Final Project

(I tried everything and could not get either of these sites to to link in HTML format, sorry for the confusion) but the first is an interactive map of Miss America winners up to 2007, the second link is the website I built

Wordle: Beautyyyyyyyyyy

The concept of what makes one beautiful has greatly changed throughout the decades. Most runway models in the 21st century meet the body mass index criteria for anorexia. Statistics show that 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller. Ten years ago, plus-size models wore sizes 12-18, today, models are considered to be plus size if they wear a size 6! This change in perception is causing women around the world to develop eating disorders and feel uncomfortable in their own skin, which eventually leads to an unhealthy lifestyle and body. In the March 2012 issue of Vogue an article was written on Dara-Lynn Weiss who is the mother of a seven-year-old daughter that was considered to be obese at 4’4” and 93 pounds. In order to force her daughter to lose weight, she counted her calories everyday and was known to deny her dinner if she had eaten too much in one day. Weiss is known as a fat-phobic. Her daughter, Bea, has since lost 16 pounds and when asked about her issue, she claims, “I am not a different person just because I lost 16 pounds. Just because it’s in the past doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”
Dara-Lynn Weiss and daughter

Tyra Banks, American supermodel and role model for many women around the world, spoke out against underweight models and showed her support for the Vogue Pact, which is a ban on models that look like they have or physically do have an eating disorder. As many of you know, Banks hosts a show on television called America’s Next Top Model and within 19 seasons, a plus-size model has never won the competition. In 2010, Ann Ward was the winner with a height of 6’2” and a waist size of 22”, so small runway judge J. Alexander could practically fit both hands around her as shown in the picture on my website. Runner up, Chelsey Hersley was not pleased about Ward winning the competition. She claimed to have aspired to be a model since the young age of three and quotes “I feel cheated. I feel like I have the whole package and I don’t think Ann does.”
Ann Ward

Along with weight justifying whether someone is beautiful or not, there is also other factors such as full, voluminous hair, clear complexion, and tan skin. Economists claim that attractive women earn 4% more than their less attractive counterparts while men make 5% more; that means over a lifetime, a good-looking man could earn $250,000 more than a less attractive one (Bennett). A 33-year-old woman, Debrahlee Lorenzana, in Queens, New York was fired from her job at Citibank for being “too hot.” She sued the company but lost the case because there was no proof that she was fired for that specific reason. Jessica Bennett questions in her article about Lorenzana whether he looks may have been the reason she got the job in the first place. However, she now has a reality television show where she coos, “I love plastic surgery, I think it’s the best thing that ever happened.”
Debrahlee Lorenzana

In 1968, 400 women in New Jersey stood outside of the Miss America Pageant to conduct what they called “The Degrading Mindless-Boob-Girlie Symbol” and the expectations American had about beauty. They marched with signs, passed out pamphlets, and crowned a live sheep to compare the pageant to livestock competitions at the fair. What drew the media’s attention the most, however, was what they called the “freedom trash can.” The women threw fake eyelashes, Cosmopolitan and Playboy magazines, high heels, bras, and other feminine products to show they were against labeling and exploiting the “most beautiful girl in America.” Not only did women protest outside of the pageant, a few women got tickets to go inside of the pageant and during the crowing they yelled “no more Miss America!” and “women’s liberation!” until they were quickly removed by police.
Miss America protest

I used a free website generator for this project called Wix that is available to the public when searched. For the other categories I used Microsoft Powerpoint, Wordle, TimeToast, Flickr, Google, ZeeMaps and YouTube.

Experimenting with Scratch

Within the first minute of the Scratch video, I had already stopped it so I could start blogging because I was so intrigued by the idea of being able to create your own video games or animated stories! I like to think of myself as somewhat Internet savvy but I’ve quickly learned I am not as advanced as I thought I was. I’m also not artistic or creative but by having samples and examples, I worked off of those to create an interesting picture! It amazed me how many possibilities there were, they were endless! Not only did I like Scratch for myself, I emailed the link to my family so my little brother could try it out! There’s not many things that are appropriate and interactive for all ages, but fortunately, this is one! Not only was it fun when I created my animation of a man falling into the white house and a cat chasing after him trying to save him, HAHA, but it would also be useful for a project that did not have specific guidelines instead of using PowerPoint all the time as we discussed in class. I got sidetracked by making up drawings and trying to design a game that I realized 30 minutes had passed without even noticing it! This will be the next app that I will spend majority of my time on!

Wordle and body image

Instead of picking a certain article/tool to blog about, this week I chose to blog about multiple ones briefly. I started off with wordle and although it caught my eye due to the colors and sizes, all in all, I didn’t find it very useful, more just for fun and interesting to look at. As we discussed in class, I think it would be more useful if you could put these words into a specific shape that represents meaning behind the words.

