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Posted in Forensics, Personal Interest

Hae

I just want to tell you from the beginning that this blog is not for Adnan or Hae’s family or about making Serial even more popular. I want to dedicate my post to only Hae…

I seek justice for her.

When I was interviewing for a summer internship at a very prestigious company in college, like15 years ago, I remember answering this question: “Why do you study geology? Why are you studying engineering and science?”. My answer was: “I love questioning, researching. I love making connections between the clues and making logical interpretations based on solid scientific facts. The mystery of the world fascinates me.  The only way to solve this mystery is science and engineering”. As you can guess, I didn’t get the internship. When I asked why to my professor, who was also present in th einterview, he told me that I sounded like I was living in an Agatha Christie Book, not in reality.

Every human behavior has a science behind it and it intrigues me so much. Forensic psychology is something that I’m really interested in. This is why I read, watch and listen about criminal behavior a lot. To a degree that it worries my boyfriend sometimes.

As far as the Hae’s murder case is concerned, I have combined the evidence, I did an extensive research and analyzed it. The results will make a lot of sense to you and will make you think about this case even days after you read this. Yes, I have a theory and I can support it with logic. Unfortunately, I cannot help but speculate, but isn’t this how the investigation was concluded in the first place? Over a speculation. At least this time, in my analysis below, you will see that I use the physical evidence, autopsy reports, witness testimonies and forensic psychology.

If you are not familiar with the story, it might be hard to grasp it here. Please listen to these podcasts in order to get the story with the details:

  1. Serial
  2. Undisclosed (Love you all Rabia, Susan and Colin! Susan, love how your mind works. This crew also writes on their personal blogs: splitthemoon.com, viewfromll2.com, and evidenceprof.com, respectively)
  3. Truth and Justice with Bob Ruff

If you listened to Truth and Justice’s 25th Episode of the first season, you will remember Jim Clemente, who is a renowned retired FBI Profiler. I will discuss his profile point by point in a little bit and explain you what actually Hae’s killer must be like.

But first, I will briefly introduce you the story:

Let’s talk about Hae…

A beautiful, smart, athletic teenager, a Woodlawn (Baltimore, Maryland) high school student who was full of life and full of love. Someone who is strong, impulsive, who tends to fall in love quickly (In her diary from April 1998 to January 1999, she mentions 3 loves: Nick, Adnan and Don). She was caring, about her little cousin, about her friends. Yet, she was stuck in between being a teenager in America and being a Korean teenager at home. Culture clash, together with living with a single mom and a brother must have been really hard for her.

Hae disappeared on  January 13th 1999. She was last seen in her car by 2:20-2:30 PM (There is a witness saying 2:45-3:00) leaving the school. She was supposed to pick up her cousin from daycare at 3:15, but she never showed up. Between 2:30 and 3:15, something really terrible happened to her.

Haehae2

They found her partially burried body  in Leakin Park on February 10th, 1999. She was found by Mr. S who claimed that he was taking a leak when she found the body. She recognized human hair and a human foot sticking out of the dirt and the leaves. Since there were no cell phones then, he went to the nearest place and told the police about the body.

 

Police arrested her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed on February 28th, 1999 and charged him with murder.

I don’t want to go into too much detail of Krista, Cathy, Debbie, Aisha, or Asia and the testimonies and interviews with them. Because it would make it very long and complicated. However, as I mentioned before, I highly recommend you to first listen to Season 1 of  Serial Podcast, and then listen to Undisclosed Podcast together with Truth and Justice podcast.

Briefly though;

Here is Adnan Syed’s and Hae’s Mutual friends:

friends2

Krista testified that Hae was going to give a ride to Adnan the day Hae disappeared, but Hae said last minute something came up so she couldn’t give him a ride. A few days after Hae’s dissappearance, there was a bday party in Krista’s house in which Stephanie, Jay and Adnan were present.

Asia is a key witness in State vs. Adnan Syed case. She is the only person who can put Adnan in the school between 2:30 PM- 3:30 PM. The State’s argument was Hae was strangled at around 2:36 PM. There is a call to Adnan’s cell phone (which is in posession of Jay at that time) and state claimed that this must have been to ‘come and get me, I killed Hae’ call.

Stephanie was one of the closest friends of Adnan. They had known each other since middle school and they would talk regularly. Stephanie was also Jay’s long-term girlfriend.

jay
The top photo shows Jay in the court in 1999, The bottom photo of Jay was taken very recently.

JAYANDSTEPH

Jay is the key person to the whole story. He graduated from Woodlawn, the same high school that both Hae and Adnan went, only  a year earlier. He is the one who told the cops that Adnan pre-meditated and executed Hae’s murder in cold blood and Jay helped him bury the body. He had Adnan’s car that day (It was Stephanie’s bday and Jay borrowed the car to go get a gift for Stephanie) Adnan’s new cell phone was in the glove pocket of the car because the students were not allowed to bring their phones to the school back then.

But, Jay has never been a credible witness at all. He changed his story at least 7 times. He kept changing the places he had been to that day. Also the time range that he claimed he spent with Adnan was off. If you are telling the truth already, why is the need for changing it constantly?

Adnan’s story of the day has never changed though: “I went to Jay’s house at 10:45, after my morning class. We hung out. I gave my car to him so he could buy a gift for his girlfriend at the mall. Told him to come and pick me up after the track practice. It was Ramadan, I was fasting, so we should have eaten something together after school, smoked pot. It was towards the end of Ramadan so I should have been in the mosque between 7-9 or so with my father. That is the only thing I remember, it was an ordinary day.” 

jennifer.png

The most confusing part for me in all this is not Jay, although his testimonies are super confusing. He doesn’t surprise me because I recognize a pathological liar when I see one, I grew up together with some people who constantly lied to me.  They always thought they were hiding things very well and I wasn’t aware of what was going on, but I was. The inconsistencies in their stories, in their body language, their eye movements, gestures, their choice of words: these clues were all giving them away. So, I get that Jay is pathological liar, he lied probably all his life to get away from trouble. But Jenn?… Why is she lying?

Jenn was Jay’s close friend. Also Jay claimed that he used to hang out with Jenn’s brother Mark sometimes. For some reason, in the early parts of the investigation in February, Jenn and Jay were the only ones who were called in the station to testify. Both talked to the police multiple times. Their pre-tesimonial talk with the cops (Which were 1 hour long for Jenn and at least 2 hours  for Jay) were all off the record. We don’t know what the cops told them, if they encouraged them to lie or not. But one thing I know is that Jenn changed her original ‘I don’t know anything’ testimony to ‘I helped Jay to dispose shovels and dirty clothes’ story after she went back home from station and talked to Jay. Something is really fishy here. Really really fishy. If you look at the whole case, you will see how terrible this investigation was conducted (Suggested read here: Please read: Susan Simpson’s blog: viewfromLL2 )

The State had no physical evidence to arrest Adnan (Hae’s ex-boyfriend) : No DNA, No semen, no fibers. Yes, his finger prints were all over Hae’s car but also there were 20 more unidentified fingerprints on her car. Besides,it was common for Hae to give Adnan a ride even after they had broken up: they were still friends and talking. The only “evidence(!)” the State presented was the cell phone tower ping locations which allegedly showed that his phone was at Hae’s burial site that day.

Well, this is not used as a viable evidence anymore in courts since it is not precise:

Please read: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-your-cell-phone-cant-tell-the-police (Also please listen to Undisclosed Season 1 Episode 8 and Addendum 8 to understand that these tower pings have no validity in this case, they explain the reasons why  and they interview the experts)

Yes, it is helpful when you want to find out if a group of people were at the same whereabouts at a certain time, sure.  But, the cell tower pings can change according to many things such as call volume,  type of signalling technology used (GSM/UMTS/CDMA), the local topology (man made or natural obstructions), the height of the antennae, type of CDRs available, physical location of other masts, angling of the transceivers, and degree of network activity (other subscribers). In some instances, Cell Site Analysis can be accurate to a few metres, or sometimes a few streets (approximately a postcode).

Let’s consider that the tower pings are reliable. There are still some problems with that:

Serial: A Comparison of Adnan’s Cell Phone Records and the Witness Statements Provided by Adnan, Jay, Jenn, and Cathy

Now let’s summarize what went wrong with this investigation and then I will tell you about my theory:

  • Although there is no physical evidence that links Adnan to the murder, he was arrested based on one single person’s testimony who constantly changed his story and lied. He admitted that he lied on the stand.
  • Jay was charged with ‘Resisting arrest’ offense on January 27th. What was this about? Did they want to take him in for questioning and he didn’t want to go? Or did the cops want to scare him and use these charges against him later? According to Sis, the store owner where Jay worked at, Jay was supposed to show up at work on the February 26th, and 27th. But he didn’t because probably he was picked up by the police. I don’t want to speculate, but this is very likely. So, were the police talking to Jay the whole time?
  • Interestingly, after January 27th,  Jay started spreading rumors to his friends Chris, Tayyib, his co-worker at the store, etc. about the fact that Adnan killed Hae and Jay helped him bury the body. If you really helped someone bury a dead body, why do you want to tell people about this? If you feel remorse, you would tell people the next day of the crime. Not after you got questioned  three days in a row by the police for an ‘unknown’ reason.
jaysfirstarrest
Jay’s arrest on January 27th.
  • According to the owner of the store (I don’t like when people emphasize this was a ‘porn’ store. Jay needed money, he wasn’t filming porn, so why big deal?) Jay took time off on February 20th and 22nd to talk to the cops even though this never was entered into the police records. This sounds about right because as you can see in the image below the police didn’t take much action between February 18th and 24th except questioning Mr S and sending Subpoenas to a bunch of people.
  • So, although this was NOT Jay’s first interview, the police, for some reason, decided to pick up Jay from the store (They never went to his house, probably Jay didn’t want his family to know and the police were so kind to grand this request. Yet again, why?) and questioned him at the station. After talking to him for an hour ‘off the record’ they went on record. Suddenly, Jay wanted to ‘Come Clean’. He confessed that he helped Adnan bury the body and he knew where Hae’s car was. What is the reason of this preliminary off the record questioning? Why is the mystery?
  • If you listened to Undisclosed Podcast, there is one addendum session that you HAVE to listen. So, Jay takes the police to Hae’s car on February 28th. But on this police report from the crime scene dated February 12th, there is this coding: Body:12 Car: 12, 0, lost properties: 4, 0,0. This indicated that the police knew where Hae’s car was long before February 28th.
  • After hearing both sides and reading a lot about this, I think Jay didn’t know where the car was. The police had known the location and took him there.

jays interview

  • The charges filed against Jay that went into records on January 27th were dropped suddenly on March 5th, 1999.

Jaychargesdropped

  • There was no physical evidence (DNA from her and her car, the fibers, many items including a condom and a brandy bottle around her body were collected, but never tested), or no professional victimology  performed (Nobody knew Hae’s internet contacts, nobody checked who she was talking to in chat rooms, nobody checked what was in her floppy disks, where she usually stopped on her way to the daycare, what she was worried about lately, which restaurant was her favorite, etc). Thinking that the cell tower pings and Jay’s testimony are good enough proof , they arrested Adnan in the early hours of February 28th, 1999 for the murder of Hae Min Lee.
mugshot
Adnan’s Mugshot on February 28th.
  • Other strange thing about Hae’s car is that in the initial photos that were taken in Hae’s car when it was found, you can clearly see that ignition collar had been removed. But in the video that wass taken 2 weeks later, on March 16, you see that ignition collar was replaced. But they kept the windshield wiper broken, because it supported the State’s case. Also, according to Hae’s brother, Young, the turn signal, which is on the left not right side, was broken when he was driving the car home on March 4th. Please pay attention, the turn signal was broken, NOT the windshield wiper lever. He remembers it because he had difficulty with it and didn’t feel safe while driving home.

To read more about this subject, please visit: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2015/09/todayrabia-chaudrysusan-simpson-and-i-appeared-onthe-docketwithseema-iyer-the-full-episode-can-be-accessed-by-clicking-on.html

carsss
The photo on the left shows the missing ignition collar. It is magically fixed in 2 weeks, whereas the lever remained broken.
  • Besides the lack of DNA testing, a detailed analysis on the tire marks wasn’t performed either.
    This is the only tire information we have from the investigation and the result was announced as ‘inconclusive’:

tire analysis1tire analysis 2

When I searched on internet about Hae’s Car, which was a 1998 Nissan Sentra GXE, there were 4 possible DUNLOP tires that could fit. And since the analysis says ‘SP’ not ‘Winter’ type, this brings down the options to two similar tires. However, unfortunately it is impossible to see clearly the tire’s shape and design since Nissan’s tire in the photo is covered in mud. But it is definitey NOT SP SPort 2000 series.

haestiresss.png
The arrow shows Hae’s Car and the two models tires on the left are the only possibilities of a Dunlop tire for Nissan Sentra 1998 GXE

 

haesss
The two illustrations on the left are what the analysis in the crime scene suggested. If the murderer used Hae’s car, we are supposed to see Hae’s car’s tracks. Although they look similar, they have obvious differences in terms of width.

 

When we compare with Adnan’s car which was a 1987 Honda accord LX , it seems even more unlikely that the tracks belonged to his car, not only the width but also the design seems completely different:

adnanstires
The top row illustrates Adnan’s car’s tires and the bottom row illustrates the tire shape that was collected from the crime scene.

This indicates that there is no evidence that Hae’s car was there that day. But nobody really digged into these, or simply they never wanted to.

  • I think another weird thing about this case is Adnan’s lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez. Although Adnan says that she was always very kind and caring to him, I think she is one of the biggest reasons why Adnan is in jail right now. He shouldn’t have been sentenced to life with no physical evidence that connected him to the crime. I’m not saying he did or he didn’t commit the crime. He shouldn’t have been imprisoned with the lack of evidence they had in this case.
cristina Gutierrez
Adnan’s then lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez

During the trial, Gutierrez had started to have some health (She later died in 2004) and financial problems. She seemed distracted and agitated in the court or behind the scenes, especially towards Adnan’s family. She never called Asia McClain even though she was the key witness, considering State’s timeline. Gutierrez didn’t even look at the survelience records in the library that Asia mentions below, in her first letter to Adnan. According to Adnan, he gave this letter to Gutierrez but she never followed up with Asia. In Gutierrez notes, it is written: “Asia saw Adnan in the library 2:30-3:30” But it seems like she never followed up on that:

aishas

I don’t think Gutierrez appealed to the jury or the judge, either. Her style was not working for the jury or the others in the court. She was absent minded, too forceful, too loud and tiring. While I was listening to Serial, I was super agitated by her voice and intonation as well as her choices of questions. She was far from convincing and she was rather annoying (fast forward to 28:35):

The reason the first trial ended as a mistrial was because the judge called Gutierrez ‘liar’. This mistrial was a major set back in the case.

When she failed the trial, she got in the elevator with Adnan’s parents. Instead of saying ‘I’m sorry’ She kept her silence for a while, and then she uttered these words: “I will need $50,000 for the appeal” and she left the elevator just like that.

I’m sorry if she was really not feeling well or was going through rough times. However, this is not a good excuse to cause someone innocent to end up in jail for life. If Adnan is innocent, look at the hot mess he has been in since day one.

  • Another super odd fact is that: The investigators of this case only collected outgoing phone records from Adnan’s phone, not the incoming calls, claiming that they cannot trace the tower pings with incoming calls (AT&T Fact cover sheet states that -and yet the prosecuters used some of the incoming calls as evidence in the court). But what the strangest thing is, they didn’t track ANY of Hae’s calls; incoming or outgoing. She told a couple of people that day ‘I have somewhere to be, I can’t give a ride to Adnan’ and yet between the time when she leaves the campus, 2:20 and when she picks up her cousing at the day care, 3:15, she had almost an hour. The drive was not more than 15 minutes with traffic (see below). Mind you that when she was found, her pager was missing. This would make you think that the killer didn’t want the pager to be found. So why nobody looked into her call records? Why do you spend so much attention, time and effort on one possible suspect’s phone records but not on the victim  instead?
daycare
The drive from Woodlawn High school to the Daycare

Also, did anybody ask around at the hotels, gas stations, cafes and restaurants on this route? We guess that she didn’t withdraw any money that day (No records were made public on this). So probably she had some cash with her – when she was found, she had 1$ on her. What if she stopped for food? There is a very interesting detail: At the crime scene, one piece of evidence was an empty bag of Popeye food (maybe nuggets?). Well, guess what, there was a Popeye restaurant on her way.

Here are some cafes that were close to her route:

cafes
The Coffee shops that were on Hae’s route

Nobody asked around these public places to see if someone saw what happened because they had set their minds and eyes already on someone and only one: They were fixated at Adnan. They didn’t care if Hae deserved justice or they didn’t care if they were stealing a very successful bright future from an 18-year old boy by locking him up forever. This was just another case for them to get rid of, and they needed to do it quickly since there were over 100 other cases to deal with at that time.

Related video, hear what the FBI agent says after minute4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz4VTnd9NLs

(And of course that Popeye bag was never tested for DNA… sigh…)

  • I think Sarah Koenig was thinking that Adnan was innocent until she learned about the Nisha call. Nisha call is still a mystery to this day, and it still looks bad for Adnan. Let me exlain like this: State says, he called Nisha at 3:32 because he was in the car with Jay. Defense says Jay was alone with the phone, Adnan was at track practice, it must have been a butt dial since Nisha was on speed dial and at the top of the contacts list. It couldn’t have gone to voicemail, because Nisha had never set up one. But… AT&T says that after a 30-second-long unanswered calls, they show this in the call log and in the bill as a ‘call made’.

Nisha

Nisha was one of the girls Adnan was  talking to in January 1999. When you look at Adnan’s call logs, he always called her sometime after 7:00 PM (mostly after 9). We are creatures of habit. Probably by the time he broke his fast and ate his dinner with family and finally found some lone time was after 7pm:

nishacallsnisha callssss Some talks were for seconds, some for minutes, some for almost an hour. But that day, the day Hae disappeared, there was a call from Adnan’s phone to Nisha at 3:32 PM which lasted approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds. The problem is that, Adnan said at that time he was either at the library or at the track practice, without his phone. His phone must have been still with Jay (until around 7:30 PM that day). This is the only call that was made to someone who only Adnan knew, whereas other outgoing calls until 5:30 PM were Jay’s friends: Patrick, Phil, and Jenn. When they questioned Nisha in March, two months after Hae disapeared, she testified that she remembered one call with Adnan that Jay was there,  they were at the video store that Jay worked at. Adnan put Jay on the phone to say hi and Nisha said hi to Jay and that was it. This cannot be January 13th call though because Jay hadn’t started working at the video store until February. What Nisha remembers must be the February 14 call which took place, again, after 7:00 PM:

Nisha Call
The Nisha Call that Nisha recalls actually took place on February 14th.

 

  • For other findings, please read: https://ew.com/article/2015/08/24/5-key-finding-undisclosed-serial-adnan-syed/

One most important thing about human psychology is that we cannot hide our excitement or interest most of the time. Our actions speak louder than words. The reason why Adnan got a cell phone in the first place was Nisha. Nisha and Adnan met at New Years Eve and since she lived outside the city, all the calls Adnan was making from his home landline phone, it doubled up the phone bill (Also Both Adnan’s mom and Adnan told that his mom would listen to his conversations with girls and he wouldn’t like that at all) and Adnan decided to get a cell phone instead. Again, look at his behavior: The first thing he does when he activates his phone is to call Nisha to give his number. Not Hae. Actually he calls Hae the last that day to give his number.

If this was a person who was ‘obsessed about the break up, who couldn’t get over Hae, This would have been way different. He would have called Hae first.

NOW, MY THEORY

Because I want justice for Hae, and she didn’t deserve this terrible investigation, I have done my own part. I’m not a cop or a profiler – Blogger Note: I wish I could be. But I’m a concerned human being and I love doing research. I thought it wouldn’t hurt anybody to fight for justice.

I will investigate four main characters here, Adnan, Hae, Jay and Jenn in 2 ways:

  • Who they are in general.
  • What happened to them on January 13th.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ADNAN, JAY AND JENN ON JANUARY 13, 1999

Like any other day, Adnan had a schedule that started at 7:45 and ended at 2:50 on Tuesday, January 13, 1999.  The schedule below was obtained by the detectives and this was later supported by the phone records.

schedule

The phone records and both Jay and Adnan’s testimonies tell us that they hung out somewhere between 10:45 and 12:40 PM that day. Please zoom in if you cannot read clearly. Unfortunately the blog doesn’t allow me use a bigger space for the pictures.

Before we start, I have to clarify two things:

  1. The only reason I’m showing the phone coverage here is because this was State’s argument. In Undisclosed podcast, the team’s research proved that the tower pings, especially in 1999, could not be used at all for the exact location. ESPECIALLY Incoming Calls.
  2. The call that is made to Krista at 5:38, which is a 2 second call has an explanation. This was explained by the experts while discussing the 2:36 the alleged ‘come and get me’ call that lasted 5 seconds only. These short period calls might not be calls at all. Sometimes it tries to connect and drops. Those seconds include the time that passes to connect.

adnanandjayday1.png

 

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adnanandjayday7

HOMICIDE

Before I layout my theory here, I want to make it clear that I do not want to offend anybody here or disrespect to Hae’s memory. On the contrary,  I’m trying to clarify things, add new things to the investigation so that people can have a  more logical perspective. This is neither a game for me, nor a hobby. I felt like these ideas were wandering around my mind for the past 3 years and now I felt like it is time to share with you. Thanks for your understanding.

PS. I have a hate and love relationship with Reddit. Some posts that are not based on scientific facts but pure speculations drive me insane. However, some documents and links provided there are so useful sometimes.

First, let’s go over Jim Clemente’s profile of the killer together. As a retired FBI profiler and a very well educated (Chemistry major, then finished law school and worked as a prosecuter in NYC before joining FBI) professional, I really respect his experience and I find him really smart. Criminal Behavioral Analysis is a real science and it really works, especially when there is not enough physical evidence to find the suspect. Although it works, it functions properly only when you have certain type of information from the crime scene and victimology. Clemente says every criminal has a certain style and that gives them away. As I had said before, we are the creatures of habit.

jim clemente

Before he started to lay out his profile, and a couple of times during the interview with Bob Ruff (Truth and Justice Podcast Season 1 Episode 25) he insisted that ‘He couldn’t devote a lot of time on this’ OR ‘He normally would have dug deeper before he did any analysis’. So from the beginning he admits that he is not fully knowledgeable about the case.

First, he starts with victimology. I will add my own comments in blue here:

” ‘Risk level’ is the exposure to dangerous situations which would end up causing the victim’s death. We evaluate her relationships and environment. Hae wasn’t a run away, or a  hitchiker. There was no prostitution, no indication of drug use or extensive partying. Her diary confirms this. She is moral, caring but dramatic. Because of all of these, she is a ‘low risk victim’. Which means there is a very tight circle of people who has access to her in order to kill her.

However, she is lying to her family about her relationships due to  cultural reasons. She has history of being extremely in love: She didn’t slowly build up in her relationships, she is impulsive, dramatic, emotional. There might be other men who we don’t know, who is closer to her. So, these two factors slightly elevates her danger level. “

As a person who grew up in a different culture than America, I can totally see Hae’s mother’s worries: Hae is a young, beautiful girl, growing up without a father figure, in a different country: I’m a single mother and I need to protect her at all costs. Especially from men. Maybe that’s why Hae’s uncle was also living with them; to fill in that father figure. So, she had to be a strict mother. Also, most Asian cultures (including mine) are very close-community cultures. The families get really worried when their children fall in love with someone from a different race or culture. 

Maybe Hae was quick to fall in love because she was constantly seeking for the attention, love and affection that she had saught while growing up. She might have had what we call ‘Limerence Addiction’. The way that she writes Don’s name127  times in her diary and the next day she says she is still in love with Adnan very much indicates the need of having love involved in her life as much as possible, and not letting it go so easily. 

The Next level : Crime itself. Let’s look at the definitions first: A homocide is when someone kills the other person. Murder is when someone kills other person illegally. This looks like a murder. If this was an accident, they wouldn’t conceal the body. The concealment shows that this was not an accident.

It is in a park, in January, relatively remote. The person who put her didn’t want somebody to find her. In behaviral analysis, we consider three concealment types: 1. Permanent concealment: Burying completely or turning the body into ash or dumping the body into the river 2. No concealment 3. Partial concealment: You bury the part of the body. This is the case here. Somebody took the time to cover the body partially (Hae’s body was covered with dirt and leaves in a way that it looked like picture below: the purple marks show where the body was exposed to the air, uncovered). 

haesbody
This picture is taken from Susan Simpson’s The View from LL2 blog. Actual post: https://viewfromll2.com/2015/09/30/what-the-crime-scene-photographs-show/

Whoever did this, they don’t look criminally sophisticated. This murder is ill planned. In January, it is cold and stormy. Ground is cold and very difficult to dig. They didn’t know until they had to do it and dig a grave. According to Jim Clemente, this person is not experienced, OR not old. He didn’t have time to grow up. They had to act this way because it felt like this had to be this way.

