Historical Telescope Advertisements Evaluation

The telescope is by no means a new invention. In fact, the telescope has been around since the mid-1600s. However, only since World War II have telescopes been more widely advertised for the amateur or common individual. Many such advertisements appeared in popular science and astronomy magazines, such as Sky and Telescope. Major telescope companies of the time included Sky Scope and, in later years, Criterion and Palomar Jr. The differences and similarities amongst advertisements for these companies reflect the how consumer and intellectual values stayed the same and changed over time.

One of the first telescope advertisements for the amateur appearing following World War II was published by Sky Scope. In the advertisement, Sky Scope markets its three and one-half inch Astronomical Telescope. The advertisement is without a picture of its product and the advertisement is in black and white. Nonetheless, the size and type of font used in the advertisement varies throughout the page in order to draw attention to certain details. Major details, such as the name of the company, the price, and the product features, are in bold and are in a larger font than the rest of the advertisement. In contrast, contact information is not in bold print and information regarding how to learn more about Sky Scope’s products is in bold.

Sky Scope’s advertisement also establishes ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is established by the contact information and company name in addition to the phrase. Information regarding product details and the price are the foundation for logos of the advertisement. Furthermore, phrases like “amateurs everywhere are talking about” and “we invite you” lend pathos to the advertisement in that the one statement appeals to consumers desire to keep up with what is popular and the other statement establishes an amicable relationship between consumers and the company. Thus, the advertisement would have been influential probably for young adults and older due to its lack of visual appeal but straightforwardness and effective usage of rhetoric.

A few social implications can also be drawn from this advertisement. For instance, the price of the telescope is only $25. A small price compared to the price of telescopes for amateurs today and products in general. Therefore, it may be reasonably concluded inflation has increased in the United States since World War II. It may also be assumed that the period after World War II was a time of propriety and efficiency in that the advertisement does not dally but gets straight to the details of the product and even mentions that one may request “a brochure describing in a straightforward manner the instrument’s amazing performance.”

Advertisements for Criterion and Co.’s Dynascope first appeared in 1954. Dynascope was marketed as the first professional four inch telescope. The advertisement does is supported by a picture of the product. Similarly to the Sky Scope advertisement, the advertisement is in black and white, and the text is represented in varying sizes and type of print in relation to its level of significance. Ethos is imparted by the company’s name, description, and contact information. The advertisement largely draws upon the picture of the product to establish logos by using numbers and a legend of the numbers to list product features. The price of the product is another example of logos. For the most part, the advertisement utilizes pathos to appeal to consumers. For example, the product is introduced as “At last! A Complete Professional Telescope for Amateur Astronomers,” appealing to consumers’ interest in novelty as well as to show enthusiasm for the product. Other features of the product and the price of the product are also described with phrases such as “unheard of” and “you won’t believe” in the further interest of pathos in the advertisement. The overall message of the pathos is that you will have the best telescope around for the best price if you buy this telescope; that is, you will be on top of the amateur astronomer community.

There are three major social implications I infer from this advertisement. In the same way as Sky Scope emphasized the low price of its product, Criterion and Co. emphasizes the low price of its product. Thus, it may be inferred individuals are still keen about a tight budget as even more years pass since World War II. Additionally, the advertisement stresses its product as being pristine and of a high quality in addition to being a professional instrument. This seems to appeal to the beginning of the consumer age in the 1950s where consumers’ value of propriety seemed to shift to having the latest and greatest. The advertisement also suggest the individual could not fabricate so elaborate and inexpensive a product, which appears to point to the belief of the consumer age that companies can make products better and are convenient.

This advertisement is effective in promoting its product for the most part. However, one major flaw with this advertisement is the section, which consists of a few paragraphs, that lends the most pathos to the advertisement is in such small print it is difficult to read, especially for individuals with vision impairment. Additionally, the advertisement seems to target an audience more familiar with the structure and mechanisms of the telescope as the advertisement highlights key features and minute details of the product. That is, a more general audience may not understand these terms and the consequent benefits of these features on the product.

