Monday, March 11, 2019

Practice IOC

Here is my first Individual Oral Commentary recording for my eventual IB submission.

Practice - IOC - LINK

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Political Cartoon Analysis

When Amazon Comes to Town - The New York Times

This piece was published created by Patrick Chappatte and published in The New York Times. It is a political cartoon that announces Amazons purchase of Whole Foods company. 

This cartoon shows two small owners in front of their small shops, one open (for now) and one "out of order", looking up to a gargantuan "COMING SOON" poster for the "Amazon Supermarket." This cartoon is full of symbolism and hidden meanings here's my interpretation, enjoy.

Firstly, the small store labeled "Books" has already gone out of order stating Amazon has already monopolized their business and made their small shop obsolete. The cartoon shows with Amazon's addition of Audible which already put out the smaller book company, and now it's showing the inescapable death of the small Grocery market with Amazon's newly announced purchase of Whole Foods. The owner of the closed shop is leaning sadly on their business and is saying the words "Good Luck," this is inferring the second shop is next to close because of the future "Amazon Supermarket" that would dominate his smaller store labeled "Groceries." 

The size of the Amazon billboard is overwhelming compared to the size of the already planted businesses in the illustration, one could say the size is exaggerated. This represents the size and power of Amazon company and the obsolete size of the local businesses. The great power and wealth can easily over-run the smaller stores with minimal effort.

The Amazon billboard is creating a large and exaggerated shadow. This could symbolize the end or darkness encroaching on the small companies. Once the Amazon Supermarket moves in it will strongly shadow the once had business of the small Grocery. The owner of the Grocery seems to be portrayed with a frightened expression in fear of his companies success. 

This political cartoon published by The New York Times makes a negative argument against Amazon's new purchase of Whole Foods and the ways Amazon has negatively impacted small businesses revenue in the past and now their new plans to pursue the Grocery industry will create more devastation of small businesses. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

I.B. Language & Literature - Paper 1 Reflection

Last class (11-21-18), we did an in-class paper 1 practice writing session. We wrote about two different texts with different structures; one was a comic and the other a section out of a memoir. Both pieces spoke about the issue of sex and gender stereotyping in common society.

Criterion A: Understanding and comparison of the texts
I felt my writing demonstrated a good understanding of the text and their meanings. I used relevant quotes from each piece and elaborated n the meaning of each. I feel that I could have worked on the purpose of the texts more. I spoke about the context but never really mentioned the reasoning for them. I spoke about the similarities of the texts to my best ability but I would like to work on speaking more about the differences of the pieces more in the future.

Criterion B: Understanding the use and effects of stylistic features
I feel that I struggled in this area. I believe my writing was less structured which lead to the lack of stylistic features. In the future, I plan to think more about the wording of my writing and how specific words and phrases or structure can affect the way the text is read and interpreted.

Criterion C: Organization and development
My writing was not structured as clearly as it could have been. I really enjoyed the structure of the 3.2 example writing we looked at in class. It used the main connections and differences in the text as the starting sentence of the body paragraphs. In my paper, I structured my body paragraphs off of each text with a paragraph after explaining the comparison of them. In the 3.2 example essay, The writer had a short introductory paragraph that briefed the reader of both texts; then a paragraph hitting on the "Big 5" which laid out the rest of the paper very nicely and felt really nice and in a way clean to read.

Criterion D: Language
I felt my writing was far from mastering this criterion. My grammar was not accurate and my wording was informal and not explanatory of my ideas. Writing this text by hand was a struggle for me because my spelling and grammar are not the best. In the future, I plan to make sure to re-read my writing if I finish before time ends to make sure I can correct as many grammatical errors as possible while also revising some of my sentences to make sure my writing is concise and to the point. This will make my writing seem more formal and easier to read so my ideas are stated as clearly as I can.

Overall, I am very happy that we had this opportunity to practice writing one of these I.B. paper assignments because the more practice and issues with my writing I fix now will help me significantly when the time comes to take the actual I.B. writing test.

