Definition—Marvel

Appropriate hygiene is crucial to the reduction of infectious disease. We have all seen the signs on the bathroom door or next to the sink that reads “employees must wash hands.” This signifies that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recognizes the importance of washing your hands after using the restroom. If this sign is abided by, customers are put at ease when eating at their favorite restaurant or buying muffins from their local baker. Customers can be rest assured that they are not going to contract some vile food bourn illness that will knock them out of commission for days. We forget about the dish rag that has been used all day to wipe the counters, or the bench seats at the diner that haven’t been cleaned properly. There is a growing need to address the way we clean and the products we use to clean. This extends to the antibiotics we take to “clean” our bodies and the antibiotics we use to treat the animals we eat.

The invention of penicillin awarded Alexander Fleming the noble prize. Fleming warned during his acceptance speech that the overuse of antibiotics would lead to a decline in their effectiveness. This overuse happens when bacteria evolve to have stronger defenses against certain antibiotics. The overuse is dangerous because as we take more antibiotics, bacteria are getting stronger and more likely to have a defense against the very thing meant to kill them. Today we are seeing an increased awareness to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Immuno-compromised persons are at an increased risk due to their susceptibility to bacterial infection. This population consists of elderly and children as well as any person with an existing condition that would weaken their bodies ability to fight infection. Compounding these issues are those of improper hygiene among people that service these immune-compromised people.

According to The American Journal of Infection Control we should be taking a “risk-based approach” to hygiene. Knowing which cleaning products to use and when to use them is crucial to appropriate hygiene. Author, Sally F. Bloomfield says, “detergent-based cleaning can be used to break the chain of infection, in some cases an antimicrobial agent is required,” in an article titled, A Risk Assessment Approach to use of Antimicrobials in the Home to Prevent Spread of Infection. At one time the idea of using an antimicrobial  agent in the home was unnecessary but with a growing  immune-compromised populations that is receiving similar care in home as they once saw in a hospital it is becoming more crucial.This crucial step breaks the chain of the bacteria and allows for the person in contact with a once infected surface to know be safe from any bacterial infection. In addition to this step being crucial for the reduction of an infection, it also limits the use of antibiotics to treat an infection. By limiting the use of the antibiotics, we see a reduction in the risk for antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

Along with direct use of antibiotics in humans for treatment, the United States meat industry began using antibiotics both as a tool to keep animals from getting sick and as a tool to aid in weight gain. This practice is adding to the inappropriate hygiene practices. Maryn Mckenna writes in an article titled Drugs: gut response?, that “By saturating the environment with antibiotic residues, Blaser argues, we have effectively recreated that weight-gain programme in humans — and the result has been the seemingly unstoppable increase in obesity, especially in children.” This article is from the International Journal of Science. Mckenna is reviewing an article written by Martin J. Blaser on how the overuse of antibiotics is “Fueling our modern plagues”. Essentially, we are contaminating our food now with a product that was meant to treat infection. In doing so we are seeing a similar response in humans that these farmers see in their animals such as weight gain. Weight gain has many health repercussions on its own and now add to that the use of the antibiotics effecting efficiency when a person is ill. On top of the now sometimes inefficient antibiotics, Blaser discusses the idea that the overuse of antibiotics is destroying healthy benign bacteria that are necessary for normal, healthy, human function.

 

It appears that we are at a boiling point. With things like resistant bacteria and a growing immune-compromised population it is crucial that we begin to make strides in practicing appropriate hygiene. Don’t let that sign in the bathroom fool you. Just washing your hands is not enough. Appropriate hygiene goes beyond hand-washing.

 

 

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196655313000217

https://www.nature.com/articles/508182a

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20378852

Definition Essay- P1nk123456

Definition- Good Hair

Nappy, kinky, or curly; they are all descriptions of Black hair. Natural Black or African hair can range from a soft, ‘S’ shaped curl pattern to tightly curled hair and even to the tight, ‘Z’ shape cross-section of a kinky afro. Originating in Africa, kinky hair evolved for the dry heat by pushing away heat and moisture from the scalp. The relatively sparse density of Afro textured hair in combination with its spring-like coils results in a light, airy, almost sponge-like form. Jablonski states in her writing that it likely facilitates an increase in the circulation of cool air onto the scalp. This hair type should be appreciated as a biological advantage and not considered “bad hair”. A strong majority of Black people believe their natural hair is considered unprofessional or unattractive. The negative connotations of natural Black hair seem to be ingrained in our minds from a young age. With this, I believe that Black people do not wear their hair naturally because they have been taught for centuries to assimilate into White society.

Generations of Black people, specifically women, in America have dealt with the social struggle of meeting the ideal beauty standard in this country when it comes to their hair. The battle between not being White, but trying to look as though they fit in socially with the Eurocentric beauty standards of this country has impacted the hairstyle of Black people for decades. To understand the social struggles of Black Americas, one must look at the history of hair during the times of slavery. To look similar to the White people, African Americans developed a hierarchy imposed on themselves where those with lighter skin and straighter hair over those that reflected more African features were regarded as more attractive and appealing (Donaldson, 2018). This idea was internalized by African Americans and thus considered the beginning of the idea of “good hair” and colorism among Black people as slave owners would compare Black hair  “wool” and considered it inappropriate (Bryrd and Tharps, 2001, p. 26). To softer kinky hair texture, butter, bacon grease, and even kerosene were used in their hair (Vissa Studios, 2012). As damaging as this could be to the skin and hair, they were willing to do it to meet the expectations of the time.

Post emancipation, the idea of “good hair” grew stronger as African Americans wanted to be of a higher social status, as Eurocentric features were still considered ideal. It was hard enough to  prosper in a society while being considered second class, it was even harder without trying to have straighter hair and “to gain access to the American Dream one of the first things Black had to do was make White people more comfortable with their very presence (Bryd and Tharps, 2001, p.26). Black Americans continued to follow the double duty of investing in two things to “fix” their differences between them and the White side of society: Skin bleaching and hair straightening. These were the two remedies to fix their differences. This was when Black women, and some men, used hot combs and a harsh, alkaline chemical with lye known as relaxer to tame their hair. Relaxers are known to be damaging for the hair and scalp and causes breathing problems, but people still used them. At the time, Black women were seeking long straight hair that is flat, sleek, and shiny, which they consider “good hair”. As time went on, skin bleaching dramatically reduced as a practice, but still occurs, since it is has been seen as a ritual of self-hatred for their skin. Even though self-hatred is recognized, permanently altering hair texture continued to be a flourishing practice in Black communities and determine social status. Black people had to put effort into minimizing the difference between themselves and White people.

Even with that, permanently altering hair texture continued to be a flourishing practice in Black communities and determine social status.

During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, there was a new sense of identity among the Black communities. They started to appreciate the beauty of being Black and embodied the “Black is Beautiful” trend and as a reflection of Black pride (Davies, 2008). At the same time of this movement, it was more common for hair to be worn in its natural state as an untreated afro. Black Americans were rejecting the idea that they had to permanently alter themselves to assimilate and integrate into White America (Davies, 2008). Simultaneously, men and women were both realizing the afro style was easier to maintain without being costly or physically harmful.

On the other side, there were Black people that did not want to engage in the movement nor wanted to wear their hair in its natural state and “[c]onsequently, some African Americans begin to perceive some of their group members as not being “black enough” or not wanting to be identified as African American, which can lead to negative impacts on one’s self-esteem, and if persistent, may cause one to engage in self-hate” (Maurice, 2016). This caused another element of self-hate as these outsiders of the time were considered to not be Black enough or going against their people.

Towards the end of the 1970s, the afro because less of an empowering statement as the afro hairstyle started to become popular with people that were not Black. Instead, Black people started to style their hair with braids, cornrows, and straight weaves; all of which are still prevalent styles.

I know that it is a strong assumption to say that a lot of people that are White do not understand the concept of Black hair, but I have experienced the misconceptions and awkward interactions surrounded my hair. I believe that it is more ignorance and a lack of seeing natural hair than racism

 

References

Byrd, A., & Tharps, L. (2001). Hair story: Untangling the roots of Black hair in America. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Davies, Carole Boyce. Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. Vol. 1, ABC-CLIO, 2008.

Donaldson, Chanel. “Hair Alteration Practices Amongst Black Women and the Assumption of Self-Hatred.” NYU Steinhardt, Department of Applied Psychology, 2018, steinhardt.nyu.edu/appsych/opus/issues/2012/fall/hairalteration

Halder, Richard. “Structure and Function of Ethnic Skin and Hair.” Academia.edu, Dermatologic Clinic, 2003, http://www.academia.edu/6741767/Structure_and_function_of_ethnic_skin_and_hair.

JABLONSKI, NINA G. Skin: A Natural History. 1st ed., University of California Press, 2006. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pn8zt.

Maurice, Sheldon. “Factors That Contribute to Self-Hatred in African-Americans: A Focus on Identity.” Vol. 13, no. 1, Apr. 2016, pp. 17–27., doi:10.1037/e643792012-001.

https://www.derm.theclinics.com/article/S0733-8635(13)00125-3/pdf

THE POLITICS OF BLACK HAIR A Focus on Natural vs Relaxed Hair for African-Caribbean Women by Michael Barnett

../The Politics of Black Hair- A Focus on Natural vs. Relaxed Hair for Afrian- Caribbean Women.pdf

WHY AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN TRY TO OBTAIN ‘GOOD HAIR’ Whitney Bellinger University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

WHY AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN TRY TO OBTAIN ‘GOOD HAIR’ Whitney Bellinger University of Pittsburgh at Bradford

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-textured_hair

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeXUm8OOUA8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0DgVijM7Z8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxQGXmEVw-4&t=470s

Definition- 3g

Not many things can mystify the mind like black holes do. When examined in depth, black holes aren’t all that confusing. Thanks to the discoveries of physicists, we have a pretty good hold on what black holes are, and how they function.  First, though, one must know the basics of the physics that we apply to black holes.

Gravity is the essence of black holes. Gravity is a well known force, as it has an enormous effect on the earth and everything on it. The factors that effect the force of gravity are the universal gravitational constant, the mass of said planet and the radius of said planet. Therefore, the gravitational force is different on each planet, not taking into account that distance between planets which also effects their gravitational pull on eachother. The force of gravity on earth is equivalent to about 9.8 meters per second squared. That is equal to the acceleration at which objects are pulled back down to earth. As a more advanced way of thinking of gravity, Tia Ghose defines it in What Is Gravity as: “the consequence of the fact that matter warps space-time.”

Now that there is a general understanding of what gravity actually is, lets examine how gravity works within a black hole and what a black hole actually is. Black holes form by the death of stars. When they die, most stars will just form white dwarfs, but the largest of stars will become black holes. These stars will quite literally go out with a bang, exploding and leaving behind nothing but their stellar core. The remnants of the star will then collapse in on itself, thus creating a black hole.

Black holes are essentially invisible on the black canvas of the universe, but their intense gravitation pull and it’s effect on the stars around it gives away the location. Though these elusive beings are depicted as a huge danger to the universe, and to our own planet, there is no need to be alarmed. As National Geographic explains in Black Holes 101, “if our sun was suddenly replaced by a black hole of similar mass, our planetary family would continue to orbit unperturbed, if much less warm and illuminated.” Our own milky way is out of the way of danger of any impending black holes.

The physics that we apply to black holes are governed by Einstein’s field equations. These equations stem from Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Simply, a “black hole,” isn’t a hole at all, but rather a singular point of such large gravitational pull that no object within the event horizon could ever gain enough velocity to escape its gravitational force. The event horizon is, as the author of What is a Black Hole explains, “the last distance from which light can escape the pull of the black hole. Inside the event horizon, everything, including light, must move inward, getting crushed at the centre.” Some theorize that a black hole could be used as a worm hole if entering only the event horizon in just the right way.

The gravitation pull of black holes is so intense that it even warps spacetime. Every mass in space slightly alters spacetime, almost like a dent. Think of spacetime as elastic, the heavier the object, the more of a dent it makes. Planets like earth make a small dent, but it is nothing in comparison to that of a supermassive black hole. This effect can actually be visible, Robert Britt describes and example of this in Einstein’s Warped View of Space Confirmed, “In observations of activity around black holes in 1997, researchers noted that gasses spiraling into the black hole wobbled, or precessed, like a top.” Unusual motions can also been seen of light when entering a black hole. In fact, the entire view of the universe is warped when looking at it from the view of the black hole.

As stated before, though black holes can sound very intimidating, there is nothing to fear. It is common knowledge that the milky way has its very own supermassive black hole at its center, and studies suggest that there are thousands more joining it. Nell Greenfieldboyce states in Center of Milky Way Has Thousands of Black Holes, Study Shows: “Their calculations show that there must be several hundred more black holes paired with stars in the galactic center, and about 10,000 isolated black holes.” These entities though, do not negatively effect the earth because we are lightyears away from their event horizons, and essentially out of danger.

Over the past decades, scientists have made incredible strides researching black holes, and there is plenty more to come. No on can really what is to come of further black hole research, but there is hope that black holes could be an essential piece of the puzzle when explaining how the universe began and how the universe will end. If that is the case, this research could change he course of history dramatically. Scientists are also diving further into the idea of wormholes and harnessing them for the use of time travel. Using Einstein’s rules of general relativity, many have theorized the existence of entities called “white holes.” A better explanation is given by Jessica Krall and Jessica Felhofer in The Future of Black Holes, ” The idea of wormholes first came from the idea of white holes. The equations of general relativity have an interesting mathematical property: they are symmetric in time. This means that you can take any solution to the equations and imagine that time flows backwards rather than forwards, and you will get another valid solution to the equations. If you apply this rule to the solution that describes black holes, you receive a white hole. Since a black hole is a region of space from which nothing can escape, the time-reversed version of a black hole is a region of space into which nothing can fall. So, just as a black hole sucks things in after they pass the event horizon, a white hole would spit these things out.” The future of black holes is more than promising and could mold the future of not just this planet, or the milky way, but the future of the entire universe.

References

“Black Holes.” Physics For Idiots, physicsforidiots.com/space/black-holes/.

“Black Holes, Explained.” What Is a Black Hole?, 25 Sept. 2018, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/universe/black-holes/.

Ghose, Tia. “What Is Gravity?” LiveScience, Purch, 3 June 2013, http://www.livescience.com/37115-what-is-gravity.html.

Greenfieldboyce, Nell. “Center Of The Milky Way Has Thousands Of Black Holes, Study Shows.” NPR, NPR, 4 Apr. 2018, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/04/599437677/new-study-shows-the-center-of-the-milky-way-has-thousands-of-black-holes.

Britt, Robert Roy. “Einstein’s Warped View of Space Confirmed.” Space.com, Space.com, 8 Mar. 2016, http://www.space.com/456-einstein-warped-view-space-confirmed.html.

Krall, Jessica, and Jessica Felhofer. “The Future of Black Holes.” The Future of Black Holes, http://www.felhofer.com/blackholes.htm.

Definition- Flowers3399

There are many mental health disorders that can affect everyday life for people. One mental health disorder is anxiety. Anxiety can happen at any time and can make it hard to do daily activities. There are ways to treat and find relief from the suffering. With the use of smoking weed those who suffer from anxiety could receive the same relief as they do with pharmaceuticals.

Over the years pharmaceuticals have become held at a high standard for effectiveness when relieving suffering. However, medications side effects can sometimes cloud the effectiveness. Pharmaceuticals are used a great amount when helping with anxiety. Some of the medications can cause more harm than good when it comes to finding relief from anxiety. Over time the medicine can have negative long-term effects. According to the article, “What You Need to Know About Anxiety Medication: Pros and Cons,” the cons of using anxiety medicine are as followed: “Highly addictive when used for long-term treatment, dangerous withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, anxiety, physical cravings, long-term use can hamper brain function.” Anxiety medications can be more harmful than helpful. Pharmaceuticals are not the only treatment that can be used for relief from anxiety.  

Marijuana can be used in different ways and for different reasons. When it comes to relieving anxiety it can be just as effective as pharmaceuticals. Smoking marijuana allows for the body to become relaxed. For it to be effective in relieving anxiety there has to be a limit to how much you smoke. In an experiment done by scientists, they came to the conclusion on what strands and how much is the most effective for helping with anxiety. In the article, “Scientific Guidelines for using Cannabis to Treat Stress, Anxiety and Depression,” the author states: “two puffs of any type of cannabis was sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety.” There is a limit on how much to smoke for the THC is to be effective in helping with anxiety. Marijuana is another effective treatment that can help relieve those suffering from anxiety.         

Pharmaceuticals and marijuana could both be seen as an effective way to help those suffering from anxiety. However, one is more effective than the other. Pharmaceuticals can tend to be more expensive than marijuana. Taking medications for a long period of time can eventually lead to addiction because the body will develop a tolerance. This would have a negative effect on relieving anxiety. The article “What You Need to Know About Anxiety Medication: Pros and Cons” explains what happens when one becomes addicted to anxiety medicine: “This can result in panic attacks, tremors, headaches, insomnia, sweating, and ironically, increased anxiety.” The medication can wine up causing more anxiety instead of helping with it. Withdrawal from the medicine can also have an effect on helping with anxiety. Marijuana would be a better treatment for those suffering from anxiety.  

Overall, there are many treatments to help relieve anxiety. Those treatments being pharmaceuticals, therapy, marijuana, and etc. The most effective treatment would be marijuana. Smoking marijuana can help reduce anxiety just as effective as pharmaceuticals. However, marijuana is not a cure for reducing anxiety, in fact, there is no cure when it comes to helping those with anxiety. Since marijuana is just as effective as pharmaceuticals it could become the main way to help reduce anxiety. Which in the end would allow for pharmaceuticals to not be held at such a high standard and could eventually lead to them not being needed at all.

                                                        References

Author, Guest. What You Need to Know About Anxiety Medication: Pros and Cons. 21 May 2018, http://www.rtor.org/2018/05/22/anxiety-medication-pros-and-cons/.

Scientific Guidelines for Using Cannabis to Treat Stress, Anxiety and Depression.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 19 Apr. 2018, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180419100110.htm.

Definition Essay- PeterBomersbach

Kids Should Not Be Allowed to Play Violent Video Games

Kids have been taken over lately with the distraction of video games which gets in the way of their social and educational life. Violent video games thrown in to the mix makes it even worse due to changing of behaviors such as aggression and thought process which later has great effects on their mental health. Parents need to pay attention to their kids in which they know what game they are playing and for how long because it can easily get out of hand. Nothing good comes from kids Violent video games except wasting good time to focus on school or have a social life.

An article “Study confirms link between violent video games and physical aggression,” written by the author Mike Snider says, “An international study looking at more than 17,000 adolescents, ages nine to 19, from 2010 to 2017, found playing violent video games led to increased physical aggression over time.” This study shows that there is a direct correlation with violent video games and kid’s aggressive behavior towards others. Video games such as Call of Duty and GTA are perfect axmples of violent video games kids should stay away from and parents should be aware of. My brother Nicholas gets very agitated when he plays violent video games such as Call of Duty because it’s a violent video game and aggressive actions are portrayed toward his friends or family.

Violent video games have more of an effect on just children’s bahvior but other tings such as emotions and exposure to graphic images like gore and shooting. Authors Lauren Goldbeck and Alex Pew wrote an article, “Violent Video Games and Aggression,” which states, “In 2017, the APA Task Force on Violent Media concluded that violent video game exposure was linked to increased aggressive behaviors, thoughts, and emotions, as well as decreased empathy.” This explains violent video games lead to decreased empathy due to increased exposure to blood and gore, violent language etc.. Thoughts and emotions can lead to mental health problems as a kid grows up which can be deadly to the family if not taken care properly.

Violent video games can easily be avoided by played the correctly rated game and with a managed time for other activities like playing sports or hanging out with friends. If kids dedicate their lives to video games in general they have a very small chance of going somewhere with that as a career. There are plenty of other opportunities to take on at such a young age, they can’t let it damage their mind at this young when that have so much to live for.

Citations:

Goldbeck, L., & Pew, A. (2018, March 27). Violent Video Games and Aggression. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from http://www.center4research.org/violent-video-games-can-increase-aggression/

Snider, M. (2018, October 1). Study confirms link between violent video games and physical aggression. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/1486188002

 

 

Definition– BeezKneez

Water on Tap

It seems that every person you look at in today’s world has a bottle of water with them. Many people drink bottled water because they believe it is safer than their tap water. Unfortunately, many consumers are not educated about the regulations surrounding the water going into the bottles. In many cases your home’s tap water is actually safer for consumption. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water as a packaged food and has established standards for good manufacturing practices of processing and bottling drinking water. Bottled water manufacturers are not required to disclose the location of the source where the water in the bottle was obtained from. According to the FDA, “Bottled water is described as water thats intended for human consumption and sealed in bottles or other containers with no added ingredients, except that it may contain a safe and suitable antimicrobial agent.” The FDA classifies some bottled water by the origins of Artesian wells, Mineral water, Spring water, and Well water. In fact, some bottled water comes from municipal sources which is the same source as tap water. Before it is bottled, municipal water is usually treated and can be labeled as “purified water” if it has gone through the process of distillation, reverse osmosis, absolute one micron filtration, or ozonation. The FDA is finessing the entire country of America to believe that bottled water is better than tap water. Until today, I was not aware that bottled water is a billion dollar industry that the United States economy could probably not afford to lose. So they are deceiving all of us to make us think that tap water is not good for us when in actuality it is held to higher purification standards than bottled water. The only difference is that you do not have to pay for the water coming out of your home faucet unless you have an annual water bill. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets drinking water standards for tap water provided by public water suppliers. The EPA requires water testing by certified laboratories and all violations must be reported within a designated time frame. Municipal water systems must also provide reports to the consumers including the source of the water and evidence of any contaminates. This was originally established by the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. Since then there has been multiple amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA determines safe levels of contaminates in our drinking water and based on these safe level decisions, the FDA can either adopt these standards or ignore them. 

(I know this is no where near 1,000 words)

Definition- jokerthefool

In order to use Google Trends to analyze violent shootings in America, we need to become linguists. Google Trends is a tool that allows one to view how often certain phrases or words are searched through google, over a period of time. Linguist study how society uses words, how often these words are used, and how language changes over time. Google  Trends is a way to narrow key words and see how often they are used. The study of key words changing over time is called diachronic analysis. Google Trends is a type of this analysis , and in fact it’s the best way to examine how violent shootings blamed on violent media effect search trends.

To show that analyzing Google Trends is a type of diachronic analysis, we need to know what makes up a diachronic analysis. There are three major pieces for this analysis. Two of them are “corpus 1,…and a formula for ranking how interesting each work is,” according to Adam Kilgarriff in “DIACRAN: a framework for diachronic analysis.” The last piece are the key-words being studied. Viewing search trends with Google Trends actually has all of these pieces necessary to be a diachronic analysis.

The key-words are the easiest piece to see. I stumbled across the keys-words by pursuing one thought “Violent media does not cause violent crimes.” This is a conclusion that has been reached time and time again through countless studies. However, what I found odd is that shootings like the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, or the Parkland shooting in February 2017, were both blamed on violent media (more specifically video games), despite that conclusion.  When pursuing why this was the case I stumbled across Google Trends. I was curious as to when people were searching for terms like “gun control”, “ violent shooting”, and “mental health.”  Unbeknownst to me, these were the key words in my own diachronic analysis. Google Trends shows all of its data as line graphs, that have dips and spikes depending on how often a term is searched. When searching a term like “gun control” there are notable spikes in December 2012, and February 2017, around the time that the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings happened. This was the first step in my diachronic analysis.

The second piece is the corpus. A corpus is a random body of text that’s being examined for the study. Normally its used to see often the key-words come up. This information can be used in turn to note how often words are used, and what words are going out of linguistic style. Usually its noted how often the key-word appears out of 1 million words. In our case with Google Trends, we can compare how interested google users are in our key-words to more common phrases like “sports”. This is not a new process by any means and has been done numerous times by analysts, and journalist alike. Data journalist Simon Rogers explains on “Google News Lab” that “to get a sense of relative size, we can add additional terms, which helps put that search interest into perspective…” This creates a scale for our key word which can act as our corpus. Now Google Trends have numbers out of 100 that rank how interested google users are in topics. In December of 2012 the term “sports” was given an interest rank of 92, while “shooting” was given a interest rank of 95.  Meaning that google users were more interested in shootings compared to sports, a national past time in America. The term “sports” remains relatively constant throughout the years with a pretty constant interest which helps us use it as our “corpus”, or a means of comparison.

Finally, we needs a means of gauging how interesting each word is. Now as stated before, we have an actual means of measuring how interested the public is in each phrase when comparing phrases to one another. However, we need to decide what phrases are most suited for the purpose of analyzing the blame of violent crimes on media, on search trends. One thing to note is that the Las Vegas shooting is a bit of an outlier. Despite not being blamed on violent media, it is one of the top ten things searched on google in 2017. It’s being included as a means of measuring how interesting our media blamed shootings are to google users, compared to it. “Shooting” is a good baseline, but we see spikes at multiple places when big incidents happened but most notably around the times of the Las Vegas, Parkland, and Sandy Hook shootings. “Gun control” is a much weaker phrase as around the time of these crimes there was only a interest rating of 3-5 (compared to sports 80-90 rating).  Other terms like “mental health”, “mass murder”, “video games”, “violence”, all have rantings anywhere from less than 1 to 5 around these times. All of these words were compared against sports. However, once we begin to compare these terms to each other, we start to see small jumps in the phrase “video games” around the times of the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings. Now these jumps are small (only going from around 4 up to 9 and 10 when compared to shootings), but there is still an increase. This has identified three key phrases to our analysis  “shootings”, “video games”, and “gun control”. Logically, these phrases make the most sense since they have to do with the topic at hand, but the relationship between these topics could provide insight into when/why google users show interest in certain topics.

All in all, using Google Trends is just another means of conducting a diachronic analysis. It has all  the necessary components to be considered one. It’s not a brand new means of analyzing data by any means, but it can potentially grant insight into the relationship between blaming violent crimes on media and search trends of google users.

References:

Kilgarriff, Adam, et al. “DIACRAN: A Framework for Diachronic Analysis.” Lexical Computing, 2013.

Ramat, Anna Giacalone, et al. Synchrony and Diachrony: a Dynamic Interface. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2013, books.google.com/books?id=YdnA6nBjXjAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn:9027272077&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQj6TkzY7eAhUyTd8KHQIXBiAQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.

Rogers, Simon. “What Is Google Trends Data – and What Does It Mean?” Medium, Google News Lab, 1 July 2016, medium.com/google-news-lab/what-is-google-trends-data-and-what-does-it-mean-b48f07342ee8.