Required Reading

There are several very interesting articles that we have read throughout the semester in my English 100 class about technology and the senses but there was one that stood out to me especially because of the way that it relates to Emory University and one of its major ideals. This was the Sherlock Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” by Arthur Doyle.

Emory University stresses research on a daily basis. Emory University encourages research throughout all fields and areas of study in the college and graduate studies. One of the six main links on the Emory University’s homepage is dedicated solely to research. This shows how integral research is to the university. There are examples everywhere of why the leaders of Emory University believe research is an amazing opportunity for students. As a result of these amazing research opportunities I occasionally find myself wondering whether I should be participating in this aspect of Emory more than I currently do. Emory could take their love of research of the next level by requiring all students to read “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” by Arthur Doyle. This would show students the commitment of the university to research and how research is not necessarily just done in a lab with biology or chemistry but it can be done in all fields of study.

Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” is not what I would consider to be literature that I expect to read in school. However, there are definite benefits of this reading. While being a very interesting and entertaining story, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” gives the reader a clear understanding of how research can help someone on a daily basis. Although Sherlock Holmes’s research is not necessarily what students would be researching, his experiences with inference and examination of specific situations show how dedication to a topic can result in major successes for the researcher and many others as well.

Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” has an exciting plot as opposed to many other pieces of literature that we normally read in school. This short story contains many different plot twists and exciting moments that one would not expect from school literature. Sherlock Holmes is able to understand the crime completely before anyone else and then informs the audience and the people whom he works with after he has solved the mystery himself. These amazing inference and research skills shown Holmes show how research of a specific topic can result in major successes.

If all Emory University students were required to read Arthur Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” it would give them a better understanding of ways in which research at Emory is not what we all think of on a daily basis, but how it can be in many different forms. I believe with the addition of this reading to the curriculum for all Emory University students would increase the student participation in research and show all students how important research is to Emory University.

Hershey’s Kisses

Some of the first Hershey’s Kiss advertisements were made in the Confectioners Journal. Hershey’s Kisses were created in 1907 and throughout the first fifteen years of production of Hershey’s Kisses, the Confectioners Journal released many interesting advertisements beginning in 1909.

In the first advertisement, made in 1909, “Hershey’s Milk Made”, there are very few words. The viewer is not prompted to read or look at the advertisement in any specific way because of the lack of directionality in the ad. However, the viewer’s eyes are first drawn to the picture in the middle, showing are Hershey’s Kisses in a box, because of its magnitude. Surrounding the transparent part of the box, which allows the viewer to see the kisses inside, the box says “Hershey’s Milk Made Chocolate Kisses.” This shows that The Hershey Company is very dedicated to showing what goes into their products creating a good reputation for the company. This advertisement also shows the genuine nature of Hershey’s Chocolate on the front of the box, which says “The genuine bears this signature” followed by Milton Hershey’s signature. This shows that there was a competing product at the time that looked similar to Hershey’s Kisses but this allows the viewer to recognize the difference in products and ensures that they buy the “correct” product that has Milton Hershey’s signature on the side. One of the next things that the viewer may notice is the left side of the box, which says “10 Cents”. In today’s dollars that is about $2.52 but the advertisement does not say how many kisses are included in the box. This is ambiguous for the customer looking to buy this product because they do not know how many Hershey’s Kisses or the weight of the bag that they would get for 10 cents. This may point to the fact that the advertisers assume that the consumers have enough money to pay for the Hershey’s Kisses no matter how many they are getting in the package that they buy. This advertisement is most likely for a younger audience because of its whimsical font and use of shiny foil on the kisses. The shiny foil wrapping on the Hershey’s Kisses and whimsical writing on the box may draw children in to look at the advertisement. This would cause the children to ask their parents to buy it for them, thus making them aware of the product as well.

