Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gross Domestic Product

In econ today, we talked about how economists calculate GDP, the total income of a nation. In fact, while for workers, income might be how much they make, for a nation's economy, the "income" must be equal to the expenditures in order for an equal and balanced market to exist. Also, GDP only takes into account the income and expenditures that take place using the nation's resources. It's divided into Consumption, Investment, Government Purchases, and Net Exports; Net Exports is the #Imports - #Exports. So if Sally was buying an American made car, the amount of money she pays goes into the Consumption part of the equation. However, if she bought a car in America that was built in Japan, whatever the cost it took to ship the car over goes into Net Exports and the rest into Consumption.

The thing about GDP is that it doesn't tell us anything about quality of life nor the quality of anything for that matter. It merely tells us how much a country is worth based on the market value of its goods and services. However, GDP may rise over the years due to inflation, so there are actually two types of GDP; Real GDP and Nominal GDP. Nominal GDP is the "normal" way of looking at GDP. It only looks at the current year and calculates it using prices and quantities from the current year. On the other hand, Real GDP is a better way of comparing GDP across years of production.

If say I calculated the GDP for 2004. If I wanted to calculate the real GDP of 2005. I would use the prices that were in 2004 but use the quantities that were produced in 2005. That way, I can see how the change in production changed prices.

Two topics trended throughout the day. SAT scores in the morning and Michael Jackson's passing away in the afternoon, which eclipsed the news of Farrah Fawcett's death. It was fascinating to see how fast the news spread to everyone during dinner, jumping from table to table. Maybe I should have joined the Human Behavior class that they offered here!

In any case, our teacher let us know about a presentation that we're doing at the end of the course on an economic topic of our choosing. I decided to look into Water Privatization in 3rd world countries. What led me to it was the idea that water is getting scarce in parts of the world and the realization that wars are being fought over rights to wells. It's something that I want to know more about.

I'm looking forward to seeing some colleges this weekend!

Oh, What "A Beautiful Mind"

First of all, I have to clarify what I said in my last blogs about my admiration for Steven, Lori's brother. I do not admire him for bailing out, I admire that he was the only one who took the initiative to try to understand the psychology behind schizophrenia so he could help his sister. I admire him for at least trying although he did not go through with it all the way but that is because his sister, Lori, did not want him to see the horror that goes on inside the psychiatric hospital. Steven, himself, could not stand to see people suffer. There is so much more to the book. I highly recommend it. It is called "The Quiet Room" by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett for those who are interested in reading it. I would love to talk about the book but there is so much information packed inside that I cannot condense it all into one blog.

Now, get ready for my day! I woke up later than usual, 8: 40 or so. Then I found out that I have to do laundry soon because my clothes are piling up on the floor-in my closet. While looking through my clothes, I regretted not bringing more sweaters and pants because it is really cold here, except for the sunshine that we have today. Then I looked at the weather to determine the weather for the rest of the week. After that, I washed up and got dressed to go eat breakfast. I am starting to get tired of the variety for breakfast but breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I ate a bagel and some potato wedges. Afterward, we walked to class and this time, we had to go to a different classroom than the one we are usually in. This is because we were going to watch a movie called "A Beautiful Mind," and Dr.J suggested that room 106 was more suitable for movie watching. Therefore we sat down anxious for the secrets of the movie to unravel as the professor pushed the release button for the curtains to come gradually down, shading the windows from the rising sunlight. This took about 30 seconds or so and I watched in amazement and wonder what else is there in this room that I have never seen before. Then the projector screen came tumbling down and stopped. It was a really big projector screen, bigger than the ones we have at school. Then we waited for him to dim the lights and turn on the movie.

