Author Archives: Michael David Kresovich

School uniforms and academic performance

One thing that I have always wondered is that if school uniforms have an effect on academic performance. Throughout my life I have attending public school, which requires no uniform. I have also attended a private catholic school that had a very strict school dress code. I have been successful at both schools and I was curious to find a correlation between what you wear and your academic performance. The debate has been going on for a long time, many believe that school uniforms promote professionalism while others say no dress code is better because of the choices that one has. For this blog I will look at the benefits of both sides and then review a case study that will show the answer.

Private schools typically enforce a moderately specific dress code for their students to wear. According to an article in “Pacific Standard” magazine, school uniforms actually decrease gang violence. One very positive aspect of wearing school uniforms is that outsiders can be identified easier, because they can be spotted. One specific case study that I had examined for the purpose of this blog is that 160 schools were involved and it was found that females had the largest improvement of all in the study. One very important trait of wearing a school uniform is that it is believed to create a more serious atmosphere which can lead to to better motivation for one’s grades. Wearing dress code clothes also doesn’t allow for social divide, because everyone is wearing the same thing. Besides the money to invest in at the beginning, you do not have to buy many clothes if you have a dress code. Although I did find an interesting study where 90% of 7th and 8th graders didn’t like uniforms.

I also attended public school during a portion of my schooling. It was nice to not have to dress up and wear a uniform. One benefit of a public school is cost, it does not cost as much to attend a public school as it does to attend a private school. Diversity is also a great attribute of attending a public school, you have lots of people with different backgrounds attending it. The one thing that I personally enjoyed about public school was having the ability to wear whatever I wanted to wear. Public schools do not prepare you for the real work world though, in some instances. One can wear a suit and tie everyday and end up being  a construction worker on the opposing side of things. Public school creates a divide in social class because you can see who has the best clothing, that is probably the biggest downfall of  not having a dress code.

To find the final answer and know if school uniforms have an effect on one’s grades, I looked at various studies conducted. The biggest one that I found in terms of summarizing my findings came from the southwest United States. This particular study examined not just grade performance but behavior as well. The findings shocked me. I found that uniforms actually improved attendance indefinitely. The biggest conclusion that I found was that uniforms have a  positive influence on student attendance in secondary schools, meaning 6-12 grade. There was a raise in .3-.4% points. There was little evidence on grade achievement.

I think there is no definite answer to my proposed question of if school uniforms affect school grades. I think there are tons of 3rd variables that go into play with it. I think you can have a great public school with no dress code and compare it to a not so good private school. I think there are many factors in finding an answer. I believe that uniforms are important in terms of creating a serious atmosphere  but comfort is equally important too.


What is so great about Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Last Thursday on November 24th we celebrated Thanking, because that is what we do on the last Thursday of November. As I was sitting at the dinner table with my meal in front of me, I noticed the pile of Turkey in front of me. I have always wondered what the big deal was with turkey during Thanksgiving, I wanted to find out more about it. I enjoy eating turkey very much so on Thanksgiving day, so does the rest of the United States. In fact 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. So this blog post will attack why we choose to eat this special kind of bird on this special day as well as some information to go along with it.

            As I decided to attack this turkey research, I found out there is more than one type of turkey that people consume on Thanksgiving day. The most popular turkey is a frozen turkey. But do not get discouraged by the name “frozen”. Turkeys that are chilled below 0* Fahrenheit must have the frozen label on the package. The biggest benefit of a frozen turkey is that it can be frozen and kept in one’s freezer for months before the big day when it is needed. Frozen turkeys can sometimes be fresher than “fresh turkeys” because fresh turkeys often sit around I the store for days and they are not frozen. Now on to fresh turkeys. For a turkey to be labeled fresh, it must never have been chilled below 26* Fahrenheit. Interestingly enough, a frozen turkey freezes at 26* Fahrenheit, not 32*Fahrenheit. The next type of turkey is the free range turkey, which means that the turkey is permitted to range over common ground for minutes in a day. What caught my attention was that not every turkey has to go outside to be considered a free range turkey, they are grouped by the flock. The danger to a free range turkey is the disease and insects that it can bring back into the coop.  All these distinct turkey types are intriguing but why do we eat turkeys on Thanksgiving though?

