Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Weight of Books by David L. Ulin

Books. Everyone loves books whether they like to admit it or not. There is a genre for everyone and anyone. "Yes, books are about the interior journey, the fluid back-and-forth between writer and reader, reader and writer, the interplay upon which literature depends. (The Weight of Books) Without writers there wouldn't be any books for the readers. Without readers there wouldn't be anybody for the books to be read by. "And yet, there is another side of books, their physical presence: the sheer weight of all those volumes, the space they occupy. (The Weight of Books) Books aren't just known for the narratives but they can also be manifestations of one's life.


Personally I enjoy reading books that are based on real events or tragic books. Those are the books that keep wanting to read page after page and not put the book down until I have finished it all. When I was younger I was a big reader but now that I have gotten into high-school I don't have as much free as I would like so I can enjoy books. My favorite book is the one above. I think the reason I like it so much is because it was about real situations that can happen in people my ages life. I can kind of relate to the book and I love the author so that adds to it as well. Dreamland is an eye open and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't put it down because it was so intense.

Book Store

When there was a book store at Wareham Crossing I used to go a lot and read magazines there or I would buy books. I loved having a book store so close to my house. But it is no longer there. It got replaced with a liquor store, unfortunately. A lot of people go to book stores to read because it has every book they like and a space to put every single book. The more you read the more your books just pile up and become heavy and you lose space for them. So what better place to read a book but the bookstore. You have an endless amount of space and a nice quite and peaceful environment.

The weight of books-- Nicole Nault

The speaker in this essay is a book collector.  His wife calls him "scavenger of shelves."  He has so many books they are all over the house and in every room.  They are all organized alphabetically by author.  For his birthday he gave himself shelves for more of his books.  While books are about the interior journey, their physical appearance is also appealing.  He continually organizes his books.

 
This agrees with source one because the bookshelf is pretty.  The first source said that there is something visually appealing about books.  This is proven true by the color patterns of the books on these shelves.

This picture is of bookshelves all the way up to the roof.  These are similar to the ones described in the first source.  He gave himself bookshelves to the roof to hold a lot of books.  This proves that that is a good way to store books because all the space is being used to store books which is very effective.

Friday, June 14, 2013

"The Weight of Books" Synthesis

     The article "The Weight of Books" by David L. Ulin talks about the author's obsession with books. He states that e-books are not the same as owning real copies of books and that he prefers real books over e-books. The question is - will e-books ever cause real books to go extinct? Joseph Shaw thinks not, as he states in an article he wrote for Kaleidoscope - "I absolutely refuse to believe that one day the only way I will be able to experience "The Great Gatsby" will be on a Kindle" he says. The author of an article on "The Digital Reader" agrees, saying that "e-books will never replace the real thing". SO it looks like all of the books lovers of the world do not have to worry about the reign of e-books - printed books will be here to stay.

"Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell" Synthesis

     Written by Francine Prose, the article "Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell" describes a television show called "Enlightened". This lead me to think about how much television people watch and how much time it takes from their everyday lives. According to "The Sourcebook for Teaching Science", the average American household has a television set on for more than six hours per day, while the average kid, according to "Parents Television Council", watches television for approximately four hours per day. It seems as though television is slowly taking over our lives.

"The Science of Monsters: review" Synthesis



   
     The article titled "The Science of Monsters: review" by Peter Stanford reviews a book written by Matt Kaplan about monsters and whether they are real or not. Many people believe in mythical creatures such as the dragon shown above. This is not to say that these people are crazy, however, because sometimes their "sightings" of mythical creatures are somewhat true, such is the case with the giant squid. It is believed that the myth of the Kraken derived from a sighting of a giant squid. So mythical creatures can, in fact, be "real" despite opposition.  

What Books Truly Represent




      Books allow us to explore into a much bigger world. They allows us into the world of others also, the world of the author’s.  In his article, The Weight of Books, by David Ulin he states: “Yes, books are about the interior journey, the fluid back-and-forth between writer and reader, reader and writer, the interplay upon which literature depends.” This demonstrates how books create something similar to another world. Ulin displays this fact throughout his article he makes it clear that he loves the idea of books and continues to add to his collection of them. Stefanie Hollmichel in her blog post, What My Books Mean to Me, discusses her love for books like Ulin spoke about in his article. She like, Ulin has created a library of books and continues to add to it, knowing that she may never read every single one of them. “ At the same time that books mean home, my books also represent freedom and escape” here she describing what her books represent to her and again like Ulin she sees the book as an escape from the real world.  Matthew Defour in his article, Books Fail to Accurately Represent our Increasingly Diverse World, as a different perspective from both Ulin and  Hollmichel he looks at books from a real-life perspective. Defour feels that books don’t display our world correctly in terms of minorities, for example. “Every child needs to have books that reflect the world they live in,”  said  Megan Schliemann a librarian in Wisconsin. Next, In the cartoon, New Yorker Cartoon, by William Haefeli above we can see how books in a way are also a representation of who we are, or in this cartoons case who we aspire to be.
    In conclusion,  books are for many people a way to escape a world ,but they can also represent who you are and who you aspire to be. Although others still  disagree with the idea of books not relating to real-life as they feel it should.

