Daily Archives: October 16, 2016

Wood VS. Aluminum

Growing up baseball was a huge part of my life. For me there was nothing better than going to the batting cage or out to the field and taking batting practice. I was always curious about whether a wood bat or an aluminum bat hit a baseball better. I always hit better with a wood bat, I was never really sure why because everyone else in little league liked to use metal but I am sure there is some science behind this question on which bat choice produces a better output of success.

According to George Manning the big switch with baseball bats occurred in the 1970’s when companies began producing metal and aluminum bats. “The thin walls on a metal bat allow the bat to deform as it makes contact with the baseball and almost cause a trampoline affect.” Wood baseball bats are not hollow at all they are solid as can be, so they don’t receive the the same reaction as the metal at does at contact point. Another point that supports the metal bat is back in 1970 when aluminum bats were first approved in the NCAA the very “first year batting average went up 20 points on average, and home runs nearly doubled.”

An article written by Phoenix Bats is back and forth on the topic of which bat is better in terms of output and numbers produced the one very big point made by them was that wood bats might not hit the ball as far but in multiple areas make the hitter a better baseball player. A wood bat is usually heavier and has a way smaller sweet spot. When practicing with a bat that is heavier and has a smaller sweet spot it makes you a stronger hitter and trains your eyes to have better hand eye coordination.

A good way to test this question would to have a double blind experiment coordinated using a wood and a metal bat hitting against a pitching machine. The control variable would be the machine throwing every pitch at the same speed. The obvious variable being used in this experiment would be the metal bat and the wooden bat. For this experiment having many people would be ideal to get an accurate response. The average distances hit for the metal bat and wooden bat would be the answer that would hopefully show what bat hits the ball further.


Image result for wood bats vs aluminum bats

In conclusion, even though I enjoy using a wood baseball bat I think metal bats through all the technology advances do on average hit the ball further. In this graph above it shows that aluminum produce a way higher batting average and amount of home runs in game situations than wooden bats. This still doesn’t directly infer which hits the ball further but since it shows a higher rate of home runs that says something.



decline of social mobility


So far, there is a very common phenomenon around us, which is that a large part of people, including college degree, who make very little money in their first job, will probably still make very little decades later. This is one result of the decline of social mobility in the USA. This is not alarmist, based on the research of professor Becker in 2014, the wealthiest 1% population of American possess 22% income of the whole country. (Becker, Posner, 2014) There are three relationship should be considered: social mobility causes society better is direct causality, better society causes social mobility is reverse, and confounding is that wealthy level of citizens both causes them.

Technically, social mobility means the movement of people to move upward or downward in society, including job, education, wealth or some other social status. For example, it could be caused by changing jobs or marrying (Kraus M. & Tan J., 2015). But now, people get fewer and fewer opportunity and chance to go upward of society. In another word, social hierarchical system is increasingly consolidated. This is called the decline of social mobility. It is commonly believed that this phrase originates from 1920s, world war increased the speed of social structure change. People started research this subject by using number (Dictionary.com). In this essay, I am going to show you the definition of what is social mobility, the description and severity of this problem; then I will list three possible solutions and choose one as practical solution by compare and contrast.

As we talk about previously, social mobility stands for the movement, change of social status. There are several different types of social mobility: Horizontal Mobility, Vertical Mobility, Upward mobility, Downward mobility, Inter-generational Mobility and Intra-Generational Mobility.

Horizontal mobility refers to one person changes his or her occupations but keep the overall social standing the same. In other words, horizontal mobility is a transition of individuals move from one social groups to another, which are both situated at the same level.

Vertical mobility means any movement in occupation, economy and social status of individual or a group that would lead them change position. In a simple words, “vertical mobility stands for change of social position either upward or downward, which can be labelled as ascending or descending type of mobility. Technically, vertical mobility is intensive in relatively open societies.” By professor Samisha (Samiksha, S, 2015). So obviously, upward mobility and downward mobility are two sub-type of vertical mobility.

Inter-generational mobility refers to one generation changes social status which is contrast to previous generation. Children could gain necessary skills by education to get employment in higher position. For example if one father is a shoemaker but his son becomes a factor, lawyer or a engineer after gaining proper education.

The last one is Intra-generational mobility. This kind of mobility happens during one persons life span. This is very common, sometimes one brother changes from a clerk to a professor, but another may still be a clerk.

Since everyone is the part of society, we all want to gain better life, higher salary and healthier body, in other words, we want to go higher level of society. But nowadays, this kind of mobility become fewer and fewer, which cause serious polarization between the rich and the poor, and unstable between people in different race and religion. The consequence is unimaginable. (Sawhill, 2015). The main cause is increasing income inequality, and of course the educational flaw is still an ineligible reason. Obviously, the income of capital investment is always much higher than the income of labor investment. This is also related to fairness. Because the mobility slow down, people’s status passed to next generation, that is so-called the rich second generation use money and pull strings (back doors) plunder most opportunities and resources that should have belonged to normal people who dont have power and money to compete with them.


