Time Lapse

I don’t know if I’m overly emotional because it’s the end of the semester, or if this video truly and simply is very cute.

In any case, I would love to share this video that I just saw with all of you just because I know we all have our moments of “wow, time flies!” It captures this beautiful girl’s personality and growth so well that I know I would love to do the same with my own children someday.

I’m going to end this blogpost before I get too cheesy…. but here it is. Hope you enjoy.

And don’t forget to check out my semester project blog, I have posted again!!!

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Ashley Judd and her “puffy” face

Ashley Judd, well-known Hollywood actress from an also famous family, was attacked by numerous media venues last week after appearing with a “puffy face”. Tired of scrutiny, of judgments, of this enormous obsession our society has with how women should look and especially with how celebrity females should look, Judd spoke out. And I love her for it.

The “puffy face” meant one of two things. Either she had plastic surgery and looks bad or she looks “too good” and had work done. Whichever was the criticism, Judd wrote an article on the Daily Beast speaking of this objectification and hyper-sexualization of women. What have we come to that women are so observed and ridiculed if they don’t fit a certain stereotype? She explains that we, women and men, have internalized these patriarchal feelings and beliefs. It has to end.

The truth is, she was sick and needed steroids. My mother is going through the exact same issue (the “puffy face” because of health concerns) and doesn’t feel like herself. Therefore, this entire matter became even more personal to me.

Even if she did gain some pounds or did have some plastic surgery done, why does it matter? Why should we scrutinize so much?

Please read her article and watch this quick 2-minute video. You will not be disappointed!

update on semester project

Ok, I just wanted to say first and foremost that this blog looks absolutely fantastic. Congrats, Christina! Really. Do you happen to offer some tips for those of us not so blog savvy? Haha.

Then, I’d like to invite you all to check out my semester project blog NYC For The Rest Of Us (Does anyone get the Seinfeld connotation or am I just a lonely Seinfeld geek? Festivus, anyone?). I want to ask you all to send me suggestions, tips, ideas, opinions, or any feedback for that matter is more than welcome! This week’s post is on yoga.

Thanks!

Chapter 2 on “Wisdom of the Crowds”

Hello, everyone!

This Monday I presented Chapter 2 of the book Wisdom of the Crowds, named “The Difference Difference Makes: Waggle Dances, The Bay of Pigs, and the Value of Diversity”. I know my presentation wasn’t anything like our dear Paul’s, but I hope you all learned a little bit!!!

Here is a summary about what the chapter entails:

  • The importance of diversity here is not in a sociological sense (defining, for example, race, ethnicities or cultures- although they can be a part of it) but in a conceptual and cognitive sense (of ideas, opinions, perspectives).
  • The more similar a group is, the more similar the ideas they appreciate will be. On the other hand, if the group is diverse, the chances of someone gambling, taking a chance, bringing in a different perspective increases.
  • Intelligence is important, but alone is not enough. Intelligence does not guarantee different perspectives on a problem.
  • Diversity is even more important on small groups. In large groups, diversity is almost guaranteed and in small groups it’s easy for a few based individuals to exert undue influence and skew the group’s collective decision.
  • Groups too much alike= too much time exploiting and not enough time exploring.
  • Value of expertise is overrated, since they provide a narrow view. Experts usually overconfident.
  • Why do we cling to the idea of experts? We assume averaging means dumbing down or compromising!
  • “The crowd is blind to its own wisdom.”
  • When decision makers are so much alike, they easily fall prey to Groupthink, like in the Bay of Pigs or the failure to anticipate Pearl Harbor.
  • Groupthink is when a cohesive group becomes dependent and more convinced that the group’s judgment on important issues must be right. An illusion of invulnerability. Convinced they’re right, there is no one to challenge conventional wisdom.
That’s more or less the core of the chapter! Hope you all understand.

Oh, and click here for my semester project blog, I have updated it!!!! Please check it out, I swear it won’t take too long! 🙂

21st century mediation?

 

 

Legs/ Brain
Human Contact/ Culture
Who to Love/ Ideals, Morals, Honesty
God/ It's important to show you what life is all about from an early age, right?

 

I found this cartoon on a Brazilian website, and although it is in Portuguese I thought it was too perfect to not post, especially based on what we talk about every week. The translation is below the cartoon which, by the way, was done by famous cartoonist Quino, the author of the famous Mafalda series.

Have we come to a point where all our interactions and learning processes are mediated through something digital? To me, it is so hard to see a cartoon such as this that is so real and hits so close to home but at the same time is so unbearably sad. What have we come to? The truth is all there. Money dictates how we live. We are trapped by money, by the media, by technology. What is left?

Wow, this is starting to sound like a really depressing blogpost. But it really did trigger in me a chain of reflections about how we, as a society, live. I really hope that, at least in terms of technology, our dependency on it will someday lessen. Who knows. As for now, we can get a laugh from this cartoon!

My semester project, up and running!

I’d like to present to you all my semester project!! So far I only have the introduction… but keep checking it out for weekly posts! Hope you all enjoy. I must confess that I’m not the best with, well, basically anything digital and technological. But, I’ve improved a lot in my blogging skills and I’m trying my hardest to make this a nice looking and easy blog to go through. And don’t forget to contribute, pitch in, put your thoughts. In no way am I an expert of NYC and I want it to be a blog for all of us to put in our own experiences. Enjoy! 🙂

http://nycfortherestofus.wordpress.com/

PS: Any blogging advice is also very welcome!

