Author Archives: Zachary Jacob Himel

Achieving goals- how important is your attitude?

I’m not the only person to admit to selfishly wanting more and more money. Higher pay is a huge incentive for anyone that starts working. Unfortunately, everyone has to start somewhere, this somewhere being a job likely paying around minimum wage. Navigating through life at minimum wage is a highly difficult task, and we as humans desire something more lustful than that. Minimum wage careers are no fun, so how can I advance into a better position? I’d be surprised if everyone didn’t hear their parent’s say “have a more positive attitude” when they were pursuing a task in life. After frequently hearing my mother say this when my soccer coach didn’t start me, it made me wonder, is having a more positive attitude the answer to achieving my goals? The null hypothesis would be that a more positive attitude doesn’t have any real effect on achieving goals while the alternative hypothesis would be that it in some way a positive attitude helps you reach your goals. After researching what a more optimistic attitude can do for a person, I have come to the conclusion that having a positive attitude is the beginning of success.

US Currency is seen in this January 30, 2001 image. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Apparently, it isn’t hard to find out what having a more positive attitude can do. The more positive you are/less negative you determine the type of attitude you have. If a person is never negative, they have developed a perfectly positive attitude. It simply depends on how you tweak your framework of thoughts and reactions. There are many tips on what to work on when changing your attitude. It starts with a change in perspective. This change can happen when you accept things for what they are and begin being happy with where you are at. After you have happily accepted your place in the world, you have to be optimistic about you being in control of your life. You CAN develop and improve. You CAN invent and succeed. This change in belief will be the beginning of a noticeably more fulfilling life. I wanted to see evidence that supported this development of thought.


This type of thinking suggests that a more positive attitude directly relates to more success, but is there concrete data to prove this? I found that in a study done by UC Riverside, the most happy people are more helpful and perform better in the work place than their less happy peers. Furthermore, the study also used research from cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental studies to determine that installing positivity to the workplace will result in better workplace results. Since positivity was a variable observed, it can be considered to be partially responsible for improved results within the work place. Since there are no looming confounding variables, these finds can be considered valid in which happiness and success in the workplace go hand in hand

This study is telling about positive thinkers and their success in achieving their goals. The evidence given is enough to reject the null hypothesis that a more positive attitude does not lead to an increase in success. A person is Champions teamlikely to achieve more success in life if they adjust their framework to be more positive!

If you ever find yourself stuck trying to achieve something, think about that old saying your mother told you, and your chances at success are sure to increase!


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Will legalizing marijuana improve the racial gap in arrests?

Just yesterday I saw a story relating to police bias against black people. On top of that, I also saw an article arguing for the legalization of marijuana. Two of the most controversial topics in America right now are whether marijuana should be legalized, as well as this racial bias against black people. To my surprise, the two topics in a way went hand in hand with each other. How can the legalization of marijuana improve the racial bias problem within America? The null hypothesis is that legalizing marijuana will not improve racial bias against blacks while the alternative hypothesis would be that legalizing marijuana will improve racial bias against blacks. There is clear cut evidence to prove that alternative hypothesis is likely, and here’s why:new-generic-police-lights-1-759x500-1

For starters, marijuana is classified as a schedule one drug along with LSD and heroin. I have never experienced either of those two drugs, but there is no doubt marijuana should be classified in a different category as them. If marijuana is federally classified this dangerously, the police who patrol the law must take any crimes involving marijuana very seriously. Here is an article that talks about the staggering amount of non-violent marijuana arrests outweighing the amount of arrests for violent crimes. Obviously, if there is such a significant amount of arrests due to marijuana, there is likely need for change.

Such a significant amount of people use marijuana for recreational purposes. In particular, white and black people both use marijuana equally. According to this article, it is a fact that blacks are four more times more likely to get arrested for marijuana in America! This data was very surprising to me, and it made me wonder what legalization could do for not only America but the black community as well.

The legalization would mean that crime rates would be cut in half, and people will no longer be at risk of damaging their future for using this drug. Being charged for marijuana possession can result in many different things. Those that are lucky enough to get these charges taken off their record by community service and the paying of fines will not be impacted long term. Those who can not afford the fines or are not given the opportunity to remove it from their record will see an increase in difficulty getting jobs, public benefits, and even housing. The occasional case may even result in jail time. All these negatives for a drug already legal in eight states make little sense. Unfortunately, the black community is being impacted the most by this situation. The black community is receiving these charges four times as much as white communities. These charges lead to major setbacks in life, leading to an overwhelmingly larger pool of black people suffering from these charges than whites.

