 316-336, in Ayala FJ and Arp R, eds. Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology (Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA, 2010). philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00004079/ This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Here’s a treat for the theater lovers. Yatrik Theatre is producing Dario Fo’s Abducting Diana in collaboration with Italian Cultural Centre and Old World Culture at the India Habitat Centre. For those who don’t know better, Fo is the 1997 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and known for plays like Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay! and Trumpets and Raspberries. Much of his dramatic work depends on improvisation and comprises the recovery of ‘illegitimate’ forms of theatre, such as those performed by giullari (medieval strolling players) and, more famously, the ancient Italian style of commedia dell’arte. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Here’s how Abducting Diana goes…a botched kidnap plays into the hands of Diana Forbes O’Brien, the Media Baron and delights you with bizarre goings-on. Think of it as clowns on a tight rope performing without a safety net. An incredible laugh fest in pure, inventive Dario Fo land! Into the mystery of who masterminded the abduction is added pyromania, a gun toting priest and an explosive climax.Directed by Avijit Dutt and designed by Luca Ruzza, the play is going to be held at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre and in Epicentre, Gurgaon. The play stars Kriti Vij, Keshav Moodliar, Varoon Anand, Sudeep Singh, Shekhar Murugan, Vani Vyas and Avijit Dutt.So, if you want to have a good time with some stunning acting and have a good laugh. Pick a date, head over!DETAILWhere: Stein Auditorium, IHC and Epicentre, GurgaonWhen: 20 and 21 April in IHC, 8 pm; 11 May in Epicentre, 8 pm
Kolkata: The term of Professor Anuradha Lohia, Vice-Chancellor of Presidency University has been extended by six months. Meanwhile, the search to find out her successor is on. She is scheduled to retire on April 30.A past pupil of Presidency College in the early 1970s, Professor Lohia has played a major role in upgrading the academic standard of the university. She was a former student of Modern High School. She obtained her doctorate from Jadavpur University and then went to US for higher studies. She joined the Biochemistry department of Bose Institute before joining Presidency University.Lohia had her ups and downs during the past four years. She played a major role in celebrating the bi-centenary celebration of Presidency College. Meanwhile, some students of the University are planning to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor KN Tripathi requesting them not to extend her term.
Our correspondent Kolkata: In a tragic incident, a father and his son committed suicide after they failed to repay a loan. The incident took place at Suri in Birbhum on Wednesday.The incident sparked tension among locals in Nurai village of Suri. The victims are Sidhhartha Chakraborty and his son Sankhasip Chakraborty. They consumed poison to kill themselves. Some of the locals found the victims lying unconscious in the bed. Despite repeated knocks, the victims did not respond. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThey immediately took the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors announced the victims brought dead.According to the doctors, the victims had consumed poison on late Tuesday night and they had died much before they were brought to the hospital. After being informed, police reached the house of the victims and started a probe. According to preliminary investigation, police suspect that the father son duo committed suicide after failing to repay a loan. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAfter interrogating some locals, police came to know they had borrowed some money from a person. There was also a huge pressure on the victim. The locals told the police that on some occasions, the victims used to engage in quarrels with the person who lent them money.After failing to bear the humiliation, the victims decided to end their lives. According to police, they bought some poison from the market on Tuesday. Locals said there was nothing unusual in the behavior of the victims on Tuesday. They spoke to some of the locals in the afternoon. But nobody could expect that they would take such a drastic step. Police have started a detailed probe in this regard. They are investigating if there was any foul play or any one had instigated the duo to commit suicide.
