Vigeland Sculpture Park (Gustav Vigeland )

      Vigeland Sculpture Park

One of the artistic highlights of Norway is the Sculpture Park in Oslo. The park contains 192 sculptures with more than 600 figures, all modeled in full size by Gustav Vigeland without the assistance of pupils or other artists. Vigeland also designed the architectural setting and the layout of the grounds.
The initial point of the park sculptures was the Fountain. A model was presented in 1907 to the city counsel and Gustav Vigeland was commissioned to make a Fountain. But as the time passed and not enough money was raised yet, Vigeland added many more sculptures to the project - granite sculptures that eventually were placed around the later Monolith. In 1924, the City of Oslo decided that the whole project should be fulfilled in the Frogner Park, later called Vigeland Park. In 1931 followed a renewal of the bridge over the Frogner ponds with the addition of numerous sculptures on the parapets and grounds. For the rest of his life, Vigeland continued to model new sculptures for the park until his death in 1943.

 Gustav Vigeland was born in 1869 in the south-coast town of Mandal in Norway. Vigeland's artistic talents were first revealed in his drawings and woodcarvings and at the age of fifteen, his father took him to Oslo to apprentice him to a master. The death of his father only two years later forced Vigeland to return to Mandal and relinquish all hopes of becoming a sculptor. In 1888, Vigeland was again back in the capital, this time taking with him a bundle of sketches for statues, groups and reliefs, their motifs mostly deriving from Greek mythology and the Bible. The sculptor, Brynjulf Bergslien, impressed by his drawings, took him into his studio and gave him his first practical training.
The work of Auguste Rodin, seen by Vigeland on visits to the artist's studio in Paris, made a perceptible impact. Rodin's intimate treatment of his relationship between man and woman was also influential in Vigeland's life-long development of this theme.
"I was a sculptor before I was born. I was driven and lashed onward by powerful forces outside myself. There was no other path, and no matter how hard I might have tried to find one, I would have been forced back again."


Laurence Ruet

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LGBT ‘Spirit Day’ 2011

Around the world – Today (20.october) people will be wearing purple for LGBT ‘Spirit Day’ to honor the memory of the teens, who took their own lives as a result of bullying and to show support to our youth.

We wear purple in Georgia
. We aren't afraid to show our love for people who need it and if wearing purple is what it takes, we’ll do it. Suicide in any aspect is something that does not need to happen especially because of the way that a person is. If a person is ridiculed for the way they were born, then there is something wrong. we would like to be part of the solution so yes, we will wear purple! Not only for our gay friends but for all of the gay people in the world in need of support, love and kindness.

Spirit day was created by teenager Brittany McMillan, a Canadian teenager, who wanted to bring awareness about bullying and suffered by LGBT teens.

(C)Anuk Beluga
Her Facebook page reads:

“It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in memory of the recent gay suicides. Many of them suffered from homophobic abuse in their schools or in their homes. We want to take a stand to say that we will not tolerate this. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th to remember all the lives of LGBTQ youth that have been lost due to homophobia. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.”

Placebo Effect

  • Science has come a long way when it comes to the development of medicines that address different kinds of ailments and yet, when it comes to ascertaining the effects of a certain kind of drug, researchers still rely on the simple sugar pill. These pills are frequently used in double-blind studies to determine the effectiveness of tested treatments.

What is a Placebo?

  • A placebo is a substance or a procedure that has no pharmacological effect but somehow elicits a positive result. It has no component that can either create a positive effect (placebo effect) or a negative (nocebo effect) one. Hence, it is an effective counterpoint against a particular drug for testing. It may take the form of a sugar pill or tablet or, in other cases, a saline solution.

Example of How Placebos Can be Used

  • Let's say a newly developed drug, Drug Y, claims it can stop your urge to smoke cigarettes. To verify its efficacy, a clinical trial will be held involving a group of people who have been informed of the drug and its supposed benefits. It will also be explained that a number of participants in the group will be given placebos as part of the study's control. The participants will obviously not know which they will be receiving, as this will affect the results. A careful evaluation will be conducted to determine whether or not the drug's claims are indeed true. For example, the group that received the placebo is not expected to experience a cessation in their urge to smoke while the group that received Drug Y should lessen, if not totally stop, their smoking habit. However, what happens when the participants who received the placebo express the same effect as those who received the drug? This is called the placebo effect.


