Friday, April 30, 2010

Peer Response 4/30

For my last peer response, I will be reviewing Jessica's post on her analysis of a celebrity endorsement done by Kim and Khloe Kardashian and their endorsement of QuickTrim. Jessica then goes on to describe the product with clear and reasonable skepticism as the lemonade drink seems to be a miracle solution. A video is then shown of Kim Kardashian where she mainly explains how she maintains her body by exercising and eating well, very little is said about the drink. Jessica then goes on to say that a doctor reviewed the product and said it has a lot of caffeine which can be overdosed on when taken with too much coffee and, when taken over long periods of time, can can be toxic to the body due to some of the herbs used. The doctor also said that the weight lost will be mostly water weight because the beverage is a diuretic, so it will come back soon after one stops taking the product. Jessica sums up her post by saying the Kardashian sisters and QuickTrim are a smart team as they effectively target their audience. She also posts and article which agrees with Jessica, but not for the same reasons.
I think her post is overall convincing, especially when she lists the negative effects of the drink, and clear. I also agree with her point saying the Kardashian sister are an effective form of celebrity endorsement because they target the right audience, but the endorsement isn't a "good" endorsement as the product sounds terrible.

Comparing Two Online Articles

For my final blog post of LSC COM 100 I will be comparing two online articles on the death penalty. The first article found here is in favor of the death penalty and starts by stating the fact that in a sample of 1,000 murderers, there were roughly 1,895 victims. They then continue by sharing a few stories of murders to help sway people to fight for the death penalty. In one of these accounts, a man, who had served ten years in prison for murdering his brother, a man entered his neighbor's house killing a thirteen-year-old girl and a man who had helped get him out of prison. This article continues to list many stories to try and appeal to the emotions of its readers.
Another article found here sits on the other side of the fence. They begin this article by stating that in 1972 the supreme court declared that the death penalty constitutes as cruel and unusual punishment. It then goes on to say that four years after this decision was made, 400 people were put to death. The article then goes on to say that the supreme court then moved in the opposite direction in 1976 and decided the death penalty was constitutional, and then the article proceeded to list arguments against the death penalty. These arguments include cruel and unusual punishment, it's immoral, and so on. This article seems to be more factual based while the other tries mainly to appeal to emotion.
I found the first article to be more convincing as it listed very convincing and sad stories while the second article seemed to take an almost nonhuman approach. These articles haven't changed my opinion, which I will not share for personal reasons, on this topic simply because I have heard most of these arguments before. I do not have any argument which I wish to add as these articles are fairly in depth, and again I do not wish to share my personal feelings on this topic.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peer Response April 19

In Pat Brady's blog post that I will be responding to, he also did the analysis of a celebrity endorsement. He discussed the puppet ad by Kobe in which he advertises a new pair of basketball shoes. Pat stated that he felt Kobe was a good celebrity to endorse basketball shoes because he is a basketball player and must wear them, and I completely agree with his view on this. He then moved on to talk about how some feel the celebrities are paid too much just for their name on a product, but Pat didn't seem to think this was true. The two links on his blog post were of the actual commercial the post is discussing, and another link which was supposed be on endorsements, but the link was broken.
I agree with his comment that Kobe and LeBron are good celebrities to have endorse a basketball shoe because they are basketball players, and I found his argument for this to be very clear and convincing. I do, however, disagree with his point that, because he would like to get the money for doing basically nothing, that celebrities aren't overpaid for their endorsements.

Analysis of a Celebrity Endorsement

For this blog post I will be focusing on the analysis of a celebrity endorsement, more specifically the Charles Barkley endorsement for Taco Bell. In the two commercials that Barkley does for Taco Bell, the second one is shown below, he is advertising the Five Buck Box. He does a rap about this product which consists of a gordita crunch, crunchy taco, burrito supreme, cinnamon twists, and a drink for $5.

I don't think that Charles Barkley, a former basketball player, is an appropriate choice for this commercial as he doesn't have any expertise for this topic, and he can't rap. Apparently the commercial was successful for Barkley, because he was paid for doing the commercial, but I am unsure how successful it was for Taco Bell. This campaign started before the super bowl and has ended now, and I think it was successful because it was pretty bizarre, and I still remember it now, as it is the topic of this blog post.
This article contains the commercial and a short summary and opinion on the this commercial. The article seemed to agree with my opinion that, because of this commercial's strange nature, it will be a successful ad.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peer Response March 26

Darius's blog, which covered the prepare a meal topic, involves the processes of making traditional fried chicken. He then goes on to describe how to prepare the chicken by adding seasonings, rinsing it off, and coating it in the flour-batter. Then the chicken is placed into hot oil where is is left to cook for about twenty minutes. Finally add some mashed potatoes and the meal is finished. The final part of the process involves the clean up. The final part of his post covers the reading for In Defense of Food which he says that he agrees Americans eat too much processed food because we enjoy eating too much and our lives are fasted paced so we like fast food, and his article he linked to also agrees with his and Pollan's thoughts about this topic.
To respond to his post, I completely agree that Americans eat too much unhealthy food due to lack of time and that we like to eat too much. I also agree with his comment about people needing too cook or eat meals that have been made with healthy, natural ingredients to reach a healthier lifestyle. I do think, however, that he should have expanded upon his arguments and provided a little more information as to why he believes what he stated.

