Author Archives: bra5083

Growing up as a child, I don’t think I ever met someone that didn’t either like making cookies with their mom or simply eating the dough while she was making it. You try to sneak your hand into the bowl without your mom noticing, but ultimately I would get the slap on the hand with the spoon. My mom did her best to convince me that eating raw cookie dough was going to make me sick, and even one time like a week after eating it I got a small stomach ache and my mom tried to convince me that this was because of the dough. And she actually had me worried for a little to the point where I stopped eating it for a while, but that didn’t happen for long. This posed a bigger question of whether its proven that eating raw cookie dough can lead to sickness. The null hypothesis in this case would be consuming raw cookie dough doesn’t lead to sickness, while the alternative hypothesis is going to be consuming raw cookie dough does lead to sickness. I really was interested in seeing if there was a direct correlation between the two, and decided to do some research.

So the common thought is that the reason that people might be able to get sick from consuming raw cookie dough is just from the eggs, but little do people know that flour can be the cause of some types of diseases. When flour is uncooked, it contains bacteria that can be connected to diseases in humans. Research has been done that shows that there seems to be a trace of E. coli that seems to go undetected for most people. Pretty recently Betty Crocker had a recall on some of their products because test should that there were traces of E. coli. So imagine if the product wasn’t caught and a large amount got onto the market, millions of people could have been effect by this. But this isn’t the only company that seemed to run into a problem with their flour products, General Mills had to recall roughly 10 million pounds of flour that was sold under there company. According to an article published by the New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration released a statement saying 38 people located in 20 states have been affected by bacteria that is said to have E. coli in it (Stats Here). Roughly a fourth of them have had to be issued into the hospital into further treatment. This just goes to prove that even the smaller things that you don’t think necessarily will make you sick, still have a chance, increasing your chance of getting sick from uncooked food.


Other than flour that seems to now be causing a lot of concern, people still have to be on the lookout with the concerns of eating raw eggs, as it has a rich history of sometimes being contaminated with salmonella. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Definition Here), Salmonella is known as a group of bacteria, and is said to be one of the most common reasons for food poisoning. But in addition there seems to be a lot of deadly effects of consuming products that contain salmonella, for example there are about 400 people that die each year because of it. Over the last 5 years, there have been multiple cases where there has been salmonella recorded in eggs, where people were getting sued and doing nationwide recalls on the eggs because they are too dangerous to consume. When your making homemade cookies at home, every time you go to take a bite of the raw dough you are increasing your chance of getting salmonella. Who knows maybe the companies did catch it initially so there could be one bad egg in your carton, which could ultimately have its negative effects.


ucm508506Back in 2010, the New York Times (Story Found Here) released an article about research regarding the safety of eggs in different places throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Back in 1992 years ago when they did the initial test, results came back that about 26 percent of the hens had some type of contamination, but when they went back about 18 years later, the number dropped to a staggering 1 percent. They are clearly taking the measures of eliminating all the bad eggs that are being brought in, ultimately increasing the safety for the people that want to continue to eat raw cookie dough. But that doesn’t still make it completely safe though because not every s
ystem is safe and there could be a mishap where someone gets a bad egg.


Ultimately, as the years have passed on the F.D.A has done a lot more to protect the safety of the people in so many ways. The safety of eggs has always been a big issue that has been improved upon, but still doesn’t make it completely problem free. Not only eggs, but people also need to be educated about the dangers of flour and the potential bacteria that is associated with it. Eating raw cookie dough although is very enjoyable, can be a dangerous thing that has proven in the past to be actually deadly. With the research done and the information that has been gathered, I think it is safe to accept the alternative hypothesis, that there is a danger associated with consuming raw cookie dough.

