Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Soundtrack to my Life

"My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw
This song describes me because I have always been a daddy's girl. My dad and I have always had a close relationship so reading this blog assignment I knew right away what song to use. Not only does this song summarize my relationship with my dad but I also love country music. I'm not a hick so no I do not like the traditional country music but instead the more upbeat country.

ANY Christmas song
I live for Christmas. After Thanksgiving it's all I listen to and it drives my family crazy. My roommate and I set up a Christmas tree the Sunday we came back from break. How can't you be in a good mood when you listen to Christmas music?

"We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel
This was my soccer team's song. We listened to it on the way to our games to pump ourselves up. It's a crazy song with a very fast tempo which is why I love it. It makes me think about all the great times I had with my soccer team of several years.

"Her Diamonds" by Rob Thomas
Only because I used to always sing this in the shower.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Research Practice

"Stem cell research is among the newest and arguably most promising technological developments of the past three decades" (Duroy, 2009, p.831).

Duroy, Q. (2009). Assessing the legitimacy of stem cell research: An instrumental valuation principle approach. Journal of Economic Issues, 43(4), 831-842. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/208775788?accountid=465

I found this academic article using the UW library online system. From reading the abstract and also the beginning of the online PDF version, it seems to discuss some of the main topics of my paper like ethics and the promising future stem cell research proposes. It is a fairly recent article so the information is most likely reliable and up to date. The quote a chose is a perfect example of this authors opinion of stem cell research and the remaining information provided in his article are there to support that thesis. I think this article could be very helpful and will provide me with a lot of information about the topic.

"Cardiac studies on stem cell repair are now more advanced than for any other organ, and this work has led to “a veritable revolution”1 in cardiac biology" (Brown, 2006, p. F61).

Brown, H. (2006). A positive future for stem cell research?. Circulation113(16), F61-F62.

This source is an article taken from a periodical. I also found this article using the madcat search from the UW library system. The article contains information from a cardiologist, John Martin. This article could be useful because it shows the potential of stem cell research from only one specific part of the health field. If stem cell research is benefiting this field so much, maybe it could benefit others. Heart disease is a common problem for many people and this article shows the benefits that stem cell research can have. This article is an excellent example to use within my paper. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Final Chapters

In chapter 19 of the Psychopath Test, Ronson discusses the consequences of misjudging abnormality and diagnosing it as a mental disorder. He provides several cases to support his claim. Like 13 year old Rebecca Riley. One night Riley had trouble sleeping due to a cold so she walked into her mother's room where her mom simply gave her some of her bipolar medication and cold medicine. The next morning the mother found her daughter dead on the floor next to her. The autopsy revealed that her parents had overdosed her on her bipolar medication, which had no yet been approved for the use of children. Her parents gave her these pills so they wouldn't have to deal with her behavior. Both parents were convicted of Riley's murder and when Katie Couric interviewed Riley's mother she admitted to thinking that Riley most likely did not have bipolar disorder but was instead hyper for her age. This is the exact point that Ronson is trying to make. Just because someone doesn't fit the definition of "normal behavior" it is assumed that they have a disorder. Ronson also recognizes that being diagnosed with a disorder gives that person a feeling of relief because now they can start a treatment plan and work on getting better.

I thought that last chapter of the book made Ronson seem sort of hypocritical. The whole story consisted of him meeting with potential psychopaths, matching their characteristics with Hare's checklist, and diagnosing them as psychopaths. But then in the last chapter he addressed the issue of misjudging people and the idea of labeling someone because they don't fit the definition of "normal". But yet he was doing that to these people during the story? So I guess I was sort of confused by that. He also admits to maybe getting caught up in the power of having the Hare checklist which could be part of the reason why he was constantly judging people. But I do agree with Ronson when talks about doctors diagnosing people just to give them a "term". I know I would rather be diagnosed with something instead of being told they don't know what is wrong with me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chapters 8 and 9

