Asia Baez- SIster Wives

In my last blogpost I commented on how negative the media can be in its portrayal of religions such as this one but The Sister Wives sheds a different light. It allows for viewers to see into the lives of people in these religions, gives faces to the names, and shows some of the positive aspects of their religion. Ultimately, the show portrays them as people just like us-which is exactly what they are. While many of us argued that Warren Jeffs was hurting and taking advantage of these kids, I don’t think that can be said about the women who chose to live in Polygamy. Since they are clearly okay with it, its not hurting anyone, and the First Amendment says that government can’t interfere with religion, these families should be left alone to live their lives however they see fit, regardless of societal norms.

At the same time, I’m sure there are many people who are uncomfortable with the idea of The Sister Wives TV Show. Among these people could be other polygamist families who find it offensive that these people are parading their family around for a show and allowing for their privacy to be invaded. Others who are simply uncomfortable with the idea of polygamy may only choose to focus solely on the negative and use whatever conflicts are expressed in the show against them. Lastly, and I know this one to be true from my own experiences, some people might be annoyed that this show is on TV because their kids get exposed to it and start to ask questions that they don’t necessarily want to/know how to answer.

That kind of sheltering, in ways very similar to the isolation of some religious groups, only allows for ignorance. Only informed people have the ability to form opinions therefore I think its crucial that people be informed about these religions. While I understand that reality TV show isn’t the best source, at least we know that there is somewhat of a balance in the media’s portrayal of different religions. I think people forget that these polygamist families are just regular families with different beliefs. As long as they aren’t forcing their beliefs on anybody ,which they are not (even though we tend to), then I say we Live and Let Live.

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Warren Jeff- Asia Baez

Honestly, I couldn’t take any of Warren Jeff’s writings seriously. I think that its partly because I read the Texas Monthly article first and it seemed to make a joke of Warren Jeff and his writings. When thinking about this medium I tend to think that this was on purpose-publishing the article in Texas Monthly was another way of reinforcing the public that this man was not to be taken seriously. The article talks about Jeff “quoting God” and even jokes about being able to purchase keepsakes of his writings as Christmas presents which made it pretty obvious that his spectacle is to be perceived as nothing more than comical. His “revelations” from Jesus stating that he need be released immediately or us Americans would be punished, certainly don’t help his case either.

On the other hand, Warren Jeff’s writings could seem completely legitimate to some people and those people might find it truly offensive that their beliefs are being subjected to this kind of ridicule. The article doesn’t even make a real attempt at hiding the mockery. The article is stuffed with sarcasm and satire and it pretty much discredited all that he was saying without regard for those who might actually believe in him. The media is constantly targeting religions but this article in particular really targets Warren Jeff’s beliefs in a way that one’s religion should not be.  The problem is that this article doesn’t just discredit Warren Jeff- it also discredits everything FLDS believe in.

I don’t care for Warren Jeff and I think he deserves to be in jail. However, in terms of respecting other religions and allowing people to have their beliefs without persecution; I don’t think this article is necessarily fair. I personally can’t even consider anything he says to be true but who am I to say that my opinion (which is gathered in accordance to my own religion) is anymore justified than his? Looking at the bigger picture, I think we all need to take a step back and realize that, no matter how ridiculous their beliefs may seem, everyone is entitled to believe whatever they choose to. They should be able to do so without fear of being mocked.

Field Trip – Emily Miethner

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Overall, I found this field trip to be the most successful. I took more out of this trip that pertained to my life and future career. For example, during our visit with Emily, I asked her where she did her most effective networking. I had anticipated her saying “social media”, seeing as that is her industry, but oddly enough she said that a lot of her networking is done at actual events. She tries to participate in as many events, that pertain to her field, as possible so that she can meet more people and broaden her network. I found this to be very interesting and made a note to remember that for future references.

It really was a pleasure meeting Emily. Her story was inspiring and her speaking skills were very effective; she had my attention from the minute I stepped in to the room until the second before I was forced out. Through watching her and her presentation, I was able to see all of the concepts, that have been taught to us in class, applied. Her co-working space was a beautiful new, refreshing thing to see as well.

After the Center for Social Innovation, we headed over to the Museum of Art and Design (MAD). I found this museum to be much more interesting than the Museum of Modern Art. While the Museum of Modern Art had many nice things to look at, the Museum of Art and Design contained pieces that both served a practical purpose and was appealing to the eye. I found, for example, the Nike track sneaker whose design was originally 3D printed.

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The entire 3D printing section fascinated me. It is, after all, the future of production. In the museum I saw 3D prints of things ranging from shoes, to chairs, to lamps, to utensils, to dresses, to even mini people! It’s amazing and I can’t wait to see how the technology progresses.

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I had a great time on Saturday and I was able to learn a lot of things about technology, presenting, and even myself. I definitely plan on attending one of Emily’s events and I hope to return to the Museum of Modern Art in the near future.

Emily Miethner

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In one of her recent tweets, Emily links to an article that she wrote regarding the name change of her company.

Formerly known as NY Creative Interns, FindSpark is an organization that she herself started in October of 2010. The company helps connect students with internship and job opportunities through a broad networking system. A former Hofstra Student herself, Emiily has seen what started off as a small company branch out into something huge.

Personally, I love the whole concept. Many college students struggle with trying to find an internship in their field of study especially when it comes to the area of design. I foresee myself struggling with this same issue and using FIndSpark as a valuable resource.

