It’s HERE! National Public Health Week!

Woooo! Check out the cool events this week!


Save Water

In our Environmental Health TA session this morning, a student shared one way to conserve water: Brazil – Save Water…Pee in the Shower Commercial

My Last Academic Paper

It was a huge moment for me. I had spent the last few days writing this paper, diving into the details, and combing through articles and books on the subject matter to help bolster my argument. The subject was something I thought about using as a topic a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until I tried writing something different that I decided to go back to this original topic idea. And there I was in the music library, re-reading the paper one last time and making sure the paper passed my “read aloud” test for clarity when I realized something. My last academic paper that I’d write for this master’s degree was not going about improving health care quality, leveraging health informatics, or even anything directly related to health care.

No. My last paper was about monsters and beasts, specifically those that appear in Jaws and Cloverfield.

I’ve always been interested in film and I seriously think that if it wasn’t for health care, I’d probably be involved in it in some capacity. When I was searching for a fifth class to take this semester, I decided to look outside the school and try something a bit different. Around this time, I discovered this seminar on U.S. Cinema from the 1960 to mid-1970s. I decided to check it out.

During the first class, the professor made us write an application essay explaining why we belonged in the class and how it related to our field of study. Students with the most convincing essays would be allowed into the class.

Now you may be wondering, how did I manage to pull this off? Well, the argument is simple. In brief points, I described in my essay:
– My introduction to social activism/revolution from my undergraduate experience at Berkeley.
– How these themes were pivotal and inherent within the era studied in the class.
– How films reflected a lot of these sentiments and so studying these films indirectly highlighted the history during this time.
– How social activism and revolution are important philosophies within public health.
– How media advocacy is an important driver to guiding public health principles.
– How film is one area that could be further developed as a tool to guide advocacy within public health.

Based on these points, I concluded that learning and analyzing films from the 60s-mid 70s will allow me as a public health leader to learn how it was done in the past in order to guide me in the future. And the result of this essay? Well, I got in.

So how does Jaws and Cloverfield help me as a public health student? Well, think about it. Jaws is truly about environmental science and threats caused by a shark. After a series of attacks, the movie is about how a group of men try to prevent further attacks. Sounds like a public health message to me! And Cloverfield? Two words: disaster-preparedness.

Including shot illustrations, this last paper came in at 22 pages. One of the final lines in my paper is, “These elements heighten the chaos, confusion, and fear caused from the monster.” The word “monster” appears 57 times in my paper. Oh, what a glorious way to wind things down.

“Why is the world’s biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?”

In t­he broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. …… But the area is filled with something besides plankton: trash, millions of pounds of it, most of it plastic. It’s the largest landfill in the world, and it floats in the middle of the ocean.

Read more…
Silverman, Jacob. “Why is the world’s biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?.” 19 September 2007. 27 April 2009.

Please recycle.