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The Dreamer

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A few weeks ago, I read a blog entry on REM rebound, like we had learned in class. I found it very interesting to read about another person's experience with that, since I have had that happen to me many times before. However, this past weekend I experienced an extremely vivid REM rebound dream - even more vivid than normal. I fell asleep almost immediately when I laid down, and after a while, I woke up and thought I had been sleeping for hours. Once I checked my phone, I realized that I had only slept for a little while. I laid in bed and recalled an intense dream I had about different situations and friends in my life. I still can clearly remember that dream. It was interesting to really take the time to think about what had happened and why in that dream, especially considering it was easy for me to remember. People should definitely take the time to look into deeper aspects of their life, like what dreams are, how they work, and more importantly, the meaning.

Chapter 13 - Kids working together

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If you were put in a situation in which you had complete control over several other people, how would you behave? According to Philip Zimbardo's findings, you probably wouldn't act in a way that a mother typical mother would approve of. In his study, he randomly assigned 24 males to be either prisoners or guards. After some time, the people who were guards acted quite sadistically and prisoners showed varying signs of emotional disturbance. Even though this study was not carefully controlled, there have been many other times where similar results have been found. For example, the Robber's Cave Study caused two groups of youngsters, sorted by simple eye color, to very clearly become the groups that they were assigned into. I think that these studies show that behavior is definitely not based solely on the genetics of a person, or even their past behavior. Behavior is very reliant on the situation that the person is placed into.
This is definitely one of the principle ideas that I will remember from this class. I think that this serves as a very good reminder that children should be encouraged for personal and education growth from a very early age. It also shows that children should not be pitted against each other at early ages, rather they should be encouraged to work together on projects. This will increase productivity and decrease prejudice among their peers.

Chapter 16 - Freud

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I am willing to bet that most of you, before taking this class, have heard of Freud, even if it was just in passing and you did not understand what it meant. I always thought it was strange how people thought that every detail in a dream had a specific meaning that could be identified with enough study into it. A part of the Freudian school of thought that I did believe was possible was the idea that a person's actions are partly based on unconscious thoughts. I think that an idea that can be associated with this is that most people have a sort of 'type' of guy or girl that they always seem to go after, even if they don't realize it. I definitely agree with Freud's thinking that things like this can be based off of unconscious impulses that may be based on some event that occurred in their childhood. I do think that he went to far in saying that most desires are based in something that is just simply primal, like sexual desire. Most actions probably have other basis, like the need to feel connected to a society. Altogether, I really enjoyed studying Freud and his writings, and I think that his insights are definitely something that I will read more into.Excellent+demonstration+of+a+Freudian+slip+OP+_cd13c5150273bdde0bafcbae973c56a9.jpg

Another reason to consider yourself lucky

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When I was younger Alzheimer's was a disease that made you forget things, maybe you forget to do your homework, or you forget to do the dishes, but my innocent view of the disease was way off the mark. Alzheimer's is a very scary yet very prevalent disease in our world today. The cause of it is unknown except a small amount of cases that have been linked to genetics.
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By 2050 it is said that 1 in 85 people will have this disease. This disease seems to have no mercy, which to me is the scariest part. This disease does not discriminate except that it mainly affects people late in life. And you don't recover from it, it only gets worse. Currently the only line of action is prevention... and there is no definitive evidence to support any method of prevention. This disease is coupled with the burden you would place on the people around you and the fact that slowly but surely your brain is giving up. Optimism and hope may be our only weapon against this monster, for now but extensive research is being done to find a cure. For example some researchers believe the answer may lie in a person's diet, in that certain vitamins may help to fight against the onset of this disease. This article mentions a possible cure for the disease that seems to have had "a remarkable affect on mice afflicted with a condition similar to Alzheimer's in humans". Hopefully the cure is found soon.

Babies Serving Time

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Ethics, morality, most people find themselves trying to do the right thing; people might ask themselves "What would Jesus do?" Whatever your style is in trying to do the right thing you may frequently find yourself in a moral gray area. Hypothetical Situations like: If you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a baby, would you do it, and would that be ethical? Maybe that example is too hypothetical for you.
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What about if there was a gene found for "criminality"? This is a great example of a moral gray area. The ethical issues stem from the fact that this gene would be identifiable in anyone, newborns and adults alike. In the case of an adult, they could potentially be jailed before committing a crime because of the presence of this gene. The motto of innocent until proven guilty would no longer apply. This could even cause a reemergence of the eugenics movement, and those with this gene would be sterilized. In the case of an infant, we might see them being arrested at birth if they were unlucky enough to inherit that gene. The ethical issues with this situation are endless. As a whole, based on history I believe that society WOULD respond as I explained. We SHOULD respond in a more optimistic manner. As a society we should give extra attention to those individuals who are found to have this "criminality" gene, in hopes of overriding nature with nurture and avoiding the thought of a babies going to jail.

If this situation still seems too crazy then click here to read an article about a study that seems to have found a link to violence in delinquents. We may be closer to baby prison than you think...