What about the effects? First is the phenomenon I talked at the beginning, because some so-called rich second generation plunder the opportunity and job position and other resource by pulling strings. Second is Serious social conflict between different races. Because discrimination, minority of the society is always under oppressed. The last is severe polarization of wealth distribution. The middle class, which are supposed to be the buffer of hierarchy, become fewer and fewer. As a result, the gap between poor and rich will become severely bigger, the society become unstable. for example, just like the ladder, When the rungs of the income ladder get too far apart, it becomes much harder for people to climb. However, the rungs are not only widening by income, but also by family structure, parenting styles, school test scores, college attendance and graduation, and neighborhood conditions. In another word, this issue is related to almost every aspect to college student. 

The first policy that government needs to do is meritocracy. Meritocracy means distribution according to one’s performance. So what would this policy do? One is providing fair environment for people to develop, students of varying backgrounds can succeed by performing well. On the other hand, it will encourage people ambition to work hard. make them believe, harder work, better life. Another reason is that, Meritocracy is the ideal society of both capitalism and socialism. meritocracy is the develop tendency of social, people cant be strictly controlled by government, or we cant always rely on government manipulation, like collect higher tax from rich people and give welfare to poor people.

Another action that we are supposed to do is to invest evidence-based program. evidence-based program refers to program produces the expected positive results can be attributed to the program itself. We are supposed to invest in Education, which including comprehensive school reforms in elementary and high school, effective home visiting program, high quality pre-kindergarten. Each society have responsible to instruct and train skills to the younger generation. Only after acquiring knowledge, could we have the ability to compete with others to get higher position (Samiksha, S., 2015). If we start before they born and extending it through high school and university years, it would make a difference in children’s lives. if we invested early in their life chance and opportunities, Children born into the bottom quintile would have a much greater chance of moving up. Before the interventions, only 40 percent move into one of the top three quintiles.

The third solution is to cease segregation. Based on the research, we find that upward social mobility in becoming significantly lower in some certain regions with bigger group of African-American populations. White people in areas with large African-American populations also have relatively lower rates of upward social mobility, which imply that race problem also has some responsibility for the social mobility. We discover a strong negative relation between racial and social mobility. (Chetty, R., 2014)opinion_080312

The three solutions try to solve this problem from different aspects. However, from the the basic level, I think meritocracy is the best. In meritocracy, everyone has the right to express their opinions and are encouraged to share them openly, workers are stimulated to be more ambitious by incentives. Students are encouraged and have opportunities to pursuit high-payingmjobs. Apart from that, this policy is effectively applied in country like USA, because this will solve race problem, and help to promote a feeling of fairness in a multi-ethical and religion problem. In another words, this solution covers all potential information we should care. The second one and the third only solve specific aspects, like education and racial problem.

One successful example of this policy is Singapore, this country implement this policy since last century, they have less gap between rich and poor, now more than 90 percent of residents live in their own house, and another aspect is Angelo talked about yesterday, tuition fee, University tuition fees in the United States has been increasing at an alarming level, creating a barrier to less-wealthy students. But the tuition fee in Singapore is under the average in come of one family.

Civic problem is always under controversy, because it is too complicated. Sometimes a slight move in one part may affect the situation as a whole, just like the butterfly effect. So after all, the people and the government should work and make effort together. Only in this way, everything inrational will fall, and from the ashes of the outdated system, can we will build a better one.


Work cited

1.Becker, Posner,(2014) Social Mobility and Income Inequality, Retrieved from: http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2014/02/social-mobility-and-income-inequalityposner.html 

2.Becker, Posner, (2012) Meritocracy, Social Mobility, Intergenerational Mobility, Retrieved from:http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2012/12/meritocracy-social-mobility-intergenerational-mobilityposner.html 

3.Chetty, (2014) Improving Opportunities for Social Mobility in the United States, Retrieved from: http://penniur.upenn.edu/publications/improving-opportunities-for-social-mobility-in-the-united-states 

4.Kraus M., Tan J., (2015) Americans overestimate social class mobility, Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103115000062 

5.Sawhill, I. (2015) Inequality and social mobility: Be afraid, Retrieved from: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2015/05/27-inequality-great-gatsby-curve-sawhill 

6.Samiksha S. (2015) Social Mobility: The Meaning, Types and Factors Responsible for Social Mobility, Retrieved from: http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/sociology/social-mobility-the-meaning-types-and-factors-responsible-for-social-mobility/8539/

picture link




Northern Lights…

A bright light suddenly across from the dark sky. Most people may guess it is the lightning, but if you live near the north pole you would definitely spell out Aurora. Green lights, purple lights and even red lights. All different kinds of lights show up in the sky and consist a spectacular image that words cannot even describe.

Actually, in the ancient time, local residents did not know the northern lights are a kind of scientific phenomenon. Some people described it as a sign that was given from the Gods while other people thought it is the splash of snowflakes played by little fox. However, with the development of scientific knowledge, scientists discovered the real cause of the aurora and found out several facts.


