Hobby

A picture of people living in space

The future of living in space that America dreamed of after the moon landing.

My blogs are a result of my hobby. My hobby is being a detective all the time. When I find something interesting, I investigate by searching the internet for videos, read articles or go to the library to search for books. I enjoy watching The David Pakman Show for my political news and I especially like watching videos about the universe.

I watch videos from the History Channel and the Science Channel. Some shows include Through the Wormhole, The Universe, How the Universe Works, PBS’ Nova The Fabric of the Cosmos and many more. I find reading books really engraves the information more than any video could. Unfortunately my patience has not panned out to be what I would like it to be. Some books that I have read that have really helped me out are: Albert Einstein by Walter Isaacson, Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne, Why Darwin Matters by Michael Shermer, and Parallel Universes by Michio Kaku. The latter has revolutionized the way I think about the world. Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes is a short read but at the same time it is a little tough. The beautiful thing about my hobby is it doesn’t need to be a sunny day and I do not need a lot of money to entertain it. I will continue this hobby until the day I die and maybe new hobbies will arise when I learn about everything.

Politics and religion

pictue of man thinking

Politics and religion sometimes go hand in hand. When you talk about one, the other just seems to slip in eventually.  My new found love of politics has actually do religion. I became obsessed with religions because of their similarities and faults. About two years ago after. I have had much headbutting with politics in my research on the subject of faith. I’ve actually took a class at HACC (Harrisburg Community Area College) about politics which I knew nothing about.

Now I can consider myself an average political junky. Politics and religion are very similar to sports and food. If a child does not like onions her whole life, you may find that the father or mother or both dislikes onions. The same can be said with football teams, politics and religion. I find myself asking other individuals questions about their beliefs. And, the answers I listen to are that of apathy and alienation. The individuals just don’t care or they try to take themselves away from the subjects. I believe this is not a good way to go because your life could be immediately affected by one of these. Even though our first Amendment clearly states there should be no respect for the establishment of religion, religious lobbyists are very powerful. The world is very dangerous to mix these two. The dark ages exemplifies the oppression of the combined two. I spend most of my time reading newspapers and watching news programs (especially syndicated media that is funded by the viewers). Politics are often easier to talk with someone about than religion because they don’t find it so personal.

Quantum Mechanics

The world of small sub-atomic particles such as the protons fascinates me because it is the ultimate science fiction book or movie. Except the quantum world is real. Countless experiments have proven the mind boggling predictions quantum mechanics makes. The laws that govern this world has brought us miraculous things such as the cell phone, e-mail, lasers, blu-ray players, the internet, and some day teleportation!

Double Slit Experiment

Imagine you’re at a bowling alley and you take a piece of metal cut with two slits. Put something in the place of the pins so you can detect where the ball will hit. Now throw a bowling ball down the lane. You know the ball would either hit on the left side, right side or slam into the middle of the metal. The ball is made of matter. Electrons, photons and all other small particles are matter and should act the same way. So shot them done the lane and see two spots on the were they hit. These small objects act like waves of water or light instead of solid particles. The detector at the end will have many spots where the particles hit including the middle. Quantum mechanics says you only know the probability of where the particles will hit and this is very odd because you cannot imagine a bowling ball hitting the middle of the paper when there’s a barrier. So we are made of particles and so is everything else you know, but we don’t go through walls or fall through the ground. Here is a video where you will understand the explanation of the double slit experiment better.

