Historical Advertisement: The Brownie Camera

Advertisement 1: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/eaa_K0430/

Advertisement 2: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/eaa_K0047/

Advertisement 3: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/eaa_K0033/

With this assignment, I will be focusing on the Brownie Camera, which began selling in 1900.  It was the first hand held camera designed by Eastman Kodak Company of New York, commonly known as Kodak, an American technology company focused on imaging solutions.  Its slogan is “You press the button, we do the rest.”

The first ad was the earliest ad I could find of the Brownie Camera dated in 1900.  My eyes first go to a large picture of a fashionable woman in the action of using a brownie camera.  She looks focused and attentive, which could provoke excitement and enthusiasm in viewers who have an interest in photography.  This image portrays an attractive experience for those who may think that they could this person with a Brownie Camera taking snapshots.  The next thing I see is the largest text in the ad, which is the word “Brownie” followed by “$1”.  The text informs the audience that this advertisement is about the Brownie Camera, and that it is one dollar.  The advertisement assumes that one dollar is such an affordable, enticing price at the time that it must make it clearly visible to the audience.  The rest of the information in the ad is smaller text, which makes up the logos of the ad.  The text tells the audience about the functional and physical features of the camera.  It emphasizes how the camera is “so simple that it can be easily operated by any School Boy or Girl.”  This lets the audience know that the camera is accessible and that buyers should not have any problems using it.  This claim is supported in the picture as the camera is shown to be small and easily used, as the woman is using the camera while her eyes are focused on the scenery ahead.  The picture helps viewers trust that the camera is easily accessible, giving the ad credibility on its claims.  Even if someone has problems, there is a booklet included with instructions on how to use the Brownie Camera.  This provides buyers with a safety net and gives them confidence they will be able to use this camera.

In the second ad, readers instantly see “Brownie Camera” in all caps and red text, as opposed to the small, black text in the majority of the ad.  Again, the ad initially tells the reader what it is about.  In the picture, the second thing I saw, there is a young boy taking a picture of two cute younger girls in white dresses.  This picture can evoke sentimental feelings to parents, who may see this ad and want to buy a Brownie Camera for their own kids so they can be adorable like these kids.  In kids, this picture can evoke a feeling of adventure and excitement, as they may want to buy a Brownie Camera and take pictures and have a good time like the kids in the ad are.  In the caption below the picture, it says, “It works like a Kodak.”  This gives credibility to the Brownie Camera, because the Kodak was famous for its accessibility and its slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”  The text, which makes up the logos in the ad, describes how it is fun for “young folks” to use a Brownie Camera, and that fun is meaningful as there is education and amusement in photography.  The text also emphasizes how this camera is usable in the daylight; this camera has evolved from past models where dark-rooms and dark-room lamps were required.  This may stimulate excitement in people passionate about photography, as they can appreciate this new level of practicality and convenience.

In the third ad, I first see the large text in the middle, “BROWNIES FOR CHRISTMAS.”  This can be directed toward either kids asking for Christmas presents or toward parents looking for presents for their kids.  This would provoke excitement in interested kids and relief in parents frantically looking for a good present.  In the top half of the ad, there is a picture of a boy in Christmas attire with a Brownie Camera at his side.  He seems very cool in his posture and attitude, and this may attract other kids to want to be like him, all relaxed in his Christmas gear ready to snap a picture whenever he wants.  Again, I see the caption, “It works like a Kodak,” which, again, gives credibility to the Brownie Camera. In the text, I am told the Brownie Camera is a great Christmas present for a boy or girl, as fun and education comes with it, and that any school child can take good picture with them.  This can give parents confirmation and confidence that they are making a good choice buying this for their children.

