Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
After they were instructed to wash their hands in this manner the rate fell immediately to 1 percent; therefore proving that doctors were the ones to blame for the disease because of their un-cleanliness. It was undeniable proof that he was right and that things needed to change in order for them to save their patients’ lives. Yet doctors ignored his theory and the proof and continued in the manner in which they had been. Instead of being saluted for his discovery and the solution to the problem he was insulted and eventually dismissed from the hospital. At that time there were many and seemingly powerful theories for childbed fever. One belief was that it was the air in the hospitals, that the bacteria in the air was what was killing people. Unfortunately because he was very stubborn and unwilling to acknowledge that anyone else could be right he was outcast. He harangued people about washing their hands; he stood by the sink and made people wash. “Semmelweis was a genius, be he was also a lunatic, and that made him a failed genius (208).”
Another theme in the essay the way we are trying to overcome this spreading of disease. There has been a proper hand washing procedure, we have introduced alcohol rinses and gels to make it easier because they take less time and allow doctors to keep to their busy schedule. These are more effective than hand washing because they are more effective when the concentration goes above 50 percent. But surprisingly enough pure alcohol isn’t more effective than 50 percent. Water is still needed to remove the micro bacterial proteins. There have been protests against this from unwarranted fears of creating noxious air, it doesn’t.
Alcohol rinses and gels have been recently introduced to help cut down on the amount of hand washing. If you wash your hands to much it can cause your hands to dry out and harbor bacteria on them. This defeats the whole purpose of washing your hands. Alcohol rinses and gels are much quicker than washing your hands with soap and water as well. This helps to cut down on the amount of time that company’s staff needs to go and actually wash their hands with soap and water. If people take the time to use the different methods to clean their hands, we can cut down on the bacterial counts. The statement, “no part of the human skin is spared from bacteria” can also not sound so negative.
Nelson Mandela’s speech is very powerful, explaining the wrongs of racism, the problems that arise with it, and all the things that could be so much better if it wasn’t there in the first place. It tells of the people that would be so much better off and able to live up to their potential, because they would no longer be bound to being called “the wretched of the earth.”
His speech also tells of the people that have made sacrifices for the effort, risking their very lives to help people in need, people who they did not even know, but felt compelled to take a responsibility for. Mandela makes sure that he does not take full credit for the accomplishment on his own, and he mentions everyone, be it singular people or groups of people that contributed toward his cause and success.
Once again, the most powerful idea in Mandela’s speech is that humankind should devote themselves to living with democracy, justice, peace, non-racism, non-sexism, prosperity for everybody, a healthy environment and equality and solidarity among the peoples.
The Declaration of Independence is one of the boldest writings of all time. Written to the King of Great Britain, this letter makes a firm stance on the beliefs of America’s fore fathers. In this declaration to the most powerful country of the 18th century, there are a few themes and points the writer, as well as the signers, give.
The first theme this essay gives is their right. Not just their right as countrymen, but their right as a human being. “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of People to alter or to abolish it.” Their RIGHT to abolish and break from an oppressive government is the first stance this essay takes.
The second point these fore fathers bring up is the abuse they have suffered with the King. Notice here how they singled out the king, not the government as a whole. I could only imagine the look on his face when he read this letter! Sentence after sentence and paragraph after paragraph, they continue to list all the offenses he has made toward them.
Both final and critical is this last theme in this declaration. Here they officially declare themselves apart from Britain and now the “Representatives of the United States of America.” The men knew the grave danger and trouble they would be in for such a position as this by declaring that they would pledge each others’ lives for one another. This is one of the boldest if not they boldest writing of all time.
