31 March 2009

Applying for Scholarships

It's getting to be the season for applying for scholarships and stuff for next year. I'm finding a lot of scholarships that ask for payback in time. There's one health scholarship by the NHSC were you serve for 4 years after residency in an underserved. It seems quite nice as they pay for everything...but they restrict you to family practice, internal medicine, OB/GYN, and pediatrics.

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Posted by K. Lee at 4:47 | Permalink

27 March 2009

My First Course Recommendation

After posting the Money and Behavior story earlier this week, I began thinking about my relationship with Psychology and Economics. I was first "formally" exposed to the subject after reading The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Shwartz. Before picking up this book, I often thought about my behavior in terms of the expectations I took on and how those expectations shaped my subsequent feelings after certain events. The course that really expanded my exposure to and solidified my understanding of what is sometimes called Behavioral Economics was Economics 119 with Professor Botond Koszegi. I definitely recommend this course for anyone who is interested in behavior. A quote from the syllabus:
[Psychology and Economics] is not an easy field to define, but those who sympathize with it tend to share the belief that economists should aspire to making assumptions about humans that are as realistic as possible, and hence that we should develop methods and habits of mind to learn what is psychologically realistic.
So if you're looking for an interesting economics course without all the math, definitely have a look at this one. Unfortunately, I don't see it being offered in Fall 2009 (I took it in Fall 2008), but keep your eyes peeled. It may inspire a Senior Thesis, Honors, or other Research Project! The course covers: Reference-Dependent Preferences, Choice over Time, Heuristics and Biases, Behavioral Game Theory, and Social Preferences.

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Posted by Juan at 2:34 | Permalink

26 March 2009

A Day Without Paper!

Interested in helping the environemnt? I read about this project that the 4/5 classroom created. The main idea is to conserve energy and help the environemnt. So, without using paper, I asked myself, well, if you switch to electronics to do your homework, wouldn't you be wasting electricity and battery, which aren't "recyclable?" They answered that clearly: " you can also save energy by doing a large amount of work on the computer and using a renewable resource for your electricity like wind, water, or solar power. Also, you get the advantages of iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Internet access, Powerpoint, and much more! It would be good for us and our wonderful Earth.To do a day without paper is a great thing to do especially when our environment needs it most. But, Laptop batteries can not be recycled, and if you are only doing a small amount of work you may be wasting energy, so it may be better to use a renewable resource like paper from trees. Still, save paper." Take a look! See if you can try this for a day! I will!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 0:10 | Permalink

26 March 2009

Awesomeness!!!

Today's my little brother 10th birthday! He was so excited to finally be 2 digits! Anyways, for those of you that don't know, today's also the day people find out if they got into Cal or not. My sister just checked online a few minutes ago...and she GOT IN!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited! My voice is actually hoarse from screaming for joy. My sister and I have been daydreaming about this day for the past two years. We're going to be roommates, again! I think I've gotten closer to my sister ever since I went off to college. I call her everyday just to chat about how our day went and what we should do next time I'm back in SoCal. I already have a whole list of things and places to take my sister to when she finally gets here. Here are my random musings:

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 8:53 | Permalink

26 March 2009

Personal Banking

During this time of banking failures and to misappropriation of funds, I thought that I would share with y'all another type of "personal banking." Stable, institutional, banks are quite a new thing in non-Western countries. Back in the old days of Taiwan, banks didn't offer loans to common folk. If someone needed a loan, they would have to find a pool of friends that were willing to loan money. The number of people in the pool equaled the number of months that the pool would continue for. Each month, people would put in a set amount of dollars. Say.. $10. Then, each person would go around and say what percent interest they would pay to get the pool of money for that month. A offers 10% interest, B offers 20% interest, C offers 30% interest. C wins and becomes a "taker". So then everyone except for previous takers takes back $3 (cuz that's 30%), and C takes all the money left. The next month, the cycle repeats, and people who have no yet taken can bid for the new pool of money. So the later that you decide to be a taker, the less interest you will usually need to pay. Also, the first taker, who is the person who set up the pool, gets the money with no interest. One of the dangers of this system is that it is built on trust (therefore everyone must trust the pool maker enough to jump in on this. If anyone person decides to just take the money and run for it, people normally stop paying in. In addition, the pool maker must repay the rest of the people who did not have their turn--which is why there was no interest req for the pool maker. Anyways, I just thought that this would be an interesting psychological game for the X-labs to carry out. ^^