  • Sometimes, when doctors have exhausted all means to cure a person from a certain disease or ailment, they may turn to prescribing a placebo to see if it has any effect. Surprisingly, there are a number of instances where a patient claims to start feeling better due to the "new drug," thus leaving the physician in a dilemma as to whether to continue the placebo. Should the doctor uphold the Hippocratic Oath and heal by all means necessary or should he honor the patient-doctor honesty code and inform the patient that what she has been taking is a dummy medication? This is an important question physicians must face.

Miracle Cure?

  • Although there is no pharmacological component in a placebo, it has proven to have helped in illnesses with psychological components, such as pain management, depression and anxiety. It has also brought comfort to those suffering from Parkinson's disease, inflammatory disorders and even cancer.

    Power of Suggestion

    • Some people credit the healing properties of the placebo to the perceptions and expectations of the patient. For example, if you believe that you will feel better after taking a certain drug, then that is likely what you will end up feeling. If, for any reason, you are uncertain about the medicine or have doubts about a certain procedure, then it is likely that you will not get the desired results.

                                             The Placebo Effect

    • The "placebo effect" occurs when administering a fake treatment produces an improvement in the patient's condition. This is largely due to the patient's belief in its effectiveness and that it will help her get better. Sugar pills, creams, nasal sprays, saline injections, therapy interventions, acupuncture and even the physician's endorsement of a particular treatment all have been used to elicit positive outcomes, even though there is no active ingredient in the drug or intervention to account for the improvement.

    Placebos in Experimentation

    • Because expectations can influence whether a patient improves or gets worse, placebos are often used to compensate for this effect when experiments are conducted. The control group receives the placebo or fake treatment, and the experimental group receives the actual drug being studied. Neither knows which they have received, eliminating the impact of belief on the results. This technique can also prevent experimenters' attitudes from influencing outcomes, when they are unaware of which treatment is being received by each group until the study is complete.

    Treating With Placebos

    • Although placebos in and of themselves produce no physiological effects, physicians do report prescribing them to keep patients calm and as an adjunct treatment. In the Oct. 23, 2008 online issue of the British Medical Journal, Dr. Jon C. Tilburt and his colleagues state that about half of the U.S. internists and rheumatologists they surveyed prescribe placebos for their patients on a regular basis, primarily to promote the expectation of getting better. Where placebos are better than no treatment at all, physicians may encourage their use to reduce pain and swelling, hypertension and asthma.

    The Dark Side of Placebos

    • When presented as something that could possibly help the person, stimulating the power of the mind to influence the body, placebos have a real and positive impact. However, this power may produce some unsavory or potentially dangerous effects, such as placebo-induced side effects or withdrawal symptoms. This is called the nocebo effect---producing negative results by administering a fake substance or treatment.

    Ethical Implications

Although there are benefits associated with placebos, there are real concerns that this constitutes lying to patients, violating patient rights and breaking trust in the doctor-patient relationship. Of particular concern are instances in which patients are given sham treatments to quiet them, leaving a serious medical condition untreated. When the experimental treatment for a medical condition appears to be effective during a clinical trial, continuing to use placebos to preserve the study's scientific integrity may also be considered unethical. The danger of deceptive practices such as administering placebos, when weighed against the potential benefits, leaves the debate open and active for current health care practitioners and their patients.

               Here are some other cool facts about the placebo effect:

  • Orange, Red and other hot colored tablets work better as stimulants.
  • Cool colored ones (blue, green, purple) work better as depressants.
  • Big pills generally work better than small pills! 
  • Higher priced pills work better than lower priced pills. 
  • Injections work better than tablets And "branded" tablets work better than unbranded tablets!
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Types of Eating Disorders

There is no one cause to any eating disorder. There is no one set of individuals that can be diagnosed with any eating disorder. We are all at risk. There are many types of eating disorders, this paper concentrates on the causes
and prevalence of the two most common ones, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. There are a variety of possible causes that lead to an eating disorder such as culture, socioculture, family life, and genetic disorders. Risk factors are also common in eating disorder cases. There are many victims that have shown a pattern leading up to the disorder; it is a gradual process rather then a simple change in diet. The prevalence is spread across races, genders and creeds; it affects tall people, fat people, and hairy people; no background is omitted and no one can be considered immune. The most common victims are women, however men are affected as well. Age, sexual orientation, and culture show patterns in the prevalence of the disorder. In the end, we are all possible victims.

