Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Srb's Exploration V

The photo of Dugout Dick Zimmerman brings out the true characteristics of a Mountain man! The seventy-seven-year-old was originally born in Indiana and hitchhiked himself all the way dusty prairies of Idaho. Just like that at an early age, he knew where he'd liked to be until the end of his days. It's often said that a photo is worth a thousand words, in in Dick's case, they're plenty. One could see through his photos how peaceful and calm his surroundings are. It's something mystical, a drastic change in scenery. The mountain-man had made a living out of digging caves. Not only was his love of finding/excavating various caves in search of silver or copper ever prevalent, but he has the chance to turn his empty wasted cave spaces in cozy and surprisingly pleasant 'hotel rooms'. He resides in a remote part of Idaho -eighteen miles away from the nearest civilization. What i see through his pictures is 'serenity', 'tranquility', and 'reclusiveness'. A peaceful hermit living a life of simple luxury; his own 'Willoughby' (a Twilight Zone reference). There's not one other feeling a human loves feeling than inner solitude. It's a unique getaway to any visitor for only $2 a night, away from what they're used to on a daily basis -tv, work, people, cities, everything. The geography and isolation of the west is truly remarkable, a completely different world. Great for getting away. "I've been here since '48. Wouldn't want to live nowhere else but a cave!'. to me that goes to the saying of 'whatever makes you happy'. I truly believe that if this man, who at a very young age, fell in love with a reclusive remote spot where he'd like to spend the rest of his days in, then that's just the definition of bliss. It tells me that he loves what he does and wouldn't trade anything in the world for it, and i am sure that many could relate to this.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tyler Stone's Exploration 5

My profile was Dugout Dick Zimmerman.

1. The main picture is of Dick Zimmerman sitting in front of a make shift work table, and a large stone wall. He seems to have a sad yet content expression on his face. The mood it casts seems to be of independence and in a way loneliness. It reveals Zimmerman is a loaner, and wants to be by himself. This is reaffirmed by the other 2 pictures in the profile, the first being a make shift, run down/crudely built front of a building, and the other is the view the mountains in the background from inside one of the shaft's, with Zimmerman sitting in it without any light, showing a shadow of his figure.

2. Zimmerman shows the theme of creativity because he took side of a mountain that he randomly came across from hitchhiking after running away from home, and turned it into his own home, mining a section for silver or copper, and then furnishing the area and living in it. He then decided to create a make-shift business out of it, just charging a little for people to rent it out. In order to do this he had to have had the creativity to be able to make his home from nothing and furnish and create the insides of the shafts as a place to live, determination and follow through to clear the whole space and make it able to be lived in, hard work and patience to clear the mines with just a pick and his two hands, and the ability to interact with like-minded individuals like him who came to visit him, and rent out the space to these people.

3. Zimmerman is an eccentric because he's doing something very few people would ever want to do, and he's not a visionary or dreamer because he had no intention or want of doing this in the first place, It sort of happened for him. He saw the mountain and thought "This will be my home" and then when we made spaces and people wanted to rent them out he thought "I'll charge money for it".

4. The part that meant most to me was the part about Zimmerman was the part that read "Dick spends his days there, deep in a cave, lying on his stomach, pick in hand, mining for precious  metal", because 1) it shows him doing something alone that you wouldn't normally think people could do without help, and 2) it shows how he made something (rooms) from doing something seemingly completely unrelated (mining).

Erica Exp 5

The profile i focused on is Jim Searles. In his photograph, he is very serious in front of a checkers board. I feel as though that shows that he is serious about the game and was great foreshadowing for the story. I believe it creates a serious mood for the profile to come. He is very creative with the game of checkers and keeps his brain working at all times while thinking and playing checkers."None of the checker players \, even the ones that's older that me, none of them is senile.Their minds is sharp." said Seales. I truly think that he is living the perfect life for himself. He is very happy to be able to play checkers daily and very frequently. It means very much to him to have his friends surround him while playing.
I personally would classify Searles as a dreamer as he dreams of playing checkers for ever. he wants a perfect world that he has created for himself while playing checkers. He is very passionate about the game and holds it close to his heart.

My favorite passage from this profile was on page116 when Jim Searles said "Checker players is really a brotherhood-like family." This hit home for me. I find it amazing that he holds them that closely to him. That the people he plays a board game with on the regular are family. Checkers must really hold them all together.

Exploration 5 Hallie Stillwell

1. The photo is a picture of Hallie Stillwell standing in front of a brick building. There is a newly married couple beside her. The picture is a good representation of her story as a Justice of the Peace.

2. She seams to be a person of many trades. She was a teacher, write a gossip column, runs a dry goods store and RV park and officiates weddings. I think she seams to go with the flow and get things done as they need to be. I think if she were living now she would get along fine.

3. I would say she was a visionary. To be a teach and marry people, hoping they will be happy would take great hope and vision for the future.

4. The passage that means the most to me was when she says, "I just hope they will be happy." "They'd better be!" This sums up why she officiates weddings. 

From Mike: Write Reflection Comments on Interviews here


I hope your interviews went really well.  Please write a short reflection about your interview in the Comments section of this post.  That way we can see everyone's Comments on one place under this post.

1)  How do you feel about the interview now that you are done?  What went well?  What challenges did you face?
2)  Have you started your transcripts?  How many hours of work do you estimate it is going to take you to finish the transcripts?
3)  What themes (for example: goals and dreames, family, work, creativity, sacrifice, etc.) stood out to you as most interesting in the interview?

Exploration 5 Tyler Hedge

Jim Bishop

There are two pictures in this story. The first one is on the cover and shows Jim standing atop his castle looking out across the land. You can see the beautiful mountains in the back round. You can also see the detailed stone work he put into the castle. The windows do not look perfect but they look really good for one man to have built all of this. There is also a set of metal stairs that come down to the top of this part of the castle, where Jim is standing. Jim looks as if he is very proud of what he has accomplished there and is taking in all of it. The second picture is just of the "castle" from the front left angle. However, in this picture it shows the dragon made of lunch trays and the construction of the big tower going on. It also shows the trees in the back round of the house which helps show exactly where it is and how secluded it is. This shows how Jim is out away from everyone. Both of this pictures really show how Jim is so proud of his work and that he loves it.