In competition with Criterion and Co.’s Dynascope, Edmund came out with the Palomar, Jr., in the same year. Similarly to the other two advertisements, this advertisement is in black and white and the name of the product and the price are in bold print and larger font than the rest of the advertisement. The remainder of the advertisement is a paragraph not in bold print primarily detailing the features of the product. Thus, the majority of the advertisement—the paragraph and name and price of the product—are the basis of the logos of the advertisement. In regards to ethos, the advertisement lists the stock number and location of the company. This advertisement also incorporates pathos in a few different one ways. One way the advertisement is by stating that the product is “designed by us to meet the need of every astronomer!” Such an appeal is used to suggest the company cares about the consumer, their needs, and what is best for them. Another appeal to pathos is the bold print, large type font caption “A Real Reflector Telescope.” What this caption appears to suggest is that the company’s competitors are imposters or that other companies telescopes are not as authentic as Edmunds. That is why you need the Palomar, Jr.

Overall, the same social implications can be inferred from this advertisement as the Sky Scope advertisement, and the same difficulties with its use as an effective medium of advertising as the Dynascope. The only exception is that this telescope is the most expensive at $74.50, but this greater cost can be assumed to be a consequence of the more complex and improved features of the Palomar, Jr.

Conclusively, these advertisements speak to consumers of a different time. These were consumers that were reluctant to purchase luxuries and kept their budgets tight in the aftermath of World War II. However, these consumers were also players in the rise of consumerism. Moreover, these advertisements catered to the individual’s interest in the world beyond and desire for knowledge, especially at this time of increasing scientific advances.

Works Cited

Hill, Richard. A Myopic View of the History of Criterion MFG. CO. Department of Planetary Sciences, The University of Arizona, n.d. Web 23 Nov. 2014.


Soylet Movie Idea

After the wide success of films such as The Social Network and Jobs, I have no difficulty at all with imagining a film being produced about the development of Soylent made by Rob Rhinehart. The whole history of how the idea was started by Rhinehart while drudging through overwhelming amounts of work could make for an exciting and comedic film. The whole history of the rise of Soylent from just an idea to save time, save money, and live a healthy life to a brilliant company is fascinating and inspiring. Americans love movies about how a struggling young individual takes an idea about wanting help people live better and then succeeds in developing a company that does that while making money.

Of course certain aspects would need to be fictionalized. Maybe Rhinehart’s journey to develop Soylet was extremely difficult and he personally had to overcome some sorts adversity, but ultimately every single struggle would have to be enhanced in order to engage audiences. Nobody goes out to the theater to see an average movie. Everyone wants to see heightened drama and high stakes. As a drama student, I have learned through my studies and experience that a play or film focuses on the extraordinary moments of everyday life. The average does not change anything externally or internally for people.

If I were to produce a film about Rhinehart’s creation of Soylet and its success, I would probably model off of The Social Network, but I would try and emphasize Rhinehart’s main point. The foods that most people world wide are not healthy for us and we really need to rethink the way and what we eat. I imagine this incredible monologue using lines from Rhinehart’s interview with New Yorker reporter, Lizzie Widdicombe, saying “You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself. You need carbohydrates, not bread. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they’re “mostly water.” The goal is to make people realize that there a components of many different foods that we need for daily bodily and mental functioning and we can optimize their benefits by using those necessary components and leaving out all the extra parts of food that either hurt or do nothing for us.

While I am unsure as to whether Soylet, the company, will actually exist in 10 years, Rhinehart’s story of problem solving and his unique solution is tale worth telling. I believe that Soylet has a long way to go when it comes to advertising and becoming a main stream source of nutrition. With that said, I think that allowing a film to be made about the progress that Rhinehart and his cohorts have made would exponentially increase Soylet’s popularity. Soylet could easily become part of the average American’s diet. The next step that has to be taken by Soylet is product placement and making Soylet’s presence known to the world, not just D.Y.I. nuts and avid reddit users. Soylet has a place amongst working class and lower class Americans as well as wealthier Americans and as soon as Soylet becomes popular “The End Of Food” can begin.

