Rodgers2’s Weblog

The Promise and Power of RNA

Posted in Uncategorized by rodgers2 on November 12, 2008

dnaToday, I read a two-paged article titled “The Promise and Power of RNA”, under the science section of the New York Times. In the article, it talks about a new type of drug that instead of attaching itself to a protein to block activity so that cholesterol can be lowered, it stops the gene that contains it. In a single test, utilizing a monkey, an injection of this drug resulted in a 60% decrease of cholesterol, which lasted up to three weeks. It has been discovered that RNA actually does ‘play a powerful role in how genes function’. The article directly states: “This is potentially the biggest change in our understanding of biology since the discovery of the double helix,” said John S. Mattick, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Queensland in Australia. The rest of the article basically describes in complex terms for approximately forty-five paragraphs everything you would ever want or need to know about DNA and RNA and about the new found promise and power of RNA.

f29-03aA bit confused by the terms used? Don’t worry; I was, unable to follow either. At first I was a bit confused on what the article was talking about because I was not familiar with the terms incorporated into the article, however after it explained what the new discovery was, everything I needed to know was layed out for me; term for term, and idea for idea. There was no confusion by the end of the article.

Even though at first it was a bit difficult for me to understand just what the article was trying to inform its readers about, I eventually was able to comprehend every aspect of the idea. It definietly would have been nice to have had the description of everything before having read what the discovery was, however it was probably easier having it the way it was for those who already were familliar with the terms utilized in this article. Plus, if the article’s two main bodies were to have been swapped, I would most likely have stopped reading it, since it wouldn’t have been giving me any direct information for over forty paragraphs on the new discovery. Pollack did a formidable job of answering all of my questions and covering every aspect of the topic. All in all, the article was promoted very well and I truly learned a lot about the promise and power of RNA.

rna-dna-mcat

iEnjoy

Posted in Uncategorized by rodgers2 on November 5, 2008

How many brands do you think are out there in the world? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? Maybe even billions? I couldn’t even begin to guess, however iTunes seems to be one of the biggest labels out there. But why is iTunes so popular, so well known, so well liked?
18025_1_230jpegitunes-logo
Music is a huge part of life, but why? Music is one of three things (that I can think of) that all cultures have in common (the others being language and religion). Anyone and everyone enjoys music. Do you know anyone who literally hates every type of music? Didn’t think so. This is because music is so popular and unique so anything else. Most teenagers that I know say they don’t know what they would do without music. They say that music is a great way to help relieve stress or feelings they may not want to show themselves.

So how is iTunes is so well known? Well, as time goes and everything is more modernized, the easier it is to access what we desire. And the easier it is to access what we desire, the more likely we will utilize it. Specifically, iTunes was at one point the only form of purchasing music online for as cheap as 99 cents per song. What’s not to love? It’s quick. It’s cheap. It’s modern. Sure, it may be quick and easy, but in order to gain an audience, the product being advertised needs to attract a targeted audience. So how is this done? Well, let’s think of the commercials produced for iTunes. The commercials consist of a black, silhouette figure dancing to iTunes music with animated color in the background. This is alluring to a large audience because since the figure is merely a black silhouette, we are able to picture ourselves as the character in the commercial, making it possible for anyone to jump into the picture.

So why is iTunes so we liked? Well, it’s hip and modern and easy to relate to, as previously explained, But what about being able to put yourself in the shoes of the character in the commercial is so appealing? You tell me. It could be that you feel subconsciously that you are that character, thus feel like you need to use the product because it is you. Who knows? There are many possibilities, and it all depends on the person how they wish to interpret it.

Looks Can Be Deceiving…

Posted in Uncategorized by rodgers2 on October 31, 2008

We all know that the media can influence us, no matter what age we are. There are so many types of media out there that target different age groups. For example, kids of late elementary school to middle school age may be influenced by, let’s say, the Jonas Brothers. Because they are slightly older in age and they are deemed Disney Channel stars, they become the perfect influence. Another example may be college life to high school kids. Movies that are about college kids (i.e. Accepted) are typically targeted at high school to college-aged kids. A third, and last, example may even be commercials advertising high-tech wheelchairs for elderly people. Media covers all ages and affects everyone.
The media covers over everyone, but not always in a good way. There are various forms of the media that heavily can influence anyone and everyone who allows it. Whenever something outrageous happens, someone must be blamed for it, right? And it must be the media since it affects everyone, right? And it must only be the bad kind of media that made a mob of six teenagers steal cigarettes, a car, then smash a van with a baseball bat, right? Wrong.
This week I monitored three articles (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4671429.stm, http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2008/04/24/a_decade_of_controversy_a_grand_theft_au, http://www.joystiq.com/2005/07/17/gta-hot-coffee-controversy-summary/)of the controversy and criticism of Grand Theft Auto IV. It was said that six teenagers in the mob previously described were arrested for their violent behavior because of this video game. However, I claim that it wasn’t, at the very least entirely, the fault of the video game for the teens’ erratic behavior. The evidence I have for this is that it was never confirmed that the boys ever thought, “Hmm, Grand Theft Auto is really cool, let’s go on a crime spree and be just like the game! Because that would be just so cool to do like they do and get chased by the police afterward and go to jail if caught! Yeah that sounds like a blast!” That’s just absurd; the only way that could ever be possible is if the boys maybe had a type of mental illness that restricted them from using common sense, in which case the game could never be blamed for their behavior. This is a justified warrant because it is not likely that a handful of teenage boys would decide to go on a successful crime spree without some kind of unstable mental condition that may make them act in such a way. I can back this up because any kind of erratic behavior is generally caused by some form of instability in the mind. Although people have definitely raised questions about whether or not mental conditions can verify sanity, it is valid that it is a big issue in today’s society, namely Britney Spears.
The media cannot be blamed for everything, because it is the number one thing we generally lean to blame so that we, ourselves, don’t have to blame ourselves.