The second advertisement for Hershey’s Kisses made in July 1921 is called “Hershey’s Liberty Bells.” The viewer’s eyes are first drawn to the title “Hershey’s Liberty Bells” because of its size in comparison to the rest of the text on the advertisement. From there the advertisement prompts you to read down in order to get the rest of the information about the product. Additionally, there are two pictures of the liberty bells showing them in pails at different angles. This allows the viewer to see about how many Hershey’s Kisses are contained within the package. Also if the viewer continues to read down the page there is a description of the size of the pails available for purchase (25, 5, or 2.5 pounds). However, there is no mention of the price for any of the three pails. Since this publication could not be in color the advertisement describes Hershey’s Liberty Bells as being “wrapped in Red, White and Blue Tin Foil.” This shows that the company cares about representing their product in the most descriptive way as possible in order to inform the customer of what they may be buying. It can be assumed from this advertisement that the Liberty Bells were a special occasion purchase because of the fact that this advertisement was released in July of 1921 and they are wrapped in the aforementioned color tin foils. Hershey released this product for Independence Day. This becomes even clearer with the statement at the bottom of the advertisement: “They Ring True to Reputation.” This play on words shows the good reputation of The Hershey Company and its Hershey’s Kisses. This advertisement was most likely directed toward young Americans who have some disposable income. This can be assumed because of the idea of Independence Day represented throughout with pictures and because of the lack of pricing information available for the pails mentioned in the advertisement.

The third advertisement, “Genuine”, is different from the two previous advertisements because of the lack of pictures. This shows that this advertisement, made in May 1922, is most likely directed toward adults. However, the lack of pictures is still strange because there is not much to catch the eye of the reader of the journal. Instead of including pictures or whimsical fonts, this advertisement focuses on the genuineness of Hershey’s Kisses. The most prominent word in this advertisement is ‘“GENUINE”’. The Hershey Company continues to establish themselves as a reputable company, which can be trusted by customers. This idea continues throughout this advertisement where it states “Be Sure They Contain the Identification Tag ‘HERSHEY’S”’. This may also show that within the customers of Hershey’s Kisses there was some confusion about which product is a Hershey’s product and which product is not. The Hershey Company was obviously concerned that they were losing sales because of this confusion, which may have prompted this advertisement.

All of the advertisements serve similar purposes but they differ in small ways of conveying their respective messages. The first two advertisements use pictures and words to convey their messages while the third advertisement uses only words to get its point across to the consumer. The first advertisement looks to be directed the most toward children however, the front of the box suggests that the parents should be looking at it to in order to make sure that the children buy that they saw in the advertisement, instead of a competing product. The second advertisement uses pictures and a longitudinally descending text to include both of these groups of people. Lastly, the third advertisement is mostly directed at adults because of its lack of pictures and abundance of text. Together the advertisements show that The Hershey Company is trying to target many different types of people, not limiting their market by race, age, gender or religion.

All three advertisements strangely do not explain the pricing of the products very well to the viewer. The first advertisement sets the price of the box shown as 10 cents but does not explain how big the box actually is or how many Hershey Kisses the box contains. Conversely, the second advertisement describes the size of the pails but makes no mention of the price of any of them. The third advertisement makes no mention of the price or the amount of Hershey Kisses. This contributes to the idea that The Hershey Company may be targeting people who have some disposable income and can plan on buying Hershey’s Kisses without knowing exactly what they cost.

Lastly all of the advertisements focus on the genuine representation of Hershey Kisses and/or the reputation of The Hershey Company. The first advertisement uses the word genuine on the front of the box to show that in order to get genuine Hershey Kisses the consumer should be looking for Milton Hershey’s signature on the box, which shows that they are looking to build a reputation for the company. The second advertisement takes this further and focuses on the true reputation of The Hershey Company. The play on words used as the last line of the advertisement shows that The Hershey Company has already established a good reputation and this new product will continue that reputation into the future. The third advertisement, like the first advertisement, makes sure that the consumer is buying the correct product. This shows that The Hershey Company really cares about the reputation they built for themselves with the Hershey’s Kisses and wants to continue to build upon that reputation into the future by ensuring that the consumer buys the correct product.

Works Cited:

The Hershey Company. “Genuine”. Advertisement. Confectioners Journal May 1922: 18. University of Chicago. Web. 21. Nov. 2014.

The Hershey Company. “Hershey’s Liberty Bells”. Advertisement. Confectioners Journal July 1921: 30. University of Chicago. Web. 21. Nov. 2014.

The Hershey Company. “Hershey’s Milk Made”. Advertisement. Confectioners Journal 1909: University of Chicago. Web. 21. Nov. 2014.

Reverse “Super Size Me”

Do you remember the movie “Super Size Me”? This documentary is going to be the exact opposite of that. In “Super Size Me” there are cameras that follow around a man who eats only McDonalds for one month. This movie will be based on a person who only drinks their meals for one month. It will chronicle the journey of a person who drinks Soylent and his/her struggles and successes with this product.