The four years that a person spends in high school might be the most important in regards to gaining some self-confidence. You are constantly going through the phase of self judgement, hoping to make yourself look the best while avoiding people constantly judging you. Something that seems to cause the most psychological problem for any teenager is the dealing with the effects of acne. Sometimes it gets to the point where you feel like you can’t control of it, making it feel like you have lost all hope. You start to think that people are judging you and become self-conscious. All of this starts to build up on top of each other and it starts affecting you as a person in so many ways. So is there actually any psychological effects that come along with acne.


The development of acne on the body and especially on the face of a teenager is going to negatively affect them in so many ways. Just simply going in public is hard for one that is self-conscious about their looks and fearing that they are going to be constantly judged and criticized. Everything begins to pile on top of each other, they begin to change how they look because they start to lose confidence. Someone who didn’t have long hair before might let it grow out a little because they want to cover up there face. In addition, people begin to avoid social situations where there are going to be a lot of people in one place. Who knows why, but teenagers have a tendency to overact and cause big scenes about the smallest things ever. They feel the need to prove to everyone else that they are better than everyone else and they can say what they want. For the kid who is dealing with the problem of not being comfortable with themselves, this can be the start of things to go downhill for them. You hear on the news about the sad stories of kids getting bullied to the point where they are committing suicide, with a lot of the times solely based on criticism that they are getting from other people.


psych1 As teenagers once you feel the effects of the criticism from people, this is going to directly going to impact how you to in school, and ultimately affecting your future. If someone feels self-conscious about how they look because of their acne, they might see themselves not having the motivation of going to school. They don’t want to deal with what would happen during their day and they feel better staying home. Because of this they will begin to fall behind in their work and they can lead to them failing their classes. Once they have sunken this deep, they are going to have a difficult time digging themselves out and who knows this could have a significant impact on getting into college. Everything seems to be a mental game, all stemming from simple things like acne on the face. And teenagers aren’t the only ones that are being affected by things like this, adults who are still worried about their self-appearance, which could lead to them failing behind in their job, ultimately effecting their families if they get fired.


It’s simple things like this that you would never expect to have a correlation, but in reality if you think about it, it makes sense. People are always thinking of the best ways to improve their appearance and avoid criticism in anyway, and when there seems to be a bit of criticism it plays games with them in the head. What also was surprising being the fact that they had clinical groups that talk about the psychological problems related to acne(List of Groups Here). After all the readings about whether there is a connection between acne and psychological problems, it’s safe to say that there is a correlation between the two. So many people go through these problems because they are worried about their appearance, and everything eventually gets to their mind and becomes a bigger deal then it really should be.

Growing up as a child, everyone was constantly harassed by their parents, telling them to drink water all day with that being one of the ways that you’re going to stay healthy. Maybe it was them saying think about that soda you’re going to drink, or is it worth putting it down and possibly going with a heathier alternative, like a bottle of water. By medical organizations everywhere, it is recommended that you have a daily intake of 3.7 liters per day. Although that may seem like a very unreasonable task for one to handle, as long you can keep a water bottle next to you and are willing to refill it constantly throughout the day this is a simple task that can go a long way in keeping you healthy. In this world there are going to be people who don’t care to drink water because they don’t want to and then there are people who drink water constantly all day. This puts forward a very interesting topic, and that is whether drinking too much water can be possibly be dangerous for you. All throughout history there has only been positive ideas about drinking, but little did people know there could possibly be some negative effects as well.


When it comes to drinking water daily, it is widely agreed on that it is going to have more positive effects on your bodies functions rather than negative. But then that really interested me because if you take too much of anything or do too much of anything, there has to be some type of negative side effects. To ultimately understand what the real truth is, I really decided to dig deep to find the truth. Along with this I created a null hypothesis, that water has no negative effects on the body, and an alternative hypothesis, the water has negative effects on the body. There have been a lot of doctors recently that are trying to advise people of the dangers of excessively drinking beyond their bodies ability to control it. Another unfortunate that goes unnoticed and therefore people don’t become informed as people are dying because of the over consumption of water. They are dying of something called EAH, which is basically the over hydration of your body to the point where you have too many electrolytes in your body (Description Here). Even though this doesn’t seem possible, you are poisoning your body just like if you were consuming too much alcohol. This really surprised me when I first read about this because water always had a good reputation of only being good for you, but when you read that people are dying from over consumption of it, you start to get worried a little.images


