Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Technology Controling Our Health

With technology being the center of my generation's lives, it's no wonder that technology has started to affect our health in more ways than we could ever image. Until recently, it was very uncommon to meet people online, but now it seems like the normal, and along with meeting new people, people are meeting an increased number of STDs. 
According to a study done by health researchers in Utah and Rode Island, hookup apps are the main reason for the jump in STD rates. Since 2013, there has been a 33% increase in the amount of HIV cases caused by these apps. These apps increase someone's chances of having multiple partners, which is one of the main ways that STDs can be spread. 
I think that if American citizens want to maintain their health, the use of hookup apps should be kept to a minimum. This problem was not as prevalent ten years ago. If the use of hookup and dating apps continue to be popular, the health of Americans is just going to keep diminishing, and the cases of STDs are going to continue increasing. The increase in cases of STDs just shows how influential technology has become in our lives. Not only is it consuming our time, and money, but it is also starting to affect the health of America in ways we probably didn't think it would. If we don't cut back on hook up apps, then the problem will only get worse, especially because technology is becoming one of the main factors in our daily lives, and it is only getting more popular. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

North Shore Dojo

On Wednesday, my advisery went to a martial arts school in Glenview called North Shore Dojo. The purpose of our excursion was to teach us how to defend ourselves, if we were being attacked. Going in I had high hopes for this because, due to the high frequency of rape cases on college campuses, and I am going to college in about a year and a half, I feel like it could be useful to know this.
However, the experience my advisery had was far from exemplary. There were many times that the man who was instructing the course pulled out girls’ hair, ripped clothing that girls were wearing, and left bruised on parts of girls’ arms.
I feel like the way this course was being taught took the attention away from learning how to properly defend ourselves, and it was put on how aggressive the man was being. Yes, I realize that an attacker will not go easy on us, so I understand that it was trying to make the situation a little more realistic, but I feel it just ended up with us not wanting participate. If courses are going to be taught in this manner, I feel like more and more women will become less inclined to take these class. This is a problem because if fewer women are learning how to escape/protect themselves, the amount successful attacks will stay the same.
Also, I don't feel like I would ever be able to protect myself, unless my attacker came at me in the exact way that I was taught. The chances of someone grabbing my lower arm with enough room for me to put my hand on my own wrist without them grabbing my hand is very small, and I don't know how to defend myself if it is not set up in that exact manner.
Overall, this course made me less interested in how to protect myself, which I find to be a major problem because it is very important for women to know how to defend themselves. Therefore, I feel like the way in which these courses are taught should be reevaluated, or, I fear, there will not be an increase in prevented attacks.

A Growing Problem

When I started researching childhood obesity, I don't really know what I was expecting, but I did not expect the increase since the 1980's to be so drastic. Also, I did not expect to be so interested in this topic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhoodobesity has increased from 7% in the 80's to 18% in 2012, which is nearly tripling the amount of children considered obese. I was astonished by the increase, and that was what immediately sparked my interest in childhood obesity as my final topic.

Many people may not realize that there is a difference between obese and overweight, since they are commonly interchanged in our everyday life, and since I was one of them, I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with what being "obese" actually is. Through my research, I realized that the differentiation between the two terms was very important because they represent two completely different things. Overweight iswhen a person's body mass index is in the range of 25-29.9, and being overweightis when a person's B.M.I. is over 30. While those numbers may seem like they are similar, they cause many different problems in the human body (30 and above causing more in terms of number and intensity).

After learning all of these things about childhood obesity, and obesity in general, I decided that this was definitely a topic that I was interested in learning more about.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Equal Pay Day

Though many people may not be aware of it, today, April 14th, is "Equal Pay Day". I was not aware of this until I read about it on the news. Equal Pay Day is chosen to be on a very specific day because it is supposed to represent about how many days into the next year a woman will have to work just so they can earn the same amount that a man earned the previous year. This day was first started in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equality.  

I think it is very interesting that I had never heard about this day because it is such a contemporary issue. It shows how little attention is given to the topic. Personally, I think that this day should be made more aware because I feel like it is something that I know very little about, but it might be something that I will have to deal with when I start working, and I'm sure it is similar for many other girls. Also, I always knew that there was a pay gap, and I've been told the numerical difference for the pay between the genders (on average women make seventy eight cents for every one dollar that a man makes), but I've never had a way to actually see how large of a gap it is, and how much longer it would take for a woman to earn the same amount. Knowing why this day was picked, it helps me understand better how large the pay gap actually is. Women have to work for almost another quarter of a year before they can earn the same amount of money as a man.

Also, in the article I read about Equal Pay Day, there was a chart that detailed the 25 jobs that women are most underpaid in compared to men, and I thought it was interesting to see that almost half of the jobs listed are in financial fields. Another thing that I found interesting on this chart, was that in some of these jobs, women were close to earning less than half of what men earn doing the same jobs, which is more than the average.

I wonder why Equal Pay Day doesn't get that much attention. Do you think that Equal Pay Day should be given more attention, and why? Or do you think that it is getting the amount of attention it deserves, and why?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Will I Ever Find My Question?

While I've definitely heard a lot about Junior Theme, I don't feel like I ever heard much about how difficult the selection of a topic (and formation of a why question). Maybe it just wasn't that hard for other people, but I found it to be very challenging because I had no clue what I wanted to write about, so I almost felt like every single topic was an option, which was making me feel super overwhelmed.

