The Second Golden Age of the Serial Killer

Serial killers are some of the most depraved criminals to ever exist, and their killings used to be sensationalized across the country. One would be hard pressed to find a household that had never heard the names Ted Bundy or Charles Manson both of whom are serial killers from the 1970’s. Since then, it seems that the number of Serial killers has dwindled dramatically. Has American law enforcement conquered these reprehensible human beings through advances in technology? No, in fact, the seeming dying out of the serial killer has nothing to do with the advancements in law enforcement, and all to do with the environment they are surrounded in. The serial killers of the 70’s and 80’s were products of the unstable atmosphere in America around that time, and the country is primed to see a huge increase in serial killings in the near future.

Over the last few decades, America has definitely had one thing going for it; serial killers have been declining. James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northwestern University, says that America has seen a serious decrease in serial killings in the last couple of decades. Before the 1960’s there were almost none, then they took off, 19 in the 1960’s, followed by 119 in the 70’s and 200 in the 80’s. In the 1990’s America still saw approximately 141 cases, but then in the 2000’s this number has shrunk to 61. In a sense, the 70’s and the 80’s was the “Golden Age of Serial Killers”,  James Alan Fox thinks that this shrink may have something to do with terrorism being the new serial killer of American interest (Slate). That serial killers don’t get covered in the news anymore, because Americans just aren’t interested in them, yet a lack of interest could hardly explain the number of serial killers themselves falling so sharply. Besides, a lack of interest hardly in serial killers hardly seems to be a problem among Americans, just look at what they are watching on television, Dexter, True Detective, Hannibal. Serial Killers still captivate the American mind. Violence is still sensationalized by American news outlets, terrorism has received rampant coverage for the last decade. So it might seem possible that the terrorism of the 2000’s has taken the fear and place in society that serial killings occupied before. Terrorists themselves not technically being serial killers either, under the FBI’s definition which is that “a serial killer is a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant break (a "cooling off period") between them.” (FBI) Yet terrorism is not a new phenomena, in fact there was rampant terrorism during the “Golden Age of Serial Killers”. In the 70’s there were actually hundreds of terrorist attacks throughout the country, bombings, shooting, and hijacks, while in the years since 9/11 there have only been about 2 dozen. (CNN) So it’s not interest that has dwindled, but serial killers themselves, along with surprisingly enough domestic terrorists.

The 60’s were not a calm time in American history, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the assassination of both Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, and the sexual revolution. The country went crazy in these years, and it caught up with us, in a big way, in the form of hundreds of serial killers and domestic terrorists. This wasn’t simply a matter of coincidence either, the atmosphere of a society can have a direct effect on the manifestations of an unstable mind. An article in the New Yorker references this occurrence “Grandiose schizophrenics from largely Christian countries often claim to be prophets or gods, but sufferers in Pakistan, a Muslim country, rarely do. In Shanghai, paranoid people report being pricked by poisoned needles; in Taipei, they are possessed by spirits.” (Marantz). The mind manifests delusion from its own environment, in fact this same article from the New Yorker is about a new kind of paranoid delusion; the Truman Show Effect. It’s an occurrence where a person believes they are part of a vast secret reality TV show, and are followed constantly by hidden cameras. Society manifests its events onto people, and this quickly begins to explain just how the 60’s had the impact it did on the country. The subsequent decade’s 119 serial killers were a result of the violent atmosphere of the previous decade, their crimes the result of the delusional manifestations of a country gone crazy.

A parallel can be drawn with the 2000’s. The United States in the last 8 years has bombed Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria, that’s 7 countries in total. (CNN) America is currently going through one of the most politically divisive presidential cycles of all time, with Trump’s infamous race baiting and Hillary Clinton’s blatant corruption scandals. Race relations are deteriorating and as of August 26, 38 police officers had been killed in the line of duty, 58% more than last year, which in of itself is a manifestation of societal problems in the form of violence. (CNN)  The country is once again going through a time of great strife and the repercussions of this are going to be wide reaching, and if history shows anything, violent.

It might be difficult to see the connection between domestic violence and America attacking people in 7 countries across oceans, until one looks at one very telling trend. While serial killings and depraved murders might be on the decline in America in the 2000’s, one kind of violence has been on the rise: Mass shootings. According to a study by the FBI using their definition of an active shooter incident “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area” there have been 160 such incidents between 2000 and 2013 with a marked trend of increase. The first 7 years showing a rate of 6.4 incidents annually, the next 7 showing a rate of 16.4 annually. War is murder sanctioned by the government, and it is becoming apparent that this violence can not just stay overseas as  had been hoped. While mass shooters are not serial killers, they are a manifestation of a country that is quickly becoming more and more violent. In fact, mass shooters are not only products of larger societal ills in America, but add to the unstable atmosphere becoming prevalent through the country. As the number of mass shooters increases, it’s not unlike a pot slowly rolling to a boil, bringing the country closer and closer to the rebirth of the serial killer.

The 1960’s and the following decades show the kind of effect social upheaval and government sponsored violence can have on a country. This kind of violent atmosphere can not exist without affecting the peoples within it, It leads to violence at home in the form of serial killings, terrorism, and mass shootings. America is currently reaching a point of societal divisiveness and change not seen since the 1960’s, and the country is once again on the precipice of mass violence ranging from the political to the depraved, violence ranging from one coast to the other. The United States of America is about to enter the second Golden Age of the Serial Killer.