I then explored TIME magazine database and researched deeper into my topic of how society has changed body image, specifically in beauty pageants such as Miss America. An interesting article I found was talking about the Miss America winner of 1926, Norma Smallwood. I then googled images of her and as I suspected, she was a voluptuous and curvy.

In 2002, however, Miss America winner, Katie Harman, had a completely different body structure since at that point in time society pushes women to show their bones and it is bad to be anything bigger than a size 0 or have meat on their body.

On the contrary, I am not saying neither Norma Smallwood nor Katie Harman necessarily looks “better”. My focus is more on finding out the reasons behind why there was this change in what is considered a beautiful body image.

Edward Tufte is evil

Although I believe PowerPoint is overrated to some extent, I think Edward Tufte is taking the his criticism to extreme. PowerPoints are extremely reliable in terms of learning information in school that will more than likely be given in a multiple choice context. This type of test does not require sentences and full sentences would do nothing besides take up space with a few filler words. It is easier, in a business setting and school setting, to keep one’s attention by continuously changing the information by switching slides rather than to stare at an essay format document for a long period of time with an immense amount of information. What Mr. Tufte thinks is “good”, I disagree with. Personally, I would not pay a bit of attention to that slide. It is bland and just has a lot of meaningless numbers. The slide he considers “bad” however, grabs my attention with the different colors and types of charts. It expresses the information in multiple ways leaving the audience to decide which way they can interpret and comprehend the information better.

With my opinion on PowerPoint stated above, this does not mean I do not believe essays, reports, and full sentences should never be used. Journalism, English, and other majors or careers that require full sentences and depth should not rely on PowerPoint since it is irrelevant to their job, as it obviously is to Tufte’s since he is a blogger and needs that depth and full sentences over bullet points. On the contrary, science and math majors don’t really use details and essays regularly. Most of their information comes from charts, tables, and information that cannot be distorted and interpreted in more than one way; Powerpoint is an extremely useful tool for these people to memorize information. In all, I agree with Tufte in his reasoning that PowerPoint is used as a substitute instead of supplementing information but in some fields, I believe that is the best learning technique.

Criticism of Felton’s reports

I chose to compare Felton’s earliest report- 2005 (from this specific website) to his 2009 journey. It was neat that in 2009, his most recorded location was a restaurant beating the second closest place, residence, by 80 points/tallies/times? I couldn’t believe he literally wrote down all 9 ice cream flavors he ate within that year. I’m wondering what he means when he says his longest relationship is “forever”?

When reading his 2005 annual report, the first thing I noticed is that I recognized NONE of his music interests (Cat Power, Diplo, 13 and God). I was amazed at how many countries he visited but wondered what he did outside of recording his daily life that he was able to make the money to travel to all these foreign places! It was no surprise that his top referring link was; whose isn’t?!

Although it was very interesting to read about his year through specific data, my main question was why? What was his reasoning for doing so and how were this able to get published? If I write an annual collection of data on my life will I become famous? It looks like a more detailed and extended version of my childhood diary. I think it would be awesome to interact with the public and see in a collection of graphs and data how they perceive you, however, I don’t think it has any right to be published. Who has time to record all of these tiny details of their life anyways? I’m also concerned with the fact that he is okay with his private life being available to the public including where he hangs out, lives, works, enjoys, acts. It’s like he is a celebrity for doing everyday normal activities. If it wasn’t for this class assignment, I would have no interest about reading about one man’s journey as it was not educating, inspiring, or very entertaining.

In a tourist’s point of view

I found PhilaPlace and Euclid Corridor History Project to both be interesting and explored both of the websites as if I was going to visit these tourism sites. I decided that if I was taking a trip to Philadelphia, I would take the South Philadelphia: Territory of Dreams walking tour.

This picture I found to be the most intriguing because I live in a Civil War town (New Market, VA) and many of the street houses look like these. We are always providing tours around our small town and I think it would be interesting to see another historical town and hear their stories of the late 1800’s. I think that by using ordinary people’s opinions, stories, and images it makes this website unique because there is no bias behind it. Anytime I am researching on places to visit, I always like to read reviews of people that have been there and hear the pros and cons of that specific place.

I found the Cleveland Silverline webpage to be interesting as well, however, seemed to me that there were a few designing quirks that needed to be worked out. Sometimes when I clicked on a certain link it would redirect to me places I didn’t want to be. With that being said, I imagined I was also visiting Cleveland traveling on the Silverline and decided my destination would be Cleveland State University. I always find it so interesting to explore other college life and atmospheres compared to GMU. However, when exploring this website, I wasn’t very impressed by the lack of description. There were also only very few images of the college. I would use this website as a starting point and then continue my research on a website that has more detailed information. It was a useful page to recognize the stops on the Silverline though to plan out a trip that was based on these stops instead of having to hail a cab or walk all around the city.

