Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Sound Track of My Life!

Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi ft. MGMT.  I would like to include this song in my life because it entails my first college semester in Madison.  I felt as if I was looking for happiness and could not find it.  I felt that I came to Madison to complete a mission/goal in life.  I would bury myself into my studies, ask myself repeatedly why am I studying the subjects I chose, trying to find the meaning of life.  I tried to find a purpose in everything and if I deemed it useless I would try to no longer do the habit.  It was not until I met my friends Rick and Justin where I felt as if I found what I was looking for, happiness.  Kid Cudi asks us to tell him about dreams, and then tells us we know nothing.  This may be true.  Our reality is what we make of it, so if we make our dreams reality are they still dreams?  Either way, one will always be on The Pursuit of Happiness.


Around the World by Daft Punk.  This song is one of my favorites, where I just let my mind go free and let my imagination run wild.  The beats in the song makes one want jump around and dance.  Also, after watching the video one see the perfect synchronization done by the dancers.  Things move freely in the music and the video.  This song gives me inspiration when I'm doing school work, drawing, or just want to listen to something familiar.  I was introduced to Daft Punk when I was a child and will never let go to the endless loops and the imagery they introduce into mind.  Let your mind run free.


Firefly by Saves the Day. Aw, yes one of my cherished bands.  This is probably one of the first bands I listened to when I was yet a wee one.  My older sister introduced me to them and to be honest I did not like them at first. Maybe, it was because their vocals are a little bit more unsteady than most bands, but as I listened to them continually I started recognized their lyrics and they brought a lot of imagery.  Some of their lyrics are nonsensical, but then again I was a wee one.  Also, this in this song, its about a guy and a girl getting drunk, having sex, and then the guy likes the girl, but does not tell her.  But the lines when I was a child meant something totally different. The lines that had a lot a meaning to me were:
"To me you are the light from a light bulb that breaks sometimes
and the tender warmth inside is released into my life"
These lines remind me that even through a failure there can still be something good that comes out it.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Me being the lazy person I am, I decided to use the ask the librarian chat feature at library.wisc.edu.  I thought, they would be better at searching through MadCat than I was, this was the correct assumption.  The librarian found me two books, History and overview of solar heat technologies by Donald A. Beattie and Gaiam Real Goods solar living sourcebook : the complete guide to renewable energy technologies and sustainable living by John Schaeffer.  Both these books were located on the second floor of Wendt library.  I walked to Wendt earlier this morning, asked the librarian to point me to the right direction and then huzzah!  The books I was looking for magically appeared before my eyes!  It is pretty amazing, the power of a librarian.  I did not know whether to scream witch or just say thank you.  I chose to choose the second option because I didn't want to stir panic in the library.  Or let her make me mysteriously vanish...Yikes. Anyways, before when I was online looking for books online I went to the related subjects in the book description.  I found two more books because of this, Handbook of solar and wind energy by Floyd Hickok and Engineer's guide to solar energy by Yvonne Howell and Justin A. Bereny.  I put both these books on reserve because they are on UW Madison Shelving Facility.  I will get them on Wednesday in Memorial when I work early in the morning.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Banned Commerical-Condoms

In this advertisement, there is an attractive blond male with a child at the age of 8 or 12 in a grocery store. The man approaches the candy section and the child puts a big bag of sweets into the shopping cart. The man puts the candy back, but the kid retrieves it and sets it back into the shopping cart. This time the camera is angled towards the man's face and it is clear that he is stern about not buying the candy. The child notices this and begins to cry. Multiple shots of the child's face are shown; screaming, yelling, and crying in a foreign language saying, "I want those sweets!" The camera then moves towards the man displaying frustration. After this it shows other shoppers at the grocery store looking at the man and child with the facial expression of "What the hell is going on?" The man then tries to reach for the child, but misses. The child runs and starts knocking things down from shelves. After this it goes back to the man's face showing frustration. On this shot the bottom half of the screen displays "USE CONDOMS." After this it fades out and ZaZoos one for two condoms logo has the last shot of the advertisement. The child's tantrum last for about 30 seconds and the advertisement is only 46 seconds long. This leaves the viewer with mood of frustration just like the man experienced in the advertisement. This commercial is only viewable online since it was banned from television.