I think Jim really represents the theme of creativity simply by what he has done in building a castle. On top of that, it is a very creative castle. His creations include a giant dragon made from lunch trays that he will make breathe fire. Also, he plans to make a way to move people downstairs while also harnessing energy from it to charge batteries. Jim has the tools to live the way he is living but what the story doesn't tell is how he has the money for this and how he gets all his materials along with food and such. In this area he probably needs to have the ability to hunt along with make money in order to pay for his materials. He does not need a ton of money though since he is building it all himself.

I believe that Jim is a strong visionary. I say this because he has a vision and is working everyday to achieve that vision. He does not have a final vision, however he has a vision that changes and expands as his project goes on. I bet at the beginning he did not think about actually building walls around the castle with a giant drawbridge and a "big massive gatehouse".

The theme in the story that meant the most to me was the talk of his dad. He talked at first about something which I would think meant that he resents his dad and wants to be different but it changed later when he has been recently working on the castle and his father worked with him much of the time until he finally stopped because he did not want to be a castle builder. What this showed me is that unlike I originally saw it, he does have a great relationship with his dad.

Exploration 5 Umer Haider

    The photo of Stanley Killar speaks a thousand words. In the picture you can notice Stanley sitting on his bed with a record. Stanley has this fascination with records and as you look at the picture you can understand why. He is sitting in a small room with what looks like hundreds of music records. As you look at this photo you can understand his attachment to these records because of his wide smile. To him the records mean more than the place he lives. Stanley does not care if his place is big or clean he just cares about what is truly important to him, his records. 
    Stanley Killar seems to be a perfect representation of creativity. At face value Stanley might just seem like any other collector, but he has this passion that can move others. Anything about a record can thrill him, doesn't matter the genre of music. This is creative because most people can't listen to a lot of records for hours at a time, but Stanley can. Stanley is fascinated with the voices he hears and use his imagination to find a thrill. He enjoys it so much that he even sends expensive records to others who miss the sound of a record they once heard just so he can give them the please that he has. To be like Stanley you have to have an imaginative way of thinking and be open to almost anything.
   Killar is a very eccentric person. It is because he has sacrificed his well being just for the sake of records. Isay mentioned in the story that his health was poor and the condition of living was bad, but that didn't matter to Stanley. As long as he collected his records he was happy, and to most people that was unusual. Most people might not get Stanley because his passion is a little bizarre, but Stanley is a unique human being who enjoys what he does no matter what people think of him.
   My favorite passage would have to be the one where Stanley talks about all the letters he receives. Since his collection is so big, people always send him letters in order to listen to a record that they cannot find. Stanley loves sending these records because he wants to give people the opportunity to enjoy records like he does. He gets a self satisfaction as well for helping others and can die knowing that he has changed someones life. He loves the stories they send and to him it's a treasure.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chase Exploration 5

The profile picture for Percy Brigham is a close up side profile of his face. He has almost no real expression which led me to assume he is thinking about either something he sees or has in his head. Above him there is a few wooden boards resembling either his house or possibly an old indian fish-netting shelter along a river.

After the Celilo Falls was halted due to construction of a dam, Brigham said it took him about ten years before he could revisit the falls. However, he portrays the theme of creativity because rather than quitting fishing entirely, he chose to fish for sturgeon instead of salmon. He also gave up his platform for a boat to fish in. For most of the profile you see a man that was torn and struggling to adapt to the new times or environment. I believe having the ability to adapt to new was something Percy needed but later showed at the end.

Out of the three choices of eccentric, vissionary, or dreamer, I would say Percy Brigham is recognized best as a dreamer. After the construction of The Dalles Dam, he was saddened by losing his ability to fish salmon which resulted in him changing to fishing for sturgeon. Rather then him having a desire to fish sturgeon, it seemed he was more forced to. Therefore, I believe his dream was always to fish salmon but he has accepted reality and is moving forward.

My favorite part of this profile was the last two paragraphs talking about how after the construction he eventually did indeed recover from his sorrow and fished sturgeon under new circumstances. Then in the last paragraph, we learn that he eventually did get back to his dream of platform fishing for salmon. I enjoyed these paragraphs the best because most of the profile we hear about his pain but eventually learn that he was able to move forward and in fact relive his dream of fishing salmon.

BK- Exploration 5

The picture seems to be taken in a dark room, there some light shedding into the room.  I see two people, a man and woman probably in their elderly stage.  The picture sends a gloomy and scary feeling but after I read their profiles, they seemed joyful and happy of what they are doing.  The Lucca's show creativity by their work in many ways.  They have a museum that only displays anything related to Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabel.  Mariano Lucca's father inspired him to do what he is doing today, which is admire how Columbus and Isabel did to discover the new world.  Their creativity skills are at its full potential and they are enjoying what they are doing.  This person is more of a visionary because he wants the world to acknowledge the existence of Columbus and to do that, he created a museum dedicated to Columbus for the whole public to view.  I felt like the Lucca's are fascinating people and I enjoyed every bit of the story.  Their dedication to Columbus and Isabel are extraordinary and it shows how much they appreciate each and one of them.  On page 165, Mariano says "There's gonna be a national holiday in the United States for Queen Isabel." He also mentioned in the story that he contributed to make Columbus day a holiday.  It just shows you that Mariano has a vision and a dream to make the public recognize what he believes in.

Kaylah's Exploration 5

When I look at the picture of George Preston I picture him being a very friendly person.  He has his mouth slightly open as if he is ready to jump into conversation.  I also notice that in the background there is a little building that is FILLED with signs from top to bottom.  There are signs that say "Auto Laundry," "Star Tires," "Fire Extinguisher," pretty much any sign you could think of.  This is one of the reasons why I think that Preston represents the theme of creativity.  Another reason is because he is holding on to his filling station and to the stories that he has heard and made there.  He spent pretty much all of his time in that station, where he sold sixty-eight different kinds of oil, forty-nine different brands of gas, and eighty-seven different types of cigarettes.  Because Preston spent all of his time there, I think that he would have needed a lot of communication skills in order to keep conversations going and in order to sell the products.