Works Cited:

Bergen, Peter. "The Golden Age of Terrorism." CNN. Cable News Network, 21 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Beam, Christopher. "The Decline of the Serial Killer." Slate Magazine. Slate, 05 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

"FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents." FBI. FBI, 24 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

"Countries Bombed by the U.S. under the Obama Administration." CNN. Cable News Network, 23 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Hanna, Jason & Visser, Steve. "Fallen Officers: 38 Shot Dead This Year." CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Marantz, Andrew. “Unreality Star.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 9 Sep. 2013. Web. 2 Nov. 2016

Stay in bed and read, it's good for you!

Reading is a universal hobby anyone can enjoy at any time. There is a book for everyone, and so many more books than one person can ever read. Sadly, reading is not exactly a celebrated pastime.  In today’s culture, reading is often encouraged by teachers, and hated by students. They may find it pointless, and not understand the positive benefits that reading can have, not only on their grade, but their overall personal health. According to a Huffington Post and YouGov collaboration poll of 1,000 Americans,  28% of people had not read a book within the past year, and 25% had only read from 1-5 books. These statistics may come as a disappointing shock to some, especially given the fact that reading is so accessible for almost everyone. In fact, reading is a positive habit that more people should take up if they wish to benefit from its multiple proven positive effects on one’s mental health and fortitude ranging from being able to be more relaxed to preserving one’s memory.

Authors such as Maya Angelou, say  “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him” But, how is this true? Sure, reading can take people to magical places, but so can movies. What are the actual benefits? According to a Harvard published family health guide, reading is a way keep people’s brain ‘younger’ and sharper. It plays into the factor of getting mental stimulation, a proven way to reduce age related mental decline. It keeps the mind sharp and active, with new vocabulary and ways of thinking, more so than other media types.  Reading goes hand in hand with obvious factors to decrease the risk of age related memory decline, such as not smoking, not drinking and improving bodily health. Reading has just as much effect on long term mental health as these important habits, but with the added benefit of being an entertaining way to spend one’s time.  

Not only are the health benefits later in life , but reading has a large impact on a child’s life in school and jobs. Strong reading improves a child’s overall education, and gives them the confidence to be intelligent. A website run by Nemours Children’s Health System stated that firstly reading is “ the foundation for education achievement.”A lack of reading can limit a child’s potential in overall success, and being able to be happy and healthy. It's not mystery that people who continue into higher education tend to make more money than those who don't. Being able to continue higher education is fundamental for financial success, and reading is a fundamental value of educational achievement. The Huffington Post says Reading can expand one’s vocabulary, thereby making them an articulate speaker an asset at any job; Reading even helps one empathize with other people, and other cultures.

Reading does not just help in reducing memory decay and help solidify success, it can also begin to reduce stress in everyday life.  According to a study done at the University of Sussex, “Reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68%, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis. Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found. In fact it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started. Listening to music reduced the levels by 61%, have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54 %and taking a walk by 42%. Playing video games brought them down by 21% from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point.” This shows that reading has yet another positive outcome, more so than any other form of entertainment it reduces stress rates by huge amounts. Reading for just six minutes allowed the participants to be more relaxed, making it a way to reduce and manage stress in daily life. Not through complex or expensive therapy techniques either, but simply by picking up a book and reading for a few minutes. Reading reduces stressors by allowing readers to escape and explore an author’s imagination.Reading reduces stressors by allowing readers to escape and explore an author’s imagination. When reading, people are submersed into a different world, free of their own stressors. People can see into other's minds, and build relationships with a person without the stress of actually meeting someone new.    

When asked teenagers might say that reading is only meant to make you smarter, when upon closer inspection they are unaware of the positive benefits that reading can have on their overall personal health. Through no fault of theirs, the positive benefits of reading are too often left unsaid. The same occurrence can be found in adults who also feel that reading is not important to their lives. Everyone should be made aware that it could have health benefits they are trying other means to reach. Reading is a simple, healthy and enjoyable hobby for anyone who can find a few minutes to get lost in the worlds hidden between the pages of the books all around them.

  Works Cited

Crum, Maddie. "POLL: 28 Percent Of Americans Have Not Read A Book In The Past Year." The Huffington Post. 07 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Harvard Health. "12 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young - Harvard Health." Harvard Health. N.p., June 2006. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

"Health Benefits of Reading: Reading and Health Are Related - Nemours Reading BrightStart!" Nemours Reading BrightStart. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

"Reading 'can Help Reduce Stress'" The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 30 Mar. 2009. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.

Weed Anyone

In modern day America, people have taken to various outlets as their source of both entertainment and pleasure, and that includes recreational drug use. One heavily favored happens to be that of Cannabis, commonly known as Marijuana. The increased use of this drug, and perceived danger by many medical and legal officials, has led to highly contentious marijuana laws throughout the country. In discussion of this issue, different camps focus primarily on the state of the marijuana users, not anybody else involved. However, they are ignoring the larger benefit that the marijuana industry can have on the general public. . Marijuana and more specifically medical marijuana should be legal in the United States because of its health benefits and potential economic impact.