"Splendid Visions" Synthesis

     The article "Spendid Visions" by William Giraldi focuses on the authors childhood. At one point, the author says that he was allowed to use a BB gun at the age of eight. This is a serious issue of gun safety, which is a big topic in the news right now. While a BB gun is not a real gun per say, it is still dangerous to have and use. According to the NSSF, there are ten rules to gun safety that everyone should follow, and can be read here. After the Sandy Hook shooting six months ago, the issue of gun safety skyrocketted, making it a huge controversy. After this tragic event, the state of Connecticut passed a bill addressing gun safety and making gun laws stricter. All in all, gun safety is a huge problem that will probably never go away.

The Weight of Books

There is a physical nature that books bring to the household that creates a sense of joy towards the reader. When that person closes the book and puts it back on the bookcase, the reader is overjoyed by the volume they occupy. According to The Weight of Books by David L. Ulin, he notes that the collection of books he articulated represents his life on the basis of literature and narrative. His collection is a representation of who he is as a person. This picture shows that second hand books are passed down from someone who created their literary life, that represented who that person was.
It shows that second hand books are something that can tell the buyers about the life someone else lived, just by looking at the books that were read. This adds onto Ulin's idea on that the physical nature of the books create someone, and those second hand books can show people the real personality that someone else has. By choosing a selective library, one can build upon their character.This list advises people to build their library on books that build character. Lucas states that the physical nature of the books are important, especially the appearance that follows with it. Avid books collectors look for the physical characteristics rather than the content. Lucas also states that one can infer about the reader that they're passion for book collecting is father than someone who picks up a new copy randomly. Book collecting is an art, and looking at the physical appearance that the book has, and the volume that the book takes up, represents a personality within the reader. They shape their own self with the books they collect.

"An A from Nobakov" Synthesis

     "An A from Nobakov" is an article written by Edward Jay Epstein that tells a story about him in college. He develops a good friendship with a teacher, but at the end he disappoints the teacher and the friendship was "never the same". This lead me to the conclusion that people often get disappointed too easily. An article written by Francis Ku describes this, saying that people "get disappointed because we refuse to accept others as they are". This statement is suggesting that all disappointment is created within us. An article called "Where Does Disappointment Come From" agrees with the previous statement, saying  that "disappointment never originates with an external source". Overall, the feeling of disappointment, as suggested in the article "An A from Nobakov" by Edward Jay Epstein, has an internal source.

"It's For Your Own Good" Synthesis



     Cass R. Sunstein wrote an article titled "It's For Your Own Good" which talks about obesity around the world. The author says "obesity is a serious problem" in both the United States and numerous other countries. The chart to the right shows the growth rate of obesity over 14 years based on BMI. Clearly, obesity is becoming more and more of a problem. The graph positioned below shows the obesity level of a number of different countries around the world. These charts back up Sunstein's point in showing that obesity is a huge issue that is growing out of proportion.

"Chasing the White Rabbit" Synthesis

     "Chasing the White Rabbit" is an article written by Francine Prose that talks about dreams. She says that "literature is full of dreams that we remember more clearly than our own". In fact, humans "forget almost all dreams soon after waking up" a professor at Tufts University named Ernest Hartmann says in an article. He claims that this is due mostly because our brain only remembers what it believes to be important or interesting, which is why you remember your dreams sometimes. Some dreams turned out to be some of the bestselling books according to an article, such as the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer and "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. Overall, dreams are significant, though we hardly ever remember them.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Books Instead of E-Books

There is something about opening a new book that gets me excited every time. I do not know if it is the fresh smell or the crisp pages of the new book. I am one who is against e-books due to the simple fact that I like to be able to hold a book in my hand. I feel I would not get the full experience of the book if I was to read it on a kindle or other technological device. In the article The Weight of Books by David L. Ulin , Ulin writes " And yet, there is another side of books, their physical presence: their sheer weight of all those volumes ,the space they occupy." The presence of books is just important as the context of the book. Almost every true reader gets an enjoyment of buying a new book then turning the crisp new pages as the reader dives into the novel. With the growing market for e-books turning pages are becoming increasingly harder. But rest assured readers! According to Nicholas Carr e-book sales fell 34% in 2012 and 59% of Americans said they do not have interest in purchasing an e-book. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323874204578219563353697002.html . The picture shows your average e-book along with the average book. I think for a while books will continue to out do technology in this category. Readers are not ready to give up turning those crisp new pages or going to the book store to pick out an anticipated new book.




































Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Books and Design

Many book lovers know the joys of seeing their collection of books displayed in their house. They may have enjoyed the organization process, or simply enjoy the way their books look together neatly in rows. The presentation of a collection of books can be very important to the overall effect that collection gives. In an essay, "The weight of books", the author discusses how "there is another side of books, their physical presence: the sheer weight of all those volumes", and how it pleases him to arrange and sort the books he has. The photo below demonstrates how books can be displayed in an artistic way, making them a crucial part of a room's decor. This site gives many more examples of how people can display their books. It is clear that books are not only important for their content, but also for their physical appeal. People take great pleasure in arranging, and seeing their books arranged, in an interesting way.






