Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Place to Go

In my first semester back in school I have had to do a lot of research on a lot of different topics. But, in researching one topic for my Intro to Spanish-speaking Cultures class, I have become more interested than before. This topic is the country of Peru. I was assigned to do a report on Peru; and in doing so has made me want to go there more than ever.

I find this country intriguing for many different reasons; the first being the history of the land. Peru was once the heart of the Incan Empire. An indigenous empire that stretched from Southern Colombia all the way to the northern parts of Chile and Argentina. There are still many Incan ruins in Peru, one of the most famous being Machu Pichu. This ruin is located high in the Andes mountains; there are two ways to get there, by train or by foot. The trek by foot takes three days, where you camp on the trail at night. This is what I would love to do.

Another reason I would like to travel to Peru is because of the environment. Peru has everything you could need. On the West side is the Pacific ocean with tons of beaches and water to swim in. On the East side is the Amazon rain forest with beautiful plants and animals to see. And in the middle is the Andes mountains, with skiing and mountain climbing. Whatever your mood, you can probably do it in Peru.

The last thing I want to mention is the food. All vegetables and fish are picked/caught daily to be sold at the open markets. Only one word to the wise, be careful of the red meat if you are squeamish; a primary source for red meat are guinea pigs.

More Reflections on Life & Death

This weekend I had to go to the funeral of the mother of one of my best friends. She was more that just my friend's mom, she was my friend; my family. Her death came as a big shock to us all. In the middle of last week she went to bed and never woke up. We still don't even know what caused her death. The only health problem she had was high blood pressure, and there is no evidence of a stroke or heart attack.
This incident made me think a lot, especially of the reflections I had when the puppies were born. I had a lot of the same thoughts and feelings come up. Just thinking that life really is a miracle; I mean, even in death it keeps us wondering and in awe. Why did she have to die now, only in her early 50's? And how did she die, when she was in relatively good health, and nothing was found in the initial autopsy?
But, this experience in my life also brought new and different thoughts to my mind. In thinking that life is a miracle, I can't help thinking that it is also a gift to be treasured and appreciated. In seeing this, I realized that I never know when it will be my turn to go. It could be a total mystery, where I die in my sleep of no apparent cause, or I could be hit by a car while crossing the street; you never really know. I do want to keep some of these thoughts in my head, so that I remember to show everyone how much I care for them. In these busy days we sometimes forget to say "I love you" all the time, and I don't want to regret having not said it before I died.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shark Tales

I couldn't decide what to write about, so I decided to write about one of my greatest obsessions; sharks. Ever since I was a child I have had this strange pull towards sharks. Growing up I wanted to be a marine biologist just to be able to dive with a Great White. I think sharks are wonderful, beautiful animals; and most people think I'm crazy for thinking so. But hopefully by sharing what I know about them, I can change those feelings.
Sharks are one of the oldest animals in the world, and have stayed unchanged for millions of years. Sharks have even found the cure for cancer. Scientists have tried to give cancer to sharks before, but they have something special that kills the cancer. Now we are trying to learn what that special something is from the sharks. If nothing else you have to give them some respect for just their evolutionary accomplishments. They have been on this planet since before humans were apes, and have seen a lot more than we have.
I know most people think "Jaws" when they think of sharks. Basically a giant set of teeth with a fin and tail that goes around eating anything it sees. This just isn't true, statistically you are more likely to be stung to death by bees then you are to be attacked by a shark. Millions of people go swimming with sharks every day, and they don't even know it. Also a Great White, in reality, only eats about once every 1 to 2 months. and that food is seals and whale carcasses; Great Whites are scavengers.
When you actually think about it, sharks have more to fear from us then we do from them. We pollute their waters, put up nets to drowned them, and more. The worst of it all is how they collect shark fins for shark fin soup. They catch the sharks, drag them on the boat, cut off all their fins, and throw them back into the ocean. Without their fins they can't swim, and if they can't swim they slowly drown or stave. So I ask, who is the real monster?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

YouTube Video

The Simpsons makes fun of Fox News

Friday, April 6, 2007

Spoof Ad

I think this ad is mocking all Calvin Klein ads, but at the same time using it to prove a bigger point. The ad is a spoof of Calvin Klein Obsession perfume ads. When you first glance at it, it does look like one of their ads, with a naked woman on it. But when you look closer you see that the woman is holding her stomach, and leaning over a toilet bowl. Also the vertebrae in her back are very pronounced, and some of her ribs are showing;it is a woman with bulimia. When you think about this, you can see how they are using pathos to pull at your emotions about a trouble in the world today.
I feel that they are using this ad to bring up the bigger issue of the direction that advertising is going these days. My last post was an example of the use of sex appeal , and this ad is showing the effects that the use of sex appeal can have on people. There are so many ads that push being skinny and beautiful that most people end up with low self esteem. Our country has an "obsession" with being perfect(skinny and sexy) that it is messing with the mental health of people. Anorexia and bulimia are becoming more and more common, and this ad is trying to make people realize one of the biggest reasons why.
I think this ad does a good job at making it's point, but at the same time it is still using the same means as the Calvin Klein ads. One, it uses the logo "Obsession" to grab people's attention with a familiar name. Second, it is still using some sex appeal to get attention too. It may need to use the image of the naked woman to make it a true parody to the Calvin Klein ads, but the image of the naked woman is still the thing that grabs your attention first; even before you know what the ad is for.

Calvin Klein Ad

The photo I chose was from a five page layout for Calvin Klein jeans. This ad is definitely using sex appeal to sell it's product. The photo has a young, skinny, blond woman laying on her back; which is arched to accentuate her features. She is also wearing a mini skirt, and has her legs spread wide open, exposing her underwear. The way that she is looking straight at the camera, like she is looking at every person that looks at the ad is also very seductive. The woman is also playfully putting her hair in her mouth in a very flirtatious way.
This ad is also using pathos to appeal to it's consumers. To think that this is an ad for Calvin Klein jeans; she's not even wearing jeans. She is wearing a jean skirt, but that is not what your eyes are drown to. with out me saying that this was an ad for jeans would anyone even know what product they were trying to sell, besides sex? This ad is playing on sex appeal and how we react to it to sell the product. This part of the ad doesn't even have the logo or name of the product on it. By using sex appeal as a pathos, they are making men want to be with her, and women want to be her. Therefore, maybe if they buy the product they can get a little closer to what they want.
I don't really know f I would consider this ad very appropriate; she does have some clothes on, but the way she is posed with her legs open, and sucking on her hair, she might as well be in a Playboy spread. Is that what we want to aspire to be?