This commercial is appeal is obviously to use condoms not to get an annoying little brat. It's convincing because the viewer goes through the same trauma that the man experiences in the commercial, which is frustration. The commercial uses Fowle's appeal, the need for escape. This is clear because the man is undoubtedly frustrated. This commercial is also humorous because nobody would ever expect this ad to be for condoms. The commercial is ambiguous to what they are trying to selling and at the end of the ad it is set clear. This makes the ad funny because one is thinking "What the hell is going on!?!?" and then makes the message clear at the end leaving the viewer at a comical state because he can now relate to the man in the grocery store. I believe the commercial is very effective due to the emotion it brings to the viewer. I know I wouldn't want to be in the situation that man was in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meaning of Life?

What are the other people's goals and why?  What is their meaning of life?

This topic might not fulfill Robert's definition of picking an unusual topic, but it is one I have been wondering about over the last few days.  I understand that this topic is broad, but I have decided to interview the men on the first and second floor and women on the third floor in my dormitory, this will limit my sources.  I want to know why are people going to college and living the lives they do.  Have they put thought into their daily lives, or is it just immediate gratification?  Stumbleupon.com is the site that made me curious about this topic; I stumbled on videos, articles, and other peoples perspectives that made me question my way of living.  I want to know what college students do and want to know the path they choose to follow.  The college students are more important to me than world known people such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.  Because it shows extraordinary things that ordinary people do.  Also, people know the path saints take toward their goals, but what I want to know is what are the average college students’ steps toward their goals? 

I understand that this topic will vary, because all people are different.  If it does tend to sway back and forth then I will have to make some type of guideline to follow such as most college students have no goals, because they never really had a passion for anything and never thought about what they want to accomplish in life, because everything was provided for them and they live merrily and had no challenge thus this far.  This is a very rough draft question to my research paper and will define it better in near future. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Something Borrowed by Macolm Gladwell

In Something Borrowed, Macolm Gladwell makes the reader question to what extend should copying be considered plagiarism.  Gladwell starts with explaining that Dorothy Lewis, a psychiatrist that had research papers published about serial killers had her worked copied in the play "Frozen" written by Bryony Lavery-the play has direct quotes from her research papers.  Mrs. Lewis then ventures on a journey of finding a definition of plagiarism.  She goes to the musical industry to find a definition of plagiarism.  She has a friend point out that many songs have the same chords and music notes in the same sequence, but yet it is not called plagiarism because the music was transformed into something entirely new.  ""that soft and then loud, kind of exploding thing, a lot of that was inspired by the Pixies.  Yet Kurt Cobain"- Nirvana's lead singer and songwriter- "was such a genius that he managed to make it his own."" (pg 70)  This gives the idea that plagiarism is defined as completely copying an idea word by word.  In the end, Bryony Lavery is crying because her world is completely destroyed by the notion of plagiarism.  She will seen as a plagiarizer in world for what she did, but the question of did  Lavery not make something else with Dorothy Lewis work to transform it into something of her own, to make it entirely new?  Gladwell points this out and leaves the reader with the thought that the world has made plagiarism too strict and ideas should flourish, be transform frequently to make the world the best it can be.

I liked Something Borrowed by Macolm Gladwell.  The idea of plagiarism is really an interesting one, a stealing of ideas/work.  One first has to think what an idea is, its human thought and non tangible thing.  So how can a non tangle thing have copy rights laws on it?  Someone might get inspiration from that idea and make it better or transform it to their version.  So is it fair for someone to say, hey that’s my idea, when the other thought it was theirs or just simply was inspired by it?  I do not think so, humans get inspiration every day from things it’s how we operate.  Sir Issac Newton even said “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”  We need inspiration/knowledge from others it’s how humans grow and learn the fast way.  For humans can only do so much in their lifetime and to see others perspectives and obtain knowledge from someone else is how we can make progress in technology and other fields.  Something Borrowed by Macolm Gladwell makes the reader question what the definition of plagiarism is and gives the experience of two writers of research papers about serial killers getting plagiarized.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Racism by Ayn Rand