I love the energy of the company and I can’t wait to meet Emily Miethner in person and see what kind of advice she has to give us.

Watching the Clock

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The subject of death is commonly viewed as a taboo topic that everyone tries to avoid. For some however, a daily reminder of their mortality might not be such a bad thing.

The creator of the Tikker began to think more about death and what it means when his grandfather passed away. The Swedish publisher, Fredrik Colting, is an atheist who tends to believe that death is just an end rather than a reward of some kind. He believes, and I’m sure that many of us can agree, that people sometimes take life for granted; forgetting just how little time we have on earth and just how quickly it passes by.

Besides serving as a regular watch, the Tikker uses demographics such as your age, gender, and BMI and compares it to the average life expectancy of people your age to produce a date of death. The Tikker serves as a countdown to this date, serving as a constant reminder that your time is literally running out.

Personally, I love the idea. I’m as guilty as anyone else of taking time for granted. The Tikker would be a great way to remind myself, on a daily basis, to truly make every second count because once it’s gone there is no getting it back.

The Tikker itself is only $39. Orders for them  can be placed on Kickstarter.

Reaching New Heights

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As the tallest member of my family ( at a whopping 5 feet 4 inches), I struggle every morning to get a good glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. My munchkin of a mother has it set so that mirror is at perfect eye level with her five foot frame; cutting my head in half whenever I look into it. It’s incredibly annoying and frankly very inconvenient. I stumbled upon a neat little contraption, however, that would solve my problem.

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The Rise and Shine, designed by two Scandinavians, Amy Hunting and Oscar Narud, is essentially just a mirror with a pulley attached to it. This small addition to the mirror allows for people of multiple heights to allocate the same mirror. With just a tug of the pulley, a mirror positioned at the height of someone who is over 6 feet tall can serve for someone as short as two feet tall. Besides its practical purpose, the Rise and Shine is also an eye pleasing, fun accessory to any wall.

Field Trip

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Overall I found our Field Trip on Saturday to be both fabulous and informative. Elizabeth Gillett was extremely hospitable, and surprisingly humble for someone who built an entire design label from the bottom up. I found her story to be inspiring, beginning her whole career with the reproduction of a single scarf. I gained a lot of insight about the business world, as well as the design world, and all the many parts that tie into them. Seeing her studio in person really  tied the connection between design and business for me. Essentially, the two go hand in hand. Having a design in not enough without the business skills to back it up. Just as Elizabeth showed us with her different seasonal designs and fashion forecasts, the design has to fit into what will sell in the business.

The second part of our day, the trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), which might I add was my first trip there, was also a success. Apart from seeing many interesting modern art designs,

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as well as getting some inspiration for the decoration of my future house,

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I was also learned a thing or two about Le Corbusier.

Aside from being a brilliant architect, designing building such as the United Nations and the Palace of the Soviets, turns out he was also an amazing painter, as seen in his paintings such as “Still Life FIlled with Space.” I was amazed at the various structures, designs, and pieces of artwork contained in the Le Corbusier exhibit, a place that I certainly intend on returning to and spending more time in.

The entire field trip  really broadened my knowledge and bettered my understanding in the area of design and business. Now that I’ve seen all of the concepts applied, this class is beginning to make a bit more sense to me.

Faculty Research Day

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While walking around and reading about the research that members of our faculty had conducted in their particular area of expertise, I stumbled upon a display that caught my attention. The Professor whom the display belonged to, John Teehan, who has a PhD in Philosophy and an MA in Psychology, is a Professor of religion here at Hofstra. His study focused mainly on these 5 essential questions:

Why do people believe in God?

Why is religion universal?

How does religion shape behavior?

Why do people commit violence in the name of God?

Can science provide the answers?

In order to answer these questions, Professor Teehan had to further explore the origin of religion. Did God create man or did man create God? That question seems to be the question of the century. According to Professor Teehan, different religions answer that questions differently which create the basis of their religions.

Roman Catholics, for example, believe that God created man and then based on what we learned from the bible, man recreated God.

To answer this question, Professor Teehan decided on a different approach however. He decided that in order to find out the origin of religion we would have to take a look into the origin of our thoughts, the human brain. Taking a look at how the brain works, Professor Teehan explored the idea that the brain is actively trying to find order in the environment which gives rise to the belief in religion. Using science as a means to explain religion, Professor Teehan also took a look at the cognitive bases of the problem of evil. 

Why do people commit violence in the name of God?

He combines his background in Philosophy and Psychology to take a look at empathy, cruelty, and religion from a cognitive perspective. 

Overall I found what he had to say very interesting, to the point where I’m even considering taking his class, to further explore the questions of the universe that might forever go unanswered. 

If We Can’t Cure Them, Accommodate Them

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For a patient with Parkinson’s, a task as simple as feeding themselves is an overwhelming challenge. Losing control over their motor abilities can mean losing their freedom as individual and their dignity as a person. To help patients with their tremors, Anupam Pathak, founder of Lift Labs, created the Liftware.

The Liftware spoon is the first of the kitchen utensils to be created of its kind. Using the technology found in digital cameras and smart phones, the Liftware works motion sensors to counteract tremors and stabilize the hand.

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Unfortunately, the Liftware is nothing cheap, quoted at a steep $299.95. But for patients living with the severe effects of Parkinson’s, its a small price to pay for freedom.