Joyce Forster's blog

Final Paper

Link to final paper;

Week 7: Space

This past week, we discussed space, dust, and spices, a very interesting combination of topics. (I am posting this incredibly late because my computer was protesting uploading absolutely anything, and I’ve just accepted that this is going to be late) Space is incredibly vast, and it puts into perspective how small and insignificant the presence of humanity really is.

Week 6: The Brain and Art

I find Cristina Albu’s research on the interconnection of the brain and art to be very fascinating. Last week, when deciding on a midterm topic, I wanted to pick something that would pay homage to my major, psychology. In the end, I chose to focus on reactive fear of the unknown, but I was very close to choosing something related to the brain. Throughout this process, I found several artists with related works.

Week 4: Zodiac Animals and Being "Natural"

This week’s lecture on Zodiac animals was very interesting. I enjoyed learning more about Zodiac animals from a genetics perspective, since I had never previously heard of the Hox gene. I am half-Chinese, and I grew up attending Chinese school at a local high school every Saturday from kindergarten to tenth grade. I was born only a few weeks before the end of the Chinese calendar, and as a result I was born at the tail end of the Year of the Dragon.

Week 3: Plastic

This week, we learned about plastic. While I knew on a surface level that plastic is an incredibly popular material that is becoming a very serious problem for our environment, I was surprised to see how incredibly detrimental our plastic use is to our living situation. As of now, the US disposes of 27 million tons of plastic in landfills, and over 8 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1960s (Vasarhelyi, 2021).

Week 2: Mycelium & SCOBY

In lecture this week, we focused primarily on the world of fungi, more specifically the hugely diverse roles of mycelium. Mycelium, as we covered in class, is the network of thread-like roots that sprout mushrooms. Mycelium acts as a plant-based internet for the vast systems of forest life around it, and allows plants such as trees to communicate with one another, and even pass one another nutrients and whatever may be needed to give another tree a better chance at survival.

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