Author Archives: Julian Eisenberg

Gangster Rap Made me Do It

2pic

Music is the ultimate form of rhythmic expression in our society. Since the beginning of time, different genres, artists, and styles have come and gone. Today, we have a plethora of music available to us, hailing from all across the globe, cultures near and far. One of these genres, made famous during the 80s, rap music, has come under a lot of heat. Critics say that rap music, and more specifically gangster rap, causes increased violence and aggression and poses a threat to civil obedience.

In a paper entitled The Negative Influence of Gangster Rap And What Can Be Done About Itpublished by Stanford University, Professor Anthony M. Giovacchini discusses how the vulgar lyrics in gangster rap are having an alarming effect on the actions of Americans. He argues that the violence and civil disobedience portrayed and idolized in gangster rap music inspires similar actions in the real world. Professor Giovacchini specifically references an incident in Texas, in which Officer Bill Davidson was shot, stating,

“Howard shot and killed Davidson with a nine millimeter Glock pistol, while this gangster rap, also talking about killing cops with nine millimeter Glock pistols was playing in the car. Under these circumstances, it would be difficult to think that the music in the car did not have any influence on the situation.”

The Davidson family actually ended up taking rapper, Tupac Shakur, to court over the matter, claiming his lyrics incited the aggression against Officer Davidson. Although, the courts expressed serious disdain for the music in question, they ultimately ruled with the defendant. Judge John D. Rainey summarized his remarks in a statement to the court,

“2Pacalypse Now is both disgusting and offensive. That the album has sold hundreds of thousands of copies is an indication of society’s aesthetic and moral decay. However, the First Amendment became part of the Constitution because the Crown sought to suppress the Farmers’ own rebellious, sometimes violent views. Thus, although the Court cannot recommend 2Pacalypse Now to anyone, it will not strip Shakur’s free speech rights based on the evidence presented by the Davidsons”

In a more recent study by Dr. Eliana Tropeano of Western Connecticut State University, subjects were tested in order to determine the effect rap music had on their aggression levels. Dr. Tropeano enlisted the help of 33 undergraduate students from her university; 11 students listened to recordings by DMX, 11 students listened to recordings by Will Smith, and 11 students didn’t listen to any recordings. Afterwards, researchers administered a 12 question test to each participant, designed to rate their levels of violence and aggression. Dr. Tropeano found that,

“The violent group’s scores were much higher than the nonviolent group’s scores. Also, the control group’s scores were higher than the nonviolent group’s scores. “

These test results are incredibly significant because they show the effect music has on aggression, not just violent rap music. It is true that listening to violent rap music made the participants more inclined to violence, but listening to non-violent rap music made them less inclined to violence, as well. Basically, music will influence how you feel and react on a daily basis, if it is violent music it will affect you accordingly and if it is relaxed music it will do so as well. The choice of what music to listen to, and how to act on those feelings is entirely up to the individual.

Furthermore, research performed by Dr. Hajimi Fukui, a world renowned endocrinologist, actually shows that music lowers testosterone levels in men. Fukui had participants listen to a variety of music and measured their testosterone levels via saliva test, before and after. Fukui found that all music increased the testosterone levels of women, and all music lowered testosterone levels in men. This further weakens the case against gangster rap, as even violent music has shown to lower testosterone levels.

chert

In summation, violent rap music has shown to make people more excited or inclined to violence, however the choice of music and the decision to react physically towards it is incumbent upon the listener. Additionally, despite the musics effects on the psyche, it has shown to lower testosterone in men, making them less likely to act upon these lyrics.  Rappers are not responsible for the way in which others interpret their art, nor are they responsible for keeping it away from at-risk individuals and youth. As a society, we need to make it a priority to teach young, impressionable people that although gangster rap is unique and interesting it is not indicative of how we should act in normal, civilized society. Additionally, gangster rap accounts for merely a thimble’s worth of the relevant rap music available. Rappers, such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Wyclef Jean, and Will Smith are famous for the positive messages they include in their lyrics; positive messages that would likely inspire positive emotions in listeners. To all those who continue to point the finger at Snoop Doggy Dogg, rappers, and the music industry, to those who believe free speech can be trumped by a need for civil obedience, I believe Tupac said it best,