Kolkata: In a bid to prevent leopard attacks particularly in the tea gardens of North Bengal, the state Forest department has kicked off the process of radio collaring the animals and then release them out in the wild.”We have been conducting various awareness programmes in the tea gardens, informing the workers of some precautionary measures that can be taken to keep a check on leopard attacks. However, things have not worked out. Hence, we have decided to follow the most scientific method of radio collaring of leopards, which is being done by the Wildlife Institute of India. Four leopards have already been radio collared,” said state Chief Wildlife Warden Ravikant Sinha. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Forest department has set a target of radio collaring all the leopards in North Bengal by the middle of 2020. The effort will also help the department have an idea of leopard population.”Leopards mostly attack humans in self defence. This process will help us track the animals’ location and movement and hence we can communicate this movement in advance to the concerned authorities, so that they become cautious,” a senior official of the department said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAt least 60-70 human injuries are reported every year in North Bengal because of leopard attacks. The animals’ movement pattern will further help form an idea about their habitats, which can later be scanned for scat samples and analysis of these samples can reveal their food habits.A senior official of the department informed that the drainage system of the tea gardens is very good and leopards prefer to stay in these drains of the tea gardens. Most of the attacks in tea gardens take place when tea plucking operation is carried out. “We advise the people to follow a single straight line while plucking tea. But they do this in a scattered manner, thereby blocking the escape route of a leopard if it is staying in the drains during plucking. So, in a desperate attempt to flee, it attacks those who come in its escape route,” the official added.The tea garden labourers are also advised to burst some crackers while going for tea plucking. “But they hardly do so,” the official said.Earlier, the state has successfully radio-collared tigers and elephants and have gained crucial information about the movement of these animals.
Kolkata: The state Food Processing and Horticulture department is gearing up to tap the immense demand of orchids in the international market.”Darjeeling grows Cymbidium orchids in abundance, which is of high demand in countries like USA, UK, Australia and Japan. The cultivation of orchid is low cost and the flowers can be grown without a greenhouse. However, post harvest these flowers have to be shipped out quite fast. We are taking it up with the Airports Authority of India to upgrade Bagdogra Airport in a way, so that it can handle more international flights. Apart from the European market, the market for Southeast Asia can also be tapped for export,” a senior official of the state Horticulture department said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsApart from the problem of transportation, another major problem is that of packaging. Foreign exports require packaging of international standards, that ensures a reasonably good shelf life for the flowers. The present packaging for export of flowers is corrugated cardboard boxes.”We will soon hold talks with the Indian Institute of Packaging for having an international standard packaging for flower export,” the official added.The local cultivators face a lot of problems in export as the commercial Cymbidium orchid has a long gestation period of four to six years. “Another major challenge is to source good orchid varieties to keep pace with emerging trends, since demand in the orchid industry is determined by changing tastes,” a cultivator in a nursery in Darjeeling said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”We are also trying to work out how advanced technology can be used for cultivation of these flowers and extend help to the cultivators for exports,” the official maintained.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who attended the business summit in Darjeeling in March, had asked the CII to prepare a Detailed Project Report on cultivation of cinchona, orchid and medicinal plants, which have huge market.State minister for Food Processing and Horticulture Abdur RezzakMollah visited Darjeeling recently, to monitor the cultivation of cinchona and orchid.It may be mentioned that apart from Darjeeling, Sikkim is also making significant strides in orchid trade.
“The scheme is being implemented since April 1, 2015. The scheme envisages
Kolkata: A paraglider was killed and another severely injured in a gliding accident in West Bengal’s Kalimpong district, police said on Sunday. “Purushottam, 22, a paragliding pilot from Nepal, died in the accident while the tourist with him was injured in Delo hills on Sunday,” a Kalimpong police officer said. The body has been recovered. The tourist from Patna, Gaurav Choudhary, 35, critically injured is in a private hospital in Siliguri,” he added. Whether any safety measure was flouted was being probed.