Attached below was the supplied Text #1:

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Bias in the News

The purpose of this article is to state all the reasons how firearms are misused and why all guns in the U.S. are only used for harm.


- Linguistic and/or structural devices that convey the purpose.
The purpose of the article can be seen in the title: "Gun deaths increasing after years of decline, study finds" This title suggests that they are just random "[g]un deaths" and now are a greater issue because they are "increasing."
Another way the author conveys the purpose in through the structure of the document. The author uses limited quotes and repeatedly states how firearms are only used in bad situations with extreme amounts of added opinion and words from the speaker.
The use of hidden fears that you anyone and possibly you could be harmed by a firearm is a way for the author to prove the purpose of this article.

- Bias through omission.
The author only states cases where firearms have been abused and used for harm. This is called bias through omission. This can be seen in the quote "Researchers looked at firearm homicides and suicides from 2012-13 to 2015-16 in the 50 most populous US metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, not far from Wednesday's mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks that left 13 dead, including the suspect." Throughout the entire source, the author does not ever mention an instance where a firearm was used to save a life; Only used to kill.

- Bias through photos.
In the article, the reader sees multiple images of terrible tragedies that involved firearms which is a type of bias called photo bias. The images seen are of all bad situations with firearms. There are no images of cases where firearms are portrayed in a positive manner.

- Bias though wording.
This article can be seen as bias through the wording in the description of the data that are described. The author writes "Nationally, researchers estimate that 4.4 per 100,000 people were killed by someone using a gun in 2015-16." This statement does not describe who or why the people were killed via firearm. For all we know, most of the people describe were killed by police authority in self-defense.

Gun deaths increasing after years of decline, study finds

Researchers looked at firearm homicides and suicides from 2012-13 to 2015-16 in the 50 most populous US metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, not far from Wednesday's mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks that left 13 dead, including the suspect.
Nationally, researchers estimate that 4.4 per 100,000 people were killed by someone using a gun in 2015-16. It's a higher rate for the 50 largest metropolitan areas combined, with 4.9 people per 100,000 killed by a gun. This is an increase from 2012-13, when the national rate was 3.7 per 100,000 nationwide and 4.1 per 100,000 for major metropolitan areas.
    The rates vary widely by city. For example, there's a higher chance of being killed by a gun in New Orleans than in the Providence, Rhode Island, area. About 1 in 100,000 residents were killed by a gun in Providence and Warwick combined, compared with 16.6 per 100,000 residents in New Orleans.
    Nationally, homicide was the 16th-leading cause of death, the new report notes. Guns were used in 74% of those deaths. For children between the ages of 10 and 19, guns were used in even more homicides: 87%.
    Men and boys were most often the victims of homicides, accounting for 85% of the firearm deaths.
    For suicides, there is also a great variety between cities. Oklahoma City, for instance, saw 13.5 suicides by gun per 100,000 residents, compared with New York, Newark and Jersey City, which combined for a rate of 1.5 per 100,000.
    The number of people older than 10 who are using a gun to kill themselves has increased, too. Researchers don't use statistics from gun deaths for children under 10, because those self-inflicted deaths are probably accidentals, according to the report.
    Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death for everyone over 10, with guns used in half of all those deaths. It's the second-leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 19, with guns used in 42% of those cases.
    Though the gun suicide rate for young people is notably lower than for other age groups, the report finds that those numbers are increasing.
    "I rarely take care of a suicide attempt with a gun in the emergency room. The kinetic energy of a bullet is far more effective than taking pills that have a longer duration and more opportunity for intervention," said Dr. Stephen Hargarten, director of the Comprehensive Injury Center, associate dean of the Office of Global Health and a professor of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
    Hargarten, who was not involved in the new report, said many groups are working to reduce firearm-related suicides, but it remains "such a challenging area."
    The latest increase in gun-related deaths is similar to the rates seen in the 2006-07 time period, the report said. The US has the world's highest rate of gun ownership by civilians, according to research, and the highest rate of gun-related deaths among industrialized countries.
    The authors of the new report note that it is "too soon to know" whether this recent increase in gun deaths represents a short-term fluctuation or the beginning of a long-term trend.
    Hargarten said he hopes the US government will see an increase in gun deaths in the proper frame, "as a complex biological and sociological disease," and increase funding for research. Gun violence is the least-studied of the top 30 causes of death in the United States, a 2017 study found.
      Hargarten said he has seen cities, states, and even major medical groups starting to spend more money on this kind of research, but he -- like many others who do research on gun violence -- feels that the federal government needs to "step it up" to figure out what is causing this problem.