The next question that I was pondering and decided to research was the reason for consuming turkey on the holiday. I found various articles and studies describing many different scenarios about the reasoning behind it. It all started with the first Thanksgiving. Beef and some unknown fowl was consumed by the pilgrims. A famous pilgrim by the name of Edward Winslow wrote about hunting turkeys prior to that day. One other famous idea as to why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving comes from Queen Elizabeth eating goose and inspiring pilgrims to roast a turkey.  Believe it or not, Benjamin Franklin was a major advocate of turkeys; he even tried changing the nations national bird from an eagle to a turkey. The most logical reason that I coincided during this research is that the turkey is a native of North America, and that is why the real we consume it on Thanksgiving.

As I was going shopping over break I noticed that the price of a turkey actually decreases. It does not increase, which shocked me greatly. Was it due to Black Friday ? Turkeys are discounted at several stores during the Thanksgiving time, this is due to inflation. In fact in November of 2014 there were more sales than in March of 2014. One would think that there would be a rise in price because the demand is so high, but that is not the case at all. When the prices drop, both the demand and the supply will go up.

After doing all of this research I learned many fascinating things about America’s favorite bird. The conclusion that I have come to during all of this is that the turkey is very essential to a thanksgiving meal and we may never actually know where the turkey idea came from on Thanksgiving.



Do shoe insoles work?

I have worked at a sports store selling shoes for little over 2 years now. One thing that we are encouraged to push to our customers is shoe insoles. We make it a priority to put the customer who is buying shoes in one of the insoles to feel the difference in comfort. I have wondered if insoles truly do work for people. I have never worn insoles. There are typically two groups of people that wear insoles ; athletes and older people. The athletes wear the insoles for support,comfort,and durability and while the older group of people wear them for support, they have different functions for many different people. This blog post will attempt to answer the question of if shoe insoles really work or if there are numbers supporting insoles.

Types of insoles
To start off, there are two different types of insoles that someone can wear. The two types are insoles and orthoses. Insoles are made my the thousands and made for all types of peoples’ feet. They are often used for athletes, such as runners or football players. They are made for comfort as well as support like I stated previously. There are two types of orthoses. The first is functional, which works on your structure of your foot and keeps it aligned. Accommodative orthoses are made just to cushion ones foot and not worry about the alignment of the foot. throughout studying insoles and various case studies, I came to the conclusion that scientific data does not throughly support if the insole will work or not, it is mostly dependent on the person that is wearing the insole. I did find a specific case study that was particularly interesting.

Case Study
The case study that I examined for the purpose of this blog post actually was not what I expected at all. The case study was an anecdotal case study that examined how using less of an insole and less of a shoe can actually raise your heel, so you are not flat footed. Just over the course of two years, it is proven in this case study that this persons foot was lifted. This not only lifted the heal , but it also aligned the foot too. Like I mentioned before, this was very eye opening for me. I expected it to be the opposite way. This case study was so important because it could help out many runners in what they are doing. The foot that was used saw dramatic changes over time, and at the end of the day her foot practically became healthier, all because she did not use an insole.

Uses of insoles
I never have once used an insole. The case study that I found kind of goes against what I am trying to do, but it shows that not all insoles are the best possible solution for everyone. It is very dependent on the foot of whoever is using it. Athletes use insoles for explosion and command of their feet, in many sports insoles are encouraged if you do not want to get blisters. Older people typically use orthoses because they truly realign their feet and keep them healthy.

I would like to run my own experiment with insoles to see if my arch support increases and the comfort of my shoes changes drastically. In my personal opinion it would be smart to try the insoles out for a short period of time and then stop. It would be logical to do that.



Do Customized or Advanced Insoles Really Work?

Why do leaves change colors?


As I was walking to class I noticed the leaves have officially changed their colors, and it is fall officially. Fall is such a beautiful time of the year, especially here in State College. The fall is my favorite season of them all, mostly because of thanksgiving and football. After looking at the leaves that have changed colors and fell form the trees, it made me wonder what made them do that exactly. I know that they are dying, but how, is the question. After conducting some research about the topic, I figured out why they change colors exactly. It is  caused by something that is called Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what gives the leaves that green color that we all know.