In the United States, marijuana is primarily used recreationally, but  there are copious instances of people utilizing cannabis to aid medical difficulties. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, there are 1,246,170 medical marijuana users in the twenty five states where it is legal. It’s also estimated that there would be an approximate 2,604,079 medical cannabis users if it were legal in all fifty states. Users are those who suffer from various conditions such as: epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, cancer, tourette’s syndrome, schizophrenia, sickle cell anemia, and others. Both the National Institute of Health and Food and Drug Administration are currently researching and putting some support behind cannabis being use to as a medicine, primarily in the case of chronic pain. The support for medical marijuana is increasing, as its impact is being discovered. It has the ability to help a significant amount of people with various illnesses to cope with the side affects that their condition gives them. For example, Charlotte Figi is a 5 year old girl who since the young age of 7 months had been suffering from a rare form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome, that caused her to have long uncontrollable seizures. Dravet syndrome could not be controlled by medicine and as Charlotte grew older, her seizures and overall life become much worse. Out of options, her family heard of another boy with Dravet Syndrome who used used marijuana to treat his seizures and the symptoms. They tried this method of extracting the oil from marijuana, giving it to Charlotte and saw an immediate decrease in the amount and frequency of her seizures. Over the last three years Charlotte seizures has stopped with the help of medical marijuana. While there may be relief in other medicine, marijuana is easily accessible, can be taken in various forms, and poses an immediate solution. The government has the responsibility of serving and maintaining the wellbeing of the public, and marijuana showing itself as a viable aid, further proves why it should be legalized.

The industry and selling of marijuana is one that has been embraced by several cities across the United States due to the possible economic growth that could be stimulated. The U.S World and News Report states that the implementation of medical marijuana can save U.S taxpayers approximately 468.1 million dollars every year. According to the California State Board of Equalization, the state took in about $50 million in sales taxes from 1,623 medical marijuana dispensaries across California that registered with the state and filed taxes in 2014. Similarly, in Illinois, medical marijuana dispensaries have generated 23.5 million dollars. For the states where marijuana is legalized, the access money is used to supply different demands within the city. In various cities in Colorado, where both medical and recreational marijuana has became a lucrative business, they are using funds to better the community. For example, In Aurora 12.4 million is being spent to address homelessness, outreach programs for the needy, and to build a new recreation center. Similarly, in Adams County they have earmarked more than 500,000 dollars in scholarships for low-income students, while the rest of the income is used for things like repairing infrastructure, and education efforts. In a time where many cities are struggling to adequately fund themselves, a device such as medical marijuana could prove a great solution. As seen with numerous cities, recreational and medical marijuana are producing large incomes for cities, that can be spread across various counties to assist in different things to better the city. This goes beyond the sick patients to help everyone for the better.

Even though medical marijuana and marijuana as a whole have positive impacts, they are often overlooked by the possible negative aspects that can be had. While there are negative factors that could come along with the legalization of medical marijuana, they all will be outweighed by the benefits. The overall well being of people should always be the most important piece of any governmental decision, and marijuana a proven it has benefits to those suffering with various illnesses, diseases, and disorders. The various economic impacts that can provide relief to many cities, would also allow them to implement different projects to help everyone. Money that could go towards several projects aimed to better society. In conclusion, the legalization of medical cannabis will not hurt, but those who need it as well as the country.

The legalization of medical marijuana is one that is highly debated amongst health and governmental officials for various reasons. These can include the fact that marijuana is indeed a drug, it can have risks to those taking it for health reasons, and there are other already legal alternatives. However, marijuana despite being classified as a drug, does something other banned substances don’t do and that's actually help people and society. It has been proven to help those affected by different illnesses and disabilities cope with side effects. As well as increasing the economy of the individual cities, and the country as a whole, which would benefit people all over as this money would be used to help them. With the potential drawbacks, there’s significant benefits that outweigh any negatives.  In conclusion, medical cannabis should legalized in the United States because of the positive impact it will have on everyone.

Works Cited

"Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers." Medical Marijuana Project, 6 July 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. <>.

"" Frequently Asked Questions. Pennsylvania Department of Health, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. <>

Leonard, Kimberely. "Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Cut Drug Spending." U.S News and World Report. U.S News and World Report, 27 July 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016. <>., By Carlos Illescas |. "Marijuana Sales Tax Revenue Huge Boon for Colorado Cities." The Denver Post. The Denver Post, 02 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Oct. 2016. <>.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome


Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is an actual disease of its own. Many people in the general public, even doctors and professionals have a hard time determining if the patient does have Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, also known as the Todd’s Syndrome. Dr. John Todd, a British psychiatrist, was first to acknowledge AIWS in 1955. This syndrome have many triggers, such as migraines, stress, brain tumors, Epstein-Barr Virus infection, drug (cough medicine), etc. Dr. Sheena Aurora, Stanford Neurologist had performed an MRI brain scan (in 2008) on a 13 year old boy during the active cause of AIWS, and found Electrical activity caused abnormal blood flow in areas of brain that controls process texture, shape, and size and that rain activity of patients diagnosed with AIWS are different from those who are not. My sources are reliable, because I went to sources that are known to be trustworthy, and researches done by universities such as Stanford are considered one. All of the sources I had used to better understand this topic, were very similar in the causes and the symptoms


People who are affected by this syndrome, have a hard time describing what they are going through, or keep grounded and feel sane, because with AIWS, it causes Object or environment to appear too big  (macropsia) or too small (micropsia) than they actually are. Things around the person are perceived to be farther or closer than they actually are or at times themselves or other people’s entire body or body part changed in shape and size. Which can play in their mind or whatever it is they are seeing, as to what is reality and what is the thing that only they can see. It affects people lives in a very negative way, knowing that there is no treatment or much research done on this disorder.


