• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.



Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 1 month ago

October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween everyone! Ahhh...so this holiday is officially insane here in Happy Valley, and i love it. I had the best weekend! The costumes were incredible and seeing CATA buses, Legends of the Hidden Temple contestants, men dressed as women, Ninja Turtles, and so many more just walking around campus was such an experience! I honestly do not think I ever want to experience halloween anywhere else...I am just going to stay in Happy Valley for the rest of my life on October 31st. Haha! I love this holiday :)


October 22, 2005

I love October. I hate snow. Usually they do not happen together....but good ol' Happy Valley has surprised me once again. I cannot tell you my shock when I woke up and saw all white out of the window. Luckily, I didn't have to venture out into today.But, for an unlucky reason....I feel horrible. My throat is swelled up and I am completely out of it. But, regardless,i spent the whole day in bed just getting to look at the snow, so it wasn't as horrible as it could have been.


October 21, 2005

1. Sampling and Stigmergy I cannot say I am actually sure what I am supposed to do with this article. I read it, and I understand that is was about West Rappers vs. East Rappers and the sometimes fatal fued that exists between them, named B.I.G and Tupac. Rap, which is an ever increasing form of popular music, is known for its portrayl of violence in the ghettos of the nation. Many go as far as to say that this music is influencing an increase of violent crimes across the country.


2. This link did not work


3. Definitional Argument of Plagiarism Dictionary.com defines plagiarism as "a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work or the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own." Plagiarism is an increasing problem amoung societ today because of the readily availableness of information. Many people are utilizing their copy and paste keys a little too much. I believe this definition of plagiarism is valid. The key point in the definition, that makes it true, is the inclusion of ideas . Many people think that changing mere words in another person's work saves them from plagiarizing. Yet, stealing a person's idea can be just as bad as taking their exact words. Ideas are the basis of a persons thoughts, and with out there original thought, no words would have formed. Thus, extracting words from a persons work incorporates thier ideas.




October 19, 2005

I think I am understanding this whole evaluation arguement thing more and more as I have been searching various other sites that define them. The past site that I found was very helpful. It really explained the whole idea and gave great examples. It actually had an exercise in it that gave me the idea for this discussion of an evaluation argument. I discovered that inorder to have an evaluation argument, you need to have a set of criteria, and you must argue whether this criteria is suitable and, if so, met. An example of this are historical movies intended for entertainment value. Such movies include Pearl Harbor, Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, Titanic, and Braveheart . All of these films have been attacked by historians for wrongly portraying historical events. Many speaking on behalf of the film claim that the film "is accurate in "the broad strokes" but because it is a movie it is "sheer fantasy." It is thus important to define the criteria of a film that portrays a historical event, yet for entertainment purposes. The above quote came from Mel Gibson when his film The Patriot was critisized for innacuracy. I think that Mel in completely correct in explaining that the film portrays history broadly. The ideas come across clear enough because, after all, the film was not meant as a documentary. Minor details may be a little off, but the large, and unarguable more important aspects of the time and events are portrayed. The idea of the movie is to sell tickets; to entertain. The audience will not be tested on the material they view. It is moronic for a person to base their knowledge of the revolutionary war on a hollywood movie. If one does such, it is to no fault of the producers, actors, or whomever of the picture. It is here that the argument arises. Although everything in such film may not be 100% accurate, the large and historically critical aspects are portrayed, thus making a film containing historical events legitamate and in no way in the wrong. The main objective is entertainment, with history taking a back seat. If one wanted complete accurracey of an event, watch a documentary.


October 18, 2005

I was unsure as to what exactly an evaluative argument was. The only information I had was that they tried to portray something as good or bad. Then, many people were writing about how opinion was effecting these arguments, and this confused me. So many people saw oppinion in an evalutive arguement as bad, yet I it seems that that is mainly what this argument consists of. What someone may argue is good, another may consider bad. Unless something is discussed that is universally accepted as good, say breathing, I think any sort of plausible evaluative argument would be concentrated with opinion. Of course, there may be evidence to back up your opinion, but it is, nonetheless, and opinion of the writer being conveyed to the reader. So, anyway, I was confused. So i found this definition of evaluative arguments, which clarified my questions. And, I won't lie, I kind of cheated while finding my article. I used this same site, and the teacher's recommendation for an example of an evaluative argument:

The Article found in the New Yorker is merely a movie review about the movies "The Squid and the Whale" and "Elizabethtown". I will focus on "The Squid and the Whale". The writer, David Denby, begins by setting a mood for the reader. He describes how little kids lie to feel some sort of power under their ruling and seemingly godly parents. As they grow up, this godly outlook for their parents deminishes, which is the idea for this movie. Two boys, Walt and Frank watch their once-perfect parents go through a seperation and come to realize they aren't as wonderful as they once thought. David Denby goes through many levels of how the director, Noah Baumbach, achieves this portrayl and inturn shows how main character morphs into adulthood. This, is representative to real life and growing up. Denby discusses the characters of the mother, the personality of Walt, and the characteristics of Baumbach. Denby really explores each aspect to really relay the idea that it was a large contribution factor to the main theme of the movie. After stating all his claims/support he evaluates, clearly, that " The plot hinges on Walt’s rediscovery of his love for her; Baumbach, in the end, holds out the possibility that Walt, at least, will see his parents as neither gods nor monsters but as screwed-up, very foolish adults. The movie is proof that Walt grew into a man.