I would definitely consider George Preston to be an eccentric person.  This is because everything that he talked about in his biography was strange.  He let random people stay in tents outside the station and called it a "tent city."  The passage that meant the most to me in this profile is the third paragraph which starts with the sentence, "Do you know when I started this place I kept a list of every different kind of car that traveled the highway?"  In my opinion this paragraph shows Preston's personality the best.  It shows how excited and involved he was with his station.

Nikhil Exploration 5

Lydia Emery

The picture shown is of a very old lady with a stethoscope and a small black bag. I notice she has doctor's supplies, yet she is standing in a lawn by a house.This reveals that the subject is a doctor probably a house doctor. The picture is kind of ironic, because by the looks of how old the lady is she should probably be at home resting yet, it looks as if she is going to work.
I feel like Lydia represents creativity as being a woman doctor back in the day which was very uncommon, especially a female getting an education. Whats even more unique about her is she is eighty-four years old and is still working as a doctor. She does not do it for the money either she just likes to help people out. Lydia needs diagnosis skills and other procedural skills being a doctor. I believe Lydia is more of a visionary, growing up in time where it was uncommon for women to get an education. But not only did she stop at getting a degree, she went to medical school to become a doctor, and did not stop even when she was worried about what her dad would say. The quote Lydia said when she was responding to her critics had to say to her about not making enough money meant the most to me, "because to me, medicine should be a measure of what you're doing, not how much money you're making". I really liked this passage because that is the main reason I myself wants to go into medicine. Making a lot of money from it is a perk but I really want to have a profession where I can meet people's needs and really change lives.

Shannon Sundry Exploration 5

1. In the photo of Z.L Hill, she is sitting in the hallway of the Riverside Hotel. It is a rather close up of her face and then you can see down a hallway with doors on the side. It is a pretty simple picture but I like the mood and feel it brings. By the look on her face you can tell that she is proud and content with where she is and what she has done. You get a feel that she has been in this hotel many years and doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon.

2. I feel that Hill represents creativity right from the beginning when she opens up the hotel. It used to be an old hospital that she created into a hotel for people to stay. Hill is not very concerned with money she is just happy with they way things are for her. In order to live the life she lives, she just needs to continue to be nice and welcoming to all her guests so they still feel they are at home. I don't think this will be a problem for Hill because I believe that is what she loves doing.

3. I would have to say that Hill is a visionary. At first, she started with nothing when she first took over the old hospital and created a hotel with it. As time went on and people kept coming to her hotel, I think she started becoming a visionary. She wanted to create a place where people could stay and she could take care of them and make them feel at home. She wanted to be somewhat of a mother figure to all the customers. Hill took her vision and created something great out of it.

4. My favorite passage was the very last paragraph that said "A lot of history been here at the riverside hotel. But I'm jut the care-taker, understand? The Riverside belong to the people. I tell you which way to go and what to do, but Bessie Smith made this their home. She died for this to be their home. Bessie Smith was the engineer, and I'm just ridin' on the train" I liked this passage because I think it describes Hill and her feelings about the hotel. Shes very humble about what she has done for others and loves all the memories that were made in the hotel. She believes Bessie Smith and all of the customers  helped shape what the hotel became.

Julia Dettore's Exploration 5

Marta Becket and Tom Willet
1)      Their photo shows the artistic elements that make up Marta and Tom’s unique lifestyle. One of the first things I notice is Tom relaxing in the rocking chair, while the back drop shows the scene of an old west town complete with saloon and fluffy clouds. It’s rather humorous to me that Marta is stranding posed and happy for the photo while Tom appears like he couldn’t careless to be involved. Marta is dressed up for a western show, with her feathered cowboy hat and full skirt. Though Tom looks out of place with a metallic vest, sequin coated cap, all while reading the paper. I think this image shows the differences between the two individual people, one more happy and peppy, with the other being more indifferent.

2)      I think both Marta and Tom embody creativity quite well, they both enjoy the stage life and preforming for the entertainment of others. Marta shows her perseverance in trying to keep the show going in her life, she goes from dancing in New York to performing in Death Valley, California. I think this adjustment shows how creative and flexible she can be when the occasion requires. Tom can also be creative which is illustrated well when he says that he would “ride my three-wheeler with my feet up on the handlebars, laying back and looking up at the sky and [barking loudly]”. I think it takes an unusual person to think of doing this or to actually carry it out.

3)      I believe these two are more dreamers than anything else. They throw their unusual ideas out and hope it sticks. While they’ve had some tough times due to family troubles and public interest, they’ve still been able to make their Marta’s dreams of performing work out.

4)      The theme that meant the most to me is Marta’s perseverance throughout her life’s hardship. She wanted to perform and she worked through the issues in her life that kept her from her dream. I liked this because it’s important to me to see people work through their troubles and follow their dreams. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maggie's exploration five

Dan Fields:

1) In the picture Dan is smiling. You notice he is also wearing what we can only assume is a suit and tie. He is seemingly professional. His sign reads "Our service is personal and strictly confidential." On the walls behind him there's a picture of a man, who I believe might be his father or grandfather, since he's a third generation match maker. With that picture there is another picture with what might be a couple and a framed document that we can read says something about marriage. I think he wants to show his professionalism and what it means to him and those before him.

2) I think having a business where your sole job is to match people up could be terribly overwhelming. Dan takes such pride is finding the perfect match and tells us about his high success rate. To do this job I think you would need to be very organized and be a "people person." It's very interesting that he's spent all these years pairing people up and keeping such a large inventory of such a wide variety of people.

3) I think he is more of a visionary. He is able to talk to someone about what they are looking for in another person. He finds out what they are looking for "inside" someone and he seems to be able to find a match where they can not just move in together, but live together forever. Dan seems to be very good at this and believes in himself and his ability, so he keeps on doing it into his old age.

4) The last paragraph on page 131 really caught my eye. It says I have men coming in here, " I want' em this way, I want ' em that tall, I want a blonde, I want a this..." I say, " My friend, I'll put her in a mold, we'll take her out, and we'll give her to you. But you didn't ask the right question, my friend. You didn't say: "She should be a model inside. Outside people change, clothes you could always buy, neighborhoods you could always move, but you didn't say the inside!" The inside you cannot change. The outside could be changed. You have to convince them.
 - I thought that was particularly interesting, because I think most people initially are attracted to what is on the outside, and some may not even give someone the change because of their appearance. I agree that was is on the inside is far more important. In order to have a good match, you should be able  to connect on other levels than the outside superficial appearance.

