Update to “Interesting Move to Preventing Gun Violence”

On March 22nd I posted Douglas High School’s preventative plan moving forward after spring break… and well it was their first day back today (April 2nd).

According to a Twitter moment’s feed, the preventative plan hasn’t been well received by the students Continue reading


Bankruptcy Declared by Gun Company

(Reuters) – Remington Outdoor Co Inc [FREDM.UL], one of the largest U.S. makers of firearms, filed for bankruptcy protection on Sunday to carry out a debt-cutting deal with creditors amid mounting public pressure for greater gun control.

Source: Yahoo Finance

On the secretive facebook page, there was talk about the the March for our Lives Protest that happened this weekend (March 24th, 2018). As of Sunday, an old-time gun company just declared bankruptcy for 1 billion dollars. Apparently the process have been going on for much longer than just yesterday (in fact, they mentioned filing bankruptcy in February). However, they officially declared Bankruptcy 24 hours after the Protest.

According to Stephen Jackson, the company’s chief financial officer, the initial cause of the bankruptcy was spurred by the decreased sales throughout the year and how the company was having difficulty meeting requirements from its lenders. But, it makes you wonder if the mass shooting (specifically the protests) have been the cause of this. I saw a counter argument (please don’t quote me on this. I saw it on twitter) that everytime a gun shooting occurred gun sales would increase. However on the other hand this gun company has gone bankrupt possibly because of the lack of firearm shootings.

What guys do you think about this?

-Katelynn DiBiccari

Are Devices Listening to Us?

I mentioned this video in class. Here’s the link of the actual video if you guys wanted to watch it:

Despite Chris’ comical insanity over the world “Crib”, it raises awareness to a much larger issues (that’s now becoming a meme). Are our devices listening to us, and if this was true, is it accessible for them to do it in order to promote safety? The meme that has been going on is the idea that an FBI agent is assigned to watching our every mood, and people smuggly joke on this topic by creating memes about themselves asking that agent whether or not they should wear a certain outfit to a party.

It also ties into the short online panic of Alexa speaking randomly about dark topics (closest cemetery, random laughs, etc.) without ANY cue to cause her to respond. Even then, the videos of countless people asking if Alexa is working for the FBI and her not directly answering the question…

I digress though.

If anyone would like to tackle this for the Semester Project (the creative one, not the one for the blog) this would be an interesting place to start from, and an interesting topic to expand on that would take minimal effort to conduct everyday.

-Katelynn DiBiccari

Interesting Move to Preventing Gun Violence

Robert W. Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public School, announced that students will be required to have clear backpacks in order to attend Douglas High School after spring break. They also made it clear that they will provide each student with a backpack that are deemed worthy by their standards at no cost.

In my opinion, this is a very interesting way to recover from gun violence at a school that had a shooting last month. Likewise, a very immediate response to 3 students who got arrested this week alone (2 were arrested for bringing knives to school, 1 was arrested for threats on Snapchat.)

In addition, the district is debating on using metal detectors in addition to using the clear backpacks.  However, Runcie recently criticized it at being ineffective, saying that “someone is not going to go through a metal detector with an AR-15”. He equally said that metal detectors do not help create a welcoming learning environment. However, it will relieve the tension currently lingering from the previous shooting and recent events (like the suspect’s brother trespassing on campus and the school’s deputy falling asleep on the job).

If Manhattanville, or even if your hometown High School, was to implement this how would you guys feel? Would it feel unwelcoming or would feel safer with these safety integrations in place.

-Katelynn DiBiccari

DiBiccari – Research Bibliography

Research Paper Proposal:

          As much as we all hate to admit it, chores are an important and rather necessary part of people’s lives that help develop healthy households and habits. Doing chores like vacuuming and washing dishes is statistically known to drastically increase productivity when working from within the comfort of one’s home. However, with any positive activity there will always be a preventative that will prolong mundane tasks from occurring.

          Humans naturally tend to procrastinate when applicable. No matter how hard people try to stop it, it’s enviable. With mundane, repetitive weekly tasks like folding laundry to be done, who would blame people for laying on their bed instead? And of course, with the development of the internet during the twentieth century this inability of completing anything useful will increase as technology progresses.

        What makes this more interesting though, is that our go-to distractions these days are video games; Something that is notoriously known for their quick ability to grab people’s attention— even if it’s just for a second. Video games are designed with 2 goals in mind: to keep a player coming back to play, and to provoke a positive response. They accomplish this in many ways, one of them is ironically enough being held accountable to perform chores to get rare items, or to help progression on a specific task whether that be currency to build something, gear to strengthen one’s character— the list here goes on. With those two criteria filled, they can easily keep people coming back to get that ONE rare item needed despite the chances of getting it being so low.

       So if video games have the same mechanics that we dread performing in person, then why would people rather ignore?


      My idea from this stems from WNYC’s Note to Self podcast– the exact podcast I chose to cover for our project. I think in the grand scheme of things, the podcast will not be useful as a source itself, but it would be interesting it reference it at the beginning then go into my research topics.
     As stated from that the Note to Self post, games like World of Warcraft supply a plethora of tasks to do with alludes to a greater reward. That 1% chance of possibly getting something means so much more than consistently getting something. I reference 2 videos from a Youtube channel named Game Theory, How Loot Boxes HACK YOUR BRAIN! and Candy Crush, Designed to ADDICT that show the power of a suggestive reward system instead of being consistently rewarded. I think these would both be excellent videos to bring up because they talk about the addictive qualities of video games and why they are considered addictive from the scientific aspect.