If you are a burglar and you go to a city that you don’t live in and you kill, 99.9% you will get out! Let’s say car jacking. Again, you did something you didn’t intend to do but the longer you spend with that dead body, the greater chances you will get caught. If people  take the time to conceal a body, there is a known relationship between the killer and the unsub (the victim). If the victim knows this offender and the victims’s relationships (friends, relatives) might recognize this person, the killer will want to conceal the body. He is impulsive so he might be young. There are many places, water dumps, lakes but this person wanted to dig a hard soil. 

I think Clemente didn’t know that there wasn’t much digging done to bury her in Hae’s case, although the murderer took the time to remove a considerable amount of soil and leaves to cover her. So far, I agree with Jim Clemente on some points though: He says this person is either older but not criminally sophisticated, or  young, which I agree on. I also think this person was in her circle: Either from a close circle or a further one. The range of people of this circle could be anyone from Hae’s group of friends and family to people who work at the day care, the grocery store , gas station or hairdresser, etc. 

Robbery was not the motive, she still had jewelery on. Rape was not the motive because at least there is no indication or anything like that occured. So, as a low risk victim, her being killed by a stranger is almost impossible without these motives. She was specifically targeted by the killer. Somebody has a personal cause against her. Rage or revenge. 

Now here, I disagree with him. As he mentioned before, he doesn’t know every specific detail about this case. First of all, her wallet, pager, keys and shoes were missing. Her jewelery was on (or at least her necklaces were) but here, I believe wallet and shoes are the most important things (I will explain to you in depth when I present my own theory) since the murderer might have taken the shoes and/or wallet as thropies and her pager as something valuable.

Second of all, we do not know for sure if she was sexually assulted. Yes, there was no semen (spermotozoa) found in anal and oral swabs but semen’s life span is as short as 24- 96 hours , then it degenerates. Have a look at this:

“From FORENSICS: A GUIDE FOR WRITERS, by D.P. Lyle, M.D., pg 201:

“In living victims, the duration of sperm motility is from four to six hours. If motile sperm are found in vaginal swabs, the sexual act likely occurred less than six hours earlier. After that, the sperm die and begin to break down and fragment, and timing becomes a guessing game. First the tails are lost, leaving behind sperm heads, and then the heads and tails undergo fragmentation and destruction. The survival of sperm heads and sperm remnants in various body orifices is extremely variable, so that no accurate timeline can be established. In general, these remnants may remain in the vagina for up to six or seven days, the rectum for two to three days, and the mouth less than twenty-four hours. In cases of rape-homicide, sperm may remain in the vagina of the corpse for up to two weeks.

Elevated SAP levels can be found in the vagina for up to seventy-two hours. Semen is a fairly resilient substance. Laundering and dry cleaning of stained clothing may or may not remove all traces of PSA and SAP, and traces of spermatozoa can sometimes be found on microscopic examination of the laundered material. If protected from extremes of temperature, harsh chemicals, and other unfavorable environmental conditions, dried semen stains may remain identifiable and usable for DNA analysis for many years.”

Would you expect to find semen on a 4-week-old dead body? No. You test DNA instead and compare with the victim’s own DNA. If you find different results, you run in the database, or compare with suspects’ DNA. Although it sounds as simple as it is, detectives did not run the DNA tests and they ruled out rape based on the useless semen tests. BESIDES, near the victim they found a rolled condom (likely unused) and a condom wrapper, a rope and they never tested them for DNA, either. 

Clemente continues: If this was a serial killer happened to be in the neighborhood, it would be 1 % chance. If this is a serial killer, what is the motive? Instead of being dilusional or a psychopathic person? Serial killer would never spend the time (because nobody knows the relationship between him and the victim) carrying her there, digging and covering. Because he would have risked being discovered at the time. The theory of totally unrelated, non-motive driven serial killer killing Hae is impossible. Unless they were serial killer who was working in the neighborhood. The person had some familiarity and the connection with the burial site. 

It is so true that without a burglary or sexual assault motive, it is highly unlikely that this could be a serial killer. Yet again, there were items missing and we do not know if she was raped or not. So, what we only have for certain is that the killer was known to the victim, and to the area. 

Clemente also claims: Lividity is a very good question referring all the lividity being frontal and on her chests and face, indicating she was laying face down when the lividity was fixed. But when she was found, she was lying on her right side (like in the previous picture). So, Leaking Park must be either the burial site but not the murder site: He murdered and kept her in a secure location  OR the murderer killed her in the park but later came back and changed her position to conceal her better. 

Livor Mortis or Lividity

Livor mortis or lividity is the gravitational pooling of blood in the dependent parts of the body, both externally in the skin capillaries and venules but also in the internal organs. Its onset is variable but it is usually most evident about 2 hours after death, although it is stated to occur as soon as 15 minutes after death (Clark et al., 1997). 

Livor Mortis starts to develop 2-4 hours after death, becomes non-fixed or blanchable up to 8-12 hours after death and fixed or non-blanchable after 8-12 hours from the time of death (Chemistry for Liberal Studies – Forensic Academy / Dr. Stephanie R. Dillon)

So according to this information, she was brought to her final position (resting on her side) at the burial side, at least 8-12 hours after her time of death. So let’s say she was killed at 2:45. The best case scenario is that at 10:45, the killer took the body from its original resting position, put in the car without letting anyone see, came to Leakin Park, started digging a shallow grave. So now the time should be, the best case scenario, at least 11:00 PM. But Jay told that they were burying the body between 7 and 8 PM. Also, he claimed that they kept Hae’s body in the trunk crumbled up before they buried her. There is no way she would have a frontal lividity in a crumbled up position in the back of a Nissan Sentra.

Going back to Clemente’s claims though, it is obvious that Hae was buried at least 8 hours after her death. It is highly possible that he kept her in a secure place first then late at night or the next day he went to Leakin Park to bury her. We cannot know the exact time, unfortunately. She could have been alive for a whole week, and we wouldn’t know.

She doesn’t have defensive wounds, the killer possibly incapacitated her by hitting her head first, then he strangled her. Also, he had parallel 2-5 inches scratches on her back, so she should have been dragged, not more than one person was carrying her. 

This again shows that the State’s claim was completely garbage, because according to them, Adnan and Jay carried her together.

Strangulation is a very personal kill. You see life is leaving her. Also, this is a very clean kill. he doesn’t want to get messy. He is neat. Indication of first time for this offender. Sadist wants to look in the eye: they want to see the fear and suffering. This person didn’t want to do that. Because it is easier to murder someone who is not fighting them back or looking at them with teary eyes.  If there was premeditation, it wasn’t very deep. Planning was not effective.

Premeditation requires being highly organized, well planned. On the other hand, crime of passion is haphazard. Not very much planned. He must have a higher than average intelligence for a first time kill since it gave him 30 days to hide and create an alibi. This is why I think he is young and inexperienced. Recovering immediately when something goes wrong, is a skill. Apperance would be important for this murderer. They must be concerned about their surroundings, concerned about their appearance.

I do believe as well this person was not experienced in killing, but not necessarily young. So considering he is not a good planner, and this might be a crime of passion, this indicates that th suspect was impulsive. This is again against State’s theory, because Jay confessed that they had planned everything beforehand. 

Some people claimed that ‘Oh, Adnan is very neat, very clean, well dressed, he must be the killer’. This is jumping to a conclusion with nothing. He was good looking and cared about fashion, yeah. But neat? Look at his car and room:

Finally. Clemente asked Bob Ruff: we know who draw the break ups but who draw the reunions? This would be important to know. 

I believe the reason Clemente is asking this is to understand Adnan’s behavior in the relationship. Was he dominant? Most importantly, was he controlling which could turn into violence later? 

I have studied about controlling men and their abusive behavior and I learned quite a bit. Especially if the person is coming from an abusive childhood in which the father is abusive towards the mother or the mother OR father abusive towards children, this MIGHT lead children grow up as abusers (mostly men) since they normalize these kind of behaviors growing up. I read Hae’s diary and I read Adnan’s 2015 letter to Sarah Koenig to find clues about such behavior:

Saturday July 4 2018: “Hae and Adnan get in a fight because she doesn’t return his pages soon enough. Adnan leaves Hae a message telling her she is horrible, and he hates her. Hae and Adnan make up and go see fireworks. Adnan drops Hae off at Aisha’s for a sleepover. Adnan returns to Aisha’s late, with carrot cake”

This type of behavior tells me that He was afraid of losing her because he had been sensing it for a while from her that she was distant. He also knew that Aisha doesn’t like him very much and Hae was spending almost the whole day with her. He was being a little bit controlling here, he got frustrated at her. And yet, he didn’t punish her. Most abusers (90%) make sure the woman suffers from the decision she made (spending the time with Aisha or not picking up the phone right away) If he was an abuser, he wouldn’t have taken her to see the fireworks OR he wouldn’t have shown any remorse of his behavior (carrot cake).

behavior2
This is from 4th of July, ‘The carrot cake’ night

The below entry from April introduces a new name, Nick. Probably the guy she liked (maybe dated?) before Adnan. She mentioned that a girl sat on Adnan’s lap that day and he apologized for that even though it wasn’t his fault. This shows a good manner and Hae seems to be already aware of that at that time. It sounds like even though they were not in a relationship yet, Adnan was respecting whatever between Hae and him and he cared about Hae’s feelings.

behavior

The below entry from August shows that Hae wanted forgiveness and she believed she hurt him and put him in dangerous situations. I can guess that these are actually Adnan’s words: “Why do you do this to me? I put myself in dangerous situations for you (meaning his family) and you do what? You hurt me.” This is a total assumption of course, but very likely. In this case, there is some sort of emotional manipulation. Which shows that with all these changing minds, breaking ups and coming back togethers, he felt that he was being treated unfairly and yet he wanted to keep her. We play these kinds of games all the time. I highly recommend you to read Eric Berne’s Classic book “Games People Play” (1964) to understand this subject manner better.

forgiveness

Below entry is extra important. Nick, Hae’s ex-love spreads some rumors about ‘Something happened in the techroom while they were alone wih Hae’ Hae, obviously gets mad. But, please look at Adnan’s reaction: “Leave it alone“. Then he tells her a secret of his just to distract her mind from an unpleasant day. ‘Leave it alone’ is NOT impulsive. It is pretty mature, actually. You wouldn’t expect this level of maturity from a 17-year-old boy. Also, he is NOT controlling. Otherwise, he would have confronted the guy, started a fight, or at least would have told really nasty words about him. This might also indicate that that he didn’t want her to get in trouble for this.

Tleaveitalone

Below entry says that “I wanted just a time off and both Adnan and his friends made a great deal out of it. I guess I will be afraid of bringing up anything”. At this point, together with other entries, it is obvious that both Adnan’s and Hae’s families and their cultural pressure on them are affecting the couple. Hae has a lot of back and forths and indecisiveness, which is really common in teenagers. However, her saying that ‘I’m afraid’ means that she thought losing him will also mean losing their mutual friends and she thought Adnan was overreacting.

abuseoornot

What did Adnan write?

There are some love poems and letters that I’m not going to share here. However, this Christmas card and after break up note is very important. He says that “You helped me grow’ ‘I care about you too much to just let you slip out of my life, I would love to have you as a friend, maybe my best friend” “I hope you are happy, whoever you are with, whatever you are doing”. These sentences indicate love, respect, acceptance and pain.

response to Haebreakupchristmas card2christmas card1

Here is an excerpt from a letter Adnan sent to Serial producer Sarah Koenig on 10.10.2013:

adnan says

This letter tells me that Adnan is a well-written and well-spoken individual. I can tell he has been reading and maybe writing a lot in prison. Also, the urge to watch crime shows to understand where his investigation went wrong kind of indicates that it is because actually he might be innocent. He wants to  know about passion kills, couple murders and reasons behind them, since he doesn’t know. He has a very realistic and objective perspective. He doesn’t try to say “Oh! I loved her so much, till this day I still think about her and mourn her death!” He says “This is how we met, this is what we did together and this is why I can’t be her murderer” He is not trying to win over you by being emotional but he is choosing to be realistic in this letter. Like he did in Nick situation, saying ‘Leave it alone’ to Hae.

And finally, this:

final

He is not concerned about himself here saying that ” I have spent 13 years in prison for nothing, I didn’t deserve this or I don’t belong here” He talks about ‘his parents‘ time’ his lawyers, Sarah Koenig’s efforts. He is genuinely saying that “I value what you do for me,and you are doing it for a solid reason: I’m innocent.”

My final analysis is the famous ‘I’m going to Kill’ note. Hae gives her break up note to Adnan. The same day in Class, during the sex education session, Adnan makes Aisha read the letter. Then they start talking silly things about Hae, which would make sense if you were 17 in a sex education class but when you read now, they are weird:

note

I have two theories about this, but this is now pure speculation.

Number #1:

Aisha wrote: “No I – messages”

Adnan wrote: “huhi that’s ghetto. eYE (pronounced as ‘I‘”

Adnan continued: “I’m going to kill”

He was trying to make emphasis on Hae’s word ‘I’ and he speaks on behalf of Hae’s, telling Adnan “I’m going to kill”

 

Number #2

We have all been tenagers and we know how awakward the sexual education class is, and how boring (It is a necessary class, but we thought it was boring, no?)

When I zoomed in to the doodle, and rotated it, this is what I got:

doodle

This looks like an unfinished woman face with a tiny ponytail and two rounded earrings. This could be their sexual education teacher. And by saying “I’m going to kill” He might mean the teacher, because he is so bored.

If you are going to kill your girlfirend, you don’t tell this to your girlfriend’s bestfriend. Do you?

This sentence could not have been added later, either because otherwise Aisha would have started writing from the first line instead of the third line.

WHAT HAPPENED TO HAE ON JANUARY 13, 1999

On January 13, 1999, during the early Photography Class (about 7:40 – 9:15) Adnan asked Hae for a ride. This is from Krista’s testimony (By the way, don’t forget that Adnan’s car is with him that morning):

Krista says

In her testimony, Becky says a very similar thing:

beckystestimony

So, at that time Adnan’s brother was working at NTB-National Tire & Battery on Owings Mills, which is an auto repair shop. There might be two possibilities:

1. Adnan’s plan was to leave the car at his brother’s shop at around 12:30 and get a ride back to school from his brother. Then get a ride from Hae to the shop. But this doesn’t explain why he says later ‘OK no problem, I will ask someone else then’ in response to Hae saying she can’t give him a ride anymore. Because at that point we know that Jay has the car. It is possible that Adnan could have changed his mind about the repair and gave the car to Jay so that he could go shopping. But then why didn’t he tell Hae ‘I don’t need it anymore anyways’?

2. My other theory is not the ride to somewhere else but the track practice. Look at what Becky says:

ride

That day, maybe Adnan was asking this short ride around the front to the track practice. Because he doesn’t have his car and maybe in the morning he was thinking about leaving his car at his brothers and then changed his mind and lent it to Jay instead. From the track practice coach and Asia McClain’s testimonies, we know that Adnan went to library to check his emails and spent some time until the track practice started at 3:30-4:00PM

Anyhow.

Hae was present in every class, she was quiet at lunch (According to Becky’s testimony) and when she was asked, she said she was thinking about Don.

At 2:15, when the class was dismissed, Hae saw Adnan (Krista was with him) and she said ‘Oh no, I can’t take you, I have something else to do’. According to Becky, she was at the gym at around 2:30. Maybe she had to stop by the gym for something and that’s why she couldn’t give him this short ride to the track practice.

map
The red circle shows where the students were allowed to park. The blue circle shows where the track practice took place. The pink circle shows where the library was. As you can see, it is a quite a  long walk to the track practice, especially on a cold day. It would make sense to get a ride there. When Hae said no, probably he decided to kill some time (almost 1-1.5 hours) at the library and check his emails. That’s where Asia McLain saw Adnan.

Between 2:30 and 3:15 sometime, Hae was abducted or killed. After she left Woodlawn campus, she could have taken one of these possible three routes:

daycare

The most two logical routes can be as follows considering the time and traffic at that time:

2yolvar demistin

Now I would like to draw your attention to the rectangular area that is colored in red: The red area is magnified in below satellite photo for you. The green circles are showing where the gas stations are located and red ones are showing where KFC and Popeye restaurants were located. All these places have big parking lots and during 2:30-3:15 it is not their busiest times. The yellow circle shows a known sex offender, murderer and burglar’s house (I’ll explain who he is in a second):

thebig map
The green circles are showing where the gas stations are located and red ones are showing where KFC and Popeye were located. All these places have big parking lots and during 2:30-3:15 it is not their busiest times. The yellow circle shows a known killer’s house.

That yellow circle shows the location a house which once upon a time belonged to a very dangerous man : Roy Sharonnie Davis III. He was not living in that location then, but his wife and daughter were. Mind you, he commited his first rape and murder on her way to visit his daughter:

confession

Before I continue explaining what I believe happened to Hae, I will stop here to explain first more about her possible murderer suspect.

ROY SHARONNIE DAVIS III

Davis has been charged with multiple charges of assault, burglary, rape and one known murder of an 18-year old, Jada Denita Lambert. But is this enough to call him as a serial killer?

Let’s look at the definition of a serial killer from Wikipedia:

“A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers.While most set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), for example, defines serial killing as “a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone”.

Although psychological gratification is the usual motive for serial killing, and most serial killings involve sexual contact with the victim, the FBI states that the motives of serial killers can include anger, thrill-seeking, financial gain, and attention seeking. The murders may be attempted or completed in a similar fashion. The victims may have something in common, for example, demographic profile, appearance, gender , age or race. A serial killer is neither a mass murderer, nor a spree killer.”

The only known murder by him is Ms. Lambert’s so far. Therefore, it is not quite right to call him as a serial killer.

Davis was 5’11” (1.80 m) tall, weighing 215 lbs (97 kg) at the time. He was 45 years old in 1999. The police report says he had a drivers license (SDX means a driver license number) and the report talks about multiple rape and burglary charges he had:

davis

Before I start to layout the reasons why he most likely could be the killer of Hae, I would like to tell you about what I think about him first. I think he is a very experienced burglar. He is in possession of a gun or guns (you can see this in his criminal record). He smokes or deals pot (his actual picture is impossible to find but his gravatar on the internet is the photo below):

gravatrWhat we know is between 1997 and 2000, he was married with D.L. Davis, he had kids and as far as we know, he used to live at the intersection of Liberty Road and Essex (The yellow circle in the satellite picture).

But something started to change and somewhere between 1998 and 1999 Davis started to get extremely violent. This is what Serial Dynasty, Bob Ruff says in 2015:  “What I finally found was a case where Roy Davis was the defendant, that did indeed
involve him violating some sort of restraint order. And when I read through the case files onthis, what I found was that the complainant was actually Roy Davis’ wife, not his daughter.And also that he was not sentenced in April of 1999, the complaint was filed in April of 1999. Roy Davis was incarcerated on August 20th of 1999 and then on September 27, he pled guilty to the crime and was sentenced to time served, which at that point had been 38 days. And that’s all there is on that document: plaintiff, Roy’s wife, charged, violation of some sort of restraining order, disposition, pled guilty, sentence time served, which was 38 days.”

Domestic violence is the biggest cause of most restraining orders. If a woman believes that her life or her children’s lives are in danger, they go to the police and make a complaint. The abuser man is not allowed to either come near the family and/or  communicate with them until further notice. If the man violates this and tries to contact them or show up at their place, this violates the restraining order. He probably did so on August 20th and he served 38 days in jail for this.

From this information we can assume that he doesn’t respect woman or he sees himself superior and in control. He possibly has a controlling behavior.

Let’s look at his recorded arrests and charges (Admin Office Of Courts District Courts -Maryland) I’m writing here the dates of the offense, not the date of the charges:

May. 1, 1998: Murder – First Degree/Rape

Dec. 28, 1998: Fail Obey Renble/Lawfl  (A person who is convicted of fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order that a law enforcement officer makes is subject to imprisonment of 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.Fail to obey a reasonable and lawful order in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland, not a felony)

Feb. 2, 1999: Charge/Offense: False Statement – to Peace Officer

Apr. 8 (complaint made), 1999: Violate Exparte/Protection Order

May. 17, 1999 (He was caught in 2000 and sentenced to 10 years for this): Assault, 2nd Degree  |  Theft  |  Robbery with a Dangerous & Deadly Weapon  |  Attempt Theft  |  Attempted Robbery  |  Assault, 1st Degree  |  Handgun – Wear//Carry, Etc  |  Robbery – General

July 30, 1999: Armed Robbery

Aug. 18, 1999 (charged from the protection violation of prot order, spent 38 days in Jail): Firearm Use/Fel – Viol Crime  |  Assault – First Degree  |  False Statement to Officer

Sep. 29, 1999 (He was caught in 2000 and sentenced to 10 years for this): Robbery – General  |  Handgun – Wear//Carry, Etc  |  Theft  |  Robbery with a Dangerous & Deadly Weapon  |  Assault, 1st Degree 

Looking at this criminal record, I see a gradual increase in the number and magnitude of his crimes until February (or January). Then a very quick and obvious escalation takes place in his violence until the time of his arrest. Burglary, robbery, assault, rape, murder. The time span between the crimes gets shorter as well: as if he wants to be caught and imprisoned. Something must have happened in 1998, a trigger, and he started escalating after Jada Lambert’s murder. I don’t know if Lambert was his first rape and murder victim or not. But it is very likely he might have committed a similar crime between May 1998 and April 2000. Especially considering he got more and more careless and violent. 

Let’s look at Murder of Jada Denita Lambert on April 30, 1998:

According to her friend’s testimony, Jada took the bus to Charles Center to pick up her ID card and then she was planning to take public transportation to Owings Mills Mall (most likely by subway). Here is the testimony:

jada
Owings Mills Mall is very close to Roy S. Davis’ residence. It was only  a 11 minute-drive. Considering the walk between the subway station to the Owings Mills Mall is 17 mins and through alleys and parking lots, this would give Davis long enough time and privacy he was looking for even in the bright day light.

walking
The blue dots indicate the path Jada had to take in order to go from the subway exit to the Mall entrance. Davis might have caught her there and incapasitated her by pointing a handgun at her or by hitting her head.

We know from the autopsy that he raped her before he killed her. Also we know that he hit her in the head to make her unconscious at some point, then strangled her. If you knock someone out, they won’t scream, so I believe this is when the rape happened: Between the hit and the strangulation. When they asked him why he had to kill her, he said ‘She noticed him’ that’s why he had to kill her. This makes me think that at least for a couple of minutes they must have had some sort of conversation so that she says that she recognised him or maybe even begged him to let her go. According to Baltimore Sun, his then wife DLL Davis used to cut Jada’s hair.

david
From 27 July 2004 Baltimore Sun news clip.

If the the same thing happened to Hae, like Jim Clemente had said earlier, a serial killer working in the neighborhood, familiar with the people around Hae, maybe that is why she was partially concealed.

Let’s look at the similarities between the two cases:

  1. Both victims are about the same age. Hae was 17 (18 some records) and Jada was 18 (19 some records) when they died.
  2. They were both fully clothed when they were found. BUT Hae was missing shoes and Jada was missing an underwear. (Also, interestingly, the autopsy report doesn’t include Hae’s underwear, but the general evidence inventory does (in some other place you can see it as noted ‘Beige panties and it was tested negative for semen results’).
    panties
    This is from the evidence inventory, apparently panties are included in the other clothing items.
    autopsy
    This is from the autopsy report of Hae. Very detailed description doesn’t include ‘panties’.

    laboratory reportunderwear

  3. They were both found by a stream, partially concealed. Jada’s head and part of her frontal torso was submerged in water and most importantly, her blue jean jacket was left on her back (please see the  article below). Hae was partially covered in dirt and leaves. warm
  4. They were both missing their wallets. Hae also didn’t have her keys and pager on her.
  5. They both had a trauma to the head. Hae had on the right side (two blunt force trauma, one of them towards the back) and Jada had it on the left.
  6. They were both strangled.
  7. They both were found with an empty bottle of alcohol near them. I wonder if the bottle in Jada’s case was a Brandy bottle like in Hae’s crime scene. That would be a very compelling coincidence.
    alcohol
    Evidence found near Jada Lambert

    bottle
    Evidence found near Hae Min Lee

8. They were both transported to the burial site by a vehicle. Thinking that Jada didn’t have her car with her, she must have been transported there with Davis’ car.

9. The autopsy report for both show abrasions which indicate ‘dragging of the body’. The abrasions were on Hae’s back whereas they were on Jada’s chest, abdomen and upper thighs.

10. Difference between two cases is that in Jada’s anal and vaginal swabs, there were some spermotozoa with and without tail. Since she was found just a day after her murder, spermotozoa hadn’t degenerated yet. However, this was impossible to trace on Hae’s swabs after weeks past. This could be why all the tests came back negative.

So, Roy Davis’ MO (The particular way of the killer is doing things) fits to the killer of Hae Min Lee’s MO.

Now,  I ahve reasons to believe Jada Lambert might have been his first murder. Do you remember Clemente’s words about being an inexperienced killer? Having bad planning skills? I think he wanted to rob Jada, also he wanted to rape her but she recognized him. So he killed her. After the murder he felt somehow guilty. This is why he covered her with her jacket (to keep her warm) and he made the call and gave the location of the body himself. His exact words were these:

whathesaid

Murderers call the police to either to apologize or to get their attention. By telling the cops where she is, either he felt relieved or he watched from far when police came to the crime scene and enjoyed the attention that his murder scene got.

