Today’s lesson about the feasibility of a zombie virus began with a series of gruesome videos in which organisms invaded other organisms. While watching the especially awful video of wasp larvae in a caterpillar, I couldn’t help but wonder if the caterpillar knew what was going on. Granted, the larvae eventually took over its brain, but did it ever realize that another organism was inhabiting its body? And if it did, wouldn’t it try to kill itself before the invader did? That question led me to the biggest question of all-do animals have suicidal tendencies? This subject is a very interesting one that has many societal and religious implications. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine both determined that suicide “was an unrepentable sin” on the grounds that it was not natural. This kind of logic is similar to the argument that homosexuality is not natural either. However, based on our discussion in class it appears as though that argument is not valid, as might be the case in regards to suicide.
I was recently going through my previous blog entries trying to get some inspiration for new topics. I noticed one word that came up a few times in my entries and comments-antioxidant. The first and second time I read it, I glazed over the word. After all, it’s thrown around in general health and diet news all the time. But by the third and fourth time I spotted the word, I realized I knew very little about antioxidants besides the fact that they’re in blueberries. What are they? What do they do? And most importantly-do they live up to the hype?
It seems as though every week there’s a new magical property of some fruit or vegetable that promises to cure every ailment under the sun. In October, BBC News published an article that called tomatoes “stroke preventers”. But how much merit do these findings have? Is there causation, or just correlation? Will eating tomatoes now help us all prevent strokes in later life?
All throughout school, my teachers emphasized the need to reread, revise and edit everything. Of course, spell-check or auto-correct on Microsoft Word and smart phones usually caught the obvious mistakes-using an “a” instead of an “i” in definitely, writing “teh” when we meant to say “the”, etc. However, more subtle errors often went unnoticed. Sadly for many of us, spell-check often neglects to pick up on human errors like writing “to” instead of “too” and using the incorrect form of “their/there/they’re”. Being the perfectionist that I am, these errors do not cease to irritate me, causing me to delete many a misspelled Tweet or go back and edit my SC 200 blogs until they are error-free. But in reading other blogs, I have found too many frustrating spelling and grammar errors that seriously interfere in my understanding of what the person is trying to communicate. Often these blogs remain only half read, as the three or more errors in the first paragraph makes finishing and commenting on the blog almost unthinkable. So what’s to blame-a lack of revision, an absence of/low quality spell-check or just sheer laziness? Probably a combination of all those factors, but the so called “Grammar Nazis” want answers. And so of course, I went searching.
During the first blogging period I wrote a post about the menopausal whale conversation we had in class. In my blog however I asked whether or not the age at which women begin going through menopause has changed in recent years. While my research on that topic yielded few answers, there is a related topic that I see in the headlines far more often.
There have already been a couple blogs about the health effects (or lack thereof) of eating organic foods. But I had to wonder if organic cleaning products suffered from the same misconception that they are somehow better for us than the standard-quo.
I’m sure plenty of us have had to take care of a child who acts out to the point that we just want to yell at them. Or we’ve seen a parent screaming at his or her child in the mall, at the grocery store or the playground. But what long-term effects do raising your voice at a misbehaving child really have?
While researching my last blog, I stumbled across something I found fascinating. It was a name for something I didn’t know had a name but had always thought existed. It’s not some mysterious constellation nor is it an obscure and complex scientific or biological mechanism. It’s the so-called French Paradox.