But that doesn’t have to be the case because these deaths are so rare and really only happen to a select few of people.  Doctors say the people that are at high risk of EAH are over excessive athletes that sometimes push their bodies beyond their limits, and in the end they try to compensate for the water that they lost. The sodium that is already in your body can’t handle the larger amounts of water and parts of your body begin to fail.  For example, people who are marathon runners have a proven history of consuming more water than your average person. Everything with this is self-controlled, and you can take practical measures that are as simple as just drinking water while your thirsty, not just because you want to. You really need to be on the lookout for people who are competing in physically demanding challenges where its asking a lot from there body. When there done they are going to be asking for a lot of water, which is good but obviously in moderation.


After exploring how water can possibly be dangerous for the body, it’s fair to say that we can reject the null hypothesis of that there are no negative effects of water on the body. Previously you would assume that there would be no effects of water because it’s something so simple and possibly one of the healthiest things. Just when you think that it’s a topic that you can’t about or do research about, there is always going to be something that changes it or causes a topic of conversation.

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How heavy is your glass of water?

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If there is anything that can make people change emotionally really quick, it can be the seasons. Some people take a liking to the changing of colors when the fall comes around, while some get happy when the first sign of warmth hits in April. But for one season, it is lucky enough to have its own saying associated with it, winter. Do you have the winter blues? It’s a common thought the chill in the air and the decrease amount of daylight ultimately leads to people being depressed. Is this just a myth or is there actual statistical evidence to prove that people get more depressed? Some research might show some significant evidence but its whether its scientifically proven.


So what is the prime reason that people have severe mood changes when different seasons come along? Some people can be diagnosed with SAD, which is a disorder where your mood changes with the change of the seasons. Obviously not everyone is going to be a victim of this, only a small amount, but you might fall into the group if you are experiencing the follow symptoms (Insert link here). Personally I think a lot of people have this problem because it seems that the winter is the most disliked season out of all of them. Once the cold weather hits, people stay inside more than they should, which ultimately has its unhealthy affects. People love the comfort of their warm house and don’t see any benefit of stepping outside. What if there was one thing that could be causing the mood changes? A lot of people are pointing their hands toward sunlight to having the biggest impact, but then again that might not be the only reason that causes it. There are so many ways that people can avoid these problems, and they are all self-controlled. Something as simple as controlling your diet could go a long way in making you. You leave yourself inside all day and you will be tempted to eat bad food, but you want to make sure to maintain a balance diet. Whenever someone is consistently eating well, there mood and attitude about themselves will be much higher. Even a simple half hour work- out a couple times a week will go a long way in preventing any type of stress of depression. I can gauge from personal experience that after working out, no matter the summer I feel a lot better about myself, and that definitely can go along way when the winter rolls around.


Researchers have put in a lot of work to figure out what exactly is causing people to become more depressed during the winter, like what exactly is going on inside the body. All signs are pointing towards the disturbance of your sleep cycle, mainly because there is a lack of sunlight during the winter. The exact science of what is going on can be found here (Click Here to Visit Website).


It’s a common thought that winter, which collectively is the least liked season, has a direct correlation to people becoming more depressed. As sad it is to say, winter although doesn’t have the highest suicide rates, rather the summer and the spring. So obviously winter still causes a high rate, but it’s not having an overwhelming effect to lead to these certain results. But overall it has enough effect where it makes the mood of a lot of people worse than usual.


