10 MAY 2012

This is a video about Cranbrook:

This is a video of Haslett, MI . It's the town I grew up in:

This is a video of Detroit:

The second video portrays Detroit as very negative and dangerous. It emphasizes poverty and unemployment. The video about Haslett doesn't really try to portray the town as anything.

Cranbrook, meanwhile, just looks pretty.

APRIL 18TH 2012


I learned that trench warfare was extremely dangerous. It was harmful physically (gunshot wounds were both self and enemy-inflicted, plus infections from mud) and psychologically to the fighters. And a lot of the leaders were suckish.


This poster is trying to convince the English that Belgium people are cruel, evil barbarians. The poster says that the Englishmen "saved" England from the Huns a while ago and that now is the time to honor them by striking against the enemies.

This is a good propaganda poster because it glorifies the people it is trying to enlist and it dehumanizes the enemy.

5 April 2012



b) Social Darwinism: the belief that society (as with nature) naturally moves from simplicity to complexity or from homogenous to heterogeneous.

c) Obama's definition of Social Darwinism does not fall in line with Herbert Spencer's "definition" of it, which is not surprising seeing as Spencer proposed his theories of progress before Darwin even published The Origin of Species. Modern-day understanding of this concept is different from what Spencer proposed, and it is not just Obama's usage that demonstrates this. A Washington Post article says that the term, "has ties in the past to the rationalization of inequality ... as well as to the eugenics movement and the idea that those who are unfit should not be allowed to propagate," and another magazine explains that Mitt Romney demonstrated this concept when he said that "People should get what they deserve. A person who contributes more to society deserves a higher income that reflects those greater contributions. Society permits him that higher income not just to incentivize him, as it does according to utilitarian theory, but because that income is rightfully his." Obama's words aren't a case of misusage, but rather using a term that had a very different meaning about 150 years ago than it does now.

20 February 2012



Detroit Statistics:
713,777 - total population.
81.9% of the population is black.
36.4% of the population is beneath the poverty level.
11.5% of the population is over 64.

Bloomfield Hills Statistics:
3,869 - total population.
86.2% of the population is black.
$104,986 - median household income in 2009.
29.7% of the population is over 64.

Detroit has more widespread poverty than Bloomfield Hills, and living conditions are likely worse because less of the population lives past 64 years of age. A reason for this could be the difference between the city and the suburbs. Also, Detroit is mostly black while Bloomfield Hills is mostly white, giving the citizens of Bloomfield Hills institutional privilege over citizens of Detroit in a race-oriented system.

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This image depicts the Byzantium empire at the time of the death of Justinian I (565). Note that many Roman cities, such as Athens, were preserved and honored under Byzantine rule. Constantinople, the capitol of Byzantium, was founded by Constantine, and after its destruction in 1453 by the Turks it was recreated as Istanbul.


This image represents what the first article, Islam Needs to Prove It's a Religion of Peace, claimed Islam is like (i.e., claiming to be peaceful but actually being very violent).


This image represents what the second article, Struggle in Islam, described as what is happening in the Islamic world. Basically, the majority of Muslims, who are largely peaceful people, need to prove and defend the fact that their religion is not one of violence.

The Burqa Controversy Video Project
A)I learned more about the politics and religious ideals surrounding the burqa and I learned that the intensity of emotions surrounding it can be extreme.

B) I edited the video and found clips and pictures.

C) We wanted to demonstrate how some people feel very strongly about it from a religious perspective and how some people feel strongly about it from a political perspective. Many people involved in the debate do so from solely a cultural, religious, or political perspective, which is demonstrated in out video.




These two images show how the population is increasing more rapidly in urban areas, while rural areas are more quickly deprived of the necessities.

This is a sculpture of Mary and Jesus, and it shows that some people's religiosity intensified during the Renaissance.


This is a bingo card showing memorable painters of the Renaissance. During this time period, the arts flourished magnificently.

26th January 2012 - AFGHANISTAN


  1. Their economy struggles as well. The GDP is only $900.
  2. One of the reasons the economy is struggling is lack of resources brought on my environmental decline.
  3. The Taliban enforced extremely gender rules, and life for women is especially uneasy. The literacy rate is 8% overall, but it is at a 43% rate for man compared to a 13% rate for women, and CultureGrams rated it the 141th country for women's rights, out of 155.
  4. The Taliban affected access to medical service. The CultureGrams country profile says: "Medical services are extremely limited. Hospitals are found only in some cities, and these lack heat, qualified staff, medicine, and equipment. ... Rural areas completely lack modern medical care. Only international aid groups offer some services. People who can afford to do so go to India or Pakistan for medical treatment. Children are undernourished, and many die before they turn one year old. Water is not safe."
  5. Much Afghan culture (art, music, religious art, scientific and technological advancements) was lost under the Taliban.
  6. In Afghanistan, the life expectancy is 44 years.

The main reason that Afghanistan is in the state it is in now is war. The Taliban in particular decreased quality of life immensely for citizens.

Afghanistan is also landlocked in an uneasy truce with its neighbors, notably Pakistan, with whom it's had several border attacks with in the past view years. The graph below shows that most of the deaths of Afghan civilians occurred on or near the Afghan-Pakistan boarder.


Afghanistan is currently in a period of reconstruction from the Taliban rule. However, prospects are looking fairly grim. Western involvement has not been helping much, especially the work of military troops. Also, pro-Taliban terrorist attacks have been immensely harmful. Aforementioned environmental decline and internal tension has been staving off foreign investors. These factors show that for the next few decades, the situation in Afghanistan will not likely improve.









Women play a huge role in the development of a country, and the work of Oxfam International is helping to get Afghanistan's women on their feet. The article linked to above reveals how women's lives are slowly improving in this Middle Eastern country. The writer of this article, Malalai Momand, has been working for the past few years in as a social organizer, bringing aid to people in some of the poorest villages in the Shar-i-Buzurg district. She has helped women set up bakeries, given them seeds to grow fresh vegetables for the family, and helped provide clean water in over 75 villages. "Every day I can see that we're helping people," she remarks.

8 February 2012
Morals of the Industrial Revolution – Exercise

The picture above and to the left describes ideals of Andrew Carnegie’s The Gospel of Wealth (1889). Carnegie argues that it is the moral duty of the rich to donate to the poor. The picture to the right was found in response to Friederich Engels’s Industrial Manchester (1844). This work attempted to describe “the filth, ruin, and uninhabitableness, the defiance of all considerations of cleanliness, ventilation, and health” of Manchester. Engel blames the “industrial epoch” for the state of the city.

However, the key to avoiding situations like this is not to halt industrialization, but rather to reform industry in order to be better for the people. While what Carnegie proposes will not solve industrial problems, it is at least a step forward. For rich people to not take pride in their wealth and donate to the less fortunate, we make small but important steps to a more privilege-aware future.