Altogether, the three advertisements share many similarities. This may be because they were all printed within a four year time frame, so propaganda tactics did not change much over little time.  First, all ads were found in magazines.  Next, they all had pictures of only white people, which makes sense to me as at the time, the population of the US was mostly white.  Although the price of the Brownie Camera was clearly emphasized in only one ad, it was still displayed somewhere in the text in all the ads.  This was part of the logos, as it gave quantitative data to viewers on how much they would be spending on this gadget.  Also, the text informs the audience on the physical and functional features of the Brownie Camera, educating prospective buyers to help make their decision to buy this or not. Each ad made it clear that the Brownie Camera was easy to use and that even school boys and girls could use it.  The trend of the word, “school” to describe these kids gives a educational touch to the ad.  This compliments the descriptions in the ads when it is described that photography is educational.  Also, since every ad mentions kid use, the ads assume that kids are actually interested in using a Brownie Camera, and they were right, as the cameras were a hit and sold plenty.  In every ad, the word “Brownie” is highlighted as it is the largest word and it is in all caps.  This is a good tactic, as it draws readers to view this word first and gives them an idea of what the ad is about.  In conclusion, I would say these advertisements were successful and effective in engaging and educating readers about the Brownie Camera, its perks and its price.  As it turns out, Colin Harding states over 100,000 Brownie Cameras were sold, and countless millions were sold until its last sale in 1980.

Works Cited:

Harding, Colin. “B Is For… Brownie, the Camera That Democratised Photography.” National Media Museum Blog. 26 Oct. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Kodak. “Brownie Camera” [K0033]. Advertisement. 1902. Youth’s Companion. Duke University Digital Collections. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

Kodak. “Eastman Kodak Co.’s Brownie Camera $1” [K0430]. Advertisement. 1900. Youth’s Companion. Duke University Digital Collections. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014

Kodak. “‘It Works Like A Kodak.’ Brownies For Christmas” [K0047]. Advertisement. 1903. Youth’s Companion. Duke University Digital Collections. Ad*Access. Web. 30 Nov. 2014

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Improvement of Social Apps

Social media is prominent in my life and the culture that I live in.  I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which I think are the three most popular social apps.  I walk around Emory and see myself along with other people viewing these apps on either our laptaps or phones in almost any setting: in class, in the library, walking outside, in the lunchroom, or even on the toilet. Truthfully, as almost anyone can imagine, these social apps are a waste of time, and I, myself, feel ashamed sometimes that I am viewing social media on my phone at the lunch table when I could be having a live conversation with the person across the table.  In my opinion, they are a waste of time and effort because I use them to view other people’s statuses on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, and pictures on Instagram.  These posts come from over a thousand different people, most of whom are insignificant in my life, therefore making most of the posts insignificant.  I am viewing meaningless, yet entertaining content when I use these apps.  It is also a waste of time and effort to write my own posts on these sites because I am sharing information with a bunch of “friends” and “followers” on a superficial level.  The few friends and followers who do matter may not even see my post, and I could have easily just communicate with them directly if I wanted them to know something.  I believe these social apps provide an insufficient amount of attention to the people who feel the need to use them.  However, these people use social apps more and more in hope to receive the attention they need, neglecting to put themselves out there in the real world and meet some new people.  Again, social media relationships are superficial, but when one has a conversation in the real world with another, a genuine, meaningful relationship could develop.

For this reason, I commend Lauren McCarthy for designing Crowdpilot and Inneract, as these social apps promote real life interaction with other people.  With Crowdpilot, a user asks anonymous people what he/she should do or talk about in a real life scenario. I imagine that many people use this, but I don’t imagine them relying on the app to control their personality and actions.  I think Crowdpilot gives users confidence to do something they simply did not have the guts to do before.  With Inneract, users post a status to a correspondent location on a map, hoping for someone else to read it and possibly come interact with them.  Now, I don’t see anyone using this at all, as it would be hard to actually find the person who posted the status in a populated area, and I doubt anyone in their right mind would seek out a stranger who is alone in the middle of nowhere.  Nonetheless, the goals of these apps are to assist users to interact face to face with other people, so I deem Crowdpilot and Inneract better than the apps I currently use: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Well That’s Awkward

What does the word, “awkward,” mean, and how is it described?  Awkward is an adjective, and it can mean lacking skill, dexterity, grace, or hard to deal with.  For the sake of this assignment, I will be discussing the feeling of awkwardness, an uncomfortable sensation due to lack of social grace or embarrassment.