In this study, it is found that although there is a large decrease of marijuana crimes in states that have legalized the drug, the racial gap remains the same. Black people still are four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana charges as a white person, advocating for the null hypothesis.map1

After researching the two topics, legalizing marijuana has its benefits by decreasing the number of drug-possession arrests. More importantly, the racial gap remained the same in these states. This supports the null hypothesis that legalizing marijuana will not change the gap between a larger amount of blacks getting arrested than whites. Unfortunately, this bias can’t be understood fully by Americans because there is not yet an understanding as to why the black community has a much higher risk than the white community at being arrested for marijuana. It can be noted that legalizing marijuana will not result in changing this problem, and there is furthermore research to be done to figure out where this bias is coming from.


Police: Disorderly fans cause damage after Penn State win

Is there a Tinder strategy?

After matching with more than 100 people on Tinder, I still have yet to find much success through using the app. There is obviously a lack of understanding between matches, so I wanted to see how other people have found success in the app, and what this success means to them. Obviously, the initial question to be asked is what is a users goal when using the app. It varies between gender and people, but what is the primary goal of many? I use tinder for entertainment purposes but obviously, hope to find someone on the app I am attracted to and could meet. Others use the app to find hook ups, or even just a friend to talk to. I first wanted to find out what the best strategy is to use to get a match, and what the best primary message is to get a response. The null hypothesis is that there is no particular strategy or message to get a match or response while the alternative hypothesis is that there is a specific strategy or message to get a response. Stay tuned if you have the Tinder application.

expansive-or-retractive-1In a study done by UC Berkeley professors, it was discovered that there is a much higher chance of matching with someone when using a profile picture with an expansive pose. This pose suggests dominance and can be just enough to differentiate yourself from a more contractive user. The pose also reflects openness, an important aspect for initial success in receiving a match. This study was done by testing 3,000 Tinder swipes to find that having an arms-out expanded posture was more likely to be rewarded with a match.

After matching with a potential partner, in my opinion, comes the hardest part. The initial message can be a deal breaker. I have witnessed successful attempts to get a response, as well as failed ones. Unless noted in a person bio, the initial approach is tricky. Often girls request a good pick-up line, and other times these lines are considered “fuck-boyish.” I took it upon myself to find out the best approach to beginning the initial conversation with a match. To my surprise, the most successful approach to getting a response is through sending a GIF. In this study different GIFs were tested to see which got the highest response rates. The Jimmy Fallon, “Haaaaay” GIF seemed to be the most successful. I took it upon myself to see if this strategy would work on the most attractive girl I had ever seen on Tinder, and it did! These studies have confounding variables such as the level of attractiveness of your match, and how difficult they are to get to reply.giphy

Based on the research done in these studies, the null hypothesis can be rejected. This is because there is a strategy to achieving success on Tinder, whether it be to get a match or response. It can be concluded that an expansive pose will give a more dominant and open vibe, increasing your likelihood of receiving a match. Furthermore, the best way to get a reply would be by messaging a GIF that can spark laughter or entertainment. Whether you are using Tinder to hook up or date, you can probably achieve more success through using the strategies studied in this blog!



Does ADHD medicine impact me differently than others?

I have been diagnosed with ADHD, and have a prescription of ADHD medication. Everyone knows that the drugs prescribed to ADHD patients will help anyone get their work done. It is known that the use of these stimulants has increased throughout the years, especially in the college scenario. Whether a person has ADHD or not, they are likely to consider investing money in the stimulants prescribed to actual patients. It made me wonder, what are these people getting out of taking these drugs? Are they taking an even greater advantage or is it equal? The null hypothesis is that ADHD medication does not impact non-ADD patients the same as it does to ADHD patients, and the alternative hypothesis is that it does impact non-ADHD patients the same as it does ADHD patients. After further research, the answer to this question is that they do not impact non-ADHD patients the same.adhd

In this compilation of studies, it was found that patients with ADHD who have been treated with medication do better than those with ADHD who have not been treated with medication on IQ testing. Not only this, but the patients who take medication can see an increase in their ability to focus longer and be less disruptive. It was also found that people who used ADHD medicine without being prescribed would see increases in many aspects of their learning as well. Stimulants have been proven to give those without ADHD an advantage over those with it, therefore causing Duke University to adjust their policy on taking these stimulants without a prescription. The policy now reconsiders these actions as a form of cheating. Although both non-patients and patients can see improvements in their cognitive ability, patients with ADHD are experiencing differences in the way their brain works than those without ADHD. Therefore, taking the medication has an overall larger impact on those with ADHD.adderall-333-white

I don’t know many people who procrastinate like myself, and I also don’t know many individuals who share the same attention struggles as myself. My ultimate goal is to do well in school, but my attention problems tend to get in the way of this. When others go and focus on their school work, I find myself refreshing Facebook, refreshing Instagram, and regularly starting three-minute Clash Royale matches. It is an everyday struggle, but on days I take my medication, a more intent and focused side of me comes out. After taking the proper amount for the first time in months, I finally can focus on my blog posts.adhd-in-children-300x200-1

So, next time you consider taking ADHD medicine without a prescription, consider the struggles the people with ADHD go through on a day to day basis. Their need for medication is likely stronger than yours, but they will still improve your cognitive ability as well. From my research, it can be concluded that the null-hypothesis is true because the medication has more impacts on a student with ADHD than one without.