Monday, June 10, 2013

Chasing the White Rabbit

It is well known that most stories are better than reality. There have been stories that has been read that the reader can put their self in one of the character's shoes. Although this article references why the virtual life is better than real life, the main point is still similar. Writers, producers, and play-writers can create a world that is a figment of their imagination. They are in control, and in their world, everything goes perfect, even if there is conflict between two characters. Most conflicts are solved at the end of the season, or end of the series. In real life, some conflicts, such as war or divorce, is something that cannot be solved in a matter of months. Usually it takes years. However, the author has the control, this article shows that even if the author bases their story on their life, or the life of someone they have studied for a large amount of time, they usually fabricate some events in their life. This is the main reason why literature is always better than real life. The author has the power to make everything perfect. To make the characters imperfectly compatible, or this whole conflict dealt with a push of a button. Literature allows the reader to imagine different scenarios.This picture shows that literature can take someone away from real life, and put one in a world that is better than the life of their own

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Awkward Stage at 40



At one point in our lives many of us go through an awkward stage, where things just don't seem to be in the right place ,or, for that matter we don’t believe that we are in the right place. This is shown in the article ,Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell ,by Francine Prose, where she talks about Amy Jellicoe (a  character in the HBO series Enlightened) who seems to be going through the awkward stage. She loses her job and things seem to be going downhill after this. Jellicoe appears to be experiencing her awkward stage, at an awkward period in her life because most women at the age of 40 feel that they are at their prime. Jellicoe ,on the other hand, is having a different situation then most women. Audrey McClelland in her article, That Terrible Time In Your life Called: Your Awkward Stage,  talks about her awkward stage, but she describes it has a time that is experienced at a young age. Which is contrary to Jellicoe's situation she is experiencing it at 40.  Jellicoe is attempting to adjust to her new life, with all that has happened. Deanna Ferrari, a blogger, understands Jellicoe's situation completely in terms of experiencing the awkward stage at an older age. Ferrari in her blog post ,25-30: The new “awkward stage”  , discusses all the “awkward” things that seem to be going on her life at the moment. She like, Amy Jellicoe is experiencing a lot changes in her life that she doesn't agree with --at all. Lastly in the article, Are We At an Awkward Stage about Age?, by Gail Perry describes the general mindset of many about age, and how we as a whole are all in awkward stages about age and getting older. He also talks about the different types of age options: Jellicoe seems to be in the “ Life Events age – an individual’s development as s/he moves through life cycle experiences (e.g. events and transitions such as marriage, birth of children).”
Overall, as we can see by the main character of the HBO series Enlightened, Amy Jellicoe, there is no definite age at which an awkward stage can occur.

Nicole Nault Splendid Visions

This is a paper about the speaker's childhood.  Growing up he was allowed to play with BB guns and bows and arrows.  He wandered in the woods and by rivers.  He came home only for short times to eat dinner or get something.  People didn't know where he was or what he was doing.  Only his little sister was ever hurt by their doings and even that was just temporary.  His childhood was full of imagination and adventure.


This is a picture of kids playing on a man-built playground.  This is how most kids have fun today.  Rather than being free in the outdoors they are brought  to a playground where their parents sit and watch their every move to make sure no one falls off the monkey bars.  The thought of their children in the woods unsupervised with BB guns would give most parents today a heart attack.


The speaker never had a dull moment growing up.  He had a great imagination and lots of room to use it.  He could come straight from school and just play.  This boy is like today's typical kid.  He has no time to use his imagination and play because he is always either at school or doing homework.  Even when he is done with his homework his brain is too exhausted to think up imaginative things to do and it is just easier to sit and watch TV.  His lack of imaginative fun is a direct result of the pressure put on him by society to do well in school.

Paperwork Against the People... Nicole Nault

This person thinks paperwork is necessary.  Things have become more technological now and it just complicates things.  He gives examples of how this is true like tech support being automated rather than people and voting stations becoming electronic as well.


This is a picture of a computer fighting a pencil.  They are fighting because that is a common question; which is better between writing and typing.  Also written documents and electronic ones.  Everyone has their own opinion about which is better.  Technology may be more advanced but is it worth all the confusion.  Getting back to the basics of handwriting sounds good but could it just complicate things even more.


This is a picture of three people looking stupid.  It says "Internet:  It doesn't make you stupid, it just makes your stupidity more accessible to others."  This can be applied to source one.  The technological advances haven't made us forget how to do paperwork.  We still have that option.

An A from Nabokov NICOLE NAULT

The speaker took a class with a strict teacher.  He called everyone by their seat number and wouldn't let them leave class.  One day he gave a pop quiz and the speaker hadn't read the book so he described the movie instead.  The teacher thought he was imaginative since he hadn't seen the movie.  He got closer to the teacher based on that fake reason.  Everything went well until he said one stupid thing.  Then it was never the same.


This is a picture of a teacher saying "Stop packing your bags; there's still five seconds left of class."  This teacher is just like the strict one from the first source because neither one wants their students leaving or distracted while they are teaching.