My .44 make sure all y’all kids don’t grow”

50

https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/mediarace/negative.htm

http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?query=&prodId=OVIC&contentModules=&dviSelectedPage=&displayGroupName=Viewpoints&limiter=&disableHighlighting=&displayGroups=&sortBy=&search_within_results=&zid=&p=OVIC&action=2&catId=&activityType=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010870221&source=Bookmark&u=lom_accessmich&jsid=fc52457ee5b9162d64bf20c8bda5e731

http://library.wcsu.edu/dspace/bitstream/0/35/1/tropeano.pdf

 

Are men dirtier than women?

muuudA recent study published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on household dust has unearthed some interesting results. This study, the most extensive of its kind, examined the microbiology of household dust from 1,200 people’s homes across the United States. The study used high-tech DNA sequencing technology to discover the number and types of micro-organisms living in the dust. To clarify, the amount of dust in your home is irrelevant, it is the variety of micro-organisms and bacteria living within your household dust that matters. No preferential treatment was given to those with more anal cleaning practices.What researchers found is that the fungi in your home is often closely coordinated to your location. Dust can identify the climate, topography, geology, and geography of the home. Additionally, data taken from the dust can be used to determine whether the house is occupied by males, females, or both. How so?

Dust is comprised of millions and millions of fungi and bacteria. Certain specific bacteria are unique to men, to women, to certain areas, or certain types of landscapes. By mapping the DNA of the dust, researchers are able to identify the many varieties of micro-organisms, which helps them to identify who or what brought those fungi into the house. For instance, men shed more fecal and skin related bacteria, women tend to shed heavy amounts of vaginal bacteria.

fungi

How can researchers use this data and these advances to our benefit? For starters. police and investigators plan to use this technology in order to profile suspects with nothing more than a spec of dust. Additionally, Dr. Jonathan Eisen from the University of California at Davis believes dust can be “a reservoir for genes involved in resistance to antibiotics, and much more.” With these encouraging reactions, it appears more studies of this kind will be conducted in the future.

In summation, the millions and millions of micro-organisms found in dust show many indicators of the homes inhabitants. Dust can determine sex, whether the owner has pets, what kinds of pets, how many pets, what the geology of their home looks like, where their home is, and more. As to which sex is dirtier, researchers confirmed that men do in fact shed more bacteria than women. This doesn’t necessarily mean men are dirtier, besides in the bedroom of course. Rachel Adams, a scientist at the University of California at Berkeley had this to say on bacteria being ‘dirty’,

“Recent studies are showing that the buildings where we spend most of our time contain great assemblages of microorganisms that you cannot see, and for the most part, those ‘cohabitants’ of our homes are just along for the ride, neither harmful or offering much benefit.”

bac

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/men-and-women-alter-a-home-s-bacteria-differently/

http://news.discovery.com/human/health/bacteria-in-household-dust-reflect-who-lives-there-150825.htm

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1820?current-issue=y

It’s for my Glaucoma bro…

glocky

With the emergence of medical marijuana in the nation over the past decade, the rare eye condition, Glaucoma, has become a household name of sorts. What was once a condition rarely referenced outside of ophthalmologist’s offices, is now splattered across the news, pop culture, and almost every stoner comedy. But for those who suffer from this disease, it is no laughing matter. Glaucoma effects over 3 million Americans today, and is the second leading cause of blindness in the world according to the World Health Organization. But thanks to the medical marijuana movement, the situation for Glaucoma patients is looking up!