Soylent is a man-made concoction of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and micronutrients. The creators of Soylent report that “drinking Soylent was saving time and money: food costs had dropped from four hundred and seventy dollars a month to fifty” (Widdicombe). One of the creators of Soylent even said that ‘“I feel like the six million dollar man. My physique has noticeably improved, my skin is clearer, my teeth whiter, my hair thicker and my dandruff gone. I haven’t eaten a bite of food in thirty days, and it’s changed my life”’ (Widdicombe). However, Soylent may have some drawbacks as one Witticombe describes her experience in passing her usual bagel shop with envy. She saw the other people indulging in this experience and was very jealous. She realized the health benefits of Soylent but missed the act of eating food, especially good food.

This documentary would could raise many questions to the public about what they really should be eating but it would also make them aware of any difficulties that come along with completely flipping their diet upside-down in order to drink Soylent for every meal. Changing someone’s whole diet to Soylent would be very hard but this documentary would be the first to show how it would affect a person. Compared to “Super Size Me”, this movie would show the exact opposite experiment.

This movie would have great success in the pubic but it would also be shown in every health class across the nation. “Super Size Me” was shown in many health classes in order to show what not to do in terms of eating habits. As a result of this movie, at least in my high school, many people no longer went near fast food because of the terrible effects on the man in “Super Size Me.” In comparison this documentary would be shown along with “Super Size Me” in many health classes in order to show a way that people can be healthy. The moral of this movie would not be that drinking all meals with Soylent is the right solution for everybody and their lifestyle but it would give people another idea of what healthy eating could look like. I am interested in seeing how people would react to this documentary and how it would change their eating habits. I think that it would cause people to see the errors of their ways of eating and getting nutrients and cause some groups of people to begin to drink Soylent but others to just change their eating habits to include more vegetables and the right amounts of nutrients, minerals, macronutrients, and micronutrients.

High-Low Tech

One of Sarah Hendren’s profiles on her adaptive-design blog is about a company called High-Low Tech. High-Low Tech aims to engage many different people in developing their own technologies. They believe that technology will and should be determined by the end user of the project. High-Low Tech explores “the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design.” High-Low Tech sells many innovative products that are designed to help people with their daily lives but this specific article that Sarah Hendren wrote focuses on a project called Design for Dementia.

Design for Dementia is a project that aims to help people with dementia. Since dementia does not affect any two people in the exact way, this project designs and creates utensils, specifically for eating, that will help people who are losing their range of abilities. Some of the products that are part of the Design for Dementia project include colored plates with a lip, bowls with a lip, and a mug with two handles. The colored plates with a lip were designed for two specific purposes. The plates are made in certain colors that allow for the food to stand out on the plate in relation to the food on it. The plates also include a larger lip than most plates so that the person using the plate to use a spoon and push the food against the lip in order to pick it up easier. Both of these features give significant help to those who are using it because of its ability to make everyday tasks slightly easier for. The bowls that High-Low Tech makes look like a normal bowl except at the top where there is a ceramic piece attached to make the bowl easier for pick up and use with hot liquids. Lastly is a mug, this mug has two places on the top of it for the user to grab in order to make sure that it is not dropped because of instability with using a single hand.

These different projects are designed in a way that people should be proud to use them or get them as a gift for a loved one because they are very modern and look great. This is a product that I would use myself even though I am not a part of the target audience. The design and color make them very interesting to look at and the modernity makes them sit in with many different peoples tastes. For someone with dementia this would probably help a lot with being able to give the user more control. This could even help for small children that are beginning to use adult silverware and plates and such because it gives the user more control as well. These changes technology will be able to change the way in which people with dementia are able to care for themselves because they will not have to rely as much on the people around them, which could be very demeaning, and they would be able to do more things for themselves.

Gems NOT Genocide

Throughout high school I was part of a club called Gems NOT Genocide. Originally, the students in the clubs made jewelry and sold it locally. The money made from selling this jewelry would then be donated to the Darfur Peace and Development Organization. The Darfur Peace and Development Organization was a non-profit organization that used the money that it collected to help the people of the Darfur region through their time of genocide. About two years later the organization’s leaders changed and the new leaders were very corrupt. This caused Gems NOT Genocide to have to change the organization that we were donating to.

As the treasurer and co-vice president of the club I was a part of finding the new organization to donate to. The Gems NOT Genocide board all found several organizations that we would have liked to donate to and so when we met to discuss it we read through all of the options weighing the pros and cons. This process took several weeks of editing Google document after Google document in order to eliminate different organizations from the running of becoming the new organization that we would donate to as a club.

