natal013: October 2011 Archives

50 First Dates

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In the film 50 first dates, Adam Sandler plays a character that meets a girl played by Drew Barrymore named Lucy. In the film Lucy is portrayed to be suffering from anterograde amnesia. The effects of this type of amnesia include the inability to create new memories, while holding on to other long-term memories. The film uses the fact that Lucy suffered terrible brain damage in a car accident a few years back. Brain trauma is a common way that people can be inflicted with anterograde amnesia, and the film effectively portrays this in an accurate fashion.

Although this movie is meant mainly to be a comedy they do a good job of portraying anterograde amnesia pretty accurately. Lucy has as much knowledge of her long-term memory prior to the accident as any person not suffering from amnesia. She remembers all the details of her family, and what she did the day of her accident, but is just not able to recall any recent memories. Throughout the movie Adam Sandler's character Henry tries to help Lucy remember how they met, and that they were currently seeing each other, but never makes any real progress in creating any new memories in Lucy all throughout.

In the movie 50 First Dates Lucy is unable to build any new memories past the day of her accident, and at the end of every day she goes to sleep and wakes up with no knowledge of the previous day, or any day following her accident. This part of the movie is border line inaccurate for the reason that a lot of the people that suffer from anterograde amnesia have trouble remembering what they did even earlier in the day, while Lucy finds no struggle with this, but magically when she goes to sleep all of her memory is lost. Her span of memory is a bit too exact to deem this film entirely correct on how people suffering from anterograde amnesia would carry themselves through a day. A better representation of a daily pattern of someone suffering from anterograde amnesia would be Dory from the film Finding Nemo. Dory continues to forget information she had learned earlier throughout the day, and this more accurately reflects anterograde amnesia, rather than the retaining of memories and information until bedtime.

The film 50 First Dates represents a relatively accurate portrayal of how people with anterograde amnesia are affected. Although there are a few parts of the film that can be pointed out to be a little fictional, for the most part the film reflects the condition quite accurately, especially compared with a lot of the other options for films with people that suffer from amnesia, and more specifically, anterograde amnesia.

Addiction to Crack Cocaine

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In the satirical clip of Chappelle's Show we can see a drug addict in the form of Tyrone Biggums. Although the show is completely fabricated, there is still a glaring example of how one's environment can cause them to be addicted to drugs. In this specific case we are not shown the true beginning of Tyrone's addiction, but we are able to see some of his current activity and what has lead to his continued addiction. From the clip we see that the couple Rob and Jenny are acting as enablers of sorts for Tyrone by giving a free place to live in and giving him money to support his habits. This is the equivalent to having people around him approve of his actions in ways. Rob and Jenny helped fund his activities by just giving him money even though they were well aware of his drug issue. For a lot of drug addicts this just helps to aid their addiction and prolong their problem. Another factor in why Tyrone seems to be so incredibly addicted to drugs has to do with his age. Although we do not know his real age, it is acceptable to assume that he is in his early adulthood, which is usually the peak for illegal drug use and addiction. The skit reflects that Tyrone is at a stage and also addicted to the stimulant crack cocaine. This is the most powerful of the stimulants so his addiction is one that will affect his daily life even more than say another stimulant like nicotine. Tyrone also reflects the drive to use crack cocaine as much as possible. This can be attributed to the short lived high of the substance and the skit reflects just this as Tyrone comes into the room desperate for more crack cocaine, and at the end of the skit when he gets desperate enough to try to flush himself out of the room.

Tyrone Biggums may be a completely made up character, but he still reflects a lot of the real life reasons why people can become addicted to illegal drugs, and more specifically illegal stimulants.

Link to Clip:

There is a claim that there was a connection between the influenza outbreaks and the Chinese Zodiac calendar. In 2007 it was the year of the chicken, also the year of the bird flu outbreak in parts of Asia. In 2008 it was the year of the horse and there was an outbreak of equine flu in Australia. During 2009 there was an outbreak of swine flu, and quite coincidentally it was the year of the pig for the Chinese Zodiac calendar. If you think these claims are quite ridiculous than you would be right. The first mistake made by the creators of this myth is that they assumed that correlation was causation.. Another principle of critical thinking that can help to prove this claim wrong is that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. There is no real evidence that shows that there is a correlation between the Chinese Zodiac calendar and the outbreaks of influenza in the last few years.

Believers in this myth are making an illusionary correlation between the two events. Like most other pseudoscientific claims they also overlooked the fact that breakouts of these types of influenza happened at times when it did not correlate to the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The creators had confirmation bias when making the claim and ignored a lot of evidence supporting an alternative cause. In my eyes this is purely a coincidence and no real correlation exists between the two variables.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by natal013 in October 2011.

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