Posted by: abaybay123 | December 7, 2007

Interesting Case of Racism

I came across this interesting article concerning a case of racism on the “Rachel’s Tavern” blog.  The material down below is an article explaining what happened: 

Three young black men break into a white man’s home in rural Northern California. The homeowner shoots two of them to death — but it’s the surviving black man who is charged with murder.In a case that has brought cries of racism from civil rights groups, Renato Hughes Jr., 22, was charged by prosecutors in this overwhelmingly white county under a rarely invoked legal doctrine that could make him responsible for the bloodshed.“It was pandemonium” inside the house that night, District Attorney Jon Hopkins said. Hughes was responsible for “setting the whole thing in motion by his actions and the actions of his accomplices.”Prosecutors said homeowner Shannon Edmonds opened fire Dec. 7, 2005 after three young men rampaged through the Clearlake house demanding marijuana and brutally beat his stepson. Rashad Williams, 21, and Christian Foster, 22, were shot in the back. Hughes fled.Hughes was charged with first-degree murder under California’s Provocative Act doctrine, versions of which have been on the books in many states for generations but are rarely used.The Provocative Act doctrine does not require prosecutors to prove the accused intended to kill. Instead, “they have to show that it was reasonably foreseeable that the criminal enterprise could trigger a fatal response from the homeowner,” said Brian Getz, a San Francisco defense attorney unconnected to the case.The NAACP complained that prosecutors came down too hard on Hughes, who also faces robbery, burglary and assault charges. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.The Rev. Amos Brown, head of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP and pastor at Hughes’ church, said the case demonstrates the legal system is racist in remote Lake County, aspiring wine country 100 miles north of San Francisco. The sparsely populated county of 13,000 people is 91 percent white and 2 percent black. 


 When considering the factors of this incident, it is mind boggling to think that someone can be charged with murder when they were the one actually fleeing from a man firing a gun.  I;m not saying i disagree with the charge, I am just saying it is wierd to think of.  Whne someone reads this article it is safe to say that the thought of “racism” might run through their head.  I would disagree with anyone who made those accusations.  I honestly believe if the kid were white, he would still be charged with murder.  The outcome of the incident isn’t a matter of color, but instead it is a question of the intentions of these teens as they entered the house.  They need to consider the consequences of their actions and what it could result in.  The law states that the individual will be charged because their it is highly possible that a break-in could have a fatal ending.  However, since none of the kids shot the homeowner, and the one individual who made it out didn’t shoot anyone, I believe the charges should be lessened atleast to attempted murder.  In conclusion, I believe all concerns for this being a racist case can be dismissed because its intentions of the criminals that determines the charges.

Posted by: abaybay123 | December 5, 2007

The College Life…The Eating Issue

While scanning “The Situationist” blog, I came across a very interesting article that pertained to the College Life.  Most people who discuss the adjustment period of high school to college usually adress the concern for workloads and time management.  This article diverges from the common concern, and moves more towards the eating issue of freshman college students.  It addresses the “Freshman 15” phenomenon.  The excerpt below really appealed to me…

People’s snacking habits depend, therefore, on the society in which they live and on their schedule. Because students are generally busy with classes, homework, errands, and extracurricular activities, they tend to eat infrequently and have large meals at the buffet-style dining halls.

There is an additional evolutionary basis to eating in groups. Prof. Karanek conducted a study with foods that smelled different. In her experiment, a rat ate a food that smelled like licorice or basil, while another rat stood watching. The rat that saw another rat eating licorice was more likely to eat licorice. Likewise, the rat that saw another rat eating basil was more likely to eat basil. Through observation, the rats learned something about each food and found out whether it was safe to ingest.

I found this quote to be very interesting because it implies that not only is it unhealthy that students eat infrequently, but it also can be very harmful to eat in groups.  The article suggests that when someone sees a friend eating a certain type of food, then they are more likely to go get the same food.  I was very surprised to see that peer pressure actually has an effect on eating.  I can relate to the authors argument of how eating large quantities in buffet style cafeterias is detrimental to one’s eating habits.  I often find myself swamped with work throughout the day and therefore, I might skip a meal or two.  But then I’ll make up for it by eating a very large dinner and then maybe a snack later at night.  Apparently this is not to healthy for you.  So after reading this article I will probably do everything in my will to change my eating habits.  I’m not trying to be the next victim of the “Freshman 15” disease.

Also, I feel it is necessary to address the alcohol side of this phenomenon.  Alot of the weight freshman gain has to do with the overexposure to alcohol.  Not only does beer have tons of calories, but when people drink, they tend to get the late night munchies.  This usually leads to the person overeating on partying nights; further contributing to their increase in weight.  So after reading this article I will probably do everything in my own will to change my eating habits.  Afterall, I’m not trying to be the next victim of the “Freshman 15” disease.