First of all, the northern lights actually are the interacting between charged particles and earth’s magnetic field. When particles come out from the sun, they react with magnetic field and store energy. When that energy release, it turns out to be aurora consisting of several types of wavelength. Different types of aurora are caused by diverse particles. For example, when most people went to see the aurora, they saw green or orange color for the most part of time. The reason is that most part of air consists of nitrogen and oxygen. And when oxygen atom interacts, it releases a green light. When nitrogen atom interacts, it releases orange light. Also, those phenomena can be seen in the space too. However, there are still some unknown information carried with aurora, like the weird sound. Scientists are still investigating.


Furthermore, one of the important suggestions is about photographing those fantastic northern lights. Through the research, professional photographer suggests that it is essential that we carry a camera that you are comfortable to operate and have an extra battery due to the cold temperature. Also, the low temperature sometimes would hurt the camera lens, it is better for us to keep it in the bag until the aurora shows up.

In conclusion, here are some traveling suggestions if you want to see the aurora. There are numerous places, like Alaska in USA, Norway in Europe, and North Canada. First, since aurora usually appears in the late night, it is important for you to carry warm clothes. Second, you need to contact with the local tour guide, because they own the information package to know where has the most chance for the appearance of the aurora. Third, you can also plan to further local activities like ski or sledding.


Aurora is a mystery created by nature. Even though we may not have enough knowledge to discover the deep concept, it would definitely find out in the future. Also, I would highly recommend you to travel to one of the places I listed above. It would be part of the best experiences in your life.


  1. Facts about Northern Lights
  2. How to Photograph Northern Lights
  3. Photos Recording Northern Lights Sound

Can digital screens really make you start going blind?

In the 21st century digital communication and entertainment is everywhere. We all have or have seen televisions, computers, phones, gps’, or tablets in our lifetimes, in fact, if you are reading this now you are staring at one of those at this exact moment. For the most part, every age whether you’re a five year old playing on an ipad to a forty-year-old accountant using a computer everyday, we are constantly staring at digital screens. Are you aware that you could be gradually damaging your eyes every time you look at one of these screens?

From personal experience I have learned this to be true. At a young age i always had 20:20 vision. However, since we live in a modern digital word i always played on a computer, watched tv, played video games and used my phone a lot because thats just what we do now a days. I started to realize that my vision gradually began to decrease and it was harder to see in the distance. For example, in school the board got harder and harder to see every day i tried to take notes. I started questioning if this was normal or if i really was going blind. I decided to get my eyes checked out and it turns out that my eyes actually changed into 20:40 vision by the age of fifteen. This then led me to buy several pairs of expensive prescription glasses and question, “Why did this occur?” “What caused my vision to decrease so rapidly?” I started researching this topic and talked to several eye doctors and this is what i discovered.


Many doctors and scientists have researched this topic many times and have determined that the longer and more you stare at these screens, the worse your vision will get over time. You may have experienced this before if you have ever experienced any of the negatives below:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry or watering eyes
  • Burning sensations
  • Changes in color perception
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty focussing

Tired looking office worker

All of these things can occur from watching your television for too long. These are common short-term side effects that you could see immediately while watching any screen.

There are also several long term affects that these screens may have on you. There has been evidence that between 50-90% of people who sit in front of digital screens, like computers, have signs of visual problems within the years to come. This issue is very common and is permanent damage to the eyes so i researched several ways to prevent and cure these problems.

Many factors go into how these screens can damage your eyes. Sources say that by reducing the glare of the screen, lowering the brightness and positioning the computer about 20-28 inches away from your eyes may decrease your chances of receiving computer vision syndrome.  There is also another rule of thumb to follow that some sources call the “20-20-20 rule.” This is that you should look away from your screen at least every twenty minutes, stare at something twenty feet away, for twenty seconds. This relaxing the eye muscles and allows your eyes to rest. Every time you watch any digital screen your eyes are constantly working by focusing on whatever it is you are watching. By following the 20-20-20 rule, your eyes won’t have those issues of being dried out, blurred or burning. This method could also help from getting those long term effects when you are older.

Where does science come in to this?

X Variable: The longitivtiy and method of how we watch our screens

Y Variable: Eye sight/ Vision

Experiment type: Experimental

Null Hypothesis: Digital screens have no effect on our vision.

Alternative hypothesis: Digital screens decrease our vision the longer we look at them.

Reverse Causation: A decrease in vision causes us to watch digital screens longer.


After first-hand experiencing and researching this topic, I would accept the alternative hypothesis and reject the null hypothesis because there is enough data supporting the idea that digital screens have short and long term negative effects on our vision. Reverse causation can be ruled out simply because it does not make sense. If a persons vision is decreasing, they do not desire to view a digital screen more. There is no correlation between the two.  Like always, chance is always a possibility but is extremely unlikely because the studies strongly suggest that the alternative hypothesis is true.

Did you already damage your eyes and are worried you may never have 20-20 vision again? There are actually several ways to fix your eyes if you have already damaged them. The first and most common way is to just get glasses or contacts that can temporary improve your vision at ones own needs. However, if you aren’t looking to always put glasses or contacts in, then there is actually a way to improve your eye sight forever. There are several different types of eye surgery but the most popular happens to be LASIK. This is when the surgeon, depending on the preferred method, creates a flap on the cornea of ones eye. Laser eye surgery seems to be the more preferred method over the use of a blade but is slightly more expensive. Eye surgery can be a very successful way to cure ones eyesight: however, it is not 100% effective on every customer and has some risks.


