(under construction)

Week 1- planet Week 2- aspect Week 3- defect Week 4- stock


“During the month of January, we will be able to see all five visible planets.” Our word this week is somewhat simple: ‘planet.’ We all live on this planet. It would seem logical that we have more than just a simple understanding about this blue orb that gives us life. It is one of seven (two have been downgraded) that orbit our sun and make up our solar system. The parameters that help our earth sustain life are very narrow by universal standards. Only slight variations in its composition or orbit could destroy its ability to sustain life!


“It looked as though she was on another planet, but there was something quite angelic about her as well.” Planet has a number of meanings. Not often used is an informal phrase to say that someone is not aware of what is really happening or has an idea that is not realistic or practical. The common definition of planet is a large mass that revolves around a star, such as one of the celestial bodies that move around our sun. It can also mean a celestial body held to influence the fate of human beings. Planets do have great influence within our solar system!


If you were a space traveler, you would realize how small our planet is when compared to the vastness of the universe. Our solar system is not huge by comparison to other systems in our galaxy. Jupiter is the largest planet in our system and Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun. Some of our planets have moons such as Jupiter and Mars. Earth has only one moon while Mercury and Venus are void of moons. Some of the large gas giants have many moons. Our Earth is unique in our solar system as it supports life!


In our solar system, the sixth planet is very unique. A gas giant, it is surrounded with rings as well as moons. Titan is its largest moon and is the second largest moon in our solar system. It is larger than the planet Mercury and is interesting as it has its own atmosphere. Saturn is just beyond Jupiter and Saturn’s orbit takes more time than Jupiter’s. The rings around Saturn are in nine continuous bands with several partial bands. The rings of Saturn are like our own Solar System as it mimic’s the planets rotating around the sun!


A book has been written about relationships between men and women. Its title is “Women are from Venus and men are from Mars.” Supposedly the author has identified certain characteristics of both sexes that set them apart. Venus, a cloudy, veiled and hot planet that hides its features is like a woman who can change her moods quite easily and is mysterious in her actions. Mars, however, is like a man who is dry and dusty and you can see his character quite easily. There is nothing hidden, nothing mysterious about his personality. The book sets forth its concepts in a somewhat humorous fashion, but is a relationship between men and women really that simple? Truthfully, relationships are not that simplistic and they require a lot of attention and work!

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“Patriotism permeated almost every aspect of the culture of public communication which we inherited from the 20th century.” In this example sentence, we see this week’s word ‘aspect’ used in the sense of direction as in -looking back- to the last century. The 20th Century was filled with many patriotic activities especially with the foundation meanings upon which our country was founded. In this new century, we are seeing patriotism being treated as an evil and unwanted action. Patriotism is dying in America. With it our nation will also become unrecognizable as the former 20th century bastion of Freedom!


“One aspect of good writing is to know word meanings.” One definition of aspect is: the nature of the action of a verb as to its beginning, duration, completion or repetition and without reference to its position in time. Another definition is: the position of planets or stars with respect to one another held by astrologers to influence human affairs, also: the apparent position (as conjunction) of a body in the solar system with respect to the sun. The meaning perhaps more widely used is: appearance to the eye or mind or a particular appearance of the face. One important aspect of earth is to face the sun!


“The aspect of most planets is to face the sun.” We see in this use of aspect that it is one of direction. The position that planets have to one another gives us another way to view where it is and what it is doing. In astrology it is held that this positional aspect has an influence or sway over the activities of humans. In some way (it is assumed) the phases that planets go through and their conjunction to one another have an effect upon our life here on earth. So also is the aspect of a bear hiding in the woods which could have an effect on a hunter that stumbles upon his hiding place!


“He has the aspect of a man used to giving orders and seeing them obeyed.” As we see in today’s example sentence, aspect will produce results in some way. How a person appears is one way we can be aware of aspect in a person or thing. It produces a state of being for the person observed. Aspect also shows us something of the direction for the object we see. Is this a phase this person is going through? Don’t let a mirage fool you into seeing something that is not there!