The breakdown of this chlorine pigment , Chlorophyll, is how leaves change colors and die off. The change in temperature as well as the lack of sunlight or decrease. Due to this change, it allows red pigments and purplish pigments shine through. That is why we see alternate colors during the fall. Another change in leave characteristic that we can see change in the fall is that there is a  cell attached to the tree at a center of the leaf. The leaf then begins to tear away the tissue that supports the leaf, while this is happening the leaf falls off of the tree, but it does leave a scar on the tree itself. Not all trees lose their leaves though, the needle- trees stay green all year around.

Leaves fall, in the fall. The main reason that leaves fall off of trees is that the vegetation of trees would freeze if they did not, if this did not happen they wold become dead. Trees also “close of veins” that carry water and nutrients to the new cells ; preserving the trees.


Chlorophyll cannot occur without the incredible process that we know so well, which is photosynthesis.  I am sure that we all know what photosynthesis is, but this quick refresher will help  especially with understanding the relationship between photosynthesis and chlorophyll. Trees take water from the ground through its’ roots, while absorbing carbon dioxide. The trees give off oxygen, which is vitally important to us as humans. After water and Carbon dioxide is transformed into oxygen and glucose, glucose contributes to the energy of the trees. Chlorophyll  makes photosynthesis occur, which gives it the green color.


So the next time you are walking across to campus to your next class and see the leaves laying on the ground, you will know why the fall and change their color. It is because of the chlorine pigment, Chlorophyll. Due to the changes of temperature in the fall as well as decrease in sunlight the leaves lose pigment, and they fell off the tree.


Home Field Advantage in Sports


After the second consecutive whiteout game at Penn State, many things pondered in my mind. Penn State has not lost a football game at home this season to this point. I know that they have been riding a wave of momentum since upsetting the Buckeyes, but I am wondering if home field advantage in sports is real and affects the opposing team.

Penn State

As I am watching the game last night between Iowa and Penn State, It is third down. The crowd is pumping extreme levels of volume into Iowa’s offense. In fact, James Franklin, Head coach of the Nittany lions wanted this whiteout to take place. To start this blog post off, I am going to define exactly what home field advantage is. In sports, the home team hosts the opposing team. There is a “rumor” that the home team has an advantage because they are playing where they are comfortable. Many aspects go into Home field advantage, testosterone is probably the biggest.

The facts
Home field advantage is present in all sports, whether the sport is played indoors out outdoors. For the purpose of this blog post, I looked at America’s three most popular professional sports and examined their home field advantage statistics. The first is the NBA. In the NBA it is actually the highest supporter of the home field advantage belief. I found that in the NBA, teams are 60.5 % more likely to win at home than on the road. Currently in the NBA, the Warriors have the best chance to win at home. The next is the MLB. In the MLB you are more likely to win 53.9% of the time, for example the Pirates. They have created a term called “Buctober” when the Pirates play at home, they are an entirely different team. In college football home field advantage matters, and we all know this from Penn State. The whiteout is everything.


Here at Penn State, we know what it means to host a football game. The tailgating, the student section, the blue band, and of course the greatest atmosphere in college football.
The referees are also skewed to the home team during a game. A study that I examined for this issue, looked at soccer in England and showed the relationship with home field calls and refs. The results were as I expected, it showed that teams were more likely to get a call go in their favor while playing at home.This is because of pressure form the fans and as well as pressure to the home teams coach. In the NBA one season, it was found that 8 teams actually got less calls at home, this is against the belief but they are 30 teams total.


To wrap up my blog post , I made this in the intention of finals figuring how sentimental home field advantage is to teams in sports, it is everything. Over the years of playing sports it even has affected me in more than one way. There is nothing like a high school student section supporting me.