Brian Smith Exploration 5

     "Dugout" Dick Zimmerman is the ultimate picture of an introvert, he lives alone in a cave. Though, he isn't alone most of the time given the fact that he runs a hotel out of the caves he spent years digging by himself. There are multiple pictures of Zimmerman that go along with his profile, and they highlight his introversion. The biggest thing that I noticed in Zimmerman's pictures were an overwhelming feeling of solitude. There is no greater feeling than solitude than when you look at the picture of Zimmerman in profile sitting on a stool appearing to be in deep inner reflection. Zimmerman seems to be perfectly content with his lifestyle, and his behavior isn't given much of a second thought.
     "It sort of gets awkward trying to describe the idea of living in a cave in Idaho, but for some people it makes a lot of sense." (141) This quote is the perfect description of Zimmerman. Those words make it completely clear that Zimmerman is an eccentric. Zimmerman clearly has a different way of thinking than most, hence why he lives in a cave and mines for precious metals. This passage was the one that meant the most to me in Zimmerman's profile. Not only could this apply to Zimmerman, but it can apply to any different way of life.

From Mike: Questions modified and revised from the class. Steal as you wish.

    --How is your life different than as you thought it would be like as a young adult?  In other words, has your vision for your life and future changed significantly?
--What knowledge would you like to pass on the others?  If you had one piece of advice to give someone my age, what would it be?
--Do you have an object or item that you have had for many years that means a lot to you?  Which possession of this type is most valuable to you?
--How do you view yourself as a person? What do you feel are your most important duties and obligations in life?
--If you could communicate with people using other methods, what would be your preferred method and why would you use that form of communication?
--Have you ever found yourself in an ethical dilemma, and what did you learn from this experience?
--Who is or was the most influential person in your life, whom you had always looked up to throughout your life?
--What was the most significant epiphany or turning point that you’ve had in your life?  Would you mind sharing what that meant to you?
--What motivates you the most in life?
--Would you describe your “perfect” day?
--Do you think people are born with a purpose or a destiny, or do we need to discover it through others?  ----What has led you to hold this opinion?
--How have your dreams and goals for yourself changed?
--Who is the most visionary person that you know, and how does this person inspire you?

--What would you like your legacy to be, or what do you want to leave before you die for future generations?

--How has the American Dream changed in your lifetime, and what is the American Dream, in your eyes?
--Do you see eccentricity as a positive or negative trait?  Why?
--Like Prophet Blackman, who had a vision in one of the readings we did, do you think God sent you here for a specific reason(s)? If so, what is it/are they and why?
--When reading one essay about Moreese Bickman we learned about how evident racism really is in history, and in his case it led to an unjust imprisonment for many years.  Do you think much has changed or do you believe many people are still racist towards others?  Why?
--I read about Tommie Bass a Folk Doctor who uses herbs to heal people. I was wondering if you believe in herbs medicine or natural or alternative methods of medicine.
--We have learned about some of the shortcomings of our current food systems and the tie this has to poor health outcomes.  What have you learned about food and proper eating or nutrition in your experience?  Do you have any tips that might help others?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

From Mike Lohre: Please post your three best questions here

Students, by the end of the lab today, we are shooting to have created at least 20 questions for our upcoming interview.  Now let's share the best of this brainstorming.  Please post your three best questions in the Comments section of this post, so that other students in the class can use these questions as needed.  Please pay attention to what has been posted so you are not repeating the same questions.



Let's post the best questions we have so we can all benefit!
Here are three that I came up with:

1.  Who is the most visionary person that you know, and how does this person inspire you?
2.  What would you like your legacy to be, or what do you want to leave before you die for future generations?
3.  How has the American Dream changed in your lifetime, and what is the American Dream, in your eyes?

Fresh Nicholas Vouis

The film is oriented around the idea of natural, organic farming. The film shows how companies lock farmers into growing/producing in ways that are not traditional and that are not cost effective without company support or government subsidies. The main idea overall is that people are being hurt by the commercial food system, whether it be financially, physically, mentally even, even if they are trying not to be involved. The evidence of the issues of commercial food and the benefits of local food were shown when Growing Power was featured and when the chicken and corn farming facilities were shown. The film really tries to compare growing food locally to growing food on a commercial level. it tries to explain what people are loosing in commercial food and what they have to gain from their own, local sources.

I do have doubts about some of the "secrecy" behind commercial farming. The food is more easily regulated by the FDA than local farmers and it is still getting to the consumer, so it must be safe and not toxic like the film almost makes commercial foods out to be. A big part of why many farmers do not want camera crews and people in their buildings or fields is because of the risk of disease. Many plants and animals are very susceptible to disease, so when a farmer only gets one paycheck a year, they do not want to risk it in any way. I have a friend who raises pigs commercially, the barn/building they are kept in is very self contained. No one else but him is allowed into it because of the risk of other people's sicknesses, and he does not go in if he is sick. When he does go in, he takes a shower and puts on clean clothes, he walks out to the building, inside there is an entry room, he takes off his clothes, showers again, walks through to another room and puts on a set of clothes that never leave that building. when he is done he removes the clothes, rinses off, puts back on his other clothes, and exits the building quickly. This just goes to show how both paranoid farmers are, and how risky even visiting your own animals can be. 

The ideas in the film may apply to our culture in a few ways. The first being that if we each have our own small amount of food that we grow/raise, we will cut down on dependency on commercial farming in case something happens. If we need food, we will have some of our own if we cannot rely on mass supply. We can also raise our own food and try to cut down on costs at the grocery store, culturally this would help people because we could all be in a different situation than the economy slumping the way it is.