Geeze, i hope that was an evaluation arguement :-/





October 17, 2005

Stigmery Remix:

Pierre-Paul Grasse coined the term stigmergy in the 1950s in order to convey the idea that insects use an indirect form of communication of information. Grasse observed that the insects in a community work as if they were alone, yet seem to be part of a large order. It is this order that is questionable, because there is no concrete instructor to dictate what to do and how to do it. It is here that the idea of stigmergy emerges, that an insect community is directed in their actions by previous works. It is suggested that the structure is the true stimuli rather than a teacher. Students often overlook this idea because this stimulation is not organized in time and space, which negates their idea of perfect coordination. Because of this discrepancy, the ideas of stigmergy are still being explored. This exploration of the theory is very pertinent to the future, as many hypothesize that is may be very important in the development of artificial intelligence. Such an idea may prove true with robots and other devices of artificial intelligence.


October 13, 2005

For my second explination of an article, i am going to use CaitSky 's causal argument:


Thesis: Because a person eats fish once a week, their brain capacity in thinking declines 10% less than those who do not eat fish once per week. I initially read the article in The Daily Collegian, but it can also be found on usatoday.com. Studies are showing that people, who eat four different types of fish: fish sandwiches, tuna fish, fresh fish, and shrimp/lobster/crab, often will have greater brain function longer in life. Although researchers may link fish and omega 3 fatty acids to slower declines in brain function, there could also be numerous other factors that lessen brain decline among the aged. One’s activities, how often one continues to read, engaging in thought, one’s health, etc. could all lead to prolonged use of thought in the brain. The article is gearing attention to those who are in the prime of their life. If one eats fish once a week, later in life they will reap the benefits. Researchers are working to prove the link between fish and brain function so people will remain intellectually sharp at an elderly age.



Causes: Fish contain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids that aid in the slowing of declining brain functions.

Counter-Arguments: Another counter argument that may be taken in to account is that a person who choses to eat fish over a possible steak or what have you may be a healthier person in general, so other factors, as Cait mentions, could definately play a part in the slower decline of their brain functions. Thus, fish, although it may appear to cause this, could be just an lurking variable in the whole study.



October 12, 2005

The current assignment is the read our classmate’s blogs and find a wiki entry on causal arguments and comment upon them. Looking through different entries I came across AlliesBlog and her entry on the morning after pill. I think that is a perfect example of a causal argument because she very clearly states how people in congress believe that allowing younger girls to obtain the morning after pill with cause them to believe they can have sex without consequence. Yet, on the other side, allowing younger and younger girls to get the pill would potentially allow for a drop in abortion rates.


There is not much opinion in this article, and even so, both sides of the argument are permitted. So, the New York Times has done a good job presenting both points of view to an intended audience of teenage girls. Also, since the readers are variable and have many different opinions, they would not be offended by this article, so the information comes through without being offensive.


October 11, 2005

Talking about causation arguments immediately makes me think of statistics class, because we talked about causation and correlation in class at the beginning of the semester. So, I went back to my Stat100 website, which lists all our lectures and the actual articles that we talked about relating to our lessons to try and find a good causation example.


I came across this article, which basically states that black people, although they smoke less cigarettes, are more susceptible to smoking related diseases such as lung cancer. This article, which was in the New York Times on August 30, 2005 claims that being black causes one to be at a higher risk for smoking related diseases.


But, the article also describes the lurking variable that makes this cause seem more plausible than it actually is. The fact that black people smoke more menthol cigarettes have a very impactful effect on there vulnerability to disease. So, although they smoke fewer cigarettes than white people, they smoke the more harmful menthol brands, thus upping their disease potential.


It is problems such as this that causal arguments are difficult, because there are always so many factors that could affect an outcome. It is a basic principle and rule in statistics that you cannot infer causation. If one inferred that cigarettes are more harmful to black people because of their race, they would be wrong, although this is what the data suggests. We always must look at other variables. But, as this is a largely circulated newspaper, many of its readers would not consider such a fact, and may just take such a report at true with out much consideration. This, is therefore, another danger to causation arguments. Untrue information is sometimes taken too easily to be true and factual.




October 10, 2005

This weekend was HUGE in Penn State standards, i mean monumental. And, wow, did I enjoy it. The atmosphere of the whole campus was just amazing, and I had a blast. So, I figured, as I am sure many people also did, that I could incorporate this weekend's win into our assignment for finding causal arguments and posting them on our blogs. I went to my home town's newspaper's website, the Pittsburgh post gazette, and found this story.