Violence and Video games

Growing up, I think it would be safe to assume that a majority of us played with some kind of video game. Video games are fun, they are easy to operate, and of course they are an escape from reality. Over the years I have encountered many parents or even kids tell me that video games are bad, because of the effect it has on the person playing it. I wanted to truly examine if they are as bad as people claim they are and offer my opinion from my experiences in this blog post. First off I would like to start of by saying that in my personal opinion, It is the player playing the game, not the game that shapes what him/her does outside of the video game. I relate video games beliefs with my gun beliefs, it is on the hands or responsibility of the person in charge, not the object.

The supreme court actually made the decision that video games could not be banned, we know this from the famous case of Brown vs. Entertainment merchants association. Violent video games allow for the release of anger in my opinion, think of video games as a release from reality, it is your vacation. Some people have linked violence to video games, the one person is playing video games, they are actually detracting from the claim that video games cause violence or murder.Various claims have been made in terms of video games being “bad” and having negative affects on the person that is playing the game.
The first argument against that video game influence violence is that “the military uses video games for tactics and killing”. Well to dispute this, 10 year olds are playing Halo to have fun, they are not using it to kill their friends at the park. The Military in America is more than likely the most disciplined group of men and women in the world. The next claim that video games are bad comes from violence against women, many believe that women are being itemized in video games and this why we have domestic abuses against woman. This is totally absurd, many games actually encourage women to play, by having a leading woman role character. The final claim is that we evolve into the person we are playing as. I personally do no think that I am emulating a marine sniper when I play Call of Duty, that is just my opinion though.
Benefits of playing video games are amazing. It was actually found that video games can truly slow the aging process. A group of 681 contestants who are 50 years or older were asked to play video games for 2 hours everyday for a week. From this, it slowed the natural decline of cognitive skills. I always found out that Call of Duty can improve one’s eye vision. While looking for the bad guys in Call Of Duty, it can improve your eye sight. We know this from a case done in 2009.

To sum the entirety of the blog post up, I am saying that video games are not as bad as parents say they are. We have learned that there is actually various benefits to playing games. I think it is unfair when parents claim that their kids show violence acts due to video games, because it is on the parents or the kid.


Stress and College



For many students, coming to college and moving away can be very challenging. Adapting to a new routine each day, encountering different people, and of course harder academic work can cause some headaches for you. It is almost half way through the first semester here at Penn State,and everyday I hear either a friend or classmate, or myself complaining about the amount of work that they have to due. Oh, and the stress that it causes them. Stress can be defined as “Your body’s way of responding to a threat”, practically speaking. There are two separate and distinctive attributes while dealing with stress, while stress is the affects on your body, there is something called a stressor. A stressor is something that causes you to have this stress, for example a math test or a first date can be a stressor.

We learned that stress is your body’s was of responding to a threat but what happens when a person experiences stress? Well one can look at stress in two opposite ways, positive or negative. Clearly we all know that stress affects one more on the negative side than the positive side. With a person that is dealing with stress, one would experience a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as a lack of sleep or even tense muscles.
Those are the physical effects of what stress can do to you, those may even be what you consider symptoms of stress. There are others that include biting your nails or chest pain. Many college students experience stress during their tenures studying at the university, the statistics support it as well. 75% of people experience anxiety by the age of 22. Not just any simple headache, but an anxiety attack. 80% of people claim that they have experienced stress during college. That means for every 10 people, 8 of them are being affected negatively in some instance. The worst of all the statistics, 9% of students have considered suicide in the past year.

There is some sort of positive reward of stress, in some sick way. While if you overcome it and make it through, you will be stronger mentally and also resilient. There are many ways that you can deal with stress. The best thing to do is to talk to someone about it, whether it be a friend, a professor, or a councilor even. Talking helps with stress tremendously. One way to deal with stress is through medicine, doctors offer “stress relief” or antidepressants although there are some problems with them.
Stress is common. Stress is natural, you will overcome whatever you are going through and you will come out a stronger person. It is the choices one makes each day that affects the stress or sometimes you cannot control it. Stress is inevitable but be strong, folks.