As of now, Glaucoma has NO cure. Those affected with it, even those who receive treatment, have a ten percent chance of losing their vision. Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve deteriorates over time. This is caused by higher than normal levels of Intraocular Pressure. Those who suffer from glaucoma regularly experience peripheral vision loss as well as extreme pain caused by this internal pressure differential. So how does cannabis factor into all this?

eyez

Cannabis has an uncanny ability to relieve ocular pressure. What many people note as red eyes in cannabis users, is actually the manifestation of Interocular Pressure relief. That’s right! When glaucoma patients ingest marijuana and their eyes begin to redden, they are actually being relieved of their Interocular Pressure and the pains associated with Glaucoma. Unfortunately, due to the limited amount of research available on medical marijuana it is unclear of the future of its use as medicine for Glaucoma patients. Although, it has been proven to relieve pressure and therefore prevent damage to the optic nerve, scientists fear its blood thinning affects might contradict these benefits. That being said, in the thirty years of limited testing that has been conducted, damage to the optic nerve has not been noted. Patients praise marijuana for its alleviative affects, and simplicity. Many patients have reported liver and kidney damage as a result of the numerous glaucoma medications they are prescribed. Elvy Mussika, a medical marijuana patient for over 30 years had the following to say on the matter,

“I was diagnosed with Glaucoma in 1975. Within a year, I already knew that there was nothing absolutely nothing that was on the market then worked for my glaucoma except for marijuana… One of the benefits of using marijuana is that most of us drop all the other drugs that really do a number on our heads and make it difficult for us to stay healthy..”

Patients seem to be very open and accepting of cannabis as a treatment options, but doctors are much more skeptical. Doctors worry that having to be in a state of perpetual “high” is dangerous and ineffective as a treatment.  The American Glaucoma Society, takes a conservative approach, as well

“[T]he mainstay of treatment for glaucoma patients is lowering the IOP [intraocular pressure]… Although marijuana can lower the intraocular pressure (IOP), its side effects and short duration of action, coupled with a lack of evidence that it use alters the course of glaucoma, preclude recommending this drug in any form for the treatment of glaucoma at the present time.”

Despite the skepticism, marijuana advocates and patients maintain high hopes for the future of cannabis as glaucoma treatment. With new advances in the medical marijuana field, it will soon be possible to dose out cannabanoids in a regular and moderate dosage throughout the day. Similar to the way in which some diabetic patients receive insulin regularly throughout the day without the pain of injections. Regardless, patients rejoice that there is a cheap, non-addictive, and non-invasive medication to alleviate their pressure differentials available today. With only 30% of Americans even having knowledge of this condition, maybe it is good that Glaucoma is receiving the national attention it is. That being said, it is important to remember that marijuana is not just for recreational use, it has marvelous medical benefits for many people. Whether it be Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, or Cancer patients across the country depend on its use. However, for many patients across the globe, the use of marijuana carries heavy consequences. Even here, the U.S has maintained its federal classification of marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. Deeming it void of medical use and having a high potential for abuse.

In conclusion, marijuana has shown a fascinating ability to relieve the main proponent of optical nerve damage, Interocular Pressure. This provides relief and resistance to the escalation of the Glaucoma disease in many patients. Whether marijuana will eventually cure Glaucoma is unknown, but as states begin to initiate their medical programs, more information is being learned every day. Scientists and doctors are skeptical, but patients and proponents praise the drug, and pray for continued investigation and investment.

http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/medical-marijuana-glaucoma-treament.cfm

http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/glaucoma-facts-and-stats.php

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000140

http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml

Diamonds Are Forever?

Diamonds, they are the epitome of success in our modern society. Whether you’re cementing the love and adulation you have for your significant other, or celebrating that new record contract, we all want diamonds. But when that record contract doesn’t get renewed, and your vows don’t either, will your diamonds still be there? Lets find out!

dsl

Diamonds, in their natural state, are a pure-carbon crystalline structure. There is another pure-carbon crystalline structure that I’m sure many of you are familiar with, graphite. Yes, the same graphite we use everyday in pencils across the globe. The only difference between the two substances are the way their atoms are bonded in the crystalline lattice. Diamonds are comprised of five carbon atoms closely bonded in a three-dimensional grid. Graphite, on the other hand, is comprised of four tightly bonded carbon atoms, loosely piled atop each other in planes.

