Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Soundtrack to my life"

"Don't Stop Believin" - Journey
This is my go-to pump up song. Whenever me and my friends are together, whether it be going out or riding in the car, we always belt out the lyrics to this song.

"Jump Around" - House of Pain
This song reminds me of one of my favorite parts of being a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison - the jump around at the end of the 3rd quarter at Camp Randall. The atmosphere is so amazing and it makes you really proud to call yourself a Badger.

"All I Want for Christmas is You" - Mariah Carey
This song reminded me of the time when we got to create our own dance around the holidays for my senior year in my dance class back home - our dance consisted of shooting reindeer and making snowflakes. It also reminds me of being home for the holidays with my family and friends.

"Kids" - MGMT
I heard this song for the first time when I visited my cousin in NYC. Every time I listen to it, it reminds me of my trip to NYC and why it is one of my favorite cities I have ever been to.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sources for my research paper

"Although all of the lines derived worldwide share the expression of characteristic pluripotency markers, many differences are emerging between lines that may be more associated with the wide range of culture conditions in current use than the inherent genetic variation of the embryos from which embryonic stem cells were derived" (Hogle, 2010, pg. 2010).

Hogle, L. (2010). Characterizing human embryonic stem cells: Biological and social markers of identity. Medical Anthropology Quarterly V. 24 No. 4.

I feel that this source may not be as accurate as what I hoped for. The author's data was derived from interviews she had with those who were familiar with stem cells, but throughout the article, she used her opinion in basically the whole thing. Also, the data she discussed was something I had never heard of before, and wasn't directly related to the question I am researching.

"Human embryonic stem (hES) cells capture the imagination because they are immortal and have an almost unlimited developmental potential. After many months growing in culture dishes, these rather nondescript cells maintain the ability to form cells ranging from muscle to nerve to blood, and potentially any cell type that makes up the body" (Snow, 2002, pg. 15).

Snow, N. (2002). The human embryonic stem cell debate (book). Theological studies, 63(3)

I felt that this was my best source. The books consists of different sections, introducing the reader to what stem cells are and where they come from, which is helpful for someone who doesn't know what stem cells are or stem cell research. The book also goes into discussing the debate that has arisen with embryonic stem cells and is related to my question of research. Also, I found the book at the UW library and it was professionally reviewed. I feel that this source isn't "lying" to me, like the other sources in  my project one assignment.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ronson Chapter 10

The main focus of chapter 10 was about the misdiagnosis and misuse of the DSM checklist. Ronson explains how the checklist has grown over the years, and basically one non-normal thing about someone is considered a disorder in the checklist. When these checklists became available, more average people bought the checklist rather than medical professionals. This lead to self diagnosis, which eventually benefited the drug companies. Robert Spitzer, the man responsible for the DSM, says that the checklist was diagnosing people with disorders, when in reality they didn't really have them - they were completely normal. The chapter also explains how children and being misdiagnosed and given medications which lead to severe side effects or even death, in Rebecca Riley's case. Spitzer says that children were being misdiagnosed simply for acting like most kids do at times - hyper and bouncing off the walls.

I loved reading this book as it was different from anything I have ever read and it was nice being able to read something that wasn't a textbook! It made me think differently about society, and how so many people can really have all of these disorders or be misdiagnosed. It also made me realize how judgmental people can be and how some people may overanalyze situations, which can be detrimental. I enjoyed the ending, as the majority of the story was Ronson's journey visiting psychopaths and analyzing everyone he met, when in the end, the story tells us that many people are misdiagnosed. The story shows us that many people are normal, they just may have some weird or strange characteristics about them. a

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ronson chapters 8 & 9

In chapter 8, Jon Ronson learns about a woman named Rachel North, who was involved in a tragic train bombing. Being a writer, she blogs about her experience with the accident, and conspiracy theorists comment on her writings and twist her words to make people believe that the bombing was a power surge. When visiting with Rachel, Ronson learns that the man behind the conspiracy theory was a man named David Shayler. Shayler is the leader of the conspiracy group that was attacking Rachel's blog, and came up with his own conspiracies on several different events in history including 9/11, 7/7. After meeting with Shayler, Ronson starts to wonder if he is a part of the madness industry, being a journalist, just as Charlotte Scott and reality TV. Ronson realizes that all of these reality TV shows are based on the small percent of the society that is dysfunctional, and not the large part of society that is considered "functional"

These two chapters each had me confused in certain parts. In chapter 8, I was slightly confused with all the code names and terms that were used when David Shayler was chosen to be a spy. In chapter 9, I was confused with the part of the meeting with Britton when he hands Ronson a piece of paper. I couldn’t understand what the meaning of the paper was (pg. 227)

I did think it was funny of Ronson to make a graph of Shayler’s conspiracy theories and how much attention he got in the media to show the reader that the Messiah theory was a little out there.

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Something Borrowed"

In Malcolm Gladwell’s “Something Borrowed”, he told his own personal story of   plagiarism in the Broadway play, "Frozen" by Dorthy Lewis.The play was about a psychiatrist that studied serial killers. Dorthy Lewis felt offended by the play as it was basically about her life and some of the scenes in the play were acts she had never really committed. He also shared stories of other incidents of plagiarism in the music industry. Gladwell questions whether or not using an artist’s same words, but telling a different story, is considered plagiarism. He says that one could take music or someone’s ideas and modify them to create their own. Copyright laws do not punish someone for simply copying someone’s work; it punishes them for how much they copied and the specifics of what were copied. It is hard to define plagiarism, as there are so many different types and exceptions. Throughout his piece, Gladwell questioned what cases of plagiarism cross the line. 