Widdicombe, Lizzie. “The End of Food.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 12 May 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Film of the Year

Have you ever read The New Yorker’s Lizzie Widdicombe’s article “The End of Food?” If you haven’t, I suggest you do because I think the premise of the article could be the next big hit in the film industry. The basic plot of the film would follow the story of how four young men developed Soylent as liquid nutrition substitute that can serve as the single source of nutrition that an individual requires. Soylent is simply composed of powdered forms of the major macromolecules and vitamins and minerals of the diet in addition to oil and water. With Soylent, there is no need to actually consume solid sources of food, such as beef or bread. In fact, Soylent is ideal for individuals with active or busy lifestyles because one need not stop to eat or prepare food but can instead continue working. Not only that, but Soylent also fills individuals up quicker and for longer periods of time. At the time the article was written, Soylent had been highly supported by individual consumers, and the military and NASA were looking to incorporate Soylent into their programs for the future. Thus, Soylent was on its way to becoming main stream.

Now, why do I think this story would be a hit? The answer is simple. If Soylent became mainstream, would it really mean the end to all food? I believe that this film would really get individuals thinking about themselves and their role in the world. On the one hand, after watching the film, individuals may be quick to take up the cause for standalone liquid nutrition substitutes like Soylent. On the other hand, some individuals may view Soylent as an unnecessary evil.

Those who accept Soylent as an acceptable form of nutrition most likely are thinking of the health benefits it will confer to themselves and the potential implications for protecting the environment. In regards, all four men who developed Soylent are still robust even after subsisting primarily on Soylent for one year. Being able to maintain or improve health through a balanced diet is one of the main goals for most indviduals. Therefore, Soylent could serve to mediate accomplishing this goal. In consideration of the environment, Soylent reduces the need for farms since most nutrients are plant based and in powdered form. Consequently, pollution from farm chemicals and animal wastes is reduced.

In contrast, those opposed to Soylent may be so for social, health, and economical reasons. Since there is no need to stop what you are doing to eat a meal, one can just keep on working and eat right at their desk or wherever they are. The sociability aspect of eating may be lost if individuals don’t feel the need to take a pause in their life or to congregate with others by eating at a common place. Furthermore, some individuals may view supplemental nutrition as “unnatural” because nutrients are not consumed directly in the form of plants and animals. Lastly, by reducing the need for farms, Soylent has the potential to put many individuals out of work.

Conclusively, “The End to Food” could be a move that turns America on its head and encourages individuals to deeply consider the future and the implications of such innovations which are only to increase as time wears on and technology and knowledge increase.

Robotic Connoisseur

Fuller’s article gives us a description of a robot as a connoisseur, in a sense, since the machine can definitively and “scientifically” calculate the “authenticity” of Thai food. Robots seem to perfectly fit the definition of a connoisseur, since no person could ever know more, quantitatively speaking, than a robot. But for a subject as wide and creative as food, a device that tries to standardize the near infinite amount of combinations, mixes, and cultures that occur in food is doomed to fail. Taste and smell, both separate and especially in conjunction, are still not fully understood by us, and therefore cannot yet be effectively implemented into a machine. In this way, the robot’s analysis of food is arguably less knowledgeable than a Kindergartener. It can only compare and rate one reference for a dish that may change from city to city, all of which taste just as good as another to a human, but rate drastically different to the robot. It’s not like the entirety of a Thai dish can be put into specific terms; the dish depends on countless other things from freshness of ingredients to style of cooking. Science has not yet mastered food, and people in Thailand appear to hold the same position as I do, saying that “the government should consider using a human to gauge authenticity”, since all that really matters is that the food tastes good. Of course, this is subjective as well, just as the robot’s “tastes” are subjective in relation to a standard set by scientists. What one person (or thing) perceives as tasty depends on their upbringing, what kinds of food they have in the environment, and genetics, so it’s essentially useless to push a standard of “good tasting food” onto others, since everybody’s different. This is applicable to any snobbish connoisseur of food, since just because they can describe and dissect the food further than the layman, it doesn’t make them right. That said, if the government of Thailand wants the world to adhere to the single standard and grade set by the robotic taste tester, then they are free to “maintain tradition” while labeling differing evolutions of food as tainted or impure replications. It doesn’t matter what they label the food as, since it’s the individual consumer that ultimately decides whether or not they like the dish; if they don’t, then they can just not eat it again.