Semester Project: Healthy and Cultural in NYC…. on a budget!

I was made in New York City. No, seriously—my parents were living in the ‘Big Apple’ when my mom got pregnant. Although I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, I love the fact that I was made in NY. And ever since I can remember, my parents’ love for the city has been inside of me, so strong it’s hard to put into words. The city’s openness to cultures, to diversity, to new ideas, thoughts, and styles absolutely fascinate me. It may sound cliché, but there really isn’t anything like it. My mom always says: “some say it’s a city of lonely people, but it’s the city where lonely people come together.”

As a student in Manhattanville, a school fairly close to the city, I have noticed that a lot of my peers don’t take advantage of the city. Maybe some simply don’t identify with it. But, at the end of the day, many don’t go because it is an extremely expensive city.

For my semester project, I want to combine my admiration for the city with my passion for two things: living a healthy lifestyle and the arts. Therefore, I will have a blog that will be updated two times a week about being healthy and cultural in NY on a budget. Ideas for dining, going to exhibitions, festivals, among many other examples, will be offered. Essentially, I am making a blog that I feel needs to exist. There are so many ways that students can enjoy NY to the fullest without spending a lot of money, and my job will be to show them how to do so.

My goal with this project is to generate interest in students, especially from Manhattanville, to make the best out of their time here, with a city like this so close to them. I want students to truly take in what the city has to offer without creating a dent in their bank accounts! 

the (non) art of film newscasts

Last week’s On The Media discussion about how Hollywood cannot seem to faithfully depict a newscast triggered a long and intense thought process in myself about my own film pet peeves. As they explained how Hollywood can make gun shots and wars seem so incredibly real yet simple newscasts so fake, I realized that there are also a lot of little things that make me nervous.

For one, I hate movie rain. Not only do I hate the fact that they usually use rain in very dramatic scenes, but I really don’t like the physical aspect of studio rain. It’s always a torrential, pouring kind of rain, and you can easily see it is only being directed at the characters.

Also, why does every main female character in a Romantic Comedy film have to have a lonely, funny, sometimes geeky-with-no-love-life-of-her-own best friend? I don’t get it. Or why is the romantic object of any hero in an Action film kidnapped? I understand these fixed roles sell movies… but Hollywood can afford to mix it up a bit, can’t they?

But, please, don’t get me wrong. The magic of movies will never leave me. There are things that blow my mind every time. For instance, I can never get enough of scenes that have few camera cuts. These long, progressive takes are so real and demand so much from the actors and the crew that I applaud each time. I can go on and on. But now a newscast in a movie for me will never be the same.

Limbaugh and Birth Control

I cannot get over the fact that, in 2012, we still have Republican candidates discussing the right to birth control.

As the Washington Post noted, the Republicans have a “fascination with reproduction at a time when economic production is what voters have in mind.” Why are they so obsessed with this topic? To me, it’s just a form of drawing a wedge between them and Democrats in this election. In all, the GOP candidates are focusing so much on the right to offer contraception, a subject that has not been controversial (with the exception of the Catholic Church) for a very long time. Some even call it a “Republican War on Women.” I tend to agree.

In this back and forth debate, however, I have not been as shocked as I was this week. Rush Limbaugh, conservative entertainer, instead of focusing on true issues such as the involvement of the Government of certain health procedures, attacked a female Georgetown Law School student, Sandra Fluke, in the most ignorant of ways. This week, Fluke spoke with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi about how she believed college women should be able to get contraception for free. As a response, Limbaugh said that she wants to be “paid to have sex” and called her a “prostitute” and “slut.”

Limbaugh even said: “So, Miss Fluke, and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives . . . we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Excuse me?

The worst part for me is that Limbaugh is heard and followed by millions of people. In turn, these millions of people are directly influenced by what he says. We have much more important issues to discuss. As a matter of fact, this shouldn’t even be one of the main issues of the election in the first place.

All I can honestly say is I hope the majority of people see through him and these issues. I hope we, as a nation, are able to move on and realize that this is a right to all women. I hope that a Republican doesn’t win, because– regarding this issue– that would mean the loss of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the condemnation that birth control is a required health benefit, among others. And, yes, I do hope that one day ignorance such as Limbaugh’s disappears. One can dream right?

For more information, here is a video with a good overview on the matter: 

Nothing Like Live Performance

I went to a Broadway show this weekend and I realized something very important. Media can converge and advance as much as it wants, but it will never be able to take away the power, the force, the effect of a live performance.  That, thank goodness, will never change. A huge part of what makes Adele, well, Adele is the emotion that she projects through her music when she is singing.

Last week’s On The Media had an interesting perspective on how her music’s composition is and how it is perfectly projected to catching our attention and keeping us involved. Don’t get me wrong, I thought this explanation was fascinating– especially in its comparison to the Moonlight Sonata– but to only remark on the impeccable composition of her music was, in my opinion, not enough. What about the actual lyrics, that everyone can relate to at one point or another? What about the simple yet eloquent performance she gives each and every time she sings? To me, she is one of a kind. And I agree completely with what they said: her music will be around for a long time.

I also want to comment on Russia and how in 2012 we’re still talking about censorship in a seemingly democratic country. I had no idea about Vladimir Putin’s commercials on his opposition leaders travelling nor that TV Shows could be cancelled in Russia if they spoke openly against the government. Russia, along with China, India and Brazil, is one of the most promising countries economically and it strikes me that there are still issues such as there.

PS: By the way, isn’t the presenter, Brooke Gladstone’s, voice so lovely?