I think it is a very interesting disorder that is actually very similar to the experience of a made up cartoon character’s adventure. Alice had experienced the same thing in wonderland, as if she was going delusional. So it is intesting yet scary to see how that applies in our real world, how someone can cope with AIWS, because it distort memory and experience from reality and what the person can only see. I think this disorder deserve more attention towards than what’s it's given now, because there are people who are affected by this, even though this is a rare syndrome, but it’s not so rare where not many to no people diagnosed with it, when there are quite a lot of people affected by this, but compared to the bigger population, it’s considered rare. I don’t think this can be a positive thing at all, nor is it fun and games, even though it’s interesting, it is something very scary and can be very serious depending on the place and situation the person who is diagnosed with this is in.

The Power Of Animation

Animated television has been a staple in households with children for decades. Cartoons  are known to teach children positivity but it's probably doing the opposite. In recent years shows like Family Guy and American Dad have taken cartoons from being innocent to being a delinquents favorite show. Animated TV shows opens young people’s minds to violence and negative behavior. However, when adults see the animated format they assume that it is automatically acceptable for children to watch.   

Shows like Family Guy and American Dad are shows that are animated but are not made for children. They have content about sex, drugs and other vulgar things, yet it’s watched heavily by young people because it’s animated and funny. According to the site USA Today and Nielsen Media research, Family Guy ranks at number 5 for the most watched show for people between the ages of 2-11. Among teens it's ranked as the second most watched television show. For the viewers it was made for, adults, it's ranked at no.18 for adults 18-49 and no.118 for adults 50 and over. When criticized by the parent groups, the executive producer says, “I think it's absolutely for adults, I don't let my kids watch it. They're 8 and 6. We're doing a show for us (the 14 writers). Most are over 30, a few over 40, but we all remember what we found funny.” Children are being exposed to things some people say they shouldn’t be exposed to. Because the show is animated and put on during the day, parents are being tricked into thinking it's okay to watch.

For people who think these shows are harmless, there is proof that they can impact behavior. In an article published by the Animation World Network (ANW), Dr. Ruebert gives cases in which children’s brains were altered by animation. One example was when a boy, by the name of Dickie Johnson, decided to take his family yacht on a spin in the lake. The boy crashed the yacht destroying the family dock. According to Dickie’s mother, after seeing The Mouse in theatres Dickie has became a “hellion” and wouldn’t stop torturing the family’s cat. The family sued Walt Disney for the corruption of a minor and inciting mischief. While on the stand, Dickie said, “I thought if a lowly, common mouse could drive a boat, surely I could too.”  This case proves that children are influenced to do things that they see on television, like Dickie, which takes over the child's mind and make things look fun.

The family of a boy by the name Devin Grimm sued Walt Disney, Fox, MGM, Warner Bros. and Universal for the mental abuse of their son. According to Devin Grimm's parents, between the ages of 2 and 17 Devin watched close to 21,000 hours of animation which eventually drove him to become a lunatic. In elementary school Devin developed split personality disorder,  where Devin would tie girls to tables and come back to save them after changing his leotards. Devin refused to take his cape off. Throughout his teen years Devin’s need for animation became so crazy he began stealing from video stores, until eventually he was banned. After he was banned from every store in town Devin came up with a plan to rob a store, which went wrong and caused an explosion. Devin was arrested and while going to trial was deemed unfit due to his obsession with animation. Devin was influenced by cartoons to do so many bad things that eventually led to him going to jail in his teens and becoming mentally unstable forever.

These examples show how and why animation affects young people. These young boys watched so much animation, that they thought they could do the things the characters did. Children are very curious and learn from what they see and know. Animation is not the same for every kid, but actually a unique experience for each one. Some children watch animation as a child and grow into healthy human beings who can look back and tell which tv show was there favorite and why. Some children grow into humans who need a little extra help because they're stuck in an animated world. The danger lies in the hands of the parents and what they expose their children to.


Dr. Ruebert Saturnine III. "The Adverse Effects of Cartoons on the Minds of Our Children."

Animation World Network, 1 April 2004. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

Christopher, By. "Fox’s Family Guy: For Children?" N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

Grades vs Ambition

The average student has been taught to always “aim for the A” in school. This belief will essentially give the mentality that to be the best, one must get a top grade. As a result, students  look at those that get the A as if they are they are better than their peers. However this belief is completely false because, Ambition is the key factor in defining a person’s position on the social pyramid.

There are many examples of individuals whose ambition mattered more than their formal education. According to Forbes, Li Ka-Shing is the richest man in China with a net worth of $31.9 billion. Mr. Shing is also one of the most influential/powerful people on the Earth, but the most amazing fact is that Mr. Shing is a high school dropout. At the tender age of 12 Mr. Shing left school to work in a watch strap factory, by 14 he worked in a plastic trading company. At 22 Mr. Shing had opened his first factory. Mr. Shing has become one of the most powerful people on the earth yet he holds no degree or even a highschool diploma. If Li Ka-Shing was placed in front of a trigonometric equation he would most likely not understand it, yet in the business world he is a rich and successful man. Even though Li does not have the ability to solve a quadratic equation, the one thing that Li has is Ambition. Li’s ambition has pushed him to the very top and allowed him to obtain both a high net worth and self worth, even though he has never graduated high school.

With ambition you can go much farther than what your grades predict. “I studied everything but never topped...but today the toppers of the best universities are my employes.” This quote is from the richest and most successful man on earth Bill Gates. Bill Gates has a net worth of $81.7 billion, and is one of the founders of Microsoft the world’s largest  PC software company. When discussing people that are at the top of the social pyramid, Bill Gates is a name that will be said at least twice. However, when discussing the highest grade point averages his name will not alway come up. Mr. Gates has never released his actual grades, but he has been quoted on numerous occasions saying how his grades were never the best. Society teaches that getting the best grades results in one being at the top of the social pyramid. But Mr. Gates proves that teaching incorrect. He himself has admitted to not getting the best grades, yet the majority of people in America know who he is. Since Bill Gates never got the best grades, his standing on the social pyramid should not be at number 1. But somehow it is. The reason for this is simple; Mr. Gates did not let his imperfect grades limit him, instead he used his ambition to succeed to fuel his trip to the top of the social pyramid.