Memory Loss portrayed through film

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I have watched my fair share of movies that incorporate characters who suffer from memory loss such as Memento, Bourne Identity, 50 First Dates, and even The Notebook. I would easily say that the Bourne series is the best series I have ever seen but I will focus on the memory loss associated with the main character Leonard Shelby from Memento. Lenny suffers from a memory loss condition after his head was injured from trying to save his wife from being murdered in his own home. The thing is, the police are not trying to track down this guy so he feels he needs to get vengeance for his wife's death. His memory loss is short-term. He has to write notes on photos and tattoo important information to enhance his memory of past recent events. He explains that if someone talks too long or he takes a nap or is not doing something for a while that he will become preoccupied and not remember recent events. This seems to be characteristic of dementia. However, even though this disease can occur before geriatric stages of age, I do not feel he was really completely disoriented or suffering physically as well. He was simply disoriented most often with his mission of finding the killer of his wife. That makes sense because most crime investigations are quite complex and take a lot of notes and time to go through information even for police who do not suffer from memory loss.

Mental Health Awareness Day (MHAD)

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The reason I missed the discussion section on April 25th was because I was helping with a very important event on campus: Mental Health Awareness Day (MHAD)! The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide on campus. During the morning of the event, we set up 1,100 chairs to represent the 1,100 college students in the US that die by suicide each year! Just looking at that many chairs really makes you think about why mental health is so important! We also had a speech from Mark Meier (the founder of the organization called Face It), performances from spoken word, free t-shirts, and the opportunity for people to dedicate a chair for someone they know who deals with a mental health disorder or who has committed suicide.

The reason I joined MHAD is because I have personally dealt with depression and anxiety myself. Right before college started, I had a lot of things going on in my life that caused a lot of stress. At one point the stress just became too much for me to handle and that is when depression and anxiety entered my life. I knew little about these mental disorders before college, so when I was first starting to experience them I was very confused, frustrated, and scared. Eventually I figured out what was going on and went to see my local doctor. Ever since then I have been taking medication and seeing a therapist to help me manage my depression and anxiety. Even though I have gotten a lot better, they are still something I deal with to this day.

Depression and anxiety are hard to describe to people unless they experience it for themselves, yet that is nothing I would wish on anybody. Unfortunately, along with mental disorders, there are many stigmas that are attached to these diseases. If you tell someone that you have a mental disorder some people might think you are crazy or are just making it up. Well, as one who has dealt with mental disorders first-hand, I would be the first to say that those are just plain not true. Mental disorders are real diseases and should be treated very seriously. MHAD gave me the opportunity to take a stand for mental health because it is something that I find to be very important and worth talking about. In the end, raising awareness and talking about mental health will hopefully decrease the number of students that die by suicide because I believe that every person in this world is special and has a reason to be here!


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Finally an explanation!

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One night last school year, I woke up to humming noises and I couldn't move my body. But the scariest part was that it felt as if there was some type of thing that was hovering over my body and slowly getting closer and closer to me. Ever since then I have been a little freaked out and I never quite understood what had happened that night. Maybe it was a dream? Maybe it was aliens? (joking) Well, finally I have an answer. I had experienced sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a strange experience of being unable to move just after falling asleep or immediately upon awakening. I was shocked to learn that one-half to one-third of college students have had at least one episode of sleep paralysis. So what causes sleep paralysis? Sleep paralysis is caused by a disruption in the sleep cycle and is often associated with anxiety or even terror, feelings of vibrations, humming noises, and the eerie sense of menacing figures close to or on top of the immobile person. Sleep paralysis is only one of the many remarkable sleep-related experiences that we learned about in chapter 5 that are related to an altercation in our consciousness, which is our subjective experience of the world and ourselves. I was very relieved after reading this chapter to reassure myself that I wasn't crazy and that this event had really taken place. But, with most cases, Occam's Razor viewpoint was true, and a much simpler explanation is correct.sleep-paralysis-comic-style-724088.jpg

REM Rebound

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After my last week or so, I experienced one of the greatest REM rebounds I ever have felt. REM rebound is when we haven't slept much for a few nights in a row. When we finally do get a good night's sleep, we often experience much more intense dreams, even nightmares, which probably reflects a powerful bounce-back of REM sleep. For the past week, I was going through "I week" which is initiation week for the fraternity I joined. I slept for about 15 hours in 5 days. Then, Sunday night, I finally was able to sleep for a solid 9-10 hours. I usually never remember my dreams, and if I do, they are usually very spotty and aren't all that interesting. However, when I woke up Monday morning, I was shocked! I had remembered many of my dreams from last night and I could recall them as vividly as they were the night before. It was amazing how tired I was Sunday night but then when I woke up Monday morning it had felt like I had a healthy sleep schedule all week! Going into "I week" I was wondering whether or not I would have REM rebound at the end of it, and surely enough I did! It was cool to see something that we learned in class apply to my life.6518_rem_cartoon.gif

Do vaccinations cause Autism?

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Do vaccinations cause autism? This question has been posed by a number of individuals in the health sciences. It wasn't until recently that the final answer to this question was found. Before that point in time, numerous articles could be found that supported this claim as well as denied it. While searching the web for articles supporting both sides of this debate I found it was much easier to find credible sites for the negative. The first site I found was from Duke Medical. It provided a Dr.'s testimony that stated, "There is simply no evidence supporting this assertion". I also found a site from the CDC which stated, "the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism". Lastly, I found a Forbes article that indicated that the HuffPost Health still believes that vaccinations causes autism. Just based off of the URLs of these articles, I put more faith in the first two articles simply because they are a .org and a .gov while the later is a .com. Because these articles only provide claims, it is hard to find errors in the data analysis. Knowing this, if asked to, I would put my money on the first two sites.

http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/advice_from_doctors/your_childs_health/mmr_vaccine_and_autism,

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/Autism/Index.html,

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2011/02/11/huffington-post-still-believes-vaccines-cause-autism/

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