Take a nap

Since arriving to college in the end of summer, I have noticed a change in my sleeping cycle. I have been taking naps more frequently and achieving less hours of sleep during the night, due to several reasons. The main reason is the amount of academic work, it may be from procrastination. Whether it is in between classes, or just trying to sneak a nap into the day before a homework assign, napping is prominent. What exactly defines a nap? Merriam-Webster defines it by the definition of “to sleep briefly especially during the day”.
Interesting enough, naps only that last between 20-30 minutes can have tremendous effects on your body and your mind. Naps have the capability to alter your mood in a positive way and also can increase one’s alertness. According to a study on this website, NASA found that a 40 minute nap can increase alertness by 100%. Some prominent figures have been guilty of taking naps during their lives, maybe even too much. Former President George W. Bush and Albert Einstein are known for napping. Believe it or not, there is more than one type of nap. There are three categories of naps,technically.

Planned Naps -> When a person will be up late so they take a nap before they do homework.
Emergency Naps -> When a person is tired and can not continue their activity that they were engaging in.
Habitual naps -> When a persons naps at the same time everyday.
Clearly there are benefits to napping. The main intention of napping is to restore alertness in one”s self. There are also some physiological benefits in napping, you brain benefits from it because rest is crucial to proper brain functionality. A study compiled at St John’s Mercy medical center and the St Luke’s hospital found some benefits in the combination of napping and caffeine. When you nap, one’s perception increases and you actually reduce then risk of heart diseases by 37 % when you nap.
The best thing time interval to nap would be a 45 minute nap. A specific study done by Axel Mckelclinger that appeared Media News today report found some very interesting results. Numerous people were asked to participate in this experiment. All of the volunteers were asked to memorize 90 words as well as 120 randomized word pairs. Half of the volunteers took a nap and the other half watched a movie. The results of the second test were lower for both groups, but the nappers scored much higher than the movie watchers. This was not due to chance due to the number of contestants.

Naps are a crucial part of college, and you should try to utilize them as much as possible. Of course there are a few negative effects to napping, such as laziness or it can alter your sleep schedule. Napping is something that many of us do, but we do not realize how great it can be for us. Napping increases are functionality and our cognitive skills. Napping is something we take for granted.




Video for more info.






Are Microwave Ovens cancer causing?

We have all heard that if you stand too close to a microwave oven while it is on, it can cause cancer. Since moving into my dorm here Penn State at the end of August, I have used the microwave to make food several times, and I am sure I am not the only one who has. I remember different teachers, students, or even family members telling me different things about microwave ovens and if they cause cancer or not. This blog post will attack the ultimate question.


People believe that microwave ovens are detrimental to our health because of the apparent radiation that it gives off. Radiation is bad. According to an informative display of factual reasoning and support , cancersearchUk , radiation is defined as the release of energy from any source. Energy is actually all around us, it is released from the sun and x-ray machines. To protect us from radiation while we receive our x-rays, we use a shield cover to deflect it.  It all depends on the amount of radiation that you receive and the exposure to it. That is what matters in terms of health.

                  Microwave ovens and cancer

Why does one use the microwave? To heat food up of course. That Is all a microwave does to your food, it does not make the food radio active in anyway. While the food is in the process of being heated up, the water actually absorbs the radiation and that is how your food is heated up. The microwaves vibrate and heats the food. So, if you can operate a microwave oven properly, there is no cancerous harm.



   Ionizing vs non-Ionizing radiation

The “bad” radiation that can alter cell production and functionality, is referred to as Ionizing radiation. These are the harmful ones, and of course microwave cells belong to the non-iodizing category. But there are some harmful ones, those include x-rays and radiotherapy. Radio therapy is sort of controversial because it is used to get rid of cancer cells, but it also implements radiation into them.



The facts

As I have mentioned before, there are many views on this subject of microwaves and cancer. Microwaves heat food, they do not do anything else. They are very unlikely to cause cancer too. The only thing that is produced is a non-harmful magnetic force field. Check this interesting video out that I found !







Protein Protein Protein

It is all about the bottle

Have you ever seen someone carrying around a shaker bottle on campus? If so,  have you  ever wondered why someone needs to take supplements, specifically whey protein, this blog will answer all of those questions. We know that proteins help us build muscle, but how exactly does that work?