This is a picture of a teacher and on her blackboard it says "No talking, no laughing, no smiling... In fact:  No nothing that induces any kind of pleasure."  That teacher is strict just like the other two.

But the teacher in the second source and the first both want their students to be focused while this one wants them unhappy.

It's For Your Own Good! --Nicole Nault

The New York City mayor wanted to do something about obesity by limiting the amount of soda that could be sold at a time.  Many people were upset by how controlling he was being in their everyday lives by doing this.  He thought that he was just doing what was best for the people.


This is a picture of the mother from the movie Tangled.  In the movie she locks her daughter up in the tower and never lets her see the outside world.  She says she is protecting her.


This is a picture of a mother and her child and it says "God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers."  That shows that mothers do know best.

The mayor is kind of like the mother of the city.  He looks after it and tries to make rules that will do the city good even if it doesn't always make them happy.

Nicole Nault-- Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell

This is an article about an HBO series.  There is a forty year old woman that people think is nuts.  She has a terrible job, is poor, and lives with her mother.  The show doesn't have much of an audience.
The whole idea of TV when it first came out was a way for hard-working people to get a break from their daily life.  If the show is about daily life, that isn't much of an escape.  People want to see characters in these amazing lives that they can imagine one day for themselves.  They don't want to imagine having her life so why would they watch the show.

 
This is a picture of a couple watching TV.  The screen shows a picture of a beautiful beach.  They are watching the beach because that is a place they would like to be.  They are imagining themselves there.  They wouldn't want to be staring at a picture of sewers or a dump because it is not appealing.  Neither is the life of the girl in the HBO series.


This is a cartoon that has two men conversing.  One says to the other "Television sales are down for the first time in a decade."  The other says back to him "I blame reality TV."
This means that no one wants to watch TV that is about real life.  People want to watch TV that helps them get away from the stress of real life so watching TV about real life isn't worth it.

The Science of Monsters... Nicole Nault

This is a review written by Peter Stanford on a paper by Matt Kaplan.  It attempts to explain why people are so interested in monsters.  Some people think they must be real because why would anyone have just thought them up.  Others think they are real but more easily explainable by science.  The book The Science of Monsters has an open-minded view on the topic.

This video is asking kids if monsters are real, scary, etc.  The kids all have different views on monsters.  This shows, just like the first source, that monsters can be looked at many different ways.  Some people think they are real, others don't.  Some people think they are scary, others don't.

This video is about the Loch Ness Monster.  A lady claims to have seen it.  She lives near the lake it is said to be in.  Many people have said they saw the monster there.  Those people go with the first idea in the first paper.  There must be something there because why would anyone make that up.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's For Your Own Good

It is a well known fact that the majority of people in the United States are overweight, and the government could try to enforce health laws, but the issue of paternalism is the counter-argument. Paternalism is a person that interferes with the rights of other people against their will. However, when it is for their own good, when can the American people draw the line? For starters, the obesity rate in the United States have severely grown from1991-2003. As one can see, states like Nevada and Wyoming had little to no obesity rates, but as of 2003, those states are suffering from being overweight. This shows that the issue with health is deteriorating, and people are using the term 'paternalism' liberally to show that they have the freedom to do what they want, and the government cannot stop them
\

However, when healthcare providers try to advise people on how to live their lives, they are attacked with insults of paternalism. Those doctors and nurses have to do their job: to make each patient healthy, but they cannot do that with their patients telling them that they are wrong to pass advice like that. This article shows that people see the public healthcare provider is a unjust organization, because it essentially tells people how to live their life. Their stance on this is something that is not good for their mentality on general health. People who are neglecting to take advantage of health opportunities can seriously put a dent in their life, their life expectancy dramatically goes down. Being over paternalistic is not for their own good, it will put a damper on their overall health.These images just goes to show that Americans have a choice, and they do not want their government to put a restriction on their rights, because they have a freedom to do whatever they want regrading their health.



As the Cass Sunstein said in "It's For Your Own Good", it is completely illogical to go against the healthcare system just to rebel against the government's regulations. By taking the necessary help, and following certain regulations, the long term health issues could be gradually depleting, and the obesity levels will slowly decrease.







The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan: review

It is noted by mostly everyone that idea of monsters is something that has been around since the early days. With the notion of fictitious monsters, people everywhere have been frightened by the idea of the monsters. This list of the ten most horrific monsters in literature just goes to show how frightened the readers have become. With the glorification of the horror genre, the monster category has grown. These creepy creatures are escalating, and their mannerisms have gotten more creepier. Ilsa Bick talks about how children have gotten more interested in gore and horror. They are also unfazed, but the parents of those children see the horror that are coming from the books, and are essentially more afraid of that than their own children. "And, conversely, there are things that freak out adults but which don’t faze kids much at all." Bick shows the readers that the parents are more frightened about the creepy monsters' mannerisms than their child. Parents act like this because they are afraid that the child, a easily impressionable human, will pick up the idiosyncrasies that some of those monsters have. Also, the parents are afraid that someone will act like the movie, and play that act on their child's school. The parents are more concerned with the fact that their child could be affected by the horrors of those movies directly, or indirectly.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's Not the End

