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?