Posted by: abaybay123 | November 29, 2007

Sexist Given Another Chance?

This article in the USA Today talks about how former controversial news caster, Don Imus, is being given another chance at the radio.  This time instead of being with CBS radio, Imus with be aired on the ABC radio.  I was shocked at this news considering the commotion he caused eight months ago.  When talking of the Rutgers Womens Basketball Team, Imus referred to them as a “group of thugs” and “a bunch of nappy headed hoes.”  Imus was made the face of the sports industry for weeks to follow.  After losign his job with CBS, and barring his age, I was convinced Imus would never return to the radio.  But I guess I was wrong.  I feel that ABC made the wrong decision in hiring him.  With all the sexism, racism, and descrimination that occurs in our country, I think the last think the last thing the sports industry needs is for Imus to be allowed back on the air.  Granted he apologized for his actions, but do you really think he was sincere? Or are you like me and just think he was dissappointed he lost his job and gained so many enemies?  Our world today is continually fighting for equality amongst all individuals.  We do not need people like Imus promoting otherwise.

Posted by: abaybay123 | November 29, 2007

Odd Man Out

While reading “The Situationist” blog I came across an interesting article that encouraged girls to play violent video games.  When I saw the title I was convinced to read further.  The article starts by explaining how women have more trouble with spatial tasks. These are tasks in which someone has to identify the out of the ordinary object in a situation.  Statitics show than men are significantly more better than women.  So a psychology professor conducted an experiment in which men and women played a violent war video game for ten hours.  Following the video game, the individuals were given a test to identify the “odd man out” in a displayed field of two dozen identical objects.  Both the men and the women showed improvement in scores, however the women showed a significantlly more impressive improvement than the men.

That is not surprising, given the different natures of the games. However, the improvement in the women was greater than the improvement in the men—so much so that there was no longer a significant difference between the two. Moreover, that absence of difference was long-lived. When the volunteers were tested again after five months, both the improvement and the lack of difference between the sexes remained. Though it is too early to be sure, it looks likely that the change in spatial acuity—and the abolition of any sex difference in that acuity—induced by playing “Medal of Honour” is permanent.

That has several implications. One is that playing violent computer games can have beneficial effects. Another is that the games might provide a way of rapidly improving spatial ability in people such as drivers and soldiers. And a third is that although genes are important, upbringing matters, too.

I found this interesting because apparently there are many important spatial tasks in todays society.  Because of this test, psychologists are actually hinting that it might be a good idea for mothers to encourage their daughters to play violent video games.  This was interesting to me because women are not usually assosciated with video games, let alone violent video games.  Also in todays entertainment industry, one of the major debates is the violence that is portrayed in TV shows, movies, and video games.  Most say it has a negative impact on society, but these psychologists suggest otherwise.  I found it amazing how playing a violent video game can also help people with driving and many other real life tasks.

Posted by: abaybay123 | November 13, 2007

Drugs Flood Sports Industry

This is sort of a random post but being the huge sports fan I am, I came across this interesting article on  Below is an excerpt I felt outlined the issue:

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said players will receive a manual next month as part of an education program that will extend through June, with testing to follow.

The manual will contain a list of prohibited substances that fall under 10 categories, ranging from anabolic steroids to human growth hormone to narcotics to beta blockers.

Finchem said the tour can test players without notice anytime and anywhere, and testing at a PGA Tour event can occur before or after practice or competition. There was no limit to how many times a year a player can be tested. It was not clear if there would be any mandatory testing of players, such as the winner of a tournament.

Penalties could include ineligibility for up to one year for the first violation; up to five years for the second violation; up to a lifetime ban for multiple violations; and fines up to $500,000.

From reading the above excerpt or the article as a whole, you can obviously see the issue is the use of drugs in the Professional Golf Association (PGA).  This is just another addition to the national disaster of drug abuse amongst professional athletes.  Whether it is steroids or marijuana, athletes across the world are using illegal substances.  I think it is very interesting how drug testing has evolved over the last decade.  It went from being concentrated mainly on the crackdown of steroid usage in baseball and the olympics, to expanding into multiple categories of drugs in several different sports.  I think the PGA being the latest league to invest in drug testing will bring fear amongst the professional golfers.  I would be willing to bet there are a few golfers out there using steroids so they can drive the ball that much further.  This would result in a better score, which would result in a higher ranking, which would result in, do the math…yes! your right, the golfer making more money.  I believe this new drug testing policy in the PGA will prove to be beneficial to the golfing society and the professional sports industry as a hole.  It strives to keep professional athletes fair to their competitors and loyal to the game.