In chapter 8 Ronson recalls the story of Rachel North and the potential psychopath who argued against her story. In 2002 North was the victim of a violent attack. Three years later, in 2005, North was in the carriage of a train that had been the scene of a terrorist attack. After witnessing the devestating loses, North could not seem to get over the tragedy and it began to take over her life. She decided to start a blog for those who survived the attack as a way to get their feelings out in the open and support each other. Soon after the blog was created, unknown people started to make comments arguing her story. The unknown writer claimed that it was not a terrorist attack and instead an attempt by the British government to cover up their corporate manslaughter. North was outraged and could not seem to let the issue go. She found out inside information on these unknown writers and attended one of their "club meetings." The man who seemed to run this group was named David Shayler. Shayler was a former spy who ratted out the rest of his mission for money because he did not want to be a part of an agency that involved itself in assassinations. Of course, Ronson wanted to meet up with Shayler and discuss Rachel North. When they met for the first time Shayler claimed that he did not remember who North was and Ronson tried to argue North's viewpoint. Shayler responded that North was mentally ill. Shayler's ideas began to appear everywhere.After a second meeting and a few other events, Ronson realized Shayler's spiral of madness.

Personally I found chapter 8 to be very frustrating. I do not really understand how someone can just ignore clear evidence and try to convince people that their evidence is false and their idea is actually the right one. I would be so upset if I were a victim of a tragic event and then be told that it never actually happened. Even for the families of those who died in the event. Shayler clearly had some sort of madness. I was also slightly confused in chapter nine how someone can criminal profile someone exactly.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Something Borrowed

In Malcolm Gladwell's "Something Borrowed" Gladwell argues that the main point of plagiarism is what and how much you copied, not that you copied someone else's piece of work. Gladwell first uses Dorothy Lewis as an example. Lewis is a psychiatrist who studied serial killers for 25 years and published her findings in a book titled "Guilty by Reason of Insanity." Bryony Lavery later produced a play called "Frozen." Lewis heard of this play and when she read the script found that much of Lavery's play was similar to Lewis's published memoir. When confronted about the issue Lavery claimed she thought the information she copied was "news." Gladwell also compared the music of many famous performers. He found that some artists accused others of stealing their work when yet they just used similar notes. I think the point Gladwell is trying to make is that everyone just assumes that if you take from someone else's work it is considered plagiarism. However that is not true. It is more important what information you copied and how much of it you copied. If you are ever concerned about how much or what to take just use your own work.

I'm not sure if I got the exact point of this article right. What I understood from it was that everyone sort of has their own definition of what qualifies as plagiarism. But Gladwell was more concerned about what information was used and how much of it you used. I was also confused by the series of events. Gladwell seemed to jump around a lot and came back to Lewis's story off and on. I'm also not quite sure what Gladwell was asking because his thoughts were all over the place.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chapters 6 and 7

In chapter 6 Ronson travels to Florida to learn more about the former CEO of Sunbeam, Al Dunlap. On his way to Florida he stopped in Shubuta, Mississippi to learn more about the Sunbeam plant. Shutbuta used to be a booming town but now it is a ghost town. Ronson learned that the Sunbeam company went through many CEO's. The first was Robert Buckley who was later fired for fired for using company money for his own purposes. The next CEO was Paul Kazarian. Kazarian was described as foul mouthed and also noted for doing some uncommon things at the office. After Kazarian came Al Dunlap. Dunlap was known for finding enjoyment out of firing people and closing down plants, which is why Shubuta became so dead. Dunlap faced many legal problems and paid of his debt with almost $20 million, he also agreed to never head a company again. Ronson then continued his journey to Florida to meet with Dunlap. At Dunlap's house Ronson noticed many statues of predator animals like jaguars and tigers. Ronson noticed that Dunlap fit many of the characteristics of Hare's checklist. When Ronson confronted Dunlap about potentially being a psychopath, Dunlap provided reasons for why he fit those characteristics. After his meeting with Dunlap, Ronson met up with Bob Hare to discuss what he just witnessed.

This chapter made it clear how paranoid Ronson now is with finding psychopaths. Just the fact that he traveled from London to Florida just to meet with a former CEO and a potential psychopath for what seemed like a very brief period of time. I also thought it was interesting that Dunlap described himself as being successful and was proud of everything he did in life, but yet when Ronson asked him about the Sunbeam corporation he was very short about it. I also found it funny that Ronson's wife usually gets irritated with his obsessions but now she finds herself comparing people she meets with Hare's psychopath checklist.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Research Question

Is stem cell research the future of medicine?

