Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peer Response #4

I found Esperanza's post about Sexual Education very interesting. I think this is a very important issue, but don't think it should be an issue. That might sound very naive, but I believe sexual education should be taught in school, no questions asked. Sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy are huge consequences for young people, and I think our schools should give the same informative schooling to everybody ensuring everybody learns it. Esperanza linked to an article that gives both view points. She summed up both views. The column in favor of sexual education discussed the importance to ensure everybody gets taught about the human body, to more of an extent than some parents are capable of. Also, sexual education is important in schools because some kids do not have stable families, or educated parents that will teach them. The column against sex ed in schools states its belief that teaching kids in schools would lead to misinformation and/or a higher risk of sexual activity.
I believe sex ed should be taught in schools, but parents should talk about it also. Parents have different beliefs and values that they want to instill on their children, which is great. The school systems stress the importance of knowledge, prevention, and safety. In the end, if schools teach sex ed, then we are making sure that everybody knows about safe sex. This is the most we can do to try to limit the amount of STDs and teenage pregnancy. I agree with Esperanza and I believe the best thing for our states is to supply sex ed in our schools. Knowledge is power.

Compare Two Articles

My roommate and I had a long discussion a month or so ago about the $810 million federal stimulus money that Wisconsin got to establish a high-speed passenger rail between Milwaukee and Madison. We are both very hesitant about the idea, and think it is not a very good idea. I have found two articles that have different views on this high-speed rial. The first article, Wisconsin to get $810 million for high-speed rail, is from the Wisconsin State Journal. This article supports the funding. Its arguments for the rail include the increase in job creation, the long-term economic growth, and the high-tech collaboration between scientists and investors. It is stated that the rail could take until 2016 to be finished, but $1 is also being used to study the possibility of a high-speed rail between Madison and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Wisco agreed to buy two trains from a Milwaukee-based company called Talgo, which expects to bring in about 80 jobs for the production of the trains. Two more trains could also be bought with the stimulus money.
Another article I found about the high-speed rail is called Rep. Brett Davis: Stopping the Madison-Milwaukee train boondoggle from The Cap Times. This article focuses on the negatives about the high-speed rail. It's arguments against the rail include the high price, the consequential amount of money taxpayers will have to pay, the large cost of riding the rail, and that our state transportation fund cannot handle this price. This article was written by Wisconsin rep Brett Davis, who is a Republican from Oregon.
Out of these two articles, I think the first one seems to have more liable information. The second is written more opinion-based than anything, but my opinion has not changed. I believe this high-speed rail is not a good idea unless we have definite plans to extend this rail to Minneapolis and St. Paul. I believe the cost to ride the rial ($60 roundtrip) is way too expensive, but if we lower the price, we would have to increase the amount our taxpayers pay, which would already be high. I also think the public transportation in Milwaukee is not the greatest and most people would want a car. I think the idea of a high-speed rail (economically speaking) is great, but I think we need to work out more logistics before going at it. I think we need to have a better system that could extend from Minneapolis/St. Paul, through Madison, and to Chicago and then it would be more worth the money.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Peer Response #3

Darius posted a blog, Real vs. Fake Food: Peaches, that talks about his own experience with fake food in the form of peaches. His experience is very similar to the experience I have talked about in my recent blog about pickles. Darius discusses how his mother used to buy him fresh peaches from the market, which are full of nutrients. This is the "real" version of the food. Now, he resorts to eating the canned version of this food, which is the "fake" version. This canned version is sweeter, with less nutrients. He eats this version because it fits easier with his college lifestyle. I can agree, it is harder to have fresh fruit around at college than it was at home. Also, the price is a factor. It is cheaper for canned peaches than real peaches, which makes a difference with the college budget. This version of peaches is a lot sweeter because of the way it is made and the syrup it is kept in. The sweetness can be a plus, especially because real peaches are not always in season. I agree with Darius when he talks about the reasons for why he eats the canned version over the real version. The real, fruit version is obviously better and I would try to eat that healthier version whenever possible. Especially with summer approaching, and the consistent Saturday farmer's market now open, I would take the extra time to go buy some fresh, non-processed fruit to enjoy.

"Real" food vs. "fake" food

Michael Pollan talks about the health benefits of “real” food versus “fake” food. Fake food includes food that is not in its original state, but rather in its processed form. A lot of food that is in our society today is in its processed or “fake” form instead of the natural, real version. An example that I have come across in my past is pickles.

