Reliable Sources?

In my Cracked article the writer has many sources that back up their claims throughout the article. A couple of the sources comes from online medical journals, yet, some of them come from other articles like abc NEWS and BBC News. The point they’re trying to get across is “all we know is that you should probably avoid wearing the following common clothing items that are physically damaging, or in some cases even trying to outright kill you. Unless the look really fits with that new jacket you just bought.”

Tie

The way they come across explaining their argument is by being a bit sarcastic but at the same time they use a concerned tone when explaining what they are trying to get across. When they use the different sources, the writer makes their topic believable. Therefore, just clicking on the sources makes me comfortable in knowing that they have a credible source and that their results are correctly stated.

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Blog Post 2: Drinking Logically

My cracked article didn’t relate back to an academic article. In the cracked article it talked about common myths people believe about drinking and it just gives examples disproving the myths. The article basically just uses logic to disprove the myths. It gives facts, talks about the scientific part of it, and tells us a thing or two rarely anybody knows. The writers are basically saying that the common myths of drinking can be disproved from their results. They didn’t really say what could not be determined from their results. http://www.cracked.com/article_19293_the-5-most-ridiculous-drinking-myths-you-probably-believe_p2.html

Uneducated Leaders tend to make Bad Decisions

The Author Uses the Article, Drone Wars, by Michael Burnam-Fink

Drone

The Author of the article uses direct dialogue from a real drone pilot. So the author proves his point by just using quotes from the pilot who has experience dealing with the laggy delay with the drones. The author wants to point out some criminal use of drones the government puts into effect. The author uses the description of the job to show how poorly managed the operation is by showing that the leaders of the military do not truly understand the functionality of a drone.

The author best example of pointing out crimes of the drones is when innocent civilians are killed because of the 2-6 second delay. The author of Drone Wars explains the death of many civilians when they tried to take out a Taliban Convoy in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Military leaders understood the potential risks of the mission, but instructed pilots to make the lethal strike on the convoy and civilians. Uninformed leaders should not be able to make the call. If the military needs experienced Pilots to lead and consult the General than it should be done. The Air Force should start making a push to recruit more drone pilots.

The author used real data and a primary source to example crimes and the poor leadership behind the drone warfare. The leaders in the Drone War do not understand how to operate the drones with lag and in civilian areas.

G.W. Bush with Border Control Drone

G.W. Bush with Border Control Drone

Blog Post 2: Who Says What?

It would seem safe to assume that many people, who loathe the ethics of attack ads, would be unaffected by these negative ad campaigns. However, according to an article titled The Moderating Influence of Political Involvement on Voter’ Attitudes Toward Attack Ads, which I found on JSTOR, these mudslinging ads may be affective after all.

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Partisan Mudslinging: America’s Favorite Pastime.

The authors of this article stated that the aim of their study was to determine the productivity of attack ads in reaching different types of political audiences. The authors conducted two surveys during a presidential election. The first survey examined how individuals who were highly involved with politics reacted to general campaign ads as compared to those who are less politically involved. The second study gauged the different reactions of these same groups to negative attack ads. Ultimately, the authors of this article found that those who are not as politically involved viewed the negative ads as more credible, since they pointed out the weaknesses of one candidate, while those who were highly politically involved were more skeptical.

The article 8 Election Myths You Probably Believe from cracked.com echos this belief that many people find negative ads to be more compelling than your typical campaign ad with puppies and rainbows and American flags everywhere. The article, however, does not make any distinction o political sophistication. Also, while the authors of these two separate articles may reach the same conclusion, it is for entirely different reasons.

I look forward to digging into more of the reasons why people find negative campaign ads to be compelling and credible over the course of this project.

Useless Knowledge

When the author of my article realized that cursive was still being taught in schools, they were stunned. They mentioned that they have never used cursive in their life after school and come to think of it, I have not either. The most common uses of cursive, that I’ve noticed, is on fancy, cutesy tattoos. It was a nice thing to learn but essentially useless. This finding caused the author to wonder what other outdated practices that are still taught in school.

 

Justifying Cracked…Maybe?

In cracked.com’s search for information to debunk the myth that scientific progress was dead in the middle ages, the writers found  sources that ranged from good, to okay, to what were they thinking. The most academic sources they used were Medieval Universities and Higher Learning Education and a lecture given by Professor Ronald Numbers. They also cite Wikipedia as a valid source. The cracked article refutes the myth using four examples:

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Monks were really the only educated people during the Middle Ages. They translated and copied texts which resulted in libraries at the monasteries.

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The Church set up the first universities.

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The compass and the astrolabe were discovered because of contact with Muslim Spain.

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Advances in medicine

Medieval Universities and Higher Learning Education supported the information that a degree took up to seven years to earn. The lecture by Prof. Ronald Numbers provided support to their claim that the dissection of corpses was okay with the Catholic Church. Then there is citation of Wikipedia that  gives evidence to Arabic Numerals being introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages.

Reading through their sources I found that their portrayal of the information lined up with what their sources say. I have not got the chance to find sources of my own to see if all the information is true or not.