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A disorder associated mainly with restricting calories it also can have periods of binge eating and/or purging. Both types typically occur in alternating episodes.

  • Restricting Type: during the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has not regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas)
  • Binge-Eating Type or Purging Type: during the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in binge-eating OR purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas)

Bulimia- Two types of Bulimia exist usually together. Unlike anorexia, the bulimic will eat food instead of restricting. They can have periods of binging on large amounts of calories. After the binge they will use methods of removing the food from the body. Like anorexia they sometimes fast and use exercise to compensate for eating.
  • Purging Type: during the current episode of Bulimia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
  • Nonpurging Type: during the current episode of Bulimia Nervosa, the person has used other inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such as fasting or excessive exercise, but has not regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
Anorexia and Bulimia are the two main types however the line between the two are not entirely clear. People can exhibit behaviors and symptoms of both. People with these disorders are not always underweight. Many are in the average range or even overweight or obese. The disorder is just as dangerous at an obese weight as it is a severely underweight weight. 

Compulsive overeating disorder
People suffering with Compulsive Overeating have what is characterized as an "addiction" to food, using food and eating as a way to hide from their emotions, to fill a void they feel inside, and to cope with daily stresses and problems in their lives.

Binge eating disorder- Disorder in which a person binges on food until they are uncomfortably full.

Pica- a widely misunderstood phenomenon, is defined as a compulsive craving for eating, chewing or licking non-food items or foods containing no nutrition. These can include such things as chalk, plaster, paint chips, baking soda, starch, glue, rust, ice, coffee grounds, and cigarette ashes. It may sometimes be linked to certain mineral deficiencies (i.e., iron or zinc). Pica can be associated with, developmental delays, mental deficiencies and/or a family history of the disorder. There may be psychological disturbances that lead to Pica as well, such as conditions in which a child lives in a low-income or poor family, or who lives in an environment of little love and support.

Prader-Willi Syndrome- a congenital condition (present at birth) and is believed to be caused by an abnormality in the genes that occurs (though statistically it does not seem to run in families). Children born with Prader-Willi Syndrome may have early feeding difficulties that lead to tube feeding, and often have a degree of behavioral and/or mental problems (some severe).
The person with Prader-Willi Syndrome has an insatiable appetite. This can lead to obesity, stealing, and eating pet foods and items that are spoiled. This continuous appetite is caused by a defect in the hypothalamus -- a part of the brain that regulates hunger -- that causes the person to never actually feel full. There may be sleep disorders and abnormalities, bouts of rage, a higher threshold for pain, compulsive behaviors such as picking at the skin, and even psychoses.

Night eating syndrome-Here's the Merck Manual definition and conclusion about treatment. (1982 ed.) p.917:
"Night Eating Syndrome consists of morning anorexia, evening hyperphagia (abnormally increased appetite for consumption of food frequently associated with injury to the hypothalamus) and insomnia. Attempts at weight reduction in these 2 conditions, (referring to bulimia as well), are usually unsuccessful and may cause the patient unnecessary distress."
The authors call both syndromes, "deviant eating patterns apparently based on stress and emotional disturbance..."

Sleep Eating Disorder- typically falls into the category of Sleep Disorders, though it is a combined sleep-eating problem. Sufferers tend to be overweight and have episodes of recurrent sleep walking, during which time they binge on usually large quantities of food, often high in sugar or fat. Most often, sufferers do not remember these episodes, putting them at great risk of unintentional self-injury.

BDD, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder- a preoccupation or obsession with a defect in visual appearance, whether that be an actual slight imperfection or an imagined one. Some example of this would be obsessing to the point of severe depression (sometimes including thoughts about or attempts at suicide) over physical attributes such as freckles; a large nose, blotchy skin, wrinkles, acne, scarring. Though the preoccupation can include any part of the body, areas of the face and head, specifically the skin, hair and nose, are most common. This disorder is almost always present in anorexia and bulimia.