The movie started out with a guy name John Nash who is in his freshmen year at Princeton University through a special scholarship (something something Carnegie Scholarship). Then he meets his roommate Charles, who stumbled into the room drunk and disoriented while John was busy studying. Then it shows how John is always busy studying and trying to solve these problems that I found to be really intricate and difficult. There was a scene when John wanted to kill himself by banging his head on the window and then his roommate tried to stop him. His roommate then pushed the window with such an incredible amount of force that it flew out the window and crashed on the ground by the luscious green grass while two students were walking by. John and Charles started laughing hysterically as the two students looked up in confusion. After he graduated from Princeton University after resolving Adam Smith's theory, he became a professor. He was well-respected and liked on and off campus. Then on a visit to the Pentagon, he met a mysterious man who calls himself Parcher. Parcher asked John to work for the government as an undercover agent and they implanted a secret code on his arm which requires a black light to see it. John's job is to decode the mysterious message of the Soviet Union. And so the movie goes on about how he is a great professor and well known throughout. He finally finds a woman who he likes and eventually marries her and start their own family. However, one night, John gets paranoid and his rage is set off so his wife calls the doctor and they take him in the hospital. John accuses them as the Soviet Union who have discovered his secret and are planning to take him away.

The problem in this picture is that John was hallucinating. Records show that he never had a roommate name Charles nor did he ever work for the government as a spy. His wife had called him and signed him into the psychiatric hospital because he was schizophrenic. They had to explain to him that he was schizophrenic and all of this is just a delusion. John tried to show them proof that he actually works for the government by digging into his arm where he had "seen" them implant the numbers to keep track of him but it was not there. Therefore he had to take medication to help his hallucinations go away. Basically the movie goes on from there. He finally gets better but he never did stop seeing things. He learned to control them and eventually was able to live an almost normal life. After he got a bit better, he started working at Princeton, doing his work in the library. He raised his status from a worker in the library to a well-known and respected professor. John even received a Nobel prize and to this day, he still walks to campus.

The movie ended at 12:38 but class was not suppose to end until 1:00. So Dr.J decided to tell us more about John Nash. He mentioned that the real John Nash's life was not as smooth as portrayed in the movie. Instead, his wife divorced him and he started experimenting with his sexuality. Then we got out of class at 12:45, 15 minutes earlier than usual. We dreaded walking down the flight of stairs although it was a flight of stairs less than usual. Then we trudged downhill to the Verney Woolley where we slid our Brown identification card to open the door and walked on the blue mat to the interior of the cafeteria. Then we went through another round of sliding our cards to get lunch. Today, I was deciding between pasta and burgers. I was trying to be a vegetarian for day but I could not resist the burgers so I went to make my burger.

First I took the bun and split it in between the cut. After that, I picked up the juiciest looking burger on the tray and settled it on top of the bottom bun. Then I used the plastic black tongs to pick up two pieces of lettuce and gently laid it on top of the burger. I examined the cheese to see if it was American or Kraft singles but I failed at that. I picked it up anyways and decided I should of put the cheese on before the lettuce and so I remade my burger. The tomatoes were screaming my name but I did not know if I was craving tomatoes or not but I decided I wanted to be healthy so I slid two slices of pre-cut tomatoes onto my pile. Then I cuddled up my burger by placing the top bun over it after squeezing ketchup on it. And so we went to eat outside because it was a nice bright sunny day. It feels so good to walk out and feel the warm breeze sweeping over me.

Then I decided to work on my final reaction paper for class. I spent a good hour contemplating about what to write because Dr.J had asked for it to be less than two pages and to reflect on the book. It was extremely difficult to narrow down the topics that I wanted to discuss so I spent a good 25 minutes thinking about the main topics of the book. Finally, I decided that I will mainly focus on the affect Lori's schizophrenia had on her family as a whole instead of just Lori. Then I finished typing up my paper by 6:03 and started walking to the dining hall with Courtney. While walking past the Maddock Alumni building, a random stranger walking past by hollered out "Hey you guys! Did you find out that Michael Jackson died?" Then everywhere around us, we heard talk about his death. People walked around in denial that the "king of pop" is longer no more.

After dinner, we went back up to the lounge where we studied for a bit and I sent my final reaction paper in to Dr.J. I then decided what shall I blog about and here I am to blog about my exciting day. The best part of today was probably watching the movie. I learned so much from it and by the end of the movie, I decided I want to meet John Nash. When I finally figured out what I wanted to blog about, I walked down the five flights of stairs and into to my room I entered. So here I am blogging.