Exploration 4

     The movie Fresh really does show some of what is going wrong in America with the food. Many people out there think that why this country has become so unhealthy is due to all the fast food and bad food. This is true but this movie really shows us how that is not all of the problem. Fresh shows us that even what we consider to be healthy food is really bad for us. The theme in the movie that tells us how we got to this point is laziness. Americans are lazy and Fresh depicts that very often.
    The evidence for this theme is most convincing when they show what people really buy at the grocery store and how they do not even think about how the food has become to be that. The reason that this is so convincing is because it shows me how even though I care about eating well and good foods, I am guilty about not thinking or caring about where the food has been and how it was made.
    When the movie talks about what is fed to the animals, it really made me question what is going on. I already knew about a lot of this besides what exactly the animals were being fed. Herbivores were not ever intended by nature to be cannibalistic, or even to eat meat at all, and there is nothing genetics can do to change that. One would think after all the mad cow disease that this would end but apparently not.
     This film compares and contrasts the industrial food production to the organic, old time farming. I think they do a great job with this by going back and forth but I do believe they made one mistake. They really should have interviewed someone more on the side of industrial farming than just one couple that does it. Other than that though, they did find great sources that knew a lot about both sides of it that explained in great depth why they stay away from conventional farming.
     I do question what about conventional farming was not shown such as are there any benefits other than production increase? The movie seemed to say not, but I would like to have seen another expert on conventional farming that gives the truths of it from their side.
     We need to apply some of the ideas from this movie to our lives by not always going the easy way out and more of doing what is right. Not just for ourselves but the world as a whole. In the movie they show how bad conventional farming is for the environment and I think as Americans we need to look at how bad we are for it as well. Not only by our direct actions but also by our choices of what to buy and use, such as the foods that support these conventional farms.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Exploration 4 Umer Haider

     The documentary Fresh was about educating people on the benefits of conventional farming. The theme of this film was to express the problems with industrial farming and to show how organic farming is not only beneficial to the animals but the people as well. In the documentary they touched on many different problems with industrial farming. Some of the problems they mentioned were the amount of chemicals they used in the food, the treatment of the animals, and the amount of waste that is produced by them. "We don't worry what farmers go through or whether or not it has chemicals". One of the farmers said this because people are truly ignorant and do not know what others are going through let a lone their food. This in turn turned into a compare and contrast between the drawbacks of industrial farms and the benefits from organic farms. To present these point of views the documentary used people from both perspectives expressing there thoughts on each type of farm. Mr. and Mrs. Fox were the people who were for industrial farms, they talked about how without the corporations they might not be able to operate. They didn't seem to talk about much any other benefits, leading me to believe they were trying to say positive things to impress the corporations they were backed by.
    What I found fascinating about this film was how they presented ways that people could save money, and make farming more efficient. Will Allen was at the forefront of this efficiency with using worms in farms, and made it renewable. I was also taken back by how one of the farmers whose name wasn't mentioned was able to get the help of other farmers to make farming more efficient by making his animals travel through different patches of grass.
    My only doubts about this film were that Mr. and Mrs. Fox were the only people that were interviewed on the side of the factory farms. Sure, we had a lot of good information and knowledge about the problem with factory farms, but where was the support for them. I understand there would not be enough people who would be willing to support factory farms, but it provides a difference in perspective. This gives people the opportunity to decide what they believe is truly right. The film seemed pretty bias, I mean obviously it's about fresh food. Just if there was more information for the other side I believe the legitimacy of the film would have been greater.
    Some ways we could apply these habits to our culture would be to start making our own backyard farms. By using worms we can create our own sustainable farms with fresh healthy food. This in turn could help us lead healthier lives. If we stop becoming so dependent on processed foods and eat fresher foods that help local farmers we can not only lead healthier lives but satisfying ones. Price should not be a concern because it comes at the cost of our lives.

Ben Kim Exploration #4

This film talks about how Americans don't know what is in their food.  Everything in our food is a mystery and we cannot resolve the issue because we don't care.  There are various chemicals in our food but we only value the taste of it.  In the modern day, anywhere you go there is always a fast food chain nearby.  Michael Pollen once said, "Americans live in a food desert where you can't find fresh food." These industries are providing food that lack nutrition and the consumer does not get any benefit from it.  The movie goes in depth about how these industries use puppetry on these farmers. The farmers sign a contract to get what they need and in return they have to follow orders from the company.  They have to use antibiotics on their livestock to promote their growth. The reason they do this is because of money and the demand for fast food is high. 

 The purpose of the whole movie is about comparing and contrasting industrialized and organic foods.  Industrialized foods typically are cheaper than organic foods because there are more supply of it.  Even though industrialized foods are cheaper, they lack quality.  Organic foods generally have higher quality due to the fact that farmers take care of their produce.  Will Allen uses worms to keep his crops fresh and the people that ate his food couldn't believe how fresh it was.  According to him, the worms produces clean bacteria in the soil and that causes the crops to have such high quality. 

The main question I would like to ask would be what else are manufacturers doing with our food?  Since technology is advancing rapidly, there should be other techniques industries use to make industrialized foods.

In our culture, we typically eat unhealthy food.  Majority of our population depend on fast food as others favor a healthier lifestyle, more suitable to women.  As I mentioned before, America is a fast food paradise and everywhere you go, there's always a fast food joint.  In my experience, off the bat I would choose to eat at a place that sells industrialized food because of how cheap it is.  As of now, I'm leaning towards a healthier diet, eating organic foods because of all the benefits I am getting.  Lastly, people need to educate themselves about the nutrition facts and what it is in the food rather than buying the product because of your own desire.

Kaylah's Exploration 4

In the movie Fresh, one of the main themes is convenience.  Most people don't eat healthy because it is more convenient to drive down the street and get a cheeseburger from McDonald's.  What they don't realize, though, is that the food that they are consuming is full of hormones and pesticides.  For farmers such as Mr. and Mrs. Fox they know that conventional farming is best, but because of the economy they have chosen industrialization.  Mr. and Mrs. Fox had to sign a seven year contract or else they would not receive any chickens and therefore not make any money.  Sooner or later they will realize that efficiency doesn't work, though.  Russ Kremer tried industrial farming and had the thought of "how many pigs can I push through?"  He later realized that it doesn't work that way.  He exterminated his animals and began to start over.  For farmers like Michael Pollan, he believed that conventional farming should be the only kind of farming.  Pollan said, "Nature doesn't have monocultures" which means that sooner or later she will destroy them.  Joel Salatin believes that we need to respect the design of nature.  He said it perfectly; "Nature is screaming ENOUGH to our industrialized culture."  Instead of feeding cows other dead cows, farmers need to treat the herbivore as an herbivore first, and then the rest will fall into place.