As one might have assumed by now, the degradation of diamonds involves the structure reconfiguring itself into the atomic structure for graphite. However, this is only possible under certain special conditions. In order for diamonds to degrade to graphite, they must first jump the kinetic energy barrier barring them from changing states. This can be achieved by adding heat or pressure. If the diamond is to be heated it must be placed in a low-pressure vacuum environment. If not, the diamond will just sublimate directly to vapor. Once in this environment, the diamond cannot be subject to temperatures more than 4000K. Below this, the diamond will begin to turn to graphite. As graphite is the more relaxed energy state, diamonds will naturally be inclined to degrade into graphite. This process would take millions, if not billions of years, if not assisted by heat.

In conclusion, those fancy, fabulous jewels adorned on our elite are here to stay. As for the elite, who knows. But what science has told us, is that diamonds are naturally degrading to graphite, this process is just too lengthy to notice in any of our lifetimes. It is worth noting during this time, that despite all the information and evidence I’ve presented, I did encounter several very vocal supporters to the contrary, and for a time they had me convinced.

slickriq

“Bonding and Properties of Materials.” BBC, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 15.

Barton, Mark, Dr., Jerry Coffin, and Keith Allpress. “Is It Possible to Melt down Diamonds?” Quora, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

Baird, Christopher S., Dr. “Why Do Diamonds Last Forever?” Science Questions with Surprising Answers. N.p., 17 Dec. 13. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

Whoever Smelt it Dealt It?

We’ve all been there. The tense silence, the awkward eye contact, the watery eyes as the aroma of a thousand dead mice wafts delicately between your nostrils. Farts. Sometimes they are the perfect ending to your favorite punchline, other times they are the less than perfect ending to your hot date. Regardless of the occasion in which you experience this outburst of furious flatulence, we all tend to ask ourselves the same question, “Who the hell just farted?”

fert

Recent studies conducted on the subject show that in a blind experiment, users took longer to register the scent of a rip that was their own. They say this is because the bacteria that makes up our toots is unique to every individual person. Yes, that means your trouser cough is the only one in the world like it. When we smell other people’s bacteria, our brain senses danger and therefore we have an alarming, unpleasant reaction to it. However, being bombarded by our own booty coughs all day, we familiarize our self to the scent.  A recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania confirms this phenomenon. The study was done with 116 students who were asked their effective impact of different odors. The researchers placed eight conceptual items relating to four domains; “new foods, new places, new cosmetic/ health products and new persons”. The participants were asked how they were personally impacted by what they smelled. The aftermath of the study was quite substantial in the face of “whoever smelt it dealt it”.  It turns out that individual reactions varied in regard to their “odor related memory, differences in attention to odor and differences in the impact of personal associations on liking for odor”. With this in mind, it appears that some people are more effected by smell that others. Thus, such people may be more inclined to be the first to react and “smell it” with indifference to the “dealt it”. On the other hand, we know that most people fall naive to their own toot. It is similar to how teenage boys and naive adults often times wear too much body fragrance as they are unaware of their own alarmingly strong odor.

So, to give this perspective in our overall quest for knowledge, did whoever smell it really deal it? In most cases, no. Whoever smelt it probably was either closest to the epicenter of the crack concert or they were clearly most offended by it. In fact, recent studies have shown that people who are anxious or conservative in nature are more repelled by these scents than others. Reactions to unpleasant stimuli can actually go so far as to tell one’s political leaning. However, whoever dealt it, is likely blissfully ignorant of the atrocious aroma making its rounds across the room. Next time your in the elevator and the hairs on the back of your neck begin to prick up, your fists clench, and your lungs scream for fresh air, look for the nonchalant teenage boy doused in Axe and nuclear refuse.

