Wednesday, April 24, 2013

News Story Comments

The comments of news stories are usually the most fun part to read. People try to provoke each other and this almost always ends in someone calling someone else a Nazi. Groups are polarized by other people from both sides. No one wants to hear a middle-of-the-road response on the internet. Polarization on the internet can be dangerous because it translates to polarization and extremism in real life. People can be swayed by half-truths and conspiracy theories, which fuel the fire. Comments calling other people names make people angry, and those people are more likely to be polarized.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I feel relatively confident about this AP Test. I'm pretty good at standarized tests and I've been studying the information from previous chapters. I''m nervous about the scientists and what they did though. And the various cognitive theories. When I took the AP Gov test, I thought it was a lot easier than what everyone had been saying. I hope the same is true with this test, but really everyone has ben saying it's pretty easy. I just want to get it over with and come out with a 4 or 5.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Oh, hey there! I loved this Sugru project. I must say, I was looking through the other blogs and I don't think anyone did anything remotely similar to mine. Just saying.

I really like doing special effects makeup and have been doing it for quite a while. So, I thought I would integrate the Sugru into this interest. I first made a mold out of the Sugru:

Then I poured liquid latex into the molds, which turned out like this:

I will admit that they look kind of weird. In fact, this whole project was weird. Anyway................

I was going for kind of a "Mystique" type look, but not really. I just went with it. I have made liquid latex molds before many times, with a variety of substances, and the Sugru worked AMAZINGLY. I was worried the latex would react with it in some way, but it was fine.

I didn't really experience functional fixation or whatever it's called. So, without further ado, my final transformation:

(This Animoto was a pain in the ass by the way, so enjoy it everybody. PS I realize I look terrible in the first couple pictures. ITS THE ARTISTIC PROCESS!!)

I drove around and stared at people at red lights like this.
It was hilarious.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

PSA Reaction

My favorite video was Bailey, Mackenzie, and Jared's. It was funny and they actually went to their locations, which I appreciated.

I also liked Jena, Bryce, and Isiah's PSA. They all talked and I liked the sarcasm and Isiah saying "Go!" before each clip. It seemed very "down to earth" as they say.

Finally, I watched Hannah and Zach's PSA. At first I thought it was muted, they were so quiet! I really loved the enthusiasm from Zach on this one..... Thanks for going to Gnome Games and not going to the best store ever right next door!!!! :(

What Makes Us Say Yes?

Persuading people to bend to our whims is an important part of any relationship. What makes people more likely to say 'yes' to us? I covered this briefly in one of my older blogs. There are six universal principles of persuasion:

1. Reciprocity
2. Scarcity
3. Authority
4. Consistency
5. Liking
6. Consensus

Reciprocity means that if a person owes you something, they are more likely to reciprocate a favor. People do not like to be indebted to others.

Scarcity means that if an offer becomes scarce, people will want it more. So, tell people what they have to lose if they say 'no'.

Authority means that people will be persuaded more easily if the asker seems like a credible authority before asking the favor.

Consistency means asking for small favors first which primes the person for when you ask for bigger favors.

Liking means, simply, liking people, There are three factors: Cooperation, similarity, and complements.

Consensus means that people will look at the actions of others to make their own decisions.

So, we have many great ways to make people comply to us. Now, maybe we can all see when people and businesses try to persuade us!
Here's the video:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

DiStOrTeD Memories

Hello Everyone. Today I would like to talk about memories. All of us can recall a memory from our childhood that was particularly good or bad. What if I told you that that memory probably never happened? We touched on this is class, how memories don't really form until after the age of 3. So it makes sense, then, that memories very close to that age would be distorted, even fake. 

This is because of misattribution. It's kind of like this - We watch a midnight marathon of Spongebob and then when we fall asleep we dream about giant sponges. The same thing happens to childhood memories. We twist them in our head, maybe even dream about being a child. When we recall this, our brain tells us that it happened. The brain simply cannot hold all of the little information about our life, like what day of the week we met the president, or if we met him at all.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Life After Death

Is there life after death? We can never really be sure. The problem is, we're all kind of dead once we find out. Personally, I believe that the soul stays intact after we die. This is partially based on my religion (I'm Roman Catholic) but also on the recollections of people who have had near-death experiences. I find these stories to be very interesting. I read about one woman who was blind since birth. She had a near-death experience at a hospital where her heart stopped beating for a time. She pictured herself rising up from the hospital room into the sky. That's right - she pictured it. She could accurately describe the room she was in after the experience. This is a difficult phenomenon to explain away by "hallucination". Stories like this one happen, not frequently, but often enough that science isn't quite sure what it all means. Science can't figure out what quantifies a soul.

Here is a story about a NDE: