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FINAL- Retrospective Assignment December 16, 2011

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Celebration of ending and new beginning- Coast to Coast!

Celebration of ending and new beginning- Coast to Coast!

Creative English with proper grammar and audience capturing are not key areas of focus for my Computer Science major.  As programmers, we are encouraged to be very protective and diligent with our program writings or “code” in the lingo which is private and read by other programmers only if the original developer allows it.  If someone else wants to know my work, they have to read and understand my superficial and technical explanations. I was very worried about taking an English writing class, because of my deficiency on grammar, sentence structure and connection with my audience.  I was reluctant about taking English 414, but now I am happy with the improvements and growth as a writer. My post, “Extreme Shooting Pain” written almost at the end of the semester when compared to “3 Blogs- Education, Fun and Boxing Granny” from the beginning shows great improvement in style, grammar, and connection with the reader.

I had not taken an English class for a very long time, so, for my initial posts grammar was a major problem .  Teacher’s and group’s comments together with the class grammar presentations and exercises helped me to improve my sentence structure.  Early on in the semester, I didn’t introduce my sources and links properly; I merely listed the links with un-explained facts such as, “This type of treatment is to help stop the replication of the HIV virus in a non-HIV person.  This treatment has to start within 72 hours of the exposure, and it is usually one pill per day for 28 days. The site, aids.gov, explain current statistics and treatment of HIV/Aids“.  I had no previous experience on blogging; consequently, the media I included was either irrelevant, over powering or nonexistent. Following the teacher’s suggestions and visiting blogs outside our class gave me a broader understanding on how to make my blog interesting and engaging.

On later posts I let go of my dried out Computer Science writing style and decided to connect with my readers on a more personal level.  I stayed focused to my blog topic, 3D Imaging Technology; however, I decided to introduce personal and family events and experiences to help the reader identify with me.  The enjoyment and fluidity of my posts increased as I started to include myself and others’ ideas and experiences and not just cold hard  facts on the subject of 3D.   Providing a greater range of details, such as “The snow was coming down hard, the streets were very slippery and impossible to drive, trees and branches were breaking and falling on the middle of the streets and on tops of cars breaking windows and windshields” gave my readers an almost live image of my ideas and surroundings.. This prompted students questions and discussions which I think improved our overall communication skills.  Later, posts included less media but with more relevance to my writing making it almost possible for the reader to understand my message based on the media alone.  Providing pictures and videos where people were being examined and were either happy or in distress, helped my audience to understand my exigence and be less confrontational with the points that I wanted to get across.  After learning from in-class exercises and lectures on how to identify the person of interests and their relevance or concern to my ideas and suggestions, I started to provide the “so what” and “who cares” within my texts.  Objectively editing our own posts was hard, but once I accomplished it I was able to edit this passage “it is Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) and …  Studies have shown that PCS affect a great number of children ages 8 to 16 and is less frequent on adults.  However, parents and adults in general should not take chest pain lightly because it could very well be a heart attack and die for not seeking medical attention”  which now included the “so what” and “who cares”.  The improvements and satisfaction from this class included much more than just better English writing.

Students were allowed to choose and present the class material which improved skills on analyzing, speech, public speaking, and group interaction.  Not only was I diligent on analyzing and posting my chosen essay, but also careful on my tone of voice, body posture, pronunciation, and my class engagement style when presenting in front of the class.  This is the first time I have enjoyed an English writing class and part of it was due to the incorporation of blogging. Even though publishing online added more pressure to writing properly, knowing that we were reaching a greater audience made it exciting and rewarding.  I feel much more confident now at posting my ideas on blogs and I am more likely to use blog references on future research.  On future blogs, I would try to be more diverse on my topics of interest in the aim to reach a wider audience but also keep true to the blog’s main purpose.  There is still room for improving on my grammar and discrimination of relevant information on my writings, but I feel much more confident after taking this class and practicing rhetorical analysis, sentence structure, commas, semicolons, transitions, etc.  Further, I was exposed to various writing styles and ideas without being forced to commit to one’s ideology or purpose, whether from the teacher or writer. The methods taught in class allowed or further enhanced creativity and objectivity on my own writings.  I am truly amazed and glad for the amount of my personal skills learned and improved durring this English class.  I will apply these enhanced skills while conducting online research for writing and presenting in future course work or perhaps the work place.

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Atomic bomb to identify cancers! December 9, 2011

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Throughout the semester my blog’s focus has discussed the need and usage of 3D technology to improve our health system and making this technology more affordable worldwide.  At the beginning I intended to present software and techniques to understand and develop our own 3D programs or basic simulations, but my goal changed along the way.  As I learned more about my classmates and my blog group, I realized that I had the responsibility to present my ideas and presenting it in a way that was suitable to their understanding and interest.  Unless they were programmers they wouldn’t be interested on how the technology was developed, instead I decided to present, as honest as possible, the usage, benefits, responsibility, and accessibility of each 3D technology examined.  Because every individual  should have the ability and responsibility to present, accept or reject any new technology, I have decided to incorporate my post, 3D Medical Scanning Machines and the class essay, The Future Is Now chosen by Karen to broader our understanding of radiation.

I present 3D scanning technology as a means of improving people’s lives. Further we’ll explore Katherine Anne Porter’s essay on the use of the atomic bomb against Japan as a means of destruction and general lack of responsibility. Porter, in her essay, The Future is Now questions the implications and consequences of technological advancements and the liabilities and motives of the people involved.  She refers to the “lunatic atomic bomb” as a weapon to subjugate the world and keep its inhabitants in fear and desperation.  She finds guilt and liability on the droppers, makers, and formula writers of the Atomic Bomb.  I agree that scientists should be liable for the developing of technology that purposely endanger life and the eco-health of our Planet.  However, it is not possible to stop technological advancements when curiosity is part of our DNA, we can only enforce proper judgment and safety.  On my findings I clearly report that most of these 3D scanning systems use some level of radiation; however, the small amount of radiation used is for identifying afflictions in our bodies. Now we have a better understanding of our concerns about the dangers of electromagnetic radiations and nuclear radiation medicine involved on body scans as supposed to what doctors and technicians knew back in the late 1800s when they first started to use X-radiation.  We know that radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays can cause great tissue damage that can ultimately turn into cancers and tumors; therefore, scientists and developers use only a small and controlled amount of radiation on body scanning systems.

Katherine is a visionary in that despite the fear of more nuclear weapons, she believes that the then chaotic society would reach the moon and the stars.  She foresaw great advancement on current and future technology; however, she questions the lack of compassion and care when she says, “We take with apparent calmness the news of death of millions”.  I have criticized on many occasions on my blog and other means, that the whole purpose of technological advancement should be the wellbeing of everyone especially when it involves healthcare.  I am not opposed to the idea that some people’s wallets will get fatter with the invention or modification of technology, but the ultimate goal should be the improvement of life for the human race.  Porter being a realistic visionary compromised with her questions, if “the human race should have gone on sitting in caves gnawing raw meat and beating each other over the head with the bones?”  The irony or paradox is on the embracement of technological advancements; even though, it might end up hurting us.  Very often science breakthroughs are a result of ideas from creative minds that present futuristic scenarios on writings, TV, and movies. Some of my blogs ideas about 3D scanning imaging and holographic technology come from Star Trek, a science fiction series on TV.  Some people might say that my approach or ideas are unrealistic or uninteresting, but we are a collection of capable minds of which a great number of possibilities can flourish to accomplish our goal, the well being of the human race.

Is it a Bullet or a Plane? No! It is Superman with healthy Lungs! December 2, 2011

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You’re running like a crazy person on the middle of the sidewalk with your hair blowing up in the air and your backpack or purse is flapping against your body as you chase down the Muni bus. The action scene described here will likely astonish other San Francisco commuters who may be watching you.  Here’s another scenario for you; you’re rushing through airport security dragging your carryon bag and pushing other travelers out of the way trying to make your flight. Now, someone could alert airport security to chase and tackle you down. You take deep breaths and hold the air in your lungs in order to exhale it with a high opera note, this could damage people’s hearing if your voice is not well developed yet.  The mere fact that you can accomplish these exercises is a good indicator that your lungs are working properly.  The problem could be when without any extreme activity, one starts having shortness of breath, prolonged coughing, excess fluids in your lungs, swelling and pain in your chest, and dizziness which can all be attributed to a variety of lung problems.

I know, its scary and gross...but it is reality of Lung Cancer!

Lung cancer or lung disease is a leading cause of death in the United States and unfortunately we don’t have a very effective treatment or cure yet.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention black males are in the highest risk bracket of suffering from lung cancer followed by white males, then white females. Hispanic females are shown to be on the lowest risk category according to the statistics.  California is among the states with one of the lowest rates of lung cancer conversely central and southern states have the highest rates.  As we get older the chances of suffering from lung cancer increases with causes ranging from smoking, radon gas, asbestos, and genetics as contributing factors for this disease.  Even though we don’t have a highly effective treatment or cure yet, early detection increases the chances of survival.
Lung Screening and testing is still sort of complicated and prone to errors.  The problem lies on the type of technology used in the screening process.  Normally to take a good reading, scan, or image of our organs; it is vital that said organ remains motionless. This is extremely hard to do since we need to breathe which results in the contraction and expansion of the lung tissues. Conventional lung scanning or X-ray is not very efficient in detecting lung cancer or tumors at an early enough stage to treat it effectively.  With the previously mentioned scanning technology, the tumor has to reach the size of an orange before it can be fully detected and diagnosed.  People with lung cancer typically die within 5 years. Those with early detection and treatment have a 70% to 80% chance of not dying within the first 2 years of diagnosis. The three most popular methods of detecting lung cancer are: Chest X-rays , Sputum cytologySpiral CT scan. The Spiral (Helical) Computed Tomography is one of the newest and affordable technologies for lung and chest scanning.  It costs around $300.00. It seems expensive but when we are having trouble breathing, $300.00 can be life saving.  This process again uses X-ray imaging and 3D technology.  This is a more effective cancer scanning test because it takes images of the lung with supper fast speed so the patient doesn’t have to stop breathing while doing this scan.  It is also able to scan the entire chest and lungs in a very short period of time causing the least amount of stress on patients.  Further, it can provide thousands of images for technicians and doctors to analyze and come up with more accurate diagnosis and treatment.  This improved screening and detecting technology may not assure ones surviving lung cancer but it will help to detect the cancer early enough so that proper treatment can be taken thus increasing ones chances of extended life.