Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Current Life Soundtrack

"Ain't No Rest For The Wicked"- Cage The Elephant
This fits my life perfectly especially with the semester winding down and having to do a lot of school work to finish on time.  Along with school work I have band practice which is getting pretty stressful with all of the different shows we've had to learn in such little time.  I feel like I will not truly be at rest until the semester is over and winter break begins.

"Don't Stop Believin'"- Journey
This song always gets me pumped up and gives me almost a second wind.  This song makes me believe that anything is possible if you just put your mind to it.  It also makes me think of when I used to dance.  We danced to this song and dancing for me was always a great outlet.

"Jump Around"- House of Pain
Of course this song fits into my soundtrack because of the badger football team going to the Big Ten Championship, which means that the band gets to go along to!  This song is always one of my favorite parts of badger games and makes me feel true badger pride. Go badgers!

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"- Bruce Springsteen
This song reminds me how close Christmas is and gives me a drive to get my work done so that I can go home and be with my family.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Research on Different Types of Animal Testing

"FDA supports the development and use of alternatives to whole-animal testing as well as adherence to the most humane methods available within the limits of scientific capability when animals are used for testing the safety of cosmetic products" (Animal Testing, n.d.).
Animal Testing. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2011, from FDA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductTesting/ucm072268.htm

This cite describes what safely product animal testing is and how it relates to the government and laws.  This helps we research my research topic because I am describing the differences between safety product animal testing and animal testing for biological research.  I believe this source is reliable because is that cite of the FDA which mainly has factual information.  I also think that since it is the FDA's website that they know what they're talking about in terms of government laws involving cosmetic testing on animals.  

"These scientists study animals because they are a lot like people when it comes to basic body functions like breathing, eating, hearing, and seeing" (Medical Research, n.d.).

Medical Research with Animals [Brochure]. (n.d.). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from National Institutes of Health website, http://science.education.nih.gov/animalresearchfs07.pdf

This is a brochure that i found on a government website of the National Institutes of Health.  I however am not quite positive how reliable this informations is.  It does sound that this institution is real, but I'm not sure how truthful this information is.  It does however, provide why animals are used for testing, what animals are tested on including data tables, and how different testing have benefited people.  This source has potential, but may not be the most reliable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chapter 10 and End of The Psychopath Test

Jon Ronson in Chapter 10 talks about how identifying mental disorders was developed and how it may be overused to diagnose patients.  He gives the example of children who where overly hyper and challenging being diagnosed with childhood bipolar disorder.  Rebecca Reilly, a child diagnosed with bipolar disorder, died from an overdose of antipsychotic drugs that were prescribed for her bipolar disorder.  Rebecca's death could have been avoided if she was correctly diagnosed instead of the doctors just assuming she had bipolar disorder.  Throughout this chapter Ronson also discussed how the different versions of the DSM were made and how new disorders were added to the updated versions.

I enjoyed reading this book because it forced me to look at psychopaths in a way I never have before.  I learned a lot from this book about different types of people and how we judge one another in our society.  I also learned about the value of trust.  Thinking about how many psychopaths could be out there makes you wonder who, in the world, you can really trust.  I think Ronson was very brave and daring to meet with the different individuals that he interviewed throughout the book.  I know that I would not want to be caught anywhere near half of these individuals.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ronson Chapter 8 and 9

In chapter 8, Ronson described Rachel North's traumatic experience with a terrorist bombing on a train.  After the bombing Rachel was depressed and found that writing blogs about how she felt and surviving her the experience.  Many other survivors commented on her blogs and they all decided to meet as a support group for one another.  There was a group of non-believers, led by David Shayler, who would twist Rachel's blogs and say that the bombing was just a power surge.  They became very nasty with her and would say that she didn't really exist and that she was just a group of people.  David Shayler and his group of followers also had their own conspiracies about other events besides 7/7, such as 9/11 being hologram airplanes.  Shayler even thought that he was the next Messiah.  Ronson then meets with Shayler who he finds to be a psychopath due to some evidence such as, having no empathy toward Rachel, having these extremely out there conspiracy beliefs, and occasionally dressing up in women's clothing.

Chapters 8 and 9 both had to do with tragic events that occur in our society.  Chapter 8 with the terrorist bombing and psychopaths thinking up crazy conspiracies.  Chapter 9 with horrible murders committed by psychopaths.  I thought it was interesting reading about David Shayler's crazy conspiracy beliefs because it puzzled me how someone could draw those conclusions even though there was enough evidence supporting the terrorist attacks.  I really enjoyed the visible representation of Shayler's conspiracies and how the media thought about them.  It showed that, over time, Shayler's  beliefs were getting more and more rediculous.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Something Borrowed" Blog

In 'Something Borrowed,' Gladwell questions what is considered crossing the line when it comes to plagiarism.  There are many different types of plagiarism such as in music, peoples' ideas, and peoples' specific work.  The copyright law doesn't punish those just for copying someone's work.  It punishes individuals for what they copied specifically and how much they copied.  It is hard to tell by this how much is too much, however.  There are many exceptions for copyrighting.  For example, in songs one can not copy a large portion of someone else's song.  However, you can use some of the same notes in the same sequence and it not be considered plagiarism.  There is also a time limit on ideas and discoveries related to science and art because there is the possibility for the public to benefit from further development of these ideas.  It is hard to define a clear line for plagiarism.  Many incidences need to be analyzed individually because there are so many different types of plagiarism, rules, and exceptions.