What are the TRUE effects of cannabis on memory?

Since its ban in the early 20th century, cannabis has become a hotly contested topic. From your friends, to your parents, and even your PE teacher, it seems like everyone has an opinion on the subject. I’m sure if you’ve ever been lectured by your parents or forced to sit through a state-mandated marijuana education program, you’ve most likely heard the phrase, “Marijuana makes you forgetful”, or “Weed makes you slow, or “Damn, that loud got you stupid, son”. Today, we’re going to be examining what effects the drug known as Cannabis has on your long-term memory, short-term memory, concentration skills, etc.

snlThe cannabis flower, produced by the plant, is laden in a natural defense-coating known as trichomes. These  trichomes appear as small bubbles on the surface of the plant. What these “bubbles” actually contain is a thin vapor composed of over 83 cannabanoids and several hundred terpenes. When marijuana is burnt, these trichomes burst and the vapor is expelled. Once ingested into the body, this vapor interacts with our natural endocannabanoid system. Our endocannabanoid system is made up of millions of CB1 and CB2  receptors in our muscles, brain, liver, and almost every other part of our body. These CB1 receptors are responsible for pleasure, appetite, concentration, perception of time and memory, pain tolerance, and many other physiological and psychological phenomena. Naturally, the introduction of cannabanoids into these receptors alters many of these functions.

As it pertains to memory and brain function, the cannabanoids bind to the CB1 receptors and form a neurotransmitter between regions of the brain. During the time, the cannabanoids are active in one’s system there is no negative impairments in terms of brain function. Once the neurotransmitter bridge has dissolved, the neurons in these areas have a harder time jumping between synapses. This causes the slower neuron transmissions that critics refer to as being “slow” or “stupid”. However, due to recent advances in the medical field, including brain mapping technology, we have been able to learn more about the interactions between the brain and these receptors. When under the influence of cannabis, the neurotransmitter bridges that are formed actually help short-term and long-term memory recall, as well as concentration. It is after the drug has made its way out of one’s system that users tend to experience a “burnt out, withdrawal” like symptom. After all this time is spent using the nerotransmitter bridge neurons have trouble jumping between synapses as they used to.

in conclusion, marijuana actually has positive effects on one’s short-term memory, long-term memory, and concentration skills. However, long term sustained use can burn these bridges and cause minor memory loss and concentration issue. Studies show that this effect is only temporary, and shows signs of reversal after two weeks abstinence. Additionally, cannabis’ effects on memory have shown to alleviate Alzheimer’s patients whose neurons are unable to jump from synapse to synapse. The bridge built by the cannabanoid receptors allows Alzheimer’s patients’ neurons to jump synapses where they previously would be unable to.

Matsuda, L. A., Lolait, S. J., Brownstein, M. J., et al. (1990). Structure of a cannabinoid receptor and functional expression of the cloned cDNA. Nature 346, 561–564.

Munro, S., Thomas, K. L., & Abu-Shaar, M. (1993). Molecular characterization of a peripheral receptor for cannabinoids. Nature 365, 61–655

Mailleux, P., Parmentier, M., & Vanderhaeghen, J. J. (1992). Distribution of cannabinoid receptor messenger RNA in the human brain: an in situ hybridization histochemistry with oligonucleotides. Neuroscience Letters 143, 200–204.

Piomelli, D. (2003). The molecular logic of endocannabinoid signalling. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 4, 873–884.

Initial Blog Post

Hi everyone! I hope all enjoyed silly week and I can not wait for what the year has in store! My name is Julian Eisenberg, and I am from Miami Beach Florida. Yes, Miami Beach Florida. Everyone asks with an slight underlying tone of sarcasm, “why would you choose Penn State?” The answer is simple… Because it’s awesome, ok?

