Lander Compton

Lander Compton

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Sunday, 31 March 2013 23:26

HM Tube

Introduction

HM Tube is a Joomla! plugin designed to play YouTube videos using Jw Player's customizations and skins inside Joomla! articles. The program was born of necessity in a time when there were not any plugins that suited my needs precisely. Although, at the time, there were many modules that played video, there were few that did this as a video; therefore, I created HM Tube to fill that need. Because it was exciting to see my own code at work, I decided to share it with the Joomla! community.

Saturday, 30 March 2013 18:54

Science Denial Dangers

Michael Specter talks about the dangers of science denial. He touches on subjects such as refusal to vaccinate children and genetically modified crops. His talk could easily extend to other issues such as global warming. Because we distrust big government, and big corporations, Specter suggest, we are beginning to distrust all the necessary things they offer.

Saturday, 30 March 2013 18:06

Propranolol and Memory Recall

The documentary “Horizon: How Does Your Memory Work?” was a film aired on BBC covering a broad range of topics concerning memory. These topics included amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, memory development in children, memory storage, and other dementia or memory related items. Although all these topics were interesting, I found the information about memory encoding and recoding to be the most fascinating along with the effects of Propranolol on memory.

Saturday, 30 March 2013 16:42

Aggression

There should be little doubt that violent TV affects aggression in society. Numerous studies and statistics prove a positive correlation between the emergence of TV and aggression shown in our society. One such study lead by Leonard Eron, a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Michigan, suggest that 10% of youth violence is caused by television alone (“Facts and TV Statistics”). The American Psychological Association, because of the predominant finding in research that media portrayals of violence increase aggressive behavior in children, believes the debate is over and accepts the correlation between violent TV and aggression as fact (“Facts and TV Statistics”).

Friday, 29 March 2013 18:39

Ambiguity in the Word Theory

Quite often concerning the evolution vs. creationism debate I have heard the statement that "evolution is just a theory." The point of such a statement is generally to reduce evolution, in a derogatory manner, to merely a system of belief on the same level as a religion. Such statements also usually intend on pointing out that evolution, being just a theory, is not on the same level as a hard fact. These misconceptions hint at a common misunderstanding of the word "theory" as it is used in science and ambiguity of the word between various subcultures.

Friday, 29 March 2013 17:49

Overweight Roots

Overweight and obese individuals are often the focus of jokes and ridicule. The stigmatization associated with being overweight can cripple an individual socially and in the work place. Individuals suffering from being overweight have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and social isolation ("Obesity, Bias, and Stigmatization") often as a result of the negative biased stigmatization. Quite often overweight people are stereotyped as being individuals who simply eat too much but research shows there is nothing "simple" about it.

One of the many origins of human obesity is deeply rooted in our ancestors. It is believed that one of the predominate causes for bipedal ape development was due to receding forest in East Africa causing devastating food shortages in the Pliocene era (Haviland, 2007). The need to adapt to acquire new sources of food had a hand in selecting bipedalism to gather food sources, allowing the hands to be free to carry food back home. This set in motion, around 5 million years ago, the lineage that would one day become human (Haviland, 2007). Food scarcity was always a problem in primate development, in fact is was a problem facing almost every organism on the planet.

In light of evolution it''s no wonder 60 % (Myers, 2008) of the world''s population is overweight. For millions of years evolution has selected traits and systems that work together allowing humans to compete for resources. It''s only been recently, in the perspective of our world''s history, that food for primates has become so abundant and easily attained leading to a dysfunction of evolutions rule "When you find energy rich fat or sugar, eat it!" (Myers, 2008).

Not only is our body predisposition to desire food, our body is conditioned to reserve that energy from food as fat in fat cells. Our ancestors had to survive times of famine and by storing some of the food as fat they were able to get through the tough times (Myers, 2008) by converting that fat back to energy when there wasn''t any food. The typical human has between 30, and 40 billion fat cells (Myers, 2008). When these fat cells become full they often divide and cause other immature fat cells near them to divide. The problem with this is that number of fat cells never decreases. A person can lose the fat in those fat cells, but not the fat cells themselves (Myers, 2008). It makes since then, that because the infrastructure of fat cells is already built, it would be much easier for one, having lost the weight, to gain it back

In conclusion, being overweight is no simple matter. The current trend in our society to gain weight is a trend backed by millions of years of evolutionary development and our genetics have not caught up with our social evolution. I believe the key to dealing with the obesity epidemic, and the stigmatization of it, is to look at the situation for what it is; an evolutionary wonder. By understanding the principles and systems involved, and abolishing the stigmatizations with knowledge, perhaps we can tackle the issue in a way conducive to healing.

References:

Haviland, A.W. (2007). Anthropology: The Human Challenge (12th ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing

 

Myers, D.G. (2008). Exploring Psychology (7th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.

 

Obesity, Bias, and Stigmatization. (n.d.). The Obesity Society. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from

http://www.obesity.org/information/weight_bias.asp

Thursday, 28 March 2013 16:59

From Australopithecine to Homo Sapien

The earliest primate bipeds originated near the end of the Miocene era to the beginning of the Pliocene era. Plate tectonics and continental drift which occurred in the Miocene era is believed to be the catalyst which created the environment conducive to bipedal development. The collision between Africa and Eurasia caused East Africa to rise in elevation gradually transforming the lush Forrest existing there into a dry savanna. No longer having a rich forest for cover from predators, having to view above tall grasses, and having to search longer distances for food are all contributors, caused by the environment, of bipedal necessity.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 14:12

The Monkeysphere

Being a nerd, and spending tons of time playing online games, I frequently come across situations where one individual flames another without much or any provocation. Usually the individuals don't know each other, and the degree of anonymity is high. On occasion I have even asked why the person why they felt the need to be so cruel. Among the answers i received was:

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 18:54

Same Sex Couples and Marriage

The United States is supposed to be a land of freedom, of opportunity, and a land where bigotry is scorned. Every day, however, homosexuals face bigotry in a country that scorns them and denies them rights to marry each other just because their sexual preference seems unusual to the majority. As a minority they are being denied inalienable rights through legal code backed by conservative religious values.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:57

Confidence and the Dunning-Kruger Effect

It is common knowledge that around the world that America is known for its arrogance and over confidence. The typical American response is one filled with self-preservatory bias that hinders our ability to take such accusations seriously. With all the economic failures of our society as of late, I think we must reexamine many of the attitudes and motivations we have as a society. One of these examinations must be about the role of arrogance and over confidence in our society and then addressing it through education.

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