It is almost inevitable for people do dodge awkward feelings all the time, no matter how prepared, keen, or witty you are, you are bound to encounter an unexpected situation where the awkwardness may be caused by someone other than yourself, like if you forgot to lock the bathroom door and someone walks in on you.  Another common awkward situation is when you first meet someone and you guys simply do not have the ability to carry on a fluid conversation at the time and there are short silences.  Some classic situations are when you are caught picking your nose, when the teacher calls on you but you do not have a prepared answer, or when your parents walk in on you and your partner getting intimate, god forbid it is not the other way around.  My favorite is when you lay toilet paper down on the toilet seat to avoid germs but somehow the toilet paper travels with you outside the stall hanging out your ass.

So think back to some of the awkward situations you have experienced.  How do you even describe this feeling?  Well truthfully, it is hard to explain; it is a tormenting, uncomfortable sensation where seconds can feel like hours; where your mind could be racing to think of an answer to respond to the teacher; where you can only imagine what your parents are thinking and how the next conversation is going to go after they caught you in the bedroom.  The phenomena is better explained through examples.  Feelings are not shared by people in a situation; how people perceive a situation can be different, so one person can feel awkward in a situation while another may not.  For example, imagine if someone in major distress came up to you and talked to you in a different language.

So what really happens in the body when one experiences awkwardness?  I could not find any information on the response of the body to awkwardness, but I believe that awkwardness is the cousin of embarrassment, which can lead to blushing.  I have read that blushing can be accompanied by increased heart rate, sweating, shaking visibly, an inability to speak, nausea and hot flushes according to an article authored by Richard O’Neill.

References:

O’Neill, Richard. “Why Do I Blush? How to Stop Blushing All the Time.” HubPages. HubPages, 1 Mar. 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

Choosing a career path

At the beginning of the school year when OPUS was driving every student at Emory crazy, I was especially in utter distress when I had no idea of what classes I wanted to take.  Unable to tolerate this feeling for long, I had to know that the classes I was going to take were of benefit to me, so I did some research on careers.  Growing up, my parents heavily pressured me into becoming a doctor.  I never really made much note of it; I knew when the time came, I would be able to make my own decision into pursuing a career, and that time had came.  I also didn’t make much note of becoming a doctor because I liked the idea of it: helping people.  However, I was not passionate about becoming a doctor, and all the schooling required was unattractive to me, so this poised a problem.

I remember the first thing I googled, “careers similar to a doctor.”  I clicked the first link, not caring much about the what site it was; the information I was seeking did not require much credibility.  I clicked through a couple of careers, and after some reading, dentistry caught my eye.  I liked the idea of being your own boss by leading a practice and making a difference in people’s lives, but I didn’t like the idea of seeing patients every six months; I felt like I would get bored after a while.

It was then when I realized that I loved helping people because of the meaningful relationships built upon repeated encounters.  It turns out that most of the volunteering I was involved in high school embodied this.  So I continued searching through the web of related careers online.  Every career had slightly different related careers.  I came upon occupational therapy and immediately was attracted.  I would be assisting people who couldn’t perform simple, daily activities like dressing themselves or eating.  I would visit patients routinely and I would be able to oversee their improvement over time until they were adequate by themselves, and helping someone reach this state of independence sounded incredibly rewarding.

As I was reading briefly over the outline of occupational therapy, I was blessed to have seen a link to “physical therapy.” Idealities immediately filled my mind.  Picture this: I would be a physical therapist who helps professional athletes.  In my leisure time, I am active.  I work out, play soccer, tennis, flag football, volleyball and I just love physical activity.  Realizing that one day I’ll be too old with a career and a family, I won’t have as much time for physical activity as I have today.  However, if my career revolves around athletes and sports, then that’s the best I’ll ever have it.