Posted by: abaybay123 | November 13, 2007

College Early Admissions Myths

With the month of November coming to an end, many high school seniors are beginning to receive acceptance letters from their desired colleges that they applied early to.  According to an author who blogged a post on “College Confidential Talk,” there are many myths generated that question this early application process.  The writer focuses on four main points that he/she believes are completely false:

1. Early admissions puts pressure on the kids to make decisions early

2. All early admissions processes are bad, since they don’t let you take advantage of financial aid

3. Only the rich can know about early admissions, so it is not fair to have any early programs

4. Those who get in early will not work hard the rest of their senior year

I have mixed feelings about some of these myths.  I think it all really depends on the individual student as to whether or not they apply early.  Early decision is perfect for people who know exactly where they want to attend college and want to know that their spot is guarenteed.  However, a student who wants to apply early but is deciding between a few schools, might want to consider early action.  This is pretty much is the same except it is a non-binding decision.  And then of course there is always the option to apply regularly.  As a high school student, I was one of those kids who chose to apply early action.  I was very anxious to find out what my chances were at my desired colleges, but at the same time, I wasn’t exactly confident in one particular school.

 To touch upon the myths:

1. I really don’t think early decision exerts pressure on the student, because as said before, there is a variety of different deadlines to apply by.

2. I don’t feel as if someone can actually say “all early admissions processes are bad” because it really depends on the type of person you are.  However, I do see how early decission does not allow you to take full advantage of the financial aid assistance.  You could be accepted to your top school early decision, but then you could recieve a full scholorship to your second choice.  With early decision, the scholorship to school number 2 can pretty much be thrown out the window because you are already committed to school number 1.

3. This myth is just completely unjust.  I don’t see how early admissions information can only be available to the rich.  The only way this could be true is if the student did not have access to a computer because all college websites provide you with everything you need to know about the application process.

4. I feel as if this is not so much a myth.  Coming from a student who was just in this situation last year, I know a ton of students who wanted to be admitted early so that they could slack off the rest of the year. 

Posted by: abaybay123 | November 5, 2007

College Student Athletes Exceed Label

I came across a new blogging website that seemed to be pretty legit in terms of context and efficiency. The one article of the “Rachels Tavern” blog really reached out and won my interest. The post discusses yet another stereotype of the todays world. The author talks about how black student athletes are sometimes labled as “dumb” individuals who do not succeed in the classroom. Realistically, this is not the case.

There are a host of reasons why black athletes graduate at higher rates than black students who are not athletes. A few of those reasons would include: black athletes usually have significant scholarship money, athletes often receive tutors and extra counseling, athletes usually are required to attend “study table,” and athletes can build social networks with other athletes which provides social support unavailable to many non-athletes.
It is sad to see black athletes vilified so often in popular media, especially when they out perform other black students. Imagine how many more black college graduates we would have if we raised the graduation rates for all black students to the level that it is for black athletes. Since most black students are not athletes, this would be a very significant number. In fact, I wish we paid more attention to black students who weren’t athletes because they don’t get the same level of social and financial support. Of course, the ultimate goal would be to close the graduation gap between blacks and whites, but in the short run, raising the graduation rates for non-athlete black students is a much easier goal. But nobody is focused on that problem, since they tend to think black athletes are the source of lower achievement for black college students…

These last two paragraphs raise many thoughts concerning the issue. The situation can be looked at in several directions. One way is to recognize the statistics proving that a black student athlete is more likely to graduate than a normal black student. This was not to surprising to me considering these athletes are provided with all the tutors and assistants necessary to help them pass and make them elligible to play. Another way to look at this issue to is address it with the intentions of defining what exactly “dumb” is and who these individuals are being compared against. One question I would like to be answered is: Are these black student athletes being labeled dumb within their race or are they being compared against whites and other students? I think it would be interesting to see statistcs that correlate the relationship of whites success in the classroom versus black student athletes success. I would be willing to bet the differnece would not be that evident. Alot of these athletes carry the same determination on the field over into the classroom. In the end, I strongly believe the stereotype of black student athletes being “dumb” is completely false and unjustified.

Posted by: abaybay123 | November 5, 2007

Dumb Blonde Stereotypes Portray Sexism

While browsing through “The Situationist” blog, I came across another article having to do with stereotypes and the effects they have on today’s society. This article specifically addresses the “dumb blonde” stereotype and how common it is amongst our lives. The Western Carolina University psychology professor who led the research was quoted as saying that the high exposure of the stereotype affects the men’s peroceptions of the women around them.

A research project led by a Western Carolina University psychology professor indicates that jokes about blondes and women drivers are not just harmless fun and games; instead, exposure to sexist humor can lead to toleration of hostile feelings and discrimination against women.

“Sexist humor is not simply benign amusement. It can affect men’s perceptions of their immediate social surroundings and allow them to feel comfortable with behavioral expressions of sexism without the fear of disapproval of their peers,” said Thomas E. Ford, a new faculty member in the psychology department at WCU. “Specifically, we propose that sexist humor acts as a ‘releaser’ of prejudice.”