If we look at this world today, we can place your average runner into two basic categories. One you can consider a gym rat who spends their time running many miles on a treadmill. People who fall under this category say that its easier for them to run longer distances, maybe because they have something to distract them like a TV. On the other hand, there are people that are dedicated outdoor runners, who feel they face a bigger challenge when running on different surfaces. They enjoy the feeling that they have an end destination and that ultimately motivates them more to complete the task at hand. But then this poses a bigger, is there a benefit of running outside versus on a treadmill. This is the ultimate question that should be answered because it could possibly change how people exercise in the future.


When it comes to running on a treadmill, there are a lot of ways that it can be inaccurate when it comes to keeping track of your performance. Saying you get tired running, you can take a quick break, step off the treadmill, but the belt is going to continue to move as it thinks you’re still on. So when the end comes, it may say that you ran for two miles, but realistically you only ran for 1.90 miles because the amount of time you spent not running. In your head you feel better about your body, but in reality you haven’t performed up to the same expectations.  When your running outside on the road, if you stop running then your distance is not going to increase in anyway, so you are going to get an accurate depiction of your workout. For me personally when it comes to running, I prefer to run on a treadmill because I don’t like the conditions of outside. I know when you run outside your dealing with the elements of wind or the surface of the road, but I feethe-most-important-4l like I can get more done when running indoor. But it’s also been discovered that if you increase incline of the treadmill, it’s going to replicate outdoor conditions in regards to wind resistance.

A lot of people live in areas where they might not have access to hilly areas, which can be used to increase stamina and leg strength, so by working out on a treadmill, you are able to change the inclination of the workout as well as the speed. It allows for a lot of variety in the workout that couldn’t be possible if you were running outside. But then you can flip to the other side and say that you do have hilly areas to run, a treadmill doesn’t provide the leg work out that an outside run would. The belt of the treadmill does a lot of the work when it comes to picking your leg up after a stride, so it lightens the load on the hamstring. Running on an outside surface takes this away and puts all the emphasis on the hamstrings.

In addition, running on a treadmill can really be boring and make it harder to stay on for a longer period, compared running outside can be really enjoyable if you make use of the scenery around you. All of this is psychological more than anything, mostly because you know that there is an end goal and that gives you even more motivation to finish. You can be enjoying your run and taking in everything around you, and then time would pass much quicker than on a treadmill.


When it comes to personal opinion, although I enjoy running on a treadmill more than outside, but there seems to be more benefits of running outdoors. You get to deal with the outdoor elements that make it a little harder, but allows for a better workout. In addition, mentally it’s better for you because you aren’t always dreading when the end is going to come like on a treadmill, you know where your finish line is, making it that much better for yourself. In the big picture, switching over to outdoor running when the option is available seems to be very beneficial in many ways, and personally I might have to make a change to see if it helps.

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Treadmill vs. Running Outside: Which is Best for Runners?


Does 4-day school week increase student performance?


For every child that has gone to school k-12, we always dreaded the 5-day school week, felt like we were being held in a prison sentence and there was no possible way of getting out. I don’t know about anyone else but I personally can say I always wondered what it would be like to go to school for only 4 days a week. But if we decided to go with that, a more difficult question would have to be answered, do we want a Monday or Friday off? Do we want to get to the weekend quicker, or do we want to make it feel like a little longer? But are school districts  going to cut down on the amount of days without knowing there might be a possible benefit. If schools cut the week to four days, are the performance of the students going to go up also? This is a question that a lot of districts are starting to think about, and even experimenting with today.

More and more schools that seem to be on the western part of the United States are attempting to adopt the 4-day week and ultimately judging whether there any positives as a result. Some teachers have begun to speak about some of the benefits for them about only teaching for 4 days. It gives them more flexibility with their personal lives, but more important on the Fridays, they are able to design far better lesson plans then they could ever before. A lot of them found themselves working on the weekends to try to come up with plans for the following week, but could really never find the motivation to do so. With the possibility of not having classes on Friday, they could use this time to effective produce lesson plans, mostly because they are still in the working mindset from the prior days.


