Post 1 – Dylan Koury – Analyzing Political and Social Messages in Comic Books

Two weeks ago I attended Boston Comic-Con, which I attended for two days. This is the third year I have gone but the most involved I have been at the convention. I spent my time visiting the writers and artists and inkers of comic books which I believed to have an important place in the social and political world today.

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Rafael Alberti’s Poetry and Artwork: Final Update

After the summer’s research, I constructed a final paper which discusses Alberti’s relationship with Spain before and after his exile, using his poetry and artwork as the basis for my conjecture on how his exile both shaped his artwork and damaged his ability to connect with Spain at the same level, after so many years away. I also used several articles, and past speeches made by Alberti as evidence. I found that, although Alberti always maintained his role as the mouthpiece for Spain, it seemed more difficult personally for him to do so, a mix of survivor’s guilt and feeling that he could not connect with the new post-Franco generation. Instead, his work continued to focus on his deceased friends, and shifted to focus on the landscapes of Spain rather than the people. This most likely also influenced his decision to resign from his role in the local government of Cadiz, voicing that he feels other people would be more qualified and able to understand the needs of the people.

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Part Three – Farmers Markets

It became clear very quickly that my original plan for studying farmers markets in the bronx was not attainable. There were simply not enough resources to use to get in contact with the markets. Even though this was frustrating, it did prove my hypothesis that they would be relatively inaccessible. There are factors related to this problem. The economic and health statuses of residents of the Bronx are low. I began to study these areas to better understand the food situation in my borough. Even though the Bronx is not the heart of New York City, it still faces the many obstacles of an urban area. Pollution of all kinds is rampant in the Bronx. During the middle of the 20th Century, the Cross Bronx Expressway was built. This major roadway split the Bronx in two and destroyed neighborhoods. It was necessary to connect the North to the George Washington Bridge, which leads to New Jersey. Today, it is a rarity to see no traffic backups on this highway. The Bronx is flooded with cars and commercial trucks added dramatic amounts of air, noise, water, and visual pollution. The major roadways also lower the property value of the areas because no one wants to live near nonstop traffic. Therefore, only lower classes are left with no other option. This is why it is no surprise that Bronx residents have such poor health. According to the 2017 County Health Records for New York published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin, the Bronx is ranked last in Health Outcomes and Health Factors in the entire state. New York is one of the largest states in the country, and the Bronx is ranked 62 out of 62 counties. This is a tragic situation. Health Outcomes consists of length of life and quality of life. Health Records consists of health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Under each specific health factor, the Bronx is ranked 62, except for health behaviors where it falls 58th. One of the factors this study took into consideration is food environment index. Unfortunately, it only provides a small description. The description tells us that only two variables are measured, which are USDA’s Food Environment Atlas of access to healthy foods and food insecurity from Feeding America. Both of these simply mean that people are close to food. Unsurprisingly, the Bronx scored a 7.1 out of 10. This is close to the average and sounds relatively optimistic. However, like I mentioned before the number of grocery stores is not the issue. There are almost 2 million Bronx residents in 42 square feet of land. It is a crowded place with many stores and shopping centers because it is an urban area. The issue is that these grocery stores are not quality. I’ve spent a lot of time in different states and countries, where I have visited many grocery stores, since I personally do a lot of the grocery shopping and planning for my family. The different between stores in the Bronx and stores in other areas is drastic. Shortly after I started living in Virginia, I noticed how great these differences are and often commented on the state of the Bronx. When I reflect on it, which this project forced me to do, it makes me angry that the Bronx has become the way it is. New York City is an extremely wealthy city, however so little of that money is diverted to the people in need in the Bronx. This is what motivated me to start researching the economics of the Bronx and the entire New York City. This included the finances of individuals and the public government. I already mentioned how the income of families in the Bronx is half of those in Manhattan. Researching the budget of New York City was not an easy task. Especially for someone with little economic background, public money is extremely complicated. Even though it is public information, these are so many parts that is it difficult to even know where to begin. I tried as best as I could. I was hoping to discover a breakdown of the budget by borough. However, there is little mention of the individual borough. Instead, the budget is broken down by departments. Since the budgets of each department is more significant than the budgets of the boroughs, the areas where people are willing to reach out to their politicians and public servants are more likely to receive more funding. This theme runs true for many areas. People with money and resources, especially time, are more willing to receive the benefits of the government. Bronx residents are not going to typically do that. When people are suffering in an area, the complexities of the society are also working together to bring them down.

Final Update and Summary for Detecting Depression in Social Media

This will be the final update and summary of my summer research project.

My project was detecting depression in social media using machine learning/ai techniques. The project consisted of collecting 50,000 comments collected from Reddit. Reddit is a social media site consisting of subreddits or subforums consisting of a theme. The subreddits I collected the comments from were /r/depression /r/depressed /r/suicidewatch /r/lonely for my experimental group and /r/frugal, /r/casualconversation, /r/relationships, /r/legaladvice, /r/AcomplishedToday, /r/wholesomememes. The data collection was done by a Python API Library called Praw and took about 2 hours to fully scrape.

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Update 2: The Impact of Stress on Child Health in Impoverished Communities

As I had mentioned in my previous post I had originally planned to relate my research back to Rochester, NY through pictures. I did go take pictures, I will add some in below, but I largely did not feel comfortable walking around the areas I thought would best represent what I had in mind. I felt that the pictures I took did not represent enough of what I was trying to accomplish, thus I decided not to include these pictures or focus on Rochester in my final paper. I think instead I will just use the photos to aid my poster presentation to give a more visual aspect as the rest of the paper cannot be well represented in visuals, and a poster with only words is not especially attractive, it’s just overwhelming.

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Hollywood and the Holocaust – Final Update

I have finally completed my research and am now putting the final editing touches on my paper and citing all my sources. It’s interesting and encouraging to reflect back on when I first was deciding what I wanted to research and now. I have learned a lot about what motivated the Hollywood Jews and the complexity of making films in such a tumultuous time. It had been fascinating to see the nuances and all the subtle things that strongly influenced the filmmakers of this time period.

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Is Political Apathy Rooted in Institutional Inefficacy in the U.S.? Summary

My research did not contain many surprises; it just opened a lot of possibilities for further research. I would like to highlight what I learned, why political participation is important, and where I would like to go from here.

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Is Political Apathy Rooted in Institutional Inefficacy in the U.S.? Post #2

The track of my research has deviated slightly as I have continued my research. I feel as though I have opened a can of worms with this project, and the questions I had are not nearly as simple as I had hoped they would be. That’s research, after all.

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Is Political Apathy Rooted in Institutional Inefficacy in the U.S.? Post #1

This summer, I participated in William & Mary’s Study in DC program and interned at a Virginia Congressman’s office on Capitol Hill. I had no idea that I would end up in the heart of politics this summer when I first created my Freshman Monroe Research proposal, and it made for an incredible experience that simultaneously got the gears turning in my head for this research project I was preparing to complete following the congressional internship and DC Summer Institute.

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Towards a Better Memory: Update 3

Well, my project has finally come to a close (just in the nick of time). This has been an extremely enlightening experience and has given me the chance to learn about memory, but also the research process. Although it’s crucial to have an outline and an end goal, one of the most exciting parts of research is delving deeply into a side detail and seeing where it takes you. I had not originally planned to focus so much of the historical aspect of my project on non-literate cultures, but once I started reading about them I discovered they were the perfect foundation. Many other details I hadn’t thought to consider became key parts of my project as well: cultural emphasis on memory and Vedic scholars to name a few. For those of you interested, I have given a brief conclusion of all that I have learned about memory below:

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