Author Archives: Amanda Grace Thieu

Wet hair and Colds

All of my posts seem to be from my childhood, but when I was younger I was never allowed to go outside in the cold when my hair was wet. My parents told me that I was going to be sick if I do. One time in high school I didn’t bring an umbrella to school and it started to pour. I was convinced that I was going to get sick until one of my friends said that it’s myth that wet hair outside in the cold will get me sick.

I don’t know who to believe, my parents or my friends so I decided to do some research about it.
This article I found by Sarah Klein of the Huffington Post explores the question of getting sick by being outdoors with wet hair. She states the results as you can only contract a cold by being infected by the virus. There’s no way for you to get sick with wet hair. Klein mentions a quote from Dr. Pritish Tosh that you can only be sick if you have the virus. But according to Klein, she recommends that you don’t go out in extremely cold weather due to hypothermia etc.
According to an article by Claudia Hammond from BBC,  she says there have been studies set in Germany and Argentina that have found higher rates of sickness in the winter. But then also brings up the point of a third confounding variable that affects the sickness in winter. According to Hammond, she said that when it’s raining or snowing many people are indoors more often and they contact the germs from being so close to other people. She also brings up a study lead by Ron Eccles from the Common Cold Centre in the United Kingdom, he was curious if the low temperatures and nasty weather conditions increase the chances of the virus. The experimental study conducted included the motions of participants to soak their feet in below freezing water for some time. While another group (independent variable) sat a bowl with nothing in while still having their socks and shoes on. The results were no effect from either of the groups initially but a few days later have discovered that the people who had their bare feet exposed were more likely to contract a cold than the other group.

The results are interesting, although the study done by Ron Eccles doesn’t really affect the wet hair of a person but their feet. Maybe their feet contracts sickness more for some reason.


Twitter Obsessed

Every night I find myself in bed for longer than I should be due to my phone being right beside me. I am guilty of staying on Twitter and Facebook at untimely hours of the night. It’s mindless scrolling for hours. Funny thing, though, when I was younger I vowed myself to never make a twitter. I was forced to make one for my high school in order to tweet about the class. Then I started getting my followers up and it was the start of my addiction.

My father has complained several times about my obsession with social media and my phone. He calls it an addiction, I wonder what makes them so addictive and how addictive are they?

Upon my research about my obsession, I found multiple studies trying to crack the code of the addiction. According to this article, their studies found that Twitter can be as addictive as cigarettes and alcohol. Which sounds extremely alarming. We think of twitter as just a social media platform, not something as harmful as cigarettes or alcohol. The observational study led by Wilhelm Hofmann involved blackberries and 205 German city citizens. Their results are eventually going to be printed in the Psychological Science, therefore means they don’t suffer from the file drawer problem. This week long observational study consisted of the participants texting the researchers if they have urges to use social media. This article by James Meikle doesn’t describe the correlation between cigarettes and twitter to the fullest extent. Which makes me wonder if this experimental study suffers from the Texas Sharp Shooter problem. According to Meikle, the relationship between the results of twitter being more addictive is due to the low cost of the app compared to the expensive cost of alcohol and cigarettes. This study might have studied a wide amount of addictions and they just seem to have found a correlation with cigarettes and twitter. According to this Fox News article the total amount of responses they receive over a course of a week was 10,558 and of that total 7,827 experienced a desire to use social media.
There seems to be no mechanism right now to describe why twitter is more addictive than cigarettes apparently. There could be a lot of human error and lying participants that can affect the results of this study. I feel like anxiety plays a big part of my addiction to this app.

I personally think everything in moderation is the key to not over do or under do anything. So if you think you have a twitter obsession like me, maybe moderation will be your best best. But based on the study I don’t think there’s sufficient evidence that it’s as harmful as cigarettes and alcohol.

Little Green Monster Named Jealousy

Everybody gets jealous one time in their life or another. Jealousy is a natural reaction to something we feel uncomfortable with, usually if another person has something you want. We can’t help it. Is there a root cause of jealousy we don’t really understand? Why do we get jealous so often?
I wanted to do research to find the root cause of jealousy and how it affects the people around us. According to this study by the American Psychological Association, a professor at Penn State University named Jeffery G. Parker Ph.D. did a study that found a correlation between jealousy and aggression and low self-esteem. He found that it affects many adolescents as young as children in the 5th grade. Dr. Parker and a team did an observational study that involved 500 subjects aged from 5th -9th-grade students by sending out a questionnaire about hypothetical scenarios regarding jealousy in their friendships. The study found that the kids with a low self-esteem revealed they are more prone to have jealousy. Girls seem to experience jealousy more than boys do. The research showed that girls are more prone to jealousy is because girl are more emotional being naturally, and they have high expectations for relationships. If anything disturbs that expectation it’ll come out as aggression and jealousy. Yet this study only shows a certain age group, jealous can affect the relationships with your significant other.