Post 3: "Real" Food vs. "Fake" Food

Today I will be examining the differences between “real” food and “fake” food. Today nearly all of the food we eat is “fake” or processed instead of “real” or organic. To demonstrate the differences I will compare one type of food commonly eaten in America: the hamburger.
When I was growing up in northern Wisconsin my family would gets it ground beef for hamburgers from the local meat shop. This shop would get its beef from local cows which were raised naturally, so the meat we received was “real”. Today, however, I rarely have organic hamburgers, and instead get the processed version from McDonald's or Burger King.
To be completely honest, I think the processed hamburgers taste and smell better, but there are other notable differences. The “fake” version definitely looks worse when compared to its “real” version. Unlike many processed food companies now, however, these fast food restaurants don't try to make you buy their product of organic products because it is fortified with vitamins and nutrients. The nutrition facts between the two types of meat seem to be the same, but the cholesterol seems to be a little lower in the processed version.
I switched to this fake version of hamburgers a few years ago when I first started to drive. This is because it was cheap and easy to get. I didn't mind the health differences and I thought the fast food version tasted very good. I think that I will probably end up returning to the normal version in the future. When I have my own house and a job I will be able to afford to buy the healthier version, and a place to prepare it.
The article “Are You Filling Up On Real Food or Fake Food?” discusses what “fake” food really is and its possible health implications. I completely agree with this article's argument against processed food and why organic food should be consumed instead.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today I will be self-evaluating my demonstration speech. To begin, I'll start with my performance involving informational content. I believe my explanation its relevance was expressed well as I stated a valid reason as to why this skill could be useful, and I restated the relevance at the end of the speech as well. I provided an adequate explanation of the topic, but I believe I could have added some more background information, as it is a topic that not many people know much about. I appeared to be well organized during my speech, but my breakdown of steps needed some work. I was very nervous ( I have a very difficult time speaking in public), and I forgot to add the step of removing the cables from the back of the computer and showing how to replace the CPU on the computer.
Moving on, I will discuss my physical presentation. My energy and enthusiasm seemed to be too low, again most likely due to my fear of public speaking. My volume and visibility seemed to be good, but it's difficult to tell from the video. Right before the speech I made a mental note to work on eye contact, so it was good for this speech. Finally, my body language could have used a little more work, but it was adequate, and my physical demonstration of my topic was good.
My visual aid seemed to be very effective as it was what my speech was based around, and I hope it provided interest. I should have held it at an angle because it was difficult to tell exactly what was going on from a seated position.
Now for the general questions. I would definitely choose this topic again. I've always been interested in computers and it's a very fun topic for me. To change my speech, I would add more content/explanations and, as I already stated, I would make my visual aid a little easier to see. The one thing that I would add to my speech if I could give it again is more content.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Post 1: Response to In Defense of Food

In the beginning of Michale Pollan's In Defense of Food, he discusses the fact that food has been switching to "fake" or substitutes of normal food. This food, even though many advertise their food as containing low amounts of cholesterol or saturated fat, contains many chemicals, and has a high cost for the human body. He also discusses the topic of "nutritionism" which causes people to look at only the nutrients provided by the food, causing artificial foods to seem healthier than their organic counterparts.

First of all, I agree with the idea of eating natural food as opposed to processed, artificial foods. This, however, is not as easy as it seems, as it may difficult and expensive to obtain organic foods if you don't know where to look, but the benefits definitely outweigh the monetary cost. This article from MSNBC warning of the high sodium content in processed foods is just one of the hundreds of thousands of articles in opposition to these foods.

The next point I agree with is his argument regarding the flood of artificial food is caused by big companies trying to make a profit. They pump all of those chemicals into the food for flavoring, as they know good flavor will sell the product, and nutrients, which also cause it to sell thanks to nutritionism. This seems reminiscent of the big tobacco companies selling a product while trying to downplay its negative effects.

My First Blog

Hello, my name is Alex Seabloom, and I am a freshman here at UW Madison. This is my first ever blog and blog post, so I'll try to find something that at least I think is interesting deal with the lift sciences.

This article here talks about a man who claimed to regrow part of his finger after using some type of medicine in powder form derived from the bladder of a pig. This article also talks about growing organs, one of which was successfully transplanted into a patient (although only a bladder). It all seems very promising, but I'm still a little skeptical on the magic pig bladder powder.