Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Junior Theme Progress

For a few weeks now, I have been working on a paper called the junior theme. This is essentially a research paper on any why question you choose. My question is, "Why are there so many superhero movies nowadays?" I chose this question because first off, I am a fan of the movie genre, and secondly, I really have wondered this question. In 2017, there are around ten superhero movies coming out. In 2015, there were only three that came out. What is the cause of this rise?
This chart is a bit outdated, but it gives you the idea
While I haven't finished my research, the main answer I have begun to draw out is that it has to do with American morals and values.

I am not exactly sure what this means, but it is really exciting to find out the reason behind so many of these movies are being released. I cannot wait to find a few full fledged answers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nickel and Dimed: Journal Questions 3. Privilege

In the bestseller, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich, a writer/author, goes undercover working at extremely low wage jobs. While undercover, Barbara starts to notice that it is important to look "professional" while apply and working. To be "professional", it "helps to be white" (13). I was not exactly sure how accurate it was to say that companies wanted white people to be seen and others to not be. I thought that perhaps this was just a thought backed up with no evidence. However, Ehrenreich mentions that while touring hotels, she saw "African Americans, Spanish-speaking" people working solely on housekeeping jobs. Meanwhile, "servers are almost invariably white" (29). It was then clear to me that there was a huge difference of job options at the low wage for people of color and white people.  White people are offered the jobs where they are seen while other peoples are offered jobs where they aren't be presented. Why this is is a bit mysterious to me. Is it something that has to do with prejudice? Or is it something completely different?  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Conformity: Not Always Bad (English Final)

At 6:30 a.m. on April 24, 2012, federal agents raided Kurt Mix's home in Katy, Texas. Kurt Mix is an engineer. In 2010 Mix helped stop the BP oil spill that spilled crude oil directly into the Gulf of Mexico. He was called in by BP to help stop the spill, and believed he could make a difference for his industry and home state. Mix was not home at the time of the raid, but his wife was. The agents searched Mix's home and interrogated his wife. After Kurt Mix's wife called him, he immediately drove to a police station and turned himself in. Mix had no idea that he was about to become the focus of the investigation into the BP oil spill. Kurt Mix had no idea that he was going to become a scapegoat.

Over the next three and a half years, there was a Justice task force that was dedicated to putting Mix in jail. Mix had no idea what he did wrong. He naively gave the full record of his actions and believed everything would be fine. What he didn't realize though, was that the prosecutors wanted a conviction, not the truth. He was charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice for a potential of 40 years in jail. The case was centered on the fact that Kurt Mix had deleted two text messaging conversations related to the efforts to stop the oil well. Kurt Mix recovered the messages, and turned in over 10,000 records.

After a new case was started over and the grind of even another case over the course of two more years, the prosecutors offered Mix a deal. They would drop all felony charges and acknowledge he was not guilty of obstruction of justice, as well as not require him to pay for fines or serve a day in jail. He would have to plead guilty for a misdemeanor for deleting the text messages without BP's permission.

Kurt Mix agreed to the terms Friday, November 6, 2015.

I believe that Kurt Mix is a conformist. In recognizing that he is a conformist though, we must realize that conformity isn't always a negative thing. Kurt Mix conformed to the deal from the prosecutors because it was the best way to stop the horror of all the court cases, and hounding from the government. Kurt Mix conformed because he didn't want to give another possible two years of his life away. Kurt Mix didn't have to conform, but he did so so he could put this behind him. Mix was simply trying to save his family from the courts so in a way, he had to conform. What must be realized though, is that conforming is not always a negative thing as sometimes a person must conform.

