More on Soul Eater

•December 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well, I’m really loving this show, but I can’t review it because the series is still going. Right now, Soul Eater is up to 37 episodes, and I’m waiting for the English subs to come out. And, while I’m waiting, I thought I would rant a little about how much I enjoy the show.

My favorite characters so far would have to be Maka, Soul, and Stein. Maka is the leading lady, so to speak; she’s the female protagonist and a scythe technician. Soul is Maka’s weapon and partner; he’s the male protagonist and a demon scythe. They probably quarrel more than other partners, but I think they care about each other more, too. Now, Stein is this crazy scientist/doctor guy who, by recent episodes, is going insane. I will not disclose why, because that would be releasing  spoilers~! Anyway, the reason why I love this guy is simply that he’s supposedly a “genius technician” and because I love insanity. I think it’s amusing.  :)

And so,  I end my rant. Goodbye for now.  ;D

Currently Watching: Soul Eater

•November 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Genre: action / fighting / supernatural
Setting: Earth / Death City
Special Groups/Powers: weapons, weapon technicians, shinigami, witches
Selling Point
: unique battle concept, unusual art/graphics, interesting storyline

souleater

No review yet; I haven’t finished the series. But — haha! This show is really fun to watch~! The humor is really quite juvenile, but… but it’s hilarious. C: Some parts of this anime seem blatantly Naruto-ish (one particular character comes to mind as I write this), but it’s overall very different from Naruto… thank goodness. For one thing, the battles are fun to watch, and they don’t drag on for 127862732612+ episodes at a time. The animation of this series is also very good. It’s not so much that it’s extremely high-quality (though, again, it’s very good), but that the animation seems to fit the series well. The character designs are interesting as well. Of course, it’s the characters’ personalities themselves that make them wonderful and likeable. There are…

Ah. Wait just one moment. I’m not supposed to review yet.

So! My impression of the series so far is that it’s a lot of fun to watch. When I’m done watching (don’t know how many episodes there are — more than 30, I think ), I’ll write a proper review. Until then~! x)

3: Different Perspectives & Approaches

•September 15, 2008 • 1 Comment

–> Ultra quick half-post! <–

* Will finish posting at another time…

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Levels of analysis – complementary outlooks on psychological theory

Biopsychosocial Approach: considers the influences of biological, psychological, and social-cultural factors on the human mind + behavior

>> Biological
+ genetic predispositions
+ genetic mutations
+ natural selection of adaptive physiology + behaviors
+ genes responding to environment

>> Psychological
+ learned fears + other expectations
+ emotional responses
+ cognitive processing + perceptual interpretations

>> Social-Cultural
+ presence of others
+ cultural, social, + familial expectations
+ peer/other group influences
+ compelling models (such as media)

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To be continued…

2: Bodies of Psychological Theory

•September 8, 2008 • 1 Comment

I decided to separate the info into more sections, so as to prevent the manifestation of menacing giagantor posts. xD

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(1879)
Famous Person: Wilhelm Wundt, “father of psychology”; created the first laboratory to study humans
Belief: structuralism
+ thoughts were individual units, rather than a connected stream
+ emphasis on brain’s structure
+ each physical sensation triggered a particular emotion; people respond similarly to the same stimuli
Contributions:
+ first scientific approach to psychology
+ trained lab assistants in the art of introspection — self-awareness; looking into oneself

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(1800’s – 1900’s) — >>

William James
– “father of American psychology”
– translated German psychology books into English
Belief: functionalism
+ focus on how humans adapt to environment; people react to world differently
+ thoughts were a connected stream, rather than individual units
+ emphasis on brain function, not structure

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Sigmund Freud
– developed first comprehensive theory of personality
– doctor that observed in patients physical problems that had no physical causes (“hysteria“)
– “father of psychoanalysis”; leads psychology away from concrete science
Belief: psychoanalysis — cause of abnormality is mental, not physical

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–>> Tenets of Psychoanalysis
1. theory based on unconscious mind + unconscious conflicts

2. two basic instincts: sexual + aggressive
+ “bioterminalism” – everything boils down to these two instincts
+ expectations of society conflict with basic instincts (external environment vs. internal instinct)
+ thus, instincts are repressed, but must somehow manifest in a manner acceptable in society (ex: violent sports, marriage, strip clubs [*lol*], etc.)
+ “guilt” is the internal factor that counterbalances the other instincts; triggers repression

3. people are unconsciously influenced by outside stimuli
+ unconscious, because “truth is too painful” (repressed)

4. first five years of life determine personality + behavior
+ negative emotions/trauma repressed as a child; re-emerge at puberty
+ behavior is manifestation of unresolved conflicts

5. mental/behavioral problems + how they can be fixed
+ Cause: failure to find outlet for instincts
+ Solution: projective tests (ink blots, hypnosis, dream interpretation, etc.) to uncover things in unconscious mind; if unconscious conflicts brought to conscious mind, they will leave

*** Criticism:
– psychoanalysis is nonscientific + impractical;
– Freud believed that humans were doomed to be dysfunctional b/c of inherent conflict + the trauma of birth
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John Watson
Belief: behavioralism (a.k.a. “learning theory”); based on observation + scientific approach

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–>> Tenets of Behavioralism
1. behavior depends on connections + associations we make
+ based on feedback from environment; rewards vs. punishment; action-reaction
+ environment, rather than heredity

2. Cause: “faulty systems of reinforcements + associations”
+ person responds irregularly to feedback

3. Solution: “behavior modification”
+ unconcerned with original cause of behavior; cause is simply that an abnormal association has been made
+ ex: phobia of spiders = result of = negative association of spiders to death or harm
+ solved by reassociating stimuli with positive feedback
+ allows progressive change over time; practical

*** Criticism: idea that humans have no free will; no internal attributes, all based on external effects
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Humanism
Carl Rogers: “father of humanism”
belief: optimistic view on human nature

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Tenets of Humanism
1. humans born good + capable of correcting themselves
+ every individual has potential to become great (capable of perfection)
+ “fully functioning individual”: perfect person; “self-actualized” *(see below)

2. environment must provide unconditional love + positive regard

3. Solutions:
+ humans must exercise free will to reach full potential
+ role of others should be to support one’s free will (praise)
+ “client-centered therapy”: show empathy + understanding; nonjudgemental

4. Criticism: too ideal; unrealistic
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Abraham Maslow (another humanist)
– Belief: people are motivated to fulfill their needs

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
(6 – most basic + urgent // 1 – closest to perfection)

1. Self-actualization (perfection)
2. Aesthetic needs (beauty)
2. Self-esteem
3. Need to belong
4. Security
5. Physical needs
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There we go. And, I even added an extra one from today’s lesson of wonder. x)

1: Brief History

•September 7, 2008 • 3 Comments

As it turns out, I’m taking AP Psychology this year. The topic of psychology, I think, interests a lot of people, so I thought I might share some of my notes here for the viewing enjoyment of whatever public actually reads my blog. C:

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Below is a brief history of pre-scientific psychology.

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Stone Age
Belief: people attributed irregular behavior to the work of “evil spirits”
Solution: some societies chiseled holes into the affected persons’ skulls in order to release the demons

Ancient Egypt
Belief: humans are inhabited by “Ka” — a metaphysical manifestation of the human mind, described as a tiny human figure that can be seen by staring deeply into a person’s eyes

Ancient Greece
Famous Person: Hippocrates, “father of medicine”; first to view the mind + body as connected entities
Belief: human body + behavior is ruled by the four humours (body fluids) — blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow bile
Explanation: reason for mental abnormality is a chemical imbalance
Contribution: first step to a scientific approach of psychology

Middle Ages
– a step backwards
Belief: people attributed irregular behavior to the work of “evil spirits”

(1800’s)
Trend: phrenology, the study of bumps on the human head; correlated to human behavior

(1850’s)
Famous Person: Darwin sailed the world to observe animals + their environment
Contribution: first theory that environment affects behavior

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To be continued…

Favorite Lip Balm of All Time

•September 7, 2008 • 1 Comment

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer

Well. It’s a lip balm/shimmer/color tint all in one, and it has this great, tingly peppermint feeling when you put it on. Also, as I found out recently, this stuff actually helps suppress cold sores. (Speaking from experience.) ^^;;

The main ingredient of the balm is sunflower oil, but in regards to the cold sore suppression, it also contains peppermint oil. To cut a long explanation short, cold sores are commonly a result of Herpes Simplex 1, a virus. It is speculated that peppermint oil can act as a virucide, but too much of the stuff, I believe, is toxic. Luckily, Burt’s Bees has just a little bit in the balm (enough to produce that tingly feeling aforementioned), so it’s not harmful and it does actually help prevent the blemish from festering. In my experience, I applied the balm like a crazy person over what I noticed to be the beginnings of a cold sore, and the thing gradually began to shrink without any scarring/scabbing in the span of a few days.

Of course, I’m no medical practitioner, so what do I know? Maybe it happened to die down by coincidence. Just so you know, the Burt’s Bees company has never endorsed the use of their balms to prevent cold sores, so don’t sue me if it doesn’t work for you; this is all my own speculation and experience. xD

In any case, the balm as a cosmetic is wonderful too. It’s not like a lipstick, with thick coverage or bold color. The several shades are meant to simply tint your lips and give them a little bit of shine, which is great for casual occasions or day-to-day use. Depending on the shade, the lip balm can make it seem as though your lips are naturally that color — but of course, you have to consider things like shade vs. skin tone to make sure the color doesn’t clash with your face.

The ingredients are all natural, and the products are not tested on animals (for all you hippies out there). Remember that it’s a lip balm, and its basic function is to moisturize your lips, which it does successfully do. I think it also contains vitamin E or whatever, but between you and me — unless you eat that balm, it doesn’t matter; vitamins in topical beauty products don’t actually do anything.

[Shh. Don’t let the lotion companies know you know…]

Anyway. I highly recommended this product. Go buy five now.

Mooncake

•September 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This here is a recipe for Mooncake, and I post it in honor of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, which is celebrated by the Chinese around this time of year. The festival, as I know vaguely, is in recognition of the harvest moon — a phenomenon that occurs during the annual harvest time of autumn (hence the name) —  and it’s customary to have some nice, rich mooncake to celebrate.

This recipe has been moved…

But don’t worry, it still exists here. Thanks for visiting! :)

 
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