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Posted by K. Lee at 1:42 | Permalink

24 March 2009

A word of wisdom

Plan out your class schedule. My first semester as a Cal student, I took the most random classes for a science major, including PE, Babylonian studies, Italian, and Astronomy. Although they were interesting classes, I've found that my poor planning has managed to set me behind schedule-wise. Now I feel as if I am scrambling to finish certain science classes on time so that I will be able to graduate on time :( For instance, I am currently waiting for Bio 1a's waitlist to go down so that I can get on it. Yes, thats right, I am waiting to get on the waitlist. Oh the irony. So dear freshmen, before you follow too closely with the advice to take whatever classes you feel like exploring...make sure that you have some plan of what your schedule should ideally look like, and make a few back up plans if you want to make sure to graduate on time :)

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 0:36 | Permalink

23 March 2009

Money and Behavior

A friend of mine--another EEP Major--forwarded me an article he came across on newscientist.com. It touches on insights from Psychology and Economics (or Behavioral Economics) as well as Neuroscience research and explains their implications in regards to our behavior. An interesting finding from one of the studies reveals, by way of brain imaging, that different parts of the brain dominate in individuals who desire instant gratification versus those who are willing to wait--even when the expected payoff (in monetary terms) is higher when waiting. This may seem like an obvious finding, but it provides some evidence to the hypothesis of money being potentially addictive and, more to the point, serves as another explanation as to why some people have unhealthy and obsessive attitudes towards money, which has been found to be associated with low(er) scores on indicators of mental health in individuals who are strongly motivated by these "extrinsic aspirations." Individuals who desired the instant gratification showed increased brain activity in the limbic system, which has been shown to be linked to impulsive behavior and drug addiction. You can read the article here: Why Money Messes With Your Mind.

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Posted by Juan at 2:20 | Permalink

20 March 2009

A Day Without Paper

Ever wonder what would happen if paper was taken away for a day? Well, this 4/5 classroom tried it and found some interesting results. Check them out! http://jstaton.wordpress.eusd.net/2009/03/10/a-day-without-paper/

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Posted by Maria at 8:59 | Permalink

18 March 2009

Thinking about Grad school?

If you've been thinking about going to grad school, I highly suggest reading this book. getting what you came for Getting What You Came For by Robert L. Peters for $10.88 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Getting-What-You-Came-Students/dp/0374524777/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1237436284&sr=8-2 It goes through what grad school is like, what it takes to get there, what you should be doing before you get there, what you should do when you're in to get through on time...and all in amazingly insightful yet comedic detail. Whether grad school is a just a consideration or a definite plan, read this book. It may scare you at first but it's all stuff you should know before going in. It's a big decision and a serious commitment so make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.

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Posted by Maria at 1:08 | Permalink

17 March 2009

How was I able to take 25 units last semester you ask?

So here are the things you have to do in order to take more units than the permitted maximum: 1. You must be crazy 2. You must have a schedule that fits (with no overlapping classes, that weakens your petition). It is also good if you have a reason to your insanity (for example, I am taking the MCATs this semester and I am a double major who wants to graduate on time therefore, I had to take 25 units in order to take less units this semester to make room for the MCATS). 3. You must talk to your major advisor and get approval (this generally takes place for CNR students either way since you have to get your advisor code before you register for classes regardless). 4. You must turn in a "student petition" found in the 260 Mulford with your attached schedule and Tele-Bears form approval from your advisor. 5. After a few days, you can either: sign up yourself for extra classes OR in some cases CNR itself will have to enroll you in the class you need. Its not all that complicated, but you really shouldn't do it unless you really really really have to. I was basically LIVING at school last semester, and I think I paid Main Stacks rent due for Finals week. So please, think twice before you do this and make sure you can handle it!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:57 | Permalink

08 March 2009

It's been a while, dear friends...

So I haven't blogged since last semester...can you take a guess why? Well let me start my list of justifications with the fact that I took 25 units last semester and I am taking the MCATs in April... I really don't know HOW I survived 25 units last semester (I had to take that many because I am a double major with a minor and want to graduate on time and I have to take the MCATs so I can't take as many classes this semester)...and yet, I am currently taking 18 units and an everyday MCAT review course...which I'll fill you in on sometime this week...as for now I have to go read 40 pages of physics for my review class tomorrow... FEEL BAD FOR ME.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:54 | Permalink

05 March 2009

Saved by CNR!

The past few days have been pretty challenging, to put it nicely. Yesterday, I completely messed up on my physics midterm. My pencil ran out of lead about half an hour into the exam and I didn't have an extra one. I had just lost my extra pencil earlier that day. Just my luck. So I had to use pen on my physics midterm. I decided to write my answer in the test booklet first, then transfer over to my blue book. Unfortunately, when I transferred my answer, I copied down a sign wrong so my whole answer is off. I also messed up completely on the last problem. I think my brain just decided to take a vacation during my test... So after the midterm, I had to go home and finish a paper due today at 9:30 am in class. My printer had just run out of ink on Monday, so I ordered ink with next day shipping. They tried delivering it yesterday at 6 pm, but I was taking my physics midterm. My roommate said she would print it out for me today, but then that printer ran out of ink. I sprinted to CNR around 9 am and finally managed to print my paper! Thank heavens for the CNR computer lab! By the way, there's a CNR movie night tonight! Free movie and pizza! Could it get any better?

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 7:08 | Permalink

03 March 2009

Why People Believe Weird Things

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 7:00pm General Admission $10 Smith Center Box Office http://www.tinyurl.com/shermeratohlone Presented by The Ohlone College Psychology Club Michael Shermer is a genuine ghostbuster, a relentless crusader against superstition, and pseudoscience. In this lecture, he discusses his investigation of paranormal claims and other unexplained phenomena and what makes us believe in them. Is ESP real? Does “alternative” medicine really work? What causes mass delusion? What’s up with UFOs sightings? Why are people so gullible? What’s the evidence for Near-Death Experiences, Alien Abductions, Recovered Memories, Creationism, Holocaust Denial, Race, or God? Based on his bestselling book Why People Believe Weird Things, psychologist Michael Shermer applies scientific reason to these and many other questions in a witty talk that has been described as a no-holds barred attack on the pseudoscience and nonsense of our day. Michael Shermer is available for interviews prior to the event. Please check out the web page, and/or email Sheldon W. Helms at sheldon@ohlone.edu for more information.

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Posted by Maria at 9:51 | Permalink

01 March 2009

Pork barrel

What's with this?? (this is just some from 2008 that went through) http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2008 $245,000 by Senate appropriator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) for construction of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington. According to its website, the Culinary Center’s purpose is to educate and promote the areas of viticulture, enology and culinary practices, showcase the quality of Washington’s wine industry, and increase the state’s tourism industry. The website also states that wine in Washington is a $3 billion industry. Taxpayers should not be soaked for a new wine center. $295,470 by Senate appropriator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) for renovations to the International Peace Garden in Dunseith. Spanning the border of North Dakota and Manitoba, the International Peace Garden boasts 150,000 flowers, terraced walkways, and the 120-foot Peace Tower. In September 2007, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered an amendment to eliminate this earmark from the Senate version of the transportation bill. Sen. Coburn argued the money would be better spent on road repairs, calling it “morally wrong” to spend money on wasteful projects while citizens are dying on the nation’s roads. Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 32-63. $328,300 by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) for the Big Sky Economic Development Authority, for historic preservation of the Cobb Field facility in Billings. Home to the Minor League Billings Mustangs, Cobb Field was built in 1948 and is currently undergoing modernization, including a new scoreboard all paid for by taxpayers. A September, 2006 article in Satisfaction Magazine noted that owning a Minor League Baseball team can be quite profitable: “But a well-run baseball operation can turn a net profit of 5 percent to 10 percent a year, according to interviews with team owners and consultants. Then there is the equity play: Minor league teams have been appreciating in value by 3 percent to 5 percent annually in the past decade, with some instances albeit rare ones of owners selling for 10 times their original investment after holding the team for just five years.” According to the Mustangs’ website, 95,309 people attended a game at Cobb Field in 2007. An increase of $3.45 per ticket would have removed the burden to the taxpayers. $49,000 by Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-N.J.) for Woodbridge Township for construction of a Woodbridge Historical Museum. $3,000,000 added by the Senate for the Kimberly Process. According to the Global Policy Forum (GPF), the Kimberly Process was initiated in 2000 to set up “an internationally recognized certification system for rough diamonds and establishing national import/export standards. In November 2002, 52 governments ratified and adopted the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, which was fully implemented in August 2003.” The GPF called the system “flawed from the beginning ” because it is voluntary and self-regulated. Both the Word Diamond Council and governments that signed on to the certification process have failed to monitor and regulate the diamond trade, according to the GPF.

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Posted by K. Lee at 2:23 | Permalink