I liked this story, because it didn't really talk about WHY we won the game, but how, now that we have won it, Penn State is perceived. It begins by describing the atmosphere of Happy Valley during the weekend caused by this awesome win. Then, it talks about how Penn State is suddenly THE school to beat. Or, as Harlan puts it, "They are the team others gear up to play. The team others attempt to derail." Penn State hasn't been in such a position for years. Hell, the record was a shameful 3-9 only two seasons ago! It is because of this game that all of the sudden the Lions are such a huge deal. This game caused people like Robinson to be hailed as heroes. This game caused Happy Valley's boom onto the map!


The audience this article is intended for is broad. Any PSU fan could read it and feel a sense a pride in their team, and recall that elated feeling of this past weekend. Yet, PSU fans are not the only audience this article is likely to be read by. But, regardless who read this article, they are instilled with a sense of excitement or atleast cannot deny Penn States impressive, and well improved, season.


Another reason I chose this particular article is that Harlan poses counter arguments right within his story. He refers to the new saying "Penn State is back", yet he questions when we were really there? The guys on the wonderful team right now are the same guys that were on the not-so-highly-regarded team mere seasons ago. Yet, Harlan explains that this game, the cause, "pushed such woeful memories even deeper into the earth".


So, basically, yes, i think this article is correct. I think its claims to causes are valuable. This game really did solidify our Nittany Lions as a threat, and just gave us all one more reason to be Penn State proud.




October 6, 2005

English blogging is a great way off putting off assignments for other classes. And, you don't feel too guilty because, it is, after all, for a class. I need to write a paper for my art history class. A paper on one single piece of art work, any medium, from before 1900. We had to obtain this piece from the Palmer, which I did on Wednesday. I chose one called "The First Communion of the New World". It is a large oil painting done around 1870. I chose it because it contains alot and therefore would have alot of information to talk about. This paper has to be five pages long, and we are not aloud to make any personal comments on the art, just describe it. I have a text that describes how to do this...or atleast what to talk about...and with my art backgroud, it shouldn't be too difficult. I atleast know about complimentary color, foreshortening, vanishing points, and then alot on basic principles like lines, value, hues, shape, form...things like that. But, I just cannot bring myself to start this. I bombed our essay test too, so this paper has to be something special if i am gonna help my grade at all. Blah, i guess ill attempt to start.



October 5, 2005

I haven't been bored in awhile. I have been sitting here, and sporadically wondering the halls for the past hour or two, simply because I have nothing that i HAVE to do. I am not used to this. I don't know what to do with myself. I'm not complaining, by any means, it's just odd. I excited, Dave Mattthew's Band tickets are going on sale friday. I love Dave Matthews, and he is amazing live. I saw him this summer at home in Pittsburgh, and it was such a great concert. Definately a highlight of the summer. As far as I know, though, there is no student discount, which sucks because the tickets are $50. O well, Dave's worth it. :)



October 4, 2005

Today has been rather uneventful. I have nothing specific to rant about in here, which I seem to do most of the time. The weather is perfect today. Sunny. Not hot, not cold. Just right for a tee shirt and jeans. I really like fall, but I can't help but be reminded by it that winter is coming. I hate winter. I hate cold. I hate snow. I know...why the hell did I come to psu then? haha. O well, i will deal with it. Well, I have an upcoming Econ exam to study for, so wish me luck!




October 3, 2005

I just finished my Analogy paper and posted the draft. God, I hope I did it right. I don't know about anybody else but I feel like we were assigned a about 10 different options for this paper. I did not know whether to state a popular analogy and refute it, or agree with it? Or make my own and do the same. Or whether I should find uninteded side effects in a common analogy, much like Plato's, or if my main focus should be on two emotional events and predict a solution for the present event in context of the second. Ugh, i dont know, I was so confused. So, I just went for it. I based my paper off of the Saddam and Hilter Idea. Like, how two events in history, which are often equated to each other, are similar but when you dig a little deeper there are some quite extreme differences. I got that idea from the car idea and checkups. Like, our bodies aren't cars. But, then our book goes on to explain how that argument, although different, is correct in the relevant ways...whereas I just wrote mine as "No, this comparison is wrong!". So, things like that make me worry that I did this wrong. I don't know. I like the subject matter of my paper, and I found some pretty interesting (and supportive) facts. My last paper lacked support and contained too many unsupported claims, so I hope, at the very least, THAT is fixed in this one. Blah. Just needed to get all of that out there. I hope everyone else's paper is coming along okay. :/




October 2 2005

I cannot believe that it is really October already. Time is really flying, yet...it seems like move in day was years ago. It all really surreal. I have yet to accept the fact that I am even in college. Its just too weird. So...any way, enough of that. This weekend was alright. The game was amazing. Creaming Minnesota was such a great feeling. Penn State is doing great this year, and its so awesome. My high school team was never very great...so being able to scream my head off at a game for a team that is doing really well, is alot of fun. And, yes, i stood and waved my "growl towel" the whole time along with hundreds of other students that stood patiently in the ridiculously long line at the book store. It was a good time. Not much else to report as to what this weekend entailed...so I guess I should prepare myself for a nice LONG week of studying. :/

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.