Blog Post Series 2: ADHD-Medication Treatments

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How much do you really know about e-cigarettes?

It is known that smoking cigarettes are very unhealthy, but what about vaping? Since high school, some of my closest friends have chosen to use nicotine juice vaporizers over smoking cigarettes. The juices come in many assortments of flavors and seem very artificial. Recently my roommate got a vaporizer, and I noticed a massive increase in the heaviness of a small cough I had. Only after three days of having the vape, I find myself “coughing up a lung” throughout the day. During my CAS class, I had to leave the room while someone was giving a speech because I was coughing to the extent of nearly throwing up! I figured it had to do something with the vape. I wondered if vaping nicotine juice is just as damaging to my health as other tobacco products. The null hypothesis for this question would be that vaping nicotine juice is not as harmful to my health as other tobacco products while the alternative hypothesis is that vaping nicotine juice is as damaging to my health as other tobacco products.vape-juice-e-juice-1-759x500

From researching this article, I have learned a lot about E-cigarettes. Although these devices are in a way new, they still pose many health risks and concerns. The juice that is vaporized still contains nicotine, the most commonly known addictive substance within tobacco products. Nicotine is known to be extremely dangerous when around a pregnant mother because of its negative effects on a fetus’s brain and lungs. Although there are many fewer ingredients in these juices than a cigarette, such as no tobacco, the juices still contain cancer causing carcinogens. Not only that, but a lung disease that commonly goes by the name of “popcorn lung” can be caused by an ingredient within the juice known as Diacetyl. Even without tobacco, E-cigarettes are still considered a tobaccoproduct by the American Lung Association.ucm455606

After further research of a study, the comparison of e-cigarettes to cigarettes is unknown. The reason for this is because although e-cigarettes contain much-known cancer causing carcinogens that cigarettes contain, these electronic cigarettes have only surfaced American life recently. There has been a massive increase of people using these e-cigarettes, but since cancer takes some time to develop, there is little knowledge on the e-cigarettes likelihood to cause cancer. Unfortunately, there are little conclusions to draw about e-cigarettes in comparison to their counter parts, cigarettes.

Although e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, they still have other chemicals that are known to cause cancer. The recency of this new way of smoking nicotine has made it difficult to truly know much about the effect these devices have on a person health. It is unknown whether the null or alternative hypothesis are correct because not enough time has passed since the device’s creation. Unless you already smoke cigarettes, it may be a smart idea to keep your distance from e-cigarettes for now, because although they may not be the same as cigarettes, they definitely have their similarities.


Hey SC 200, my name is Zach Himel and I am a freshman in DUS. New student orientation is meant to be a stress-free experience where a student can figure out their schedules for the fall semester with a college advisor. Most students’ drove in and out of Penn State that weekend for their orientation, but being from Chicago, I had a flight to catch home. My advisor was terrible at navigating through the scheduling website, while also being occupied by another student to her left. With little time before my flight began boarding, I had to pick another class to fulfill the advisor’s credit requirements. I had been ready to attend classes in the summer, but in the meantime, I was scheduling for the fall. My schedule consisted of too little credits according to the advisor, who I understood little of what she was saying. This meeting is where my advisor introduced me to science 200. The advisor had recommended that I took it, so I did. In the end, the reason I am taking Science 200 is that I was in a rush, and needed to pick additional credits before I missed my flight!

I spent time studying science topics such as earth science in high school, and then other base sciences required by my school. I am not planning to be a science major because I would like to graduates from Penn State’s business school. Not only would I like to graduate from the business school, but also graduate from a law school that is noteworthy. Unfortunately, I did not do as well as I would have liked to in the summer, but my goal is to get excellent grades this fall. If I were to be a science major, I most likely would study space or the ocean because I find both those topics interesting. What is most interesting about the ocean and space is the lack of understanding humans have about the two. The ocean has millions of unknown species and humans are also far from capable of searching the deep sea. Here is a YouTube video that is pretty cool, called, 5 Extraordinary Sea Creatures That Will Blow Your Mind”. ( I used to watch documentaries about both space and the ocean on Netflix when I was young. I specifically remember an exciting episode of Cosmos narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. TFunny-science-news-experiments-memes-going-to-space-harder-than-your-motherhe endless amount of possibilities space has to offer I find really interesting and captivating. Something about science that bothers me is the length it takes to study something. I tend to have a short attention span, so patiently observing things can quickly bore me. I also disliked observing dead animals in high school. Although I find different topics of science to be fascinating, I still feel graduating from the business school will be most beneficial for my future.