In order to give recognition to outstanding artists, the Lalit Kala Akademi through its National Exhibition of Art gave a platform to many artists to portray their remarkable work. The exhibition, which is held every year, covers artworks from extensive series of mediums like paintings, sculptures, graphics, photographs, drawings, installation, and multimedia. Recently, the 59th edition of this exhibition was opened before a large audience including art practitioners, artists, art collectors, art lovers and critics from all over the country. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe exhibition was inaugurated by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture, who later on released the catalog for the exhibition. “The 59th National Exhibition of Art is a platform for young, upcoming, known and famous artists to display their talent and creativity. It is a portal where the entire country can view various mediums of art by innumerable artists,” said Sharma on the occasion. “A person who does physical toil is a laborer, a person who utilizes his brain to work can be an engineer but it is only the artist who works with all their heart and soul. Let us help all these artists to get a platform to display their art and creativity,” he added. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe inauguration ceremony was graced by eminent personalities like Adwaita Gadanayak – DG, NGMA, Vijay Kumar, Katerine Kumar, Pravesh Khanna, Mukul Pawar, Amit Dutt (Awardee) to name a few.The Akademi had received 3644 entries submitted by 1433 artists throughout the country. The selection jury unanimously selected 172 exhibits in different disciplines, by 171 artists, for the national exhibition. Out of 172 exhibits, the jury selected 15 National Academy awardees for the art exhibition.”Contemporary art is reaching out to a larger audience thereby evolving globally. The artworks highlight the signature style of each artist, depicting the current cultural and global influences on Indian art, thus creating a deeper interest in art today. The works displayed during 59th NEA are shining examples of quality and innovation,” said C. S. Krishna Setty, Administrator, Lalit Kala Akademi.
Kolkata: North 24-Parganas administration has started conducting raids at various hotels in Barasat and its adjoining areas after Trina-mool Congress district leaders accused BJP leaders of bringing in outsiders to vitiate the election process during the last phase. Trouble broke out on late Monday evening when a few cars were found lining up in front of BJP leader Tuhin Mondal’s house. Local Trinamool workers congregated in the area and staged a protest against the incident. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThey alleged that the cars were being used to carry money for distributing among voters. They also alleged that BJP was bringing outsiders who have started taking refuge at various hotels in the area. A heated altercation subsequently broke out between BJP and Trinamool activists near Barasat police station. A local BJP leader was allegedly heckled by TMC workers, while as many as five cars which remain stranded in front of Mondal’s house, were allegedly ransacked by TMC activists. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSitting TMC MP Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who is contesting from the same seat, went to the Barasat police station on late Monday evening, after the incident occurred. It has been learnt that BJP leaders were expected to attend a meeting at a hotel on Barasat-Taki Road on Monday evening. TMC alleged that they planned to distribute money at the hotel. Police raided the hotel, as a result of which BJP shifted the venue of the meeting to Mondal’s house. Ghosh Dastidar, along with her party leaders, staged a demonstration in front of Barasat police station, alleging that BJP leaders in the district were stocking money and firearms to influence voters and create trouble.
New York: Do red velvet cheesecake, french fries or fish fries entice you but you refrain from eating those owing to the high-calories they contain? Take heart. Choosing these high-calorie options first might help you opt for a healthier meal later, says a new research. The study showed choosing indulgent dessert first may lead to eating lower-calorie meals. “We believe diners who chose the indulgent dessert first then picked healthier main and side dishes to make up for their high-calorie dessert. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Diners who picked the healthier dessert may have thought they already had done a good deed for their bodies so they deserved higher-calorie food further down the cafeteria line,” said Martin Reimann, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in the US. The experiment was conducted in the cafeteria of the EGADE Business School at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. For the study, researchers included 134 diners aged between 18 and 60 with an average age of 32. They placed either a healthy or less healthy dessert (fresh fruit versus lemon cheesecake). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThere were also healthy and less healthy main and side dishes including grilled chicken fajitas and a small salad or fried fish and french fries. The findings, published by the American Psychological Association, showed that diners who chose the cheesecake first, were twice as likely to order the lighter main dish later and ultimately consumed fewer calories than diners who chose the fresh fruit first. “People should be aware that their initial food choices and their mindset may affect the overall healthiness of their meals,” suggested Reimann.