According to one of the biggest studies by Chapman University discovered that men and women have contrasting experiences with jealousy. Their experimental study poll found that heterosexual males are more prone to jealousy with cheating regarding their significant other. Agreeing with the first study done on children and friendships, this study’s results discovered that women are in fact more likely to be hurt by emotional cheating than the physical cheating.
According to Dr. Frederick, jealousy in adults can expose aggressive and violent acts.

According to these studies, it seems that jealousy can cause low-self esteem and aggression. It can also be reverse causation where low self-esteem can cause jealousy. Both of them are interchangeable. Although the second study from Chapman University, they polled over 64,000 adults which seem like a decent amount of data to have a better understanding of jealousy it’ll be interesting and more supporting if there were more studies on jealousy. There can be many other underlying factors of jealousy, like trust issues etc.

In conclusion, be confident with yourself! The right one will make you feel special where you don’t need to be jealous.
Here’s a cute little video of how to deal with jealousy.


Infected Double-Dipping

  Let’s say that you’re at a social gathering and they have a delicious plate of snacks with a variety of dipping sauces. I have the pressure to scoop the perfect amount of dipping sauce in order to savor the condiments flavor for my next several bites. I was taught that it’s common courtesy to not double dip in a public setting. Usually when I’m with my friends though that rule flies out the window. Do we actually contaminate the sauce if we double dip and how severe is it?

According to this research done by the Dept. of Food Science & Human Nutrition at Clemson University, to test the theory of contamination of the dipping sauce and whether or not we transfer germs the researchers re-enacted the act of double dipping, using a Wheat Thin cracker and sterile water. Their experimental study included bitten(independent variable) and not bitten(controlled) pieces of Wheat Thins and immediately after dipped their chip into the sterile water. Their dependent variable is the germ results on the petri dish. Their results weren’t surprising and we have to reject the null hypothesis that double dipping does nothing to the defilement of the dipping sauce. As we bite into a food item there are bits of germ particles remaining where the bite is.
According to this article by Michelle Jarvie that bases off of the research study above, the results of that study discovered a count of over 10,000 bacteria to be transferred to the dip between three to six times of double dipping.
The famous show Mythbusters did a experimental study you on this topic as well and found different results. According to the experimenters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman the results weren’t as drastic as the results in the previous study discussed above. By using a similar method with a sterilized chip and sauce that resembles salsa their results showed that double-dipping only increases the bacteria count slightly in the dipping sauce. Apparently the sauce already comprises of bacteria adding a few more wouldn’t be detrimental to your health.

It’s interesting that two different studies showed different results. There could have been human error, chance, or a different variable that may have affected the results of the studies.
The simple task you can do if you want to avoid any kind of germs revolving around double dipping, simply have your own sauce or just don’t eat it at all.

Here’s( a video of the myth busters doing the double dipping experiment:

Ramen For the Soul

Stereotypically, college students are trying to balance school work and a social life while also trying to maintain a functioning sleep schedule and a decent diet. Ramen noodles seem to be essential to the college lifestyle due to the easy accessibility, cheap cost, and convenience to make a meal in under 5 minutes. Before I came to college my parents bought me an entire package of cup noodles to bring to campus. My mom cautiously warned me that I shouldn’t eat them too often due to the negative impact of my health. I couldn’t quite understand what she meant by that. Even though ramen noodles are the miracle food for college students can it lead to any health risks if we continue to have this in our diets? I know that ramen noodles aren’t the healthiest or organic food to have for a meal, but how detrimental can it be?