In addition, with the kids being in school per day much longer because of the shortened week, they are able to take advantage of being in each class a little longer. Have you ever been in a science class where you are working on a lab, but unfortunately you run out of time and don’t get to finish? This happens to everyone and by the time you return for the next class, there is a good chance that you have forgotten a portion of what you learned. Because of this now you have to go out of your way to relearn everything, when that extra time could be used towards learning a new topic. This slows down the education process and could possibly be one of the reasons for lower test scores. Teachers say that personally they have seen a lot of positives that have come from this, like attendance and students overall being more focused during the class. As of right now, roughly 40 percent of the states have at least one school that has adopted a 4 day. Researchers from Montana State University decided the study the results of changing to a 4-day week and see if there any impacts to the academic performance (See Study Results Here). The results of increased performance didn’t seem to surprise me because all the benefits that come along with changing to a 4-day week.

So once the performance goes up and stays consistent, you would think that it would stay like that? But despite this popular belief, that might not be the case as shown by results of schools in Montana, where initially there was as spike in grades but then a drop off.  Why might this be the case? Personally I believe this might be because kids are slowly getting used to the new system, and once it becomes second nature, it starts to feel like 5-day weeks. They maybe go back to their old habits, and aren’t as productive as they were once.

So in the big picture, is switching to a 4-day really worth the time? If you think about it, at first the initial results show a benefit, but over time they start to return to its old fashion. They need to decide if it’s really worth the transition over if it won’t have a positive impact in the long term.

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At some point during your youth years, every child faced the life of playing video games. But as time went on some kids drifted away while some continued to play. But have you ever been sitting there and have your mom yell at you, saying that you are not learning anything sitting there. But what if that wasn’t the case, rather kids who play video games may learn quicker than those who don’t at all. Well over the last couple years’ studies have started to be released trying to this point. The question arises on how kids who sit in front of a TV screen could possibly be smarter than those who don’t. This is when researchers from Brown University stepped in and performed a study on this topic.


Kids who seem to play a lot of video games seem to have a significant advantage over kids who don’t in certain categories. Playing online games gives these kids a greater ability to critically think in particular situations. This could partially due to a lot of these games make you get through different levels that have different strategies. With each one being different, it makes you think in so many ways. These researchers hand selected a few avid video gamers who played for a decent amount of time, and placed them against people who don’t see themselves as consistent players at all. From here these participants went through a serious of experiments and exercises where they are shown different patterns on a screen and had to spot different abnormalities.  Over time the researchers asked the participants to go through a series of rounds where they had to point out these abnormalities on the screen. Apparently if you move too fast through the levels, it can skew the data and in fact affect the knowledge that you are acquiring.



This Picture is what the subjects were tested with. They had to recognize the lines that don’t fit in as part of the test.

On the first round of the task, the consistent gamers showed a relatively big increase in their quickness  when looking for the abnormalities on the screen, but seemed to drop off when it came to the second round. On the other hand, the ones that are not considered gamers had the opposite production. The second task they had a greater improvement rather than the first one (Results to Study Here). The researchers remained confident with their results, disregarding the size of the group that they were studying.  To avoid any outliers that could possibly skew their data, they tend to stay away from individuals who have an extreme amount of playing experience.  To this day, researchers don’t quite know the specifics on why gamers have the ability to excel in some of these activities, but it is thought they have the ability to process visual task better because of certain mechanisms. It can clearly be appointed to that these avid gamers haven’t spent numerous hours over the last couple of years playing games, increasing their visual training over time.

Although that it isn’t scientifically proven that video games in fact makes you smarter, but evidence that has been released from this small sample study might help the start of a new thinking. The evidence that has been gathered certainly points the topic in the right direction, maybe changing the view that video games can have a positive impact on a child’s life. Maybe we can begin to transition from the stage of mom yelling out you, to mom encouraging you to play different types of games to increase intelligence.