It should be noted that Orthorexia Nervosa is not a condition that a physician will diagnose, as there is no clinical guideline for this disorder. It is a condition that has been observed as an extreme pattern of dietary purity and has not yet been defined under the clinical diagnostic manual (DSM-IV).
Orthorexia Nervosa- an obsession with a "pure" diet, where it interferes with a person's life. It becomes a way of life filled with chronic concern for the quality of food being consumed. When the person suffering with Orthorexia Nervosa slips up from wavering from their "perfect" diet, they may resort to extreme acts of further self-discipline including even strictor regimens and fasting."This transference of all of life's value into the act of eating makes orthorexia a true disorder. In this essential characteristic, orthorexia bears many similarities to the two well-known eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Where the bulimic and anorexic focus on the quantity of food, the orthorexic fixates on its quality. All three give food an excessive place in the scheme of life." (Steven Bratman, M.D., October 1997)
As noted by, Orthorexia Nervosa should only be characterised when it is in the long-term (paying attention to healthy food for a few weeks where it becomes a normal and healthy routine not obsessed over, would not be considered a disorder), when it has a significant negative impact on an individual's life (thinking about food to avoid the stresses of life, thinking about how food is prepared to avoid negative emotions, thinking about food the majority of each individual's day), and where food rituals are not better explained by something like religious rites (such as in the Orthodox Jewish religion).

It should be noted that Bigorexia is not a condition that a physician will diagnose, as there is currently no clinical guideline for this disorder. It is a condition that has recently been observed by several psychiatrists as the "opposite of Anorexia".
Bigorexia-Found typically in body-building circles and known as muscle dysmorphia or reverse Anorexia, Bigorexia is a condition in which the sufferer is constantly worried that they are too small. This goes beyond the typical body-building gym-goer, and transcends into dangerous realms when men and women are willing to go to all lengths to increase muscle mass. Dr. Harrison Pope, of the McLean Hospital, says, "there's nothing inherently pathological about being an avid gym-goer, but it shouldn't take over your life." In likening Bigorexia to Anorexia he comments, "They are both disorders of body image, the preoccupations simply go in opposite directions."
Muscle dysmorphia isn't as acutely life-threatening as starving yourself, Pope says, but its sufferers are more likely to take other risks with their health, such as using steroids or other bodybuilding drugs. One muscle dysmorphic woman was hospitalized for kidney failure, brought on by her high-protein diet and steroid use. Within months of her release from the hospital, she was back on the drugs and unhealthy diet.

Compulsive Exercise- sufferers usually have episodes of repeatedly exercising beyond the requirements of what is considered safe, will find time at any cost to do the exercise (including cutting school, taking off from work, hiding in the bathroom and exercising, etc.). The main goal of the exercise can be burning calories and "relieving the guilt" from just having eaten or binged, or to give us "permission" to eat. (i.e., "I can't eat unless I've exercised or know I will exercise.")

Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai was a brilliant artist, ukiyo-e painter and print maker, best known for his wood block print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, which contain the prints The Great Wave and Fuji in Clear Weather. These prints are famous both in Japan and overseas, and have left a lasting image in the worldwide art world. Hokusai’s artistic influence has stretched to have affected the Art Nouveau style in Europe, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Hermann Obrist, all of whom have themes similar to Hokusai’s. 
  • Hokusai began painting at the age of six, and by 18 he had been accepted into the Katsukawa Shunsho school, which honed his skills as a ukiyo-e artist, in which he specialized in wood-block prints and painting. After Shunsho’s death, Hokusai was expelled from the school by a rival, a humiliating experience which he later credited to his created development and artistic growth. This expulsion helped him break from the traditional ukiyo-e style of painting portraits of courtesans and actors, and begin painting landscapes and images of daily life. This change of subject was a breakthrough in both the ukiyo-e style as well as his career. He eventually broke from all other schools of painting and began teaching other students, over fifty in his lifetime.
  • Hokusai was a master of self-promotion. In 1804 he created a 600 foot painting of a Buddhist priest with a bucket of paint and a broom as a paint brush. There is also a story of how he won a painting competition in the court of the Shogun with a blue curve, a chicken with feet dipped in red paint, and in inventive and artistic explanation. At the age of 88, on his deathbed, it is said that he exclaimed that he needed only five more years of life, in order to become a real painter.