In the essay, On Washing hands, this essay makes it clear how vital it is for anyone, and especially so with doctors, to wash their hands. The idea that washing one’s hands significantly decreases ones chance of contracting a disease is certainly no mystery. In fact, as it says in the essay, “This is, embarrassingly, nothing new. In 1847, at the age of twenty-eight, the Viennese obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis famously deduced that, by not washing their hands consistently or well enough, doctors themselves were to blame for childbed fever.” During this time, childbed fever was the leading cause of maternal death in childbirth which also, as the essay states, was responsible for at least twenty percent of maternal deaths at hospitals. Shockingly, only one percent of mothers who delivered their children at home died at all. This was so because doctors transferred germs between patients, whereas at home no such thing could take place. One would think that this would lead to change in doctor’s practices however no such change took place for a very long time. As it says in this essay the patient who died from the MRSA and VRE infection after an operation, got said infection in the first place because the doctors failed to wash their hands after they had been around all the other patients with MRSA and VRE. It is important for everyone to wash their hands, but it is critical for doctors to do so.
This is incredibly hard to think about since I volunteer at a hospital every Friday. I know that I am just a volunteer, but I cannot even count the number of times I put my hands under a gel dispenser, not only for the patient’s sake, but also mine! A hospital is meant to be a safe place to get well, but this essay informs the public otherwise explaining how infections due to unsanitary objects, tools, and hands are in contact with these patients. Some infected that are spread are most likely Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, MRSA, and VRE. There are many other bacterial infections that can be spread but these are rather serious do the fact that they are resistant to any type of treatment making it harder to get rid of the devastating effects.
Another scary thing to think about, are the numbers of deaths caused by these infections back when doctors did not even realize that cleanliness mattered. “Out of 3,000 mothers who delivered babies…600 or more died…” (207). this happened back in 1847 when Childbed Fever was a huge cause of birth fatalities. Even though the obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis seemed slightly crazy, without his theory about keeping clean while dealing with patients, the number of deaths in hospitals never would have decreased. Unsanitary business would still continue today. Although doctors and those who work in hospitals today do keep much cleaner than 100 years ago, they still forget that simple rule that is so incredibly important yet so easy to forget: washing hands.
Another important thing to remember is that doctors are just human. It is not easy to believe that they would put their patients in harm’s way, or that the one place where a person can actually get well after surviving surgery or an illness, is actually at risk for getting an infection. But it is easy to remember that they try, and they now actually do keep clean, and that sometimes, people are just unlucky.
Dr. Atul Gawande finished his essay with a very important sentence to inform those to remember it is necessary to wash our hands especially in a hospital—it is their job. “…when I stood there looking at the sign on his door, it occurred to me that I might have given him that infection” (212).
Dr. Atul Gawande
If beauty is simply what human instincts dictate will help continue the human race, then Postrel is correct in saying that not everyone has to worry about being beautiful. It would be impossible to do for some people, because some of the features that define beauty are unable to be fixed, such as symmetry and age. Postrel understands that, “like the rest of the genetic lottery, beauty is unfair. Everyone falls short of perfection, but some are luckier than others”. With a push toward understanding strengths and weaknesses, humans can better understand beauty and perhaps not place as much importance in it. The most important theme is accepting beauty as it is, not as the media portrays it.
This remains as one of the most power quotes to our nation’s history in the sense that it lists the rights that are given to everyone, those being, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Life meaning that everyone has the chance to live and make something for themselves. Liberty meaning that everyone would be granted freedom. The pursuit of happiness meaning that everyone has the chances, opportunities, to make things better and always strive for the best.
To show how important they are, notice how certain words are capitalized, showing its’ distinct importance. We should always remember that these remain as our God-given rights, and are different as opposed to “privileges” that can be promised.
Its context has been interpreted throughout history, and sometimes its full meaning called into question. Considering the historical context, it remains questionable as to who exactly these rights have applied to. Its’ meaning is still important today, and it remains as a powerful message to American history.
To reiterate, the most powerful and meaningful statement in the Declaration of Independence is where the civil liberties are directly stated, those being Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Though not everyone has an exact likeness in their perception of beauty, there is beautiful and there is ugly; this truth is affirmed throughout Virgina Postrel's The Truth About Beauty. This piece considers cosmetic companies selling "hope in a jar" as opposed to the new campaign from Dove that promotes "real beauty".
Dove's aspiration with this campaign is that women will see that beauty is the child of media and that they will ignore their imperfections, instead finding the beauty in who they are as individuals. The satire in this is that this campaign is coupled with the selling of creams, self-tanners, hair conditioners, and other Dove products. A line can be found on Dove's campaignforrealbeauty.com web site that suggests girls feel beautiful just the way they are, but Postrel explains, "Every girl certainly wants to, which explains the popularity of Dove's campaign. There's only one problem: Beauty exists, and it's unevenly distributed."