        To many people, being fired or demoted at work is the worst thing that could happen to them. They view the change as a failure, and often think less of themselves once they have been demoted or fired. Although this is a common sentiment, it does not necessarily need to occur. Sometimes people should view their demotion as an opportunity to learn a lesson or start fresh. This website lists all the ways people can view their demotion at work as a more positive thing. They encourage people to pick themselves up after the event, and try to focus on the positives of starting over again. Another source, an essay entitled Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell also deals with demotion . In this essay, the author describes a TV character that was demoted to a very menial position at her workplace. In this case, the character did not handle the situation well. She became an anxiety-ridden and overall unpleasant person. If she had been more positive about her demotion, she may have been less stressed. In this article, the author explains how demoting an employee give them an opportunity to be put "through more training and coaching". Here, a demotion is a somewhat positive event. Clearly, every demotion does not need to be the end of the world. In some cases, being demoted can allow people to become stronger individuals.

Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell by Francine Prose

Amy Jellicoe was a star on the HBO series Enlightened. She was a corporate manufacturer of cosmetics and "clean meds" for Abbaddon. She then got moved from Heath and Beauty to the Cleaning Products unit. Amy had a mental break down after hearing that news. She was sent off to A New Age Therapy retreat in Hawaii. " Amy is a tightly wound, rubber-band ball of contradictions: she's determined but self-sabotaging, perceptive but solipsistic, generous but self-involved. Shes not stupid, but she is goofy and naive." (Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell)

This is a picture of Amy. This shows her reaction when she got switched to the cleaning products unit. She went crazy and many people view Amy as crazy. This is actually the part of this paper that says "looking, thanks to her disheveled hair and runny mascara, like a psycho clown." (Chekhov in Data Entry Hell) Viewers also see her as sympathetic and annoying. "She cant keep from stalking her former boss-who transferred her out of Health and Beauty after they had an affair and with whom she claims she wants to make amends." (Chekhov in Data Entry Hell) Does she really want to make amends or does she want to get back at her boss and get that sweet revenge?

This is a video of Enlightened. It is a little snippet of whats going to happen in the next episode. You can kind of see Amy's personality. Her crazy side doesn't show in this little video. But its just a video of what the show is like in case you didn't know.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chekhov in Data-Entry Hell

Happiness is something that people do not understand. They do not understand what it is, but just what it does to the human mind. Even so, one does not know what happiness is until they genuinely experience it. Happiness, according to this article by Daniel Kahneman, states that experience and memories perpetuate different types of happiness. For example, the memories need something to trigger that thought, however before that, that person could not feel as happy than that moment. When you experience something, there is happiness in the time leading up to the moment, the exact moment that makes one happy, and the after moments. Happiness shows in different times for a moment, or for a a long time. Historically, happiness is something that came more as a constant, unlike at different moments. In this article by Darrin McMahon, he exclaims that happiness, although it was hard to acquire, was more frequent because people devoted their lives to something they enjoyed doing. The ancient Egyptians would live their life to reach eternal happiness, which was to work on the fields in the afterlife. Now, since people live their lives to reach happiness within their self, McMahon believes that it is less likely to receive happiness because there isn't a common goal that one shares with other people. He states that, "To cure this condition, we might focus less on our own personal happiness and instead on the happiness of those around us, for relentless focus on one's own happiness has the potential to be self-defeating." This means that in order to ensure happiness in the modern world, people need to not only think of themselves, but of other people. Also, mental attitude needs to be apparent when thinking about one's happiness, whether it's one's owns, or another persons.
This image shows that mental attitude is the main cause of happiness in a person. If one has the achievements, love, money, and creativity, but lacks a positive attitude, they will be temporarily happy, but not internally happy. It comes from the mind, and if that person cannot be happy mentally, then happiness cannot come from experience, but rather from memory; thinking of all of the good times they used to have.

Crises In Mid Life

Recently my mother turned fifty years old and she was freaking out about getting older. Being a lot younger than she I do not understand the big deal about getting older. It seems all middle aged people fear their birthday every year because it means they are getting older. In the article Chekhov in Data- Entry Hell by Francine Prose it tells about Amy who is a main character on Enlightened who does not realize that this is her one and only life. Amy is still looking for social justice and the fear that her life is meaningless and small. Amy has not come to terms that she is aging and this is ideally her only life. So many middle aged people go through middle aged crises because they are afraid their lives are meaningless.  Based on the article Mid-Life http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/mid-life  many people have mid life crises due to new responsibilities that make them reassess  their lives. Some people at this time also realize their own morality and how much longer they could have to live. Most mid life crises cause a change in people's lives much like Amy in the show Enlightened acted. The picture above is Amy from the show Enlightened.