I needed more information, though, because my vision was merely a dream.  So I sought out to the career center there to do more research.  I met with Shawn Martin, a recently hired guy who had been at Emory as long as I was, and Shawn Martin was coming from Pennsylvania where his work consisted of reviewing applications and interviewing applicants of one of the best physical therapy schools in the US.  He and I keep in close touch, and from here, I was able to comfortably choose my classes.

Expectations of Literature

I studied English for four years in high school.  My freshmen year, I recall doing many group projects and presenting them in some form of media: powerpoint, video, or skit.  I do not remember much of the literature I read that year, but Greek mythology has engraved a memory in my brain. I still vividly remember watching Romeo & Juliet in Mrs. Sailor’s class.  There wasn’t much writing that year.  My sophomore year, with Mr. Smith, the group projects continued and I was introduced to MLA citation while we dipped our feet into writing essays.  Fictional books were still read; my favorite one was “Fairenheit 451”.  AP Language & Composition during junior year was a slap to face at first; we dove into writing essays right away.  I remember writing evaluations of rhetorical appeals of pieces of literature in the Norton Reader.  My writing definitely improved exponentially over the course of the year; with experience and constructive criticism from Mrs. Griess, I got what I put into that class.  “On Being a Cripple” was my favorite piece.  Finally, my senior year with Mr. Chapman, I was initially overwhelmed by the amount of readings assigned in AP Literature & Composition.  I even went to my adviser with intentions to drop the class, but I was convinced to stick it out, and I received an A both semesters of the class.  The class consisted of many complex, abstract readings which I had to go through multiple times in order to understand.  By the end of the year, my reading and comprehension skills had improved dramatically, and I was glad of my decision to stay in the class and just try to get an A.  I still remember how I finished reading “Invisible Man” weeks before the due date.

The point of this rendition is that these English classes have had a tremendous impact on me as a character and individual.  Without these English classes, I would not have been able to write a competent essay to win any scholarships or matriculate into Emory University.  So even though I hated these classes most of the time because I always complained how I had to do “pointless” work.  I never saw the big picture, and I would always ask the teacher why we have to do this.  But with hindsight, I can see that it was all for the better, and that I even enjoyed some of the readings in each of my classes.  So now, more mature and transformed, my mindset is to trust all of my teachers in teaching me; I don’t question their methods or intentions because I believe it is all for my benefit.  So now, in Professor Claire’s Expository Writing class, I was not surprised when “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” was assigned as a reading. I do not expect to read any specific kind of literature in this class; I just take it as it goes.  However, I do expect that somehow, I will improve as an individual after all is said and done.  So after reading the entertaining piece, we discussed it in class, and we were assigned another reading that referenced “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.”  And right now, I am writing a blog about the piece.  My only expectation of a class is for the teacher to do their best to improve the students.

The Phillis Wheatley Reading: Kevin Young, poet & Jericho Brown, poet

I decided to attend this event because the video shown in class was enticing.  Live poetry performances always interested me in my life.  I never pursued poetry myself, but this Phillis Wheatley Reading was the first poetry event I’ve voluntarily attended. Recognition rallies at my high school often featured students performing poetry.  I’ve seen a couple of slam poetry performances and they have always intrigued me.  The manipulation of the voice demonstrated by poets is enticing; how they change the tempo, tone, breathing is stuff that I am not used to, and this is probably why I find live poetry performances interesting.

I lost track of time and arrived about 5 minutes late, lucky to see that the event had not started yet.  Unluckily, the room was packed and there were no seats open.  As people started leaving, I snagged a seat in the back of the room.  I remember Brown’s opening performance, “Prayer”, because I wasn’t sure if he was reading off a script or if he was closing his eyes.  I couldn’t come to a sure conclusion due to my poor view of him, but I was sure he was just closing his eyes.  He performed Summer Time by Janis Joplin, and I experienced the familiar, proud feeling one feels when one knows all the songs at a concert.

Kevin Young’s opening ode was funny with the cursing.  Another one I remember is the ode to the Harlem Globetrotters; we both a liking to them.  I was most interested in this ode because I could understand his comical references about the Globetrotters playing the Generals.  I was surprised by Young when he apologized to the audience, “sorry” when he made a mistake in one of the poems.  I did get bored and disinterested towards the end of the event.