There is an anonymous call in Hae’s case, too, but the nature of the call is completely different. The call is not revealing any unknown information about the case or he is not apologizing. He is just blaming someone else. Rabia Chaudry later claimed that she suspects that this ananymous call was made by one of Adnan’s acquaintances:

realtipster

Hae wasn’t his first kill anymore, so he had to be smarter. Yes, his kills were still immature, impulsive (in the middle of the daylight) but he was not going to make the phone call again. He was not going to bury the body right next to his home this time. Also, he didn’t leave any IDs with her so that the police was going to spend time a little longer. He cmight have used a condom or something else this time, because remember a condom and a condom wrapper were found next to Hae. Yet, he was still a bad planner, because Hae was a victim of opportunity, she just happened to come accross. I think she had deposited her check, or took out some cash. Maybe she just bought some Popeye or KFC, paid cash and while returning to her car, Roy Davis hold her at gun point. Put her in his own car: Usually criminals do not want to use the victim’s car since they don’t want to attract unnecessary attention or leave prints or DNA everywhere UNLESS they are planning to dump the car in a lake or wipe it clean. Think about it, every minute you spend with the car, you risk yourself because you know that the police will be looking for her car around.

Speaking of Hae’s car. I remember in Undisclosed, Susan, Rabia and Colin discussed the t-shirt of Hae’s brother found in Hae’s car with Hae’s blood on it. They were thinking about post-mortem Pulmonary edema (in this case due to lack of oxygen, the lungs fills with fluid and it comes out of nose or mouth after 3 hours of death) as the cause of these blood stains. The fact that the blood color was not dark red and pinkish color, it does look like pulmonary edema fluid. However if you carefully look at the the stains, you  can see the gravity pulls and how the blood pools at the bottom of each stain (circled with red). The blue arrows below show the direction of gravity. This tells me that the victim was either wearing  the T shirt or the tshirt was 30 degrees tilted while the victim was bleeding on it. There are no smears but instead there are 3 different location of blood pooling. This also indicates that the victim is not touching the surface of the shirt but the blood is dropping onto it. When you make the calculation you can see that blood projection was happening with 30 degree tilt.

shirtphysics

Thinking that Hae had stuff from 5-6 months ago in her car, and thinking that she was active in sports and could get nose bleed easily, I believe she was wearing this shirt when an accident happened. There is no reported abuse from her uncle or brother, therefore I will definitely dismiss this horrible idea right away. But considering her autopsy, there were no lacerations, open wounds, so I don’t believe these blood stains belong to January 13th. But, of course, I’m not an expert. The way how the t-shirt was initially found looked like on the driver seat as pictured:

frontseat

None of the stains are visible from this position. Also, I can’t believe they haven’t tested DNA from this t-shirt (Only the blood was tested and it turned out to be Hae’s – OR Could it be her brother’s? Since they share the 50% of the DNA and this is his shirt in the first place?)

One more time, let’s get back to what happened to Hae that day.

Hae doesn’t have any defensive wounds although she is a very athletic girl. That shows that she didn’t see him coming. There is a strong possbility that he saw Hae going out of the car and situated himself in a way that he could have an easy and quick access to her but remain hidden. When Hae came back to her car with her keys, pager and wallet in her hands, didn’t know what to expect. Roy Davis hit her and knocked her out when he came face to face with her in the parking lot. If he had parked near her intentially, he could have quickly put her in the back seat without being seen. He takes her keys, wallet and the pager. Maybe they were worth some money?

Now it is bright day light, he is alone in the car with her. He is feeling the urge to sexually assault her but he is smart enough to know that he needs a secure place to do that. Also considering that he will redress the victim after the rape, he will need a bigger space than a car.

One of the reasons why I believe she was raped is, her missing shoes. In order to take off the pantyhose, Hae needs to take off the shoes. If this was a revenge or hatred murder, why are the shoes missing? Why would Adnan care about Hae’s shoes and wallet?

It has been reported that Davis lived in multiple different locations at that time, since he had a restraining order, he was not with his then-wife. So he could be anywhere, really. It is known that he lived close to Shamrock Ave and Woodgreen Circle in Baltimore. I tried to look at the possible homes he has from Google earth and see if they have a garage or park way. Some of them do have a parkway which would provide an easy access to home.

There are reasons for me to think that the rape and murder happened not somewhere open in public or secluded area: 1. Shoes are not found in the park 2. The pressure marks in the lividity shows that they cannot be made basically by rocks or leaves. Especially on snow. Therefore, Hae must have laid face down on a diamond shaped surface for at least 8 hours after her death. 3. If you take her to a park to rape, why not leave her in the first place in that location? The lividity shows that she was in a different location for 8 hours.

PRESSURE MARKS

I have been thinking about the pressure marks on Hae’s body since I first saw them. They look like this:

diamond
The picture is taken from Susan Simpson’s The View from LL2 Blog

I thought about all these possibilities below: diamond shaped seawage lids, car carpets and pavements:

But when I studied the marks closely, I saw that they must have been folded somehow. So they could not belong to a hard surface like concrete or iron. I think it is a blanket or a comforter (maybe a jacket,even) with a diamond design (or a thin car carpet) something like this, but not exactly:

Diamond-Blanket-Crochet-1

wintercoat

Let me explain with demonstration. I’m using a toilet paper here since it is easy to fold just like fabric:

pattern1pattern2

It is very likely that Hae was lying on a fabric surface which was crumbled up underneath her. There was also another pressure mark on her lower torso, and Susan Simpson explains this like this:

This pressure mark falls at the same level as the waist of Hae’s pantyhose, which had been twisted about; the pressure mark resulted from the constriction of the pantyhose where the waist had bunched due to twisting.

The location of this mark is significant in that it confirms that, when lividity fixed, the lower left side of the body’s abdomen was flat against whatever surface the body was resting on, causing blood to pool there. If lividity had fixed while the body was in the position in which it was found, no lividity could have developed in the lower left anterior of the torso. (Susan Simpson, from https://viewfromll2.com/2015/09/30/what-the-crime-scene-photographs-show/)”

If you ask me, this also shows that, after the assault, Hae was dressed right away. At least her pantyhose was on. I also believe that Davis took her shoes as thropies. Some killers (and almost every serial killer) keep an item of the woman which will remind him the incident later and cause him re-live the pleasure. Davis must have kept Jada’s underwear and wallet.

After the assault and strangulation, he left the body face down, tilted towards the front (not completely prallel to the flat surface) until it got dark outside. Like Clemente said, the more time you spend with the body, the more risk you take. In the dark, he took her to the burial site (maybe drank a whole bottle of brandy to get some courage), dragged her as far as he could by himself. It was cold and the ground was hard so he just buried her with the nearby dirt and stones, leaves. He left the scene with his own car. This is why the tire test results were inconclusive. Because they belonged to neither Hae’s nor Adnan’s car.

Look at this random witness, Mr. A’s testimony (taken from Susan Simpson’s viewfromLL2):

On the same evening that the printout was made, a man had walked into the Woodlawn police station to report that he had witnessed something he believed to be connected to Hae’s murder. The man — “Mr. A” — told the police that had seen suspicious activity while in Leakin Park, and that he “had heard of the recovery of a woman’s body in Leakin Park on the TV news and wanted to help.” The officers at the Woodlawn station called the Homicide Unit down in Baltimore, since the city now had jurisdiction over the offense. Detective Ritz and Sergeant Lehmann drove out to Woodlawn to talk to Mr. A, arriving at the station at 9:45 pm. According to Lehmann’s report of the interview, Mr. A told them that he had observed

a [young black  male] driving a light colored automobile while in Leakin Park . . . acting suspicious near the concrete barriers blocking southbound traffic onto Weatheredsville Road from Windsor Mill Road, which is approximately a mile from the site of the victim’s recovery.

Roy Davis was a black male, aged 45 (young in whose standards-pretty objective). We do not know his car’s color though. Although I tried to find it, my search didn’t yield any results.

HAE’S CAR

Jay allaegedly confessed where Hae’s car was and took the cops there on February 28th, 1999.

If you listen to Undisclosed Podcast Addendum 13, It talks about a very interesting police report.

The report dated February 9th and stamped on February 12th says: body found, offense is homicide, Nissan is still missing. There is also a page that is stamped on February 24th, the very last page, which reveals something very surprising.

There are solvability factors on this page. They are basically numbers telling the investigators how close they are to understand and find out about the related topic: Scale is from 0 to 12 and as the highest number in the scale, 12 means it solved itself. These numbers were all zero in all previous reports but now it seems like somethings had changed.

Six different factors involved and the report says:

A. Suspect : 12

B. Vehicle : 12

C. Physical evidence : 0

D. Stolen property : 4

E. Any MO present : 0

F. Whether this investigation can be solved in field level: 0

It means that both body and the vehicle were found before Jay’s confession.

I believe Hae’s car was found by the police, way before February 28. Either it was hotwired by a thief and found on Edgewood abandoned or it was hotwired by the police and removed from its original position to the current position, because it supported their theory better (cell phone pings, witness testimonies etc.) and why on earth they fixed the ignition collar but left the windshield wiper lever broken? Is it because, again, so that it would support their theory better?

According to Hae’s brother, the turn signal was broken – not the windshield wiper. We don’t know if this was an ongoing problem already in the car and Hae never got it fixed or it happened during the initial encounter with the killer – in my theory, Davis. it is really hard to tell at this point.

car
The red arrow shows where exactly Hae’s car was parked.

If Roy Davis was stupid enough to use Hae’s car and put himself in huge risk, he could have taken the car to 224 Edgewater St. Because there is one more weird coincidence to mention here. When he killed Jada Lambert, he called 911 to let them know about the body, he called from a pay phone located at 3900 Edmondson Ave, which is 10 minute walking distance from where Hae’s car was ditched (224 Edgewood St):

call and car
Red circle is where he made the phone call. Blue circle is where Hae’s car was found.

Also considering that even though he abducted her possibly somewhere around Owings Mills mall,  he buried jada very far from where he abducted her from. He buried her very close to his house on Shamrock Ave. So, habitually, we know that he doesn’t go very far from where he lives. Maybe he was staying at this neighborhood somewhere on January 13, 1999. Maybe he was staying at Edmondson Ave, which is very close to Leakin Park.

The similarities between the two cases, the motive, and the escalation in Roy Davis’ behavior after January 1999 all point towards the fact that he can be a much better suspect than Adnan has ever been.

Why Would Jen and Jay Lie?

I have a belief that both Jenn nd Jay were involved in drug trade. They might have crossed the line and might have gotten involved some serious trouble. That is why Jay was afraid of someone, like his co-worker testified. He was afraid that someone was going to come find him and hurt him and Stephanie. Those phone records that the cops pulled out showed this trade very clearly and the detectives scared them, threatened them so that both Jenn and Jay would collaborate their theory. In return, they wouldn’t have gotten any charges and maybe agot a protective deal in return. Jay had a family to look after to. They were both teenagers and scared. Detectives knew that this could be another serial killer case and they didn’t want to deal with a long, everlasting investigation. They wanted to close it, so pinned it on Adnan. All together.

A person’s past crimes don’t necessarily determine who those people are, but they give a pretty good idea, a general picture of that person. I would like you to draw your attention for a minute to these two friends’ criminal records. Do you see a pattern?

JAY W WILDS Criminal history:

Jan 27, 1999 Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest

June 1, 2001 Driving while license suspended, driving unregistered vehicle

July 12, 2001  Theft, less than $500 value

September 7, 2001  Drug Paraphernalia (Drug paraphernalia” is a term, to denote any equipment, product or accessory that is modified for making, using, or concealing drugs, typically for recreational purposes. … Paraphernalia generally falls into two categories: user-specific products and dealer-specific products.)

April 3, 2003, Posession of marijuana

September 17, 2003  Assault, second degree

Aug 4, 2008 Posession of marijuana

June 19, 2009, Posession of marijuana

Nov 8, 2009  Assault Second Degree

Nov 10, 2010 Posession of marijuana

JENN’s Criminal Record:

Aug 17 2000 Burglary -4th Degree/Tools + Posession of marijuana

Dec 8 2000 Theft $300 plus value, unlawful motor vehicle taking

Jan 27 2008 Posession of marijuana

Apr 1 2008 Posession of marijuana

Jan 31 , 2012 Posession of marijuana

February 15, 2012 Posession of marijuana

Feb 21 2012 Posession of drug, distribution/Manifacturing – Con

March 16, 2012 Posession of marijuana

Aug 16, 2014 Posession of marijuana

These are the ones that they only got ‘caught’ doing things. A life that is full off drug problems, troubles with the police. From all these records, it is not hard to guess that this couple  was at the beginning of a very big Marijuana or maybe drug trade and the police figured it out. The cops must have used this against them. Maybe this is why only Jennifer and Jay were interviewed at the station. Not Aisha, Asia, Krista or Debbie, or not even Don, who was Hae’s then boyfriend.

Understandibly, coming from a tough background, maybe Jay and Jenn felt obligated to play along. They didn’t want to go to jail. They didn’t want to get their family involved.

Now this is where Jay is living now (Of course, he moved to CA)

Jays living

And this is where Adnan is living:

adnan's living

Justice?…

IMPORTANCE OF ‘MO’ – Modus Operandi

[Latin, Method of working.] A term used by law enforcement authorities to describe the particular manner in which a crime is committed. It is widely used by profilers and investigators in order to link the crime to the possible criminal. Every criminal has a different MO, due to their psychological or physical conditions, upbringing or their personalities. Since we are all creatures of habit, the criminals tend to commit each crime either the same or a very similar way, since he did it before and it worked. OR they do it that way, because they can’t help it.

Jada Lambert and Hae Min Lee cases cannot be just a coincidence. Because it would be a HUGE coincidence to have two similar MOs in the same neighborhood, in the same year. Let me explain what I mean. Please read this article about a real unsolved crime in Maryland (all the news pieces I use here are from MD), or skim it and tell me if it fits Davis’ MO:

NOTDAVIS

The victim is 17-22, the description kind of sounds like it is close to Jada’s description. She was strangled, she was fully clothed, had no wallet, no identification.

So can this be Davis?

I don’t think so. We need to also look at the location and how body was left behind. no concealment and it is right next to the road.

This is probably not Davis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about this one:

13maert2000

Could this be Davis?

The young woman goes to the back of her car to put something in the car and then he comes, chokes her till she passes out, rapes her and leaves.

5 feet 10 inches, medium build fits Davis’ description.

Can he be Davis?

No. Where did the ski mask come from? It is a characteristics that Davis never showed before. He never hid his face, and yet he attacked in daylight. But this person wore a ski mask so that the woman wouldn’t recognize her.

Also, he didn’t hit her in the head.

Different MO.

 

This is the final one I want to discuss:

stabbed

Could this be Davis?

Thinking that he is more of a burglar than a murderer, it is highly likely that he entered multiple homes and stole from them. Maybe one night, something went wrong, he got caught and he killed.

Could this be Davis?

Now, we know that he has a gun and some charges were filed against him due to assault with a gun. But the victim’s age doesn’t fit to his MO. Also apparently she was beaten up. This doesn’t fit his MO, etiher.

 

 

 

I swear, starting from 1975 until 2000 I searched all the Baltimore Sun archieves. I used the words like ‘dead’  ‘found dead’ ‘homicide’ ‘murder’ ‘rape’.But I did not find one case that fits Jada Lambert’s case the best, except Hae’s. This by itself even should be a good enough reason to raise suspicion and look for Davis’ DNA in Hae’s belongings.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BURGLARY AND RAPE

Before I finish here, I would like to talk about a very interesting article I have read recently: “Sexual Burglaries and Sexual homicide: Clinical, Forensic, and Investigative Considerations” by Louis B. Schlesinger, PhD, and Eugene Revitch, MD. Such a great read!

As you know Roy Sharonnie Davis was an experienced burglar, and so was Ronald Lee Moore. But they also raped. Especially Moore’s sexual assault had included unusual behavior because he used a cattle prod.

So, the paper says that whereas the most burglaries are material gain oriented, there is a subgroup of burglaries are sexual based. The authors talk about the 2 types of sexual burglaries:

  1. Fetish burglaries with overt sexual dynamics
  2. Voyeuristic burglaries, in which the sexual element is often covert and far more subtle.

Many forensic practitioners also argue the strong relationship between the burglaries and sexual homicide.

The more the offenses are compelling and without logic, the more likely they are sexually motivated (Revitch E: Sexually motivated burglaries, Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law 6:277-83, 1978). Guttmacher, in his 1963 paper states that ” Burglary, assault and cutting cases often have a sexual origin (p.382). In his study, among 36 dangerous aggresive sex offenders, only 1 of them had a history of exhibitionism, while 8 of them had history of burglary, Another research on 43 men who made serious attacks on women, including beating, choking, knifing and nine murders. Only 3 offenders had a history of sexual offenses while 12 had a record of burglary. Those 4 of 12 burglaries were combined with assault on the female occupant.

Burglaries and Sexual Homicide

Forensic clinicians have made the conclusion after observations that many sexual murderers often exhibit  a history of burglary.

Type 1: Fetish Burglaries – Overt  (Shown openly) Sexual Dynamics

The burglaries in which the articles of women’s clothing, rather than jewelery or other items of marketable value, are stolen. Ressler and Shachman explains this in their 1997 article that the burglars take these for autoerotic purposes (p.8).

It talks about this interesting real case in which the burglar is ‘black leather’ fetish and he robs the women, rapes them, sometimes murders them and keeps their black leather article. If he can’t find one, he steals some insignificant item such as toothpaste.

Type 2: Voyeuristic Burglaries – Covert (Not openly displayed) Sexual Dynamics

Voyeuristic means relating to or denoting sexual pleasure gained from watching others when they are naked, taking off their clothes or engaged in sexual activity. It also means deriving or relating to enjoyment from seeing the pain or distress of others.

Here, the sexual dynamics are not as obvious as in fetish burglary. They go, look around, steal, but definitely go and watch the women in bed. They might attack her or not. The Boston Strangler had a history of voyeuristic burglaries before and during his killing of 12 women during an 18-month period:

There is a very interesting case of a voyeuristic burglary which is very similar to Ronald Lee Moore’s assault on Annelise Hyang Suk Lee. B.B. broke into a home, where he found a woman in her bedroom. He gagged her, tied her up, and dragged her down the stairs. He sexually assaulted her, twisting her breasts and inserting various objects, including a toothbrush (it was a cattle prod in Moore’s case) into her vagina. After torturing her for hours, he drove her around in his car and dumped her in a local park. It is unclear why he chose to drive her around, while he had just left his 2 previous victims dead in their beds.

Conclusion:

Revitch and Schlesinger’s 1981 and1989 studies indicate that if you see these signs together with sexual burglary, it might most likely indicate a sexual homicide: expression of fear, hatred or contempt of women (Please remember Roy Davis’ restraining order from his wife) violence against animals, especially cats; moral preoccupation and moral guilt (The reason he called the police himself to tell them the location of the body in Jada Lambert’s murder shows guilt) ; confusion of sexual identity; and generalized misogynous (who shows a strong dislike for women, or who acts in a way that negatively affects women in particular) emotions.

Burglaries committed solo and under bizarre circumstances (daylight burglary or rape, stealing minimal value items like in Roy Davis’ case) in which material gain is minimal or rationalized, often have a strong sexual motivation. Fetish burglars frequently start by stealing the fetishistic object and then progress to break-ins and in some cases sexual assault or murder. In these cases, sexual dynamics are overt, because the fetish item is typically female underwear or personal effects such as handkerchiefs, stocking, shoes or gloves (Like Davis stole Jada’s panties and Hae’s shoes).

Roy Davis fits into type 1 ,  fetish burglaries and Ronal Lee Moore fits into type 2.

Final Words

  1. During December 1998 and January 1999, Adnan’s attention was all on Nisha. You can tell from call logs and Hae’s Diary. Besides, the reason Adnan got the cell phone was to call Nisha. She was the first person Adnan called to give his new number. Hae was the last person he called taht night.Additionally, Adnan was nice to Don when they met, he even joked about it with Hae about her relationship with Don, in his own testimony Don said that Adnan was nice to him. If a guy is controlling and obsessed, he would have been jealous and outrageous towards the new boyfriend and he would have thought about Hae first when he got her cell. He didn’t know we were going to look at his phone records later, right? We are very predictable creatures. Our behaviors tell what we are thinking at that time.
  2. One thing I noticed that Adnan never called Jay when Hae’s body was found by the cops. If they were in this together, wouldn’t you subconsciously call Jay and say ‘Hey dude, have you heard the news? They found her body. Keep your mouth shut!’ etc. Jay’s number then was (missing the last 2 digits): 410 788 84 —  This is the call log from Adnan’s phone. February 9th was when Hae’s body was found and her friends learned the terrible news on the 10th. Jay’s phone number is not there.nojaysnumber
  3. Jay started spreading rumors about how Adnan killed Hae and he helped him bury the body right after his arrest on January 27th.
  4. Jay was scared of someone or some people. I believe these were drug cartels who were suspicious about detectives questioning Jay and they were threatening him about not to talk.
  5. If you want to kill someone, you would do it alone. Why would you ask someone who is not even your best friend to help? Thinking that Jay didn’t help much at all, Adnan really didn’t need him. The grave(!) was so shallow, it is more like a depression. Also Hae had drag marks in her back. If two people carried her, she wouldn’t have had those. Adnan could basically get dropped off to school by Jay and after he killed her (!) he could tell Jay to pick him up from Best Buy and give him a ride to the track practice. Then when he got his car back, he could go to Leaking park by himself and bury her. Why would he need Jay? Why would you risk yourself by telling someone you don’t even know very well.
  6. MO of Roy Davis is too good of a fit for this case. If the rape could have been proved, this would have turned out to be a very different case.
  7. No victimology has been done in this investigation: We didn’t know who Hae was talking in chat rooms, we didn’t know where she usually stopped or  could possibly stop on the route to the day care. We don’t know if that turning signal was broken before or not. Her floppy disks and PC were never searched.
  8. Cell phone evidence is rubbish, no DNA was tested, no incoming calls are investigated and Hae’s pager records were never asked for.
  9. The car was probably found before Jay allegedly told cops where it was and this is really fishy.
  10. If you listen to Undisclosed, you will here about ‘tap taps’. These are the sounds you hear in the middle of the witness interviews. Especially Jay’s. They are stopping the recording and starting it again. Before the tap tap sounds, there is a question from the detective. Then Jay seems a little confused. Then ‘tap tap’ sounds are heard. Then suddenly Jay remembers everything and starts speaking. In one of the interviews the detective asks “Why didn’t you call anonymously to tip about Adnan if you felt guilty?” Jay was confused again. After a lot of ‘uummms…’ he said: ‘Could you stop that for a second? (Meaning the recorder) and the detective saves the moment by saying “You can tell me whatever you want to say on the tape”  and he gets even more confused and he keeps mumbling, can’t find what to say. This tells me that Jay was aware of the fact that the recorder could be stopped because that happened before obviously. Since the detective cannot go back (probably there is not enough technology then at the station) and erase that question, he continued as if he didn’t understand what Jay meant and encouraged (!) him to continue talking on record. But Jay struggled and couldn’t give a solid answer.
  11. Another weird behavior of Jay: When Srah Koenig visited him in his CA home, he told them: “If he didn’t do it, then who did?” This tells me 2 things: 1. He really doesn’t know who killed Hae and he was afraid that Sarah has evidence against his testimony. he wanted to check if Sarah had evidence indicating another suspect. 2. He doesn’t know who killed Hae. But the police made him believe Adnan is most likely the killer. By helping the cops, he will be doing a good thing for both Hae and for himself. Yet still to this day, he really actually doesn’t know the truth and he doesn’t care.
  12. The only times teenagers kills are: 1. when they were severely abused or neglected in their childhood, 2. when they are mentally ill such as psychopathy, schizophrenia or personality disorders. 3. when they were loners in school. None of these match Adnan Syed’s profile.

 

Hae deserves justice.

Adnan deserves justice.

The justice system owes Hae her real killer.

adnanhae2
Adnan and Hae

 

 

 

Posted in Learning English

How to Explain English Grammar Easily

I have always believed English is an absolutely amazing language but also a very challenging one. It is my second language and I started learning it when I was 13. After living in the US for 4-5 months, I was fluent in speaking. But now, having spent more than 8 years in the US, I feel as if English is my native language. I’ve taught English for almost 7 years and I’ve developed some techniques myself while teaching. I would like to share them here with you. I think these techniques will help you better understand the basic concepts of English grammar.

But first, there are certain things that you need to pay attention to while learning English:

  1. Do not compare one skill to another. If you are speaking fluently, but making a lot of grammatical mistakes, that is not OK. Just because people understand what you mean doesn’t mean that you are good at English. You need to be equally good at writing, speaking, and listening. You also have to be good at vocabulary and grammar.
  2. You need to be patient. You cannot learn English in 2 weeks or 2 months. Learning a language requires a lot of attention and practice. But you improve it day by day. How fast you will learn totally depends on the effort and time you put in.
  3. Pay attention to exceptions. English language has a lot of exceptions and you need to learn them one by one.
  4. Pay attention to phonetics. English language is not pronounced as the way it is spelled. One vowel might have three different sounds or vowels can come together or in arrangement with certain consonants to make different sounds. You need to learn them.
  5. Involve English in your daily life. Either get a native friend to practice with, listen to English music all the time and try to get the meaning of the lyrics, watch English shows with English subtitles, Youtube videos, TED Talks, etc. Among my students, the ones who exposed themselves to English more in their daily lives succeeded way faster in learning English.