Shannon Sundry Exploration 4

The major themes in this film is the way that our food is processed and what keeps them going. Many different people are interviewed such as industrial farmers, somewhat organic farmers and organic farmers. Throughout the film, there was a lot of comparing and contrasting. Starting with industrialization, it has changed our culture greatly. At the beginning of the film, the voice over says "America's greatest fear is inconvenience" our culture likes food for cheap and at our fingertips whenever we want. This is what supports industrial farming and keeps them alive. Industrial farming has taken all livestock off of farms and put them into factories. The animals are terribly mistreated and are  fed with harmful hormones and chemicals that they should not be eating. This sets up a big possibilities for the spread of disease from animal to animal or even spread into the food that we eat. Due to our need of cheap and convenient food, "Amounts of key nutrients in food today compared to the 50's has diminished by 40%" - according to the guy in the white coat.
   A concern that I have is where our culture's health may stand in years down the road if we keep eating this processed food. If key nutrients in food from the 50's to present day has decreased by 40%, what will food be like another 50 or so years from now? I think that people should start making slow changes to their eating habits by purchasing organic food. Although organic food is more expensive than other types of food, the movie said there's no such thing as cheap food. If you're not paying for it at the cash register, you're paying for it in other ways like your health or the environment. So although organic food costs more, it is also worth more. If our society starts to make these changes we would not only benefit our health but the environment and organic farming.

Julia Dettore's Exploration Four

I believe we’ve all found the key component in this film to be sustainable agriculture. With the film’s discussion primarily being on factory farms, mono-culture, and the differences between conventional and renewable farming. All of which are critical to our understanding of this situation we are now facing in agriculture. We now want to produce more food than we ever before, all while keeping it cheap. Whether that means people get black mailed, like the Fox’s or Russ Kremer’s experience with essentially being forced into commercial hog production, the system we have now does not allow for deviation. This system is costing us in a variety of ways, our health, the environment, and even the economy are all being effected by our drive for cheap food.
I think Russ Kremer’s statement “when you only have one choice, you have no choice” rings very true with today’s society not just in terms of farming. When you are unaware of a situation there’s little hope it can be changed. This is where I think we are now, too few people realize what their eating, what it has gone through to get to their plate, or how it’s affecting the world around them. We live in an age where time is money and we think about the consequences of our actions later.
This film is especially important to me because I’m working with wildlife. I’m trying to convince people we need to conserve wildlife and wild places they've never heard of and probably can’t see the connection to why it needs preserving. The reason films like these are important is because if we cannot educate people about their own food I’m not sure how I can educate them about wildlife conservation.
This film has some neat suggestions about changing the system. From the unique city gardens like those of the Growing Power company. Where even Karen Parker the co-director of the company states that now her “food has names!”. She knows her food from start to finish, which is a state that all of us would benefit from. Then we have the sustainable farms of Joel Salatin, with his cattle, chickens, and other animals rotating among the fields for the heath of all. While these methods of farming work for some I don’t think the majority of people will take this sort of thing upon themselves unless they realize something needs to change. So my question is how we can bring this to the public's eye? We know films like this do poorly, we know the companies are against us, but some how we need to get information like this out to the public. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Nikhil Exploration 4

One of the themes of the film is that the most efficient and fastest way to produce food is not always the best quality. But another theme the film reveals is that there are ways for everyone to take part in the healthy food movement. As author Michael Pollan stated in Fresh, "Efficient is not good for environment, farmers, and community". Cities of animals, such as cows are the most efficient way to raise large amounts of meat. The only problem is those cities of animals create many health problems like pollution and E. coli. With all the quick cheap food industries, we are diminishing foods nutritional values but 40%, which Pollan also mentioned. People like Will Allen and his Growing Power organization in Milwaukee are showing it is possible for all kinds of people to eat healthy. Will Allen said his goal with Growing Power is to "change the food industry that works for everyone", whether it be in terms of location or financial stand point. People often avoid healthier foods due to price or being in a "food dessert", which is being in an urban environment no where near naturally grown foods. But by growing and raising some of your own foods can help solve this problem.
The film uses comparison and contrast by presenting the many ways to approach the agricultural industry. Whether it be by comparing: healthy vs. non healthy, efficient vs. quality, large space vs. minimum space. As it was seen Mr. and Mrs. Fox, use animal cities with the chickens in enclosed environments, which are the most efficient but least healthy. As opposed to Joel Salatin, who lets his animals free graze through out his massive land, which is the healthiest option and produces the highest quality of meat.
I think we could apply this to our lives by growing our own produce in a mini garden, which I have done before. My only question is how do people who live up north like us maintain a garden during the cold months? Is there any way to do this indoors? Another thing we could do in our own lives is instead of going to fast food chain restaurants, try going to the marketplace and buying a meal there with higher quality products. I did this last week and got plenty of fresh food for a good price.

Srb's Exploration IV

Fresh was a rather interesting and informative document/film that centralized around sustainable farming and agriculture through the many different perspectives of/by livestock and crop farmers, agricultural activists, and certain contractors. I personally thought that it was cool as it gave me a much more broader understanding between conventional and sustainable farming, the concerns of farmers who actually care about producing and making 'fresh' food for the entire populous, and why it's extremely important to be aware of what we eat. Towards the very beginning of the film, we heard Michael Pollan, an author and recipient of numerous awards, quote a visiting Pakistani that he knew. He said that, 'Americans fear only one thing -Inconvenience'.  We don't think or care about what the farmers go through, where it came from, what it takes to make it, and etc. The result of this: a mono-culture. Producing has never been more unsustainable and uncontrollable then ever before due to this. Different species grow together -an unnatural thing, where the use of antibiotics and immense amounts of fertilizers and pesticides are used to tame it and keep under control. The elimination of potential harmful risks to produce more efficiently is the way the system works nowadays. Sustainable farmers point out the risks of having 'factory farms' -large animal cities found all throughout the country, where they produce life-threatening toxic-waste that could kills humans due to the high usage of pharmaceuticals. Joel Salatin, a livestock sustainable farmer, believes that you have to move your cows and hogs on a rotational schedule, from one area to another. It's farming the right way, as it allows the excrement to re-vegetate. Nearly 70% of crops found in the US is grown for multi-purpose things, whereas the remaining 30% is only grown for our food.  I believe that statistic was given by George Naylor, former president of the National Family Farm Coalition. After watching the documentary, I wonder how long it would take for the sustainable farming movement to gain enough momentum and support from the masses? Has the film done enough to educate the nation about the truths behind conventional farming? Will this actually go somewhere, or will we continue to ignore this issue.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tyler Stone's Exploration 4