Crowdpilot: A Social Media App

One of the many social media network apps out there is Crowdpilot. Crowdpilot is an app developed by Lauren McCarthy that allows individuals publish their conversations online for anonymous users and or a select group of people, such as Facebook friends, to comment on and provide advice. Those who offer suggestions as to what could be said are the “crowdpilots.” This app could prove very useful in awkward situations or when one is at a loss as to what to say. Out of all the three main social media apps I use, I think Crowdpilot most relates to Facebook Messenger and Yik-Yak, although Crowdpilot’s purpose and implications for social interaction are different.

The primary feature Facebook Messenger, Yik-Yak, and Crowdpilot share is the generation of a two-way conversation. For example, Facebook Messenger acts much like texting in that it allows Facebook friends to have a conversation together by messaging back and forth. Yik-Yak initiates a more indirect two-way conversation by enabling individuals to post their thoughts or circumstances and have other individuals up or down vote the comments to show their either their agreement or disagreement. How does Crowdpilot relate to these two social media apps? Crowdpilot permits individuals to directly seek one another out like Facebook Messenger and also allows crowdpilots to comment on the situation like Yik—Yak.

Overall, I would say Crowdpilot is most similar to Yik-Yak, although I think the purpose of each app is different. Whereas Yik-Yak is geared to college students and can be used more for amusement and informative purposes, Crowdpilot can ultimately be used by anyone is and employed when seeking help. To characterize these differences, an example of comments found on Emory University’s YiK-Yak include jokes about the squirrels or events on campus. In contrast, comments on Crowdpilot first state a context, such as a family dinner, and are then followed by suggestions for what to say, such as “ask how so and so’s team is doing.”

While apps like Crowdpilot can be very useful, I think so apps also discourage face-to-face interaction. That is, individuals no longer need to seek out friends or other mentors to ask for advice or to receive affirmation, they can just get these things on the web. Additionally, rather than making an effort to meet new people and interact with friends, individuals can rely upon strangers or anonymous users to be there. Thus, I think certain social media apps, including Crowdpilot, give individuals a sense that virtual relationships are the same or just as good as physical relationships when individuals on the other end could really be someone entirely different than who they say they are. Likewise, I think this encouragement of lack of face-to-face social interaction causes laziness and can also lead to feelings of depression or loneliness once an individual realizes a virtual relationship or virtual communication is not as substantial as physical relationships and actual conversation. Conclusively, I am not against social media apps, but I think individuals should use them with caution and be aware of their limitations.

Feeling “Tingly”

Having the shivers/tingles/chills is a sensation often encountered by people everywhere that we never pay any mind to, yet it has many meanings and superstitions attached to it. When someone says they feel tingly, he/she is describing an instance where he/she experienced a prickly, tremulous, and “cold rush” sensation all over or in one part of the body. In many ways the tingles symbolizes a feeling of forewarning or exists as a telling sign about any situation in which an individual experiences them; it can almost be thought of as the physical counterpart of a premonition and might even accompany a “gut feeling”.

I’ve postulated that there are mainly three ways in which the tingles translate into our society: the “warning tingles”, the “flirty” tingles, and the “lack of circulation” tingles. The warning tingles are the equivalent of your body saying “Hey! Something isn’t right, but I’m not really sure what it is….” For example, if someone walks by and stares at another person for an unusually long amount of time, the person being stared at may shiver and turn away and later tell his/her friends ” such and such gives me the creeps!” This feeling and judgment is deeply rooted in superstition; the person who stared at is assuming that the character of the individual staring is bad or dangerous or threatening based off of the “tingles” he/she experienced in his/her body.

In the very opposite direction, the tingles may be a sensation induced or encouraged by one person being in the presence of someone they like, love, or are attracted to to some degree. It is meant, in this circumstance, to be an “obvious” sign to the person experiencing them about how they feel about the person they experience them around. The tingles can also be a resulting sensation from a very light, almost “not there” touch, something I believe that symbolizes the sensation itself because it stems from believing something is there that may or may not actually be there.