For the article:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/i-was-an-oil-spill-scapegoat-1447019267

A Review on What a Time to be Alive

After two months of listening to Drake's album with Future, What a Time to Be Alive, I have been able to thoroughly judge it. Personally, I think this album is garbage. This really is a Future album with Drake as the featured. It is a shame that the far superior artist, Drake, does not get more time in this album. Almost all of the songs are dominated by the garbage we call Future. Listening to what Future is saying on this album is a challenge. I am not sure if he is purposely trying to mumble, but whatever he is doing is not working. It is sad to hear Future drag Drake down, in what was supposed to be Drake's best year so far in music. After having an outstanding number of great songs in If Your Reading This it's Too Late, and great singles in, Hotline Bling, Right Hand, and Back to Back, it is a shame to hear Drake's amazing music joined by this terrible album. That said, there are some not terrible songs on this album. 30 for 30 Freestyle is good only because Future isn't in it, and while hugely overrated, Jumpman isn't bad. A hidden gem is easily Big Rings. This song is exciting and fun until around the 2 minute mark, when Future joins in. Other than those three songs though, the album is a sad excuse for music.

For a more positive review: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/drake-future-what-a-time-to-be-alive-20150924

Or decide for yourself by listening to the songs: http://www.djbooth.net/index/albums/review/09205-drake-future-what-a-time-to-be-alive

James Harden is Back in Business

Until recently, things have not been looking good for the Houston Rockets. Even worse, James Harden had a hideous field goal percentage of 25.6, and 3-point percentage of 13.6%, for the month of October. He had a poor field percentage of 41.6 and 3-point percentage of 32.4% for the month of November (ESPN). After a loss to the Denver Nuggets on November 13, the Rockets were not above a win percentage of 50% for a month. The Rockets record was as bad as 5-10 at one point.

The Rockets though, and especially James Harden, have found their footing. In the Rockets' last five games, their star player, James Harden, has been on fire. Shooting at a great percentage of 46.7% and 48.4% from the three, their is no stopping James Harden. The Rockets record sits at 12-12, good enough for the 7th seed in the Western Conference. Personally, I am so glad to see my favorite player cooking. After an extremely slow start to the season, the Rockets are looking to reclaim their Southwest Division title. Though unlikely with the San Antonio Spurs with a record of 20-5, their is always a small chance.

What the Republicans Need to Do to Win

On Tuesday, December 15, 2015 there will another GOP debate. Each presidential candidate will attempt to argue why them being president will be the best for the United States of America. Currently, Donald Trump is leading in the Republican polls. This isn't good for the Republican party. In a recent poll, it was shown that every other Republican candidate did better against Hillary Clinton, the most likely Democratic candidate, than Donald Trump did (Wall Street Journal). One of the problems with having Trump as their candidate is the he will not be able to gain new supporters. Donald Trump has currently the most amount of loyal supporters, but the least amount of potential supports, having less potential supporters than any other Republican candidate (Wall Street Journal). Also, the Republican establishment does not agree with Donald Trump's principles (Paul Ryan). Their is no way that the Republicans can win with Trump, or would want to win with him, as their candidate. So what do they do?

My suggestion to the Republicans would be, have a meeting with all the Republican candidates who are politicians. This would exclude Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson. Then, at the meeting decide one candidate to run for the Republican party. This way, the whole Republican party could pool their resources into one candidate, and also not have to spend time attacking each other. Obviously, this is not realistic as their are too many candidates who would not give in, but it is the best way to defeat Trump, and potentially defeat Clinton.  

Friday, December 11, 2015

This blog is a little special. My parents wrote it.

Upon the recent birth of their daughter, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and his wife Dr. Precilla Chan, announced that during their lifetime they would give away to charity 99% of the shares of Facebook currently valued at $45 billion.  This follows Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Warren Buffet, founder of Berkshire Hathaway, giving billions to charity.  I think it’s great that these billionaires are giving away substantial sums of money to charity.  They are paying it forward and acting as wonderful role models for their families and the general public. They can afford it, and they choose to be generous.  My takeaway is that we should all contribute in some way, whether monetary or through volunteering.  It's not necessary to be a billionaire to give to others, and even small donations of time or money can make a big difference.  High school students can volunteer by tutoring younger children, helping at a food pantry, visiting the sick or shoveling the snow for an elderly neighbor.  Anyone can donate gently used clothing, toys, books, furniture and other household items.  The Chan/Zuckerberg's lives are richer by the birth of their baby daughter, and they chose to celebrate her birth by making the world a little wealthier too.