If we all stopped to think about it we would realize that success is not a matter of grades but ambition. Society has implanted the idea that grades represent a person’s self worth and value. But this is nowhere near the case. It is possible for a student to have a C average and still become a multimillionaire. It is possible for a child to have little to no education, and become one of the most powerful people on the face of this planet. The true factor that defines a person’s self worth and value is their ambition. Ambition is what pushes a person to become great. Ambition is the key factor in defining a person’s position on the social pyramid. Those that dream big will be able to reach the top when their grades are not that great. Likewise it is also possible for a person to not dream big and have a lower position on the social pyramid because of the little ambition they have.

Works CIted

"Bad Grades: The Shocking List of the Biggest Losers in the World." Tootlee. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

Pozin, Ilya. "Why Many 'C' Students End Up Most Successful." N.p., 16 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.

College Costs Too Much!

Americans value college a lot. It is encouraged heavily in schools and at homes. But the reality is that money is an issue for a lot of people. People are often excluded from success because the college they want to go to costs more than what their families can afford. One has to chose whether it is worth getting into more debt for a potentially better paying job or living within means and work hard to climb the ladder of success. The result of all of these costs makes a college education more of a barrier to success than a gateway.

College education has never been cheap, but it is more expensive than it has been in the past. According to the College Board,  inflation-adjusted increases were 0.8% in 2013 to 2014, 0.9% in 2014 to 2015, and 2.7% in 2015 to 2016. Average tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased by 13% over the five years from 2010-11 to 2015-16, following a 24% increase between 2005-06 and 2010-11. To put into better perspective, Harvard’s annual tuition and fees (not including room and board costs) will set a student  back with a $45,278 debt each year, which is more than 17 times the 1971-72 cost. This is showing how drastic things have changed overtime and is evidence of how the present people attending college are being affected.

With higher ranked universities, graduating from that particular school alone can land someone a better job with higher pay. Potential employees may think that the higher price tag is worth paying for that better job. But only a select few are able to afford to go to these schools, thus creating a cycle of people who can afford college getting paid more than those who cannot. High school dropouts make on average $18,734 annually, while high school graduates on average make $27,915. By contrast, people who can afford to earn  a bachelor's degree on average make a salary of 51,206, and advanced degree holders make an average salary of $74,602. More recently updated websites show an even larger gap between people that go to college than those who do not which shows that going to a college that has higher quality levels will benefit lots of people in the long run.

Reasons given of why some colleges charge more money than others varies, from better technology, to student housing, or expert teachers, than other colleges that do not have the extra perks. Specifically focusing on teachers or positions though, from 1978 to 2014, administrative positions rose 369 percent, according to the AAUP report. While the amount of part-time workers increased by 286 percent; and limited-time positions grew by 259 percent. Contrarily, full-time positions increased solely 23 percent during the same period. “These amenities are extremely expensive and contribute to the escalating cost of college,” [job title] Reich says. “Moreover, they have very little or anything to do with the education of most young people.” Additionally colleges tend to focus on eye-catching things like dining halls or marble staircases instead of focusing on getting quality professors that will actually help the students grow mentally. These aspects do not improve college education directly which makes it a not necessary addition.

College is a huge part of the system that Americans live by, and it being so expensive is not anything but a barrier some people can not overcome. As a potential college student it will be essential to have to weigh was in more important, the perks or the education. Sacrificing getting a high paying job for less debt, eventually will allow someone to be able to prove themselves at a position and get that promotion with the higher wage and be able to afford student loans. In the long run it is really up to the individual. Employers may make assumptions based on where someone graduated from, if that is from a prestigious school they assume that the person worked hard to get that degree because that school is a tough school to get into whereas a mediocre school may let most applicants in and may be more lenient in their courses.

Sources (MLA):

The Human Brain: An Underdog Story, Told Through A Bug's Life

Stories come in hundreds of shapes and sizes. They follow good guys and bad guys, likely heroes and unlikely heroes, humans and animals. The storylines range from the most generic to the most unique and complex. There’s been variations of every kind of story that the mind can think of, but arguably no basis for a story is as popular as the underdog story— that of the poor, unlikely hero who has to combat the evils that are much larger than themselves. In modern movies, this includes the Rocky movies to the Star Wars movies and hundreds in between. Why do people love underdog stories so much? The 1998 Pixar film A Bug’s Life proves humans innately love rooting for underdogs because subconsciously they believe that doing so makes them more unique and interesting than others.

In order to understand how A Bug’s Life proves this idea, one must first understand why people take such interest in underdog stories. In University of California Professor Abby Prestin’s research paper titled The Pursuit of Hopefulness: Operationalizing Hope in Entertainment Media Narratives, she found, “…those in the underdog condition felt more hopeful and reported greater motivation to pursue their own goals…” The  people watching the underdog stories felt more optimistic and capable of following their own motivations. It made them feel sanguine, but more importantly, individually capable and assured. Watching and rooting for someone that realistically shouldn’t win, but does win, makes them feel more unique and positive, partially due to the inspirational factor, but also as a boost for their own perseverance. They were able to stick with these underdogs in spite of the invariable realistic chances of them actually winning. It’s the rewarding feeling that the viewer gets that makes them motivated and like their own person, not the result itself.