I believe that English as a Second Language learners have the common problems in following topics mostly:

  • Prepositions (e.g. in/on/at)
  • Phrasal Verbs
  • Gerund and Infinitive
  • Irregular Verbs
  • Perfect Tenses
  • Future Tenses
  • Conditional Sentences (If/Unless)
  • Collocations (For example: tell a lie – not say a lie or fast food not quick food, etc.)
  • Inversions (Not only had I been to the wedding, but also I gave the groom a gift)
  • Exceptions (e.g. Why if I ‘were’ you, not ‘was’?)

In this blog post I will give you tips so that learning (or teaching) these topics won’t be -hopefully- a pain anymore.

Before I explain anything here, I would like to tell you that my style in teaching has always been by introducing ‘Pairs’. Human brain can compare two things very easily but when the number increases to 3, things start to get complicated. Also, introducing a definition and giving an example is always a good start when introducing a new concept, but in order to solidify it, we need to compare it with a similar thing. This is how our brain works. It ‘compares’.

Some of the good ‘comparative pairs’ can be listed as follows: 

  • Present Perfect – Past Simple
  • Present Perfect- Present Perfect Continuous
  • Past Simple – Past Perfect
  • Past Perfect – Past Perfect Continuous
  • will – going to
  • do-make
  • do – go (do yoga – go running)
  • gerund – infinitive
  • when – while
  • if – unless
  • although/even though – Despite/in spite of
  • passives with one object, passives with more than one object
  • 1st conditional – zero conditional difference
  • 1st conditional – 2nd conditional difference
  • 2nd conditional – 3rd conditional difference
  • Moreover/Besides – However/Nonetheless
  • to/for
  • since/for

How to Teach With Comparative Pairs

When you present two familiar concepts next to each other and compare them, this will create a reference point, which will make the learner’s brain make correlations and learn the concept more quickly.

PP ve PP difference

Let me give you some examples that I prepared myself:

Intro

Past or PP

PP ve PPC difference

pp or ppc intro

asil pp or ppc

will intro

will or going to

make or do intro

do or make

pp intro

prepositions

How to Learn Irregular Verbs and Phrasal Verbs

  1. Technique for Irregular Verbs: 

English learners need to memorize irregular verbs’ present (V1), past (V2) and past participle (V3)  forms. My piece of advice is to study the similar looking/sounding ones together. Here is an example:

irregular verbs2. Technique for Phrasal Verbs:

Again, studying them in similar meaning groups will help you to remember when you use them in a sentence. Unfortunately, not all the phrasal verbs make sense in terms of the meaning of the preposition, but, most of them do 🙂

phrasal verbs

I hope you find these techniques helpful! Please share your opinions in the comment section. If you want me to put more interesting ideas up, please let me know.

– Ece

Posted in books

SAPIENS

Valla bu kitabi o kadar begendim ki, ozetini yazarken kitabi yeniden yazdigimi farkettim! Biraz uzun oldu o yuzden soyle kisa bir icindekiler yapayim, siz ilgilendiginiz kisima atlamakta ozgursunuz:

  1. GIRIS: Insan irki’na giris
  2. ANATOMIK DEGISIMLER: Beyin’in, sinir aglari’nin, dogum kanali’nin evrimi
  3. NEDEN SOSYALIZ: Evrimde yatan sir
  4. GIDEREK ACIMASIZLASAN INSAN: Nasil cevreye, hayvanlara bu kadar duyarsiz hale geldik? Neden bugun birbirimizi olduruyoruz?
  5. KURGU GUCU: Insani diger memelilerden ayiran onemli bir ozellik
  6. YASASIN AVCI TOPLAYICI ZAMANLARIMIZ KAHROLSUN TARIMA GECIS
  7. HOMOSAPIENS: EKOLOJIK SERI KATIL
  8. TARIM DEVRIMI: TARIHIN EN BUYUK ALDATMACASI: Daha cok calisip daha kotu beslenen, guvenlik sorunu yasayan, alana saplanip ona muhtac kalan bir irka donusmek. Ama neden?
  9. EVCILLESTIRME: Bilinen ilk ‘evcil’ bugday ve hayvanlari evcillestirme sureci nasil gelisti? Zalim teknikler…
  10. TARIMA GECIS ‘BIZIM’ KULTURUMUZE BAKIS ACIMIZI DEGISTIRDI: Hem de nasil!
  11. BU KADAR FARKLI OLMAMIZA RAGMEN ‘ISBIRLIGI’NI NASIL SAGLIYORUZ?
  12. HAYALI DUZEN ISTEKLERIMIZI NASIL SEKILLENDIRIYOR?: Milletler, para ve din
  13. HAYALI HIYERARSILER: Kadin-erkek, irk kast ustunlugu vs. neden var?
  14. PARA: Nasil basladi, nasil gidiyor
  15. DIN: Neden?
  16. ASLINDA SAPIENS EN BARISCIL CAGINDA, UZULMEYIN! : Yazardan iyimser bir yaklasim
  17. MUTLU MU SAPIENS?: Bu kadar seyi bir amac icin yapiyor olmali Sapiens irki, peki amac mutlu olmak mi?
  18. SON SOZ

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1. GIRIS

Tarihin akisini 3 onemli devrim sekillendirdi:

  1. Yaklasik 70 bin yil once baslayan Bilissel Devrim
  2. 12 bin yil once bunu hizlandiran Tarim Devrimi
  3. 500 yil once baslayan Bilimsel Devrim

Bu kitap, bu uc devrimin insanlari ve diger organizmalari nasil etkilediginin hikayesini anlatiyor.

Yalnizca 6 milyon yil once, tek bir disi maymunun iki kizi oldu. Bunlardan biri tum sempanzelerin atasi olurken, digeri de bizim buyukannemiz oldu.

Insanlar ilk olarak 2.5 milyon yil once Dogu afrika’da, “Guney Maymunu” anlamina gelen Australopithecus adi verilen bir maymun cinsinden evrimlesti.

Avrupa ve bati Asya’daki insanlar cogunlukla “Neandertaller” olarak adlandirilan Homo neandertalensis’e evrildiler. Asya’nin daha dogu bolgeleri “Dik Adam” anlamina gelen Homo erectus tarafindan mesken tutulmustu. Endinezya’daki Java adasinda  tropic yasama uygun Homo soloensis, denizlerin yukselmesi dolayisiyla yasanan kitliktan giderek cuce boyutlara evrilen Homo floresiensis olmuslardir.

human evrimi

Dogu Afrikada’ki evrim de durmadi. Insanligin besigi “Rudolg Golu Insani” anlamina gelen Homo rudolfensis, “Caliskan insan” Homo ergaster ve hic de alcak gonullu davranmayarak “Zeki insan” adini verdigimiz turumuz Homo sapiens gibi pek cok ture ev sahipligi yapti.

Yaklasik 2 milyon yil onceden 10 bin yil oncesine kadar dunya ayni anda pek cok insan turune ev sahipligi yapmistir.

2. ANATOMIK DEGISIMLER

Insanlarin diger hayvanlara kiyasla olaganustu buyuk beyinleri vardir. 60 kilogram agirligindaki memelilerin ortalama beyin hacmi 200 santimetre kuptur. En erken erkek ve kadinin, 2,5 milyon yil once beyinleri yaklasik 600 santimetre kuptu. Modern Sapiens’in ortalama beyniyse 1200-1400 santimetre kuptur. Neandertal beyni ise daha da buyuktu.

Ates beynimizi buyuttu…

Atesin en onemli katkisi pisirmekti. Insanlarin normalde sindiremedikleri – bugday, pirinc ve patates gibi – yiyecekler, pisirebilme becerisi sayesinde su anda beslenmemizin temelini olusturuyor.

Ates besinlerin kimyasini degistirmekle kalmadi, onlarin biyolojisini de degistirdi. Pisirmek, gidalarda bulunan parazit ve mikroplari yok ettigi gibi, insanlarin eskiden beri cok sevdigi meyve, kabuklu yemis, bocek ve lesler pisirildiklerinde daha rahat cignenip sindirilebiliyordu. Sempanzeler gunlerinin 5 saatini cig besinleri cignemeye harcarken, insanlarin pismis besinleri yemeleri icin 1 saat yeterli oluyordu.

Uzun bagirsaklar ve buyuk beyinler cok ciddi enerji tukettiklerinden, ikisine birden ayni anda sahip olmak cok zordur. Yiyecekleri pisirme, bagirsaklari kisaltip enerji tuketimini azaltarak, Neandertallerin ve Sapiens’in devasa beyinlerinin onunu acti.

Bununla ilgili cok guzel bir TED talk izlemistim ben. Isterseniz siz de bir goz atin:

Arkaik insanlar genis beyinlerinin bedelini iki sekilde odediler:

  1. Birincisi, gida ararken daha cabuk zaman harcadilar.
  2. Ikincisi, kaslari koreldi. Savunmadan egitime para aktaran bir yonetim gibi, insanlar bisepslerden noronlara enerji aktardilar.

Ellerimiz daha cok is yapabildikce, ellerin sahipleri de daha basarili hale geldiler, dolayisiyla evrimsel baski avuclarda ve parmaklarda daha yogun bir sinir agi ve kaslarin gelismesini sagladi.

brain evolution

Kadinlar daha da fazlasini  odemek zorunda kaldi. Dik bir durus daha dar kalcalar demekti ve bu da dogum kanalini daraltiyordu, ustelik ayni anda bebeklerin de beyni giderek buyuyordu. Zamanla erken dogum yapan kadinlar daha cok hayatta kaldilar ve daha cok cocuk sahibi oldular; dogal secilim bu sekilde erken dogumlara hayatta kalma sansi verdi. Boylelikle insanlar, diger hayvanlara kiyasla pek cok hayati oneme sahip sistemleri henuz tam olarak gelismemisken erken dogar hale geldiler. Bir tay dogumdan kisa bir sure sonra yuruyebilir, bir yavru kediyi bir kac haftalikken annesi yemek arayisina cikarak onu yalniz birakabilir. Insanlarin bebekleriyse yillarca bakim, yardim, koruma ve egitim icin buyuklere muhtactir.

3. NEDEN SOSYALIZ?

Bir cocuk buyutmek, ailenin diger uyelerinden ve kommsulardan surekli yardim almayi gerektirir, bu yuzden bir insani buyutmek icin butun kabileye ihtiyac vardir. Evrim boylelikle, guclu sosyal baglar kurabilenleri desteklemistir. Buna ek olarak, insanlar az gelismis olarak dogduklarindan diger tum hayvanlardan daha cok egitilebilir ve daha cok sosyal iliski kurabilirler.

4. GIDEREK ACIMASIZLASAN INSAN

1 milyon yil once yasayan insanlar, buyuk beyinlerine ve sivri taslara ragmen avci hayvanlardan korkarak , nadiren buyuk hayvanlar avlayarak yasadilar ve hayatta kalmalari bitki toplayarak, bocek yiyerek, kucuk hayvanlari avlayarak ve daha guclu hayvanlarin biraktigi lesleri yiyerek mumkun olabildi.

Ancak 400 bin yil once cesitli insan turleri buyuk av hayvanlarini avlamaya basladi ve ancak yuz bin yil once Homo Sapiens’in ortaya cikisiyla, insan besin zincirinde yukari zipladi.

energy-pyramid

Bu zincirde, orta siralardan yukariya dogru atilan bu buyuk adimin cok onemli sonuclari oldu. Piramidin tepesindeki aslan ve kopekbaligi gibi diger hayvanlar, bu pozisyona kademeli olarak milyonlaarca yil icinde yukselmisti. Bu yavas gecis, ekosistemin cesitli denge ve kontrol mekanizmalari ureterek , aslanlarin ve kopekbaliklarinin ortalikta teror estirmelerini engelledi. Aslanlar daha olumcul oldukca ceylanlar da daha hizli kosmaya, sirtlanlar daha iyi is birligi yapmaya, gergedanlar daha saldirgin olmaya basladi. Buna karsin, insan tepeye o kadar hizli cikti ki, ekosistemin gerekli ayarlamayi yapacak vakti olamadi, ve buna ek olarak insanlar da bu degisime ayak uyduramadi.

Daha yakin zamana kadar savanadaki orta halli yaratiklar oldugumuz icin hala korku ve endiselerle doluyuz, ve bu da bizi fazlasiyla zalim ve tehlikeli kiliyor.

maxresdefault
Vietnam savasindan bir kare. Insanoglu ne zaman bu kadar zalim oldu?

5. ‘KURGU’ GUCU, HAYVANLAR ALEMINDE BIZE HAS

Bildigimiz kadariyla sadece Sapiens hic gormedigi, dokunmadigi ve koklamadigi varliklar hakkinda konusabiliyor. Kurgular hakkinda konusabilme becerisi, Sapiens dilinin en ozgun yanidir. Ote yandan kurgu, sadece birseyleri hayal edebilmemizi degil, bunlari kolektif olarak yapmamizi da sagladi. Ortak mitler yaratiyoruz ve bu mitler Sapiens’s buyuk gruplar halinde esnek bir isbirligi yapabilme becerisi veriyor.

Sosyolojik arastirmalar dedikodu sayesinde birarada durabilen ‘dogal’ bir grubun sinirinin 150 kisi oldugunu gostermistir. Grup bundan buyuk oldugunda cogu kisi digerlerini ne yakindan taniyabilir ne de etkili bir sekilde dedikodu yapabilir (Blog yazari notu: O yuzden benim Facebook’umda yer alan 1800 arkadasim ‘dogal’ bir grup olusturmuyor 🙂 )

6. YASASIN AVCI TOPLAYICI ZAMANLARIMIZ KAHROLSUN TARIMA GECIS

Yazar neredeyse tum kitap boyunca tarim donemine gecisin ne kadar talihsiz bir karar oldugunu, insanlara geri adim attirdigini kanitlamaya calisiyor.

Bizim beynimiz hala aslinda avci toplayici zamanlar gibi dusunuyor. mesela baska bir kitapta okumustum: Baktigimiz yerlerde hemen yuze benzer sekilller farketme (mesela ay uzerinde veya elektrik outletinde) avci zamanlarimizda calilar arasinda av yuzu aramamizdan, ya da kaplan vs den korunmak amaciyla surekli etrafta bir yuz arayisimizdan gelir. Yuksek ve tiz sesler neden bizi cok rahatsiz eder? Mesela itfaiye ve ambulans, tahtaya yazan tebesir ya da mikrofondan cikan tiz ses. Cunku bir teoriye gore bebek aglama sesi oldukca tiz ve beynimiz bir anda ‘bir seylerin tehlikede olmasi’ hissi yaratiyor, tipki aglayan bir bebekteki gibi. Bir de bugun ki karbonhidrat ve seker zaafimiz. Avci toplayicilar surekli hareket halinde olduklarindan fazlasiyla enerjiye ihtiyac duyarlardi ve ucsuz bucaksiz yaylalarda, ormanlarda yururken ne zaman bir besin bulacaklarini bilmeleri imkansizdi. O yuzden bir incir agacina rast gelirlerse, tum agactaki meyveleri yerlerdi. Beynimizin karbonhidrat ve seker yedikce iyi hissetmeye evrilmesi beynin vucudu gelecekte olasi acliga karsi kurtarma cabasindan baska bir sey degil. Amma velakin beynimiz biraz geride, avci toplayici saniyor hala bizi.

Bunun nedeni, turumuzun tarihin neredesyse tamami boyunca avci toplayici olmasi. Besin ihtiyacimizi sehirlerde yasayarak kazandigimiz son 200 yil, cogu sapiens’in ciftci olarak yasadigi ondan onceki 10 bin yil, atalarimizin avcilik ve toplayicilik yaparak gecirdigi on binlerce yilin yaninda goz acip kapama suresidir.

Bugunku pek cok sosyal ve psikolojik ozelligimizin bu tarim oncesi cok uzun donemde olustugu one surulmektedir. Su anda sahip oldugumuz ortam bize onceki nesillerin sahip oldugundan cok daha fazla fiziksel kaynak ve uzun omur saglarken, bir yandan da siklikla yabancilasmis, depresif ve baski altinda hissettirmektedir. Bunun icin evrim psikologlarinin tavsiyesi bizi sekillendiren  avci toplayici donemi anlamak.

Tas Devri aslinda Tahta Devri olarak adlandirilmalidir, cunku bu donemde avci toplayicilar tarafindan yapilan aletlerin cogu tahtadan yapilmistir.

Avci Toplayici…

Insanlarinin buyuk cogunlugu bir kac duzine ya da en fazla bir kac yuz bireyden olusan kamplarda yasarlardi ve aralarinda hic hayvan yoktu. Kopek haric. Insanoglu’nun avci toplayiciyken ilk evcillestirdigi hayvan kopekti. 15 bin yillik bag, insanlarla kopekler arasinda insanlarka diger hayvanlar arasindakinden cok daha derin bir yakinlik ve karsilikli anlasma yaratti.

dogs
By Ed Yong, The Atlantic, June 2, 2016

Avci toplayicilarda mahremiyet ve yalnizlik yoktu. Arada biraraya gelseler de zamanlarinin cogunu birbirlerinden ayri disarda avlanarak gecirdiler. Sosyopolitik ilskiler duzensizdi, yerlesik sehirler yoktu. Sapiens genis alanlara cok seyrek bir bicimde yayilmisti. Tarim devrimi’nden once tum gezegendeki Sapiens sayisi Istanbul nufusundan azdi.

Tarim Devri ve Sonrasi  Avci Toplayici doneme kiyasla neden kotu?

Birey olarak bakildiginda avci toplayicilar tarihteki en becerikli ve bilgili insanlardi. : O donemde hayatta kalabilmek herkesin muhtesem zihinsel becerilere sahip olmasini gerektirirdi. Tarim ve sanayi ortaya cikinca insanlar hayatta kalabilmek icin giderek diger insanlarin becerilerine daha fazla guvendiler ve ’embesiller icin yeni firsatlar’ ortaya cikti. Uretim bandinda calisan bir isci olarak, siradisi olmayan genlerinizle hayatta kalabilir ve bunlari bir sonraki nesile aktarabilirsiniz.

Lutfen su kisa filme bir bakin, geldigimiz noktayi guzel anlatiyor:

Fosillesmis iskeletlerden elde edilen bulgular gosteriyorki eski avci toplayicilar aclik ve yetersiz beslenme sikintilarini kendilerinden sonra gelen koylulerden daha az cektiler, ayrica genellikle daha saglikli ve daha uzun boylu olduklari goruluyor.

Avci toplayicilarinin basarisinin sirri yiyeceklerinin cesitli olmasiydi. Ciftcilerse genellikle sinirli ve dengesiz beslenirler. Ozellikle modern oncesi caglarda tarim nufusunun aldigi kalorinin onemli kismi tek bir urunden gekirdi (bugday, patates ve pirinc gibi) ve bunlar da insanlarin ihtiyaci olan vitamin mineral ve diger besleyici seyler acisindan zayiftir.

cav-1-500x234

Ayrica, tarim topluluklari kuraklik, yangin veya depremler, yillik pirinc veya patates hasadini yok ettiginde mahvolurlardi.

Tarim ve Sanayi toplumlarini etkileyen bulasici hastaliklarin cogu (tuberkuloz, cicek ve kizamik gibi) evcil hayvanlarda ortaya cikmis ve insanlara Tarim Devrimi’nden sonra bulasmistir. Avci toplayicilar ise dogayi kucuk gruplar halinde gezerdi ve bu durum salginlarin surmesine engel olurdu.

Cogu arastirmaci animist inanclarin eski avci toplayicilarda yaygin oldugu konusunda birlesir. Animizm (Latince ruh anlamina gelen ‘anima’ dan) temel olarak yerin, her hayvanin, her bitkinin ve her doga olayinin farkindaligi ve hisleri olduguna ve insanlarla dogrudan iletisim kurdugu fikrine dayanir. Insanlarla diger varliklar arasinda bir fark olmadigi gibi bir hiyerarsi de yoktu. insan disi varliklar sadece insanin ihtiyacini gidermek icin degillerdi. dunyayi istedikleri gibi yoneten sonsuz guc sahibi tanrilar da yoktu. Dunya insanlarin ya da baska bir yaratigin etrafinda donmuyordu.

Modern oncesi tarim toplumlari teistti. Teizm (Yunanca tanri anlaminda ‘theos’ tan) evrensel duzenin insanlar ve ruhani varlik olan tanrilar arasindaki hiyerarsik iliski uzerine kurulu olduguna inanir.

7. HOMOSAPIENS: EKOLOJIK SERI KATIL

Insanlarin Avustralya’ya ilk seyahati tarihteki en onemli olaylardan biridir ve en az Kolomb’un Amerika’ya seyahati veya Apollo 11’in Ay’a gidisi kadar onemlidir. Ilk avci toplayicinin Avustralya sahillerine ayak bastigi an, Homo Sapiens’in ilk kez belirli bir kara parcasinda besin zincirinn en ustune tirmandigi ve artik dunyanin en tehlikeli hayvanlarindan biri halie geldigi andir.

Bir kac bin yil icerisinde neredeyse tum dev turler yokoldu. 50 kilogramdam daha agir 24 Avustralya turunun 23’u bugun yok (Asagidaki resimlemeler Avustralya Muzesi’nden alintidir).

Afrika ve Asya’nin buyuk hayvanlari insanlardan kacmayi ogrenmisti. Bu yuzden buyuk avci Homo Sapiens bu kitalarda oraya ciktiginda bu hayvanlar insana benzer yaratiklardan uzak durmalari gerektiginin farkindaydi. Buna karsin, Avustralya devlerinin kacmayi ogrenecek zamanlari yoktu.

Homo Sapiens, Kuzey Amerika’yi ele gecirdigi ilk 2 bin yil icinde memeli cinslerinin 47’sinden 34’unu kaybetti. Guney Amerika’da 60’tan 50’sini. Kilic disli kediler 30 milyon yil boyunca yasadiktan sonra yokoldular, tipki dev tembel hayvanlar, asiri buyuk aslanlar, Amerika’nin yerli atlari, yerli develeri, dev kemirgenleri ve mamutlari gibi.

Ne kadar cok turu ortadan kaldirmis oldugumuzu bilseydik, hala hayatta kalanlari korumak icin daha istekli olurduk.

Avustralya da cok koala olmasinin sirri…

45 bin yil once Avustralya’da okaliptus bitkisi nadir bulunurdu. Fakat Homo Sapiens‘in gelisi, bu tur icin altin bir cag baslatti. Okaliptusler yangina cok dayanikli oldugundan (Kokleri oyle, aslinda okaliptus cok cabuk alev alir) , diger agaclar ve calilar yok olurken okaliptusler genis alanlara yayildi. Bitki ortusundeki bu degisim bitki yiyen hayvanlarda ve otcullari yiyen etcillerde degisiklige yol acti. Neredeyse sadece okaliptus yapragi yiyen koalalar yeni topraklara dogru keyifle yayildi.

8. TARIM DEVRIMI: TARIHIN EN BUYUK ALDATMACASI

Eger zihinlerimiz eski avci toplayici zihni diyorsak, mutfagimiz da eski ciftcilerin mutfagidir.

Peki tarim devrimleri Ortadogu, Cin ve Orta Amerika’da ortaya cikti da Avustralya, Alaska veya Guney Afrika’da ortaya cikmadi? Sorunun cevabi cok basit: cunku cogu hayvan ve bitki turu evcillestirilemez. Sapiens lezzetli mantarlari toplayip yunlu mamutlari avlayabilir ama bunlari evcillestirmek soz konusu bile degildir. Mantarlar evcillestirmek icin fazla guvenilmezdir, dev hayvanlar ise cok vahsi. Iste tarim devrimi de bu evcillestirilebilen hayvan ve bitki turlerinin yogun oldugu yerlerde ortaya cikti.

Tarim devrimi insanlarin daha da zekilestiginin bir kaniti degildir. Avci toplayici insan doganin sirlarini bilmenin yaninda, zamanlarinin buyuk bir bolumunu cesitli ve insani zihinsel olarak uyaran faaliyetlere geciriyorlardi.  Yani Tarim Devrimi insanligin elindeki toplam gida miktarini kesin olarak artirdi ancak daha iyi bir beslenme veya daha cok keyifli zaman yaratmadi. Daha ziyade nufus patlamasina yol acarak simarik seckinler yaratti: Ortalama ciftci ortalama avci toplayicidan daha fazla calisarak karsiliginda daha kotu besinlere sahip oldu.

Peki neden bu kadar zahmete katlandi insanoglu sirf bugday yetistirmek icin?

Bugday yetistirmek zor istir. Etrafindaki otlarin kayalarin temizlenmesi gerekir. Eski iskeletler incelendiginde tarima gecisin insanlara bel fitigi, eklemlerde kireclenme ve diger fitiklar olarak geri dondugu gorulmektedir.

Bu tarimsal islemler o kadar zaman almaktaydi ki insanlar bugday tarlalarinin yakininina kalici yerlesimler kurmak zorunda kaldilar. Biz bugdayi evcillestirmedik, Bugday bizi evcillestirdi.

