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don’t be afraid to fly!

May 10, 2010

By Sandra Goge

Traveling by airplane is becoming a common part of our lives whether we are flying to another city for business or going on a long-awaited vacation. However many people still are afraid to fly and may even have a panic attack at the thought of air traveler.

Fear of flying is called aerophobia, and it can be caused by many another fears (not just being afraid to fly). Those other fears could be – fear of heights or falling, claustrophobia, difficulty letting go and trusting that the plane will fly safely as well as news reports of horrifying crashes.

To overcome fears it is helpful to have a good understanding of the fear and exactly what aspect of flying triggers it. Learning about how planes work and what keeps them in the air could help too. Search for more information in books or on the Internet, for example at

Don’t be afraid to ask for support – from family, friends, aircrew or others. Talking about the problem with someone you trust is one of the better ways to solve it. The best way to beat fears is to turn the object of the fear into a passion. Looking at planes through the eyes of those who love them teaches flying is something wonderful. Try which has a very active forum full of people who are fanatics (in a good way) about air travel.

In other countries there are even courses where professionals teach how to overcome fears of flying. – There’s a video that demonstrates a natural way to stop a panic-attack while aboard an airplane.

Academic gap: is it a tragedy?

May 10, 2010


Gunta Kursiša

“To take an academic gap year is not a tragedy at all”, says Inga, a student who took academic year after her 5th semester. Most students take a gap year because they have some academic courses they have to retake.

This year 61 students in Communication Science are taking a gap, with 48 of those sitting out last semester. Ieva Griķe, study methodologist for Communication Science students, says that “despite of economic crisis the tendency to take more gap years has not increased significantly.”

Griķe admits the advantages of a gap year are that students don’t lose any credits. However, study fees are increasing every year, and after a gap year a student have to pay as much as younger students. Programs change as well, and sometimes students might have to take some additional courses if they take a gap year.

“I just needed more time for my bachelor thesis,” says Edgars, student who is planning to take a gap semester. For some students this is a sensitive question, and they are not willing to talk about gap year as an option they have used.

Inga is more positive. “It is not shame to take a break, it would be worse to leave University forever,” she says.

Some students it, however, think that it is better to finish studies without any gap years.

“Of course it is better to save time and finish everything at once,” says Sanita, a 6th semester student.

Inga is optimistic saying that “a gap year is absolutely positive, especially if you need time to rethink the field you are studying and change your career plans.” Inga says she will finish biology after a gap year, but this time is worth it to her because she has time to consider her goals and ambitions.

Closer to festival season

May 5, 2010


Sanita Medne

Latvia is building up its very own tradition of festivals and summer fests. The most popular Latvian festivals are Positivus and Baltic Beach Party which were both

Photo: from A.Grigorjevs’s archive

nominated for European Festival Awards this year along with other European festivals. Other festival dates in Latvia can be found here.

Baltic Beach Party (BBP) is celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer taking place in Liepāja in July. Many festival goers follow its motto – ‘No beach party, no summer’. “Yes, it really represents the spirit of the event,” admits Ginta Kārkle, who attended BBP in 2008.

Positivus will be held in Salacgrīva for the fourth time and has earned a good reputation. “I went to Positivus in 2008 with my daughter because I wanted to see Manic Street Preachers perform live,” says Inga Lieljukse, a manager. “We really enjoyed all that Positivus offered – the art crafts, the cinema and the beach, of course,” she adds.

“I liked Positivus too, but I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to go to the other side of the planet to see Nine Inch Nails live,” says Aleksandrs Grigorjevs. “The festival that has the best artists is worth attending no matter where it is located,” he adds.

Aleksandrs attended Rock Werchter in Belgium in 2008 to see his favorite artists perform. “Some bands just don’t perform here, so I packed my backpack and spent four days with hundreds of thousands of other fans,” he says.

Those who are looking for an international festival might find this and this TV useful. The European Festival organization Yourope is now more active than ever for the number of festivals is growing. Glastonbury in the UK and Roskilde in Denmark have a history of several decades but there are newcomers too.

European Festival Awards named Heineken Open’er the best major festival last year. Other nominees for the European Festival Awards included

Among the winning acts The Prodigy was announced The Best Headline Artist in 2009 – watch them live at Rock Werchter.

Medium and small sized festivals are growing in number and popularity. Last UK Festival Awards named Bestival the best medium sized festival and Beach Break Live (BBL) was heralded as the best small-sized festival. Both of them entered the scene just few years ago – BBL in 2006.

The number of people who attended Woodstock in 1969 still hasn’t been surpassed. Many festivals claim the profit is still good, but the numbers of attendance are dropping. Nevertheless – Roskilde sold 67,000 all week tickets in 2009.

Rock Werchter and Roskilde are just a few to name in the list of doing it “the green way” reducing the impact on the environment. Social marketing also involves different charity activities and donating the income to social purposes. Some festivals, Positivus included, involve volunteers in organizing the festival.