In Racism, Ayn Rand claims that any kind of prejudice for or against race is a form a racism, including a bill for civil rights.  Rand writes that racism takes away uniqueness about a person; to say that one belongs to a lineage or a race is wrong because it takes away the rational of the individual and that individual becomes lost in a sea of people.  "A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race- and a moron is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin." (pg 127)  This is Rand's claim that everyone is unique, groups and race should not make an influence of whom one is.  If race makes one have a predisposition on an individual whether good or bad Rand would claim this to be racism.  The point Rand expresses in Racism is that one should never say they deserve a helpful hand in being hired for a job or is better than another race, because of their skin color. This is why Rand disapproves of the bill for "civil rights."

The idea Rand presents is an interesting one, but one I do not completely agree with because she claims that one must not have a preconceived idea of a person because of their race.  The idea is dream like, but there are statistics and history that makes Rand's point very hard to accept.  Blacks have been oppressed in the United States, meaning the percentage of blacks are more likely to be living in poverty compared to whites and the point Rand is trying to get across is "Hey lets pretend it never happened." This is the idea I do not completely agree with and think the government should help out the ones that were oppressed by the white society. However, there is a thin line of how helpful the government must be towards "civil rights."  How much help is too much?  When is it the time to stop helping?  When will everything become fair?  These are all question one should ask, but is there a thing such as fairness?   Humans are prone to the idea of fairness, but to be honest life is a game of chance.  One always wants to be in controlled, but how is one in control if one does not choose our environment that one is born in?  Is it fair for children to be starving in a third world country while one indulges in pleasantries in the United States?  The answer is no, this proves that life is not fair.  So may be Rand was right in saying that there should be no prejudice towards race whether good or bad, because life is not fair.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Solutions to Saturday's Puzzle

David Sedaris uses humor to entertain his reader in Solution to Saturday's Puzzle. David is in a catch 22 on a flight to Raleigh; he sneezed and launched a cough drop onto a woman who he got into an argument with earlier. This argument was about the woman wanting David to switch seats with her husband so they may sit by each other. David refused because he hates bulkhead seats. "Under normal circumstances, I'd have had three choices, the first being to do nothing..." (125) After this statement he explains he can pull the cough drop off the women, risking of waking her, or he can wake her up and demand the cough drop back and fatally attempt to confuse the woman into thinking she somehow stole it. This is funny because of the scenes that play in one’s head when they read these statements; one can just see each one being hilariously awkward. I especially like the one with confusing the woman. I can just see rage on strangers face to innocent bystander with the stranger trying to hide his guilt with ANGRY WORDS!

What I also found funny in Solution to Saturday's Puzzle is David trying to reason with the woman explaining why it's not a big deal not trading seats with her husband. "I mean, what, is he going to prison the moment we land in Raleigh?" "if he was a child I'd do it." (128) This funny because it’s an adult trying to reason why he won't take a bulkhead. Ha-ha, it's hilarious. He won't do it because he would feel awkward if he were to take the seat. This story is basically a massive cycle of awkwardness of a grown man trying to wiggle his way out of feeling discomfort. It's like seeing a kid begging not to go to a time out, but in an adult version…..

Anyways, the reason the humor works in this piece is because we all experience this type of situation; being called an “asshole.” It’s not the word, but the trauma that one experiences after being called something one dislikes. David found himself in this predicament and cannot stop thinking about her. It’s as if every action made by her is an insult. “each gentle snore sounding like and accusation. Ass-hole. Ass-ho-le.” (133) The reason why the humor works with this story is because most people can relate to this story. The situation might not have been on a plane, but maybe on the playground or office. David Sedaris in a Solution to Saturday's Puzzle uses humor to relate to the reader.