We, as human beings, have a preconceived notion of what beauty is, regardless of media or other influence. Certain shapes and features are simply more asthetically pleasing to us. We are biologically programmed to perceive things like good skin and symmetry as beautiful and beneficial in such things as finding a mate. Again Postrel says of beauty: "We know beauty when we see it, and our reactions are remarkably consistent. Beauty is not just a social construct, and not every girl is beautiful just they way she is." If this was true, there would be no need for Dove's "real beauty" campaign and there would most certainly be no reason for Dove's products.
Dove claims to use "normal" and "real" women in their ads, an almost Average Joanna, but while they do not find size 00 supermodels, they find younger women, with feminine features, great skin, and not too undesirable figures. Just because they are choosing women who may not be a typical model in an ad, they are using women who would still be considered pretty and have many attractive traits. Not only were they not ugly girls, but they had been made up with many of the very beauty products renderred unnecessary by Dove's own campaign. Though not everyone has an exact likeness in their perception of beauty, there is beautiful and there is ugly; this is affirmed throughout Virginia Postrel's The Truth About Beauty.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I loved the part where Diane Nash told us of the waves of students at the sit-ins. When the police had decided to arrest the protestors, another wave would go sit down. Wave after wave, there was always someone there sitting in the seats at the lunch counter, further making their point. The bravery that these young people showed in such hard times truly makes them heroes. They were willing to risk such serious punishment for the greater good. As was mentioned in the movie, most didn't take the protests too seriously in the beginning but through their persistence and rather small actions, like sitting in a seat, they were able to help accomplish something huge.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
In the documentary Ain’t scare of you jails we see an in depth look at the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. The documentary showed me that people did truly care about what happened to those around them. For the longest time I wondered why none of the white Americans would stand up for something as simple a different skin color. It made me think about what I might do, and I would probably have been too scared to, but this is part of what affected people into making these poor decisions. One quote however, that stuck out to me was, “Be cool Mother.” These were the first words to come out of a protesting African American in the sit-ins movement. He continued to tell his mother that he was in jail for something he believed was right. This is something I believe we should all live by. As it is not a matter of what happens to you, because if you are doing something to defend what you believe is truly right, then you will never be ashamed.
"When they arrested the students, the second wave came and sat down." This was impressive. I was pretty surprised at how many people they had supporting their cause. I was also surprised with the amount of white students were also supporting the protests. And even when they were beat, they didn't falter, they kept fighting for what they believed in.
Nashville, Tennessee the Athens of the South, a city with of rich progressive tradition, a center for the arts and education, but freedom for all is a precious and valuable principle that African Americans were deprived of. Nashville was still under the oppression of segregation, all public service was divided by the discrimination of color, and sings designated places for whites and blacks. Society accepted the inept concept and logo in which the country lived under “separate but equal”. Nashville had four black colleges which attracted students from all over the country. Jim Lawson and other ministers coordinated nonviolent work shops in order to organize students to take non violent step towards freedom. These work shops were strikingly impressive, students were prepared to take blows ‘and still respond with some kind of dignity’. It was a strong and bold step towards liberation. This step which may have seemed small evolved into a scale of events that would soon play a major part in the freedom of African Americans. Soon thereafter the African American society began to back up the students in a struggle which they were all partakers of.
It seemed almost irrational that for the sake of ‘law and order’ many people were against a movement that was none violent; despite thought many viewed these freedom pursuers as agitators and disturbers of peace. The step taken by the students and freedom riders was a catalyst for a change that could not wait any longer. One of the most memorable facts of the of the civil rights movement that is portrayed in the documentary is that young, old, women and men joined together to obtain a common precious goal. Regardless of the circumstances imprisonments, bombings, beatings they worked under the wings of none violence. Chanting and singing in jail and demanding the rights that were guaranteed for them also under the constitution, they chased freedom till ‘Alabama is going to face the fact that we are determined to be free’ (Martin Luther King).