I chose this as a research topic because I wrote my first project on animal testing and this was an example of an alternative option. I figured there is so much research going on with this topic that it would be an easy question to answer. I also thought it would be an interesting topic since I'm interested in the medical field and stem cell research could make significant advances to health care in the future. I would begin to look for answers simply by researching what stem cells are already known to do and the impact they have on the human body. I also think it is important to know any negatives associated with stem cell research. There is a lot of controversy whether or not stem cell research is ethical because embryonic stem cells are taken from fetuses. It would be interesting to learn the reasons behind each side.

The focus of this question is not opinion based but more so the benefits of stem cell research and whether or not it would benefit humans in the future.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapters 4 and 5

In chapter five of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, he meets with a known murderer to determine whether or not he can identify him as a psychopath. Emmanuel Constant, or Toto, was an anti-supporter of the Haitian exiled democratic president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Toto organized a group called the FRAPH to terrorize the supporters of Aristide, which usually involved kidnapping the man of the house to torture him and gang raping the women. Toto fled to America when Aristide returned to power in 1994 and was later arrested in New York. But Toto was not going to go out without a fight, and told the media that the CIA encouraged the formation of FRAPH and funded him as well. Threatening to reveal American secrets on their foreign policy in Haiti, U.S. authorities released him from jail and gave him a green card to work in the U.S. However, he had many restrictions. He was not allowed to talk to media, and he had to live with his mother in Queens without leaving. Ronson found it intriguing that a  murder could settle with his mother in a suburb of Queens so he decided to visit. The visit was brief but when Ronson found out Toto was sent to the Coxackie Correctional Facility he decided to pay another visit. Toto originally showed several qualities of a psychopath but after being interviewed for a second time, Ronson decided there was not way he could be a psychopath. Ronson wanted to use his findings with Toto to analyze his friend Tony's behavior.

Personally I found chapter four to be a little more challenging to read and took more interest in chapter five. When Ronson first interviewed Toto I for sure thought he was a psychopath. He possessed many of the characteristics on the Hare PCL-R checklist. But yet Ronson decided he was not a psychopath. It makes you think that maybe Hare's checklist is not exactly accurate because Toto fit many of the "requirements" of a psychopath. I am starting to think that there is no clear definition of a psychopath or certain way to identify them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chapter 3 Blog

In this chapter, Ronson explores the methods of Canadian psychiatrist, Elliot Barker, and recalls how his program slowly fell apart. One of Barker's ideas he was influenced by a psychotherapist named Paul Bindrim. Bindrim's psychotherapy sessions required patients to remove their clothing so their new sense of physical nakedness would facilitate emotional nakedness. Barker applied this idea to help psychopaths inside the Oak Ridge hospital for the criminally insane. He started to build a stronger connection with much of his patients and patients proved to be more gentle. This is an important point in this chapter to demonstrate the different ways of dealing with psychopaths. Another concept in this chapter is how even doctors become "patients". Ronson uses several examples to show that doctors tire and put involve themselves so much into their projects that they eventually become a patient themselves. Barker retired from his job when a younger prodigy took over named Gary Maier. Maier continued Barker's work but it was also found that their idea of therapy was only worsening the psychopaths. Many of the psychopaths that were released soon committed more crimes. Ronson's idea of this chapter was to illustrate different perspectives of how to treat psychopathy and it's potential outcomes.

I thought this chapter was very detailed, but I actually enjoyed it more than the other chapters. I found it extremely interesting how psychotherapists suggested their patients no to wear any clothes during therapy and how this made patients more comfortable and open up easier. One thing I didn't understand from this chapter is why the government allowed Barker to supply his patients with LSD. I know if I were a Canadian citizen I would not want my tax money paying for drugs for psychopaths. I also didn't think of LSD as a treatment, it mainly distracted the psychopaths from their daily routines. I also thought it was interesting how much freedom some of the psychiatrists gave their patients, like the woman whom they let paint with her own poop. Overall I found this chapter entertaining and it was kind of cool to learn about what kind of treatments were used on psychopaths.