Blog post #2: The Great Mystery of the Missing Academic Article

While picking my Cracked source, I made one critical mistake. In deciding to pick the most official and boring sounding article on Cracked, I selected an article that was written so academic, intelligent, and overall smart-sounding, they clearly decided that adding an academic article would simply make the whole piece too smart. Fortunately, this means I have several news stories about the matter, and even a video. Hopefully, this will more than make up for the fact that I have no academic article.

While the missing academic article is unfortunate, at least the news posts, such as this one from Business Insider, are well thought out and cite sources themselves. For example, the mentioned article is short, but is to the point, talking about how buying up U.S. debt keeps their currency values lowered, and cites a source itself as evidence. The Cracked article pretty much states the same ideas, that buying up debt keeps China’s currency value low.

The Surprisingly Big Impact of Buying Local Food

The topic I am writing about is the question of whether or not eating local food is better for us and the environment. Cracked.com makes the argument that eating locally grown food is does not help us much at all because of all the CO2 it releases into the air. The Cracked writers did not list a supportive academic article about their claim but I did find an article on http://www.worldwatch.org titled “Is Local Food Better?” that agrees with what they are saying. These writers are trying to show that local food damages the environment just as much as imported food from far away places. One subject they get into is “food miles,” which is the number of miles it takes to ship the food to its destination where it is sold. The article claims that trains are ten times more efficient than trucks, which means that a truck shipping food from 100 miles away (which is widely considered as “local”) has the same impact on the environment as a train shipping food from 1000 miles away. However, transportation only counts for eleven percent of total carbon emission by food.

Dairy products seem to be a big problem for the environment as methane, which comes from cows, sheep, and goats, has been studied and shown to be 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. That’s not even taking into account the nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more potent than carbon dioxide, that comes from the breakdown of manure.

In the end, this article claims that although local food is delicious, but the problems that come with it are global. It goes much farther into depth on the subject than the Cracked.com article. The only study that Cracked talks about is a study on buying locally grown lamb or lamb shipped from New Zealand. The study was done by a university in New Zealand so the article may have some bias to it, however their results show that it is four times more carbon intensive to buy local lamb than to buy New Zealand-shipped lamb. That study has been done at other places and they have gathered the same results according to Cracked. Cracked also talks about wasted food. They say that 40 percent of locally grown food isn’t eaten, but that’s about as far as they go into that subject.

What can be determined from the results of these studies is that buying locally grown food has a huge impact on the environment. What cannot be determined is that these results may not be true for every place. One of the studies talked about in the world watch article talks about how tomatoes grown in Spain are better for Swedes to buy than Swedish tomatoes, because the Spanish tomatoes were grown in open fields rich with sunshine and the Swedish tomatoes were grown in fossil-fuel-heated greenhouses. So it may depend on where the food is grown if it is more efficient to the environment.

The real question is: Which kind of concussion can you sleep off?

When looking at my Cracked article about concussions, I clicked on the academic article. Once getting to the site they were referring all their information to and reading through it, I realize how little they actually use from this academic article.

The Cracked article says it very confidently that people should sleep after concussions, but the academic article is telling us a lot of information about and determining the different kinds of concussions (from mild to serious), the symptoms involved with each, the difference in child concussions and adult injuries, and what requires immediate attention and what can be “slept off.” This article is from the Mayo Clinic, and has the methodology of true medical studies. This is where they are getting their information. The academic article also determines that even if you don’t black out you could still have a concussion and not know it. Most people have concussions and recover fully, however, there are extreme cases to look for. They go on explaining how important this injury is, but not to the extent that some people have made it.

Going back to the Cracked article they tend to make fun of the origin of this myth, talking about how it probably started with drunk people not able to differentiate between the brain injury and other black-out drunks. It made me laugh when they said sometimes a person may need severe medical attention or just some good Taco Bell. 

The Cracked article, makes a very brave claim in saying the best way to treat a concussion is by sleeping. When in fact there are several factors to take in to account when determining how to treat a concussion. The Cracked article is broad and very cocky with the claims they have made. They have not taken into account the types, symptoms, ages, and causes that also affect how people should treat conditions.

It will be interesting looking at the very intricate process of deciding the BEST way to treat a particular concussion. Because first you have to determine the type of concussion, symptoms, age and what caused it THEN you must look at all of the factors to be able to decide what is best for that individual’s particular concussion.

Cracked.com Truth or Lie?

I was reading my article from Cracked.com about microwaving/freezing plastic containers releases deadly toxins. I wanted to do some follow up reading to see if Cracked.com was using actual facts to back up this argument or not. So I followed one of the hyperlinks that lead me to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The reason I decided to read into this article first is because it was specifically mentioned in the Cracked.com article. The e-mail originally sent out telling about how microwaving/freezing plastic containers releases deadly toxins seems to have come from John Hopkins University.  The article was pretty much a press release saying that John Hopkins University had nothing to do with the e-mail sent out. The article went on to say that freezing water does not release any harmful toxins. The article said nothing in particular about microwaving plastics leading to the release of toxins. The article just says that before microwaving to read the instructions listed on the manufacturer’s directions. So while the university stated that freezing has no effect on plastic containers it says nothing about microwaving. While one article is not enough to debunk the myth that freezing containers releases deadly toxins it is going in the right direction for proving that the Cracked.com article is going in the right direction.