Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Chosen Topic

I will be researching the domestication of animals. I will be researching this topic because I like animals and I am interested in the topic and the history of it and really any aspect of it. I am also interested in the history of animal domestication. My guiding question is: "What does the literature reveal about the domestication of animals?"

Monday, October 27, 2014

3 potential research topics

1-  What does literature say about genetic engineering today?

2- What does the literature reveal about the architectural abilities of the ancient Egyptians in regards to building the pyramids?

3- What does the literature say about the domestication of exotic animals?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Law enforcement and weed

In the article "when misguided cops turn the war on weed into a war on growing things," the author, Nick Wing, writes about how law enforcement messes up during drug busts due to miscalculations, and lists a number of stories confirming his thoughts.

The confirmation bias is the tendency to search for information which confirms one's beliefs. In this case, almost the whole article is written with the confirmation bias. Nick states his belief, that law enforcement should "hire a botanist" if they want to continue "cracking down" on weed, and for the remainder of the article, he provides research that he has found of stories in which there were wrongful fatalities, wrongful, and sometimes without a warrant, home searches, and many lawsuits as a result. In one, a family was held at gunpoint as the police checked their home, only to find a basement full of tomato pants and watermelon plants that the son and father had made, which, as anyone can imagine, led to a lawsuit. Nick found many stories such as this, yet he found none of success on the law enforcement's part.

 The base rate neglect bias is the tendency to ignore generic information and focus on specific information. In the article, Nick is talking about the same thing over and over again. The same drug; weed, the same basic idea; miss-identification of weed, and that is all he is focusing on. He could broaden his subject by telling a different story; all the ones he lists are essentially an innocent person or family is wrongfully accused of making/possessing weed, the "weed" ends up actually being some sort of marijuana look-alike, and the family/person sues. That is how he is using the base rate neglect bias.

In the article "when misguided cops turn the war on weed into a war on growing things," the author, Nick Wing, uses two biases that could affect the readers opinion on the topic; the confirmation bias, in which he only provides information confirming his opinion, and the base rate neglect bias, in which he narrows his subject matter down very narrow, and only focuses on specifics.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Peer Interview

Elise Cracco

If Elise could where only one color for the rest of her life, it would be"between blue or pink," because she looks good in those colors, but she would have to go with blue, because "there is so many different shades of blue." If she could move anywhere in the world for her choice of time, Elise would live in "Antarctica, just to say that I had that experience." I asked Elise what her opinion on Mr. Kefor was as a teacher, and she thinks that "He is really funny, and he teaches well." Elise has "technically, an older brother," but she says she was "an only child for the first eight years" of her life. I asked Elise if she was in a purge, what illegal things she would do: "I would rob a bank, to get money, and then I would use that money for whatever, then I would raid a convenient store and get all there food." Elise was born "in Providence Rhode Island, in Women and infants hospital. and  funny story, family friends, they have a son who is exactly a year older than me,and we were born in the same hospital by the same doctor." Elise say that the coolest place she has ever been is " Scotland, because they are so different, with there skirts and stuff." If Elise could be a fictional character for a day, she would be "Alice Cullen from the twilight series." Elise's opinion on school differs based on the time of day. " If I am just waking up in the morning, I am totally not for school, but when I am at school its OK, then when I get home I am like no, don't go back." Elise's favorite animal is a "giraffe, because they are so awkward, and disproportionate." That was my interview with Elise Cracco.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Incentives And aesthetics

A) Incentives motivate people to complete tasks. An incentive could be money, but that only works for tasks with a set of instructions. When people are asked to do tasks that require more thinking and work for large sums of money it does not help at all. It can help with a smaller sum of money and less thought involved in the task.

B) The most aesthetic experience in my life was when I went to Australia. My dad had a job interview there and his and my moms's tickets were free so we decided to make it a vacation. I was the most awesome place ever. The people were super friendly, which was a nice change, the animals were just like the best, the weather was absolutely perfect and the view from the hike up the blue mountains was unbelievable. And terrifying, but mostly unbelievable. Also the Sydney Opera House was so beautiful at night. That was the most aesthetic experience I have ever had.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Bucket List

Short Term

  • Graduate high school- This is definitely a short term goal for me, mostly because I am a freshman and I and already not a big fan, so it is probably going to suck trying to keep my grades up when most of my classes are really not that interesting.
  • Do an exchange program-  I want to do an exchange program so that I can travel and become proficient in another language and really just experience new countries.
  • Get better at horseback riding- I really like horses and I am around them with my sister a lot, who is really good at riding, and i still kind of stink, so I want to get better at that
  • Meet my family on my dad's side-  I am half Iranian on my dad's side, and since all of his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews live in Iran and it is really hard to visit there because of money and the government, I have never been able to meet them so that would be pretty cool.
  • Learn how to do a headstand- I could never do a handstand, I would probably crack my skull, but I really want to be able to do a headstand.