This piece really made me realize how many different forms of plagiarism do exist. I thought that Gladwell’s use of music, with different types of songs, was very unique as it made me realize how so many songs could be quite similar to each other. I always thought in high school that plagiarism was just one basic idea, but now I realize that it is a very difficult concept to wrap your finger around.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ronson Chapters 6&7

In chapter 6, Ronson pays a visit to Shubuta,Mississippi where he tours the old Sunbeam plant. He learned that Al Dunlap, former CEO of Sunbeam, turned Shubuta into a ghost town my shutting down the plant. Dunlap was know for his harsh, non-sympathetic personality and for shutting down various company plants around the country and firing people whenever he liked. Interested in Al Dunlap, Jon Ronson travels to Florida to visit him in his mansion. He asks Dunlap questions based on Bob Hare's checklist and asks him whether or not he was a psychopath. Al was appalled by the question at first, but then asked Ronson to continue, having Ronson ask him each question on the checklist.

I found both of these chapters to be very interesting. The further I read into the book, the more I think about classifying the people in my life as psychopaths. I had always wondered how people were selected for shows like Jerry Springer, and found Charlotte's way of looking for guests on the show to be somewhat terrible. It's terrible to select someone to be on the show based on the medication they are taking to fight their depression or other medical related problem. It made me wonder if Charlotte could be considered a psychopath because she had no sympathy or remorse for the people she spoke with each day during her job. Like the case with the woman on Extreme Makeover, you never know what could go wrong on a TV show, which could cause problems in a person's life, like depression.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blog 10/13/11

My question: Does stem cell research have an impact on human lives and the medical field?
Could stem cell research change the future of the medical field?

I chose this question because there has been a strong debate about stem cell research in the past couple years. Many people support using embryonic stem cells, but others do not as it involves taking stem cells from a fetus. Others feel that stem cell research could possibly cure cancer and other medical diseases that cause thousands of deaths each year around the world. I would start my giving the reader information about  what stem cells are and the locations of where they are extracted from on the body. I would then talk about the reasons for why people choose their side of the controversy, and what factors lead them to that decision. Next, I would explain the different methods of stem cell research and different types of procedures that involve stem cells.
For one of my primary sources, I would interview my mom's friend at work, who had breast cancer and underwent a stem cell transplant, and is now cancer free. For another primary source I would use the information she was given from the doctors while receiving treatment, which is a thick booklet on all the different types of stem cell transplants and the procedures for each one.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Psychopath Test: Chapter 4 and 5

In chapter four, Jon Ronson is interested by Bob Hare and his studies of psychopaths. Instead of having an interview with Hare, Ronson attends his three day conference on psychopaths and their cues. Jon is given the PCL-R Checklist, which consists of cues psychopaths may give to determine if they are truly psychopathic or not. Throughout the conference, Ronson and other researchers/scientists analyze different case studies shown by video with the PCL-R Checklist. Ronson becomes fascinated with the list and feels he has a new power that will allow him to analyze the people in his life and determine if they are psychopaths as well. 

I feel that because of Hare's PCL-R Checklist, I too could analyze anyone in my life and test for psychopathy. I find it interesting and somewhat frightening that I could be living among many psychopaths now and not even know it! One part of the chapter that made me laugh was when Ronson described the old British Columbia Penitentiary as now being a restaurant where waiters wear striped uniforms and dishes are named after famous inmates. 

In chapter five when Ronson interviewed Toto, it made me wonder why psychopaths are so open with their opinion and thoughts when interviewed, but at the same time they try to mimic our emotions. Why cover up who they really are when they openly reveal themselves to researchers like Jon Ronson?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Psychopaths Dream in Black & White"

In this chapter, Jon Ronson discusses psychiatrist Elliot Baker and his long, nude, "LSD-fueled" psychotherapy sessions at Oak Ridge Hospital for the criminally insane. Baker puts these insane residents in a secluded room and lets the healing of their "illness" happen on its own. Ronson also shows examples of psychopaths who had experienced Elliot Baker's sessions and how the session didn't make them better, it made them worse. When let out into society,they better hid their murders and deviant acts and re-offended. Gary Maier took over at Oak Ridge after Elliot stepped down. He studied residents dreams and viewed their breakthrough in recovering could be considered "cured and freed", like Elliot.

The fact that the residents in the hospital could be "cured and freed" struck me the most. I found it strange and somewhat horrifying that these psychopaths could be released back into society after their horrific crimes; especially after Ronson gave examples of residents at Oak Ridge who committed similar crimes again after they were "cured". After reading bout Tony in the previous chapter, Broodmoor is the complete opposite of Oak Ridge - they don't release their residents and believe that they will always be psychopaths or insane, it's how their brain works. Eighty percent of the criminal psychopaths re-offended, Elliot's work made them worse. I also found the techniques that Elliot used to be very odd and strange.