I thought Fresh was very interesting, and brought up a large number of important truth's and realities about our food culture, and how it's changed and is accepted in today's american society, along with the negatives of this culture and suggestions and ways of how to change it for the better. The first notable topic this film brought up, which was also probably the largest overall theme of the film, was the industrialisation of food, and how it has effected the food throughout our entire society. At the very beginning of the film, the first person to talk said "we care about convenience above all else". In our desire to make some foods available anytime, almost anywhere, for as cheap as possible, we've resultingly lowered the quality of the majority of the food that we eat. There are a number of negative effects this results in for almost everyone in our society, including things like diseases in animals and people and loss or hardship of farming and other jobs, in addition to the less nutritious and lower quality food that can lead to health problems. less nutrition also makes people eat more, which creates weight problems and health problems associated with weight. Animal cruelty is also a part of this equation, and a large contributing factor to some of these problems. Overall, I don't think we as a society really know as much as we should about some of the things that are going on with the food we eat, and the consequences that come with those methods.

Another part of the film I liked a lot was the proposed solutions and showing how some people are trying to fix this problem and some of the things they are doing to achieve this. The idea of more smaller local farms, and getting more people to do little things to help out is a realistic, not difficult change that would benefit almost everyone in some very significant ways. I think the main problem is awareness, and availability, along with the lack of a wide-range plan, and enough people making a big enough effort to try to get things to change. The way we eat is a very large and significant part of our lives, and it is a big problem that we need to focus on more, and attempt to make better.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Maggie's Exploration Four

     The guy in the white coat says "From 1950 to today all the key nutrients in our food has diminished by 40%." In this film we looked at the perspective of the farmers, how they farm, and the challenges they face in their line of work. We get to take a look at how our food is actually made and how the animals are treated. Michael Pollen tells us how mono-cultures are dangerous and how feed lots work. For instance when too many cows are in too close of quarters, that's when the risk of e coli is high. The animals that we're eating are pumped full of antibiotics to keep them from getting diseases from being in small areas with the same species and are likely ingesting feces.
     Farmers face the issue, do they keep farming like people use to in the old days, the "healthier way," or do they mass produce to keep up? John Iked says people are obsessed now with producing more with no regard to the negative effects. You can produce more beef if you have a feed lot where the cows are so close together and sometimes even are fed dead cows. Or you can continue to let cows roam freely, eating grass like they always have. Russ the hog farmer gives us the best evidence of how this mass production just isn't working. He tells us that he use to push more pigs through using less labor, he then started experiencing more diseases in his pigs, that's when he started feeding them various antibiotics. Russ was struck by one of his own hog's tusks. He let it go for two weeks before his leg swelled up and was treated and hospitalized for a mutated type of strep. Russ said he just couldn't do it anymore and started over and started letting his hogs live naturally.
     I wonder why farmers are still allowed to farm this way if all these processed items in our food pose health risks. People are arrested for animal cruelty, but these farmers that have feed lots, with unsanitary environments for their animals, and feed them things that really aren't good for the animals are just allowed to keep on doing it? When will the United States say enough?
     I know that I can stop giving my money to farmers that do business the unsanitary way and we should buy locally to boost our local economy.  

Erica Exploration 4

During the beginning of the film the voice over supplied "Americans just want want want, they do not worry about where it comes from, as long as it tastes good.". This initial quote truly caught my attention, I was unaware as to the full context of this statement, but I knew that it was the basis for the entirety of the film. The comparison between conventional and organic farming was portrayed through multiple interviews from all view points of this topic. They included the conventional farmers who are caught up in blackmail like Mr. and Mrs. Fox. As well as the extraordinarily organic farmers like Will Allen. This film truly showed the difficulties that arise from the use of conventional; from the personal issues to the issues from going against mother nature. Micheal Polan informed us that the only reason monoculture's survive is due to the fact that there are a heavy influence of antibiotics. I never realized that many of the same species of animals living together was a bad thing. I cant imagine it causing a problem but they made it very obvious that it does including diseases as well as lesser quality meat that comes from the animals.
This film was easy to connect to as it pertained to the food I am putting into my body. I still am not fully convinced that organic farming is the only way to eat. Will Allen stated that "Everyone needs access to rich sustainable food..", But that does not mean that that has to be all that one eats. I'm sure it aides in being well rounded but I do not think that it has to be the only way of eating. Just as we have a diverse culture, I think that needs to play a role in the way we eat as well as we can not simply eat all fast food, I feel like it would go both ways that eating all organic would not be completely beneficial either.