      I wanted to also get more scientific papers on why people tend to procrastinate and how bad is work to procrastination ratio. Maybe even if technology has increased how much people procrastinate as well!
     I was also considering toying around with using interviews and my own experiences as a first person source. While scientific breakdowns of why we procrastinate are nice to have a first hand look as to why people turn to video games instead of doing more productive.

– Katelynn Dibiccari

Previous NY School Shooter Supports Gun Control


This article is a bit old now, I wasn’t able to write about this last week due to the storms so I apologize for my lack of timeliness.
We talked about gun reform during class and the different sides of it. I acknowledge it’s a hard subject it was a very painful conversation for some but I think it’s important to bring it up again.
The too long didn’t read for the article is that a now convicted shooter for a past attempted school shooting wrote a letter to Times Union Executive Editor Rex Smith in response to Chris Churchill’s Feb. 21 column. The original article was written because it featured an interview with retired Columbia principal John Sawchuk, who tackled Romano and disarmed him before anyone got hurt. Despite what both sides of the argument believe, I found this very interesting because it shows the side of someone who has attempted a mass shooting trying to promote change. Sure, I will admit, Romano’s words on how he wants to promote gun control once he leaves prison are a bit vague for my liking. However, it does show that the needs for change is even important to gun owners and even previous shooters alike. Whatever that change may be is very much debatable and I won’t influence this post with my own opinions, but my question to you all is do you think Romano is being genuine in his letter? Likewise, do you think all mass shooters, dead or alive, regret their actions in the same way that Romano did?

– Katie DiBiccari

Choice Podcast: Note to Self

Thanks to Professor Proctor, I connected with WNYC’s Note to Self podcast.

The hostess, Manoush Zomorodi, guides us through the digital world and our consumption of it in a guided manner very similar to how how On the Media guides us in their podcasts. It’s short, making it very easy to listen to and is offered on multiple platforms (Spotify, Itunes, soundcloud and more).

One of their podcast that actually hooked me in was “How to Find the Right Amount of Screen Time” involving how we are addicted to screens. It intrigued me because it focuses on the addictive quality of video games, something I’m personally fond of.

As a gamer, I can personally contest by saying games are meant to have an addictive quality because let’s be real, if they can keep you logging in at least every 15 minutes or even push you to give in to those sweet beloved microtransactions, they’re getting paid regardless of if you continue playing or just log in for 5 minutes. Games like World of Warcraft supply a plethora of tasks to do with alludes to a greater reward. If you do your daily chores, run older content, you may get something to show off for your persistent efforts on trying to get that one item that won’t mean anything. That 1% chance of possibly getting something means so much more than consistently getting something. Matt Pat, the host of a wonderful educational channel on video games called Game Theory, has done multiple videos on how apps like candy crush and Overwatch’s infamous loot box system intentionally hook us to continue playing.

It’s a double edged sword because in order to progress in this world, we rely on computers– In fact, this class alone is almost reliently dependent on technology. However, in a classroom environment our digital devices are actually perceived as a good thing. Otherwise, they’re deemed useless, a waste of time, and even an addiction.

Through Zomorodi’s thematic approach, she guides the reader and her guest in an engaging conversation that involves both the new and older generations. I would highly recommend listening to it.

The Mickey Mouse Law Explained

During class we got into the conversation of the Copyright Term Extension Act — Better known as the Mickey Mouse Law. I mentioned I saw a video on it and well.. here it is!

Around 1:30 in the video we go into the lobbying of Congress for extending this bill. It’s an interesting concept because you think of Congress being a fair force that promotes democracy but instead is (in a very loose term, hear me out on this one) being bribed to extend a bill on Copyright.

While this may be good for all new copyright holders (Disney is doing all the legwork on fighting for this right), it makes you wonder how long will congress allow Disney to extend the bill. More importantly, why doesn’t congress just extend it forever instead of having to go through this renewal process? It’s a lot of unknown motives, but as NYU Law Professor Christopher Sprigman says (2:16),

“Traditionally, the Walt Disney company has been very good at convincing congress to do what they want.”

On that note, I’ll leave you to imagine what bribes are going on behind close doors that the public has yet to know about.

— Katelynn DiBccari

Partner Introduction: Blake Hagerman

During class I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to Blake. He dorms during the semester but beyond the walls of Manhattanville he lives in Long Island. He’s still figuring out what exactly he wants to do in life, but I got to ask him about 2 current outlets he pursues now.

He’s very into sports, specifically track and field, which he participates in now with Manhattanville’s community. He’s been doing track and field ever since high school but it’s something he does “as an outlet”.

His current love is DJing for Manhattanville’s Radio program, and is something that he may end up delving into later in life. Unlike current radio DJ’s, he chooses to play 50’s and 60’s music. (side note: I personally found this very interesting, considering how our consumed media is all popular music now) He said he enjoyed it because it was his time to listen to music he enjoyed while hanging out.

~ Katelynn DiBiccari