Upon my mom’s warning, I decided to look up what ramen noodles consists of and the health risks that follow. Avery Stone for the Huffington Post shares this video on her article to inform her readers about how ramen noodles are made. She makes a disclaimer that the Sun Noodles company produces and manufactures fresh noodles rather than the dry noodles you can buy in the grocery store. Although they’re different, the ingredients are pretty much the same, salt, water and the dough. Upon my research, I came across this article that uncovers a health phenomena that arose while studying the consumption of ramen noodles and health risks like. There haven’t been a wide variety of studies done on the correlation of the noodles to health. But according to Dr. Hyun Joon Shin who studied this association, he discovered that people of South Korea who ate any variation of ramen noodles more often suffered from metabolic syndrome. The epidemic was that the citizens were getting noticeably fatter and the heart disease rate was higher than ever.
The observational experiment Dr. Shin conducted with data from over 10,000 South Korean adults lead to that discovery. Also according to the study women who eat ramen noodles suffered the most from metabolic syndrome. But interesting association they discovered is even the women who have poor diets overall without instant noodles are less likely to be impacted by metabolic syndrome.

Another article I found described a study on the deconstruction of ramen noodles compared to homemade noodles, (including other food items). The study was conducted by Stefani Bardin(teacher at The New School) and Dr. Braden Kuo. They gave their subjects three unhealthy food items one day and three healthier options on another to see how they would decompose in the stomach. The researchers used a video recording capsule which the subjects will swallow to see what happens to the food in their stomachs. After recovering the video many people said it grossed them out and now they’re going to try and avoid eating ramen noodles. This Ted Talk shows a lot about the study. According to this article, it says that Ramen noodles contain a lot of sodium and transfer which can lead to type 2 diabetes etc.

Overall, the study was done in South Korea only shows a certain demographic. I wonder if the study was done to Americans in a different age group etc. Even though the studies found an association to different health problems a lot of those problems could be due to chance, and third confounding variables like genetic issues etc. If you’re a college student or any person who enjoys a cup of noodles here and there take this information with what you will.


Procrastination is a No No. But I’m Guilty.

Procrastination is my worst enemy. I’ve always been a victim of procrastination. Starting my assignments the night before it’s due is my speciality. It’s an extremely terrible tactic to get work done, but unfortunately it’s the only method I’m able to use to get my work finished in full swing. Sometimes I’ll even get a lucky hit and it’ll turn out half decent. Procrastination, anxiety, and distractions go hand in hand. For me, I get anxiety first looking at all the assignments I have to complete, then I start getting distracted, then procrastination hits. Look, it’s 1:40 in the morning and I’m writing a blog on procrastination.

              According to Amy Spencer, she writes that we can blame biology for our procrastination. Your limbic system coexists and sometimes have conflict with your prefrontal cortex when trying to focus on a certain task or assignment. She describes that the limbic system always kicks in, where as the prefrontal cortex needs to be exercised and told to work, to actually start working. When you get lazy the limbic system overrides your determination and then you start getting distracted and boom! procrastination happens.
Procrastination is hard to overcome. Especially if you have disorder keeping you from focusing. This may cause people to take medication like Adderall to keep a person focused. Many college kids now a days take and sometimes abuse medication from procrastinating and actually getting their work done. That’s extremely risky. Are there other ways to keep people from procrastinating? Sure time management can help, but if you’re unorganized like me, it’s going to be extremely difficult to break a long habit that’s been ingrained into your brain for so long. Especially in college. Sometimes the stress pushes me to do the work I get assigned or else I would forget or get lazy to do it earlier.

According to Tim Urban, there’s an interesting concept that there are fake procrastinators and real procrastinators. A person to claims to be a procrastinator loves to give the real procrastinator a hard time for being a procrastinator. He also struggled with the college freedom and predetermined deadlines. If there’s a possible gap to push your work till, us real procrastinators will do it and stress ourselves out. Someone help us real procrastinators!

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Girl… your makeup is on fleek.

Personally, I love makeup. Whenever I spot the makeup section at the drug store, or “coincidentally” happen to come across Sephora or MAC in the mall I spent at least 5 hours(exaggeration) in there walking the aisles back and fourth. Most of the time I walk out of the store empty handed with tester marks on my hand and a sad face because everything I want to purchase is out of my budget range(broke college student). Whenever I’m doing a full face of makeup for the night on the town, I’ve always wondered what ingredients are infused in these beautiful long lasting products. Are they even good for my skin? What goes into making these products etc. Are there benefits to wearing makeup?

So I did a little research, according to Rebecca Adams of the Huffington post, she believes that makeup is detrimental to us. She lists many reasons how and why these products are bad for you here. Many makeup products use harsh chemicals that can harm our skin and that are too unnatural for humans to use. She believes that the the products are falsely advertised when they claim that their product is natural or anything deriving from nature. She makes the argument that earthy products will be better for you in the long run. Products which contain chemicals like siloxanes which can affect your liver and hormones found in many makeup products.