Bridgette was a wall flower and timid. That aspect of her personality created many problems for her as she found it difficult to have a stable relationship. She needed to learn how to communicate her inner self better to improve what her male friends could understand about her. One sided relationships are most difficult to maneuver through without conflict. The timidity aspect of a personality increases the tendency for problems rather that solve them. The direction of timidity in one’s personality ensures future landmines. Overcome timidity and just do it!

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“Vanity and pride were the senator’s two worst character defects.” Leadership is a position of high responsibility. When a leader has areas of weakness (defects) it is best for them to be recognized and a mentor or associate be appointed to assist in overcoming those weaknesses. Failure to cover these defect areas is to open the leader to adverse actions of opponents. Know your defects and ensure they minimize any harm to being an effective leader. Unchecked vanity and pride are defects that will sink most leaders!


“My car has a defect.” Seldom do we find a manufactured item that is perfect. This gives us the sense of what defect means. The most used meaning of defect is an imperfection that impairs worth or utility. The Latin defectus means a lack of something necessary for completeness, adequacy, or perfection. Most manufacturers will have a quality control department that inspects its product to see if it meets or measures up to their standards and defective items will be tagged and removed. Defects lower the quality of items made!


“She was born with a heart defect.” We see in this example sentence why a physical problem can be the cause that makes something to be less healthy or effective. This girl’s heart defect is something that causes her weakness or its failure could even cause her death. Imperfections or blemishes have an impact upon how something operates. Whether it is a product or human health, defects should be minimized as much as possible!


“She defected from the conservative party.” When defect is used in the past tense, it indicates an action done in the past. In this spirit, it is an indicator of a broken loyalty as we see in our example sentence. Defected is the verb action and defector is the noun form of the one who is doing the action. In this sense the defector may have any of a number of reasons for taking action however it is still a broken faithfulness. Think seriously about why you want to defect from your standards!


“For her, it was a defect in her crystal palace dream.” Too often we as humans want perfection especially in relationships. We do not live in a perfect world. To want perfection this side of heaven is idealistic not realistic especially when it comes to relationship with others of our kind. This does not mean that we accept serious defects in relating to others, but we must use good judgment as to what we choose to live with. It is good to have a set of high moral values. Know which values can be accepted at a lower limit and which ones cannot be violated!

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“To the reporter’s question, the senator gave one of his stock answers.” This politician’s reply was one of his commonly used responses as fabricated by his staff. This week our word is one that has multiple uses and meanings. Stock can commonly be used as a noun, verb or adjective. Review its meanings carefully so that you can use it correctly. Take stock of what you know about its use!


“To take stock is an inventory term.” In this instance, the meaning of stock is a supply of something that is available for use. In its noun form, stock has a dozen variant meanings, so also with the verb and adjective form. As a verb, “to put in stock” is one meaning. In the adjective form it means “regularly used or included with something.” The subtle shades of meaning in its different forms, makes stock a very flexible word to use. Have stock, will sell is a very useful thought!


“In Salem, a stock was a device for publicly punishing offenders consisting of a wooden frame with holes in which the feet or feet and hands could be locked.” In our colonial history the stocks were used as crude methods of punishment if someone broke the law. In this sense, stock is used as an archaic instrument of punishment. Public humiliation is still sometimes used as a means of exacting revenge even today!


“Stock is a term used in the market to indicate a share of the value of a company which can be bought, sold or traded as an investment.” A stock certificate is an instrument of ownership that indicates value. It is a legal piece of paper that allows a company or corporation to trade part ownership in the company for money that can be used to acquire assets that the operation needs to grow and increase asset value. Such investment instruments are heavily regulated by the securities and exchange commission. Watch your money grow (or go??) when you buy stock in a solid company!


Stock relationships: do such things exists? A relationship that you can pull off the shelf when needed might sound like a good idea but is it? A relationship is much more than a box sitting on a shelf to use when needed. There is a special kind of energy involved when we associate with other people. This energy comes because of the emotional interaction between two people. It involves sensitivity to the needs and wants of the two people in the relationship. It cannot be carried in inventory. It cannot be bought and sold. It is unique because it involves emotional attachment between the two people in the relationship and there is nothing ‘stock’ about it!

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