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Response to ‘Young More Lonely Than the Old’

Murphy, C. (2010). “Young More Lonely Than The Old,” BBC News. Retrieved on 2010/05/25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/8701763.stm Summary: Clare Murphy suggests the young tend to feel lonelier than the old in the UK. What does the article mean by ‘lonely,’ and what are the factors that contribute to Britain’s youth to feel such an emotion? England’s elderly and youth feel two different types of loneliness. Elderly loneliness derives from the isolation caused by the decomposition of the nuclear family, as well as long life expectancy. Youth loneliness is caused by modern day living. Today, more focus is placed on careers rather than on the public community. Thus, individuals exert more energy into their work than into building community ties. Social network sites, a technology invention of the youth’s era, incredibly connect hundreds and thousands of people across the globe. Communication through these sites, however, does not produce the same satisfaction of face to face interaction. Thus, one may find they have a plethora of friends on their social network site, but very few that they can have a person to person contact with. Lastly, urban planning greatly affects how social is a community. The urban planning of London encourages a far lesser…

On ‘Feeling Grumpy Is “Good for You”‘

BBC Staff (November 5th, 2009). “Feeling Grumpy Is «Good for You»” Retrieved 26th June, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8339647.stm Summary: Being grumpy can enable us to access an entirely different range of skills apparently. According to Professor Joe Forgas, an Australian researcher at the University of New South Wales, «Negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world». He conducted a series of experiments with a random group of people, asking them to watch a random collection of movies while simultaneously imagining an instance in their life that made them happy or sad, hence affecting their mood. He then ran a series of tests on the subjects, ranging from simple observational skills to judging the truth of myths and urban legends to see what effect the mood would have on their performance. The results supported Forgas’s theory:- those in a bad mood were able to communicate better and made fewer mistakes than those in a good mood. Test results also showed that sad people were better able to state their cases through written arguments, supporting the Professor’s theory that «whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, co-operation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive,…

A Curiously French Complaint

Kirby, E. (2008). “ A Curiously French Complaint,” BBC News.  Retrieved on 2008/12/13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7779126.stm Summary: This article focuses on the cultural differences between the French and British populations in regards to their medical care. Each culture has their own script of understanding, which people rely to set their expectations during a medical crisis. The author Emma experienced a cultural ‘shock’ during her first encounter with a French doctor due to her vastly different set of expectations. She visits a doctor in France due to the severity of a sore throat, where she is “diagnosed with a severe lung infection, mild asthma and had in my hand a prescription for six different types of medicine, an appointment at the local hospital’s radiology department and an emergency referral to a specialist in pulmonary disease (article).” Upon her return to Britain a few days later, she visits her family physician, who within a few minutes diagnoses her with only a ‘common cold.’ Her article then explains how the French expect a much more sever diagnosis to support their physical suffering. France is also the leading country of consumers who take prescription medications. While in England, there’s a more ‘keep a stiff upper lip’…

Study: Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer

Cohen, P. (2010). “Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer.” The New York Times.  Retrieved on 23 June, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/us/13generations.html Summary: Recent studies and surveys reveal the shift to adulthood in the United States is occurring later in life and that traditional markers of such a transition are also being reconsidered.  Finishing one’s education, becoming financially independent – these milestones are still associated with people in their late teens and early twenties.  However this article suggests these milestones, for many people, are now not being met even in their 20s or 30s.  Marriage and having children are happening much later in life on average or are not happening at all.   While getting married or having children is now more commonly viewed as a lifestyle choice, pursuing higher education is more common than ever before.  Pursuing more education and professional opportunities are cited as factors in causing this shift.  As the average age for one’s first marriage has shot up across all ethnic and income groups, the number of children born outside of marriage is at 40 percent, up from 28 percent in 1990 showing that this shift is broad and it’s redefining adulthood not only in terms of when…

On “The Sweet Smell of Morality”

Humphries, C. (2010). “The Sweet Smell of Morality.” Boston Globe Online, Boston.com. Retrieved on 23 June 2010: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/02/14/the_sweet_smell_of_morality/ Summary: Scientist and Marketers are paying closer attention to the sense of smell.  It appears that while once believed subpar to other human senses, the power of smell is being reevaluated.  Some studies suggest smell has the power to influence social and moral behavior.  Recent findings have found that clean smells perpetuate favorable behavior in instances where someone is in need of help or assistance. This suggests that smells, known for their influence on emotion and memory, might also have an effect on thought.  Additional studies have shown that consumers shopping habits, such as where to shop and how much to buy, are influenced by smell, having more to do with choice than mood.  Using smell as a lure might sound manipulative, yet some researchers claim we are aware of scents and are not deceived by them. Marketers are currently looking into ways to incorporate smells into brand recognition. It’s possible for humans to undergo training to perfect their sense of smell.  As more knowledge comes about regarding smell, and the complexities of this sense are realized, consumers can expect to be…

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Interview with David Bowie

Nash, K. (1999). “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Interview with David Bowie.” ComputerWorld. Retrieved August 1, 2001: http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47-STO39387,00.html The is a screen shot of David Bowie’s Home Page as it appeared on June 24th, 2010. In this interview, David Bowie, a musician and philosopher, shares his view of the Internet and how it may evolve and influence society but also the music industry over time. His depiction of his website serves as a starting point to his argument. The individualized portal, BowieNet – where he chats with fans on daily basis and keeps a personal journal – is telltale when it comes to his approach to the net. As a matter of fact, Internet is a huge decentralized village in Bowie’s point of view. The portal – by enabling the creation of online personas and by providing links to all the fan blogs on him – offers the opportunity to foster a village-like facet of internet with a free circulation of information and a sense of community built around him and his music. In fact, such interaction enables, according to Bowie, a new way of knowing people. He confesses that he likes to take on other names to simply observe what happens in the…

Can Design Change the World?

Tanneeru, M. (2009). “Can Design Change the World?” CNN online. Retrieved June 23, 2010. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/11/06/berger.qanda/index.html Summary: CNN talks to Warren Berger, who wrote the book “Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World” about how greater communication through design can change the world. He shies away from speaking of this change in grandiose terms, seeking to differentiate his idea as one that stems from design’s problem-solving capabilities on a case-by-case basis. Berger asserts that design, at its core, is more than making products or spaces look good, but rather, it seeks to identify a problem or an unaddressed need and solve it through a trial-and-error process.  It involves studying people and the way that they live to pinpoint ways in which their lives could be made better.  This is done through much brainstorming, prototyping, and audience testing. The Internet has drastically changed the ways in which designers work, collaborate, and even identify themselves as designers.  Widespread access to information has meant that knowledge can be passed on from one person to another at a quicker rate—meaning that one person’s mistakes can be learned from and not repeated.  Social networking groups allow designers to connect to share…