1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp corn oil
1 cup buttermilk (alternatively butter or lard depending on whether or not you are my great-grandmother)
3.5 cups of flour
4 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
Beat batter and roll onto floured countertop
Knead until no longer sticky
Let rest overnight
Roll out batter until 1/4" thickness
Cut into world-famous doughnut shape
Heat oil to 450*
Put doughnut in oil until brown, then flip and keep in oil until other side is brown
Take out and let rest until edible
This is not an especially practical recipe. Not only does it contain little to no nutritional value, it takes a large amount of time to prepare. The recipe does have the advantage of being pretty cheap to prepare and quite filling. This meal mostly contains processed foods which are not recommended for nutritious eating. The only non-processed ingredient that is included in this recipe is nutmeg, and I would not call nutmeg a beacon of health and vitamins. Certainly a teaspoon of anything is not enough to make a literal donut into a health food. In addition to that, the dough ends up being fried, adding copious amounts of delicious and artery-clogging grease to the meal.
Having read the Taming of the Shrew, my first thought was to compare it to Tommy Wiseau’s magnum opus, and what is commonly regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, The Room. In The Room, the characters of Johnny and Lisa have an unhappy marriage that prompts Lisa to have an affair with Johnny’s best friend, Mark. In The Taming of the Shrew, numerous Italian men vie for the affection of Bianca, apparently the most beautiful woman in Padua, by pretending to be teachers with reasonable day rates.The common theme here is deception. Though an essay could be written about that, a more interesting area to cover here is the intention of the authors of the media in question. Throughout the course of both pieces, it is plausible that a reader may ask themselves “Is the author serious?” This uncertainty propels the reader forward in both stories, proving that it is a useful and lasting method.
The catch in the Taming of the Shrew is that Bianca’s older sister Katherine must first be married before a man can become Bianca’s suitor. A wealthy man in pursuit of more power, Petruchio, offers to marry Katherine. Petruchio, unfazed by Katherine’s reputation as a shrew (the titular shrew, in fact), began training his new wife, just as one would train a pet. After a non-specified duration of training, Katherine eventually submits to the will of Petruchio, delivering this brief announcement during a mid-travel argument in which Petruchio swears to ensure they do not reach their destination unless she gives in:
"Then, God be bless'd, it is the blessed sun:
But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is;
And so it shall be so for Katherine."
(Act 4, Scene 5, lines 21-25)
Certainly, that’s a convincing way to affirm that you have become the perfect wife, docile and obedient. However, the context of this quote must be considered. Katherine has not said anything along these lines, or even vaguely cooperative, to Petruchio before. This is the written word we’re talking about here. Knowing the character of Katherine, she very well could be being sarcastic. Unfortunately, whether that is the case or not is lost to history. In addition, this set of lines have the vibe that they are spoken merely to keep Petruchio content with how his glorious plan is going, at least to the point where he is willing to allow the completion of the trip. Tying into the theme of deception, Katherine is manipulating and deceiving Petruchio, who believes he is manipulating and deceiving Katherine. Next, the intent of the author must be considered. Shakespeare, being a playwright, wanted people to see his plays. He wanted people to pay to see them multiple times, in fact. Therefore, it is probably in his best interest to keep things somewhat ambiguous so multiple directors and such could have different takes on the written play. Another example of this ambiguity is at the very end of the book, where Katherine reveals her apparent change of heart:
"Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body
To painful labour both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks and true obedience;"
(Act 5, Scene 2, lines 162-169)
Doesn’t this seem to be laying it on a little thick? Especially since this is a mere component of a larger rant/monologue on the same topic, which was a portion of a bet that Petruchio made with the other husbands at a gala. Isn’t it a bit convenient that Katherine is suddenly so willing now that earning money is in the picture?
In this highly peculiar non sequitur, male leads Johnny, Mark, Denny, and Mike decide to play football in their tuxedos in an alley. Not only does this scene have no context, it also has no later relevance. On a related note, Claudette (Lisa’s friend) suddenly reveals to Lisa during a conversation the she has breast cancer, another subplot that continues on to mean absolutely nothing. These subplots, like the mysterious nature of Katherine’s allegedly changed behavior, do a wonderful job of keeping the reader perplexed.
In conclusion, it is important to consider the tone of the author when analyzing a text on its portrayal of love and romance. As proven by these two texts, keeping the reader in question of whether or not a text is serious is an effective way of at least maintaining interest. However, confusing the reader with false starts and missteps can only go so far. While the Taming of the Shrew is generally accepted as a classic, the Room is known worldwide purely for being a terrible film.