Whey Protein

An article found on has complied an article (Leyva,2012) that demonstrates  what whey protein truly is. Leyva claims that whey protein is actually a product of cheese, and while some use it to recover from vigorous levels of activity others drink it casually just to remain healthy. We obtain our normal proteins from meats primarily, they are what we call complete proteins. (Morrow, 2012) Complete proteins are defined as having the benefits of proteins as well as restoring amino acids within our bodies. To determine how much protein one needs per day, is to multiply your body weight by 0.36. For example, if someone weighs 200 pounds they would need to consume 72 grams a day.(Pendick,2015)

What does it even do for you?

Everyone wants to burn fat and look good. How do you achieve that though? You need proteins to help burn fat as well as build muscle. Obtaining Proteins help you keep your muscles that you have, while keeping your hunger from reaching absurd levels of desire and finally protein burns calories. A more thorough summary of what protein can do for your body can be found here.

Lean and mean

The ultimate goal of anyone that is walking around campus with a shaker bottle filed with a protein shake, either wants to get toned or lose weight. The bottle is almost a symbol of motivation, due to its ability to transform you. it is the cool thing to do, you carry it around and you take your necessary proteins. There are several other types of proteins that we can receive benefits from. Chicken is a popular protein among powerlifters or anyone that is trying to build their physique. Proteins help us recover from tearing our muscles down, by recovering our muscles fat is also being torn down in the process. If we do need acquire the necessary amount of proteins, our bodies will not be able to function properly.


We take proteins to help our muscles recover from a difficult workout. Many  famous bodybuilders consume 4-6 protein shakes a day, in order to reach the status of being “huge”. Weight lifting and protein intake can go hand-in-hand with one another. You often see many powerlifters even consume protein during their workout

Next time you see someone walking around campus with a bottle, it  is not to look cool. They are making sure that their bodies are rebuilding properly, while trying to achieve their goals.




What is the deal with concussions in the NFL?

A very controversial topic in the sports world right now is the topic of concussions, and the impact that they present currently in the NFL. The NFL stands for National Football League, it is the professional level of football in America. A concussion, for those who do know, is practically defined as head trauma resulting from a fierce strike to the head. Many parents are not allowing their kids to play football in fear of damaging their child”s brain, and many parents including current NFL players, such as Arizona Cardinal safety Tyrain Mathieu, are pushing for their children to play soccer instead.
What is CTE?
The game of football is a very aggressive sport, and it requires medical attention almost all of the time. Many injuries stem from football, both long term and short term. CTE- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a disease in the brain, practically this is a build up of proteins in the brain. This is not good. Proteins in the brain can lead to many bad things, such as anxiety or even to the extent of Alzheimer’s in some specific cases. CTE causes long term stress too. This disease is common in former NFL players. Not just NFL is where it is common but also in professional wrestling and even boxing.
Some guy
A pathologist named Dr. Bennett Omalu ran a study and found CTE in 19 out of 20 players that he tested. He brought this to the attention of the NFL and thought that they would be happy for this discovery. The NFL reacted with straight anger and denial, practically shunning this guy for his findings. The NFL denied that this great sport of football caused such a terrible thing. Omalu received scrutiny from NFL players,coachers,and executives for his findings. The NFL denied this and called it an absolute coincidence.
Mike Webster
Omalu specifically examined the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers player, Mike Webster. Webster went from being on top of the world to being found dead, a victim of his own suicide in his pick-up truck. Webster battled anxiety and stress after the game of football, the NFL did not give a damn about him after he received his last paycheck. Omalu was disturbed by his findings and wanted to raise awareness for this issue, the strangest thing off all is that he never watched football in his life.
Today in the NFL
For twenty years the debate continued whether conclusions in the NFL were a major thing or not, the NFL still denies it to this day. Improvements have been made though, many rules have been implanted in order to protect players, helmets are now technologically advanced in terms of reducing impact. This can lead to less concussions. The NFL has set the standard in regulations in terms of player safety, the rules have trickled down to the pop-warner level (young kids) and they are even teaching how to tackle safer. The NFL is a large corporation, and they practically own a day of the week. Omalu’s research may have saved the lives of several.