Kolkata: The West Bengal Central School Service Commission will start counseling for recruitment of headmasters /headmistresses in government aided and sponsored secondary and higher secondary schools across the state from June 27.A notification undersigned by SSC chairman Soumitra Sarkar was released in the Commission’s website on Tuesday. ” We will make the detailed counselling programme available in the SSC website on June 26,” Sarkar said. This counselling will not involve the Hill regions of the state. The move on the part of SSC came soon after Calcutta High Court lifted the interim stay in connection with recruitment of 2,243 heads of institutions. The examination for recruitment of headmasters/ headmistress was conducted in 2017 and 2,243 were empaneled. A good number of candidates are also in the waiting list. It may be mentioned that some writ petitions were filed at the Calcutta High Court after a notification regarding recruitment of teachers was brought out by SSC in January 2017. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMore than seven such petitions were pending before the court. The state government had notified that those who have secured 50 percent or more in graduation will only be eligible for the Headmaster/ Headmistress post. This was 45 percent earlier. The main petition was filed challenging this notification of the state government. “A number of schools are being run with teacher- in charges at the helm because of this problem. With the HC’s order we will be able to recruit suitable candidates,” an official in the Education department said.
Kolkata: State Finance minister Amit Mitra lauded Bengal’s performance in GST on Monday. “Our state’s performance in GST is one of the best in the country. Last March, Bengal was the only state which had targeted a 14 percent GST growth and finally a higher growth has been registered,” said Mitra, while addressing the session on budget discussions at the state Assembly. GST collection has also gone up by 23 percent in 2018-19 in comparison to the 2017-18 fiscal. The minister further said that there has been another 23 percent rise in the expenditure on State Development Scheme. “In 2017-18, the expenditure under State Development Scheme was Rs 57,779 crore, which went up to Rs 71,113 crore in 2018-19,” he said.
Kolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday criticised the draft of National Education Policy 2019 of the Centre and expressed his apprehension that it might be an attempt to break the federal structure of the Indian Constitution where education comes in the concurrent list.Chatterjee held a meeting of the Higher EducationCouncil at Bikash Bhavan, which was attended by vice-chancellors of all the universities in the state.”Everybody present in the meeting have agreed that we need to be vocal against the policy. I have asked the vice chancellors to consolidate opinion from the teachers and give us in writing in seven days so that I can discuss the issue with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We need to prepare a comprehensive plan on how we should take up the matter with the Centre,” Chatterjee said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe state government has inhibitions over different aspects of the policy in both secondary and higher secondary education. “There is an attempt by the Centre to control education on their own , scrap University Grants Commission and force certain language upon states. The universities will have no say over any matter,” a senior official of the Higher Education department present in the meeting said. Chatterjee instructed the vice chancellors to ensure that no seats are left vacant in colleges and reiterated that all admissions will be strictly on the basis of merit. ” Examination and publication of results in a time bound manner should be ensured,” he said.
Cora Pearl served herself up nude at Parisian dinner parties in the mid-1800s. Her society-shocking behavior as a sought-after courtesan became symbolic of the decadence of the French Second Empire. But the belle of the demimonde actually descended from humble English origins. Cora Pearl was born Emma Elizabeth Crouch in Portsmouth, England, probably around 1835, though in her memoir, she took seven years off her age, claiming a birth year of 1842. Her father, Frederick Nicholas Crouch, was a songwriter of some fame, who abandoned the family and moved to the U.S. He would go on to marry several times and it was said that he had 20 children.Emma’s mother, meanwhile, took up with a man with whom Emma did not get along. She and her siblings were shipped off to a French boarding school, where she learned the country’s language and manners. After schooling, she moved in with her grandmother in London and took a job as a milliner’s assistant, which bored her. In a perhaps apocryphal story, young Emma was taken advantage of by a random man she met after work, an event that set her on her life’s path.Tinted Photograph of the famous British courtesan Cora Pearl. Photo by: André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri CC By 2.0In this tale, Emma came out of the