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Chocolate Lovers Assemble!

March 15, 2012 5 comments

Another post earlier in the year discussed chocolate and the negative effects it can have. So, when I came across this article, I couldn’t help but post it. As a girl who has gone through chocolate frenzies more than one a time, I was interested to read about the new research findings on the subject.

The article states that people who eat dark chocolate and cocoa powder are at a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack and strokes. This is because chocolate contains flavonols, disease fighting antioxidants. They help to improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and increasing blood flow. The flavonols in chocolate has also recently been found to have promising effects on insulin resistance, a condition that increases your risk for type 2 diabetes. Pretty great right?

Now before everyone gets too excited, the article also points out that those who ate “the most chocolate” in these studies, consumed less that 2 ounces of chocolate per week =( So while I wouldn’t reccomend eating a whole box of Godivas, chocolate in moderation can have some great benefits!

Hope you’re all enjoying your spring break, if you have a few free minutes and want to read this article here it is http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/cocoa-surprising-superfood

Categories: Uncategorized

Science and Sociology

February 27, 2012 3 comments

On Thursday night I attended a lecture by Dr. Trevor Pinch of Cornell University, as an extra credit assignment for my astronomy class. I was prepared to suffer through some boring lecture, most of which I probably wouldn’t understand, and write my reflective paper. However, I found the talk to be extremely interesting. Dr. Pinch, before receiving his Masters degree and PhD in physics, recieved a BA in Sociology. His lecture was focused at pulling the fields of science and sociology together, to help explain the role society plays in science.

Various topics were discussed, some of which have already been mentioned on our blog. He discussed the importance of hands on work in science in order to develop skills, rather than just reading a book. He gave the example of performing an operation. You could read a thousand textbooks about how to make an insicion, but when it comes to actually cutting into someone, only actually doing the task will help you learn to do it better. Dr. Pinch also brought up the idea of the language used in scientific writing. Often it is very straightforward and undescriptive; however by leaving out the intricate details of an experiment or observation, you could actually be taking away from the actual event.

I found this lecture to especially reach me, because as a psychology major, the way I perceive things in science are probably much different than a chemist would. Dr. Pinch’s lecture helped me see the connection between the fields, and how in some ways my way of thinking could be beneficial to my understanding of science.

What do you guys think? Is there a place for sociology in science or do you picture the two fields as seperate?

Categories: Uncategorized

To Tan or Not to Tan

February 21, 2012 6 comments

As I was doing my usual pre-homework procrastination, I came across an interesting article about the increase of melanoma in women, despite the increase in awareness of the risks. I found this especially interesting because my first essay for this class was about UV exposure and my own experiences with tanning. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the issue, but this article gave me tons of inspiration for essay revisions.

I will be the first to say that I enjoy being tan. Coming from a city where it is primarily cloudy during the year, the summer provides a few months that I am actually able to soak up some vitamin D (aside from the rays I get from tanning beds occasionally). I know what the risks of overexposure to the Sun is, and I’ve watched the aging effects it can have, but it’s hard to stop when laying out has become part of my daily summer routine over the past 19 years. I used to think that applying sunscreen was all I needed to do, but this article made it very clear that sunscreen, while helpful, will not be what prevents you from getting melonoma or other such diseases. The majority of the population, myself included, don’t even know how to properly apply sunscreen, in terms of quantity or frequency. And I know I certainly don’t apply it everytime I’m outdoors, even though you should.

The article makes several jokes about girls today wanting to look like Snooki, but in reality, if the majority of people I knew didn’t enjoy being tan I probably wouldn’t value it so much either. No one wants to be the “pasty” friend in prom pictures, so why not stop by the tanning salon if everyone else is? It’s easy to disgard the statistics if they haven’t become immediately relevant to you.

What are you all’s views on tanning? Has society made it more acceptable depsite the obvious risks?

Here’s the article if you’re interested:

http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/Record-Rates-of-Melanoma

Categories: Uncategorized

Science beyond the classroom?

February 5, 2012 2 comments

Hi everyone! So last week in class we all got the chance to read samples of essays on the nature of science before we begin to write our own papers. When I first read the details of the assignment, I was nervous to say the least. Science has never been one of my favorite subjects, and I had basically no motivation to explore the field beyond my biology and chemistry classrooms. So how in the world was I supposed to write a 1200 word essay on my personal nature of science!?

However, when I sat down to read the sample essays Professor Myers posted, I was shocked. I was actually interested in what these students were writing about. It hit me that my little bubble of stereotypical science was not what  the field actually is. Science is cooking, illness, Artic ice caps, and so much more that what we are exposed to in chem lab. The subject that I dreaded for so long was becoming more intruiging.

With this first paper ahead of me, I feel more confident that I will actually enjoy and benefit from taking this UW, in ways other than getting to sleep in on Friday mornings. And although I can pretty much guarentee I will not be signing up for multitudes of science classes after this semester, I can already tell I am going to walk away from this class with a greater knowledge of the science I experience in my life everyday.