Writing a personal essay may be easy for some of you. This topic, in particular, is very hit or miss. It would be simple for someone to, say, write about the relative they have that served in the military. Or perhaps a tale of their move across the country would do. An easy opportunity even exists for me. My paternal great-grandparents and their children were refugees of Hungary’s 1956 revolution, one of many of such events for the oft-ruled Hungarian people.
Of course, that’s what I thought before I checked the official wording of the assignment. Much to my chagrin, the personal essay had to be entirely personal. That is, about the writer. It’s my work. I am the writer. It is me. My silver bullet had been repossessed by the state and smelted into a limited-edition coin, to be purchased by an oblivious grandmother who swears it’ll be worth the mint it came from some day. She gives her grandson the coin, and he pretends to admire it. He knows better than to reveal his knowledge gained from the multitude of gold coins, silver coins, and fifty-state quarter collections. They will be worth no more than what she paid, if a little less. She just wanted to help. But that doesn’t matter. Those people aren’t real. What does matter is that I have nothing to write about.
Eventually, I will need to address the book I read most recently. This book is called The Yellow Birds. It is by Kevin Powers. It takes place during the Iraq War. In it, there is a character called Murph, who dies. The protagonist and a search party find his body mutilated in a bush. The protagonist, Pvt. Bartle, had promised to Murph’s mother that Murph would return. There are many things I could say to connect my life to the story at this point. I could talk about how I have broken numerous promises. Who hasn’t? However, none of my promises have resulted in anyone’s death. I could write about helping people. At least, I could write about that if I were writing a bad college admissions essay. I’m not writing a bad college admissions essay. I’m not even writing a good college admissions essay.
I could also write about my dog. Before I was born, my parents had acquired a Rottweiler named Jake. Jake was a pretty good dog. After I was born, he was very protective of me. Despite being one of the more fearsome dog breeds, he was very gentle. This was in my hometown of Concord, New Hampshire, so he had plenty of land to run around on and other, similar things that dogs like. Next to my old house, there was a frog pond. I used to really enjoy catching frogs and putting them in a five-gallon bucket filled with the water for the day. I realize now that this was not the most ethical way to have fun with frogs. We also had a sinkhole in our front yard. I used to be really scared to walk near it, for fear I would fall in. Before we packed up and headed home, I ended up falling in twice, once with my friend. Both times I fell in, I feared what may have lived beneath. Both times, there was nothing. I got out of the sinkhole, took a shower, and changed. That was it.
Now, we return to my dog. Jake lived to be about twelve, which is a reasonable for a dog. One night, around the time we moved, I was watching TV while Jake relaxed by the fireplace (his favorite thing to do in the evening) when he started howling. He did this periodically, but this was a different sort of howling from the usual. He seemed to be in distress. He fought at the forest-green carpeting with what looked like supreme fear in his eyes. The howling grew and became yelping, barking, and shouting. He flailed around with so little control that we feared he would jump into the crackling fire. His sounds became more pained. That’s when my parents told me to go upstairs as fast as I could. Being little and confused as to what was going on, I ran into my parents’ bedroom. Eventually, I fell asleep there. Jake had been having a seizure and passed away that night. I was sad for a little while. My mom was much more sad. She had trained him. Now, I don’t think of him unless someone tells me to think of something pertaining to death.
There was also a death in my family over the course of my lifetime. I don’t consider pets a part of the family, and I think it’s bizarre that some people do. You are not any more related to your pet than you are to any other animal of that species. Loving your pets is kind of weird to me too, but that’s a personal thing. Don’t call them your family. It doesn’t make sense. My family is very small, so a death is kind of an event. To provide some perspective, I am one of two people under eighteen to attend our family gatherings. The other person is about a year old. Anyway, my great-grandfather and noted singer Don Rondeau, stage name Don Rondo, died. He had cancer. We weren’t surprised.
These are all times the world has changed for me. How did I react? I guess the best way to state that is that I didn’t. I kept going. Maybe that has stunted my emotional growth. Maybe not. https://www.wevideo.com/hub/#media/ci/560097821
You know what, it isn’t about the company. It’s about power. The revolution scared them. Dubcek scared them. Now Moscow knows what we’re capable of. We aren’t like the other socialist republics. We have capabilities that they don’t. We were industrialized before the war. They don’t like that we aren’t the others, who depend on the Soviets for resources and money. We could easily sustain ourselves without them. Everyone in this country knows it, but the Soviet implementation of fear keeps us from talking.