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Every high schooler, college student and even sometimes your parents fall trap to the wonderful life of procrastination. Most see it as they have more important things to do at that given time, then when the assignment is due they see themselves stuck in a ditch with no way of getting out. I see my friends and I currently falling into this trap even knowing the resulting consequence. Talking to college students, many of them try to convince you that they work better when they get closer to a deadline, but with new studies being released, that might not be accurate. So the overwhelming question remains does procrastination ultimately lead to lower grades?

Warwick School of Business in England conducted a survey where they received results saying that every hour you procrastinate, your grade drops. In addition, students who happen to wait until the final moments of the assignment tend to do a couple percentage points worse than if they started earlier. Reading this result made me remember something that we mentioned in class one time. Andrew mentioned every time you check your phone in class, your grade is going to drop one letter. Both of these are connected because in both situations the student is getting distracted in some way. According to the Warwick School of Business in October 2015, they investigated roughly 500 first year students and 275 third year students as they came to the end of their term assignments. As you would assume since we are dealing with college students, the majority of them turned in the assignment within the last day that it was available. Studies concluded that close to 90 percent waited towards the end of the deadline- and that caused their grade to drop 5 percent (Study Here). While also looking at this study, we wanted to see if there was variance to the students who submitted assignment well before the last day. Where the biggest variance in the scores came from the students waited until the last seconds to submit their assignments. As you would conclude by yourself, these students received almost a half letter grade lower than their classmates. So do you think students are lazy or just don’t have the skills necessary to complete task in adequate amount of time?

To prove that this wasn’t just by chance and there seems to be a relationship, we look at another study. According to Hillary Green-Lerman, this study conducted was performed on few thousand students taking a college chemistry course. For the assignments that were giving, the had at least a week to work on it. Results showed that the majority of the students waited a couple days to start the assignment, like no more than three days before it was due (Green-Lerman 2015).




The conclusion that they came to was students who worked on the assignments the day before it was due, did worse than the rest of their fellow classmates, falling below the class average by a few points. On the other hand, students who spent time working on the assignment over a long time period scored a lot higher than the average of the class, roughly three points.



I feel like I can relate to this study because obviously I have fallen victim of procrastination throughout my academic career. It wasn’t of recently where I really felt the impact of waiting until the last second to complete a final project. Junior year for my final project of AP US History, I didn’t give myself adequate amount of time to complete a rough draft. As a result, my grade showed for it, having an impact on my final overall grade. From the experience, I managed my time better when it came to submitting my final, getting a much higher grade, something I think I deserved. Ultimately, this can be used at evidence to show the difference makes when allocating more time to a certain task, as it can make a dramatic difference in your grade. After comparing the studies done by the two independent sources, we can conclude that there seems to be a correlation between the amount of time that you procrastinate and the grade received on the assignment. Both studies show drops in grades when deciding to wait until the last minute to work on the assignment. So this could add another question, whether there is a way to motivate students into working on assignments over a long period of time, maybe go about the approach that Andrew does and offer extra credit if you affectively manage your time.

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Do certain Paralympic athletes have slight advantages?

My name is Brandon Armitt and I am very excited to see what this class has to offer in terms of expanding my ability to critically think. There are many reasons why a science major doesn’t fit me, including my lack of interest in connecting to a any subject in the science field. I find myself more interested in working in the business world, particularly working with money and professional sports team. But at the same time I found this class particularly interesting because it touches base on so many topics that are questioned, but sometimes not answered. It has taken me a long time realize how much of an impact that science has on our lives, one of the strong reasons for me taking this course. In every aspect of life, in some form or fashion science seems to have a connection to it.


I have recently read something interesting online discussing whether a Paralympic athlete wearing a left-leg prostheses are at slight disadvantage to athletes with a right-leg prosthesis while running around a track ( Is there a way to change this in order to create fair competition among all the athletes? There have been many different ways that have been discussed in order to this, but yet to be implemented.