Archive for the ‘Week1_BlogHelp’ Category

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Also, Please post your extra credit assignments to the category entitled “Extra Credit Blogs”

Week 7: Tom Cruise and the Controversy of Prescription Drugs - Ricky Irwin

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

On the June 24th, 2005 episode of the Today Show, Tom Cruise infamously clashed with host Matt Lauer on the controversial nature of antidepressant medication and psychiatry, and also criticized Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants. Having watched this video clip in its entirety, I came to the conclusion that while Tom Cruise does touch upon some fundamentally true aspects of drug addiction, he is simply too radical and off-base with his comments, the most likely cause of his public image destruction. When he says “the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There’s ways of vitamins and through exercise and various things,” it can be true in certain situations. People who are suffering from real issues and complications in their lives can just mask their problems with drugs, and would be better off cleansing themselves of such problems with therapy, and perhaps exercise like Tom Cruise suggests. However, Cruise goes on to say, “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance,” which is simply untrue in scientific research, and is a dangerous sentiment for those actually suffering from an imbalance. The problem is that too many people in America are being subscribed prescription drugs that either don’t need the strength or just need an alternative solution, and can end up in a worse state of addiction.

The first thing I thought of with this week’s topic of prescription drugs and psychiatry is a bit of standup from comedian Katt Williams that I have seen recently. He talks about how happy and energetic his son was, until his nurse at school said, “you don’t understand whether he’s happy or not, it’s unhealthy” and prescribed him Ritalin to “even him out.” Katt Williams talked about how the first two hours were wonderful for him as a parent, able to do so much, but after three hours, the drugs just seemed to have an unnatural and disconcerting effect on the mellow behaviour of his son. This just shows how in America, there is a demand for anything and everything that seems to simplify and better life, parallel to the rapid rise of technology in everything. There seems to be medication for every symptom, and they all play to the “self-improvement” desire of Americans that compel them to first seek prescription drugs for problems without first addressing the causes and nature of the problem. With Ritalin, the drug is being abused from its original intent of aiding focus in areas like academics into usage by parents who wish to make their own parenting lives easier, while stifling the personality of their kids.

However, of the different types of prescription medication, I think antidepressants are the least effective. In a study conducted by Yale University, it was found that for 70% of people, antidepressant drugs were completely ineffective. Also, antidepressants can sometimes do harm, as instead of treating depression, they can completely numb and neutralize the users emotions altogether, making the result not completely worth it. I think that antidepressants and prescription drugs in general have their uses and in some instances are very instrumental, but just like most problems in America, they have been dragged to excess and are too flooded into the market for people who may need therapy or different kinds of treatment.

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Week 1- Two Cultures by Angelica Merida

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

So I’m a bit late, but cut me some slack I entered the class late. So as I understand it the first week revolved around the idea of two cultures, that of the scientific world, and that of the artistic world.

C.P Snow’s article, “Two Cultures” blames the separation between the natural sciences and the literary world on school and university curriculums. I couldn’t agree more. In an effort to create more specialized graduates, schools have failed to realized the importance of giving their students the opportunity for experimentation in other fields. A primary example of this can be found in UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television aka TFT.

I am a theater major in TFT. I chose UCLA because I wanted a wider education that I knew I could not receive if I had chosen to go to a conservatory. In TFT, I feel we are significantly limited to what we can expose ourselves to. With so many required classes, more so for the actors than us the designers, we have a very hard time being able to branch out and discover other fields of interests. I think it’s much more limiting for the actors, who have specific courses they must take each quarter in a particular order for fear of falling behind and then not completing the program. Mind you, most do not argue much with the situation considering that is why they are here. However, there are some of us who do want to branch out without the fear of limitation of units, course series, major requirements, or even upper division requirements. If we want to graduate on time, then study abroad is not an option during the school year.

I do agree with Snow very much, at UCLA it is very much evident in the North/South campus division. Each side has a serious misinterpretation of the other. However, I think we fail to notice the division and separation within these sides. For example, physically, the World Arts and Cultures majors are separated from the theater and film students, who are also separate from the music and vocal students. WAC majors are in Kaufmann, while film is in Melnitz, theater in Macgowan, and Music all the way by Schoenberg. Should not these disciplines be able to at least physically intermingle? Imagine the possibility of greater performance pieces if we involved the musicias, the singers, the dancers, and actors all together. And yet, we are all distinctly separated on this campus.Many of us complain about the lack of one thing or another in our shows or concerts, and fail to realize that perhaps that one thing that’s missing could be found in the other department. So as I see it, there is a 4th culture being created, where the disciplines within science and art are separating themselves and creating gaps that to me, only seem to get wider and larger.

In Stephen Wilson’s article, Myths and Confusions in Thinking about Art/Science/Technology, he brings up an interesting viewpoint, artists often only choose to oppose research and science and deny it rather than support it.

Take the artist Patricia Piccinini who had an exhibit titled “We are Family” which toured Europe for a while. The exhibit captures negative sentiments towards animal and plant cloning/hybridization.

But there are artist out there who do embrace science. Take Copenhagen’s Sydhavn. His 1999 piece titled “Evolution,” recreates a timeline of evolution through graffiti art. Spanning 170m, the piece begins with the Big Bang and ends with the Ice Age. Not only does it actually integrate scientific thought with art, but it also gives a good rep to graffiti as art. So unlike Wilson I would have to disagree, art is influenced by science as well, it’s just not so much in how the art is created, but rather the content within the pieces.

Week Two Posts - Mathematics, Perspective, Time and Space

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Hello all! 

Thanks for your posts last week- I was really impressed. This week’s blogs should be about Mathematics, Perspective, Time & Space.  Please read the papers listed on the class website (here), select a piece of work or project, and discuss it in the context of the topics discussed in class.  Have fun and see you next week,


Week1_How to Post Your First Blog by gautam rangan

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

1. login into your dashboard by clicking on ‘Site Admin’ under the ‘Meta’ header on the right of the screen and entering your username and password on the login page.

2. after you’ve logged in, wordpress will take you to your ‘dashboard’.  on the left, under the ‘Posts’ header, click on ‘Add New’.

3. enter your title (week #_blog title by your name), and enter your text.  on the right, select the appropriate category for your post.  when you’re done and ready to upload the post to the blog, click the blue ‘publish’ button on the right of the screen.

Week1_How to Register for this Blog by gautam rangan

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

please register here… your username should be your first and last name as is appears on your student ID (i.e. ‘james bond’)

>>>>please note, the new register automatic password mailer isn’t working, so i’m going to have to reset all your passwords to ‘desma9′ (am going to do this periodically through the day tonight and tomorrow).  when you’re able to log in, please reset your password in the wordpress settings.  while you’re waiting for me to reset your password, go ahead and write up your blog entry in a text editor.  thanks, john