Splendid Visions

When most people think of cities, they think of the dark, musky, and industrious society that is usually depicted in gang movies and television shows. However, as Giraldi mentions, that cities have some scenery, and have nature. Although it doesn't compare to the rural societies, it is still enough to keep the people in the cities happy. For example, this article shows that even though the nature is on the margin of the cities, it still provides a beautiful look for people to enjoy while living in the city. In Boston, the Boston Common provides people with the nature they want, without leaving the city. This article shows the background of the Common, and how people see this as a getaway from normal city life. The history of the Common also provides a educational background. Nature is important to some people because it shows he submissive side of life, and lets people disconnect from  stressful city life. Connecting with nature is something that everyone should have access to, even if they live in the city, on a beach, or in a mountain. Surrounding city people will all different types on environment is essential to ensure a less stressful life. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Splendid Visions

Having a childhood without imagination is nothing. With your childhood comes imagination. That's all the fun. Everyone has a different childhood and a different imagination. Some kids can have a boring imagination or kids like me could have a fun and exciting imagination. William Giraldi's imagination was creative. He would imagine a Greek god Pan haunting his backyard. "He dwelled behind the pair tree next to the garage and left his hoof prints in the dirt..." (A mediation of the childhood sublime) like Giraldi some kids imaginations can be scary but exciting at the same time.

Shopping picture

When I was a child I had a weird imagination but it was fun. Whenever I went to a store with my mom I would pretend that I was buying my own things. So if I saw something I liked I would point to it and say "zap" and would magically appear in my invisible shopping cart. Even if they didn't have my size I would still be able to put it in my shopping cart because I would just "zap" it and say the size. I also liked to play this weird game with my friends and we would pretend we were spy's. we used to use my basement as the place where all the action took place. Using your imagination as a child is fun. Once you get older you lose your imagination and technology takes over your life.

Children use their imagination to put themselves in a place that they cannot go in their real life. They use it when they are bored and want to have some fun. Now children are being corrupted with technology and are losing their imagination. This child uses his imagination to put himself in a war type of place.

"The Science of Monsters" by Matt Kaplin

Monsters. Do they really exist? Or is it just our imagination? Whatever you may believe monsters are real although it may be just in your mind. The thought of monsters freak people out. Now imagine if you actually saw what you think a monster is. "And when we do, the collective cultural baggage of these tales of ghosts, ghouls, and griffins is usually sufficient to make us put our hands over our eyes to block out what may just be lurking out there." (The science of monsters) Even if somebody doesn't believe in monsters in real life, the stories they read make them jump in and hide in a dark place if they hear a noise. What's that noise. Could it be a monster.
Monster photo


Personally I don't think that monsters are real. It is impossible for something like that picture to be real. The thought of monsters can be scary especially if you're alone in the dark. But I know that they aren't real. If I ever get scared I usually just think its not real and then I won't be as scared. I can only imagine what life would be life if monsters were real. I'd probably be scared every time it turned dark outside, or every time I heard a strange noise.

People have different perceptions of what monsters are. Monsters could be animals of they could be those freaky creatures you see in the movies. There can be good or bad monsters too. But when I think of monsters I think of the bad kind. In the movie Monsters Inc. up above the two main characters are good monsters. It seems contradicting. How can a monster be good? It all depends of what you think and your perception of a monster.

Of Monsters and Men

Tales of monsters and other mythical creatures have been around as long as humans have. Oftentimes, these tales are simply a way to pass the time, and other times, people imagine up creatures as a way to explain things they don't understand. In an review of an essay by Matt Kaplan, the author, Pere Stanfor, explains how "we like to put a face and a form to things we don't understand". In other words, when people are mystified by a natural phenomenon that is hard to explain, they create monsters that are easier to understand. In a way, mystical creatures help humans cope with difficult situations. For example, as this site explains, the Kraken is a monstrous creature that was dreamt up by sailors. When ships went missing for no apparent reason, the Kraken was blamed. In some cases, giant squids were mistaken for Krakens. In this instance, a monster is being used to explain a confusing situation. This site also explains how people dream up monsters to cope with something that is not easily understood. It also explains how many times, people pretend to have seen monsters to get attention and money. The author cites the example of the two men who "found" Bigfoot, and now make thousands of dollars selling Bigfoot souvenirs.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"Paperwork Against the People" Synthesis

     The subject of the article "Paperwork Against the People" by Rob Horning is how annoying paperwork is. A man by the name of Gordon Bell agrees with this and has made a significant change in his life - he lives without paper. He does everything on his computer, including paying bills and reading newspapers. He claims that he "cringe[s]" when he gets a letter in the mail. His theory is that in the future, there will be no paper at all. This trend is already starting with the creation and usage of e-books. In an article written by Adam Hwang it says that " The development of e-paper is expected to eventually replace most printed media". Could this mean that Bell's theory about the paperless future will come true?

Nurturing Society, with Monsters?