Overall, computer vision syndrome along with all vision problems that occur from digital screens are extremely popular and keep increasing with the increasing modern technology. These issues are predicted to only get worse, due to the fact that in the 20th century, our society has and uses digital screens everyday and everywhere. Follow the steps discussed previously to prevent these chronic problems before you need to input lots of time and money to fix your eye sight.


You Asked: Can Computers Really Ruin My Eyes?




A Question of Cuteness


Walking to class the other day, I was taken aback by the cuteness of the puppies in training that prance around campus. Why are puppies so cute? It’s not the most mature question to analyze, but surprisingly the reasoning behind my playful curiosity is relatively scientific. According to this blog, kinderschema, or baby schema, is the scientific theory to explain cuteness. This hypothesis encapsulates all of the physical features that humans consider “cute” in babies and animals, which range from large eyes to a soft body. However, the blog recognizes that kinderschema was originally developed somewhat anecdotally. Thus, scientists are starting to make up for the lack of psychological explanation behind this theory. In this study, the characteristics of baby schema are tested through a visual manipulation experiment. Groups of 3-6 year old children were randomly allocated either a control picture or a “cuteness enhanced” picture of a baby, dog, or cat. Then, they were asked to rate the cuteness. Their reaction to the picture was also observed, specifically tracking their attention towards the already established kinderschema qualities. To eliminate age being a potential bias, adults were also put through the same experimentation. As a result, the concepts of baby schema were confirmed, and predicted to be a potential part of early childhood development.


Image obtained from the study

In addition, the study discovered that features of baby schema triggered feelings of “infantile stimuli,” or other feelings you get when you see something cute. For instance, this article shares that baby schema features are linked with the human desire to be caretakers. Oxford researchers are currently experimenting how parental brains react to infants, specifically in studying the was cuteness stimulates various natural senses. In addition to the urge to care take, this article delves deeper into the scientific reaction to the features of baby schema. Dopamine, or the neurochemical associated with pleasure, is released in the brain. This chemical reaction takes place in the mesocorticolimbic area of the brain, which is centrally located. Therefore, when our brains recognize cuteness, we experience subsequent happiness.


Picture found in above article

Overall, cuteness can be scientifically attributed to various physical features known as kinderschema. While there has been a limited amount of experimentation to back up this theory, it is very well acclaimed and almost able to be proven by self experimentation. See what I mean by looking at this! I would love to see more controlled experiments on this question, as it applies to a greater purpose than simply the feelings of seeing a puppy on the street. For instance, what is the significance that Frozen, ranked as the highest grossing animated film of all time, contains characters with larger eyes than traditional Disney characters? This New York Times article brings up the brilliant point that proving baby schema would not only help us to understand our own perception, but play a vital role in fields like design, entertainment, and advertising.

cinderella-pictures-007 frozen_sisters

“Women can’t drive!”

d4fc4666a684e2397c596ea7b6951d5c “Men are better drivers than women” Ever since I was a kid, that statement was thrown around like it was a fact. I have two older brothers, who were taught to drive way before I was, so once the opportunity arose itself for me to start driving, they continuously bellowed, “women can’t drive!” Me being as feminist as they come, I couldn’t (still can’t) see what having two X chromosomes had to do with one’s ability to mechanically control a vehicle. More so however, I was confused as to where they got this idea from? Where was the evidence to prove this stereotypical belief? Quite often when I asked my brother’s or any other male why they felt this way, they will start giving me personal anecdotes, “Well when I was on the highway last week…” or “The other day I almost got into an accident with a women for…” and so on and so forth. But as we learned in class, personal anecdotal observations are weak inference, thus don’t serve as true scientific proof.

Fast forward to current day, I have my drivers license and recently purchased my first car. So I would like to think I am a good driver. Not the best, but nonetheless better than most of my male friends. Yet, I still get told I can’t drive because I am a woman. So I decided to research this ‘theory’. Is there something in the make-up of women that makes us predestined to be (allegedly) worse drivers than men? Scientifically speaking, are men really better drivers than women? In simpler words show me the studies.women_parking_problem1Within minutes of doing research on google, I realized how detrimental it is to deem things as fact without scientifically backing it. I don’t know who was the first person to claim that men are better drivers than women, but somehow decades later, women are ridiculed on the internet as being terrible drivers because they are: easily distracted, read slower than the average man (do not understand that correlation), supposedly not good at distance judgement, or my personal favorite, the claim that women just don’t care. Just typing in “women can’t drive” on the search engine led me to discover tons of weak inferences. I just about given up the hope that there was any science behind this belief, for every article/study that concluded men are better drivers, there was one saying the opposite, as well as others who say there’s no definitive relationship between a person’s sex and their driving ability. In class we learned that we can never reduce uncertainty to zero, but ‘better’ data can help reduce this uncertainty as much as possible. Plus there are a lot of third variables in play that could lead to one concluding men are better drivers than women. Which raises my skepticism. So I decided I was going to do sort of a meta-analyses of as these studies, not to necessarily get a conclusive answer, for this is an on-going debate because the findings are so inconclusive, but to know what science says.