I thought that this piece was really eye-opening to all of the different types of plagiarism that are out there. I really enjoyed the comparisons of the different songs that had similar riffs or verses.  It never really occurred to me that that many songs sound so much like one another.  Plagiarism, even though it sounds like its easily definable, actually is quite difficult.  There are so many different exceptions and rules that need to be taken into consideration.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ronson, Chapters 6 and 7

In chapter 7, Jon Ronson talks with his documentary maker friend Adam Curtis, who criticizes Ronson's journalistic style.  Adam said, "You're like a medical monk, stitching together a tapestry of people's craziness.  You take a little bit of craziness from up there and then a little craziness from over there and then you stitch it all together."  Ronson is upset by this statement and tells himself that he's not going to listen to his Adam because he's a known contrarian.  During this chapter, Ronson also converses with Charlotte Scott who used to be a TV producer.  Charlotte talked about her career and how it was her job to find the people with the "right sort of madness" to be guests on the TV show.  To find the right crazy people, Charlotte would ask the caller what medications they were on.  She would then look up what those medicines treated on a medical website to see if the person was too mad (schizophrenics) or just mad enough.  If they weren't on any medication, then they probably weren't crazy enough.  Because Charlotte and her colleagues made these mad individuals the punch-line of their jokes for years, she has decided to never go back.

The story about Kellie McGee being cut last minute for the show Extreme Makeover, made me realize how much words can hurt someone.  Kellie having to hear her families suppressed thoughts about her ugliness, was truly aweful.  Kellie had thought over the years that her family loved her for who she really was, but in truth, they were just like everyone else.  This situation was terrible and no one should have to go through shame like this.  Kellie later overdosed on pills and alcohol and died because she could no longer live being the 'ugly duckling'.  These types of situations happen all the time and could easily be avoided if people kept their inappropriate and hurtful thoughts to themselves.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blog #3 Research Topic

Question: Is animal testing an effective way to test products before human medical use?
                  At which point is testing on animals unnecessary?

I chose this topic because I love animals and i feel strongly that inhumane testing on animals it wrong.  In this research paper I am looking for scientific evidence that supports my view.  There is both data that supports animal testing and data that opposes it.  I think in certain cases the links between animals side-effects and human side-effects will be similar and in others will be weak.  I would also like to observe data that shows if certain types of animal testing for humans is acceptable.  For example, for human health versus human beauty.  I think it may be difficult to answer this question fully due to the possible exceptions and personal beliefs. I think when i start researching information about animal testing, a clear question will reveal itself.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Psychopath Test-Chapters 4 and 5

In chapter four, Jon Ronson attends a three-day residential course lead by Bob Hare, the founder of the PCL-R Checklist.  This checklist was a psychopath test that helped reveal characteristics that identified psychopaths.  Throughout this course Ronson was trained to be able to pick out psychopaths that he may run into throughout his life.  Having this ability that many others didn't have, made Ronson feel a sense of power.  After analyzing many case studies and identifying psychopaths for three days, Ronson often found himself questioning whether he himself could be a psychopath.

Chapters four and five both freaked me out.  Learning about the checklist made me realize how many different characteristic psychopaths can take on.  I found myself checking myself with the checklist just to make sure that I wasn't a psychopath myself.  Reading about Ronson's encounters with Toto also interested me in the fact that Toto always seemed to scan the scene making sure that people "liked" him.  In this moment of Toto's observations, Ronson saw a flip of a switch in Toto's presentation of himself.  At a quick glance he appeared to be staring at Ronson (looking right through him), then once he realized that Ronson was saw him he snapped out of it .  It was like a switch had been flipped.  If psychopaths can switch their external personality that fast, imagine how many psychopaths there can be out there without you even knowing it!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Pychopaths Dream in Black and White"

In this chapter, Jon Ronson reveals psychiatrist Elliot Baker's psychotherapy program, which was an attempt to better the psychopaths residing at Oak Ridge hospital for the criminally insane.  Elliot's psychotherapy sessions consisted of LSD use, nudity, and no distractions such as television, clocks, or calendars.  Some of these sessions would last for up to eleven days at a time.  Gary Maier later took over Elliot's position at Oak Ridge and further tried to "cure" the residents by studying their dreams along with some of Elliot's previous tactics.  Some of the residents at Oak Ridge were later released on thoughts that they had been "cured", only to find that they returned to their old habits.  All of these exercises used in the psychotherapy sessions were suppose to help "cure" these psychopaths of their murderous and devious ways, but actually was discovered that it enabled them to become better psychopaths when released back into the real world.

Reading about all the terrible unspeakable crimes that the psychopaths at Oak Ridge did, gave me the creeps.  It made me feel even worse to know that some of the residents were released back out in the world to relive their sick cravings and obsessions.  Some were even released and admitted multiple times.  These type of situations makes you question the psychiatrists at these institutes.  The therapy that was used on the residents at Oak Ridge by Elliot Baker and Gary Maier, were very out there and clearly ineffective.  It also amazes me how well psychopaths can manipulate others to get, in the end, what they want.  It makes me wonder who the psychopaths are that I know, but may not realize it yet.