Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pumpkin Masterpiece

Given the fact that it is Halloween I felt that this craft fits wonderfully with the holiday. I had never carved a pumpkin before and when I told this to my friends they thought I was crazy. Their first response was to go and get a huge pumpkin and then we proceeded to carve it. We first bought one of the carving kits from McLanahan’s that was Penn State themed. Our initial goal was to mimic our Penn State Silks shirts, but let’s be honest that didn’t work out. So first we had to clean out the pumpkin. My friends started to do it as I patiently observed. But then they saw me being lazy and handed me the scoop. I wasn’t too happy. I thought it was going to be gross, but it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. I mean don’t get me wrong all of the guts were disgusting, but there was something about scraping it down to the edge that was really fun. After we had finally cleaned out all of the guts came tracing the design onto the pumpkin. We had a really thin sharpie with us to try and get it to work. But that was a failure. We resorted to stabbing the design with the carving knife and making a sort of connect-the-dots type thing. We each took turns doing a certain part of it because after a while it got tiring of jabbing the knife into the pumpkin. We had finally finished with that and we decided to take a break and enjoy some apple donuts and apple cider. I highly recommend doing so. And finally came the actual carving of the pumpkin. We again took turns going through and cutting sections out. I had to step out to talk to my mom for a bit and when I came back the carving knife had been broken. So in all I’d definitely recommend doing this if you haven’t before. Also get a better and sturdier knife. This cheap one probably cost all of three cents to be mass produced and could bend whatever way your heart desired.  And lastly surround yourself with some good company and great food. It’s relatively easy and not as gross as everyone makes it out to be. If you do it (even though Halloween is technically over) have fun. And Happy Halloween! 🙂

Ted Talk- Me vs. My mom?

So when the assignment of the TED talk was first given to us I immediately freaked out because I had no conceivable idea on how to make the shift of cell phone dependency into an interesting speech. After a little bit of thinking I think I’ve found out what I want to talk about. I want to push my point that cell phones have had a tremendous effect on everyone, especially our generation, those of Generation Y. We were the first generation to really grow up in a tech-savy world and I think that has greatly affected us. To make the speech more interesting I want to include a day in my life without my phone compared to a day in my mom’s life without her phone. She only uses it for calling people (if she even knows where it is), I on the other hand always have my phone handy and am constantly doing something on it, whether it be texting, checking emails or playing a game).I feel like this will illustrate my argument greatly because my mom is part of the Baby Boomers and I am a Gen Y kid, so we are coming from two extremely different eras. I also want to include more interesting things. I have yet to think of any, but I am bound to do so eventually. Maybe instead of trying to get all of my arguments out in my speech I’ll just focus on the increase in dependency on cell phones. Perhaps I could compare my childhood life of playing outside and using land lines to those of kids now who are able to text their neighbors to see if they want to play video games. And also I will most likely include an instance of an awkward situation where everyone has their cell phones out to avoid conversing with people. Anyways, I definitely have some strong ideas, in my opinion, but I think I really need to focus on one topic and make it a less broad speech so that I don’t get confused when I am giving it.

WIP… kind of

Alright, so this isn’t exactly a work in progress. But I look at it as me progressing my skills in analyzing the rhetoric of various things.

Given the weather circumstances in the past week there has been a definite increase in the number of Hurricane Sandy memes pop up around the internet. Most of the ones that were brought to my attention were on the Penn State Memes page. One of my favorites was of Bad Luck Brian, saying that UPark had cancelled classes after 1:10 and then Brian only had classes from 8 to 1:10. This fits my life perfectly. I had just gotten back to my dorm room after my last class that ended at noon. I checked my phone and I got the text confirming classes for the day had been cancelled. Needless to say I was not pleased. I feel like this was the case for many kids on campus on Monday. And because of this it is a relatable post and succeeds in rhetoric in that it appeals to those who are going to be seeing it.

Another one that I enjoyed was one that compared the administrators to stumped monkeys. In the upper half of the meme there is a weatherman showing the impacts that Sandy is going to have, with the quote “This may be the biggest storm of the century.” And beneath that is a picture of some monkeys dressed to the nines with the quote “Meanwhile at Old Main”. Again, this comic definitely succeeds in rhetoric. Clearly, the population of University Park was upset with the administrators when they had not cancelled classes for Tuesday. Although it is somewhat offensive, I find this meme hilarious. It’s certainly a case of “Everyone’s thinking it, I’m just saying it” because no one really wants to poke fun of the admins, but I’m pretty sure no one enjoyed walking to class on Monday in strong winds, with cold rain, and a broken umbrella as a result of the winds. Anyways, I think Hurricane Sandy ended up producing some good memes for the Penn State community, but that is as its actual physical impacts were not so great.