Well lets look at it through a personal eye. Makeup benefits the wearer, it can give them more confidence as person, it extenuates their natural features, and makes people feel beautiful in their own skin. Not only does makeup settle internal struggles, it can help with your skin. According to Alison on by wearing foundation, it gives your skin a layer to protect it from harm like uv rays because most of the foundations or similar skin perfecting products sold, it contains some SPF in it. (Very low amounts usually)

Wearing and putting on makeup in a fun task. You can be different personalities by changing the lip color, added a smokier eyeshadow, or even erasing your brows. There are endless possibilities with makeup and playing with makeup, it’s like your face is a blank canvas and you’re creating a new masterpiece every single day.

I love watching makeup tutorials, I thought I was going to become a professional makeup artist at some point of my life so I practiced and practiced. Makeup makes me extremely happy and it should be fun for everybody.

Favorite youtube makeup tutorial right now: here

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Cuffing Season Blues?

                Since we are now transition into Autumn, the temporary bae(a person who is not your official significant other but you have interest in them) search is making its way to the surface. There seems to be an unspoken tradition amongst the millennials where there’s a craving for a partner to bear the frigate weather conditions coming our way. This day in age, the young people consider this time period as the cuffing season. Logic is, why buy a sweater for sweater weather when you can fine someone to make you warm for the same affect, at no cost.
Recently it seems like lovebirds are inhabiting my Facebook news feed. More and more of my friends are declaring and publicizing their new relationships for their friends and families to see. With the increase of love connections occurring, the pessimistic singleton statuses are also arising. There seems to be a correlation between the change in seasons and sudden romance occurring in the younger age group. Is it that easy for teenagers to fall in love? Or is the weather actually affecting the way teenagers think and act towards falling in love? Can we differentiate from love and lust?

                There seems to be such a high demand for a relationship during the winter, but will getting a significant other make the pessimistic singleton statuses go away? People generally seem to be more upset or depressed as the seasons change from warm and sunny, to cold and dark. According to Dr. Maryanne Fisher from Psychology Today, in the winter, it’s hard to attract people because a lot of people are covered up and tend to act dull or mundane due to the decrease in temperature. People tend to be more depressed in the winter because the lack of sunlight which can also be the cause of lack of Dopamine. She states that Dopamine, a chemical responsible for the affects of your emotions and afflictions is the main cause of falling in love. This chemical makes you feel jubilant and joyful. It’s usually released when encountering a loved one. You also have the same release when doing or experiencing things that make you happy. To make up for the lack of Dopamine in the winter, some people try to find the source of happiness through love and companionship.

I’m here to tell you that there’s no pressure for getting into a relationship. Especially so fast in college, enjoy your time being young and whenever the right person and right time comes then you shall let your Dopamine release for that person. Until that time, occupy yourself with a good book, hanging out with friends, etc whatever makes you happy during this time of year.

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I used to be a Science person.

My name is Amanda Thieu and I’m from Philadelphia, PA. Yes, I’m actually from Philadelphia. Not bucks county or delco, or mainline etc. When I was younger I used to be a science person. I loved learning about volcanos and constructing one like shown here. I’ve always been a very textile person. Doing experiments helped me learned the material presented to me. I am not a science major because as I got older and entered more advanced science courses, I realized that I struggled grasping the concepts taught in class. I was taught such a uniform science structure. I found all of the topics were mundane. I never understood or remembered the formulas for chemistry or physics. My high school didn’t have the strongest science teachers therefore I feel like I’m lacking in the science department. I just don’t click with science too much. English and the arts are my strong suit. Throughout high school, I’ve taken every form of science to offer and I felt robbed that I didn’t learn much science.

Why did I take this course? I was originally signed up for another science course that I thought I was going to enjoy. During the summer I got an email saying that the class was dropped due to the instructor being unable to teach it. Last minute I wanted to fulfill another science course before the semester started. When I was at NSO, I distinctly remember telling my advisor at the time that I refuse to take any science course that is related to chemistry, engineering, physics, environmental science etc.  I wanted to do something that had to do with society etc. When I saw the title of he course that said “Certainty and Controversy” I was intrigued because I like debating controversial topics. I assumed that it was going to include topics like evolution and topics related to that. I didn’t know what I was going to expect in this class but I’m glad now that I’m apart of SC 200 because this has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I read through the topics that we will be discussing in class and that’s everything I’ve always wondered about the world.

Here is some of my photography:
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