The short survey we took on the An American Studies blog helped me in the sense that I was thinking about possible topics, but seeing a list of so many interesting topics made me think that I wanted to look into every area (which obviously is not plausible), which only made me more confused on where I wanted to go with my paper.

Once we were in the library, I felt like everyone was finding a topic with such ease, and finding one quickly for that mater, but I was still as lost as ever. I started out thinking that I wanted to do something with why birth order has an effect on personalities (but there isn't a historical aspect to that, so I realized that it wouldn't fit the guidelines), I first switched to the general topic of education (I was looking into how college admissions has changed since our parents applied), then I thought I wanted to do something about how food supplies has changed from local source to supermarkets to grocery delivery (but I realized that it wasn't really a current issue-with help from Mr. O'Connor), then I started to consider researching why there is still a pay gap between man and women (but I know a lot of people who have done that topic for their Junior Theme, so I wanted to try and do something that hasn't been done as much), then I looked into health, and I finally found a topic that I had interest in that also had the potential to work as a why question. 

While browsing under the health tab on one of the databases that the librarians recommended for finding a topic, I came across a link that had to do with obesity in the United States. This topically immediately interested me because health has always been something that I have found interesting. I started to do more research with this topic, trying to see if I could potentially form a why question with the information I could gather. When I came across the statistic that child obesity (ages 6-11) has increased from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012, I realized that this could be a potential topic for my paper. Since I knew that this topic was something I had interest in, I thought it would be a good idea to do a little more research, before I committed to it. After a day or two of research I finally decided that this was a good topic for me, so I formulated my "why" question. While it went through many drafts and had a lot of editing, with the help of Mr. O'Connor I finally came up with a question that I was proud of: Why has the amount of American children that are considered "obese" more than doubled since the 1980's?

I think that my biggest hurdle for picking a question was my indecisiveness, I was never fully happy with any of the topics I was looking at because I felt there was so much more that I had to look into. However, once I found the general topic of health, I felt my fear that I was missing out on a better topic slowly going away. With the immense amount of help I received from Mrs. Novak and Mrs. Brennan (the librarians helping my class with Junior Theme) and Mr. Bolos and Mr. O'Connor (my teachers) I was able to find a question that I know I will find very interesting and will make me learn a lot about what factors are changing health in America for children.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"An iPhone for People Who Hate Apple"

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, and if that is true, then the makers of Apple's iPhone 6 should be very flattered because the design of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 is quite similar to the iPhone 6.

Just looking at the two phones side-by-side, you can already see quite a few similarities. The two phones have "similar curves aluminum edges", "placement of the volume and on/off buttons", "bumped out rear camera", and "fingerprint-sensor home button". The iPhone 6 was released to the public on September 19th, 2014, and the Samsung Galaxy S6 has just been unveiled, and will be released to the public around April 10th, 2015. I think the chances of Samsung coincidentally making a phone that is so similar to the iPhone is practically impossible. 

The bottoms of Apple's iPhone 6 (top) and Samsung's
Galaxy S6 (bottom) 
I think that Samsung saw how popular the iPhone 6 was after its release, and decided to make their own version of it for people who don't like Apple Products, in hopes that they could have as great of a success as Apple did . After just three days of the iPhone 6 being sold in stores, Apple announced that they had sold "over 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models", which is a new record for Apple. While Samsung may not be expecting that high of sales for the first couple of days, I think they jumped on the chance to get such high numbers. There are many people who just aren't Apple people, but they still want the "quality and attention to detail" that Apple gives its phones, so the Samsung Galaxy S6 is the perfect opportunity for them to have it.

I'm interested to see how the sales of Samsung's new phone will turn out, and it is definitely something I will be keeping an eye on, and comparing to the sales of the iPhone 6. Do you think that Samsung purposely made their latest phone look like Apple's latest phone? If yes, what do you think the reason could be? Is it because they want as high of sales that Apple received? Or is it something else? If not, why do you think they ended up being so similar , if it wasn't intentional?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is this Ford's Best Idea?

Ford's latest idea for their cars is a system that can read the speed limit signs and adjust the speed of the car, so that it is not over the speed limit. The car does this "by adjusting the amount of fuel the engine is getting". While this is first going to be tested out in Europe, it has the potential to move into the United States. I do not think that this would be a big hit in either place because the amount of times you see someone following the speed limit is less than the amount of times you see someone speeding. People are always in a rush now, and it seems like people are always trying to get somewhere quicker, which makes me think that not may people would be interested in a car that is going to make their transportation time longer. I do not think that this would only be a problem in the United States, but also in Europe, because all the times that I have been in Europe, I always see how fast our driver is going, and I believe it has always been at least 20 kilometers above the speed limit.

While I think this invention had the potential to make roads safer, I don't think that enough people would by speed monitoring cars, so it would almost make the road more dangerous. If the speed limit changed to just five miles per hour lower, and the person behind the speed monitoring car doesn't slow down, then it could cause a car accident, that would not have happened if the car didn't automatically adjust its speed.  However, it is something that can be turned on and off, which makes it sound a little bit better to me.

It doesn't seem like there are many people that actually stay at or below the speed limit  that a street has posted, so I think this has the potential to cause more accidents than Ford thinks it will. Also, I feel like this isn't going to be that popular of a system because of the fact that people are constantly driving over the speed limit. In my opinion, this doesn't seem like it's going to end up being Ford's best decision, but I am interested to see how popular this function is in Europe, and if it ever makes its way over to the United States' roads.