      "Where is the federal government in all of this? When there are so many deaths, we need to invest in this issue now," Hargarten said. "Look what we did with HIV and AIDS when it was breaking out in the '80s and '90s. The federal government addressed it, and the complexity and the political issues, and it helped groups most at risk, by investing our resources appropriately, and it made a huge difference in that disease process. It's imperative that we do that for guns."

      Sunday, October 14, 2018

      Gender in Advertising - GAP Ads

      • What are the major differences between the two advertisements?

        • One of the advertisements portrays a young boy and the other a young girl.
        • The ad with the male speaks about the child being a "Scholar." These ideas are demonstrated by the image of the boy in the ad wearing an Einstien shirt and he is happy and outgoing. The male is also wearing formal clothes with typical boy colors such as blue. The ad with the female states they are a "Social Butterfly." These Ideas are shown by the colors that she is wearing such as pink and the girls' facial expression, she looks shy and quiet. 
        • The ad with the boy states they have a "future" and the one with the girl says they are the "talk of the playground" and won't have a future.

      • Did your perception of GAP change after looking at and analyzing the second advertisement? Why or why not? 

        • I find it pretty bold for GAP to express this sort of sexism, but I think the producers of these ads went with typical social stereotypes in an attempt to appeal to more people. I believe this could have been a deliberately sexist ad or just an attempt to sell more of their products by generalizing. 

      • How do you think and feel about the ways in which boys and girls are depicted in these advertisements for clothes?

        • If you look into the ads you can see that the male is talked about as if he is a "genius" and there is a "future" for him, whereas for the girl in the other ad, they are shown as a "Social Butterfly" and they don't state any sort of professional future for her besides being "the talk of the playground" which is childish and not a way to secure a future.
        • These ideas are supported by the use of language utilized in each ad such as "genius" and "future" versus "Social Butterfly." 
        • The male is shown as happy and outgoing whereas the female is more muted and making the face of a model or someone shy.

      • Should anything be done about these advertisements? In other words, are you okay with them? Do you find them sexist or offensive? Or should people just lighten up? Why or why not?

        • I think these ads can definitely be seen as sexist. No dought about it. But, I believe that the producers of this advertisement have the choice to make generalizations such as these in attempt to appeal to a greater audience. In this case, I think it is a bit extreme and can be seen as a distraction of character to these children and possibly assuming their future without them even knowing. 

      • What, if anything, can be done about gender stereotyping in advertising, especially at such a young age? Or is it just something we have to accept?

        • I think that there will always be gender stereotypes but even in our generation there have been a lot of changes in thinking and acceptance of different genders doing different things from the usual and at some point there will be a negligible percentage of people that will be sexist towards groups and most of the world will eventually just accept each other. Hopefully. 

      Monday, October 1, 2018

      Advertising, Happiness and the End of the World

      Doing things I like and enjoy makes me happy. I am the happiest when I am around people I love and care about. It creates a generally happy mood. I believe that a national happiness index is an interesting concept. I don't think it is a good or bad idea; I look at it as more of a resource and less of a concept. I think the best way to measure the happiness of a nation is to ask every citizen of that nation on a scale of 1-10 of how happy they are during normal life and average the answers. Sadly, this would be extremely difficult and take far too long. 