This begs the question: How does the movie A Bug’s Life represent this idea? It all hinges on the main character, Flick. Similarly to the rest of the ants in the story, he is an underdog. He and the ants are much weaker than the grasshoppers, and seem incapable of defeating them. However, what makes Flick different is how he’s perceived by the other ants. He’s seen as an ant that’s even more incapable than the rest, as an inventor who only makes situations worse, and an idiot. When he sets out to find aid, it’s in order to get rid of him, not because they believe in him. He’s an individual within an ant colony, insects that supposedly lack individuality. He is, in essence, an underdog, within the underdogs, and when the ants, against all odds, defeated the grasshoppers, their victory can be attributed to him. He remained willing to fight and believe in the underdogs the whole way, unlike the ants who refuse to believe that they can defeat the grasshoppers. As such, he was the unique, while the rest of the ants were ordinary and members of the hive mind. Just as how to the viewer, they are unique, as they remain rooting for the underdogs, and are rewarded by a sense of individuality when they win.

To be entirely certain of this idea that people want to see an underdog tale, one needs to look no further than professional sports. Underdogs have existed in every competitive sports scene, one example as recent as March Madness of 2014. According to Forbes, the Brigham Young University did a research study on how underdog competition affects the viewership of basketball during March Madness. What they found is that a finals game that featured a expectation defying team, or “Cinderella Team,” would get around 35% more viewers than if the match was between to notoriously equal teams. This proves that more viewers would watch the finals if the match was statistically meant to be a stomp, regardless of if their team was in it or not. Viewers are more excited to watch if there is a chance that an underdog team could take the win. This also lines up with the idea that viewers want to root for an underdog team, for the same reasons as before. If the team that shouldn’t win does win, and the view was rooting for this team, then the viewer will get the same sense of morality and individuality as is seen with the example of movies.

It may seem odd to most people at first, to consider that A Bug’s Life is making a statement about the psychology of human beings, but when one stops to consider the facts, it becomes surprisingly evident. A Bug’s Life is a movie all about setting oneself apart from others, to be an individual and not just a part of the hive mind. So it would not be surprising if the creators intentionally made a main character that would insight these feelings in the viewer. When underdog stories are made and read, watched, listened to, and so on, the character isn’t the only one who feels like an underdog, the viewer is as well. A Bug’s Life embodies this idea, and as such makes it the perfect movie for explaining these underdog effects.

Works Cited

Becher, Jonathan. "Do Underdogs Boost March Madness Ratings?" Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.

Prestin, Abby. "The Pursuit of Hopefulness: Operationalizing Hope in Entertainment Media Narratives." Media Psychology 16 March, 2013: 318-46.

A Bug's Life. Dir. John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton. By Andrew Stanton, Donald McEnery, and Bob Shaw. Pixar, 1998.

Sexist Dress Codes (2Fer Revision)

Dress codes are present in most schools across the country; whether it be a distinct uniform, or a set of regulations that determine what is acceptable by the school’s standards. The guidelines claim to define appropriate attire that will not take away from the purpose of school, which is to get an education and prepare students for the future. However, schools today seem to view the purpose of dress codes in a different light, creating a double standard of what apparel is and is not acceptable in school based on gender, and often targeting females. The sexist dress codes enforced in many high schools pose many negative effects for the young girls being scrutinized for their outfit choices.

In most cases, school dress codes end up being used to police female students’ bodies to make sure that they do not distract or ‘tempt’ their male peers. Schools even go as far as to slut-shame girls for the clothes they are wearing. The unfortunate part is that it is not only male teachers who administer these practices. The female headteacher of Trentham high school, Dr. Rowena Blencowe, banned skirts claiming that girls wearing skirts “isn’t fair for male members of students or staff… it is a distraction.”1 In 2014, the male principal of Devil’s Lake High School, located in North Dakota, punished a girl for wearing leggings. Following this, he called an assembly where two clips were shown from the movie Pretty Women, where the main character is a prostitute. He claimed that the clips were shown to show the students that “You are in charge of the image you project to others and how you want to be perceived.”2 Comparing adolescent girls who choose to dress comfortably to school to a prostitute implies that females bodies are sexual objects, and that young men are not expected to have self control when they come in contact with a female wearing a skirt that shows her knees.

By contrast to this policing of girls’ clothing, instances where a male student is told to change because their outfit is inappropriate or against school guidelines is very rare. In one entry of the Everyday Sexism Project, a forum where people can share their experiences with gender inequality, a young girl wrote of a time where she got penalized for wearing shorts. She left the principal's office and passed a male peer wearing a shirt with two stick figures, one was a male holding down the female's head in his crotch and saying ‘good girls swallow.’ The girl said that her teachers walked right by this young man without a word.3  This experience is just one of many where a female gets dress coded for a seemingly minor and unimportant reason, while her male peers walk around displaying offensive messages on their shirts and their pants sagging low, often times exposing their underwear. These types of situations occur because schools are more focused on there being ‘too much’ skin showing than what would actually be considered offensive to the community. Ignoring the attire of males, while scrutinizing females for their outfits inadvertently teaches girls that they are unequal to men. Gender inequality will never end if females are taught from a young age they they are unequal to their male counterparts.