The last poetry event I attended before this was the one performed during freshmen orientation about racism.  In the future, I probably won’t voluntarily attend live poetry because of the fact that I got bored towards the end.  I suspect that if I attend more than I already do, then I’ll lose my interest in poetry altogether.

Mysterious Love

“The Sandman” and Her both depict the story of a man falling in love with an artificial woman, but that is not all there is to the story.  If the initial thought of a real human falling in love with a fake person does not already seem strange, the details and circumstances within the stories will surely provoke a reader to feel uncomfortable, unusual, uncanny.

In “The Sandman,” Nathanael is the protagonist who is haunted by his perception of the sandman, a monster who punishes children who do not go to bed by throwing sand in their eyes and then violently stealing their eyes.  Prior to his discovery of Olimpia, the automaton he falls in love with, Nathanael already has a proclaimed affection and love towards Clara, a wise, healthy, human woman.  After a few sightings of Olimpia through a window, Nathanael becomes obsessed with her, with the image of Clara “entirely departed from his mind” (107).  When he first saw her up close, “there was something stiff and measured about her gait and posture,” but Nathanael was oblivious to this while others noticed this atrocity.  Nathanael’s odd interaction with Olimpia at the ball only intensified his love for her, as her ice cold hands or lips did not bother him.  Neither did her robotic, thoughtless responses to his poetic claims of love to her.  His idealization of her blinded him from her humanistic flaws, while others could see something odd about her, describing her as a wax doll or machine who pretended to be a living being (111).

In Her, Theodore knowingly starts dating an operating system named Samantha who portrays the intelligence of a human being throughout the movie as she evolves and adapts accordingly to interaction with humans.  She has abilities one would not think a computer could have.  For example, she is able to sense hesitation in Theodore’s voice at the beginning of the movie when they first meet, and from this, she is able to conclude possible reasons of hesitation.  She is able to make jokes which prompt Theodore to laugh, and she is able to laugh herself.  She is able to have human feelings; perhaps the most uncanny example of this is when Samantha and Theodore have a verbal sexual experience when Samantha says she can feel his touch through his words.  The idea of a robot being able to physically “feel” while not having a physical body and physical nerves is hard to grasp.

The movie, Her, and the story, “The Sandman,” both depict how love mysteriously can exist through multiple ways. Nathanael falls in love with the body of an automaton who can pass as a human, but walks, talks, dances, and acts like a robot.  His love is so strong that he is unaware of the fact she was an automaton.  Theodore falls in love with the artificial intelligence of Samantha, who has no physical body.

Works Cited

Hoffman, E. T. A. “The Sandman.” The Golden Pot and Other Tales. Trans. Ritchie Robertson. London: Oxford, 1992. 85-118. PDF file.

Her. Dir. Spike Jonze. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson.   Annapurna Pictures,2013. Film.

Code-Switching Revision

Dear Mom and Dad,

I hope you guys are doing well at home.  I still miss home a lot.  I have had a great time transitioning into Emory’s community, culture and education.  I have not been going out as much since schoolwork started picking up.  I hope you are happy to hear thatJ.

So what prompted me to write this letter is my recent lesson in expository writing about code-switching.  Code switching basically is the act of changing one’s speech around different people and settings.  I was introduced to the topic in class, and I read two on it titled, “Five Reasons Why People Code-Switch,” and “How Code-Switching Explains the World.”  You guys are welcome to google the articles if you want after reading this letter, but I suspect you will grip a good concept of code-switching by then.  This letter format will allow me to express a well thought message while having no interruptions.

After I read about the topic, I was intrigued and wanted to observe myself in the act of code-switching, since it sounds intrinsic and natural of a person to talk differently around different people.  For example, when talking to teachers or older, respected people, I address them by their known surname or by sir or ma’am, and I speak in complete sentences, excluding any slang, while using proper English.  When meeting new people and friends, which I have been doing much of, I am mindful and polite.  My English is not as proper, and my sentences may not be full.  I crack appropriate jokes, avoiding the offensive jokes I use at home.  I comfortably call people my age “dude” and “man.”