Now that I reflect on my day, I found out that I had quite some time on my hands. I had finished my reading early started on my reaction paper right away. I am really adjusting to the college life. I predict that in the future, I would be walking long distances and climbing up to 55 steps on the stairs. Oh well, it will be a great daily workout.

Since I do not want to be burdened with homework and a 83 page of reading, I shall start reading now.

A Beautiful Mind

Today in class we watched an interesting movie on a very smart man named John Nash. He developed schizophrenia soon after graduate school, he was extremely intelligent so it was really depressing. I feel that he handled the illness a whole lot better than Lori from the book handled her situation, but that's probably because her situation was far worse. That's pretty much all we did in class, we moved to a really nice room to watch movies and our professor explained our up coming projects a little bit more. Then we were off to lunch.

We did not do much after lunch besides laundry and a lot of walking back and forth. I spent most of the night working on my homework and bonding with my roommate. I'm really excited to go to Boston again on Saturday, I can't wait to actually finish our tour at Harvard and explore MIT. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day.

Bones & Cartilage....

Bone and cartilage is what I learned about today....I was completely confused in class today yet again. It seem like I understand what we talk about every other day. How sad. I hope I understand what we talk about tomorrow.

I also did not have enough time to finish my lab... :(
So I will have to go to the basement sometime and finish my drawing on crushed bone.
One would think that two hours would be enough, but apparently not.

Today I took in a LOT of information.
We talked about Hyaline cartilage(matrix,collagen, perichondrion,chodrogenic cells,chondrocytes, chodroblasts, and histogenesis), Elastic cartilage, Fibro cartilage, bones (matrix, hydroxyapatite, vascular supply, volkmann's canal, haversian canals, peristeum, and endosteum), Bone cells (osteogenic cells, osteoblasts, osteocyte, and osteoclasts), Types of classifications, Histogenesis, Histophysiology, and joints.

We had a lecture of all of this in the morning which also continued for another hour in the afternoon then we went on to the lab in which we saw developing long spongy bone and crushes bone under the microscope and again had to draw and label what we learned. We also took a miny quiz in which we do not get graded on, but are review from yesterday. Out of six questions I got two wrong! Its great to know that most of the information stuck on!

I will also never look at Chiclets and ti die the same way ever again....Chiclets remind me of simple cuboidal epithelia and ti die reminds me of bone cells!

Big shocker! I finally got around to researching Androgen Insesitivity Syndrome and I found out that it is a set of disorders of sex development caused by mutations of the gene encoding the androgen receptor. The nature of the resulting problem varies according to the structure and sensitivity of the abnormal receptor. A person with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome has a female external appearance despite a 46XY karyotype and undescended testes, a condition termed "testicular feminization" in the past.

Carla Ramirez


This was the movie that the Introduction to Psychology class saw today. This movie was based on the true story of John Nash whom developed schizophrenia at the age of thirty. It was a very beautiful movie that showed Nash's life before, during, and after his major stage of schizophrenia. He was a very smart man whom did not like wasting time in class and learning something everyone already new, instead he focused his time in developing new theories. Later in his life because of the schizophrenia he believed he was working under over for the U.S. government to help with preventing attacks from the Soviet Union. In the end his wife finds him behaving weirdly and his schizophrenia is unfolded . He fought through it a went back to his normal life that he went on to winning a Nobel prize. It was a real tear jerker at the end with his happy ending. It was a very interesting film to watch because we got to see a different development of schizophrenia from the one in the book I was reading the Quiet Room.

Also yesterday I attended a college Q&A for girls with Courtney and Meuy.I asked a couple of questions and they were thoroughly answered. I learned why the RA s had chosen to come to Brown and most of them said because of the open curriculum. Also they shared with us how they went about the transition from high school to college. they agreed that everyone learned to manage time and classes at there own pace. and that the part of the transition was that one has to realize you can not be part of every class and every activity. Learning to manage classes and activities is a part of college experience. I found all the answers very helpful and informative.If I have time later this week I will attend a different college session.
Mercedes Montelongo