Together we found one organization that changed the way we were looking at the whole Darfuri conflict in general, this is the Darfur Dream Team. We originally were just sending the money that we made to an organization that provides temporary relief for the people who were suffering from the Darfuri genocide. After reading more about the Darfur Dream Team we realized that our real mission as students should be to help provide long-term help for the people of Darfur. The Darfur Dream Team builds schools, trains teachers, and sets up pen pal programs with the students in the refugee camps and students in the United States. This became the perfect organization for use to donate our money too. However, we still had to make sure that this organization was legitimate and going to last, especially after the previous experience we had. We had to do plenty of research about the people who started the organization and the people who run it now. We then contacted the people who work there and set up a Skype call between their board and ours. This call lasted for several hours in order for us to understand exactly what they are doing and plan to do in the future. After this call our entire board was convinced that this was the perfect organization for us to donate to in accordance with what we wanted for Gems NOT Genocide as a club.

Our research definitely paid off in the end. We have made a personal connection with the students in the refugee camps. They say that the $8,000 that we were able to donate, from several different fundraisers, is making the refugee camp feel more like home with the help of the schools. As a result of this research, Gems NOT Genocide and the Darfur Dream Team will be able to help many people that are victims of the Darfur Genocide today and moving into the future.

“The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”

Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” is not what I would consider to be literature that I expect to read in school. In my opinion there are several different defining characteristics of books that are generally read in schools. Some of these characteristics include a boring plot, symbols that you may not see but the teacher says exist, and a moral to the story. In Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” none of these stereotypes of classic school literature seem to exist.

Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” has an exciting plot as opposed to many other pieces of literature that we normally read in school. This short story contains many different plot twists and exciting moments that you would not expect. Sherlock Holmes is able to understand the crime completely before anyone else and then informs the audience and the people whom he works with after he has solved the mystery. Leaving everyone in the dark causes Sherlock’s actions to inspire more thought from the audience about why he is acting in the way that he is. Generally, in literature we are included in thoughts like this in order to understand the story more thoroughly, rather than revealing everything that happened at the very end of the story.

Another difference between Doyle’s tale of Sherlock Holmes and literature is in the symbolism within the story. Whenever I think of reading a book for school I think about being miserable while the teacher or professor talks about symbols throughout the book that seem so insignificant that they do not actually exist. It is obvious that in literature there are generally symbols behind certain parts of the story but as soon as the teacher or professor starts pulling for strings that aren’t there I become frustrated. Within “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” I do not think that this happens nearly as often. The plot is more surface level and Sherlock infers many things from his many different ways of investigating the crime but there are no small parts to pick at in order to find symbolism where it may not exist.

The last difference between “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” and literature that I expect to read in school is the moral to the story. In literature there is always a reason that the work was written. The moral sometimes has to be inferred but there is always some underlying reason of why we are reading the book in the first place. In Doyle’s work there does not seem to be a moral of the story. This short story seems to have been written only for enjoyment not for a specific purpose.

Together the exiting plot, lack of symbolism or moral to the story all make Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” different from what is normally to be expected from literature that we read in school.

Innovations in Her

Embracing the cliché that the future is a mystery, Her makes attempts to show what the future may look like. In order to do so, the creators of this movie were challenged to imagine and display several different technologies and change several social norms. Two of these brainstorms include a new voice-responding operating system, utilizing an earpiece and small handheld device, and the inhumanity of interactions with others. Together these two innovations somehow make the future displayed in the movie Her impersonal, yet personal at the same.

Social norms are defined as “the customary rules that govern behavior in groups and societies”(Bicchieri 1). Social norms change over time as a result of the evolution of how people feel about certain topics or situations. For example, in the beginning of the twentieth century in the United States it would have gone against social norms to talk about sex. Today this is a much more acceptable topic of conversation and it has become a staple of advertisements, movies, and television shows. Social norms can be changed “by acting upon the expectations that support the norm we wish to eradicate” (Mercier and Bicchieri 62) or establish.

The movie Her envisions several changes to social norms in order to set the time period in the future and to make a point about how social norms can change dramatically over time. The two largest instances of a change in social norms come with the insincerity of technology in the future and how technology tries to become personable. These social norms may seem like they exist today but not to the level that they exist in the movie.