Looking at the Research:

What we know is that, for years now (at least a decade), insurance companies have charged men more for car insurance because statistics shows that women get into lesser accidents than men. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, male fatalities have outnumbered female fatalities in car accidents 2 to 1. Furthermore, according to the American Insurance Institute men are in 50 percent more life-threatening crashes per 100 million miles driven than females.

Counter research to this, conducted by the The National Organization for Women’s Insurance Project, is the findings that men drive more than women, so therefore more accident prone/chances to get into accidents

However, none of these studies can exactly pin-point the science behind why males get into more car crashes than women. Some researchers argue the nature vs. nurture theory as being a reason. Others blame natural male biochemicals; high testosterone levels in men leads them to take greater risk while driving.  An enlightening summary of the research by the Social Issues Research Centre digs a little deeper past the numbers and offers interesting insight as to why there is a disparity between females and males behind the wheel.

These factors can be split into three categories:

1. Speeding and violation of traffic laws 

A number of studies have shown that men have a higher propensity to ignore traffic laws than women and be in violation of driving etiquette. In 2004, Jennifer Schwartz reported, men are four times more likely to be arrested for drunk driving than women. Even taking the fact that men drive more into account that is still a high number. Fran H. Norris, B. Alex Matthews and Jasmin K. Riad by conducting a longitudinal study with a participant size of a 1000, found that in most cases, men are less likely than women to obey other traffic laws. In her study,”Gender and age-related differences in attitudes toward traffic laws and traffic violations,” Dana Yagil discovers a major reason why this is. She finds that women tend to obey traffic laws, even when safety is not a factor because they view them as necessary, while men tend to be more skeptical of them, thus more inclined to view them as somewhat optional.

2. Aggression

Lived experiences as well as studies highlight the fact that men tend to be more aggressive than women, in general. Research has found that this aggression flows over to their driving and behavior behind the wheel. According to Alan E. Gross and Anthony N. Doob, men are three times more likely to honk their horns on the road than women. And a number of other studies verify that men are more aggressive on the road. Needless to say, heightened behaviors of aggression can lead to not only the disregard of traffic/safety regulations but dangerous maneuvers and choices behind the wheel.

3. Sensation-seeking and risk-taking

Numerous studies find that men are more likely than women to engage in thrill-seeking activities or behaviors; sky-diving, bunjee-jumping, diving off of cliffs, and etc. So it’s no surprise that this thrill-seeking need can then be manifested by dangerous driving, this helps to explain why men tend to be faster drivers than women.  A paper by M. L. Chipman, C. G. MacGregor, A. M. Smiley and M. Lee-Gosselin, found that the men, in the Ontario study, greater distances (50% more) than women yet only spent 30 % more time achieving them.



While the greater disregard of traffic laws/road safety regulations, aggressive driving, and more risk taking are all causes of more male accidents and crashes, that doesn’t necessarily give evidence that women are better drivers than men. It simply falsifies the vice-versa. This is to prove that there isn’t any concrete evidence or experimental outcomes out there that will testify that gender CAUSES a person to either be a good or bad driver. Both sexes have the capability to be great or poor drivers based on practice and confidence while behind the wheel.


Marijuana… should it be legal?

I commonly hear people discussing and debating whether the drug marijuana should be legal or illegal and the effects it has on the human body. Marijuana is one of the most controversial drugs across the nation. There has been an excessive amount of research on marijuana, but many facts and myths are still unclear on what may be true. It is only legal to use it recreationally in four states across the nation; however, many states are on the borderline of legalizing it within the next couple of years. I want to know what it is about weed that makes it beneficial or detrimental and why it is legal in some states but illegal in the majority of the country.

There have been many studies that show that marijuana has slim to no harmful effects to the physical health of the human body over long-term periods. However, there have also been studies that have shown possible negative consequences to our health. There was a study done in New Zealand where a little over a thousand people were monitored from ages 18-38 on the effects heavy marijuana use has on the physical health of the human body. The results of this study were rather fascinating. The only negative effects weed had were on the teeth of the sample group. Discoloring of the teeth may be annoying, but can be fixed easily with any teeth whitening, dental care or cleansing. Other than that, this study showed no signs of damage to the lungs or any internal organs that may affect the lifetime of human beings.


There is a common term known as the “munchies” that refers to the desire to eat after smoking. Another study across the United States showed that marijuana smokers as a whole were less obese than those that never smoked. Studies of over 50,000 people revealed that 22-25 percent of the group who didn’t smoke was overweight while only 14-17% of the group who smoked a weekly were obese. Although these studies show that smoking may result in being less obese, it doesn’t directly prove that this is true.