Long Term

  • GLADIATORS!!- So, this will most likely never happen and it might be a weird thing to put on a journalism assignment, but heck. So I think it would be super duper if I could go to the Colosseum in Rome and just watch a full out, roman clothes, gladiator fight. Like that would be pretty awesome. Just a thought.
  • Dracula-  I am big on travel ever since I went to Australia, so I will travel anywhere I get the opportunity, and if I happen to find myself in Romania, I would love to visit Dracula's castle because I read the book and it was really good.
  • JD ALL THE WAY- OK, I am totally Johnny Depp's biggest fan, and it is definitely on my bucket list to meet him, because he is legit the coolest person ever. And he wears pretty cool hats. So lets not forget that.
  • Speak Russian-  Every time I hear Russian I'm like: wow, that is a boss language. And their accents are really awesome and hilarious and I really want to learn it sometime in the future.
  • Disney World-  I have never been to Disney World, so it would be cool to go there but I really want to go to the one in Hong-Kong, because it would be really different and cool.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sports In American Schools

       Although high-school sports can be beneficial to those who play, some changes need to be made in order to prioritize academics.In the article "The case against high-school sports," the author, Amanda Ripely, demonstrates the ups, and mostly downs, of mixing academics and sports.
     On one hand, sports can be a good thing for those students who do play. "Though the research on student athletes is mixed," Writes Amanda Ripely, "it generally suggests that sports do more good than harm for the players themselves." Studies show that "increases in the number of girls playing high-school sports have historically generated higher college attendance and employment rates among women," suggesting that sports gives athletes motivation to show up and do well so that they can play their sports.

       On the other hand, not many students do play sports, and their resources are being taken by the athletes: "But only 40 percent of seniors participate in high-school athletics, and whats harder to measure is how the overriding emphasis on sports affects everyone who doesn't play." Sports can be beneficial to the athletes themselves, but it affects the majority who do not play sports in a negative way, even bringing down their grades.

      Lastly, high-schools and colleges spend way too much money that could be spent on better teachers and for academics on sports equipment and coaches: "Each year, Spelman was spending $1 million on athletics-not for those students, but for the 4 percent of the student body that played sports." Schools with overweight and diabetic students spend their money on sports for the athletes, when they could be spending it on a gym or fitness center for all of the students, rather than just the athletes. Some schools thought sports were so important that they even took resources and even whole wings from the other students: "The elementary school hadn't employed a music teacher in years; and the high school had sealed off the science labs, which were infested with mold. Yet the high school still turned out football, basketball, volleyball, track, tennis, cheer-leading, and baseball teams each year." The high school had mold infested science labs, and still prioritized sports over academics.

     In conclusion, high schools and colleges should, without completely eliminating sports, focus more on improving their academic situations.

Ripely, Amanda. "The Case Against High-School Sports." The Atlantic Oct. 2013: 72-78. Print.   

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


"I wasn't paddled until junior high. I couldn't tell you what my offense was. The principal offered me a choice between detention and "swats." The detention would have taken hours. The swats would be over in seconds. It was a no-brainer. I stood, as instructed, with my hands against a desk in the principal's office. I don't remember what I was hit with, how many times, or whether the principal did the deed. I wasn't looking."


"Adrian Peterson, the NFL running back, has been indicted for injuring his 4-year-old son. According to sources in law enforcement, Peterson used a tree branch to discipline the boy, leaving cuts and bruises. Peterson's lawyer says his client meant no harm. "Adrian is a loving father who used his judgement as a parent to discipline his son," says the attorney."


"You start out thinking that you're going to teach your child a lesson. You talk, or you gesture, or you spank, or you withhold. You're trying to convey a message. But your kid doesn't focus on the message. He focuses on you. What he experiences is the talking, the gesturing, the spanking, or the withholding. That's what he learns. You're not an instructor. You're a model."

"The strongest predictor of whether a child thinks it's OK to hit kids, and whether he'll grow up to do so, is how often he's been disciplined that way. Light spanking isn't as bad as wielding a tree branch,. But it's part of the continuum. Researchers call this the "hidden curriculum." Corporal punishment teaches itself."

Article Link:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Pet Peeves

My Pet Peeves

1. When people try and have conversations with me while I'm doing something else: Sometimes I will be watching TV or reading a book or doing my homework or really anything that takes up my attention, and when people decide that that would be a great moment to strike up conversation with me, it really bothers me, because I am clearly focused on something else. And even after they have tried to talk to me, and i reply with a grunt of sorts because I am really not focused on what they are saying, they get annoyed. Which just makes it double annoying for me.

2. When people respond to a question with, "sure.": When i ask someone a yes or no question, for example if they want to do something, and they say "sure," it really bothers me because it was a yes or no question, so you reply with yes, or no. When they reply with something other than yes or no, like sure, for example, I can tell you don't really want to but you just did not feel like expressing that.

3. When people text while we're hanging out: This would mostly apply to my older sister, but it is extremely frustrating when I am with her and she literally cannot physically put down her phone. Now, this is annoying even when we are not really doing much, but especially so when I am trying to talk to her, the reason being I have to repeat myself several times for what I said to actually register into her brain. 

4. When people sneeze loudly and unexpectedly: So I will just be sitting there, doing my thing, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a gargantuan noise erupts from someones face, shattering my unsuspecting ears and making me jump six feet. I really hate that.

5. When teachers correct you from "can" to "may": I hate it when i ask a teacher if i can go to the bathroom and they're like, "Uh, I don't know, can you?" And I'm just like ready to kick something and in my head I'm saying, "I don't know, can I? will you let me physically walk to the restroom?" But then I have to suck it up. So that is super annoying.