The Impact of Vividness

Monday’s analysis of the photosets from The Cut and New York Magazine reminded me that I have a photoset of my own I’ve been meaning to blog about. In December 2014 my mom and I spontaneously traveled the four and a half hours from Chipley, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana. My mom brought her Nikon, which I staked claim to for the three days of our trip. At sixteen, I was slowly discovering that popular and famous things sometimes deserved their hype; including ketchup, Beyonce, and New Orleans. However, as a tourist I wasn’t satisfied with only experiencing and capturing the hot spots of the city. I wanted more than Bourbon street and the French Market; I tried to capture otherwise overlooked spaces. Linked is a public Google Drive Folder containing some of my photos from that trip. While reflecting on and picking out my photos for this post, I realized that the photographers included in the New York Magazine gallery may have had similar attitudes in their own work.

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Cultural Appropriation in Festivals

Over spring break I went skiing in Holiday Valley, Ellicottville. It was only after we arrived that I realized that weekend was an annual “Winter Carnival” event. The aesthetic included some very basic elements of Mardi Gras, such as costumes; a ski lift named Mardi Gras; and plastic beads around necks and tree branches. But what stood out most to me were helmets with fake dreadlocks on them, some even rasta colored (image linked as WordPress isn’t letting me embed). It’s insane to me that African Americans around the United States have gotten suspended or fired for styling their hair in traditional ways, yet nobody bats an eye at these ugly, mocking pieces of foam.

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How are Hurricanes Named?

In class we speak very intimately about hurricanes. We also have spoken about the significance of names, as they can be a representation of identity and experience. Naturally, such discussion leads to the question, “how does a hurricane get its name?” I had already started doing research on the subject but became motivated to write up my findings when the question came up in our last class meeting. So here are the Twenty-one Names To Avoid Calling Your Baby This Year Unless You’re Planning to Romanticize Hurricanes:

Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, William.

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Sentinel Species, Range, and New Orleans

Science and literature are different languages to express similar concepts about humanity. This blog post is an attempt to explore the relationship of science and literature in the context of some class concepts. Weeks ago, Beth (1) mentioned the concept of “the canary and the coal mine.” We did not unpack it at the time, but that moment made me think about range, as discussed in my Biogeography class and When the Levees Broke.

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The Murphy Oil “Conspiracy”

          I was putting off writing this blog post (great start, I know) when I came across the Reddit post, “What conspiracy theory do you 100% buy into and why?” Two users replied that their relatives experienced a double-whammy during Hurricane Katrina. Soon after the storm, Murphy Oil Refinery reported that one of their oil containers had ruptured and leaked onto the surrounding area, namely in the neighborhood St. Bernard Parish (located just outside of New Orleans). Ghost510 comments: “After the clean up the land was deemed uninhabitable and the oil company was able to purchase all the land for very, very cheap. Many people that were affected and in the area believe that the oil company did it on purpose, and I tend to believe them.” 2EdgedDeath also says: “The whole thing was shady as hell.”

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