workshop expecting to find a female companion. Instead, she met a man who offered to buy her cakes. The man took her to a gin palace, filled her with drink, and seduced her, leaving her a 5 pound note on a bedside table which she discovered in the morning. While it sounds improbable, it wasn’t impossible in 19th century London. It’s also possible that Emma’s mother’s boyfriend had behaved in a very inappropriate manner with the child.Regardless, it was a turning point for Emma. She felt she couldn’t return to her grandmother’s house. Instead, she took a room in Covent Garden and began entertaining gentleman callers, one of whom, Robert Bignell, was the proprietor of a notorious brothel called Argyll Rooms. She moved into Argyll, and traveled with Bignell several times to Paris. She fell in love with the City of Light, decided to stay there, and changed her name to Cora Pearl.Cora PearlSecond Empire Paris in the mid 19th century was the center of the cultural world, a cauldron of emerging poets, artists, musicians, and assorted bon vivants.As a courtesan, Cora Pearl was a sensation, exciting patrons with her tiny waist and bountiful bosom. She was impetuous, exuberant, unembarrassed to express passion. She had a string of “protectors,” as they were called, starting with Victor Massena, the Duke of Rivoli. He showered her with money and gifts, bought her her first horse, and bankrolled her excursions to gambling dens. Her many influential lovers included the Prince of Orange, the heir to the throne of the Netherlands; Napoleon III’s half-brother the Duke de Morny; and his cousin Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul, sometimes known as Prince Jerome Napoleon, with whom she had her longest (and most lucrative) relationship.Cora Pearl and Prince Achille Murat (1865).Cora became renowned for her affinity for horses. At one point, she owned as many as 60, along with a fleet of carriages. She is said to have inspired the fashion for courtesans to ride in carriages in the Bois de Boulogne. At the height of her popularity, she had two residences in Paris and a chateau in the country.Cora Pearl became one of the most famous Parisian courtesans of her era, known for her scandalously sexy behavior. She would dance in her birthday suit in front of guests or bathe in champagne. She served outrageously extravagant meals, during one of which she supposedly had herself presented naked on a silver platter. Her high-fashion dresses and sumptuous lingerie were crafted by the finest clothiers in the country. She wore the finest jewelry and expensive perfume. She loved to gamble. Ka-ching!She made a brief foray into theater—wearing little more than strategically placed diamonds—but her efforts weren’t serious or lauded.Cora Pearl was born Emma Élizabeth Crouch.The end of an era was nearing, though. The Franco-Prussian war put a damper on frivolous parties. Cora returned briefly to England with Prince Jerome Napoleon, but she was turned away from Grosvenor Hotel, given her reputation. When she went back to Paris, she discovered that a conservative austerity had taken over the formerly effervescent city. Her extravagance was now seen as gauche, and she had fewer wealthy callers to pay her bills.A wealthy but erratic young man 10 years her junior, Alexandre Duval, became obsessed with Cora Pearl. She put up with him for a while, needing his money, but when he became too unhinged, she dumped him. The jilted Duval showed up on her doorway with a firearm, tried to force his way into her house, and in the ensuing struggle, managed to pull the trigger on himself.Gossips claimed that Cora slammed the door, leaving him outside to bleed. The New York Times reported that she actually brought him in and tended to his wounds. Either way, Duval made a full recovery, but Cora Pearl’s already fragile reputation was shattered.Portrait of Cora PearlAs she reached her 40th birthday, her fortunes spiraled downward. Prince Jerome Napoleon, who’d been paying her bills, cut her off. Over the next decade, she slowly sold off assets bit by bit—the houses, the horses, the jewelry. By 1885, she had nothing left and was living in a boarding house.Related story from us:“Infamous and penniless”: Bettie Page, pin-up queen, became a cultural icon while she lived in obscurityCora Pearl was literally at the end of her life. She published her memoir in 1886, but because she disguised the names of her patrons and downplayed her raunchy exploits, it was deemed dull and quickly disappeared. Though she didn’t know it, she had intestinal cancer, which would take her within one year. She died on July 8, 1886. One of her former lovers anonymously covered the cost of her funeral and burial. She was buried in Batignolles Cemetery in Paris, though there is no grave marker. She was 51.E.L. Hamilton has written about pop culture for a variety of magazines and newspapers, including Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, the New York Post and the New York Daily News. She lives in central New Jersey, just west of New York City