Funny retro sports nerdmunchies

Several tests have been done on marijuana yet, the evidence of a solid conclusion remains unclear of whether this drug is a detriment to the human body. For the most part, the main reason marijuana is illegal in most states is due to it being the gateway drug for the surplus of other more intense drugs. However, a study was done in Sweden where more than 50,000 men were put to the test. The results were rather shocking for those who believed marijuana had no harmful effect on our bodies. The study showed that marijuana users doubled their likelihood of experiencing schizophrenia and have an increased chance of getting a heart attack. This study also showed possible hallucinations and sporadic thinking in the future.



Medical marijuana is a highly important remedy when it comes to relieving pain. Many chemotherapy patients use medical cannabis for this reason, but not many studies can fully support that it’s beneficial for these users. Thanks to Christopher Ronkainen’s suggestion in my comments, I went back and researched the beneficial uses medical marijuana had on the people who are suffering from epilepsy. One telephone survey stated that 21 percent of medical marijuana users claimed that it had positive outcomes when, those who suffered from these seizures, were asked about the effectiveness it had on epilepsy patients. There was another study released claiming that there was a 57 percent increase in seizure regulation and 33 percent of the experimental group said that there was a decrease greater than 50 percent in seizures as a result of medical marijuana use.


  • Pain reliever
  • Reduces stress
  • Less Obese
  • Recreational use is satisfying


  • Gateway drug
  • Discoloring of teeth
    Can cause:
  • schizophrenia
  • Heart attack
  • Sporadic thinking

Overall, Marijuana has been studied many times and remains one of the most controversial drugs across the nation. It’s been completely legalized in four states, and I believe it will continue to be completely legalized, gradually across the United States. This drug may have positive medical effects, for example, it may relieve stress or even decrease obesity as a whole but could also potentially lead to a heart attack and maybe even schizophrenia. After comparing and contrasting the positive and negative effects of this drug, did your opinion change on marijuana? Where do you stand in this debate? Should marijuana be legal?

Here’s What Science Says About Medical Marijuana

Six Ways Science Says Marijuana May Hurt Your Health

Marijuana Slims? Why Pot Smokers Are Less Obese

Study: Smoking Marijuana Not Linked with Lung Damage

Long-Term Pot Smoking Doesn’t Seem to Harm Health: Study




Cell Phone Usage and Male Infertility

Here’s a scary topic for us guys out there….becoming infertile. As you all (I hope) know, being infertile means not being able to produce children from your semen. But here’s a common myth that I was told a lot as a teenager by my Grandmother: using your cell phone too much will make you infertile. Now I always just chalked this up to being just another story Grandma told me to make sure I was a good kid and not using my phone too often, but what if it wasn’t? Could using your iPhone too often cause you to not be able to have kids? Does the radioactivity vented out of your phone cause you damage? This is the question I want to answer.



Could cell phone use make us infertile? Source

As always, first we should look at this from a scientific perspective and form a hypothesis. The null hypothesis, which is what most of us believe, is that cell phones will not cause male infertility. The alternate hypothesis lines more up with my grandma’s viewpoint, that a prolonged period of cell phone use causes males to become infertile. Obviously, we cannot experiment with this on humans, as you can’t just ethically let men get cancer if the data supports it. More likely, we’ll have to either experiment with animals and/or observe cell phone use with men. Finally, we want to measure the independent variable (the phone/mobile device) and the dependent variable (becoming infertile).

Background: After searching, I came across a study conducted in India in 2010 on male Wistar rats. They aimed to look for lower sperm counts, the weight of testicular organs, and destruction of Leydig cells in rats after an extended period of time around a mobile phone.

Before we get into what they found, I want to talk briefly about another study they used as background info by Agarwal in 2007 on 361 men at infertility clinics. This was an observational study and concluded that the use of cell phone by decreasing sperm cells’ motility, morphology, and even sperm counts. This shows that, indeed, cell phone use does affect male infertility. However, it’s incredibly possible that there were other factors that the researchers weren’t able to control, given it being an observational study. Therefore, we need to look at the study in India on rats to get an idea if, given everything else is controlled, we can see the correlation between cell phone use and infertility.

The Procedure: As mentioned above, this was an experimental study done in India on rats. These rats were split in half, with 6 being the control and 6 being experimented on. This was done randomly and was repeated multiple times to make it blind. After the groups were sorted, the rats to be experimented on were put in an air conditioned room where they were all put with a single mobile device. They were exposed for 35 straight days, where they were then euthanized in order to be tested. This is a very straightforward experiment, with a control group and a randomized blind trial. Now, let’s move on to the results.


What effect do mobile phones have on the rats? Source

The Results: Quite surprisingly, the results seem to support the alternate hypothesis. In the 35 days exposed to the mobile device, the rats had a significant decline in sperm cell counts. The counts were reduced from over 160 to only 70 counts of sperm, showing a 50% decrease. This is significant, as this supported the observational study mentioned earlier that there is a big correlation between mobile phone use and a decrease in sperm count. So, although this could be just due to chance, we have to conclude that the alternate hypothesis was overwhelmingly supported here. This is huge, as men of my age are significantly attached to our phones, and are the first generation to have cell phones from around 12 years old onwards almost 24 hours a day. Will we see a decrease

This is huge, as men of my age are significantly attached to our phones, and are the first generation to have cell phones from around 12 years old onwards almost 24 hours a day. Will we see a decrease in the ability to have children in our generation over the last? We’ll have to wait around 5-10 years to find the data to support that, but for now, I’m going to be worried about the results. As it turns out, sometimes Grandma is right!