What's green and has wheels?
Grass.....I lied about the wheels

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Klansman Who Won't use the N-Word By: Jon Ronson

In The Klansman Who Won't use the N-Word, Jon Ronson revels that the Ku Klux Klan is aiming to be viewed in a new more positive image, but Ronson also shows that the Ku Klux Klan is instilled with the same principles as they first started out with; that whites are supreme.  ""Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.  How to Win Friends and Influence People"" (pg 182) Thom, the leader of the Klan explains they need an image makeover to win over society because they have been viewed poorly by America, due to Hollywood.  The Klan shows a positive image by treating the narrator, Ronson nicely.  They treat him as if he was part of the Klan and he was even given the privilege of wearing the uniform of a Klan member.  Even though the Klan put on a positive image, Ronson shows that behind that mask is a menacing monster.  This is shown throughout the text subtly.  ""...nigger..." said somebody in the darkness nearby." (pg181)  Phrases like this one are put into the narrative interrupting the conversations Ranson has with Thom.  This shows that the Klan will never change its basic principles.  They might be friendly, but it's used as a tool to gain the trust of others.  Ronson in The Klansman Who Won't use the N-Word illustrates the Klan’s new image to gain an advantage in society and shows that the Klan has the same principles as they began with.

The Klansman Who Won't use the N-Word by Jon Ronson I thought was hilarious because it was a Jew visiting the Ku Klux Klan.  My favorite part of the narrative was when Ronson put on the uniform of a Klan member.   It was not just because Jon Ronson was in a white ghost outfit, but it was also the awkward moment before he put the uniform on.  I can see the Klansman asking Ronson if he wants to try the uniform on and then having the emotion of "o shit" or possible a dumbfounded smile.  Either way it was outrageously funny.  To me the Klan will never take the step in the right direction until they do something heroic.  Even then they will have the past against them therefore if even just one Klan member steps out of line they will fall back to where they are now.  I was intrigued by Ku Klux Klan when I was younger and decided to go on their website. The memory is vague, but I remember watching a video that was not very well done and that had a Klan member circumnavigated his points. My emotion from that memory is seeing something obscene and what I thought was stupid.  Just from that memory and the Klan's past I believe that the Klan will never be able to take climb in the right direction. 

Bitch By: Beverly Gross

In Bitch, Beverly Gross explains how the word bitch is used in society.  She illustrates this point by having many definitions of the word bitch showing that is demeaning, but concludes by showing a way to escape its negative connotation.  Throughout the text the word bitch is shown as a demeaning word and "A word used by men who are threatened by women." (pg 78)  Gross explains that this threat- being called something- is everywhere and for women it is being called a bitch.  The word bitch defined by Chapman was called a ball buster.  "n. Somone who saps or destroys masculinity." "Ball-whacker" (pg79)  Someone who saps or destroys masculinity?  This demonstrates the point that men wish to be dominant in society and if something demotes their "manhood" it is rightful to call that thing a bitch.  Gross shows that the word bitch is an ultimate weapon men have to humiliate women, but Gross also shows a way to conquer this ultimate weapon men have. ""I enjoy expressing myself"" is the key to defusing the power of bitch to fetter and subdue." (pg48)   It's as simple as that, just say that one has the freedom as men do; to speak what’s on one's mind.  Beverly Gross goes through a tedious list of definitions of the word bitch just to illustrate demeaning and how incorrect it is to call women “bitches.”

I enjoyed this reading because it went through an endless list for the word bitch.  It is tedious to read definition after definition, because it is so repetitive, but it gets the point across.  That it may be tiresome for women to keep hearing the word bitch over and over again and it does not matter to women what that definition means to that man.  I grew up in Catholic school and the belief was if one named something demeaning it loses its beauty.  So calling a woman a bitch would be considered a high act of disrespect.  Also I learned that if one names something one has power over it.  For instance, what if I called someone a fairy to insult them and a group joined in with me.  Wouldn’t that man or woman lose their self esteem; become powerless?  I believe so.  The world should be a place where one can freely express themselves and not be insulted for speaking their mind.  Gross shows this very well in her work, Bitch.