Tahillara dayali bir beslenme bicimi mineral ve vitamin yonunden zayif, sindirimi zor ayrica dis ve disetlerine zararlidir.

Tahillara bagimlilik ekonomik guvensizlik de yaratti: Eger yagmurlar yetersiz kalir veya cekirge suruleri ve mantarlar bu bitkileri nasil eline gecireceklerini kesfederse, binlerce hatta milyonlarca koylu olebilirdi.

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Bugday insanlardan gelen siddete karsi da guvence sunan bir sey degildi. Guclu bir dusman bir tarim koyunu tehdit ettiginde, geri cekilmek tarlalari, evleri ve gida depolarini birakip gitmek anlamina gelirdi. Cogu zaman, kacanlar aclikla savasirdi. Bu yuzden ciftciler olduklari yerde kalip gucleri yettigince savasmayi secerlerdi.

Peki neden butun bunlara ragmen bugday yetistirdik? Insanlara, birey olarak hic bir sey vermedi ama bir tur olarak Sapiens’e katki yapti. Bugday yetistirmek, insanlara toprak miktarina oranla cok daha fazla gida uretme sansi verdi bu da Sapiens’in katlanarak cogalmasini sagladi.

Hangi akli basinda birey, Homo Sapiens cinsinin sayisi artsin diye kendi standartlarini dusurur?

Daha cok bugday urettikce ve yerlesim arttikca, aileler daha cok cocuk yaptilar, bu artan bogazi doyurmak icin daha cok bugday ekip bicmek gerekti. cocuklari anne sutu yerine yulaf lapasiyla da besleyince cocuk olumleri artti. Her 3 cocuktan biri 20 yasini goremeden oluyordu. Ama nufus artisi hala olumlerden daha buyuktu. her nesil sorgulamadan bir onceki nesil ne yapiyorsa onu yapiyordu.

Kuraklik zamanlarina care olarak depolanan ekinler de guvenlik sorunu yaratmisti, hirsizlara karsi simdi de nobetci koymak zorundaydilar.

9. EVCILLESTIRME

Sanliurfa’nin Haliliye ilcesindeki arkeolojik alan, Gobeklitepe, Dunya icin cok buyuk bir oneme sahiptir. MO 10,000-12,000 li yillara ait bu kalintilar yer yuzunun en eski tapinagina isaret ediyor. Isin ilginc yani, Gobeklitepe’yi insa eden hala avci toplayiciydilar. Bu cok alisilmisin disindaydi cunku tapinak yapan toplumun yerlesik duzene coktan gecmis olmasi beklenir. Bir baska ilginc detaysa bugdayla ilgili: Genetikciler yillar boyunca evcillestirilmis bugdayin kokeninin aramaktaydi. yakin zamandaki kesifler en azindan evcillestirilmis bir turun (kucuk kizil bugday) Gobekli Tepe’ye 30 KM mesafedeki Karacadag tepelerinde ortaya ciktigini gosteriyor.

Bu asagidaki kisa 10 dakikalik belgesel Gobekli Tepe bu evcil budgayla ilgili. Dikkat: Adamin agir Iskocya Aksani ve ‘Gobekli Tepe’ telafuzu sizi gulumsetebilir 🙂

Hayvanlari da tipki bugdaya yaptiklari gibi evcillestirdiler: En agresif koclar, yani insan kontolune en cok direnc gosterenler ilk once kesilirdi; cok ince ve huysuz disiler de. Cobanlar genellikle suruden uzaklasan merakli koyunlari pek sevmezler. Her nesille birlikte koyunlar daha sisman, daha itaatkar ve daha az merakli hale geldiler.

Zalim Insanoglu – Vejeteryan mi olsak?

Hayvanlarin evcillestirilmesi yuz yillar gectikce giderek daha zalimce bir hale gelen bir dizi vahsi  uygulama sayesinde olmustur. Bakin:

  • Yabani tavuklarin ortalama yasam suresi 7-12 yil, ineginki ise 20-25 yildir.
    Evcil tavuklarin ve ineklerin cogunlugu, bir kac hafta ile bir kac ay arasinda bir surede kesilir – neden 3 ayda azami agirligina ulasan bir horozu 3 yil daha beslemek isteyesiniz?
  • Bogalari, atlari, esekleri ve develeri itaatkar kosum hayvanlarina cevirmek icin dogal icgudulerinin ve sosyal baglarinin yikilmasi, saldirganliklarinin ve cinselliklerinin kontrol edilmesi ve hareket serbestliklerinin kisitlanmasi gerekiyordu.
  • Evcillestirme sureci erkegin hadim edilmesini gerektirir. Bu hem agresifligi azaltir hem de uremeyi kontrol altina alir.
  • Kuzey yeni Gine’de domuzlarin kacmamalarini garanti altina almak icin burunlarindan buyukce bir parcayi keserler, oyleki koklamada aci ceksinler, yonlerini bulamasinlar, sahiplerine bagli hale gelsinler.
  • Baska bir Yeni Gine gelenegi de domuzlarin gozunu cikarmaktir, nereye gittiklerini goremesinler diye.
  • Hayvanlara istedigini yaptirmak icin sut endustrisinin de kendi yontemleri var. Inekler, keciler ve koyunlar ancak yavruladiktan sonra ve ancak bu yavrular emdigi surece sut uretirler. Hayvanin sut uretimini devam ettirmesi icin ciftcinin elinde bu yavrulardan bulunmasi fakat yavrular tam sutu tuketmeden ciftcinin bunu engellemesi gerekmektedir.: Yavrulari dogumdan kisa sure sonra kesmek, annenin tum sutunu sagmak ve sonra tekrar hamile birakmaktir.
  • Pek cok modern sut ciftliginde sut inekleri kesilmeden once yaklasik 5 yil yasar bu 5 yil boyunca inek neredeyse hep hamiledir ve dogum yaptiktan sonraki 60-120 gun boyunca azami sut uretimini saglamak icin ozel olarak beslenir.
  • Bir baska sut sagma teknigi, yavrunun sut emmeye baslamasina izin verip, sut gelir gelmez yavruyu cekmektir. Bu hem anneden hem de yavrudan tepki gorur.
  • Bazi coban kabileleri yavruyu oldurup etini yer, derisini de doldururdu. Ici doldurulmus yavru derisi anneye gosterilerek sut uretiminin artmasi saglanirdi. Sudan’daki bir kabile isi daha gercekci kilmak icin doldurulmus hayvana annenin idrarindan surerdi.
  • Bir Baska Nuer kabilesi teknigi de yavrunun agzinin kenarlarina boynuz takip, annenin canini yakmak ve emzirmeye itiraz etmesini saglamakti.
  • Sahra’da deve yetistiren Tuaregler de yavru develerin ust dudagini ve burnunun bir kismini kesip veya yaralayip sut emmeyi aci verici hale getirerek fazla sut tuketimlerini onleme yontemi gelistirmisti.

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10. TARIMA GECIS ‘BIZIM’ KULTURUMUZE BAKIS ACIMIZI DEGISTIRDI

  1. Esyaya onem verir olduk: Avci toplayicilar icin cesitli esyalar biriktirmek cok zordu.
  2. Gelecegi dusunup stres olduk: Tarim alanlari kuculmusken tarima harcanan zaman artmisti. Avci toplayicilar bir sonraki haftayi ve ayi pek dusunmezlerdi. Hasat donemi, mevsimsel ureti dongusu, gelecegi planlamayi gerektirdi.
  3. Hiyerarsik duzenin kolesi olduk: buyuk olcekli politik ve toplumsal sistemlerin kurulmasina yol acan ciftciligin yarattigi baskinin cok genis etkileri vardi. Azimli ve caliskan ciftciler, ne yazik ki, o gunki calismalarinin karsiligi olarak ulasmak istedikleri ekonomik guvenceye neredeyse hic bir zaman ulasamadilar. Her yerde ortaya cikan yoneticiler ve seckinler, koylulerin emegiyle urettigi fazla gidayla beslenip ciftcileri de zar zor hayatta kalabildikleri bir yasama mahkum ettiler.
  4. Savaslar: Tarihteki savaslarin ve devrimlerin cogu gida kitligindan kaynaklanmamistir. Mesela Fransiz Devrimi’nin onculeri ac cifciler degil, zengin avukatlatdi. Ya da Yugoslavya’nin 1991 deki kaynaklari tum ulkeye yeter de artardi bile ancak ulke bolundu ve kan govdeyi goturdu.

Bu tur belalarin kaynagi, insanlarin milyonlarca yil boyunca  bir kac duzine bireyden olusan kucuk gruplar halinde evrimlesmis olmasidir. Tarim Devrimi’ni izleyen ve sehirlerin, kralliklarin ve imparatorluklarin ortaya cikisina taniklik eden bir kac bin yillik sure, kitlsesel is birligini saglayan bir ic gudunun evrimlesmesi icin yeterli degildi.

11. PEKI IS BIRLIGINI NASIL SAGLADIK?

Mitlerle (Mit: kuşaktan kuşağa yayılan, toplumun düş gücü etkisiyle zamanla biçim değiştiren, tanrılar, tanrıçalar, evrenin doğuşu vb.yle ilgili, imgesel, alegorik bir anlatımı olan halk öyküsü-Wiki). Ta avci toplayici zamanlarimizdan beri yaptigimiz gibi, milyonlari mitlerle bagladik. Ne gibi mitler?: Para, Tanrilar, anavatanlar ve anonim ortakliklar hakkinda hikayeler icat ederek ihtiyac duyulan toplumsal baglari sagladilar.

Homo Sapiens’in dogal haklari aslinda yoktur. Tipki orumcekler, sirtlanlar ve sempanzelerin dogal haklari olmadigi gibi; ama bunu hizmetkarlarimiza soylememeliyiz, yoksa geceleyin bizi oldururler.

Askerler, gardiyanlar, yargiclar ve polisler neden inanmadiklari bir hayali duzeni korumak icin ugrassinlar?

12. HAYALI DUZEN ISTEKLERIMIZI NASIL SEKILLENDIRIYOR?

Insanlarin en kisisel istekleri sandiklari bile genelde hayali duzen tarafindan programlanmistir.

Romantiklik, bize kendi potansiyelimizi en ust seviyede gerceklestirebilmek icin olabildigince fazla deneyimimizin olmasini soyler (Yurt disina seyahat, desigik diller ya da danslar ogrenmek gibi)

Tuketicilik akimi da bize mutlu olmamiz icin mumkun oldugunca cok mal ve hizmet tuketmemiz gerektigini soyler (Yoga dersi, masaj, yeni kiyafetler vs.)

Su andaki romantik tuketiciligin ornegini soyle verelim:

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Romantik Tuketicilik. Resim: By Steve Israel Deichman, Kasim 21, 2016

Bir milyonerle karisi arasindaki iliski dikenli bir yola girdiginde, adam karisini pahali bir Paris tatiline goturur. Bu gezi, bagimsiz bir istegin degil, romantik tuketicilik akiminin mitlerine duyulan coskulu bir inancin yansimasidir aslinda. Eski Misir’da zengin bir adam, asla iliski problemini karisini babil’e goturerek cozmeyi dusunmezdi. bunun yerine karisina, hep istedigi sasaali bir mezar yaptirirdi.

Hayali Duzen Girdabi…

Insanustu bir cabayla kisisel isteklerimi hayali duzenin ellerinden kurtarsam bile, ben sadece bir kisiyim. Hayali duzeni degistirmek icin milyonlarca yabanciyi benimle is birligi yapmaya ikna etmem gerekir. Zira hayali duzen, kendi hayal gucumde yasattigim ozel bir duzen degil, insanlar arasinda yasayan, binlerce ya da milyonlarcasinin paylastigi hayal gucunde yasayan bir duzendir (Bknz: hukuk, para, tanrilar, milletler)

Peugeot’yu ortadan kaldirmak icin ondan daha guclu bir seyi, soz gelimi Fransiz hukuk sistemini hayal edebilmemiz gerekir. Fransiz hukuk sistemini ortadan kaldirabilmek icin ondan daha guclu bir seyi, mesela Fransiz devletini hayal edebilmemiz gerekir. Eger bunu da ortadan kaldirmak istersek bundan da guclu bir seyi hayal edebilmemiz gerekir.

Hayali duzen disinda bir yol mumkun degil. Etrafimizdaki hapishane duvarlarini yikip ozgurluge kostugumuzda aslinda daha buyuk bir hapishanenin genis bahcesine dogru kosuyoruz.

Evrimsel baskilar , avci toplayici olan insanin beynini cok ciddi miktarda botanik, zoolojik, topografik ve toplumsal bilgiyi depolayacak sekilde gelistirdi.

Tarim devrimi’nin hemen oncesinde cok karmasik toplumlar gelismeye basladiginda cok onemli ve yeni bir bilgi turu ortaya cikti: sayilar. Avci toplayicilarin agacta kac tane meyve oldugunu bilmesine gerek yoktu. Matematiksel veriyi saklama ihtiyaci duymamislardi.

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Numbers in ancient Egypt

Zamanla tarima gecince, vergiler, borclar, urun hasat sayimi, saklanip islenmesi gereken milyonlarca ufak tefek veri ortaya cikardi. Insanoglu tum bunlari zihinde hesaplayacak ve zihinde tutacak kadar kapasiteli degildi. Bu nedenle bir kac bin yil sistem coktu. Insanlarin toplumsal aglari, gorece kucuk ve basit kalmaya devam etti.

MO 3000-3500 yillarinda Sumerler veri isleme sistemini buldu: Yazi. hatta ilk yazilan tablette ‘Bilmemne kisiden su kadar arpa alindi’ seklindeydi, romantik bir siir degildi yani 🙂

Yazarin en sevdigim paragrafi de su:

“Insan bilincinin hizmetcisi olarak dogan yazi, giderek insanin sahibi haline geldi. Bilgisayarlarimiz Homo Sapiens’in nasil konustugunu, hissettigini ve hayal kurdugunu anlayamadigindan, biz de bilgisayarlarin anlayabilmesi icin Homo Sapiens‘e sayilarin dilinden konusmayi, hayal kurmayi ve hissetmeyi ogretiyoruz.”

13. HAYALI HIYERARSILER

Tum toplumlar hayali hiyerarsiler uzerine kuruludur ama bu hiyerarsiler farklilik gosterir. Bu farklar nasil ortaya cikar? Neden geleneksel Hint toplumu insanlari kasta gore siralarken Osmanli toplumu dine, Amerikan toplumu ise irka gore siralamistir? Cogu durumda hiyerarsi, kazara biraraya gelen bir dizi tarihi durumun sonucu olarak ortaya cikmis ve durumdan avantaj saglayan gruplarin olusmasiyla da nesiller boyunca geliserek kalici hale gelmistir.

Kast sisteminin kokeni: Muhtemelen biyolojik hayatta kalma ic gudusuyle dogdu. Insanlarin olasi hastalik kaynaklarindan uzak durmasini saglayan bir mekanizmadir. Her hangi bir insan grubunu (kadinlar, yahudiler, cingeneler, escinseller, siyahiler) yalitilmis kilmanin en iyi yolu herkesi bu kisilerin bir ‘kirlilik’ kaynagi olduguna inandirmaktir.

Kadin-erkek hiyerarsisi yalani

Neyi Biyolojinin belirledigini, neyin insanlar tarafindan biyolojik mitler kullanilarak hakli cikarilmaya calisildigininasil bilebiliriz? Bunu anlamak icin onemli kurallardan biri: “Biyoloji izin verir, kultur engeller” kuralidir. Biyoloji, cok genis bir yelpazedeki olasiliklara hosgoruyle yaklasir. Insanlari bazi olasiliklari fark etmeye zorlayip digerlerini yasaklayan kulturdur. Biyoloji kadinlarin cocuk dogurmasini saglarken, bazi kulturlerse kadinlari bu olasiligi fark etmeye zorlarlar. Biyoloji insanlarin birbirleriyle cinsel iliskiye girmekten zevk almasini saglarken, bazi kulturlerse onlarin bu firsati farketmesini yasaklarlar.

Kultur genellikle sadece dogal olmayan seyleri yasakladigini one surer ama biyolojik bir perspektiften bakinca her sey dogaldir. Mumkun olan sey, tanim geregi dogaldir. Gercekte dogal olmayan ya da dogaya aykiri olan hic bir tavir zaten ayakta kalamaz, bu yuzden de yasaklanmasina gerek yoktur. Hicbir kultur insanlarin fotosentez yapmasini, kadinlarin isik hizindan daha hizli kosmasini veya negatif yuklu elektronlarin birbirine dogru cekilmesini yasaklamaya kalkmamistir.

Gercekte ‘dogal’ ve ‘dogal olmayan’ kavramlari, biyolojiden degil Hristiyan ilahiyatindan alinmadir. “Dogal”in ilahiyattaki anlami, ‘Dogayi yaratan Tanri’nin niyetiyle uyumlu’ dur.

Cinsiyet ve toplumsal cinsiyet ayrimi…

Biyolojik olarak insanlar erkekler ve disiler olarak ayrilmistir. Homo Sapiens’in bir X, bir de Y kromozomu olan erkek, iki X kromozomu olansa disidir. Ama ‘erkek’ ve ‘kadin’ biyolojik degil, toplumsal kategorilerdir.

Eski’nin krallari (bakiniz asagi da) bugunun ‘erkek’ (toplumsal kategori) tanimina uymuyor gibi gorunuyor, neden?

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Erkeklerin nesi bu kadar iyi?

En azindan Tarim Devrim’inden beri, cogu insan toplulugu erkeklere kadinlardan daha fazla deger veren ataerkiltoplumlardir. erkek olmak hep daha ayricalikli olmustur. Ama neden? Bir cok teori soz konusu ve hic biri inandirici degil:

  1. Kas Gucu:  “Erkekler kadinlardan daha gucludur’ onermesi sadece ortalama icin gecerlidir ve gucten ne anladiginiza baglidir. Kadinlar genellikle acliga, hastaliga ve yorgunluga erkeklerden daha dayaniklidir. Ayrica kadinlar tarih boyunca fiziksel guc gerektirmeyen (rahiplik, hukuk ve siyaset gibi) islerin tamamindan dislandiklari gibi, agir fiziksel guc gerektiren pek cok ise zorlanmislardir. Ikinci problemse: insanlarda fiziksel gucle sosyal guc arasinda dogrudan iliski yoktur. mesela genc insanlar fiziksel olarak daha guclu olsalar da, yaslilar genellikle genclerden daha ustun ve soz sahibidirler. Aslinda insanlik tarihi de fiziksel gucle sosyal guc arasindan genellikle ters yonlu bir ilski oldugunu gosterir. Cogu toplumda asagi siniflar agir isleri yapar.
  2. Toplumun Pislikleri: “Erkek egemenligi saldirganliklarindan gelir” teorisi. Yine de savasanlarin erkek olmasi, hem savasi yonetenlerin hem de tum getirilerinden faydalananlarin erkekler olmasi sonucunu mu dogurur? kadinlar genelde erkeklerden daha iyi yonlendirici olduklari gibi, sakinlestirme becerisi yuksek kisiler olarak gosterilirler, ayrica empatileri de daha yuksektir.
  3. Ataerkil genler: “Erkekler dogurgan kadinlari hamile birakabilmek icin birbirleriyle yaristiklarindan, ureme sansina sahip olabilmeleri her seyddeen once rakiplerini altedebilmelerine bagliydi.  Zaman gectikce gelecek nesillere en hirsli, saldirgan ve rekabetci erkeklerin genleri aktarilmis oldu. Kadinlarsa uysal bakici genler gelistirdi” teorisi. Bu tur bir dinamik aslinda anaerkil bir toplum dogurmalidir: kadinlarin bakima ihtiyac duymasinin kadinlari niye diger kadinlara degil de erkeklere muhtac ettigi, erkek rekabetciliginin erkegi toplumda nasil baskin hale getirdigi buyuk soru isaretidir. Nasil oluyor da tum basarisini isbirligine borclu olan bir turde daha az isbirligine yatkin olacagi varsayilan bireyler (erkekler) daha cok is birligi yapmaya musait oldugu varsayilan bireylere (kadinlar) ustunluk kurabiliyor?

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En buyuk soru… biz bu hiyerarsilerle bu kadar ayrismisken nasil hala bi sekilde birarada durabildik?

Cevabi: Din, imparatorluklar ve para (Ayni tanriya inanmayan veya ayni krala itaat etmeyen insanlar seve seve ayni parayi kullaniyorlar?!).

Kulturel Farkliligin guzelligi: Dusuncelerimizdeki, fikirlerimizdeki ver degerlerimizdeki uyumsuzluklar bizi arastirmaya, elestirmeye, ve yeniden degerlendirmeye mecbur eder. Insanlar birbiriyle celisen degerler ve inanclara sahip olmasaydi muhtemelen herhangi bir insan kulturu olusturmak ve surdurmek mumkun  olmazdi.

14. PARA

Yazarin bu lafi cok guzel: “Para, su ana kadar yaratilmis en evrensel ve en etkili karsilikli guven sistemidir.”

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Para nasil basladi?

Avci toplayicilar kucuk kabileler olduklari icin paraya ya da takasa ihtiyaclari yoktu. Kimin hangi iste iyi oldugu belliydi ve lazim olan seyler paylasiliyordu. Ancak karmasik yerlesik tarim sistemine gecildiginde uzamanlasmalar, takasi gerektirdi: Uzmanlar (marangoz, ciftci, nalbur, vb) arasinda takas nasil gerceklestirilecekti?

Avci toplayici zamanindaki gibi iyilik ve zorunluluklara dayali bir ekonomi, cok sayida yabancinin is birligi yapmaya calistigi bir ortamda yuruyemez. Bir kardese ya da komsuya bedava yardim etmek ayri seydir, iyiliginizin karsiligini asla veremeyecek bir yabanciyla ilgilenmek ayri. Takas iyi bir yontemdir, ancak sadece sinirli sayida urun soz konusu oldugunda etkilidir ve karmasik bir ekonominin temelini olusturamaz.

Ticaretin mumkun olmasi icin iki tarafin da elinde digerinin istedigi urunden bulunmasi gerekir.

Para pek cok yerde ve farkli zamanlarda icat edildi. Paranin icadi teknolojik bir donm noktasi degil, zihinsel bir devrimdi. Bu devrim, sadece insanlarin ortak hayal gucunde yasayan yeni bir gercekligin yaratilmasinda gizliydi.

Madeni para basimi icat edilmeden cok onceleri de mevcut olan para, cesitli kulturlerde farkli esyalar kullanilarak gelisti: deniz kabugu, kakao cekirdegi, hayvan derisi, tuz, tohum, boncuk, kumas ve taahhutname gibi.

Ama neden madeni para kazandi?…

  • Cunku tasinabilir – tasimasi kolay.
  • Depolamasi kolay.
  • Cok yer kaplamaz.
  • Para ile her seyi her seyle degistirebilirsin: Ordudan atilmis bir asker universite ogrenim ucretini askerdeki birikimiyle karsilayinca, kas gucu, beyin gucune donusmus olur.

Para birikimleri kolay ve ucuz bicimde donusturebildigi, depolayabildigi ve tasiyabildigi icin dinamik piyasalarin ve karmasik ticari aglarin olusumuna hayati katki yapmistir.

Dine gecmeden once, onemli bir anektot da kitabin 199. sayfasindan ” Evrim diger sosyal memeliler gibi Homo Sapiens’i de yabanci dusmani (ksenofobik) yaratiklar haline getirmisti. Sapiens icgudusel olarak insanligi ‘biz’ ve ‘onlar’ olarak ikiye bolmustu.”

Kolonilesme ve bir halkin bir baska ulkeyi ele gecirmesi ile ilgili de fazla iyimser yazar Yuval. Diyor ki: “Eger zalim bir imparatorlugun mirasini onceki ‘otantik’ kulturleri yeniden kurmak ve korumak amaciyla reddetsek bile, muhtemelen savunacagimiz sey daha eski ve en az ayni derecede zalim baska bir imparatorlugun mirasi olurdu” (Mesela Ingiltere’nin Hindistana hakimiyeti gibi) (Vay beeee)

15. DIN

Din bugun cogunlukla ayrimcilik ve anlasmazlik kaynagi gibi gorulse de, para ve imparatorluklarla birlikte insanligi en iyi birlestiren 3. sey olarak sayilabilir. Tum toplumsal hiyerarsiler ve duzenler hayali oldugundan kirilgandir ve toplum buyudukce kirilganlik artar.  Dinler, yasalarimizin, insanlarin kaprisi degil, mutlak ve ustun bir otorite tarafindan buyurulmus emirler oldugunu soylerler. Bu da en azindan bazi temel yasalarin elestiriden muaf olmasini  saglayarak toplumsal istikrari saglar.

Animizm en basta bilinen din. Avci toplayicilar animistti: Amimizm tabiata ait olan her şeyde, şuurlu bir yaşayış bulunduğunu ileri süren doktrindir. mesela, ilkçağlarda yahudilerin gök gürültüsünü “yahova’nın sesi” olarak adlandırmaları, animist bir yaklaşımdır.

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Animist Resimleme

Sonra cok tanrili dinler ortaya cikti, en son da tek tanrili dinler.