Exploration 4 Chase

In the beginning of the film, Michael Pollan states, "The only thing Americans fear is incovenience." In turn, this has created, what was expressed by many different food analysts and local farmers, as an unsustainable food system. Because of the demands of society wanting foods quick and in bulk amounts, a conversion from grass-fed to grain-fed animals has occurred. Throughout the film we see how easy it is for machines to place grain in large troughs down a line compared to the process grass farmers go through beginning with composting soil, migrating cattle, and then replenishing the fields with chickens after cattle have eaten. Along with convenience, the industrial food system grows because of how they are subsidized compared to grass farmers. With the demands of a nation, funding for bulk-food production facilities is takes precedence over organic farming. However, as Pollan mentions when the industrial food production facilities get diseased by E. coli or other infections, the entire nation is at risk. Whereas when you have multiple organic farms, if one becomes infected, the population can rely on the other sources. A question after watching this film I had is if each family could produce their own food, would the problem be solved? I believe we could at least begin to grow our own produce in an effort to becoming less vulnerable to whatever the industrial food system decides to incorporate.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nicholas Vouis Food as Culture

A food that I enjoy eating and means a lot is rice. Rice is a world food staple and sustains whole populations. Rice can easily be flavored with any spice you choose, a broth, or sauce. It can be mixed with other types of foods, absorb their flavor, and just create a more filling, flavorful meal. Rice is a world food staple because of its low cost, availability, simplicity, and nutrients. White rice is 90% carbohydrate, 8% protein, and 2% fat; white rice also is a good source of magnesium, iron, folic acid, thiamine, and niacin. This variety of nutrients provides energy and essential minerals to the diet that would take several other foods to provide. Brown rice is composed of 85% carbohydrate, 8% protein, and 7% fat; brown rice contains more magnesium than white rice and almost four times the fiber of white rice. Wild rice is technically a grass, however, wild rice contains more protein, folic acid, and vitamins than white or brown rice. Wild rice also contains more omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, though wild rice does contain less minerals than brown rice. I enjoy rice because there are many different varieties of it with their own flavors and you can use it to make virtually anything you want, from normal rice, to noodles, to cereal, to dough in everyday cooking.

In my family, one food that is at every holiday or gathering is Spanakopita, Spanakopita is a Greek pastry that wraps a spinach filling. The filling also consists of feta cheese, onions, scallions, egg, and seasonings. The pastry is Greek Phyllo pastry dough with olive oil. The dough is placed first into a pan coated with olive oil, above that the spinach filling is placed, then to seal it, another layer of dough is sat on top. the top layer of dough can be coated with butter or egg yolk for color and texture. Part way through baking the pan needs to be pulled out and the Spanakopita needs to be cut into triangles then placed back in the oven. The cutting will need to be repeated after baking is finished. Spanakopita is most commonly served as a snack in the Greek tradition, hence its handy triangle cut shape making it easy to grab and strong so it does not fall apart while being held. I enjoy Spanakopita because of its feta and flaky Phyllo dough, the spinach adds a soft texture to it that is also warming and comforting, because of this it always brings good thoughts to mind of fun with my cousins and grandparents.

Retrain the Brain blog links to follow and respond to

Dear English 1110.01 students:
Here's a link to the EFF, as mentioned in the James Fallows essay, "Tinfoil Underwear".  They are an advocacy group for privacy and technology rights.

The Assignment for our lab today
Please read or view/read at least three of these links, and write a comment on this post where you respond to one of the links.  Use a quote from the material in the link somewhere in your response, but give me your ideas and interpretations on this subject, please.  Make it your own.

Reading and surfing is not just about finding and regurgitating information.  It's about interpreting it and giving it meaning and application in our own existence and in our own communities.  Yes, information is everywhere and knowledge is at our fingertips.  Yet there are no shortcuts to wisdom.  You have to put in the work, the time, and the thought.  I truly hope you understand this notion deeply, and strive to take your work and yourself seriously.

Your thoughts and ideas matter.  Your creative actions matter, and every chance to write is a chance to write well.

I look forward to your responses.  Remember, just respond in the Comments section of this post so all our responses are in one place and we can see what everyone is thinking.


Mike Lohre

Various Links to explore internet compositions and ideas in and around our recent technology themes

Lavabits is an e-mail service that offered privacy, but is now in a fight with our government.

This is a classic irony.  In this clip, James Clapper, the Director of National Intellegence at the NSA, will lead the inquiry into his own agency's abuses and lies.

And here's an editorial calling for Clapper to be fired.

Internet crime and identity theft rises as crooks get more creative
Comedian Louis C.K. on cell phones.  Warning: there is some crass language in this.

This one got over 25 million hits on You Tube and was made by a young woman just trying to illustrate the distractions in tech life.  It's called "I Forget My Phone"

This video is from Rap News, out of Australia.  The same guy plays all the characters and two guys compose the lyrics, which take on a lot of alternative ideas on the internet and politics.  Some of the language and gestures are crass, so be warned.

Finally, from OSU's student newspaper The Lantern.

One of the above links is from a source (Rap News with Robert Foster) that tries to use You Tube, music, and clever, pop-culture-based writing to promote both critical thinking and their point of view, of course.

P.S.  Here's the link for the graphic essay on the NY Times.

Notice the style of this content and look at the possibilities for online composition.  This the New York Times, and is a pretty remarkable positive example of the way composition is being changed by technology.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Julia's Exploration Three: Food as culture

One of my favorite foods is my mother’s version of the German chocolate cake. She creates her special cake about twice a year for birthdays in my family. While this cake is incredibly delicious it takes a lot of preparation and a few hours of time for to make. This cake is a round three tiered cake, with each cake layer being German chocolate, and in between each layer is coconut-pecan filling. Though traditionally these cakes don’t have icing on the outside, this is what makes my mother’s cake a little different; she makes extra icing and coats the entire exterior of the cake.
While this cake can be rather complicated and tedious to create, after some practice it can be easily made. After melting chocolate, mixing sugar,  adding buttermilk, and combining various other ingredients extra care needs to be made when folding in the egg whites. This is to make they are added gently to the mixture and doesn't cause them it to be too soft. After the batter is mixed and placed in the oven the icing can be started. The icing is fairly simple, consisting mostly of sugars, coconut, and pecans. Though it is simple, the icing is quite delicate and needs to be watched carefully while cooking. After all this you will have a great tasting cake and many happy guests.  

One of my traditions is eating a peppermint pig for Christmas Eve with my grandparents. While this candy is rather simple, being molded peppermint, it's a fun family treat during the holidays. In Victorian tradition the pig was a symbol of happiness, prosperity, and health, this carries on with the peppermint pig. In the city of it's origins, Saratoga Springs, New York, the peppermint pig was brought to the church where everyone would take a turn tapping the pig with a small hammer for a piece of peppermint. All the while people would be telling stories of sweet memories and also their hopes for the future. My family does much the same thing, we each take turns tapping the pig and telling stories, 
laughing all the while, it's because of the peppermint pig fun that I have come to love this traditional food.