My grandmother makes her own pickles, which I used to eat all the time when I lived at home and more often when I was younger. She used to give us jars that would last all year round and when we would run out, she would give us more. Pickles would be a nice snack or additive to a dinner. Her pickles would taste real, have more texture, and provide other ingredients in the pickle juice that keeps the pickles fresher for a longer time. Now that my grandmother is getting older, she is pickling less cucumbers and thus, as a family, we are receiving less of her canned pickles. Especially now that I do not live at home, I do not eat these delicious pickles. Sometimes I will buy a jar of pickles from the store, but the taste and nutrition is not the same. The “fake” version is made with more unhealthy salt and vinegar, which make the taste slightly different. It is also not as healthy, which is discussed in this article that I found. I would return to the “real” version, or my grandmother’s version, when I have the opportunity. I enjoy the real taste and the actual nutrition I get from these pickles, and would love to be able to make them myself someday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peer Response #2

In Lisa's blog, Real Food vs. Fake Food, she shares a story of when her parents started going on the Atkin's diet. Her parents went on the diet, and started to replace foods that are normally full of carbs, with substitute foods that lack carbs. Atkin's diet is when the carbohydrate intake is reduced in the diet in order to lose weight. Carbohydrates are a necessity and the some studies have shown that the Atkin's diet is not very healthy. Lisa goes on to talk about how her parents replaced spaghetti, which is full of carbs and starch, with a version that contains few carbs. She described the new, less-carb spaghetti as grainy, smelling like shoes, and an anvil in her stomach. Lisa said she would never eat the spaghetti again, and noticed many other foods her parents bought that were not in it's "real" form. The real form of food, in Lisa's case, were the foods that contained it's original nutrients, carbs, and starch. The foods her parents would buy contained artificial ingredients and some nutrients to replace the carbs that were taken out of it.
I whole-heartedly agree with Lisa. The food she described does not sound delicious. Eating should not be a painful process, and the spaghetti she described sounded painful. Lisa experienced first-hand the effects of "fake" food because her parents went through a diet that included many foods that were not in it's normal state. I agree with her arguments and I feel as if nobody should have to eat foods that are manipulated to reach a certain level for a diet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Prepare a Meal

I would like to describe how to prepare stuffed green peppers. This is one of my favorite meals and one that my parents have made for me numerous times while growing up. This recipe has many different variations. This specific one I am going to show you today makes 6 stuffed green peppers, which can feed 4-6 people, depending on how hungry someone is and the size of the peppers. The ingredients, which can be found at any local grocery store, include 1.5 lbs lean ground beef, 1 onion (optional), 3/4 cup uncooked white rice, 3/4 cup water, 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with the juice, 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, and 6 large green bell peppers.
The baking steps are pretty simple. First, heat the ground beef and onion over medium heat in a large skillet or pot. Once they are brown, add the rice, water, diced and stewed tomatoes. Some salt and pepper can be added here for flavor, and then it is heated until the rice is tender. At this point, the oven should be preheated to 325 degrees F.
The green peppers can now be washed, tops cut off, and the seeds cleaned out. Now, fill the peppers with the meat mixture. The green peppers are then put in a casserole dish where they should stand up. Cook those in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the peppers are at a tender state.
After taking the green peppers out of the oven, heated spaghetti sauce can be poured lightly on top to add flavor, along with some shredded cheese if desired. In total, it takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 20 or more to cook.
I would add a side dish to top off this meal. I would probably add some sort of vegetable and/or salad to make it complete. Some easy variations can include using ground turkey instead of ground beef, which will reduce some of the fat. I love red peppers and have used those for this recipe. Red peppers are just a little sweeter.
Each step of the preparation is important. It is necessary to have clean, fresh vegetables and to cook the meat fully. After this meal, I feel very satisfied. This food is not too dense or heavy where I feel full to the point of sickness. I also feel very satisfied and accomplished because I made the meal myself.
Michael Pollan discusses the growing effect of processed foods and grabbing on the go. Americans, in general, are very busy and tend to grab processed, unhealthier foods when they do not have time to make a meal. This is becoming a problem because people do not receive all the nutrients they need and consequently their health declines. The meal I just made took less than an hour for food preparation and cooking, which was worth the time. I usually have leftovers when I make this meal, and that is a good use of food when you're a busy person. This blog, called Priceless, shares a good article about fast food menu's that can back up my Michael Pollan's opinion. I found a lot of it interesting, especially when it broke down the techniques used by Starbucks in it's menu. I believe some people chose to ignore the importance of eating a good meal. I agree with Michael Pollan and I think it is truly important to enjoy what you eat and take care of your body.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Demo Speech Self Eval

In my demonstration speech I showed the class how to use an erg machine. These motions directly correlate to the motions in rowing. This topic can be relevant to anybody who attends UW-Madison because we have very successful crew teams. Erging is also a very good workout, although most people do not know how to use the machine correctly.