      The story "I've Been Called A Luddite" implies there is no fun left in the world anymore with all the new technological advancements. The author describes a trip to the postal convenience center near the United Nations. The trip is very exciting for them and the author glorifies each step of sending the letter. In our common day, these simple small trips to the post office are shortcutted by emails and technology. The author is trying to portray the world is less "fun" now with technology being such a large part of daily life. A moment of enjoyment of "fun" was shown in the quote "Then I go outside and there is a mailbox. And I feed the pages to the giant blue bullfrog. And it says, 'Ribbit.'" (page 61). This quote shows how childish and amused the author was with their description of the "giant blue bullfrog" which was actually just a mailbox. I agree with these ideas stated by the author. I think people should go out and experience the world. Maybe take the "long way home" and not just the faster way.

      The NY Times article "But Will It Make You Happy?" implies that having all the consumer goods that you desire will not always make you happy. There is a deeper meaning to happiness that takes true enjoyment of an activity or action that causes you pleasure. The saying "to keep up with the Joneses" means to try to be or be better than the people around you. it is typically seen with houses in a neighborhood with each family trying to outdo the others. I believe there are definite trends and phases for everything and technology is commonly part of this. 

      This photo I took on a three-week-long backpacking trip in the mountains of Wyoming. To me, it signifies happiness because this image captures the feeling of accomplishments and success. 

      Thursday, September 27, 2018

      Analyzing Old Spice Commercials

      Terry Crews Bounce - Old Spice -

      For my first Commercial, I chose to use two Old Spice high-gene product's commercial "Terry Crews Old Spice Odor Blocker Body Wash commercial - Bounce" This commercial was created to sell Old Spices new body spray products. 

      The commercial starts as a commercial for the Bounce dryer bar with upbeat happy music, delicate graphic design, and a middle-aged woman speaking about the Bounce product. It is very personal and relaxing. After only a few seconds the Bounce commercial is spontaneously interrupted by Terry Crews smashing through the Bounce woman's wall on a jetski. There are flames and destruction everywhere. This sudden destruction represents the marketed "power" of the Old Spice body spray. The speaker for Old Spice, Terry Crews, states "It's so powerful it sells itself in other peoples commercials." This is said to convey the immense amount of odor-stopping power the new body spray contains. 

      The drastic change of mood from happy and relaxing to spontaneous and loud creates a large contrast between the Bounce and Old Spice parts of the commercial intern making the Bounce product seem calmer and the Old Spice product seem dominant and more "powerful."

      In this commercial, Old Spice brand uses logos in the way that their new product is logical to buy because it has the most Odor stopping power; why would you ever want anything else in an antiperspirant? Old Spice portrays that it would be ethical to others around you do not smell like body odor and use their product; this is the ethos.

      This commercial was very appealing to me because I found it very funny and concise. It made sense what the commercial was trying to get across and I thought it did it in a very humorous way. 

      Jungle Hero - Old Spice -

      The second commercial I chose was another by Old Spice. This commercial portrays a male traveling through the jungle to find a troop of gorillas which he allies and teachers to communicate in sign-language with. The main actor aggravates the gorillas when he speaks "I'm surprised you got that. you know... with your simple animal mind." This aggravates the gorillas and the man runs away. The video transitions to the main character later in his life speaking in front of an audience about his experience with the gorillas. 

      Right off the bat, I noticed the inspirational music throughout the commercial. The music created an inspiring mood. The commercial was composed of mostly closer and action shots of the main male character. In some shots, you can see how energized, clean, and exited the main male character is compared to his exploration partner who is sweating profusely and appears tired. This shows how the Old Spice product can improve the well being of its customers. 

      This commercial uses a more inspirational technique in an attempt to persuade its product to the viewer. It suggests that Old Spices "Odor Blocking" deodorant/antiperspirant allows you to travel on unknown journeys of your own and helps you conquer fears. This is the persuasion technique of pathos. The commercial also uses logos, it is shown that any normal human who would logically want to be confident and not smell of body odor. 

      This commercial was effective in persuading me about the positive outcomes of their products because I connected to and was interested in the fact that the main character was on an adventure. this interested me in the beginning. I was also drawn to the commercial because it was comical to me and looked very professionally done.