Dress For The Part

I have never been one to over dress for school. I find it much better to feel comfortable in a learning environment. However, I always found myself paying better attention in class if I dressed to impress. I have no clue what actually made me feel better about the way I looked reflecting upon my cognitive abilities, however it did lead me to wonder, does dressing to fit the part of a certain test help  students learn better? For example, dressing up like a mathematician to perform better on a math test.  If I actually did that would I have received a better grade? It sounds like nonsense, but I am not the only one that has felt this way or pondered these questions.

An observational study done at Northwestern University revealed that students that they put in doctor lab coats performed better learning conflicting flashcards than students placed in lab coats that were told their lab coats were from artists. However this study did not state confounding variables like the IQ of the students, gender, or year of schooling. These confounders could have potentially conflicted the outcome of the study overall. If this study were too be done more properly they should have come up with a null and alternative hypothesis as well as potential confounders and then compared results at the end based on a p-value.

The null hypothesis would be: Lab coats do not help learning ability

The alternative hypothesis would be: Lab coats help learning ability.

After the hypotheses are formed, the students need to be a random sample divided evenly to eliminate confounders in the study. This study then needs to have a control group that does not use a lab coat at all to see if the lab coats indeed are effecting the ability to learn. After the experiment is set up all that would be left to do would be for science to reveal the answers itself.

Other interesting questions that this study poses are:

  1. Do students feel more confident on a test if they act like a professional of that study?
  2. What happens when the students take of the lab coats? Do they learn less proficiently or do they actually remember the information?
  3. Can this study be concluded for all academic fields or just science?

As I researched more I found similar studies done like the Northeastern University one, including one done at California State University. However, this study concluded that the facts that they have gained from these types of studies have merely told them anecdotes instead of definite conclusions.

Although this studies done in Northwestern University and California State University are not for sure proving that dressing the part will improve test scores, I think it is reasonable that people dress differently on testing days to make themselves more confident during the test. The mind is a powerful thing so we should push it beyond limits. It can be nice to boost up confidence by dressing better or dressing professional in order to help succeed on a test. Even if there is not definite evidence to prove this actually helps, getting a better grade is worth the risk.








Sex Helping Health?

Just by the title I am sure a lot of you are thinking that I must be crazy for writing about this topic in school. However, I think it is a legitimate question to consider, especially at a college level where sexual intercourse is a natural human thing to do. I am not promoting pre marital sex in any way, but the question that something immoral to do before marriage could actually be good for a human intrigues me.

So what is it about sexual intercourse that could possibly make someone healthier? Does it make you feel more confident therefore making you feel better in general? Does it make you want to believe you are not sick so that you can have sex again? Does it make you feel closer and more in love with your partner so you are not lovesick?

I read a scientific article that talked about reasons that sex could promote happiness. One of those reasons that stood out to me the most was that sex helps cure the common cold. With the amount of coughing and sneezing going on in the classrooms lately it was something that I wanted to take a look at for myself.

I came across an observational study done by Dr. Charles Charnetski of Wilkes University that said he observed 111 undergraduate students whom ranged from age 16-23. In this study he asked these students how often they were engaging in sexual activity. He also had the levels of immunoglobulin, IgA, measured in the saliva of the volunteers. This helped to measure the immune systems of the people partaking in the study. The study concluded that having sex once or twice a week caused an increase in IgA in the body by 30%. However, if students were frequently having sex with a partner, their levels of IgA decreased which could have been because of outside factors dealing with the quality of their relationship such as stress or anxiety about the relationship itself. These could have possibly been some confounding variables in the study (BBC News…Cure).

If you are thinking about it rationally the quality of the intercourse could also be a confounder. It would be interesting to ask if the length of the intercourse effected the rate of IgA in the body as well. Other factors of the study to consider whether or not it was accurate would be that the illness that was thought to have been cured by sex may have been a very minor cold, whereas a more severe cold may taken a bit more care than sexual activity to go away.

So, should a rational person engage in sexual intercourse once or twice in a week to try and stay healthy when the cold is on the move? I cannot see why it would necessarily be a terrible thing, but then again morally it could be an issue. Having sex that frequently perhaps with different people could eventually lower self esteem causing a reverse effect where the occasional sex actually makes you unhealthy by causing some depression in the brain due to the lack of self respect. However, if you can live with an occasional hookup there is some scientific evidence that shows you may escape the common cold from doing so.


“BBC News | Health | Sex: The Cold Cure.” BBC News. BBC, 14 Apr. 1999. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.



16 Reasons You Should Be Having More Sex, According to Science

Vitamins: Fact or Fiction

While sitting at my desk I watched my roommate struggle to take vitamins out of a bottle. I asked him why he was taking them. He said it was because he needed to fill the dietary gaps in his diet. This made me wonder whether or not we reaped the benefits of dietary supplements. When looking into this I found a study done by Harvard that discussed the reality of whether vitamin supplements were good or bad for you.

