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Illusions

Growing up I have never been a fan of optical illusions. I never understood them nor enjoyed attempting them. They often give me headaches and confuse me because I never see what I am supposed to see. Growing up watching children’s movies and television shows; I was never aware of all the hidden messages and optical illusions that I was being exposed to every time I put the television on. In many of the famous Disney movies such as The Little Mermaid and Toy Story, there are hidden pictures beyond what is displayed on the screen. Whether it be a total coincidence or not is a whole other story; but regardless I was never able to pin point them out like my colleagues can. Bruno Latour helps us get an understanding behind the two different “types” of optical illusions. They include Iconoclasm; we know what is happening in the act of  images and Iconoclash; we are uncertain about whether or not an action towards an image is constructive or deconstructive. Regardless of the type of optical illusion, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to quite understand them, and won’t be able to create a specific image appear.

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Time to get fit!

Last week in lecture professor brought in three guests speakers to talk to us about overall health and how to make lifestyle changes. One thing that all three had in common was that they incorporated “play” in their daily routines as they were all some sort of personal trainer. Each had a different background story, and had their own methods of exercising. One trainer was a womans body builder, as she competed in “strong-man” type of contests. From seeing before and after pictures, I personally became motivated by all three trainers, especially the male trainer. His background story touched me and grasped my attention the most. Growing up he did not have much family, and often found himself living on the street sleeping on public benches. From that he let his health deteriorate to the point that he was very unhealthy. He decided to join the army where there he discovered working out, and continued to work out every day. Those who did not compliment him nor supported him gave him the confidence to excel and become in even better shape.

I was amazed when I saw his before and after photos. That same night I worked twice as hard at the gym in my pursuit of better looking my body. Overall I was inspired by all three speakers, specifically the male, and felt that this lecture was one of the most affective all year. I went home that night with the mind set to eat healthier because I wanted a better life. Working out and eating properly allows one to be more alert and overall more confident as a person. Everyone has their personal reasons to why they work out. I do it because I often eat a lot of fatty foods so if I didn’t work out I’d be 500lbs! But, I also enjoy my time at the gym. I try to go with a buddy of mine, but when I can’t find one that is available I would just go alone. Either way, I love going and plan to continue to go even more during the summer months. Last week’s lecture wont leave my mind for a very long time. 

Play time!

I found this reading to be very interesting and fascinating. The piece written by Flanagan intrigued me; I never would have believed how much I use “play” on a daily basis. The ability of playing is becoming apart of everyone’s lifestyle. “Critical play” (definition of page 3) is obtained by everyone and can be experienced through playing board games, video games, and even your typical “tag” or “hide and go seek.” Last week, the professor asked the class what comes to mind when they think of when play. The class had responses which included competitiveness, video games, role playing as children and adults, failure and achievement, etc. All of the terms listed were definitely true, and I often experience a sense of “failure” whenever I cannot complete a task while i’m playing, whatever it may be. Although this sense of failure eventually becomes faded, I feel that it remains in the back of your mind for years; you just dont think of it. 

Two forms of play that I was never aware of include adult play, which shape culture through ritual and social custom and meaningful play; a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome. Both definitions can be found on page 6 and 7. After reading this I sat quietly and thought of how my world is transformed and moulded, and how the sense of “play” impacts my life in such an intense way. The article written by Flanagan open my mind to think “outside the box” with respect to “play.”

If you were to give up a sense, which one would you choose?

All of the 5 main senses are as equally important as the next. I couldn’t imagine not being able to see, or hear, or touch, taste, or smell anything through my daily routines. But if it was neccesary to give up just one, I would probably pick smell.

In my opinoin, smell is the least valuable sense out of the 5 main ones. For example, when I sit down to dinner, I use my sight to examine the attractiveness of the food I am about to eat. Next, I could use my sense of touch to feel the texture of the food. Lastly, I will use my taste to get a better judge of either liking or disliking the food. Yes, smell could also be a sense used, but it is probably the least valuable of all 5.