Monday, November 2, 2009
Kennedy was also a big supporter of what MLK jr. and the freedoms riders were apart of. After MLK jr. was in jail Kennedy called Mrs. King to express sympathy based on what happened to her husband. He worked extremely hard for equal rights, when he found out that their were no people that wanted to drive the freedom riders on the bus he asked "where is Mr. Grey Hound? Cant he drive a bus?" It just demonstrates his commitment to make equal rights for every race possible.
One was how blacks discovered that the youth could be used to their advantage in these situations. Often times, many would be arrested on charges of failing to comply with the segregation laws or disorderly conduct. Many were sent to jail, and gladly accepted this, as they were firm in their beliefs and what they stood for.
The concept of the sit-ins started in college, with students practicing to get prepared for what all they would face. They need to be disciplined and yet have the endurance to carry on during shoutings and beatings.
Another concept that was used was to simply cut off the city’s revenue by halting their purchases. The black community was at the same level as the white community, fiscally, with taxes and their disposable income. They figured if they could halt their strong buying power, that it would have some effect on the city’s fiscal structure, due to the fact of less revenue. Nearly a month later, this proved effective.
The "Freedom Rides" were also an important factor in showing how both races strived for equality. Listening to the accounts of those who took part in the "Freedom Rides" were interesting in the sense that it showed their sheer determination, fortitude, and unbreakable will. "Segregation must be stopped. It must be broken down. We’re dedicated and willing to accept death," to quote on of the many Freedom Riders. All in all, good documentary.
Ain't scared of your jails was a very moving and thought provoking film to me. As remember learning of the civil rights movement as far back as in the 4th grade, but I never really was able to see the atrocities and the struggles that went on during the movement until I watched this film. The things that went on in that dark chapter of our history were horrifying and it was only worse 1st hand. What stuck out the most in the film in my mind was the part about the "freedom rides" and the public's response to them. The "freedom rides" were a series of protests against the segregation in the south. On these rides, blacks would sit in the front and whites would sit in the back, and when they would stop at rest stops the white people would use the black facilities and the back would use the white facilities. James Farmer, a freedom rider, described the idea of the protest like this: "We decided the way to do it was to have a group, an interracial group, ride through the South. This was not civil disobedience, really, because we would be doing merely what the Supreme Court said we had a right to do. The whites in the group would sit in the back of the bus, the blacks would sit in the front of the bus and would refuse to move when ordered. At every rest stop, the whites would go into the waiting room for blacks, and the blacks into the waiting room for whites and would seek to use all the facilities, refusing to leave. And we felt that we could then count upon the racists of the South to create a crisis so that the federal government would be compelled to enforce federal law. And that was the rationale for the Freedom Ride." The deeper the freedom riders rode into the south, the harsher the southern rioters meeting the non-violent freedom riders would be. The actions committed by the rioters were horrifying but, I am glad I was able to see the film as turning a blind eye to the past would be a dishonor to those who made such great sacrifices back then so our society could progress to where it is today.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Watching the documentary about the beginnings of the civil rights movements opened up some interesting thoughts. I loved this film. The whole thing stood out because that time in history is an incredible American achievement for black people in America. It is hard to understand a hard time in history because sometimes it is too difficult to endure, or it does not seem like that big of a deal, or like this time period when America seemed to be an embarrassment. I loved the line where the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee said, "I answered that question morally since I am a man." He mentions this after answering very truthfully about how he disagrees that a person should not be discriminated in a restaurant or refused service based on the color of their skin. I loved Diane Nash and how she was the one who asked that question. I am ashamed of the time where people were so ignorant and even stubborn about the racism in America. How could anyone honestly treat a human as if he or she were a nobody.
The fact that the college students had so much bravery gave me the chills during this film. They were making a stand and doing what was constitutionally fair and right. The sit-ins were a brave step towards many movements to come like the bus boycotts and the freedom rides. I enjoyed this film thoroughly and hope to see more like it.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Ain’t Scared of your Jails was a fitting title for that documentary. The Freedom Riders in that video were scared of nothing. It was very inspirational to me for the people who would take blows to the head, name calling, and violence without retaliation. Also, many seemed to have a relatively gentle and forgiving spirit toward their abusers! It’s hard to take a hit without retaliation. It’s even harder to take it without hating those who hurt them.