Tarim devrimi, beraberinde dini devrimi de getirdi. Avci toplayicilar yabani bitkiler toplayip hayvanlari avliyorlardi ama bunlari Homo Sapiens’e esit goruyorlardi. Insanlarin koyun avlamasi koyunu insandan asagi yapmiyordu, tipki kaplanin insan avlamasinin insani daha asagi yapmadigi gibi.  Tarim Devrimi’nin ilk dini sonucu, bitkileri ve hayvanlari ruhani yuvarlak bir masanin esit uyelerinden birer metaya cevirmesidir.

Antik cag mitolojilerinin buyuk bir bolumu aslinda insanlarin bitkiler ve hayvanlar uzerinde hakimiyet kurabilme karsiliginda tanriya ebediyen sadakat sozu vermesidir. Tarim devriminden sonraki binlerce yil boyunca dini ayinler buyuk olcude, insanlarin ilahi guclere cesitli kurbanlar vermesi karsiliginda tanrilarin da insanlara bereketli hasatlar ve dogurgan suruler sozu bahsetmesi olarak ozetlenebilir.

Sayisiz Hristiyan, Musluman ve Yahudi, iyi Tanri’nin Seytan’la mucadelesinde bizim yardimimiza ihtiyac duydugunu dusunecek kadar ileri gittiler. Bu yaklasim diger baska seylerin yaninda Hacli seferlerinin ve cihatlarin da ilham kaynagiydi.

Animistler insanlarin dunyada yasayan pek cok yaratiktan biri oldugunu dusunurlerdi, coktanricilar ise giderek dunyayi insanlarla tanrilar arasindaki iliskilerin bir yansimasi olarak gormeye basladi.

Coktanriciligin tek tanriciliktan farkli olan ic gorusu dunyayi yoneten ustun gucun cikarlari ve on yargilari olmamasi, dolayisiyla da insanlarin dunyevi istekleri, kaygilari ve endiselerinden muaf olmasidir.

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Katolikler ve protestanlar arasindaki fark

Katolikler ve Protestanlar arasindaki din savaslari Avrupa’yi ozellikle 16. ve 17. yuzyilda kasip kavurmustu. Bu savaslara katilanlarin hepsi Isa’nin ilahi ozelligini, sevgi ve sefkat hakikatini kabul ediyor ama bunlari yasama biciminde anlasamiyorlardi. Protestanlar, tanrinin oglunun insan bedeninde dunyaya geldigini, insanlik icin canini carmihta feda ettigini, boylece kurtulusun ve olumsuzlugun yolunu acarak kendisine inanan ve bu inanci yasayan herkese de cennetin kapilarini actigina inanirlar. Katolikler bu inanci yeterli bulmazlar, cennete girmek icin inananlarin kiliseye gitmeleri ve sevap islemeleri de gerektigini dusunurler. Protestanlar reddettikleri bu inancin Tanri’nin buyuklugunu ve sevgisini asagiladigini one surerler.

Budizm nedir?

Bu din daha cok ibadet edene odaklidir: Arzular aci cekmeye sebep olur. Aci cekmekten tamamen kurtulmanin tek yolu da arzu duymaktan tamamen kurtulmaktir. Bunu yapmanin tek yolu da gercekligi oldugu gibi yasamasi ici zihni egitmektir. Zihni ‘Su anda ne yasiyor olabilirdim?’ degil de “Su anda ne yasiyorum? ‘ a yoneltmektir.

Kitabin sonlarina dogru…

Kitabin sonlarina dogru modern Sapiens ten bahsediyor yazar. Sanayi devrimi’nden sonraki kapitalist ve tuketimci akimin ekonomiyi, hayvanlara hunharca davranma hakkini kendinde gormeyi,  insan iliskilerini nasil etkiledigini detaylica anlatiyor. Afrika’nin hunharca kapitalist sistem adi altinda Avrupa ulkeleri tarafindan somurulmesine yer vermis 327. sayfada.

Devletler ve piyasalar insanlara reddedemeyecekleri bir teklifle geldi: “Birey olun! Ailenizden izin almadan kiminle istiyorsaniz onunla evlenin. Buyuklerinize ragmen istediginiz isi yapin. Ailenizle yemek yiyemeyecek de olsaniz istediginiz yerde yasayin. Artik ailenize ve toplulugunuza bagimli degilsiniz. Biz devlet ve piyasa olarak size bakacagiz. Size gida, barinma, egitim, saglik, sosyal haklar ve is verecegiz. Issizlik maasi, sigorta ve koruma saglayacagiz.” Bugun, ebeveyn otoritesi buyuk gerileme yasiyor ve gencler anne babalarina gitgide daha az itaat ediyorlar. Ama hala cocuklarinin yasamlarindaki hemen her yanlistan sorumlu tutuluyorlar.

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16. ASLINDA SAPIENS EN BARISCIL CAGINDA, UZULMEYIN

Yazar diyor ki gunumuzde cogu insan ne kadar bariscil bir cagda yasadigimizin farkinda degil. Hicbirimiz 1000 yil once hayatta degildik o yuzden de dunyanin eskiden ne kadar daha vahsi oldugunu tam da bilemiyoruz. Cok sayida insan bugun Irak’taki ve Afganistan’daki savaslara dikkat ederken, Hintlilerin veya Brezilyalilarin baris icinde yasadiklarini unutuyor.

Tarihi sureci makro duzeyde anlayabilmek icin bireysel hikayeler yerine buyuk resmi incelememiz gerekir. 2000’yilinda:

  • Savaslar 310,000,
  • Cinayetler 520,000

kisinin olumune sebep oldu. Her bir olum bir dunyanin yok olmasina, bir ailenin mahvolmasina sebep oldu,

Ama makro duzeyde 2000 yilinda:

  • Bu 830 (310+520)  bin kurban, dunyada o yil olen 56 milyon insanin sadece %1.5 ugunu olusturur.
  • Ayni yil 1,260,000 insan trafik kazalarinda
  • 815,000 kisi de inthihar ederek oldu.

Burda da goruluyorki gunumuzde tum terorizm ve savas tartismalarina ragmen, ortalama bir insanin kendini oldurme ihtimali bir terorist, asker veya uyusturucu saticisi tarafindan oldurulme ihtimali daha yuksek. 11 Eylul saldirilarinin oldugu yil intihar ederek olenlerin sayisi 873,000 (toplam olumlerin %1.53’u), teror ve savaslardan olenlerin sayisi (askerler dahil) 172,000 (toplam olumlerin %0.3’u)  – toplam olum sayisi 57,000,000. Ama o gun, teror insanlara unutulmayacak bir korku dalgasi yaydi bir kere. Kimse Inanilmaz yuksek oranda olan intiharlardan dolayi korkmuyor. Bence bu daha korkutucu.

Gordugunuz gibi rakamlar, halkin korkularini dogrular nitelikte degil.

17. MUTLU MU SAPIENS?

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Ayak izi ruzgarin olmadigi ayda bozulmamis halde duran  Neil Armstrong, 30 bin yil once Chauvet’ Magarasi’nin duvarina el izini birakan isimsiz avci toplayici’dan daha mutlu muydu? Eger daha mutlu degilse tarimi, sehirleri, yaziyi, parayi, imparatorluklari, bilimi ve sanayiyi gelistirmenin anlami neydi?

Arastirmacilar bu sorulari sormaya cekiniyor.

Aile ve toplulugun mutlulugumuz uzerinde para ve sagliktan daha fazla etkisi var gibi gorunuyor. Siki baglara sahip ve destekleyici ailelerle topluluklarda yasayan insanlar, problemli aileleri olan ve hic bir zaman ait olacaklari bir topluluk bulamamis (veya aramamis) insanlardan belirgin sekilde daha mutlular.

Olay su:

kendisini cok seven bir esi, yakin iliskilere sahip toplulugu ve ailesi olan culsuz bir engelli, eger fakirligi cok siddetli degil ve hastaligi kotulesmiyorsa veya cok acili degilse, yalniz ve her seye yabancilasmis bir milyarderden cok daha mutlu olabilir (Bknz. Anthony Bourdain veya Mehmet Piskin olayi)

Tum bu calismalarin en onemli bulgusuysa mutlulugun zenginlik, saglik hatta topluluk gibi olculebilir kosullara bagli olmadigidir. Mutluluk daha ziyade somut durumla soyut beklentiler arasindaki iliskiye baglidir.

Eger mutluluk  beklentiyle alakaliysa, toplumumuzun iki temel diregi- medya ve reklamcilik- farkinda olmadan da olsa, dunyanin mutluluk rezervlerini sonuna kadar tuketiyor demektir.

Bu yuzden de ucuncu dunya ulkelerinde memnuniyetsizlik sadece fakirlik, hastalik, yozlasma ve politik baskidan degil, surekli olarak Birinci Sunya standartlarina maruz kalmaktan da kaynaklaniyor olabilir.

Misirlilarin fiziksel kosullari hic simdiki kadar iyi olmamisti. Dolayisiyla bu insanlarin 2011’de sokaklarda dans ederek Allah’a sukredeceklerini dusunebilirdiniz, oysa onlar ayaklanarak Mubarek’i devirdiler. Sonucta, kendilerini firavunlarin yonetiminde yasayan atalariyla degil, Obama’nin Amerikasi’ndakilerle kiyasliyorlardi.

18. SON SOZ

Insan giderek kendini tanrisallastiriyor: Dogal secilimin yerine akilli tasarimin konmasi su 3 yoldan biriyle olabilir: biyoloji muhendisligi, siborg muhendisligi (organik ve organik olmayan parcalarin bir araya geldigi varliklar) ve inorganik yasamin yaratilmasi.

steven

Baskalarini icguduyle coktan otekilestirmis, kendini diger tum canli turlerine hukmediyor goren, kendi yarattigi hayali duzenler icinde yalan bir mutluluk yasayan, hirsli, olume meydan okuyan bir memeli Homo Sapiens. Tanri olmaya calisan bir hayvan.

Kanolardan uzay mekiklerine vardik ama kimse nereye gittigimizi bilmiyor. Kimseye hesap vermiyoruz, diger hayvanlari ve etrafimizdaki eko sistemi surekli mahvediyoruz  ve sadece kendi konfor ve eglencemizi dusunuyoruz, yine de tatmin olmuyoruz, yine de hala memnuniyetsiziz.

Ne istedigini bilmeyen, tatminsiz ve sorumsuz tanrilardan daha tehlikeli bir sey olabilir mi?

Posted in Must See Videos, Turkey

Lost in istanbul by Brianna

Ladies and Gentleman, meet the Romanian singer, Brianna, who is getting widely popular in Turkey.

Her last single back in March 2018 was ‘Lost in Istanbul’. It is a great video if you want to talk a short walk along Istanbul streets (Mostly in Istiklal street, Taksim, Karakoy and Besiktas). Her voice is also very very nice, I can see that this is going to be a real hit this summer in Turkey.

Enjoy!

Posted in Turkey

Stray Cats and Dogs of Istanbul

Any tourist that has been to Istanbul, Turkey will tell you the beautiful stray cats they saw. ‘Both the dogs and cats are so friendly and calm’ they would say.

While I was staying at an Airbnb in Cevahir, Istanbul last June, I had the chance of portraying some. These pictures are all from my camera. What is noteworthy is how healthy they look. I think Turkish people constantly feed and build shelters (see pics) for them. I know the dogs look drugged but actually they are not. They are just super lazy. They are everywhere: on streets, on motorbikes, at coffee shops, at restaurants. Here is a picture story of Istanbul’s street cats and dogs during one day.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Anneme Şiir…

Annedir o mis gibi kokan,
Bir haykırışınla yanına koşan,
Bu dünyadaki karanlıklardan,
Seni durmadan koruyan kollayan.

Hayat ona vurur, ama çocuğu için kalkar,
Yüzü hep güler, ama belki de içi kan ağlar,
Yorulmaz, tüm aileyi birbirine bağlar,
Kardeşler arası dengeyi o sağlar.

Mezun olduğunda, gözlerindeki o gurur,
Sana dünyaları veremediğinden mağrur,
İlk adımını attığında duyduğu heyecan,
Geçmez, sen olsan da koca bi adam.

Şu an annem hayatta olsa,
Sarılırdım ona hem de sıkıca,
Tıpkı uzun bi yolculuktan gelmiş gibi,
Bir daha da hiç gitmeyecekmiş gibi…

Özür dilerdim onu kırdığım anlar için,
Ve her neye darıldıysa için için.
Hadi yeniden başlayalım derdim, sil baştan,
Ne bağımlılıklar olsun, ne kavga, çekip gidelim buralardan.

Çocukları dersaneye gönder, derslere getir götür,
Oynarken düşüp parçalanan dizlerine hemen tentürdiyot sür,
Gönül yangınlarını şefkatli sözlerinle sen söndür,
Acaba nesi var diye düşün dur, çocuğun öksürüyor kaç gündür.

Maalesef seni yaşama döndüremem ki annecim…
Ama beni güzel yetiştirdiğin için sana teşekkürü bir borç bilirim.

En zor zamanımızda bile bir gün aç yatırmadın,
Sıkıntılı durumlardan güç ve zaferle çıkmamı sağladın,
“Aile herşeyden önce gelir,”
“Borç yiğidin kamçısıdır,”
“Dakik olmak önemli,”
Bunların hepsini sen bana aşıladın.

Yemek yapma yeteneğini,
Makyajsız evden çıkmama geleneğini,
Dağınıklığını, konuşkanlığını,
Lüle lüle düşen saçlarını,
Senden almışım canım annem.

Ela gözlerini gülerken, bana dokunan ellerini hep sıcakken hatırlamak istedim.
O yüzden seni son yolculuğundan önce görmeye gelemedim…
Dediler pişman olursun, git gör, vedalaş.
Hani derler ya cennette herkes en güzel halinde görünürmüş, işte o yaş.
Ben de seni 30 lu yaşların, kıvırcık saçların, gülen gözlerinle,                                          Altında kot pantolon, üzerinde vatkalı havalı bluzunla hatırlamayı seçtim.
Üzerinde yattığın mermer soğukluğunda, gözlerin kapalı gülümsemeyen bir sen değil annecim…
O sen değilsin çünkü.

Seni seviyorum annecim.
Sayende çok şey öğrendim…
Her şey çok daha güzel olabilirdi ama olsun,
Hayatta her şeyden bi ders öğreniyorsun,
Anneler günün kutlu olsun…

– Ece

 

 

Posted in the USA

Why do I LOVE Boston?

I have lived in three cities in the United States: Lawrence (Kansas), Chicago (Illinois) and Boston (Massachusetts) and although I had really good memories in each one of them, I ‘fell in love with’ only Boston.

Chicago is a great city with its infamously delicious food and fun jazz and blues bars. Lawrence is one of the best college towns to live in the US: Cheap, international, and very unKansasly liberal.

But Boston… With its historical composition, its college town feeling -despite the fact that the city is also a business center, its beaches and gardens among the brick houses (instead of high rises) and its young profile make Boston unique for me.

In this post, I will share my reasons with you and in the end you get to decide if I’m right or wrong. But before all that I want to remind you about Boston’s history, since it plays a critical role in the United States history.

The history of Boston plays a central role in American history. In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded Boston and helped it become the way it is today. Boston quickly became the political, commercial, financial, religious and educational center of the New England region. The American Revolution erupted in Boston, as the British retaliated harshly for the Boston Tea Party and the patriots fought back. They besieged the British in the city, with a famous battle at Bunker Hill in Charlestown on June 17, 1775 (which was lost by the colonists, but inflicted great damage against the British) and won the Siege of Boston, forcing the British to evacuate the city on March 17, 1776. However, the combination of American and British blockades of the town and port during the conflict seriously damaged the economy, and the population fell by two thirds in the 1770s. The Irish Catholics, typified by the Kennedy Family, took political control of the city by 1900.

This is why you can still see a lot of Irish bars and Irish heritage all around Boston. Now that we know about the history, I can start writing about the greatness of this fabulous city!

#1. A Nature Loving City

In Boston, there are some tall buildings, some concrete going on, as in almost every big city. However, you can always escape to a green area to read your book, to breathe in the fresh air, or to have a quick run. Located in the heart of the city, Public Garden is beautiful all year around:

In Public Garden,you can take swan boat rides or you can do a picnic. There are always street musicians or performers to amuse you during the day. Street food (especially Arepas and pretzels) is something you will definitely come across.

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is an arboretum located in the Jamaica Plain and Roslindale sections of Boston, Massachusetts and it is my second favorite natural place in Boston. You can see hundreds of different tree and bird species.

There is also Charles River Esplanade which is another place to escape the busy city life and enjoy the beautiful nature.

#2. Beautiful Architecture 

Boston is famous for its brick buildings and its city planning is breathtaking. Just walking around the buildings gives a weird sense of peacefulness to me. In Chicago, the architecture was great as well but I think it was making the gap between the rich and poor too obvious for me. However, in Boston, I can’t easily see that distinction by just looking at the architecture. It makes Boston look like a modest city.

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Copley Plaza

Winter season in Bostonharborside-grill-patio

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#3 Lots of Things to Do in Boston

One of the best things about this city is that it is small enough to walk everywhere, but it is big enough that there is ALWAYS something to do. There are so many coffee shops (My favorites are Thinking cup and Cafe Nero). Also, they have the best homemade hot chocolate in the country! Indian, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Turkish and many more cuisines can be found at different restaurants everywhere. There are bowling alleys, improv shows, concerts, festivals, there is ‘The Boston Marathon’, there are canoe and boat rides on Charles River, there is the New England Aquarium that everybody should see. In summer, there are whale watching activities.  Boston Red Sox is one of the best baseball teams in the World. You can watch them at Fenway Park! Although it is usually too cold to swim, you can enjoy the sun at the beaches of Boston during summer.

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Cafe Nero at Brookline

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Cafe Crema
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LA Burdick has the best hot chocolate!!
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Capital One Cafe (And a bank!?)

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There are many good Irish Bars or other restaurant/bars in every corner. Especially in Downtown Crossing, Back Bay, South End and North End.

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McGreevys Irish Bar
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Wink and Nod Bar and Grille
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Faneuil Hall area is full of bars, restaurants and stores
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Boylston street is full of different kinds of restaurants and bars with outside seating
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North End (AKA Italian Neighborhood) is famous for its Italian restaurants and bakeries.
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North End Fine Dining
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Union Oyster House is one of the famous Irish bars. You should try their Clam Chowder!
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A beer garden in Boston
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Coogans is in downtown and it is famous for its cheap beer options.
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El Centro Mexican restaurant
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El Centro Mexican restaurant
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Hyatt Regency Boston harbor
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Kinsale Irish Bar
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A North end Bakery
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Atlantic Fish Co – Great Sea Food Restaurant at Copley
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Another good Italian restaurant
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Lookout Roof Top and Bar
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New England Aquarium, Boston

#4 Boston is a city of Knowledge and Art

As a person who LOVES reading books and who is always thirsty for knowledge, I feel so lucky to be in Boston. Being home to Ivy league universities such as Harvard, MIT, Northeastern and BU, Boston has a lot of students, which explains the high number  of museums and the bookstores in the city.

Boston Public library is open to everybody. You don’t have to go get a library card to study, but if you want to borrow books, of course you need one. The library has two sections: the historical one and the modern (Boston Library Central) part.

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Boston Public Library
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Boston Public Library Central
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Boston Public Library Central
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Boston Public Library Central
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Boston Public Library Central
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Boston Public Library Central
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Boston Public Library
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Boston Public Library Backyard

There is a huge bookstore at Harvard square called ‘Harvard Book Store’ in which the atmosphere reminds me of Hogwarts in Harry Potter series for some reason. It has a large selection of books, besides a mini cafe inside. Additionally, there are many other bookstores in the city selling both brand new and used books. But my favorite one is the one near my work in Downtown Crossing: ‘Brattle Bookshop’.

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Harvard Book Store
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Harvard University Campus id open to visitors all year around.
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Brattle Bookshop, where you can buy used books for as low as $3 or $5.

As I mentioned before, there are several good museums in Boston. The best thing is, most museums have free admissions after 5:00 PM! So after work or after school you can still enjoy a visit to a wonderful museum…For FREE!

ICA museum
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
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Isabella Steward Gardner Museum
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Isabella Steward Gardner Museum
MFA
Museum of fine Arts, Boston
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Museum of fine Arts, Boston

#5 Boston Has a Young, Dynamic, Smart and Multicultural Profile

When I used to live in Chicago, one thing I realized was how segregated it felt. Downtown was mostly white collar white Americans, Southern Chicago and Uptown was black, Chinese lived in Chinatown, North had a Muslim neighborhood and around Kimball, there was the Hispanic neighborhood. Although there is a Chinatown here and Chelsea, in Boston is predominantly Hispanic, I can say that due to its college-town identity, it looks well-blended.

The other day I was walking down from Brookline to Allston. Brookline is mostly Jewish. I left the Greek Cafe ‘Athan’s Bakery’ (They had great desserts there). On the way, I over heard a Russian mom speaking on the phone and walking her baby, three Korean college students were walking pass by me. Later, I heard some English (not surprising, is it? :P) Then, this Turkish couple just walked into a nearby Starbucks. After that I stopped by at the Liquor store to get beer and paid to the Indian store owner. when I talk about being multicultural, do you see what I mean?

Because everybody is either a student, or a teacher, or admin, or businessman/businesswoman , you can feel the above average IQ in the air.

Of course while talking about good Boston people, I will include a picture of my colleagues. I think we fit the Boston profile well:)

boston peeps

Of course there are some things that I don’t like about Boston. Two things to be exact: The housing prices and the cold, long, snowy winters. The housing prices are outrageous. The rent for a studio apartment (NOT in downtown but 20-40 min train ride away) starts from $1400, one bedroom starts at $1700. If you want to live in downtown, it gets even more expensive. If you want to rent just a room it starts from $900 per room. These are ridiculous prices  because Boston is small and can accommodate only certain amount of people.

As far as the cold, long, snowy winter is concerned, after Chicago, I can’t complain 😀  I find Chicago winters even more brutal and I survived 3 of them. It is easier for me to handle Boston. But some people hate the weather and leave, I respect that.

Hope you enjoy this read and you find it helpful! Write a comment below if you have any questions or share it if you like it!

Cheers!

-Ece

Posted in Podcast

Kadına Şiddet

Kadına siddet konulu bu podcast, bir cok onemli konuya deginiyor. Cesitli Roportajlara da yer veren bu podcast de sunlari ogreneceksiniz:

  • Siddet yanlisi erkekler neden bunu yapiyor?
  • Duygusal siddet gordugunuzu nasil anlarsiniz?
  • Bu tur erkeklerin iyilesme ihtimali var midir?
  • Ne zaman ayrilmali?
  • Basiniza neler gelebilir?

8 Mart Dunya Kadinlar Gununuz kutlu olsun…

violence

 

Posted in books

‘The Naked Ape’ by Desmond Morris

“A Zoologist’s Study of the Human animal” This is how Morris describes the book.

Having been published in 1967, the book has some old feeling to it but it is a must read if you are interested in human origins or human behavior in general. So many things that we do today, in modern world, was coded in our brains thousands of years ago. By examining our ancestors, besides other animals, Morris had a very clear image of who we actually are: Naked Apes.

I would like to give some insight about the author first: Desmond John Morris (born 24 January 1928) is an English zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter, as well as a popular author in human sociobiology. He is known for his 1967 book The Naked Ape, and for his television programs such as Zoo Time. He studied zoology at the University of Birmingham and he got his PhD degree in animal behavior, at the University of Oxford.

Morris makes my job way easier and divides his book into 8 major parts: Origins, Sex, Rearing, Exploration, Fighting, Feeding, Comfort, Animals. I intend to follow his path in this review. What is most striking about his style is that he can describe a process in a  very detailed way. He first starts the chapter with the observations he made on animals, after detailed descriptions, he explains how we see these traits in humans as well, then he makes his own comments on the subject. Some of them are well known facts but some of them are extremely surprising. Especially the ‘Fighting’ ‘Comfort’ and ‘Animals’ parts were interesting since I learned a lot of new things.

In this review you will find out:

  • Why are we naked in comparison to other primates?
  • Why do we hate snakes and spiders?
  • During a fight which one is an indicator of danger?: Your enemy’s face turning white or red?
  • Why do babies smile?
  • Why stares are intimidating?
  • Do we coded for monogamy or polygamy?
  • And more…

Enjoy.

ORIGINS

‘Naked Ape’ (aka Homo Sapiens) is an odd kind when compared with the other primate species, marked off by his nudity from all the thousands of hairy, shaggy or furry land-dwelling mammalian species.

It is the biological nature of the beast  that has molded the social structure of civilization, rather than the other way around. Only the names have been changed: for ‘hunting’ read ‘working’, for ‘hunting grounds’ read ‘place of business’, for ‘home base’ read ‘house’ for ‘pair bond’ read ‘marriage’, for ‘mate’ read ‘wife’ , and so on.

This chapter in the book starts with explaining how due to the climatic conditions apes were forced to become hunters rather than fruit pickers. The ancestral ground apes already had large and high quality brains. They had good eyes** and efficient grasping hands. They inevitably, as primates, had some degree of social organization. With strong pressure on them to increase their prey-killing skills vital changes began to take place. They became more upright-fast, better runners. Their hands became freed from locomotion duties – strong, efficient weapon holders. Their brains became more complex – brighter quicker decision makers.

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This is what a dog-ape would have looked like. Not very charming.