So you guys get the gist by now; everybody code switches and it is not necessarily a bad thing.  Then I started thinking about how you guys raised us kids, and boy, my memories produced unpleasant thoughts.  We all love you guys to death; we know you only want the best for us, but the way you guys treated us “failures” compared to the way you talked to us “achievers” was completely unfair.

You guys measure your kids by the level of their success in school, which has to be the very best. Don’t get me wrong, we know you still love us all equally, but sometimes, it’s hard to believe.  Let’s talk about Thao and Viet.  It is obvious that in your guys’ eyes, Viet has always been a winner; he done great in school his whole life, and he was always studying his ass off.  On the other hand, Thao was a fuck up, because he always struggled in school while he partied and went out a lot, although, he is successful now with a family of his own as a civil engineer.

To be blunt, Viet was favored over Thao, and it was obvious to the kids in the family.  Even I could see if when I was eight or so while they were in high school.  You guys would be so sweet and sympathetic when talking to Viet.  You would ask him where he’s going when he’d leave the house, and you’d greet him respectfully when he came home.  You would smother him with affection and love, calling him endearing names all the time.

However, when you guys interacted with Thao, every other conversation would consist of you harshly lecturing him about how he needs to study more, do his chores, and ultimately, be more like Viet.  Your tone and vocabulary towards him was snarling and disrespectful even when he was doing nothing wrong at that moment; it was just natural for you to talk to him like that.  You’d yell at him every time he went home late, suspecting that he was partying even if he came back from the library.  You’d constantly use curse words to address him.  This really made him feel like shit, abandoned, hated.

I guess I am telling you this because I think you should know about this, and if you see fit, you should apologize to Thao.  He doesn’t resent you guys, but it would be liberating.  You guys are great parents, nonetheless, I wouldn’t trade you for anything.

Love,

Anh Nguyen

Your Voice is You

Everybody has their own unique voice.  With perfect pitch, one can distinguish individuals through their voices by analyzing their tempo, pitch, timbre, and rhythm.  However, people can code switch their speech to manipulate others, as Brad, the womanizer from Pillow Talk has shown us.  Brad proves people can use their voices in such a way that listeners will not recognize them. Pillow Talk, premiering in 1959, is a movie with main characters Brad and Jan who share a party line and formulate a conflict over the use of the phone.

One night out, Brad recognizes Jan overhearing her name in a conversation and makes out a mission to court her.  He is aware that she despises the Brad Allen she shares a party line with, so he develops a new profile as Rex and successfully swoops her off her feet.  She makes no connection between the charming, Texan voice of Rex in person and the snarling, hostile voice of Brad over the phone.  In fact, Brad easily deceives Jan over the phone; he features two distinctive voices between the Brad Jan hates and the Rex she adores.  By simply changing his tone and pace of his speech, Brad successfully talks to Jan as a condescending Brad right after he just hung up on her as an idolizing Rex.

Brad, again shows his deceptive talent when he uses his tone to manipulate Jonathan, his Broadway benefactor, to leave a restaurant. Jonathan suddenly shows up at a restaurant Brad is at, and Brad wants Jonathan to leave the restaurant, so Brad can go back to his date with Jan undisturbed.  To do so, Brad captures Jonathan’s attention and Jonathan approaches him, wondering why Brad is yelling through the payphone.  Brad begs Jonathan to help him and get this woman off his back.  Brad purposely makes her sound nice but sketchy, using his tone and choice of words to give reason for suspicion.  Jonathan sniffs this suspicion out and is questioning the quality of the woman he might help take off his friend’s back. In the end, Brad’s attractive description of her coated with repulsiveness drives Jonathan out the restaurant, and again, Brad manipulates his voice to get what he wants.

Yes, I agree, your voice is you, but only you know this at all times.  Anyone else listening to your voice may not know your intentions of even your identity.  Brad from the movie, Pillow Talk, has shown us how deceiving one can be with just his or her speech.