They also had a strong desire to do what they did. Besides taking physical abuse, they also took jail time. In the documentary, many of the demonstrators chose 33 days in jail over their 50 dollar fines, because they didn’t want to support the arrestors. As a response to going to jail, one man stated, “It became a crusade. It became a badge of honor.” The demonstrators were strong, relentless, and devoted. They were the Freedom Riders.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The article mentioned that methane emissions are twenty-three times more powerful than that of carbon emissions. It goes on to mention that methane emissions from cows and pigs play a significant part in the amount of greenhouse gases. Talk about a fart joke!
Essentially, what is being asked here is to simply give up meat because of the dangerous emissions it gives off. To quote Stern, "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better."
People want to feel important, they want to matter. If humans are to blame for global warming, the gut reaction of people is, "What can I do?" By doing this, you are willing to solve this so called problem, at any costs – even if it means higher taxes, more regulations, purchasing different light bulbs, driving fuel-efficient cars, and giving up meat. Essentially, surrendering your personal freedoms, liberties, and your way of time at the expense of contributing to the "cause."
It amazes me to think that the United States it the leading country to fight this "challenge." Why haven’t more populated countries, like China and India caught on to this, or even share the blame? Look at their pollution size to ours.
The Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old and has endured volcano eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, meteor impacts, earthquakes, tsunamis, and so on – so how can it be that breathing CO2 emissions is going to make or break us?
Yes, recycling and conservation is crucial and a vital piece of survival. There are only so many resources in the world, and it is important to conserve them. And of course, if you witness someone deliberately polluting such as littering, polluting the oceans, dumping chemicals in a lake and so forth, that’s stoppable. That can be fixed. But to go to the drastic measures of claiming that man made actions are altering the climate is absurd.
One more thought – how are the proposed taxes on all energy usage in the future going to stop the alleged man-made global warming – ah, excuse me, I mean climate change, or whatever name this will be changed to in the future to help further this cause?
The new trend is to rent, many people would rather have their own things and that is a valid point, but there is clear and great advantages for renting. For one when you rent you don’t have to keep the thing, which you would have to find room for it in your already clogged house. What does it for others is our current economic situation; people do not want to spend $150 dollars in a power tool that they may only use for half an hour. That is the prospect of the use of power tools. It is not just good for your budget, but environmentalist strongly supports this cause. Renting avoids having to use fine and limited resources in the making of a tool or other objects; it also avoids the hassle of packaging. By implementing this simple technique, environmentalists say that the environment is greatly relieved. It is incredible the wide range of things you can rent, from bikes to dogs to gardens to caskets. Regardless of how outrageous it may seem you can probably rent it. it is hard to understand why anyone would borrow a dog, but a family may want to see if there are any allergic reactions with a certain breed. For us college students there was a website where we can borrow books for 10% of its original price chegg.com, for every book borrowed a tree is planted. Next time you think about buying something consider renting.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Seven species that won't survive global warming
India's rivers are highly polluted, there is trash and waste chemicals everywhere in the water, so clean water is hard to come by naturally. New Delhi isn't the only Indian city with this problem. Many cities nationwide are having troubles in maintaining sanitation and long-lasting water supply. 2.1 million children (under the age of 5) die each year due to unsanitary water.
I found this article to be very interesting and informative. If Americans are able to change certain aspects of their lives, the U.S. would be able to cut greenhouse emissions by eight percent. The changes that are suggested for this to happen are not very dramatic at all. Carpooling for example is one suggestion. Many people often carpool today to work or different events. Not only would it help to cut emissions, but it can save money on fuel expenses as well.
Another change that is suggested is insulating your home. People would probably be less willing to make this change because of the cost of insulating a home. There are solutions being thought of however to help with the cost issue. These include offering simpler and more immediate financial incentives for insulating a home, or buying an energy efficient appliance. More public awareness about the benefits of insulating is being considered as well. Insulating your home can also help your home to keep heat inside during winter months.