Society often likes to nurture its fears by adding a face to them. Which is one of the things that is discussed in Peter Stanfor’s article ,The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan: review,  He,also, tells his audience about how Kaplan has reinvented his thoughts about monsters. Stanfor mentions how “we like to put a face and a form to things we don't understand."  Essentially, we has a society don’t like not knowing what something is or ,in this case, what it looks like. In the article, The Origin of Monsters: Every Society Needs a Boogey Man, by Philip Shore, he discusses the origin of well known monsters such as Frankenstein. Furthermore, Shore agrees with Stanfor’s idea of putting a face with the things we don't understand, the audience can see this when Shore says “Monsters help us express our darkest places.” Demonstrating that many can see the impact monsters have on our society, they help us compensate for the unknown. Another thing, that Stanfor mentions is Kaplan's use of movies and modern literature “to feed our appetite for being frightened by monsters.” Agreeably, Monsters part of American Culture, by Scott Poole, the article contains Poole’s perception of how monsters have cultivated our culture, despite the fact that monsters continue to scare many of us. In the ,Monster Culture, provided by the University of Baltimore a professor, David Schmid, states: “Monster narratives help us share an experience of horror and address our real anxieties.” He like Shore sees the psychological effects that monsters have continued to have on our society.
In conclusion, we can see the concept of monsters continues to roam in our culture, representing a symbol for our society’s continual fear of the unknown and maybe even the known.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Impact of Myths

As a young child many of us are told stories of the Lockness Monster, Big Foot, ghosts and ghouls. We grow up knowing they are myths but in the back of minds lingers the possibility they could be real. Peter Stanfor words it perfectly in his article The Science of Monsters by Matt Kaplan: review, Stanfor writes " we like to put a face and a form to things we don't understand." For years people have been telling myth or stories to explain things they do not have an actual answer for. It as if these stories gives them a peace of mind knowing something is not a mystery and we understand what is going on. In the article The Impact of Mythology Across Cultures http://www.tree.com/lifestyle/the-impact-of-mythology.aspx the author writes " Myths help a man make order out of chaos or explain things in nature that he cannot understand." Myths give people a way to explain the unexplained. The picture below shows one of the most well known myths of Nessy the Lockness Monster.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wilderness, The Second Home



For many, the wilderness is a second home they feel free and safe. Similarly,  In William Giraldi’s article Splendid Visions, he states “na├»ve suspicion that Ethan would be safer, freer, better in the wilderness...” By doing so, he is demonstrating the bond he has acquired with the wilderness and also the trust he has acquired. The wilderness’s vast size, provides many with endless possibilities in terms of where they can go. Giraldi has a sincere admiration for the wilderness and what it has provided him but, since he now is in the city, he feels as though he is depriving his son. By not giving him the opportunity to experience the wilderness as he did. This is similar to Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy in, Walden , and that was the love for the outdoors among other things. Thoreau like Giraldi enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors and all the experiences he had in the wilderness. Thoreau is also to demonstrate the unimportance of materialistic things by using the wilderness has an example of the better things of life.  In the article, Freedom and Wilderness, the author gives in excerpt of Freedom and Wilderness (audio), by Edward Abbey who describes the beauty of the wilderness and how it is necessary for our well-being. One thing Abbey states is, “Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. Which shows how the wilderness is similar to that of  a refugee from chaos or just to find peace.
With this is mind,  the wilderness provides tranquility and a feeling of warmth for those who view it has a second home.

(Here is a video of Edward Abbey, reading the final chapter of his book The Journey Home)

An Outdoor Childhood

          Many people feel that this generation of children is not spending enough time outdoors. It seems the allure of electronics is too powerful, and it prevents children from playing outside. Parents feel this new patten is causing their children harm. This is largely due to the fact that studies have shown that time outdoors has a positive effect on a child's development. This film explores the reasons why outdoor time is so valuable to young children. According to the film, not spending enough time in nature has contributed to "epidemics of child obesity, attention disorders, and depression". This article outlines the many health related benefits of spending time outdoors. Some of these benefits are reduced stress, better distance vision, and overall physical health. An essay entitled, Splendid Visions also explains why time outdoors as a child can be beneficial. In this essay, the author discusses the many fond memories he has of his time playing in the woods as a child. It is clear from these sources that children can all benefit from more time outdoors.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's For Your Own Good! by Cass R. Sunstein

Obesity has become a major problem in the US over the years. Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn't taking it lightly anymore. He is so serious about stopping obesity that he is considering banning soda bottles that are bigger than 16 oz. "He believes that soda is a contributing factor to increasing obesity rates and that large portion sizes are making the problem worse." (It's For Your Own Good) People have become outraged by this. Why are they going to ban soda? Its' their chose if they want to drink a lot of soda or a little amount. But Bloomberg claims its for their own good and he's doing them a favor. But the people believe that "when they run risks, even foolish ones, it isn't anybody's business that they do." That is so true because its their business on how they want to live their live whether it is about soda or not.

How can something so crazy as banning soda over 16 oz even be considered? Anything bigger than 16 oz. is not allowed because it is said to be a factor contributing to obesity. But how many people drink 20 oz by themselves? Usually bottles that big are used for family gatherings or events. Even if somebody wanted to drink 20 oz all by themselves, its nobody's business. There are bigger problems in the world than drinking a 20 oz bottle of soda. Yes, obesity is a big problem in America, but it's really the obese persons decision. You can't tell them they have to stop eating KFC and Burger King everyday because they are obese. It is a free country and these people have the right to eat what they want. They aren't harming anyone but themselves  It's kind of like a drug addict. You can't make that person get help unless they really want to help themselves. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to the water, but you can't make them drink it.