From watching my speech, I think I could improve the informational content. The steps that I chose to convey are broken down and easy to follow. However, when I demonstrated them, I should have slowed down. I do not think I demonstrated the steps on the erg enough times for my audience to fully understand them. I believe I explained rowing in the best of my ability in the time allotted. There were a lot of questions at the end of my speech, but I suppose that is because rowing is a very unique and detailed sport, which some people do not know a lot about.

During my speech, it seemed as if my volume was loud enough and my eye contact was good. In the future, I would want to stand behind a podium or a table of some sort because my body language was not good. When I was speaking to the class and not demonstrating, I was not able to stand still. I changed my stance frequently, which made me look more nervous than I was. I think my enthusiasm for the topic was good; that sort of thing just comes across when you are passionate for a topic. My visual aids were also very relevant and effective in my speech. I don’t think everyone was able to see me demonstrate on the erg because of the tables in the class and next time I would move the tables. I would also make sure my video comes in clear next time, because it was blurry on the big screen.

I would choose this topic again because it is a big part of my life that I am passionate about. The only significant changes I would make are my stance and the clarity of my video. I do not think I would add anything. Below I added a link to my speech.

Rowing Demo Speech

Friday, March 5, 2010

Peer Response #1

I picked Daniel's blog about Brett Favre's hyundai commercial to write about. The celebrity endorsement he decided to analyze was Brett Favre endorsing hyundai cars. In this commercial, a 50 year-old Brett is shown getting the MVP award for the 2020 super bowl. Favre talks about how it is for hard for him to take orders from people being that old. Then he goes on to talk about possibly retiring. Hyundai makes fun of Brett Favre so they could go on to say that while Brett's future might be unknown, Hyundai promises to be there. Daniel talks about how this commercial could be successful and he found another blogger who enjoyed the commercial as well. I agree this commercial could be successful because the general public have been interested in Brett and his retirement fiascos. Hyundai does a nice job of contrasting themselves to Brett and describing themselves as reliable. Daniel gave a good description of the celebrity endorsement, while sharing his opinion on the commercial and it's possible success.

Analysis of a Celebrity Endorsement

The 2010 Winter Olympics just wrapped up, but during this short time Vick's made use of the athletes' publicity by contracting Apolo Anton Ohno and Lindsey Jacobellis for their commercials. Apolo Anton Ohno, a successful olympic speed skater, endorses both nyquil and dayquil commercials. Nyquil and dayquil are made by Vick's and are cold and flu medicine that come in both liquid and tablet form.
I think Ohno is the perfect person to have endorse a product right now. He was recently very successful in the winter olympics, which was watched by large part of the population. Ohno needs to stay healthy at all times, especially when he is racing, so the commercials show him in his racing gear, or with his racing bags ready to go for the olympics. The commercials are trying to show that Vick's cold and flu medicine is keeping him healthy. This campaign is fairly new but I believe this could be very successful. I don't think it will have a long-term success rate, but I imagine it would be successful as long as the olympics are fresh in people's heads.


Here are his dayquil and nyquil commercials. This website talks about olympic endorsements and says Apolo Anton Ohno has already been successful in his endorsement deals. It also explains how it is harder for U.S. olympians that are not on a national team, like NFL or NHL, to receive corporate support because they do not compete as often as other athletes. The article also mentions olympians like Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Link pertaining to expos. paper subject

I linked to an NFL retired players page, which has similar topics to what I am covering in my expository paper about the long-term affects of the sport, and specifically, concussions.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Response to In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

Michael Pollen clearly states his opinion on food in his book, In Defense of Food. He starts out by saying to “Eat food” and elaborates on this idea early on in the book. By food, Pollan simply means to eat real, healthy food. He brings us years back to when our food choices were solely influenced from what our parents, and what their parents made for dinner. Pollan argues that official scientific opinion is the reason why this food was driven away from our dinner tables. Scientists came out with evidence that allow them to link certain nutrients to positively or negatively increase some diseases. According to Pollan, these scientists focused solely on the nutrients and do not know enough about the other factors that may have an influence in the food. This overlooking of other factors lead food industries to focus more on the addition or subtraction of healthy nutrients instead of producing overall healthy food. He elaborates on this subject by explaining how our quality of food has decreased since the rise of “nutritionism.”

I agree with Pollan when he talks about eating real, whole foods. It is obvious that a piece of fruit is a better snack than a granola bar, even if the granola bar has the healthy nutrients that we are supposed to eat. History can prove the significance of healthy, whole foods as Michael Pollan pans out in the book. I came across the blog Nutrition Thoughts which talks about dietary imbalance, and how it affects one’s lifespan.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Daily Erg

Hey! I linked to a blog dealing with rowing.