Somewhere leading up this point, the concept of high school dress codes have gotten mixed up. When asked, people may say that dress codes are crucial, as they prepare students for their future, but on closer inspection, high school dress codes are a collection of sexist double standards that pose many negative effects for the young girls being scrutinized for their outfit choices. For the good of the future generations as a whole, dress codes must be updated. If they are not, females will continue growing up believing that they will always be a man’s target, simply due to the clothing they pick out in the morning. Rather than making girls feel uncomfortable for what they are wearing or shaming their bodies, schools should simply educate their students of what clothing will be acceptable when they begin to move into the workforce - both males and females alike.

Works Cited

1 Bates, Laura. "School Dress Codes Reinforce the Message That Women's Bodies Are Dangerous." The Guardian. 10 Sept. 2015. Web.

2 Klein, Rebecca. "High School Uses Clips From 'Pretty Woman' To Show Students How Not To Dress." The Huffington Post. October 2nd, 2014. Web.

3 "How School Dress Codes Shame Girls and Perpetuate Rape Culture." Time. 22 May 2015. Web.

Technology is not a Toy

In the recent years, it has become the new norm for children to be exposed to technology at a young age. iPads, TV’s and game devices are seen as an accessory or a toy for kids in this day age. However, an increasing number of pediatricians and parents are concerned about this trend, and they are right to be worried. Not only is it taking away their precious childhood, where they should be using their imagination and doing recreational activities, but it is affecting them as a whole.  Technology interferes with their physical, social and psychological development because it limits their opportunity to develop skills involving that will be critical in their life.

An article published by the Huffington Post called, “The Impact of Technology on Developing Children”, explains that a child needs four critical factors to develop properly being movement, touch, human connection, exposure to nature. Further analysis shows that the tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated, while the visual and auditory and in overload. With that said, with technology advancing rapidly, children spend up to 7.5 hours a day using overusing their certain systems,  and it defeats the purpose of children going outside to play and get their daily amount of exercise which results in various health issues such as obesity. Time outside offers to keep them healthy while their brains and learn necessary skills to help them later in life,  but many spend the majority of their days staring at a screen.

Social media is changing the way the future generation thinks, understands, and interacts with one another. In a report published by the University of Rhode island called “Determining the Effects of Technology on Children”, it explains the many negatives that come along with young children using technology. In the report it was found that when using technology, such as phones, computers etc.,  at a developing age, people then have a lessened ability to multitask and changes social norms. Children exposed to cellphones and computers that access social media offers them to hide behind a “digitally wall”, and is used as a coping method, when they should be learning how to socialize. In the article it states, “As children have more of their communication through electronic media, and less face to face they begin to feel more lonely or depressed.” With that said, shy children will often be able to communicate over the internet versus learning how to overcome those issues face to face. Social media is becoming a substitution for personal interaction, affecting how young children learn how to socialize because of their easy access to technology.

Video games and Apps also affects the health of children, as it refrains them from movement and touch. More than half of children in America have a TV in their room with a video, and a high percentage has access to iPads, computers and video games. According to British Columbia's Society of Occupational Therapists, in their 2009 newsletter it says, “Children now rely on technology for the majority of their play, grossly limiting necessary challenges to their bodies in order to achieve optimal sensory and motor development…”. With these devices scattered around their homes, it creates a world of 2D where there aren’t stimulating touch and movement into their playtime.

As technology advances, the risks only grow. Children need to be aware of these issues, alongside their parents to keep them on the right track to being healthy and developing properly. Technology should be used in small doses, to give children time to spend outside, socialize, and stimulated movement and touch in their everyday lives. If technology exposure is left unchecked, then these children risk growing up to be stuck in a world not knowing fundamental skills.

Works Cited

Rowan, Cris. "The Impact of Technology on the Developing Child." The Huffington Post., 29 May 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

Hetch, Kristina. "Determining the Effects of Technology on Children." Digital Commons. University of Rhode Island, 2011. Web.

Rowan, Chris. "The Impact of Technology on Child Sensory and Motor Development." The Impact of Technology on Child Sensory and Motor Development by Cris Rowan, OTR (n.d.): n. pag. Sensomotorische. OTR. Web.

Shields, Margie K., and Richard E. Behrnam. "The Future of Children, Princeton - Brookings: Providing Research and Analysis to Promote Effective Policies and Programs for Children."  - The Future of Children -. Princeton Brookings, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

Screw Children - 2Fer Rewrite

    People having sex before turning 18? Why, that’s unacceptable! Everyone knows that humans are not fully grown adults until their 18th birthday. That’s when people finally are prepared to take on all the hardships and exciting decisions life has to offer. Voting, jury duty, purchasing tobacco products, sexual activity, and a multitude of other things; they’re all decisions and situations that only adults can handle. Not someone under the age of 18. The human brain just isn’t ready for adulthood until then. At least, according to federal law; and everyone goes along with it, because it makes perfect sense! , However, there’s virtually no scientific backing to the standard society has that being 18 years old makes a person an adult. So what has caused this to become the norm? Well, a little research reveals that laws and social norms regarding age and sex are built on entirely subjective ideals; these rules have been laid out based on gut feelings as opposed to logical justifications.

    When trying to determine whether these rules are subjective, the best place to look is the age of consent. Everyone is aware that there is a certain age when a person becomes mature enough to engage in sexual activity; but everyone seems to also have a different answer when asked what that age should be, according to a statistic published by The age of consent varies so drastically across the United States, from 16-18 depending on the state. In Europe, a smaller region of the world, where it ranges from 14-18. Then there’s Japan, where the age of consent drops all the way to 13, and even farther down to 12 in Mexico. On a global scale, there’s a whopping 6 year range, meaning that a certain sexual relationship in parts of Mexico is considered statutory rape in California, a state that’s a mere hop of a country border away. Any law is so different across a single continent could not possibly have any scientific basis; otherwise it wouldn’t have much variety, if any at all.