Only thing that matters

May 1, 2010


Ieva Cielava

“There are many girls, who hide their bodies behind big sweaters and too wide trousers, but the thin and fragile hands betray them, and everybody can notice that they have some problems,” explains the Department head of Crisis and Depression in the Psychology and Narcology Hospital of Riga Zigrīda Taranda.

Bulimia, anorexia and overeating are diseases which attract young girls who believe they will become more beautiful if they are as thin as possible.

Taranda says there are typically two reasons for having an eating disorder. Girls may have experienced some unsolved interpersonal conflicts (she has been told she is ugly or fat or classmates laughed about her look.), or they suffer from a mental illness and the eating disorder is just a small part of the problem.

“To deal with this second group is very complicated; you may explain to her about healthy foods, show her an accurate  reflection in the mirror, or try to persuade her to admit that she is too thin, but they just don’t hear you,” Taranda says.

The only place where girls can be treated for disorders for free is the Psychology and Narcology hospital of Riga Girls have to stay in the same ward with people who suffer from depressions. This may be one reason why so many girls don’t even try to find help and try to deal with it by themselves.

This is how three girls describe, what is going on with them:

L: “It all began when I was teenager. It wasn’t because I was fat, on the contrary I was the thinnest girl in the class. I felt undervalued and unwanted. I didn’t try to get help; I can cure me by myself. There are still times when I look in the mirror, and I feel that I am too fat, but I don’t start starvation again. Instead of that I do some sports. My body doesn’t allow me to forget the horror of starvation, I still have consequences from starvation – my hair still falls out more than it should and my nails break.”

A: “The hardest part of all of this is that my family doesn’t know anything about it. I make excuses for why I don’t want to eat with them. Previously I had a deal with my younger sister who would eat my food, but she started to threaten to tell mom. I haven’t tried to look for help, but my boyfriend helps me a lot. He doesn’t know exactly, what is wrong with me, but he takes care of me and now half of my complexes are gone. Sometimes I even wear dresses at home when we are together, but if someone comes to visit us, I change my clothes fast.”

I: “I think society is to blame for girls being sick with eating disorders! Even friends start giving advice about the ideal weight and look. What is the funniest thing, when you follow their pieces of advice and get thin, they start to laugh that you are too thin. I hate that! I have an overeating attack again, but I won’t throw up this time, I promise that to myself…”

Writing tips

May 1, 2010


Zane Leite

Sometimes it is incredible how long it takes to complete or even begin our papers. Of course – it takes a long time because we are not working on them.


Lack of organization and planning are quite widespread problems for students.

However, the problem can be solved by following few tips. First, try concentrating on only on thing at a time. Doing too many things at a time leads to problems. Students should establish a working plan – and then follow it.

There are several techniques that can be used to improve concentration. When studying sometimes listening to specific music can help. Try it!

Plants are more alive than we think

April 30, 2010

By Linda Parfenoviča

Some scientists says that plants respond to people`s thoughts, emotions and commands, and also to unformulated threats, such as the sudden appearance of a person, who did not treat them well.

The phenomena of plant`s secret lives is called “primary perception” or “Backster effect” and was discovered by Cleve Backster  (born 1924) who was a polygraph expert and former CIA lie detector specialist.

In 1966 he did an experiment with plants by connecting a polygraph machine to a Dracaena which gave an immediate response to what he was thinking.

In picture – Cleve Backster.
Photo from:

When doing experiment, Backster wanted to test whether plants can really feel. He was thinking about burning a plant`s leaf, but then he saw that the polygraph recording pen started to move rapidly to the top of the chart, immediately after having this idea on his mind.

Backster wasn`t the first one, who assumed that plants gives a response. In 1900 an Indian scientist Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose started his researches on plants and came to similar conclusions. Now there is an institute of science and technology in Kolkata, India, what is called in Bose`s name.

Introduction to Forex

April 26, 2010

By Klinta Dzene

There are a list of positive aspects for working in the Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, which are: 1) the market is open for trading activities 24 hours, five workdays; 2) It is possible to work wherever you are as long as you have internet connection; 3) it has „liquidity” – which means – if you want to cancel a deal it is relatively easy and doesn’t cause additional losses; 4) you don’t need any previous education in economics and 5) there are no age restrictions.

As mentioned here, to become a trader generally requires three phases – first, you need to make a demo account to learn and experiment with monetary trade principles and techniques without losing money. It is possible to download trading platform.

Then, when you have experience and are confident about skills you can start with real money (don’t start trading with significant resources until you have at least two months experience). When the trader has reached a professional level and is confident, the trader adds customers.

Broker companies offer trader training courses, and usually they have introduction evenings about main principles of the market. There are video lecture introduction about Forex from UK trader.

This video explains the common mistakes of beginner traders. While it is easy to learn strategies, it is hard to make a profit. Common mistakes of beginners include treating Forex market as a gambling place and trusting only their intuition. Keep in mind – broker companies make money when the individual trader loses.