George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” They also say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and both of those things were certainly true of Jeanne Bricourt. Some people are driven by a deep need to reinvent their life; Bricourt (sometimes called Brécourt) had that, combined with a ruthless lack of compassion for others in the pursuit of her aim.Jeanne BricourtBricourt was born in Paris in 1837 and was the neglected child of working-class parents. A baroness who felt sorry for her took her under patronage for a while, before her parents removed her from the baroness’s care when she was 11, so she could work, according to author Geri Walton.When Bricourt reached adulthood, the baroness helped her find a job in a silk-making factory. All went smoothly until Bricourt decided it was time to marry. After a teasing suggestion from her patroness, Bricourt married a local grocer in 1855.River Seine in Paris with the Eiffel Tower at sunrise timeThe marriage was very unhappy, and after a while the grocer disappeared. Shortly thereafter, Bricourt also left, becoming the mistress of a military officer. When she reappeared on the scene, shortly after her husband had died in a charity hospital, she had tried and failed at several occupations, and became a courtesan, treating men as playthings and a means of support.Bricourt admitted to not liking men, and she claimed to only love her sister. She said that she wanted men to suffer“All is dust and lies. So much the worse for the men who get in my way. Men are mere stepping-stones to me. As soon as they begin to fail or are played out, I put them scornfully aside. Society is a vast chess-board, men the pawns, some white, some black; I move them as I please, and break them when they bore me.”The Courtesan by Jan van BeersOne of her lovers died of a drug overdose, another by suicide, and a third died in the hospital after she cut him off. All were presumed victims of her blackmail and malice.During this same period of time, her own health began to suffer, and she checked herself into an asylum for several months for treatment, claiming that she was a woman of gentle birth.On her release, she left Paris for Vittel, and began calling herself a baroness. By now she was in her thirties and worried that her ability to attract wealthy lovers was becoming compromised by her increasing age.Vittel. Photo by Fuinius CC BY-SA 3.0She soon met a younger man named Rene de la Roche, who was attractive, wealthy, and vulnerable. Several months after their first meeting, they became lovers. They were together for several years, and Jeanne’s future was looking increasingly secure, although she worried his family might require him to marry a younger, more suitable woman.After visiting with a woman she knew, who was caring for a wealthy disabled man, Jeanne Bricourt conceived of the idea of having her lover become seriously and permanently injured. She would then become his caretaker, and her future would be secured. Further, his injuries would make him a less eligible marriage match for other women.The accomplice agreed to take part in Bricourt’s wicked plot in the hope of winning her favor.She worked out a plan, and recruited a friend from her childhood who was in love her, to help her carry it out. She obtained a bottle of sulfuric acid, and instructed her friend to dash it into de la Roche’s face, blinding the young man. Her confederate was appalled, but agreed to do it, because he was hoping that she would fall in love with him.One night Bricourt and her lover were returning to her home after a ball, and her accomplice leapt from hiding and fulfilled his task, blinding the young man in one eye and damaging the other, then ran off into the night.Jeanne Bricourt contrived to be her wealthy lover’s caretaker in order to secure her future.She took her injured lover into her home, and proceeded to take over his care with devotion, while keeping his friends and family at a safe distance. No one suspected her involvement in the attack, until she decided she wanted to move them to Italy.His family became suspicious, and contacted the police. Despite hearing from de la Roche that he was happy and well looked-after, the police officer who met with him remained suspicious and began a quiet investigation.Sophonisba Receiving the Poisoned Chalice by Simon Vouet.Eventually her home was searched and evidence of her involvement was uncovered, including evidence that linked her to her accomplice. She was subsequently arrested and imprisoned. Her co-conspiritor was found, and a search of his house unearthed evidence that implicated them both. He was arrested, as well.Between the overwhelming evidence against them, and the avid and widespread curiosity of the public, the trial was quick and conclusive. Both Bricourt and her friend were convicted. She received 15 years in penal servitude, and her accomplice was given a 10 year prison sentence.One summary of her actions said, “There is something almost sadistic in the combination of her character of erotic sensibility with extreme cruelty.”Read another story from us: Christopher Lee – The Man Who Embodied DraculaIndeed, Jeanne Bricourt behaved monstrously in her search for a better life.