Schrodinger’s Cat

Another property of quantum mechanics called entanglement explains how things are undetermined until one measures it. Let’s visit another experiment that was a thought experiment by Erwin Schrodinger called Schrodinger’s Cat. Imagine we changed the electrons and other small particles to a cat and set the cat in a box. Also inside the box is a flask of poison ready to be opened.  Entanglement says that this cat is dead and alive at the same time. The end result isn’t final until you open the box and observe a dead cat or an alive and purring cat. The act of observation or measurement of small particles determines the outcome. Here someone draws pictures to explain the thought experiment:

Theory of everything

The Unified Field Theory

The scientific world has big battles to explain the nature world. We can explain many things, but the problem of new questions arises. The biggest battle to tackle in the latest theoretical world is to connect everything together. We know the laws of the biggest objects from Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. The laws that govern the very big such as the galaxies, stars, planets and the way they are explained through the theory of relitivety. And, we know how the laws of the smallest objects from Albert Einstein and Max Planck. Quantum mechanics explains the microscopic particles such as atoms, electrons, photons, etc. but we don’t know how to connect these 2 together.

When you look at them individually, they make sense but what physicists are trying to do now is connect these two. This would explain the present, the past all the way to the moment of the Big Bang to the end of the universe. If you read any book or watch any History Channel program about one subject or the other, quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity becomes apparent after a certain amount of research. They make sense on their own but connecting them seems like science fiction. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist at the city college of New York, has said that he wants an equation the size of an inch that explains everything.

My hobby involves massive amounts of reading and watching videos. Here is a classic that I hope you will enjoy. Michio Kaku explains the universe in a nutshell.

Freedom Evolves From Thought

Eric Stiffler

24 October 2012

            Evolution sounded like finger nails scraping on a black board when I was younger. My grandmother raised me and instilled in me a fear of asking questions about where we came from or how certain phenomenon were explained through science. Thinking of evolution feared me more than saying any curse word known to an adolescent. My grandmother would say things like, “Never question the word of God.” Evaluating this as an adult, my thinking was left to the heathens. My science teacher taught evolution among many wonderful facts about the natural word, but my mind was closed and intelligence was oppressed. The battle in my mind as an adolescent relates to the story of Inherent the Wind. The movie shows the thin line societies have between reverting backward or progressing forward to a freer people.

            Bertram Cates violates the law of a southern town by teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to his students. The sleepy town fills with outsiders and two famous lawyers come to the aid of the defense and the prosecution. Cates’ star lead degrades to a sub-par role for the rest of the film as the two lawyers promote to star characters. The battle for teaching the literal word of The Bible or letting the mind decide on its own what is true begins. Anger and hate build rapidly as Henry Drummond fights back against the law that jailed Cates. A romance between the defendant and the minister’s daughter shakes emotions as she fights the decision to pick freedom of love or obedience to faith. Radio broadcasters air the trial so the whole world can hear.

            Sometimes scientist do not have the correct information and teach ignorant, but we could never find the truth if freedom to learn was not given. Inherent the Wind loosely depicts the Scopes trail of 1925. John Scopes taught the dissent of man out of a text book that was incorrect in its approach. The book said the poor were lower class of humans and needed to be killed. Although the statement was very ignorant and opinionated, the idea could never be corrected if society cut the line and stopped learning. Scientist Eugenie Scott says, “We would not have made . . . discovery’s if we had decided, ’oh those ideas are untouchable . . . We have to sweep them under the rug because we don’t like their social implications’” (ChristopherHitchslap). The freedom to make Cates’ students think with their own heads disappeared when the state made teaching evolution illegal.

            The dark ages filled societies with fear by chasing people with different views and performing violent acts on them, and today those feeling still rise on occasion. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. People of the past held this believe with a passion. If someone didn’t think like the masses, they were ridiculed, physically abused and mentally abused. When I am extremely angry, I can only see red and not logic or reason. The world of the 1600’s saw anger in the same way. When Galileo positioned the sun at the center of our solar system and said it does not move from the center, the Catholic Church was angry enough to kick him out. The thin line between oppression of the dark ages still lingers today when any intellectual opens his mouth. I am happy that the world has a consensus not to hurt people for thinking differently.