Sea Glass Vase

This week I decided to attempt to make “sea glass”. All sea glass really is is having paint on some glass surface that looks not as smooth and shiny as normal glass does. First off you will need some glass surface, Elmer’s glue, brushes, and food coloring. I need to admit that I made a big “booboo” when I made this craft. I forgot to look up what I needed for the sea glass effect and just ended up taking my paint that I have laying around and mixed it in a bowl with some Elmer’s glue. I didn’t realize until after I was done did I actually need food coloring instead of paint. But nonetheless the paint still produced the same effect, although with the actual paint, the color was brighter, whereas the glue and food coloring produce a lighter, softer color. I couldn’t find any clean bottles so I just settled on picking up some cheap flower vases. (I guess this also works as a gift, I’ll probably end up giving these to my mom, haha) Anyways, you just mix in the food coloring with the glue and paint away. Once you’re done you obviously have to let it dry, but once it is finished drying you can add more artwork if you want. Maybe some swirls or polka dots, whatever floats your boat. If you finish and don’t like your sea glass effect you can probably find yourself some Modge Podge and cover the paint with it. This will act not only as a sealant, but would also give the glass its original luster. But this kind of defeats the purpose of the sea glass effect. My tip of advice for this craft is to make sure you know what you’re doing before you start and get too far ahead to turn around. Simple things can make all of the difference. Hopefully anyone who tries this is more successful than I and remembers to use food coloring instead of paint. 🙂

Penn State White Out video

With the White Out game against Ohio State around the corner I figured that I could find some example of rhetoric anywhere on the internet pertaining to the game. And luckily I did. Today while scrolling through Facebook I saw that the Penn State Memes page had posted a video. I skipped over it and kept going along my business. Later in the day when I was perusing Facebook again, I came across the same video, except this time it had been shared by two of my friends and I decided to go ahead and watch it. Once I had clicked play I was greeted by the soundtrack of one of the best movies (in my opinion) of all time, The Lord of the Rings, this automatically caught my attention. The song is accompanied by various videos and pictures. All of which are from this season and they document the success of the team thus far. And then an inspirational speech from the movie “Miracle” is heard. The overall tone of this video is a “We can do it and we will do it” kind of attitude. And also serves to get people pumped for the game on Saturday. The music adds to the importance of the game and then the speech adds even more. This is clearly a win every Penn Stater wants and everyone will be watching the game. This video not only pumps up Penn Staters, but also makes them want to support the team even more (or at least it makes me want to). For some reason, this video is inspiring in a way because it captures the want to win this game that every Penn State alum, student or fan is wanting. If you haven’t seen it you definitely should. I may be blowing it out of proportion, but that is only because I’m obsessed with the music in LOTR and I love supporting the Football team. So here is the link go and see it for yourself! 😀

Cell Phone dependency & acceptance

Again, for my paradigm shift paper I am focusing on the shift of dependency and acceptance of cell phone usage. I am definitely going to include the history of the cell phone. Starting off first with the bag phone, which became the brick phone, to the general flip phone and now we have smart phones. For the acceptance part I’ll focus on how kids are now getting cell phones at even younger ages (I swear I saw a 5 year old on campus taking pictures on a decorated phone that looked like it belonged to them, and quite frankly this is mind blowing to me). I feel like I’ll be able to use my own personal experiences for this paper because my generation was the first that got cell phones in middle school, and that was a big deal. I also want to focus on the dependency on cell phones. I really want to incorporate what my life would be like for a day without my cell phone.  Also I want to focus on how there has been a loss of physical communication through people, as all they ever do is text or call. My only wall so far has been how to organize this information and make it into a cohesive paper. As of right now this is a very rough outline:


II. History

  1. The various types of phones
  2. How they’ve changed over time

III. Dependency

  1. Awkward Situations
  2. Loss of Communication
  3. People go into panic mode when they don’t have service

IV. My mom’s life without a cell phone vs. mine (maybe use something like this for the TED talk?)

V. Conclusion

Personal Coasters

I’ve been growing short on items to use for my blog, so this past weekend as I was browsing Pinterest I came across the idea for table coasters. I sent my mother a text saying “Hi! You’re awesome. Might I be able to get some tiles from Lowe’s?” And after a bit of convincing and waiting for a few days I received three tiles in the mail. From then on I was able to go about making these coasters.