Many people thought that New York's ban on soda would back fire. The whole idea of the ban was for people to drink less soda, but when they did an experiment they found that the soda ban would be less effective. They did a study of selling soda with a bundle deal of a "16-ounce drink, a package of two 12-ounce drinks and a package of two 16-ounce drinks."(Will New York City's large soda ban backfire?) , the 16-32 oz bottles, and a 16 oz bottle. "“These results show that businesses should earn significantly more revenue when bundles are offered than when small drink sizes alone are offered..." (Will New York City's large soda ban backfire) If businesses will make more revenue then they would definitely want to add soda bundles and people would actually be consuming more soda and the ban would backfire.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Government Boundaries?



When is the government overstepping its boundaries? Is the question millions of Americans are asking themselves. For instance, in New York after Mayor Bloomberg put a ban on sodas of a certain size. Many are wondering why this is allowed, and how effective this actually will be in reducing obesity. In the article, It's For Your Own Good!, by Cass R. Sunstein , readers can see that many New Yorkers were outraged that Mayor Bloomberg or the government for that matter felt they had the right to control their decisions; when it comes to what they can drink. Similarly, Our Views: Government overstepping boundaries, a newspaper article states its opinion in regards to the government, despite the fact that the reasons for their feelings for the government may different the concept still remains the same. Mayor Bloomberg's Ban on Sugary Drinks Works Where the Feds Failed , the article by Jerome Nathaniel ,he, also talks about Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on sugary drinks and also questions the effectiveness of the ban. In response, someone compared that ban to that of cigarettes saying:  that cigarettes affect others negatively while what the size of someones drink does not. Finally, in the image above, New York City considers ban on big sodas, the artist demonstrates how ineffective the ban may actually be, as individuals who have strong values many will find ways to get around laws. Likewise, the image shows, if someone cannot buy a large drink, one can just buy two to substitute for that big drink.
Overall,  the question remains and with so many varying opinions there many not be a concrete answer.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Childhood Friendships

Childhood friends are one of the most important aspects of growing up. Childhood friendships allow us to make the first real connections with someone else besides family members. Many childhood friends continue to be friends throughout life and become a part of each other. In the article Splendid Visions: A meditation on the childhood sublime by William Giraldi talks about a childhood friendship he still remembers. Giraldi recalls " We concocted waterproof forts by the river and then prayed for rain, raked mountainous piles of leaves to grapple in, buried Star Wars figures in the narrow graves in a field..." Giraldi still remembers these memories because they made a lasting impact on him , he recalls the good times surrounding his childhood. Based on the article from UCLA Health Tips http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?id=502&action=detail&ref=170 childhood friendships are essential for social and emotional development. Forming early friendships can help children maintain positive influences and solid friendships throughout their entire lives. The picture highlights two children who are friends , representing the essence of childhood friendships.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chasing the White Rabbit

The speaker once had a teacher that said dreams in books are bad.  A fictional book is already no true and so it is sometimes hard to feel empathy towards the characters.  To then find out that even the activities inside the fictional book did not occur just defeats the point of the book.  The story never happened and the story inside of that never happened.  All that happened was that the not real person had a dream.  That's not much of a story according to the teacher.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=mJAw2px8Mp4HqM&tbnid=-afx-alKnK88uM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftvtropes.org%2Fpmwiki%2Fpmwiki.php%2FMain%2FDreamWithinADream&ei=ZfCQUaj1M6WE0QGE3ICgAQ&bvm=bv.46340616,d.dmQ&psig=AFQjCNFpsJeKxHXAbW_4jqoFe_SRmcbvlw&ust=1368539611355918

This is a picture of a sleeping boy having a dream that he is a sleeping boy.  Supposing that in his dream the he who was sleeping is having a dream that he is sleeping, the paradox could go on forever.  If this were a story, the teacher in the first source would consider the story pointless.  If the story is about a boy having a dream then there really is no story.  Regardless of what is going on in the dream, the only real thing happening is there is a boy having a dream.

http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hl=en&biw=800&bih=461&tbm=isch&tbnid=THMPRzioLopUFM:&imgrefurl=http://valerie-allthepiecesofme.blogspot.com/2011/02/optical-illusions.html&docid=r4plRFxYbuH5dM&imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CPGDi_iYAm0/TVBUdUp1tLI/AAAAAAAAA5c/sRbv3-Tj_gw/s400/Old%252BWoman%252BIllusion.jpg&w=300&h=369&ei=F_KQUfvJG-fW0gGBnoCICQ&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:11,s:0,i:122&iact=rc&dur=376&page=2&tbnh=178&tbnw=144&start=8&ndsp=12&tx=45&ty=124

This is a picture of an old woman and a young woman but there is only one figure drawn.  It is an optical illusion.  Depending on how you look at it, it can be either.  Some people see one and others see the other.  Some people can see both.  This shows that people have different views and perceptions on things.

The speaker of the first essay's teacher may think that dreams within stories have no meaning, but the speaker does not seem to agree with her teacher.  And the two may have different views on the picture of the boy asleep and dreaming that he was asleep.  Just like in those two sources, some people see the picture as an old lady and some as a young lady.  That's what makes art, literature, and all culture interesting; everyone has a different view of it.