In these studies, the Null Hypothesis would be that dietary supplements do nothing, whereas the Alternative Hypothesis would be that Vitamins have a positive impact on personal health. Although certain health and wellness magazines swear by vitamins and endorse them as being a daily essential, the article explains that the studies used to justify their claims are faulty. These studies are not experimental, rather observational. This means that they did not test the vitamin against a placebo control group, so there is no real evidence that the supplement does any good at all. Certain vitamins that were observed and were thought to have been beneficial to those with heart conditions actually went on to cause bleeding strokes. In fact, most vitamin supplements are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

I also found an article on WebMD that discussed the findings in three separate studies that were conducted to assess the validity of vitamin supplements. After comparing the results from the placebo administered and the vitamin, they found that there was little to no health benefit from consuming the dietary supplement. From this we can assume that we are agreeing with the Null Hypothesis that the dietary supplements do not have an effect on personal health. Does this mean that Vitamins are bad for us? No absolutely not. However, this does tell us that we shouldn’t merely replace a major portion of our diet with a vitamin.





Picture Source:


is it easier for baby to learn new language


With the well-development of our society, people prefer to travel all around the world, and begin their career not only in their own country, but also overseas. However, according to BBC, there are 7000 different languages in the world, and, even only for main languages, there are still ten languages need to be apprehended. When we want to live or start business in other countries, language is first thing need to be considered. But some scientists discover an interesting phenomenon that it seems like new language is easier for baby to pick up than adult. Studying this strange question, scientists propose some researches and experimental data to explain. Back to class material, there are three relationships of this topic. The direct causality is that easier for younger age baby to learn language, the reverse causality is that language is easier for younger age baby, and third variable is organization of brain related to both of them.

According to Sharon Perkins , studioD’s study  ( link at the end of blog ), young people are hard wired to learn new language in the first several years of life. When they born, if they are frequently taught two languages, baby will memory and acquire these languages unconsciously ( native language ). On the contrary, adult and older children consciously study language. Dr. Paul Thompson at UCLA states that people’s center of brains whose age is above 11 will stop grow. Comparing to infants, adults’ unconscious language learning skills won’t growth rapidly anymore. If adults want to acquire new language, they only can depend on their studying skills to memory grammar and pronunciation rather than deep motor area of the brains.


In addition, the definitions of comprehend language are different. I mean only have ability to speak new language can be known as comprehension, can both write and speak new language also make sense, and understanding new language like linguists is another view of comprehension. Baby don’t need to learn some confusing grammars or abstract meanings of sentences like adult, and they just need to speak some simple sentences and grammars. Obviously, the language learned by adult and baby have different level, and it’s acceptable that adult normally pay more time and energy to acquire new language. In other perspective, there are much more time available for baby to be familiar with their native language. In general, adults are required to work in most of times, and they can’t approach new language they learned during working. Fortunately, language can be studied and be exposed to baby all day, and their whole time are filled with locale. With the time goes by, baby can acquire second language better than adult.

What’s more, language is different from other subjects, because learner can’t discover some new things during learning like math. While mathematician try to explore new knowledge, they don’t need to keep communicating with others all the time. They are supposed to self-work, and do calculation on computer. Compared to math subject, the most effective way to improve language skill is communicating with native speaker. One thing should be noticed that baby don’t fear to make mistakes or mispronounce word when they are communicating. It’s not hard to hypothesis that if an adult often pronounces words wrong, he will be shy and he will be afraid of communicating with others in the future. According to a article ( link at the end ), positive feedback is extremely influential for people’s confidence and passion. If negative feedback gotten by adult during his daily communication in most time, his heart will unconsciously refuse this language, even give up studying. Nevertheless, I believe no one will mock baby for his language mistakes. Conversely, baby’s parents would like to encourage his baby for tiny achievement. Scientists holds the view that positive feedback can stimulate baby’s learning desire dramatically, and that’s why baby can easier grasp new language.c2

In conclusion, baby under 11 years old do have genetic superiority than adult. When adults plan to learn new language, their brain are much more complex than baby. For example, adult try to combine his native language to new language unconscious, but, in fact, this action will make brain more confusing and create negative impact on learning new language. In other perspective, excluding genetic influence, adult have some positive prerequisites than baby. From now on, there are still have no enough evidence to proof baby in studying language field is more clever than adults. If we hypothesis that providing adult same learning situation to baby, it’s hard to predict who can comprehend a new language more rapid and easier.

Work cited

  1. http://oureverydaylife.com/easier-child-learn-new-language-adult-15590.html

2.   http://bookboonglobal.com/giving-positive-feedback-and-why-it-is-so-important/

3.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10315238/Are-children-really-better-at-foreign-language-learning.html

4.  http://blog.thelinguist.com/do-children-learn-languages-faster

5.  https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2015/12/adults-kids-learn-languages/

6.  http://www.ef.com/blog/corporate/is-it-really-easier-to-learn-a-language-as-a-child-2/

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