The first thing that I had to do was pick out pictures that I want to look at on a daily basis. I decided to make one coaster of my high school friends, one of my family, and one of my friends here (not that you have to do that, I just wanted to mix things up). After I had chosen the pictures I printed them out and cut them down to the sizes that I needed. I then took the Modge Podge, which I had left over from my Autumn Jar, and coated the tiles with it. Next I placed the pictures where I wanted them on the coaster and applied a top coat of Modge Podge. The Modge Podge acts not only as glue, but also as a sealant, which is helpful when it comes to placing beverages on the coaster. I’d also suggest adding a third coat of Modge Podge, I only put on the second one and I’m afraid to put a drink on the coasters because I don’t want the ink from the pictures to run, but I guess I’ll see. The last touch is getting some foam pieces to stick on the bottom side. Floor protector stickers for furniture would also work well too. The purpose of this is to make sure that the surface that the coaster is on doesn’t get ruined or scratched. Overall, this is a pretty easy way to kill some time.  It also ends up allowing you to have some personalized decorations lying around. I’ll admit I like the funky patterns that come on coasters, but I also like looking down and seeing my friend’s faces (and not in a creepy way, haha :D). This is definitely something that I’d recommend to anyone because it’s fun and interesting to see what people decide to do!

This is mine. 🙂




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This is mine. 🙂

Cell Phone Dependency

For my paradigm shift paper I have chosen to focus on the development of cell phones and their impact on the people that use them. I’m probably not going to go all the way back into the history of the telephone, but I’ll start with the bag phone. My main focus though is going to be how we have become a society that is dependent on our smart phones. I’ll probably have comparisons of how people acted then and now. I can even draw on my own experience, as I remember going through elementary school without a cell phone and now it seems that every kid has their own phone, along with various other technological toys. There has clearly been a shift from actual communication to virtual communication. So much so that studies are showing that our generation has poor communication skills as a result of our dependence on our cell phones. And I know that this is definitely true because I’m a huge perpetrator of avoiding awkward situations by perusing the contents of my phone. I can’t imagine not having my phone to keep me company when I don’t know anyone else in the room. I’ll definitely have to go to the library website and find some outside information on the topic though. I might find studies that are showing different things since the growth of cell phones. Another thing that interests me about this topic is the fact that it grew so fast. For some reason when I think of a cultural shift I think a few decades. But the growth of cell phones really only spans about 20 years, and the heavy dependence on them has only arisen within the past 12 years. So I’ll probably end up including info about that in my paper as well.

The Taste Carol Can’t See

I have to apologize to anyone who has been reading my rcl blogs. They are all focused on politics because of my slight addiction to things like that. So this week I decided to change it up a bit. When I was trying to think of rhetoric I first went to Facebook and only found statuses either about fall break or PSU kids that were complaining about not having a fall break. My next stop was I always come across interesting images on this website. The fourth image was the one above. This poster, albeit mildly offensive and fake, also surprisingly serves multiple purposes. The fact that Carol is blind is stressing the importance of wearing safety goggles in the lab. Everyone knows the drill for labs and that putting on goggles basically becomes second nature after the first week of class. By using Carol as an example, people are able to show what can happen if you are like Carol and don’t wear your safety goggles. But, this poster also adds in humor (which is probably the main reason that it even exists). The inclusion of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is something most people can relate to and everyone knows the catch phrase of the commercials is “The taste you can see”. By saying that Carol couldn’t see it, this could potentially hit home with someone if they really enjoy Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t mean for this to be offensive, I just thought that it would be nice to look at the rhetoric in an image online. Personally when I first saw this I thought it was hilarious, and that it was real. Much to my dismay it is not, but that still doesn’t mean that there isn’t any rhetoric present within the image.

Rainbow Cake

I have to admit, I actually baked this cake a couple of months ago. But, I’m just so proud of how it turned out, that I felt it necessary to share my success. I was browsing Pinterest a couple of months ago, when I was dazed and confused after getting my wisdom teeth out, and came across this delicious looking rainbow cake. Because I couldn’t go anywhere without getting sick, I decided to try to make this cake. I asked my mom to get the supplies for me, which consisted of white cake batter, food coloring, and icing. I hadn’t really prepared for it, but I ended up using five different bowls in order to separate the batter. You then fill the bottom with one color and go on to layer with whatever color you want to come next. When I got to this part it wasn’t working how I had anticipated, so I just started to spread all of the colors wherever they happened to land (hence the reason  that I don’t have a perfect rainbow layer). I then put it in the oven and this masterpiece came out. One tip I would give anyone who tries this is make sure to coat your cake pan with non-stick oil (like Pam or Crisco) because I did, but not enough and my cake split in half when I took it out of the pan. Another tip is to get a cupcake tray ready too. Depending on the size of your pan, all of the batter may not fit into the cake pan, for instance this happened to me and I ended up making about a dozen rainbow cupcakes to go along with the cake (which I must say ended up looking prettier). Overall, making this cake is a lot easier than it seems. And it is a lot of fun. You can make whatever colors you want (I didn’t think of this at the time, but it would make a great graduation cake, as you could use your schools colors to fill the inside and do whatever on the outside). This is a great way to pass the time and also provides you with a very delicious treat!