I am currently in the Smeal College of Business, and I plan on studying Business Management. I am taking SC200 as a “gen-ed” prerequisite, yet more specifically, to confirm my appreciation of theoretical science. With both of my parents being doctors, my understanding of science through medicinal application has been instilled in me ever since I can remember. Whether its taking two vitamin C capsules twice a day all the way to drinking eight liters of water a day, my parents made the science of healthy living concrete within my upbringing. The idea of taking my own path towards a business degree is still incomprehensible to my parents. Simply put, I cannot handle the endless mind warping concepts within the average science text book. This class presents itself as a chance to confirm my appreciation of science, while at the same time, I can use it as momentum towards my business major.

I am not planning on becoming a science major because I wish to make a career within the real estate market. After attending Penn State, I wish to move back to Miami and partake in the seemingly ever-expanding real estate market. Since I was in seventh grade, I have felt an innate connection towards real estate investment. I have helped my family with numerous investments and plan to make some of my own some day. I am very excited to see what this class has in store!

My hood

Want to be Hulk?

Bodybuilders throughout the planet all scheme for the obsolete approach towards bodybuilding. The true question is if bodybuilding is a healthy approach towards living a healthy life. In reality, becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger of bodybuilding isn’t for the average Joe looking for a balanced lifestyle. Within practical and healthy means, bodybuilding can be tackled through a composed and sensible approach. Although, bodybuilding many times can be confronted almost artificially which can be overwhelmingly disastrous.

The first step to becoming the alpha hulk every bodybuilder dreams of achieving is stepping into the ring, aka the gym. Studies have most directly linked physical activity with countless health benefits. First and foremost, physical activity is linked to lessening heart disease and stoke. Through physical exercise, the heart is trained, which leverages the heart, like any muscle, to be strengthened whilst lowering one’s blood pressure and body fat. Most athletes are trained and dictated to focus on bodybuilding to increase their body muscle mass index, in turn, lowering their chance of injury. Many orthopedic practitioners promote efficient bodybuilding as means of flexibility and healthy bone formation while also preventing bone loss for older patients. Amongst these benefits, working out in general can also help promote one’s self-esteem and self-perception. Bodybuilding requires efficiency and sometimes-extreme time management. Studies have proven that those who manage their time often times have lower stress levels because of a feeling of accomplishment. Whether it’s feeling accomplished or taking a casual “selfie”, bodybuilding can definitely promote free flowing serotonin throughout one’s life.

Often quoted “pain and gain” is essential to the body building experience. With that in mind, the devices towards the “gain” can either break or create a body builder in the long term. A bodybuilder’s goal is to constantly make “gains”. Every day a bodybuilder must hit their micro and macro-nutrients, which by textbook is living healthy. Whether it’s eating kale five meals a day to gain the proper micro-nutrient, iron, or ingesting two hundred grams of whey protein a day to hit the macro-nutrients, bodybuilders alike will make it their duty to squeeze in each crumb of a meal.

On the other hand, bodybuilding may lead to detrimental effects. Bodybuilding requires one to often lift heavy and to live heavy, which in turn pushes one towards their limits. Some bodybuilders may start to obsess with overextending their gains and may develop a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. With this in mind, some bodybuilders may turn towards artificial or extensive products for the golden gains. Athletes such as many in bodybuilding, often take human growth hormones or other steroids to enhance their performance within the gym. Such substances have been linked to cancer and many other problems and diseases. Whether its taking pre-workout or steroids, health practitioners alike disagree with such use, and recommend that bodybuilding should be taken with care the natural way.

Want to be hulk? Good choice! I am sure that whatever path you have chosen is the right choice. Either way, Arnold Schwarzenegger did it both ways and he was the governor of California and in one of the best action movies of all time. I hope that sums it up, and if you decide to go hulk, please make sure to send your picture to the reply section on my blog!

Work Cited:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=10074

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-six-week-muscle-building-trainer.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StressCoping/story?id=4672836

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20707257,00.htm