They don't care about us. They want us to wish we were them, but we're better. We fought with peace, they brought it to violence. They're no better than schoolyard bullies. We will need to beat them with industry. Violence would bring us down to their level, which is just what they want. If the car is built, we will have a world class small car that we can make large amounts of money exporting to the West. However, doing this is nearly impossible without going through Soviet hurdles. Since they already don't like us, the chances of the idea being approved or funded are infinitesimal. If we don't build it, the Soviets will know we are willing to lay down and take punishment until we are just like the others. Despite the potential issues with that, there's still a positive side. By accepting our punishment without retaliation, people like me will not need to fear imprisonment or death.
There's no way just accepting their decision is the better option. I would disappoint my entire research and development team. All the work we did would have been for nothing. All the 15 hour workdays and all the company's money, for nothing. The designers even already have a body built for it. I can't let them down. We have to build the car.
Flash forward, 1983: I regret what I said. I have been reformed. There is no reason to improve something that isn’t broken. The Gulag system has shown me the truth. I thank the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for re-educating me. I should not have doubted them.
Una Casa Perfecta por Usted, el Senor Sherif
Cliente: Senor Sherif
Nuestro cliente es el Señor Sherif. Señor Sherif tiene
59 años. Tiene uno nina. Le encanta cocinar, natación,
y ciclismo. Sherif es muy elegante,
y bien bueno. Tiene 3 habitaciones en la casa.
La Casa de Senor Sherif.
La casa cerca un parque, un transporte publicó, una escuela. La casa en la afueras. La casa es elegante (como Sherif), mediana, y antigua.
La casa tiene jardín y cocina.
Tres personas en la casa unas niña, ocho habitaciones en la casa.
Dos baños en la casa.
Piscina en la jardín de la casa para natación.
Más de la casa es verde.
Una garaje para un carro y una bicicleta.
Una cueva de hombre hermoso con un tele enorme, y una nevera grande.
Esta en las afueras tranquilas con los vecinos amables.
Porque le gusta esquiar, una gabinete por los esquís.
Cerca de los caminos fabulosos por Usted y su bicicleta
La cocina de la casa, en el estilo rustico.
En el dormitorio principal, la luz es enfatizado para tranquilidad maxímo.
Disenado por Cameron Samodai y Mark Kriegh.
Hello again, fans of activism. My name is Cameron Samodai and I’m here to talk to you about buying domestic and locally made products. If you are the type who eagerly reads blog posts, you may know that I have posted about this issue twice before. In my first post, I pointed out the disturbing labor conditions occurring in electronics factories, along with the damage you are doing to the economy by buying imported goods. In the second post of the trilogy, I revealed my independent research on the subject. I released a survey to my classmates, many of whom answered the questions I posted.
Since that post, I have put my money where my mouth is and purchased American made goods in place of imported ones. I have three examples of purchases I made to show you.
Rather than buy shirts from the above company at $15 each, I decided to support a smaller business and buy shirts from the below company at $19. Not only was I supporting a domestic business, all of their shirts are American made from American cotton.
Imported Switch Plate
Both wall plates are made of the same material. Unlike the shirts, the American made switch cover is less expensive than the Chinese one. We bought 5 of these. The difference in cost is enough to choose one American-made shirt over one foreign-made shirt.
It may be hard to find the actual prices of these phones (typical cell phone company sneakiness), but if you look on the right you will see that the 16gb iPhone is $550 without rebate and the 16gb Moto X is $400 without rebate. That savings of $150 is enough to cover the difference between 30 of those shirts we looked at before.
While my project did not necessarily involve directly changing others, I utilized my role in the global economy to support what I believe. Think of every purchase as a vote. By buying their products, you are telling those corporate executives that “Yes, I wholly condone your business practices.” If a product is suddenly $0.13 cheaper to make and that causes more people to buy it, the company sees that as an endorsement of whatever unsavory business practices they used to save those 13 cents. Don’t underestimate the power of your money.
I find it very interesting that there is not always a cost penalty for buying American made, and I hope my evidence is convincing enough for you to believe that the pros far outweigh the cons of buying domestic. When you are buying something, make sure to check where it is made. Make sure to recognize that everything matters, and you have a role in the global economy.