Hubie Brown is best known as a top NBA analyst, but his credibility comes from coaching in the league across parts of 4 decades. There isn’t a ton of quality footage of Hubie teaching the game in his prime years, but one gem from the vault of is popping up online and it’s a fantastic watch.The clip comes from the high school Five-Star Basketball Camp from sometime in the 70’s, in which he preaches the benefits of the behind-the-back pass in a time when the Bobby Knight’s of the world were decrying it as shameless showboating.Hubie puts on a literal behind-the-back passing clinic for the campers while providing his own color commentary as he whips no-looks from every angle on the court.Watch Really White Chocolate do some work.“Don’t tell me that’s showboating.” -Hubie Brown #TBT pic.twitter.com/zJmziBVAqj— Five-Star Basketball (@5starbasketball) July 5, 2018
1 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 20, 2010 Chinavasion Mini Bluetooth Keyboard(estimated retail price, $23)Comparable in size to the typing surface on an iPad, this small keyboard is convenient and might be a useful day-to-day accessory for texters with big hands.Works with: Android, Symbian 6.0, Windows Mobile, iPhone 4. Freedom Input Freedom Pro(estimated retail price, $87)The Freedom Pro offers plenty of room for fingers to spread out on for unimpeded typing. The keys have the same springiness as those of a desktop keyboard, and the Pro can work just as well as a plug-in accessory for a netbook or tablet.Works with: Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Android operating systems. This story appears in the November 2010 issue of . Subscribe » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Menotek Flexible Bluetooth Waterproof Mini Keyboard(estimated retail price, $87)This roll-up-style board offers a travel-friendly typing surface with some of the best finger feedback of any flexible keyboard on the market. Plus, it’s waterproof, providing a bit more protection from drink-spill mishaps.Works with: iPhone 4, iPad and smartphones using Symbian 6.0, Windows Mobile 6.0 and Android. Register Now »
Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 2 min read Entrepreneur has affiliate partnership with TechBargains so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.Thanks to our friends at TechBargains, we’ve rounded up four can’t-miss deals. Check it out:Nextbig Robin Unlocked 32GB Smartphone w/ 100GB Cloud Storage for $199 (Orig. $399)This former Kickstarter-backed phone lets you seamlessly merge all your apps and photos with 32GB cloud storage. It will intelligently archive items in the cloud that you do not frequently use and restores them when you need.Dell Inspiron 3650 Intel Core i7 Quad-Core Desktop with 16GB RAM for $579 (Orig. $1102.99)Use code DELLDT579 to drop the price down to $579. This is a fantastic deal for a workstation desktop for a home or office. It uses Intel’s current generation Skylake processor and has a compact footprint with a sleek design. It’s the perfect balance of price and performance, particularly for small-business users as it includes the bonus of Windows 7 Pro (with a license for Windows 10). This makes it easy to maintain on your existing IT network.Sugru Moldable Glue (8-Pack) for $13.45 (Orig. 29.88)This self-setting glue can be molded and bonds to aluminum, steel, glass, wood and more. You can form it into any shape you desire making it a versatile way to fix or modify your stuff. Fix broken tines off dishwashers, fortify a mishapen Lightning cable, or add a rubbery grip to anything slippery.Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator w/ Wi-Fi for $149.99 (Orig. $199.99)This gadget started off on Kickstarter in 2014 and now is on its 3rd generation of the product. For food nerds, it allows you to precisely cook anything at an exact temperature without overcooking. You can make perfect steaks and many claim there is no better way to cook chicken breasts.For more great deals, check out our TechBargains Small Business page.Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio. Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.Have a deal you want to promote? Contact us here. August 18, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » April 26, 2017 According to a recent report, 53 million Americans (34 percent of the U.S. workforce) work from home as freelancers and/or home-based business owners.In the fast paced digital environment that we currently live in, why not work from home? Meeting with clients and business acquaintances at coffee shops is an everyday norm.Google sees things a little differently, however, and this has drastically impacted many small business owners’ bottom line throughout the country. According to Moz, the No. 1 ranking factor in local SEO is the physical address of the business. What is local SEO? I’m sure you have done a Google search and seen the results populate at the top of the page with the