It could be argued that evolution might have favored the development of a more typical cat- or dog- like killer, a kind of cat-ape or dog-ape, by the simple process of enlarging the teeth and nails into savage fang-like and claw-like weapons. But this would have put the ancestral ground ape into direct competition with the already highly specialized cat and dog killers. It would have meant competing with them on their own term, and the outcome would no doubt have been disastrous for the primates.

The forest ape that became a ground ape that became a hunting ape that became a territorial ape that became a cultural ape and we must call a temporary halt.

Vision

**The sensory equipment of the higher primates is much more dominated by the sense of vision than the sense of smell. In their tree-climbing world, seeing well is far more important than smelling well, and the snouts shrunk considerably giving the eyes a much better view. In searching for food, the colors of fruits are helpful clues, and unlike the carnivores, primates have evolved a good color vision.

Communication

Socially the hunting ape had to increase his urge to communicate and to co-operate with his fellows. Facial expressions and vocalizations had to become more complicated. With the new weapons to hand, he had to develop powerful signals that would inhibit attacks within the social group. On the other hand, with a fixed home base to defend, he had to develop stronger aggressive responses to the members of rival groups.

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Different gestures of Apes revealing their moods.

Father Role

A new development, for the general primate rule is that virtually all parental care comes from the mother (It is only a wise primate, like our hunting ape, that knows its own father).

Mother Role

Because of the extremely long period of dependency of the young and the heavy demands made by them, the females found themselves almost constantly confined to the home base. In this respect the hunting ape’s new way of life threw up a special problem, one that it did not share with the typical pure carnivores: the role of the sexes had to become more distinct. The hunting parties, unlike those of the ‘pure’ carnivores, had to become all male groups. If anything was going to go against the primate grain, it was this. For a vigorous primate male to go off on a feeding trip and leave his females unprotected from the advances of any other males that might happen to come by, was unheard of. This was something that demanded a major shift in the social behavior.

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Male- Female Bond

Male and female hunting apes had to fall in love and remain faithful to one another. This is a common tendency in many other group of animals but it is rare among primates. This shift helped many things: Serious sexual rivalries between the males were reduced. This aided their developing cooperativeness. Also with the newly developed weapons, the hunting ape was under strong pressure to reduce any source of disharmony within the tribe. The last effect was on the little hunting apes. The heavy task of rearing and training the slowly developing young demanded a cohesive family unit. With the male-female bond (monogamous) this unity was formed.

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Nudity

Why on earth should the haunting ape have become a naked ape? We can be fairly certain that it did not happen before our ancestors left their forest homes. It probably happened while they were on the open plains. There are several theories for our nakedness, let’s have a look at them briefly:

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Infant chimpanzee with naked body with some hair on the top of his head. Are we a product of neoteny?
  1. Neoteny: To continue to possess some larval or immature characteristics in adulthood. If you examine an infant chimpanzee at birth (after exactly 8.5-9 months, like us) you will find that it has a good head of hair, but that its body is almost naked (see the picture above). If this condition was delayed into the animal’s adult life by neoteny, the adult chimpanzee’s hair condition would be very much like hours. BUT unless it had some special value to the new species, it would be quickly dealt with by natural selection. So why did it stay? Here are some other theories:
  2. What is the survival value of naked skin? When the hunting ape abandoned its nomadic past and settled down at fixed home bases, its dens became heavily infested with skin parasites. Also, such messy feeding habits that a furry coat would soon become clogged and messy would create a disease risk. There are hundreds of species who lost their hair during evolution due to this problem.
  3. Another theory is that development of fire led the loss of the hairy coat since hunting ape felt cold only at night and fire was handling the problem.
  4. This theory is very interesting: Before becoming a hunting ape, the original ground ape that had left the forests went through a long phase as an aquatic ape in search of food. Aquatic-Ape-TheoryClose examination reveals that on our backs the directions of our tiny remnant hairs differ strikingly  from those other apes. In us, they point diagonally  backwards and inwards towards the spine. This follows the direction of flow of the water passing over a swimming body. So the idea that we might have lost our body hair to reduce resistance when swimming. Also, we are unique among all the primates in being the only one to possess a thick layer of sub-cutaneous fat, a compulsory insulating device. Even sensitive nature of our hands support the aquatic theory: Because it takes a subtle sensitized hand to feel for food in the waterwaterape1waterape2waterape3waterape4waterape5waterape6
  5. Another argument that we lost hair because it was a social trend; it arose as a signal. Hunting ape wanted to look different to be easily identified.
  6. Another suggestion is that the loss of hair is an extension of sexual signalling. Sensitivity to touch was sexually important and by exposing their naked skins to one another during sexual encounters, both male and female would become more highly sensitized to erotic stimuli.
  7. The last suggestion, if you ask me, was the weakest one that was argued. Hunting ape lost hair to prevent himself from being over-heated. Exposure of the naked skin to the air certainly increases the chances of the heat loss, but it also increases heat gain at the same time and risks damage from the sun’s rays.

SEX

It is a confusing situation for today’s naked ape: As primates they are pulled one way, as carnivores by adoption they are pulled another, and as members of an elaborate civilized community, they are pulled yet another.

The female of our species has to reach the age of twenty nine before she can match the orgasm rate of the fifteen-year old male.

Why do we want to build our own family?

During the long, growing years, the young hunting ape will have had the chance to develop a deep personal relationship with his parents, a relationship much more powerful and lasting than anything a young monkey could experience. The loss of this parental bond with maturation and independence would create a ‘relationship void’  – a gap that had to be filled. He would therefore already be primed for the development of a new equally powerful bond to replace it.

Other primate females do not pair with their male partners during their pregnancy but the naked ape does: because with one male- one female  system, it would be dangerous to frustrate the male for too long a period. It might endanger the pair bond.

Why our lips are inside-out?

All primates have lips but not turned inside-out like ours. Giving a kiss on the lips is a greeting signal for the chimpanzee.

A male and a female chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) looking deeply in each others eyes

Kiss is both greeting and a sexual one for the naked ape. Why?: Sexual arousal produces some physical changes in the body; a swelling and reddening of the lips, and the clear demarcation of this area (the line between your lower lip and upper lip and the line around your lips) are shaped in a  way that they become more recognizable. Even in their un-aroused condition, they are redder than the rest of the face skin simply by their very existence, they will act as advertising signals drawing attention to the presence of a tactile sexual structure.

Another supporting fact to this is that if climatic conditions demand a darker skin, then this will work agains the visual signalling capacity of the lips by reducing their color contrast. If they really are important as visual signals, what they have lost in color contrast, they have made up for in size and shape by becoming larger and more protuberant.

Monogamy or polygamy?

If the violent hunting life results in adult males becoming scarcer than females, there will be a tendency for some of the surviving males to form pair bonds with more than one female. However, this will bring home the problem since the female won’t want to share him with somebody else. To have a peaceful relationship with his hunting mates, a peaceful family life at the home base, to keep the peace in the group, naked apes evolved to be monogamous.

We can sum up by saying that, whatever obscure backward tribal units are doing today, the mainstream of our species express its pair-bonding character in its most extreme form, namely long-term monogamous mating.

Our Smell Preferences

Before puberty, there are strong preferences for sweet and fruity odors, but with the arrival of sexual maturity this response falls off  and there is a dramatic shift in favor of flowery, oily and musky odors. This applies to both sexes, but the increase in musk responsiveness is stronger in males than females.

Incest

If the old primate patterns are left unmodified, the adult male will soon drive out the young males (his sons) and mate with the young females . These will then become part of the family unit as additional breeding females along with their mother, and we shall be right back where we started. But this wouldn’t work anymore for the new cooperative hunting ape. Because of its home-base needs and female-male bond that already improved, as the children reach puberty, they set off to establish a new breeding base and find their mate themselves.

Where did the urge for covering our genitals come from?

figleafIf sexuality had to be heightened to keep the pair together, then steps must have been taken to damp it down when the pair were apart, to avoid the over-stimulation of third parties. Because of their vertical posture it is impossible for a naked ape to approach another member of his species without performing a genital display. The covering of the genital region with some simple kind of garment must have been an early cultural development.

ABNORMAL or NORMAL sexual behavior?

If outside matings conflict too strongly with the pair bond, then some less harmful substitute for them has to be found. The solution has been ‘voyeurism’ meaning obtaining sexual excitement from watching other individuals copulating.

There is nothing biologically unusual about a homosexual act of pseudo-copulation. But the formation of a homosexual pair bond is re-productively unsound, since it cannot lead to the production of offspring and wastes potential breeding adults. One theory is that under serious over-crowding with no signs of any easing up in the immediate future, anti-reproductive sexual patterns must obviously be considered in a new light.

If either males or females cannot for some reason obtain sexual access to their opposite numbers, they will find sexual outlets in other ways. They may use other members of their own sex. or they may even use members of other species, or they may masturbate.

REARING

If the naked ape is trying to breast feed her baby and the baby doesn’t want it, there are two possible reasons:

  1. Nipple is not protruding far enough into the baby’s mouth.
  2. It is failing because it is being suffocated.

This is caused by the anatomy of the human female breast. Other female primates has much longer shape and does not swell out into the great rounded hemisphere that causes so much difficulty for the baby. This is because for our species, breast design is primarily sexual rather than maternal in function.

breastfeeding
All the primates but the Naked Ape have a shape of breast that is best for breastfeeding. With this shape, the baby doesn’t suffocate or doesn’t have any trouble reaching the nipple.

Why we breast feed on the left side?

The mother, either instinctively or by an unconscious series of trials and errors, would soon arrive at the discovery that her baby is more at peace if held on the left, against her heart, than on the right.

This is why babies sleep better with a ticking metronome with a heart beat speed . This also may explain why we insist on locating feelings of love in the heart rather than the head. Also, we rock back and forth on our feet when we are in a state of conflict. rocking like a heart beat calms us down.

breast

Voice and Crying

The astonishing fast rate of learning in the field of vocal imitation is unique to our species and must be considered as one of our greatest achievements. Chimpanzees are like us, brilliant at rapid manipulative imitation, but they cannot manage vocal imitations. This difference is a question of brain, not voice. The chimpanzee has a vocal apparatus that is structurally perfectly capable of making a wide variety of sounds. So do birds. But they are too bird-brained to make a good use of this ability.

By crying, the baby alerts its parents, the adult alerts the other members of its social group. There are two important factors to baby’s crying: physical pain (including hunger) and insecurity.

Laugh

Laugh has evolved from crying: the crying infant has become segmented, chopped up into small pieces and at the same time has grown smoother an slower.

Laughing does not appear until the third or fourth month. Its arrival coincides with the development of the parental recognition. Smiling is a secondary form of laughing. It has become specialized as a species greeting signal. Any social contact is at best mildly fear-provoking. Both smile and the laugh indicate the existence of this fear and its combination with feelings of attraction and acceptance (Blogger’s note: Maybe this explains the nervous laugh and nervous smile! I have a strange story actually, when I heard that my grandfather died in a tragic traffic accident, I was devastated. I was the one who broke down the news to my mom, but while I was telling her the terrible news, I found myself smiling! I was thinking to myself: What the heck? Stop smiling! But it was uncontrollable, I couldn’t control it. Maybe it was my fear that smiling!).

Also the evolution of smile is the clinging that apes do but we can’t since we do not have any fur on our mother to cling to. A young chimpanzee screams its head off when it needs attention, like we do. Once his mother comes he clings to her showing that he wants his mother to stay. We do the same by smiling. We signal to our mother that we want her and her attention to stay by smiling.

EXPLORATION

We never stopped investigating: this is the greatest survival trick of our species. Experiments with monkeys have revealed that not only does isolation in infancy produce a socially withdrawn adult, but it also creates an anti-sexual and anti-parental individual.

FIGHTING

Animals fight among themselves either to establish their dominance in a social hierarchy, or to establish their territorial rights over a particular piece of ground.

There is a rigidly established social hierarchy in most species of monkeys and apes, with a dominant male in charge of the group. When he becomes too old or weak to maintain his domination, he is overthrown by a younger, sturdier male, who then assumes the mantle of the colony boss.

The book explains the physical changes in our body during the preparation of a fight, which I’m not going to write here. Rather, I will share some interesting information.

When a mammal becomes aggressively aroused to fight a number of basic physiological changes occur within its body. The whole machine has to gear itself up for action by means of the autonomic nervous system. This system consists of two opposing and counterbalancing sub systems:

  1. The sympathetic system: the one that is concerned with preparing the body for violent activity. It says “You are stripped for action, get moving!”
  2. The parasympathetic system: the one that has the task of preserving and restoring bodily reserves. It says “Take it easy, relax and conserve your strength”

The enemy provokes fear as well as aggression. The aggression drives the animal on, the fear holds it back. The intense state of inner conflict arises. Typically, the animal that is aroused to fight doesn’t go straight into all-out attack. It begins by threatening to attack. If the enemy gets scared and leaves, then you win without shedding any blood. This is preferable.

In the tense state of conflict between aggression and fear, everything is suspended. The result is that parasympathetic system fights back wildly and the autonomic pendulum swings frantically back and forth. As the tense moments of threat and counter threat tick by, we see flashes of parasympathetic activity intermitted with the sympathetic symptoms. Dryness in the mouth may give way to excessive salivation. Tightening of the bowels may collapse and sudden defecation occurs. The urine, held back so strongly in the bladder, maybe released in a flood. The removal of the blood from the skin maybe massively reversed: extreme paleness being replaced by intense flushing and reddening. The deep and rapid respiration may be dramatically interrupted, leading to gasps and sighs. These are desperate attempts on the part of the parasympathetic system to counteract the apparent actions of sympathetic. This explains why in extreme cases of shock, fainting or swooning can be observed. In such instances blood that has been rushed to the brain is withdrawn again so violently that it leads to a sudden unconsciousness.

One of the side affects of an intense inner conflict is that animal sometimes exhibits strange and seemingly irrelevant behavior to show its fear + anger. There are so many variations to this in animal world. One of them that is similar to us is to indulge in ‘instant sleep’ momentarily tucking their heads into a snoozing position, yawning and stretching. The other one is scratching even though nothing is itching. Modern humans do this by rearranging ornaments (see below, 45. President of the USA’s behavior), lighting a cigarette, cleaning our glasses, looking at our watch, pouring a drink, etc. (Bloggers note: Also have you ever thought why we feel so sleepy while studying for our finals? That is our ‘instant sleep’ reaction to our fear.)

So what do animals do to show their enemy that they don’t want to fight anymore?

They either switch off the signals that have been arousing the aggression, or they switch on other, positively non aggressive signals. Because aggression involves violent movement, a static pose automatically signals non-aggression. Usually this is accompanied by crouching or cowering. Aggression involves expanding the body to its maximum size (look how the both men are opening their arms while threatening each other in the above video) and crouching reverses this . Facing away from the animal also helps.

In certain rare cases a loser will admit defeat by offering a vulnerable area to attacker. A chimpanzee for example, will hold out its hand as a gesture of submission. Modern human does this by a hand shake or raising our hands.

Sometimes they adopt juvenile begging postures which will talk to the enemy’s parental instincts. Modern human does this by adopting a ‘baby-talk’ that we see among couples.

The last thing the animal tries is grooming. A great deal of social or mutual grooming goes on in animal world and it is strongly associated with the calmer, ore peaceful moments of community life.

Human animal in Fight

We cannot intimidate our opponents, for example, by erecting our body hair. But we can go ‘white with rage’, ‘red with anger’, or ‘pale with fear’. It is the white color we have to watch for here: this means activity.If it is combined with other actions that signal attack, then it is a vital danger signal. If it is combined with other actions that signal fear, then it is a panic signal. The angry, red-faced opponent who faces you is far less likely to attack than the white-faced, tight lipped one. Red-face’s conflicts such that he is all bottled up and inhibited, but white face is still ready for action. White face is much more likely to spring in to the attack unless he is immediately appeased or counter-threatened even more strongly.

As naked apes, because our urge to attack and escape are both strongly activated simultaneously, we exhibit some characteristics movements. For example: raising of clenched fist or raising a hand, back and forth striking movements of the forearm. We blow our fist but at a safe distance form the opponent.

Naked ape make short approach-intention movements but repeatedly check themselves from going too far. maybe the stamped their feet or bring down their fists in any near-by object. This redirection activity happens a lot in animal world. Because the opponent is too frightening to be directly assaulted, the aggressive movements are redirected towards some other less intimidating object dor example a harmless bystander . Gorillas, chimpanzees frequently perform similar display, tearing up, smashing and throwing around branches and vegetation.

Watch the two men’s fight. It takes them about a minute to threaten each other (repeatedly check themselves from going too far). Their body move back and forth, they raise their hands up. You can easily see the guy with the green shirt’s face is turning red as the argument heats up. Also at the minute 0:30 by shooting the ball, actually he is redirecting his anger.

Our aggressive faces are the same with other primates, the more the urge to attack dominates the urge to flee, the more the face pulls itself forwards. If you are exposing your teeth, your forehead is wrinkling and eyebrows are raised, the fear is taking over.

The crouching of animals as a sign of defeat turns into groveling and prostrating in humans. The key signal here is the lowering of the body in relation to the dominant individual. When threatening, we puff ourselves up to our greatest height, making our bodies as tall and as large as possible. So submissive behavior must be the opposite. Like military salute; removing the hat actually a procedure of lowering the height of the body. Also the key feature here is the lowering of eyes. A direct stare is typical of the most out-and-out aggression.

Chimpanzees appease by holding out a limp hand towards the dominant individual, to show submission. We do the same gesture. It is our greeting gesture in the shape of a friendly hand shake. Friendly gestures often grow out of submissive ones.

The Power of Stare

During ordinary face-to-face conversations we typically look away from our companions when we are talking, then glance back at them at the end of each sentence, or ‘paragraph’, to check their response to what we have said. Even though a professor with much experience is in such a dominant position, there are so many students in the auditorium, all staring at him, that he experiences a basic and initially uncontrollable fear of them. Only after a great deal of practice can he overcome this. The simple, aggressive, physical act of being stared at by a large group of people is also causing the butterflies in his stomach. He has all his intellectual worries about the qualities of his performance and its reception, of course, but the mass threat-stare is an additional and more fundamental hazard for him. This is again a case of the curiosity stare being confused at an unconscious level with the threat-stare. The wearing of glasses and sunglasses makes the face appear more aggressive because it artificially and accidentally enlarges the pattern of the stare. Mild mannered individuals tend to select thin-rimmed or rimless glasses (without realizing why they do so) because this enables them to see better with the minimum stare exaggeration, arousing counter aggression.

staresmith
Do these stares with shades make you feel threatened? There is a reason for that.

Moths have a pair of startling eye-markings on their wings. These lie concealed until the creatures are attacked by predators.

moth
Moth with eye-markings on its wings.

On a smaller scale certain products have been given threat-face brand names such as OXO, OMO, OZO or OVO. The attention has already been drawn.

In animal world, during the fight, destruction of life is avoided because the enemy either flees or submits. In either case, the dispute is settled. But the moment that attacking is done from such a distance that the submission signals of the losers cannot be read by the winners, then violent aggression is going to go raging on. In modern aggression,  the result is wholesale slaughter on a scale unheard of in any other species.

There are 5 solutions proposed by the author to end the massacre:

  1. massive mutual disarmamaent
  2. de-patriotize the members of the different social groups.
  3. provide and promote harmless, symbolic substitutes for war
  4. improvement of intellectual control over aggression.

According to the author none of these are really possible for the near future. So he proposes this as the only sound biological solution to this dilemma: 5. Massive depopulation or a rapid spread of the species on to other planets, combined if possible with assistance from all four of the courses of action already mentioned. To sum up then, the best solution for ensuring world peace is the widespread promotion of contraception or abortion.

RELIGION

From out ancient background there remained a need for all-powerful figure who could keep the group under control, and the vacancy was filled by the invention of a god. At first sight it is surprising that religion has been so successful, but its extreme potency is simply a measure of the strength of our fundamental biological tendency. Because if this, religion has proved immensely valuable as a device for aiding social cohesion, and it is doubtful whether our species could have progressed far without it. We all simply have to believe in something.

EATING

Why do we like to eat our food hit?

Alternative explanations:

  1. it helps to simulate ‘prey temparature’ :Although we no longer consume freshly killed meat we nevertheless devour it at much the same temperature as other carnivor species.
  2. We have such weak teeth that we are forced to ‘tenderize’ the meat by cooking it. But it doesn’t explain why want to eat it hot.
  3. byincreasing the temperature of the food we improve its flavor.

Like other primates we find it hard to resist sweets.

The urge to eat meat appears to have become too deep -seated.

COMFORT

The place where the environment comes into direct contact with an animal, its body surface, receives a great deal of rough treatment during  the course of its life. Animals have evolved a veriety of special comfort movements that help to keep it clean.

Social grooming,  (animals picking food from each other’s fur) the development of a friendly mutual aid system. This can be seen in a wide range of both bird and mammal species, but it reaches a peak of expression among the higher primates. When they groom each other, they do lip-smacking to communicate. Look at this video:

We no longer have a luxuriant coat of fur to clean. Smiling has replaced lip smacking and vocalization replaced grooming. The behavior pattern of talking:

  1. Information talking: Talking with verbs about everything
  2. Mood talking: nonverbal mood signals
  3. Exploratory talking: Talking for talking’s sake
  4. Grooming talking; Meaningless polite chatter during gatherings

Fluffy or furry clothing, rugs, or furniture often release a strong grooming response. Pet animals are even more inviting, and few naked apes can resist the temptation to stroke a cat’s fur or scratch a dog behind the ear.

So, why the grooming adoption of humans did not involved our hair? The explanation appears to lie in the sexual significance of the hair. Its sexual associations have led to its involvement in sexual behavior patterns, so that stroking or manipulating the hair is now an action too heavily loaded with erotic significance to be used as a simple social friendship gesture.

In today’s world we have some psychological disorders and they are coming from the grooming need of our ancestors. Medical care is one of the grooming actions among apes. Minor infection and sicknesses are usually treated rationally, as if they are simply mild versions of serious illnesses, but there is strong evidence to suggest that they are in reality much more related to primitive ‘grooming demands’. The medical symptoms reflect a behavioral problem that has taken a physical form, rather than a true physical problem. This is happening because by examining, writing a prescription, taking care of the patient, the doctor is doing grooming. If psychological the person needs constant grooming, this is a disorder. In modern world we call it: Münchausen’s Syndrome. Those members of a community who are either very successful or socially well adjusted rarely suffer from this. Those that have temporary or long-standing social problems are, by contrast, highly susceptible.

Also, another disorder is hidden here: Some individuals have such a great need to care for others that they may actively promote and prolong sickness in a companion in order to be able to express their grooming urges more fully. This way a vicious cycle of a chronic invalid demanding and constant attention is created.  This is called: Münchausen by Proxy syndrome.

OUR OTHER SIMILARITIES

Like other primates we still scratch ourselves, rub our eyes, pick our sores,. and lick our wounds. We also share with them a strong tendency to sun bathe. In addition we have added a number of specialized cultural patterns, the most common and widespread of which is washing with water. This is rare in other primates, although certain species bathe occasionally.

We also sweat like primates. There is a further distinction in the ares of emotional sweating, the palms and the soles differing from the armpits and the forehead. The first regions respond well only to emotional situations, whereas the last two react to both emotional and to temperature stimuli.

ANIMALS

The last part of the book is about how naked ape sees other animals. There is some interesting information here. Higher forms of animal life regard other animals in 5 ways: as prey, symbionts, competitors, parasites and predators.

DomesticationOfDogs

The most ancient symbiont in our history is undoubtedly the dog. We cannot be sure exactly when our ancestors first began to domesticate this valuable animal, but it appears to be at least ten thousand years ago. The wild, wolf-like ancestors of the domestic dog must have been serious competitors with our hunting ancestors. In time – we do not exactly know how- they made a deal in each hunt to share the kill. In time, possibly young puppies were brought in to the tribal home base to be fattened so that they could eat them later. However, their value as watch dogs were discovered. Then, these that were allowed to live in a now tamed condition and permitted to accompany the males on their hunting trip show immediately their talent of track down the prey.

Having been fed and raised, the dogs would consider themselves to be members of the naked-ape pack and would cooperate instinctively with their adopted leaders. Selective breeding over a number of generations would soon get rid of the trouble makers and a new, improved stock of increasingly restrained and controllable domestic hunting dogs would arise.

Individual dogs with unusually well developed abilities in a particular direction were inbred to intensify their special advantages.

Cats

With the development of large-scale grain storage, rodents became a serious problem and rodent-killers were encouraged The cat the ferret and the mongoose were the species that came to our aid and in the first two cases full dommestication with selective breeding followed.