Mainstream vs. Alternative (rough draft)

Posted in Uncategorized by rodgers2 on October 22, 2008

There are multiple types of media, including mainstream and alternative. Mainstream, other than a river with tributaries, is a principle or dominat course or trend, whereas alternative is a course that is by choice. Furthermore, mainstream is news that covers worldwide events, but on the other hand, alternative is gossip-like media. I am honestly neither a mainstream, nor a alternative type of girl; I am not very knowledgable about the outside world, nor what movie star cheated on who.

Monitoring the Media

Posted in Graded Blogs by rodgers2 on October 14, 2008

What do Custodians, Storytellers, Psychologists, Soothsayers, and Patriots all have in common?
The media.

Well, I suppose since I have the experience of my first blog, then this one shouldn’t be too bad. No burnt pancake excuses. As much as I despise and don’t understand politics, I am required to from now on write about them. It might be difficult, though, because I have not been paying a moment of attention towards the Presidential Debate. Until now. So let’s get to it.
I read three articles by the McClatchy Newspapers through Yahoo! News and I have to say, of the articles I read over these past four days, I have found many techniques that the media uses. From the the book “The Press Effect” by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman, there are five categories of how articles are typically written:

Obama

McCain

1. Press as Custodian of Fact- shows suspicion
2. Press as Storyteller- bases facts on the story
3. Press as Psychologist- frames personality
4. Press as Soothsayer- predicts
5. Press as Patriot- challenges actions

Of these five types of analyzation, the ones that I was able to easily monitor were “Press as Custodian of Fact” and “Press as Storyteller”.

I found “Press as Custodian” numerous times is two of the three articles I read. This type of writing is very common throughout the media, not just exclusively to politics and the Presidential Debate. This is because questioning the truth of what other say can determine whether or not the informer is reliable or not; and with the Presidential Dabate, if a candidate is found to have made a mistake, their chances of being elceted are bumped down.

“Press as a Storyteller” is often used in the media, as well, a couple times in the same two of the three that I analyzed. This kind of reasoning is popular, also, because it is easy to take a story and base it on facts. This is because it takes little to no effort to pull facts from a story, whereas making a story from facts takes more work. This is commonly used by the media to reflect the Presidential Debate. There are a vast number of things to write about the election, so this is one of the simplest ways to go about it.

I also found “Press as a Psychologist” in one of the articles I read, however not from the author of the article itself, rather from the Senators, themselves. It is natural for competitors to have the urge to bicker directly against one another, and that has happened numerous times in the past.
In all three of the articles I monitored these past four days, I have, indeed, seen every category of ways the media covers their writings, however I tended to notice that “Press as Custodian” and “Press as Storyteller” tend to be the most used. With their numerous articles to choose from, the McClatchy Newspapers did an exceptional job with covering all types of media on the Presidential Debate.

And the blogging begins…

Posted in Participation Blogs by rodgers2 on October 3, 2008

Welcome! This is my very first legitimate blog post here on WordPress and I know I’m not the only one who’s excited about that, right? Right. Ha-ha. Well, this is basically just a ‘participation’ blog post, thankfully. I say thankfully because I have no idea what to say, and even if I did, it might not turn out so good. For instance, you know how the first batch of pancakes is always burnt? Well, let’s consider this blog the ‘burnt’ one. I hope that makes sense to more than just one crazy person in this crazy world. Me.

So, why am I blogging? Well, I am here because blogging is required by the one and only, Professor Tiffany Derville, for my college course J 201, better known as Mass Media & Society. Sure, blogging may be required, but even though I was forced to join and write these blogs to come, I’m relatively excited to be blogging because it’s something I’ve never had a reason to do until this very assignment. Yahoo! Anyway, the kinds of things that I’ll be blogging about are going to be reflective and heavily opinionated. I hope to the greatest extent to not bore you, but to rather fascinate you. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee any of my blogs will turn out interesting, but I will try my very best to make them as enjoyable and appealing as possible.

I have yet to decide on what topic I will be focusing on and discussing for these blogs, so I apologize for the inconvenience. However, that just makes my blogging all the more intriguing, right? Ha-ha, right. It is, however, ironic that I have yet to come up with a clever blog-posting theme simply because I love to voice my opinion on things for the purpose of hopefully expanding the minds of those around me of whom desire to listen. Then again, maybe that’s exactly why I cannot decide, because there are just far too many topics to discuss. Perhaps I’ll mix and match; who knows! All that matters is that I maintain a solid, consistent audience. And I can not do that without you! So please be sure to check back every week for updates; my blogs are due every Tuesday by 5:30PM, so check back then, at the very latest. Well, I suppose that is all for my first blog! Yay! And just a reminder: this is the burnt pancake. Keep that in mind. Thanks.

Please check out my links under ‘The Associates’ and feel free to link me.

Thanks for reading and check back later!