In my first post, I detailed why you should buy American made products. I explained that buying domestic will support fair labor practices, keep money in the American economy, and incentivise more companies moving manufacturing in the United States. You can find the entirety of my first blog post here.
Since that post, I was tasked with doing some independent research on the subject of buying American. I decided to put out a survey on my topic, because I thought my issue was not getting enough attention. I promoted my survey using Canvas, which is a program used by Science Leadership Academy’s teachers to organize our assignments. I sent all my fellow students a message through this program explaining what I was doing, with a link to the survey. You can find the results of the survey here. This is required reading for the next paragraph, where I will be analyzing and talking about the survey results. You can skip it if your mouse-using hand is overworked, or a series of small children claiming to be related to you have demanded food and money, or religious/political reasons.
Firstly, there’s a major flaw in my survey I’d like to point out for honesty’s sake. Since I used Canvas to distribute my survey, I am catering to a very small demographic. The results of my survey can only be used to determine the thoughts of high school students, male and female. Anyways, back to the analysis. I found that although the survey-takers seemed to know what they should do regarding the subject, they didn’t know why. As for Question 1, “Do you pay attention to where the things you buy are made?” the survey-takers were split 59%-41% in favor of not paying attention.
Why might this be?
Well, Mr. Theoretical Question Asker, there are a number of reasons why the survey-takers don’t pay attention to the origins of their products. First could be the demographic problem I outlined earlier. According to this study, 60 percent of teenagers do not pay attention to the news, compared to 23 percent of adults over 30. This could (in theory) lead to general ignorance about current issues. However, there is a more likely factor. This issue has only recently gained traction, which means it did not get much publicity, so people were not thinking about it. It’s significantly easier to think about an issue when you’re constantly being reminded.
Now that I have done my independent research, I have a better idea of what people already know about the subject, and can now tailor future posts so that I am not reiterating what everyone else is saying. I want to provide new information and make sure I’m not wasting your time.
Next up in the glorious trifecta of You and the World is the Agent of Change. Despite its new-agey name, this component is very interesting. For this part of the project, I need to do something in the (gasp) real world that applies to my project. For me, the decision was easy. I am only going to purchase American made products until further notice. My parents have been very receptive to this, and have agreed to join me. Stay tuned for my next installment!
After learning about the labor conditions in China, the country we import the most from ($425 billion worth of imports in 2012) through some disturbing news stories, I realized that it would be a very good idea to try to purchase American made products whenever possible. This not only drives money away from cruel labor practices and towards the American manufacturing industry, but helps reduce our trade deficit. The trade deficit is the amount we export minus the amount we import from a country. If this number is negative, it’s called a trade deficit. If it’s positive, it’s called a trade surplus.
Foxconn builds circuit boards for Apple and other tech companies. Their factory in Shenzhen was the site of several worker suicides in 2010.
So, are these labor conditions that bad? Well as you saw in the hyperlinked text, it is so bad that people kill themselves over working conditions. There is an entire website dedicated to reporting poor working conditions in Chinese factories. According to this report, “deplorable working conditions characterize Apple’s supply chain,” indicating that things like child labor, inhumane hours, and insufficient pay for living are par for the course in the Chinese manufacturing industry.
On a more positive note, buying American goods will reduce our trade deficit because less money will leave the country to pay for imported goods, while our exports will not be affected by an American initiative to buy domestic. In addition, buying American made products will provide incentive for companies to move manufacturing to the United States. For example, a scenario:
TOY FACTORY, 2017:
ADVISOR: Hey boss! Our sales just dropped a gazillion percent!
BOSS: Why did this happen!
ADVISOR: Our focus groups say they’ll only buy American made, and our toys are made in China!
BOSS: You heard the customers! Move production to the United States!
In conclusion, you should buy products made in the United States, because by buying foreign made products your money goes toward unscrupulous business practices and increases our trade deficits. Buying American made products also encourages manufacturers to move to the United States because you are willing to spend more for a domestically made good. The extra cost is merely $4 for a cell phone! Is ruining your local economy worth it for $4? In addition, I have a few more questions to leave you with:
Why don’t you buy things made in the United States?
Do you check where the things you buy are made?
Did you know about poor labor conditions in China before reading this article?
Do you know anyone who makes an effort to buy domestically produced goods?
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers, if you feel strongly enough to do so.
Here you can find an up to date ticker on the United States trade deficit.
Here you can find the bibliography for this post.