Animals We Like and We Don’t Like

They asked 80,000 British children aging between 4 to 14 what their favorite animal is in the zoo. The figures are as follows: 97.15% of all the children quoted a mammal of some kind as their top favorite Birds accounted for 1.6%, reptiles 1%, amphibians 0.055. If we narrow it to top ten animals:

  1. Chimpanzee (13.5%)
  2. Monkey (13%)
  3. Horse (9%)
  4. Bushbaby (A nocturnal ape) (8%)
  5. Panda (7.5%)
  6. Bear (7%)
  7. Elephant (6%)
  8. Lion (5%)
  9. Dog (4%)
  10. Giraffe (2.5%)

It is immediately clear that these preferences do not reflect aesthetic influences. The top ten are not the most elegant or brightly colored of species. They include instead a high proportion of rather clumsy, heavy-set and dully colored forms. But they look like ‘us’ or they act like ‘us’ somehow. Look at these facts:

  1. They all have hair, rather than feathers or scales
  2. They have rounded outlines (chimpanzee, monlkey, bushbaby, panda, bear,e lephant)
  3. They have flat faces (chimpanzee, monkey, bush baby, bear, panda, lion)
  4. They have facial expressions (chimpanzee, monkey, horse, lion, dog)
  5. They can ‘manipulate’ small objects (chimpanzee,. monkey, busbaby, panda,elephant)
  6. Their postures are in some ways, or at some timesrather vertical (chimpanzee, monket, buhbaby, panda, bear, giraffe)

This is not a conscious process. Each of the species listed provides certain key stimuli that strongly remind us of special properties of our own species. Non-mammalian species score badly because they are weak in these above respects. Among the birds, the top 2 picks were penguin, which is a vertically walking animal, and parrot, who speaks like a human.

The younger children prefer the bigger animals and the older children prefer the smaller ones. Because smaller children viewing the animals as parent-substitutes and the older children are looking upon them as child-substitutes.

Let’s look at the animal hates:

  1. Snake (27%)
  2. Spider (9.5%)
  3. Crocodile (4.5%)
  4. Lion (.4.5%)
  5. Rat (4%)
  6. Skunk (3%)
  7. Gorilla (3%)
  8. Rhinoceros (3%)
  9. Hippopotamus (2.5%)
  10. Tiger (2.5%)

These animals share one important feature: they are dangerous. Most of them lack the anthropomorphic features that describe the top ten favorites. Most of the people can’t even stand looking at their pictures. They cannot hurt you from the pictures, so what is this disgust?

Two rats, 12 months old, in front of white background
This cute rat couple ranks 5th in the list of most unlikable animals. Awww…

So the fear for top two is very interesting…
An analysis of the reasons given for hating these forms reveals that snakes are disliked because they are slimy an d dirty and spiders are repulsive because they are hairy and creepy. This means that they must have a symbolic significance rather than being dangerous. We might have a powerful inborn response to avoid these animals (MariaExample): 1. They might be symbolizing unwanted sex 2 .Inborn aversion response towards snake-like forms, aversion response has a survival value.

As far as the spider fear is concerned, there is a marked sex difference. The level of reaction to spiders is the same for girls with boys up to the age of puberty, then the fear in females doubles with a sharp increase. This leap in spider hatred that accompanies female puberty because of the growth of unwanted hair on the body of a young girl. That’s why they describe it as ‘nasty, hairy things’ .

FINAL WORDS
At the end of the seventeenth century the world population of naked ape was only 500 million. It has now risen to 7,600 million. Every twenty-four hours it increases by another 150,000. In 210 years’ time, if the rate of increate stays steady – which is unlikely- there will be a seething mass of 400,000 million (400 billion) naked apes crowding the face of the earth. This is scary.

Many exciting species have become extinct in the past and we are no exception. Sooner or later we shall go and make way for something else.

Some people think that our intelligence can dominate all our basic urges. I submit that this is rubbish. Our raw animal nature will never permit it. Of course we are flexible, of course, we are behavioral opportunists, but there are severe limits to the form our opportunism can take. By stressing our biological features in this book, I have tried to show the nature of these restrictions.

If you enjoyed this information as much as I did, don’t forget to add this great book into your library!

Ece

Posted in the USA, Turkey

What I wish I had known before coming to the USA

When I came to the USA in 2008 for the first time, I was in so-called ‘honeymoon stage’: Everything was new and exciting. Even my jet-lag. I was ready to explore, meet new people, eat new food, buy new clothes. However, after about a month, I started to feel frustrated, lonely and tired. Everything was so different that learning curve was painful. So many things that I had to figure out ‘by myself’ and when I couldn’t figure it out, there was no one to cry to.

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I was really depressed for the first 4-5 months in the USA. I had constant headaches and dark circles around my eyes.

In this post, I would like to share with you the things I wished I had known before I arrived. Although I believe that learning these by experiencing on your own would be challenging but fun, also I know that a lot of people eventually go back to their countries because they can’t cope with these challenges by themselves, especially in the first critical 1-3 months. Statistics say that around 34% of all new college students will drop out in the first year. One of the main reasons is homesickness.

If you want me to define ‘homesickness’, it is not just missing your parents or best friends. It is losing the sense of ‘belonging’, also the fear of  the ‘unknown’ and lacking the strength to fight with ‘problems’ as they hit hard one after another. I remember one day I missed the bus to school which was running  every 30 min. I was running late for the class, so I had to walk to the class in snow. But half way to the school, I realized that my cute looking boots that I bought from Turkey were not suitable for snow. By the time I arrived my class, my socks were soaked in snow water. The very same day I learned that for my thesis, I needed to go on a field trip and camp for at least 40 days. The problem was, I hadn’t had a car or driver’s license at that time, I hadn’t camped in wild at all, not even for one day. Then of course in the evening I felt sick because of the cold and I remember shivering and thinking to myself: If I die here, nobody will know. I’m so alone.

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The car I had to buy with the help of my American family and my campground for my thesis work. I camped 40 days alone in Wilson, KS. There were stormy nights and weird animals around. My allergies were killing me and sun was burning my skin no matter how much sun screen I applied. 

Now, let’s talk about the most important things before you move to the USA:

CULTURE SHOCK, HOMESICKNESS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM 

As I mentioned, it was very difficult for me to adapt the host culture. It took me 5-6 months to start feeling normal. I was home all the time, watching movies and doing homework. I wanted to make friends, go out and explore. But I needed a car to go anywhere in Kansas and it was too hard to make friends. Americans seemed like they were communicating among themselves very effectively and confidently. Yet, I felt like I was left outside. Masters students at Geology department were doing projects together, were going to a bar (Henry’s in Lawrence, KS to be exact) every weekend but nobody was inviting me. That made me feel rejected… How was this even possible? The social butterfly in Turkey (me) had turned into a caterpillar.

Then, we went to this Spain field trip. I was staying with 5 other friends in the same hotel room. We finally started talking about things that are different than geology. We went out at night and we chat about everything. We were laughing, dancing. The whole week we spent in Almeria, Spain, I had gained a part of me back. I thought to myself “I’m still lovable and respectable”. After we returned to KS I joined their gatherings a lot more. When I confessed that I was waiting for an invitation, they were puzzled. They asked me why I waited for an invitation. They said they were discussing about where to go right in front of me, that meant I was automatically invited! Oh boy, how could I know that?!

HPIM0647
Geology friends and I in Almeria, Spain, 2008

Then as I read about it, I realized that it wasn’t only me! There was a science behind it. They mapped the psychological ups and downs. Now, you can learn about it too here and I hope that it will help you during your journey.

Below is a chart that shows the stages of adaptation process to a host culture:

During the first stage, Anticipating Departure, you go through mixed feelings. You are anxious about leaving your family and friends behind. You are trying to be excited but the fear of the unknown still makes you feel on edge.

homesickness

Upon entering the new country, your excitement will be at its top level. This level is called ‘Honeymoon Stage (Emotional High Point)‘. This stage lasts about 1-3 months. Everything is new, there are so many things to explore, so many things to take picture of, to taste and to smell. I still remember the smell of the BBQ sauce on the first ribs that I tried. And the taste of fried pickles. The smell of Britney Spears perfume (There were so many cheap perfumes everywhere). Also, I remember taking a picture of birds and bugs. They looked and sounded different. At this stage, I was like a tourist and I was enjoying it!

Then comes the Critical Low Point. This was the time when I first realized that I didn’t have anyone to share this excitement with. This was the period that I realized, in order to buy a toothpaste or a loaf of bread, I had to drive to Walmart which is 10 minute drive from home. There was a little problem though: I didn’t have a car. I didn’t even have a drivers license. Then I realized my masters program was way different than what I was expecting (It is way different than Turkish education). So much homework, so many lab and field reports. Proposal, poster presentation, application for scholarships and funding, everything had strict deadlines. Besides, my adviser was horrible, so it didn’t help my adaptation process at all. I remember crying in front of her once. I truly think she didn’t care.

Then comes the ‘Initial Adjustment‘. When I met my Turkish neighbors, Fatih abi and Zeynep Abla, I felt so happy, they were letting me borrow their car so that I could do groceries whenever I wanted. I had figured out the school’s system better, so I was finally meeting the deadlines and I was made aware of the danger called ‘plagiarism’ (please read more about it here: http://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-plagiarism).  On the Spain trip  I mentioned earlier, I had gotten closer with my American friends, I had joined ISA (International Student Association) which was the best decision I have ever made. In this organization, I met so many international students who were going through the same stages as me. This was such a good relief. Besides, we were having so much fun while we were learning about each other’s cultures. For the very first time, everything seemed to be working… Until the next stage…

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Our Turkish community in Lawrence, KS. My best friend, Aslihan, who helped me adjust my new home, is sitting right in front of me. The fourth one from right standing is Zeynep Abla and the first one from right sitting is Fatih Abi, who helped me a lot during my adjustment period.

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Being a part of the International Student Association and International Student and Scholar Services was the best decision I have ever made.

Confronting Deeper Issues‘ is an interesting stage. Because this is the stage after which you decide to stay or go back. Also, if you decide to stay, this is the stage that will make you more mature than ever. This is the time period that your communication with your home country gets little disrupted: Some friends of yours stop talking to you, or they get really busy with their own lives that they become not as available as they were before to chat. Suddenly when you look around, you see that you are living in a dorm or in an apartment with used furniture, your school work is a constant struggle, you are still trying to figure things out: You are trying to understand why your new friends are not checking in even though they know that you are sick. You are still trying to figure out how to open a bank account and call the bank when a problem arises. You, for the first time in your life, shovel the snow. You can’t figure out why your engine is not working after a freezing night. What is that scary storm alarm? Why do you have to make reservation for a taxi 24 hours in advance?? What is a social security number and how do you get it? What is credit history? Why do you even need it? How do I pay taxes here? While working on those complicated issues, your friends and your relatives in your country are getting married, getting promotions, celebrating birthdays, having babies. Your family members are having health problems, and you can’t be there. This feeling of ‘helplessness’ -can’t help anyone, can’t even help myself- is a real struggle. Because of these negative feelings, you will tend to focus on negatives, so you will start using phrases like “This is easier in my country” “This tastes better in my hometown” “In my country, they do this way differently! Ugh” So this is why it is called ‘deeper issues’; you question everything: your family and friendships, YOU and your country’s weaknesses and strengths. This is the stage you analyze all the ups and downs you had.

‘Adapting and Assimilating Stage’ is the best. You realize that you can enjoy the new culture while still keeping your core values. You accept the difficulties, find ways to solve them. You accept the good sides and bad sides of your own country and the host country. For example, I really like how people respect you as an individual and give you your own space in the US. Also the fact that the system rewards you if you work hard. But I still miss the warmth, friendliness, helpfulness and randomness of people in Turkey.

In this stage, your small circle of friends and acquaintances keep you occupied. Finally, you start traveling or focusing on your hobbies. Finally, you think about buying new furniture for your apartment, maybe some plants, some photos and paintings? You start to invite people over and cook for them. You start to find what to discuss with Americans since you know the local sports teams, TV shows and local news. You enjoy the cultural exchange; learning about their culture and teaching yours.

Finally there is this ‘Reverse Cultural Shock‘ stage which is labeled as ‘re-entry adjustment‘ in the chart. After you adjusted yourself and accepted your host country as your ‘home’, going back will be a different experience. Your people will be more different than where you left them. It will be hard to explain them what you saw, what you experienced. Some of them won’t understand very easily. They might underestimate the difficulties you went through and think that what you encountered could not be such big deal because you live in the strongest country in the world. You are finally in your country, the food is great, you go to the places that you missed, meet up with people that you love but then you can’t help but focus on rude people, traffic, long bank lines, smokers, governmental procedures, so many things that will annoy you, and you wished that were different. You will have difficulty adjusting back to your own culture. Frankly, I think this was the weirdest feeling that I experienced in this all adjustment period.

MY SUGGESTION:

If you are going through any of the above stages, I have a few suggestions for you:

  • Get involved! Socialize. This is crucially important. Put yourself out there. Sign up for a student organization, or find your country’s cultural group, or join meet-ups. Go to school gatherings and talk to people. Don’t be afraid about your English. People in America are used to accents. Also, you are the one who knows two languages! I have found it easier to socialize with international students or expats rather than Americans because we all were going through the same issues.
  • Make your living space unique, your style. Place things that will give you positive energy around your room: Pictures of your family, your best friend’s gift, your favorite book, a Star Wars poster, a fish tank or a cute little plant. Make your living space your ‘shelter’ your own ‘peaceful space’.
  • If you are a student, contact your school’s international students services office. Learn about activities, deadlines, etc.
  • Talk to your family and friends back home via Whatsapp, Facetime or Skype regularly. It really helps.
  • Stay connected with your peeps on social media. If you don’t have one, open a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account.
  • Get hobbies! You can keep the old ones or you can find new ones. You can read a book, write a blog, take drawing or dancing lessons. It is always great doing something different than papers and work.
  • Get an on-campus job if you can. It keeps you busy, allows you to meet different people, besides you make some pocket money!
  • Save money for your future trips! There are so many places to see in the USA! You would like to visit these places before you leave.
  • Exercise! When you start exercising (at gym or at home) you will be in a way better mood.
  • Eat healthy food. Eating crappy food everyday will also make your mood crappy.
  • Be careful about parties. American colleges are party lands. They start partying on Thursday and it continues till Sunday. Of course it is your right to join these parties and have fun, but do not forget about your reason to be here. Do not get side tracked, or alcohol poisoned.

SHOPPING

Have you ever spent 1.5 hours in a supermarket? It is ridiculous. It was my first time in Walmart: It was like going to IKEA, but for food. That is how big it was. Now another question: Have you ever spent $100 for food for 1 person? I did. I was so curious about the new brands, new tastes that I realized I bought too much stuff. Plus, back home, I used to shop for 3 people: my brother, my father and I. I guess I just didn’t know how much a single person would eat (Bloggers note: Also, do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry)

walmart
Walmart is the world’s largest company by revenue – approximately US$480 billion according to the Fortune Global 500 list in 2016. Its grocery stores are humongous. 

LEARN ABOUT YOUR AREA

Public Transportation

In the US, most cities do not have a good public transportation. This wasn’t a problem for my Saudi Arabian students who mostly drive anywhere back home, but if you are from Turkey, you might have a difficulty getting used to driving everywhere. When I lived in Chicago public transportation was great. There were two trains running 24 hours. You could go anywhere in the city by buses or train/metro (known as ‘L’). In Boston, also the public transportation works pretty well. You can definitely see public transportation in New York City, Jersey City, Washington (in Seattle), Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. But other places are usually a hit or miss. So please arrange your budget accordingly: Are you going to need a car? How much are second hand cars? How do you get a driver’s license?

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Chicago L system. ‘Brown line’ goes through downtown loop area.

Learn About Crime Rate in Your Area

It was around midnight when I woke up from my sleep with sounds of gunfire in my apartment in Uptown, Chicago. Someone was killed in our backyard. It was a gang crossfire. Then I couldn’t help but think ‘What if I was taking the trash out at that exact time?” I wished I had lived in a safer area. Bear in mind that the less safe neighborhoods will have cheaper housing options. So, if you are going to live in an apartment, and you are looking for cheap rent, make sure to check the crime rate online. One of the options you have is here:  Go to http://www.mylocalcrime.com to check the crimes around the area you are planning to live in. Don’t forget, there will always be some sort of crime reported. Americans are pretty good about reporting a crime.

Check the Weather

Please check the climate and weather information about the city before you arrive. Some people cannot really survive in cold and in some cities in the US it is brutally cold, especially if you are from a country that has warm climate. My students from Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia were complaining about how cold Chicago and Boston were. But my students from Northern Europe and Russia were totally fine with it. Also, don’t forget to check the weather everyday before you leave home, because it might change pretty quickly.

Here are two videos about two extremes: A little girl Mila is talking about Arizona summers (42 Celsius-average, 49 Celsius recorded) and in the second one you see a news report talking about last December’s arctic wave.

What is the City Like?

Some of my friends confessed me that before they arrived in Kansas, they were expecting to see skyscrapers, expensive cars, bars, restaurants and cafes everywhere (In other words, they were expecting to find a replica of New York City). They imagined lots of people in the streets. Instead, this was what they got:

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Lawrence, KS downtown (city center), Mass Street. Doesn’t look like New York City, does it?

Learn what your city offers and what its limits are. For example, if you live in a bigger city, your chances of finding a market that sells ingredients for your cuisine are high. Also, if the city has colleges and these universities with international students, then you are lucky. Again, you probably will find some international markets or restaurants in your city. But frankly, don’t expect to find Iskender kebab in Idaho, or grape leaves in a market in Mississippi. However, one thing I learned about America is that it can surprise you. So, I cannot speak for sure.

ELECTRONICS

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Converter that you need for the USA

Do not bring your electronics here other than your computer and phone charger (if you need to). Because of the voltage difference, your electronic devices will break down. While it is 220-230 V in most European, African and Asian countries, it is 120 V in the US (https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plug-voltage-by-country/). It happened to me with my toothbrush charger, hair straightener and epilator. First they worked slowly, then they completely stopped working. Besides, you will need a converter (see the image) if you are using a device from your country in the US.

EXPENSIVE HEALTHCARE

Do you remember those days that you had a migraine or persistent stomachache and you couldn’t help and went to emergency room? Well… You can’t do that in this country unless you are wealthy enough. Let’s look at this hospital bill of Peter Drier, 37,  who had a neck hernia surgery in 2013:

hospital bill

You can read his full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/us/drive-by-doctoring-surprise-medical-bills.html

As you can see ‘ER General’ Says $976. Let’s say your insurance will cover half of it. You still will need to pay about 500$. Also, let me remind you, monthly insurance payments vary but they can go from 150$ to 500$ a month. So, please do not get sick in the US.

Dentists are also another story. These numbers are taken from the website: http://www.phoenixendodontist.com/blog/root-canal-cost-vs-cost-of-implant

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The most pricey ones are implants, as you all know. So, let’s look at this comparison:

Dental-Implant-Cost-by-Country1

As you can see, there is a huge gap between the medical costs in the US and in other countries. One might argue that the equipment used is the highest technology and that is why the costs are high. Although I believe this is partly true, there is also the fact that hospitals are trying to find ways to get more of your money. If you are rich, you get the best treatment. If you are poor, you might get a below average treatment and we don’t care if you die in 10 years. I’m not talking about doctors or nurses here, I’m talking about the health system. Insurance is also such a complicated issue that (deductibles, in network versus out of network, HMO PDO plans, etc) I still have many questions and confusions even after 6 years I spent here.

BE AWARE OF SCAMS

When you are looking for a room to rent or a car to buy, be aware of scams. They will try to get your money or credit card information by sending genuine-looking emails. Especially with Craigslist, you have to be extra careful. One of the ways you can understand if the email is scam or not, scam ones tend to have too many personal details or many grammar or spelling mistakes. Let’s look at this example:

scam

As you can see from this email, the person is in Alabama and he will ‘mail’ the keys to them once the buyer sends the security payment. Do not fall for this, my friends. No realtor, no landlord will ask for your money without meeting face to face. They would NEVER mail you the keys, either. Look at all the grammar mistakes he made! Especially in the last paragraph: “My job factor” “very saddened (without ‘I am’)” “very perfect (no native will say this)” “you meet up with application process?? (haha application process is a person’s name I guess)” “my keys will be mail to you (Wrong passive voice usage)” and nobody will use “God” in their ads. This is also a big red flag.

Another thing that you should be careful about is the phone calls you will get while in the US. I remember one time a person called me and said they were from “Credit Card Protection Services” and my card needed to be protected. They had a jingle and everything when they put me on hold. They sounded real! But then he insisted on learning my credit card number. I was trying to be polite but at that moment I understood that they were just a scam.

Your phone or internet company, maybe AT&T, Xfinity, etc. They will keep calling you as well. They will try to convince you to upgrade your plan, which means you will have to pay more. I remember when I first moved in the US, I got a call and the person was speaking English with a heavy Indian accent and he was so fast that I had no idea what he was talking about. After saying ‘Could you repeat please?’ like 2 times, I gave up and I started to say ‘Yes’ to everything he said. After about 3 and a half minutes, we hung up. Oh Lord, at that moment, I was so relieved. Well… The following month my telephone bill came and it was 250$. Apparently I had upgraded my internet and phone to the most expensive plan!!! It was painful to call them back and fix everything again.

LEARN ABOUT YOUR VISA (STATUS) AND ITS RESTRICTIONS

Some students come here with the wrong idea that they can both go to school and work. For student visas J-1 and F-1 you cannot work except campus employment. There is also a myth that your SSN (Social Security Number) allows you to work legally in the US. Again, this is a myth. If you are working without a valid work permit, you will get in trouble. People who are caught working illegally are deported and they can never come back to the US again. Please read the below link carefully:

https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exchange-visitors/students-and-employment

LEARN ABOUT AMERICAN CULTURE

Before you come tho the US, you have to learn about American culture. While most western countries have similar cultural elements with Americans, when you compare Asian, African, Latin and Middle Eastern culture to America, you get a very different picture. I can only speak for my own cultural experience, of course.

  • Americans prefer indirect communication in one sense and direct one in another. For example, it is not OK to ask about one’s salary, their personal life or their illness. You cannot comment on their hair looking messy or the pimple on their nose (unless they are your best friends). Before giving any criticism, you have to make sure that your words are encouraging and friendly. While discussing about racism, gender inequality, you have to be extra extra careful not to offend anybody. On the other hand, when they ask a question, they usually want a straight answer. They appreciate honesty. Let me give you a funny example. My first year in the States, we went to a bar with my friends from Geology department. My friend asked me if I wanted a beer. Because I was culturally programmed that way, I said ‘No, thanks’ Even though I would, of course, want a free beer! (duh) In Turkey, when someone offers something, it is polite to refuse it for the first time. That’s why you should keep offering till the person finally says yes. Well, after my first ‘No’ my friend said ‘OK’ and just left!!! Haha. I was like: “But… But…How about my beer??”
  • Americans will have this distance from you that is called “personal bubble”. Forget about getting intimate on the train, in the movie line or restaurants. Forget about giving a warm friendly kiss to your friend on the cheek. Forget about giving random hugs to your colleagues. Oh and of course, forget about hand jokes including hitting on the head or back. My American friends walking down in Taksim Square, Istanbul were so confused with the fact that guys were walking arm in arm, girls were holding hands but they weren’t gay or lesbian. They were just showing friendly affection. Also, not only at work or school but be aware of the personal bubble in the customs at the airport. One day, one of my students with a very low level of English was trying to tell the customs officer her purpose of visit. The envelope that she handed to the officer included some complicated paper work. So, my student wanted to help and leaned towards the officer and put her arm through in the glass. That moment was the scariest memory of her. The officer went for his gun in a tiny fraction of time and yelled a ‘Put your hands up!’. She was questioned for half an hour after this incident.
  • Most Americans are religious. All Protestant denominations accounted for 51.3%, while the Catholic Church by itself, at 23.9% is the largest individual denomination. God is the Father, Jesus Christ is the Son and there is Holy Spirit. This is what they call ‘Trinity”. In Catholic belief, Virgin Mary is holy. Christians’ holy book is holy Bible and they worship every Sunday at church. Unfortunately, I’m not a very knowledgeable person when it comes to religion, but please do some research before you come to the States. I highly recommend going to church one day, it is a remarkable, interesting experience.
  • When you are driving, if a police officer stops you, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR. Pull your car off the road, stop your engine and wait. There might be an awkward 5 minutes that you are sitting in your seat and the officer is sitting in his seat. What he is doing is that he is communicating with the main office and trying to gather information about your license plate before he talks to you. Also, don’t even try bribing. Bribery is one of the biggest offenses in the States. You can literally go to jail.
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When the police officer stops you, just pull over, roll down your window and wait in your seat.
  • Americans love socializing and entertaining people. You will find yourself eating and drinking out a lot. Watch those pounds on the scale! I have personally gained 22 pounds (10 kilos) here! Their burger, fries, BBQ and pizza are the best! Make sure you exercise daily! Although Americans are famous for the high obesity rates, they are also aware of self care. Most Americans that I met don’t smoke, and more than half of it exercise daily. It is such a great motivation (!) when you open your mouth to eat that juicy greasy slice of pizza, you see those runners outside running in snow with their perfect bodies. Another reason why it is easy to get fat here is the amount of variation. Variety of snacks, alcohol, soups, sauces, Indian food, Viatnemese Pho, Chinese dim sum, Korean BBQ, Italian lasagna, Brazilian steak… You want to try all. Then you get fat.
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Choices, choices, more choices. A liquor store in Chicago, IL.

I hope this article will help you before your adventure begins in the USA or in another country! Make the most of it! Many wonderful memories are awaiting! Enjoy this incredible experience 🙂

Hoşçakalın!

-Ece

HPIM2397
Thompson Canyon, Utah, the USA-  Indian Petroglyphs, 2009