map, star ratings, address and phone number. This is what I’m referring to when I say local SEO. This is Google’s Local Snack Pack. Depending on the industry, it has the potential to be the very first result on Google and can make a big difference when it comes to bringing new leads into your business.Related: 5 Tips to Improve Your Local SEO in 5 HoursWhat’s the issue with home business addresses?According to Moz, “You should always hide your address if you’re using your home address (unless customers actually show up there).” This makes perfect sense. Do you really want everyone to know where you live, especially if you have kids? That’s the risk you’ll take if you publicly post your business address when it also happens to be your home. This is very problematic for local businesses owners when it comes to their SEO. In order to rank well locally, you need to make your address public in some way, shape or form. The NAP (name, address, physical location) are key local SEO indicators, so if you don’t have one, your SEO will undoubtedly suffer.Related: Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your WebsiteWhat about a virtual office space?Small business owners are savvy. To compensate for not listing their home address on Google, entrepreneurs signed up for Regus office spaces (or a similar type of virtual office). According to Regus’ website, it offers flexible workspace from an hour, to a day, to as many years as needed — made simple with all-inclusive pricing.This plan makes perfect sense. Entrepreneurs can pay to have a meeting space for a day or two per month and they can also publicly put this office space down as their physical address on Google and across the local directories.Watch out for the Possum! Entreprenuers were reaping the benefits of Regus type office spaces on Google until Sept. 1, 2016, when an algorithm named Possum rolled out. According to Search Engine Land, a study shows Google’s Possum update changed 64 percent of local SERPs (search engine results pages). There are many different theories behind Possum but I’m going to stick with the one theory I think most small business owners can easily understand and relate to. This is also what I think they were most likely impacted by.Related: Why You Get What You Pay For in SEOOur marketing agency, The Media Captain, handles thousands of local directories throughout the entire country for many businesses across all industries. We have also been consulting with large brands that have been impacted by Possum. A trend we noticed was that if a business had signed up for a Regus office space or another type of service, it was dropping out of the local results (in most cases).Google is smart. Our theory is that its algorithm was able to detect when 14 different businesses, for example, are sharing the same suite number, which was the case when a business signed up for Regus. In the Possum algorithm, it essentially dinged the businesses that had a Regus type of office space.Is this fair?If your small business was using a Regus office legitimately to conduct meetings and utilize the workspace, then no, I don’t think it is fair if Possum penalized you. If your business signed up for eight different Regus locations in different markets throughout your state for the sole purpose of ranking in those local markets, I can see where Google was coming from.Just like any Google penalty, there is controversy involved. At the end of the day, many small business owners were impacted by this local algorithm shakeup. The question becomes, how does your business recover?Related: SEO Strategy in 2017: What’s Most Important?Here’s how to recover.Each businesses’ local SEO strategy is so different that there isn’t a generic game plan that will work across the board. I will say that if you have multiple business locations and have signed up for a service like Regus, you need to reevaluate your strategy. Consolidating locations could be a great play, and in this scenario, we’d recommend that you only focus on your most lucrative market.If you work from home and want to reap the benefits of a brick-and-mortar storefront for local SEO, it could be worth it to see if there is a cheap and small office space in a suburb that you can actually rent out. This will ensure you aren’t sharing a suite number. It used to be crucial for local SEO that your businesses were centrally located in the downtown area but this is no longer the case. This means there could be cheap office space in one of your suburbs and you could take advantage of that.In a previous Entrepreneur article, I mapped out how you can “Improve Your Local SEO in 5 Hours.” I recommend following the tips outlined in my prior piece. Before executing on this strategy, however, take a closer look at the strategy behind your physical address, as it’s another factor that could greatly enhance or hinder your SEO efforts. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 6 min read