    Of course, there are some scientific studies that have relevance to this topic, but they don’t really support the idea of people getting sexual with their partners between the ages of 12 and 18. In fact, Laverne Antrobus, a child psychologist, says that the human brain is not fully mature until age 25 on average! The last part of the brain to cross the finish line is the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain famous for the key part it plays in logical reasoning, critical thinking, and decision making. Would it not make sense for a person to wait until their brain is fully prepared to make decisions and think things through before making choices as critical as choosing sex partners and such? In fact, they should raise a whole bunch of age limits to 25, from drinking age to voting. So why does everything revolve so heavily around lucky number 18? Well, interestingly enough, it comes from the fact that 18 was the age someone could enlist in the army. The reasoning behind this was that 18 was when a man was emotionally mature. However, psychologists have also found that the hippocampus, known as the emotion center of the brain, comes fully matured at birth; which means that not only does science point to a more logical age for becoming an adult, it also knocks down the original justification for 18 being that ripe age of adulthood.

    So, what exactly is this essay getting at? On one hand, it argues that things like the age of consent should be raised to 25, while on the other hand it seems to insinuate that infants should be able to vote. If there were ever a time to use the phrase “mixed messages,” this would be it. However, these conflicting statements about human development could be taken as proof that this question is unsolvable. But the point of this document is not to state what age these privileges of adulthood should be made available. It is merely to point out the flaws in a value many people across the globe have accepted from their ancestors and clung to so strongly. It’s all entirely subjective, like many things. This reality is often forgotten, and it becomes an issue when people try to provide the world with a straight line in the sand. The fact of the matter is adulthood is not a line that is crossed, but rather a process that is experienced. Growing up is something everyone goes through over the course of years, and it takes some people more or less time than others. A similar problem occurs in the public school system, when everyone is expected to proceed through their education at a pace that may be too slow or fast for them. It’s understandable that institutions like school and government would try and flesh out rigid standards and rules for these kinds of things; but it’s important to remember that those decisions affect unique individuals with unique circumstances across the nation.

Works Cited

AVERT. "Age of Consent for Sexual Intercourse." AVERT, 1 May 2015. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.

Wallis, Lucy. "Is 25 the New Cut-off Point for Adulthood?" BBC News. BBC, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.

How the Beatles changed music and music history: By: Jamie Poslon

How The Beatles Changed Music And Music History

By: Jamie polson

English 3


Paul Mccartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison are all famous for being in  The Beatles.  They all came from Liverpool, England, and became a singing group in 1960.  They used their vast knowledge of music styles to their advantage. They tried to make songs based on the types of music that they would listen too.  Although The Beatles knew a lot about music styles, they didn’t have extensive musical training.  The Beatles experimented with lots of instruments and music styles and sometimes combined them in new ways.  The Beatles influenced music and music history in many ways.  

In their early years, they would listen to all kinds of music such as: Rock, Pop, Folk, Blues, Jazz, Classical, and even Indian. A song that they wrote that had Indian influence, was “Within You, Without you”.  They asked some friends whether they wanted to be in one of there songs to play some Indian instruments, the friends said yes. The song itself was written and inspired by the time that The Beatles spent in India.  George (who wrote the song) said that “ I had brought back a lot of instruments.” The instruments that he brought back included a Sitar, Tablas, a Swarabat, Finger cymbals, and flute. He experimented with many of these, however he didn’t really know how to play them.

The Beatles stayed interesting for so many years, partially because they experimented with many things like:  Song form (melodies and harmonies and what parts you sing when) and instruments.  Some of the instruments they included were instruments like Choral Electric Sitar, Recorder, Kazoo, Harmonica, Banjo and many more different instruments.  One song that incorporates a lot of instruments and techniques was the song Revolution #9.  Written in 1968, by Lennon and Mccartney. Revolution#9 was a very experimental song as well, because it used so many new techniques in it, to make it sound different than other people's music.  One technique they used was called looping, (where you take a tape or audio file and you repeat it over and over again so it sounds like you are just saying that phrase a lot.)  They also played around with playing tracks backwards, and combining 7 or 8 songs into one big mash.  They created this song while on their drug stage, where they were very experimental with most of their songs.

The Beatles messed around with song form, as in the song A Day in A Life when they didn’t just have verses,a chorus and a bridge but also a fourth part and they would mix them up in an unconventional way.  A Day In A Life (by John Lennon and Paul Mccartney) was inspired by two news articles by the UK Daily Express that talked about this man who was killed in a car accident and another article that talked about how there was this group that had to count 4,000 holes, in order to figure out how to fill them.  This affected how other musicians saw music and what their possibilities could be.  Some of the ways that The Beatles got ideas for songs are pretty interesting like for Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, they got their inspiration from a poster that had all those words on it [1].  They saw it, thought it was poetic and wanted to put music to it.

The Beatles changed music as we know it a lot by experimenting with different types of genres of music and with instruments and encouraging other groups to do the same like Nirvana, The Beach Boys, Billy Joel and many others.  They rarely sang other people's music because they had so much content. Many other groups followed suit.  They set trends for music and style for many years.  Over the years, The Beatles have made a huge impact on music and music history because they were willing to try things that were new and different..  


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