R.I.P Harambe & Bert

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One day, late last year I noticed a small withered bird that would meander and nest upon our front lawn. The Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis is brown with a black head. It has a yellow bill, legs and bare eye skin. In flight it shows large white wing patches. It is found along the east and south-east coasts of Australia.

He/She had one leg, and was easily differentiated by the distinct hobble as it scavenged and explored the front of our property. Its regular appearance earned it the name ‘Bert‘. We saw him as our house mascot as he was the last thing we saw when leaving home and the first thing as we arrived. Due to his/her condition we knew that survival would be hard with such an injury, but all the while he always seemed buoyant. 4 months later with daily interaction, I was left saddened as he was never seen again. This personal experience is a perfect example of ‘anthropomorphism‘, which describes the tendency to imbue the real or imagined behavior of nonhuman agents with humanlike characteristics, motivations, intentions, or emotions. Continue reading “R.I.P Harambe & Bert”

The Selfie Revolution

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– “Selfie noun, informal (also selfy; plural selfies): a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

On November 18, 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary pronounced “Selfie” the word of the year. Since then, selfies have assumed a place of privilege in the dialogue concerning how digital media affects behavior and the social norms of this age. For many, taking selfies is simply a harmless past time. As with Polaroid, it is considered little more than a method for capturing a moment in one’s life and sharing it with others. Conversely, selfies are also seen as symbols of the deteriorating moral fabric of civilization; dealing with more narcissistic qualities in those rather than that of the world around. Continue reading “The Selfie Revolution”