Lastly, in it’s more literal sense, tingling is a sensation that can also come from cutting off the circulation to a body part, thus reducing the blood flow to that area, This makes the area go numb, so when blood circulation is no longer stopped from coming to the area, it creates a tingling feeling from the rush of blood. This is a weird sometimes painful feeling, and we even call a superstitious name; instead of saying “there’s poor circulation in my hand” we instead say “my hand went to sleep”, equating the tingling sensation with the idea of limbs waking up.

The “tingles” is an important sensation in our society because it speaks on behalf of basic human intuition. It is one of the ways in which we combine physical signs and guesswork to premonish what is occurring or might occur.

What is “Slippery?”

One of the most common tactile metaphors we encounter daily on a subconscious and cultural level is the idea of something “slippery.” For us, I think “slippery” denotes an almost evil omen; it is that which is difficult to grasp and can slip through our mind or our fingers. This lack of control engenders a sense of fear or dread in many of us. Moreover, the sense of fear something “slippery” may produce may be caused by the lack of uncertainty about the thing or the individual in question. Whichever the case may be, I thing “slippery” has its roots in ancient times.

For those who believe in the Bible, the “concept” of slippery is introduced as early as the book of Genesis. In Genesis, God produces Adam and Eve and allows them to dwell in the Garden of Eden so long as they do not eat from the Tree of Life. Satan takes on the form of a serpent and tempts Eve to eat from the Tree of Life. Subsequently, Eve convinces Adam to eat from the Tree of Life. Thus, sin is introduced into the world, and God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. How does this brief history relate to “slippery?” Serpents or snakes are usually associated with being slippery to the touch or able to slip through and glide along one’s fingers. Furthermore, in this case, there is a degree of uncertainty or doubt as to Satan’s character and credibility as this story depicts his first meeting of human beings. Satan is a “slippery” being to the naïve Eve.

Another instance of “slippery” that comes to mind is Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “A Cask of Amontillado.” In the story, Montresor is seeking revenge on his friend Fortunato. During a carnival, Montresor dismisses all his servants and invites Fortunato over to give his expertise on some amontillado, wine, that Montresor has stored in his cellars down in the of his estate catacombs. In the end, Montresor seals Fortunato in a crevice and leaves Fortunato to die. Throughout the journey to thee cellars, Poe goes into great detail describing the catacombs as cool with walls moist and slippery to the touch. By doing this, Poe does an excellent job foreshadowing future events and creating a sense of fear or dread in the audience.

Although there are many other examples of “slippery” and metaphorical meaning of the term, the things I have discussed I have found to be the true for myself. Tactile sensation and interpretation is really dependent upon the individual when it comes down to it.

Spiders aren’t that “creepy”

Why are people frightened of spiders? I have come to the conclusion that being afraid of spiders is an irrational fear. I do, however, understand how this fear arose. Through the long process of evolution, humans developed certain survival instincts. For example, we do not learn to be afraid of brown bears, we are born knowing that certain things can hurt or kill us. The brown bear is a giant clawed creature that could tear you apart with its teeth and paws. When we happen across a brown bear in its natural habitat, our instinct tells us to run away as fast as we can.

Spiders also spark the same survival instinct within many people. The spider has a bad reputation for being a venomous evil creature, but people are actually mistaken. The majority of spiders in the world are not venomous. Yes, you can get bitten by many, but the most severe result may be an itchy bite mark that lasts a couple days. Spiders are also couple with the word “creepy”. It is also true that spiders look weird when compared to puppies and other cute animals. Eight furry legs, tons of tiny beady black eyes, fangs, and webs are all alien to anything human. Spiders are creepy. They instant a spider begins to crawl on someone’s arm and catch a sight of this frightening foreign creature survival mode takes over and a flailing and screaming dance ensues.

I argue that the best way to deal with a spider is in a calm and collected manner. By slowly flicking a spider off your arm or leg, you are much less likely to be bitten then flailing uncontrollably. If a spider feels trapped or in danger, it will bite. A dog or a cat would do the same thing. So the important thing to remember is that even though spiders look “creepy”, you must fight the instinct to be afraid of them. If you can remember that most spiders are harmless and that they actually act as a natural pest control, then you can deal with your next spider interaction in a more positive way.

Reshetiloff, Kathy. “Despite Their Reputations, Most Spiders Are Harmless.” Bay Journal RSS. Bay Journal, 01 Nov. 2006. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.