Later on in the article, the author talks about men that enjoy sexist jokes more than neutral jokes tend to be less willing to donate money to women organizations. This article is interesting because it made me realize that a simple car commercial could contain one or two stereotypes that might have a serious effect on a man’s perceptions. In this world today, it is almost nearly impossible to completely escape stereotyps and bias comments. With all the diverse cultures in society, it makes it hard to please everyone. And considering how ones surroundings can greatly influence their lives, these stereotypes often are absorbed by the people of the world without them even realizing. Supreme equality is a very tough goal that America works at on a daily basis, but one has to question whether this actually can be achieved…

Posted by: abaybay123 | October 31, 2007

Can Happiness Actually Be Bad For You?

While reading through “The Situationist” blog, I was appealed by a post thar was titled “Don’t Worry, Don’t Be Happy, Either?” This topic immediately grabbed my attention because it is belived that everyone in this world shares the common goal of happiness. The pursuit of hapiness is as a result of one of the most desired qualities in todays society. However, according to a study done by University of Virginia psychology professor, Shigehero Oishi, a surplus of hapiness can lead to a surplus of depression.

Are you happy? Well don’t try to be happier; you might become less happy. That is the gist of a multi-cultural study published this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

The study by University of Virginia psychology professor Shigehiro Oishi and colleagues at three other institutions found that, on average, European-Americans claim to be happy in general – more happy than Asian-Americans or Koreans or Japanese – but are more easily made less happy by negative events, and recover at a slower rate from negative events, than their counterparts in Asia or with an Asian ancestry. On the other hand, Koreans, Japanese, and to a lesser extent, Asian-Americans, are less happy in general, but recover their emotional equilibrium more readily after a setback than European-Americans.

“We found that the more positive events a person has, the more they feel the effects of a negative event,” Oishi said. “People seem to dwell on the negative thing when they have a large number of good events in their life.

“It is like the person who is used to flying first class and becomes very annoyed if there is a half-hour delay. But the person who flies economy class accepts the delay in stride.”

The studies of this professor truly does bring up a valid point. The long time saying, “money can’t buy happiness”, has some relevancy to these studies. According to Oishi, people who are ultimately happy at times, experience large peeks of emotion. The professor’s example pertaining to the reactions of the variety of passangers when the flight is delayed successfully pertrays the theories behind this study. It is common for more wealthy people to become greedy and therfore when everything is not perfect, they are more greatly affected.

I have mixed feelings towards the theory of Professor Oishi. I agree with her in the fact that happier people often hold higher expectations. This can lead to much dissappoinment when the slightest thing goes wrong. There once happiness may convert into a depression that takes time to recover from. I disagree with the professors theories in that I feel the common American goal is the pursuit of hapiness. To simply advice people to try and not be too happy is simply astonishing to me. There are millions of people in this world that would die for the happiness that alot of us experience in our everyday lives. Therefore, I feel we shouldnt take anything for granted, and should conserve and strive for every bit of happiness we can.

Posted by: abaybay123 | October 24, 2007

The Gender Gap of College Enollment

While skimming a variety of new posts on the College Confidential blogging site, I came across an interesting post on the gender gap of college enrollments. The post was asking how people felt about a news article regarding this topic. I found the following excerpt provides the public with a general understanding of the differential in sex in the college world:

As women continue to enroll at higher rates than men, some colleges have begun to alter admission rates for both men and women. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2006, women made up 56 percent of the total undergraduate students in the United States.

“In my experience, I have seen instances where the admissions bar is set a little lower for boys, compared to girls,” said Bari Norman, an independent college counselor and former admissions officer at Barnard College.

“With somewhat relaxed admissions standards, a reach school may very well become their reality,” Norman said on the increasing opportunities for males.

U.S. News and World Report published a list this past summer labeling 18 schools “Girls Need Not Apply.” The magazine selected these colleges, which include the University of Richmond, Boston College and Fordham University, for their increasing disparity between male and female admissions over the past 10 years.

Number five on the list, The College of William and Mary, has an 11 percent lower acceptance rate for women, yet their student body is still 57 percent female.

This quote appealed to me because colleges are beginning to realize that in general, there are more women enrolled in men. In order to even out this disparity, college admissions are lowering the acceptance rate on women, while tending to be a little bit more lenient on the men. Although this seems to be unfair, it could prove to be necessary to ensure equality of gender in college. This article relates to my essay topic in that they both are concerns of educational biases. It will be interesting to see how the gender differential will play into the field of the SATs. The SATs are often considered to be a biased test, although mostly having to do with race rather than gender. With the presence of women in colleges exceeding the number of men, and the wealthy whites being favored in the SATs against minorities, it seems as if there is no solution to ensure eductional equality.

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