90% of the time, smell is a secondary sense accompanied by one of the others. But in a case where a skunk smell is present, one would usually smell the skunk before it is seen. That’s not to say that one cannot see a skunk period, its just likely that you will smell it before see it. What I am trying to say is that even if we couldn’t smell it, we will eventually see it.

All of the five senses are valuable, but I truly feel that smell is the least of the total five.

I’m Hungry!

Food is truly a beautiful thing in so many ways. I am shocked that I am only 200lbs for the amount of food that I intake on a regular basis. It could be because I play on a men’s league soccer team and I am just over 6′ tall.

Everyday I like to channel surf to see if I can find one of my favorite TV shows in Man vs Food. Host Adam Richman travels across America trying different and unique dishes from ordinary food establishments. On this particular episode, Adam found himself in a small town in Texas, where he came across “The Big Texan.” The Big Texan is a 72 oz steak that must be finished within an hour in order to successfully “tame” The Big Texan. 

Usually when I think of Texas, I think of Mexico since most of the population is in fact Spanish and it is located right next to Mexico. Tacos and overall spicy food is what comes to mind, never usually an enormous steak; this intrigued me. While viewing the steak being prepared for Adam, I heard the chef use different words that I never really thought about while watching this show. Strong flavor, spicy, fresh, lean, juicy, soaked, and just right were all terms that were used by the Texan chef. Different cultures relate certain aromas and tastes to words that represent the food. Not only in this episode, but in all episodes of Man vs Food, the food that Adam is ready to consume is always prepared perfectly and uniquely every time. 

However there have been times that Adam has not been successful. In one particular episode, Adam was forced to conquer eating nuclear spicy chicken wings and it came to the point where he was as red as a tomato. That cannot be good for your health, but heck, it looked fantastic. I remember growing up as a kid and when my mother asked me what I wanted to eat, I would always say chicken fingers. My mother gave me the nickname “Chicken Finger” because I truly loved them and still to this day I will catch myself craving them. I am an Italian decent, so even I am surprised pasta or pizza is not my favorite dish. Whenever I go to my nonna’s house (grandmother) I am literally forced to eat everything she gives me or else she will become mad with me. It must be some sort of sign of respect by eating her dishes and I want to fulfill them, but at the same time I don’t have any more room nonna!

Just one day I would love to eat some of the food Adam Richman does. The fact that it is so perfectly prepared and just absolutely gorgeous makes my mouth water. 

Sound

What is sound? How does one describe sound? How is sound made? What is this thing we call sound? What is the sensation that you feel when you hear a certain sound that you are familiar with? Nobody on this Earth can truly give a proper definition of sound. 

Often, when people think of the five senses, sound or the ability to hear is not the first one mentioned; touch is. Sound is often overlooked, but this should not be the case. Our world is bombarded with different sounds accompanied by different lights according to Schwartz. Take any road in Rome Italy for an example. There are constantly cars zipping their way around corners, with thousands of tourists from all over the world speaking their own languages. It’s easy to say that there will be interesting noise heard if one were to sit and listen quietly even for a minute. 

According to Schwartz, people “prefer” the quiet, and to live in a world with less noise. Obviously, that will never be the case. The world keeps spinning, and is a living breathing organism that continues to develop more and more each day. It will not simply stop just because we humans think we want it to. Humans would not have the same life they we currently have if sound just disappeared. I think its safe to say that every human WANTS sound, and Schwartz may be incorrect by his statement. 

Sound is easily one of the most important senses that most of us possess, and should be overlooked by touch. It is evident that we need sound in our life. 

Aside

Poem: One

Many of us are not from the same culture, many of us are not the same person, many of us didn’t know one another. 

But we can become one.

We may speak different languages, or understand things in different ways because of our backgrounds.

But we can become one.

What I may see to be normal to me, may not be to you. What I understand; you probably won’t.

But we can become one. 

I have traditions, I have rights, and I have routines that I know differ from yours.

But we can become one.

It’s difficult to make you understand my ways of live, as it is difficult for me to understand yours.

But we can become one.

We are all humans and we know when there is something wrong. Something deep within us gives us that message to react in a certain way.

This allows us to be ONE. I know Guerts can agree with me.