Features of Google

I had never heard of Google Docs until someone mentioned it in class the other day and when I looked into it, I used it for an assignment for another class and really liked the format of it. Not to mention, it is another place to store a document other than just on one hard drive or on your personal computer. The ability to share your work and let others edit it or collaborate together on it is the most interesting tool about Google Docs. It could be a useful interactional tool for students and teachers or maybe someone looking to have their work corrected, however, I wouldn’t like some of my personal documents to be viewed by any and everyone on the Internet and those documents I am able to keep private and only giving me access to them (unless a hacker gains access). It’s going to be an odd change that will take some getting used to after using Microsoft Office for 19 years, but to me it seems worth it!

Google Chart Wizard and Google Maps are not necessarily of great education importance to me, however, they are extremely interesting to mess around with. As a communications major, I rarely use charts and statistical values but sometimes seeing an visual image of something puts it into perspective rather than just having words. For presentations that include a lot of numbers and values, I plan on using Google Chart Wizard to enhance those numbers and comparisons. Google Maps, on the other hand, is somewhere I spend a lot of my time, however, this time is not dedicated to educational purposes but leisure activities instead. For me, it is easier to just quickly type an address into my GPS programmed into my car and listen to that for every street and turn I need to make to get to my destination. However, when my family and I are looking for a beach house to stay at during the summer, we use Google Maps often to depict the scenery of the exact house were looking into staying. I also show a lot of my friends when we first meet my hometown on Google Maps. It’s hard for people to understand that I literally live in a place with cows, corn fields, and no stop lights, but when they see a visual, they understand! All of these Google features are interesting and useful for many Internet users and I believe they should advertise these tools more. Like I said, I am an adamant Internet user and had never heard of Google Docs or Google Chart Wizard!

The damage 4 simple digits can do

While reading the article “How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking”, my jaw was dropped to the ground the whole time. I had no idea how easy it is to for a hacker to ruin someones personal devices so easily. The most interesting line to me was, “The very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the Web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification.‪” It’s essential that people like Mat Honan that have been hacked share their story with the public in order for us as a whole to become more aware and understanding of security policies and customer service.

It amazes me that people have this much time on their hands to hack into an innocent man’s digital life for no reason other than to get access to his Twitter account because he liked his username when I barely have time to get homework done! Identity theft is one of those things that I feel like will never happen to me but after reading this article, I’ve realized how vulnerable I am to hackers. Most of my accounts link to the same thing and I often use similar passwords and 4 digit numbers. Simply because I “haven’t felt like doing it” I have yet to sync my phone to my MacBook through iCloud and pictures from up to 4 years ago are stored only on my computer. Although Honan lost photos of the first year of his daughter’s life, he is considered to be one of the lucky ones that got hacked! His hackers could have done damage financially leading him into an even greater problem, however, the 19 year old hacker was compromising enough to explain to Honan exactly how he performed this and that his hope was to basically make a point to the customer service of companies in order for them to upgrade their security to overcome all hackers in the future.

Contradictions of “fair use”

After reading the articles and watching the videos, the same thing came to mind for all of them alike- infringement on copyright is obviously not taken as seriously as it should be from professors, students, scholars, or anyone else who uses work that is not their own. This however, seems to be mainly due to the fact that there is not a specific list as to what is fair use and what is not. In Dan Cohen’s Owning the Past: Fair Use quotes that in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act is is stated that “fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright”. Many people can and do take advantage of this and can say they are doing research, reporting, or criticizing when in reality, they are stealing someone else’s work and calling it their own and majority of people are able to get away with it since there is so many different rules and regulations regarding fair use.

Fair use strikes me as something that is almost assumed to be everything on the internet for students. I, for example, have never asked permission to use any type of source (digital, oral, written) because I was never required to do that as we are required to cite our sources in a bibliography. However, I found it interesting that some books have to be approved to even be in a bibliography. It was interesting though that just as one should be careful with fair use, it was also stated that one should not be too cautious and some, Chicago Manual for example, warns against seeking permission.

After reading this article, I feel like I’m more inclined to make absolute sure that what I am producing is fair use and could not get me sued in anyway!

Heavy Metal Umlaut Hacker

I watched the video about the heavy metal umlaut and found the part where the web page was defaced to be the most interesting (about 5 minutes in). Here Jon Udell showed a hacker editing this page at 11PM typing derogative sayings and someone cleaning it up within that very minute. Udell questioned whether it was the same person that vandalized it then fixed it but when he went back and checked, contrary to his disbelief that someone could actually be watching that page so closely, his suspicion proved to be wrong; a different user than the one publishing the demeaning sentences was cleaning the web page up and returning it to its original form that quickly.

Since this video was published in 2005, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at it now in 2012 and found that there were hundreds of changes that happened and the most recent one occurred 6 days ago! It’s amazing to me that this web page is still being edited to this day! I wasn’t aware that wikipedia pages were updated that often. There was probably three times as much information on this specific page and almost all of the original text is no longer there.

Here is a link to the present day wikipedia article now titled “Metal umlaut”:
Metal umlaut