The main character in Her is named Theodore and he works for the Beautiful Handwritten Letters Company. Theodore’s job consists of writing personal letters for people who he does not know. This job may entail writing a birthday letter from a daughter to a mother or a love note from a boyfriend to a girlfriend. As a result, Theodore has learned to write all types of letters with small amounts of information about the people involved. This impersonal way of writing letters would most definitely not be acceptable today, however this change is shown in the movie as an acceptable practice of the time period shown. The viewer is convinced of this by the fact that no one disparages this practice. If this job had been breaking a social norm someone would have had an odd reaction to this at some point in the movie. This innovative company creates an impersonal feeling throughout the movie.

Contrarily, the operating system that Theodore begins to use in the movie is much more personal than his job. As soon as he decides to get the operating system it asks him three very direct questions in order to make an artificial intelligence system that will work well with him. This operating system gives herself the name Samantha and travels with Theodore everywhere, gaining more and more knowledge as she goes along. Samantha would probably be considered creepy today because of the fact that she is so similar to a human in every way except for the fact that she does not have a body. This is a social norm has been changed recently thanks to Siri on Apple iPhones; however, not to this extent. Samantha is so life-like that Theodore falls in love with her.

We are expected accept these changes in social norms when watching Her in order to understand the world that the people in the movie are living in. The makers of the movie illustrate this fact very well. The new voice-responding operating system and the inhumanity of Theodore’s job show how technological innovations, either personal or impersonal, are influenced by the social norms of the time period.

Bibliography:

Bicchieri, Cristina. “Social Norms.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 01 Mar. 2011. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

Mercier, Hugo, and Cristina Bicchieri. “Norms and Beliefs: How Change Occurs.” Norms and Beliefs: How Change Occurs. Iyyun, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

Her. Dir. Spike Jones. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy McAdams, and Scarlett Johansson. Annapurna Pictures, 2013. Film.​

Revision: Pillow Talk

Some people may say that the place where you live is a direct reflection of your personality and ideals. Throughout history people have had the option to decorate their personal spaces in any way that they want, whether that be dark and gloomy, happy and bright, or any combination in between. In the 20th and 21st centuries it became obvious, through movies and TV shows, that people have myriad different ways in which they like to decorate their spaces. The 1959 movie Pillow Talk is a perfect illustration of how people like to decorate their apartments in different ways based on the personality of the person living there and whom the space is decorated for.

Pillow Talk is a romantic comedy movie about a man, Brad Allen, and a woman, Jan Morrow, who have to share a party line – in other words, their phone lines are connected and can’t be used simultaneously. Jan is an interior decorator who needs to use the phone for business but Brad seems to always be using the phone to talk to his many girlfriends. Brad sees Jan at a restaurant and decides that wants to date her; but, knowing that she does not like him because of the party line, he decides to pose as a tourist from Texas named Rex Stetson. Throughout the movie they date until Jan finds out the truth. She then proceeds to redecorate Brad’s bachelor pad to the point where it looks repulsive. When Brad sees his apartment he confesses to Jan and they realize their love for each other.

The apartments and how they are decorated are a very important part of the movie and show a lot about the differences between Jan and Brad. Before watching the movie Pillow Talk, without a doubt I would have said the only consideration in decorating an apartment is the person living there, however my answer has changed slightly because of Brad Allen’s apartment. Brad attracts girls to his apartment with his charm and charisma but he keeps them there with his gadgets and manly décor. Brad’s apartment shows that the way an apartment is decorated is not necessarily just for the person living there but also for other people who will see the apartment. Brad’s manly bachelor pad with many gadgets would give off very different vibes if decorated with pastel colors. His sexuality would have seemingly been challenged if light blue was his favorite color and he decorated his apartment in that color. In this way Brad may have felt as if he must decorate his apartment to be manly so he wouldn’t be judged. The apartment is the epitome of a bachelor pad and Brad plays up this fact with an elaborate switch that puts on a record, locks the door, turns down the lights, and pulls out a bed. As a result, the bachelor pad shows who Brad wants to be, not necessarily who he is.

On the other hand, Jan Morrow’s apartment is a reflection of herself. As a single working woman in New York City, Jan does not necessarily care who is coming into the apartment; she is more interested in decorating the apartment in a way that makes her happy. The apartment has a pastel color scheme, light curtains, many flowers, and colorful throw pillows. Jan’s decorations show how feminine she is as a person and since she is an interior decorator she is able to show off her personality well through the décor in her apartment.

Jan and Brad’s respective apartments are decorated in very different ways. Some of the explanations for the ways people decorate may include gender stereotypes, purpose, and personal ideas. As a result Jan and Brad have decorated their apartments from completely different perspectives. Jan’s apartment is decorated for herself and who she is while Brad’s apartment is decorated for others and who he would like to be.