Although the movie only hinted at the real story, many things did happen word for word and the message to have the freedom to think got across. The speech that made my heart race involved the theoretical word after evolution was outlawed in education. The defending lawyer Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind said, “Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy and needs feeding.” Science needs people who can think of anything and where there are no bonds. The knowledge for science is sought after in schools funded by the government. The migrated people that came to America did so to have freedom from religious prosecution. The first amendment brings clarity to the separation of church and state. When the two clash, freedom slides around like soda in a car with no cup holders. I worry that these fanatics could mold this world however they would like if they all obtained powerful positions. I am also optimistic toward a peaceful and understanding people where we all can get along. If humans don’t question everything, they will never advance due to complacently.

 

 

Works Cited

ChristopherHitchslap. “Scopes Monkey Trial FULL.” Project: Report. YouTube, 20 October. 2011. Web. 24 October. 2012

Crowther, Bosley. “Inherit the Wind.” Rev. of Inherit the Wind, Dir. Stanley Kramer. The New York Times, 13 October. 1960. Web. 24 October. 2012

Grandmother. Personal conversations.

Inherit the Wind. Dir. Stanley Kramer. Perf. Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Harry Morgan. United Artists, 1960. DVD.

The Teenage Adult

Eric Stiffler

22 March 2012

            Movies can demonstrate ideas and force viewers to reconsider stereotypes. Examples such as The Green Mile, showing the kindness of inmates, and White Men Can’t Jump, showing the white man dunking a basketball in a ten foot net, are testimonies of changing audience minds. Teenagers are sometimes treated like toddlers with no focus in life and told, even forced, what to do, regardless of their wishes. In Juno the teenage protagonist carries her baby to term, gives the unplanned baby to a couple desiring parenthood, and focuses on school. Her decision shows the maturity teenagers can possess.

            Juno MacGuff is a sixteen year old suburban high school student who performs coitus with her bandmate and peer Paulie Bleeker. Three positive pregnancy tests lead Juno to attempt abortion, but an anti-abortionist spooks Juno from the abortion clinic by informing the pregnant teen that fetuses have fingernails. Her supportive father accompanies Juno to the future adoptive parents’ (Vanessa and Mark Loring) house; she had found the couple in a newspaper advertisement. Juno hides her love for Bleeker while she deals with her pregnancy and builds a friendship with her baby’s future father. The realization of being a parent terrifies Mark and fulfills Vanessa’s childhood dream of being a mother. Juno’s baby endangers Mark’s aspirations of being a rock star and threatens the Loring’s marriage. Juno brings a pregnant teenager into an adult world and shows the brutal shunning of high school society. 

The fate of a child requires mature decision-making. Juno understands she is not mature enough to raise a child; she plans to attend Gettysburg College with Bleeker and worries that having a baby will ruin possibilities for higher education. The young lady makes a decision to “procure a hasty abortion” without the consent of her parents. She reneges on her decision and now faces “the disappointment that comes of inexplicable adult actions” (Puig). Juno wants to give her baby to loving, responsible people, and “she is adamant about selecting the prospective parents” (Puig). Vanessa and Mark are perceived as yuppies with a perfect marriage. Juno builds a friendship with Mark and Vanessa. After careful analysis, Juno’s decision for the fate of her child is made.

            Juno and her baby’s biological father, Bleeker, have a feud over juvenile situations at high school, and Juno’s audience becomes aware that she isn’t invincible to immaturity. The Students of Dancing Elk High School look at pregnant Juno walking down the corridor as if she had contagious human malware. Juno’s plans to attend college are a major factor in the mature decision to give her child up. When Bleeker confesses he is dating a popular student, Juno treats Bleeker like a traitor and complains to him about her peers ridiculing her in front of his unaided help. When going to high school Juno reverts back to immature actions, but her actions outside of school are mature.

            Juno doesn’t exhibit the negative stereotypes of pregnant teenagers. A.O. Scott from The New York Times writes:

But Juno . . . respects the idiosyncrasies of its characters rather than exaggerating them or holding them up for ridicule. And like Juno herself, the film outgrows its own mannerisms and defenses, evolving from a coy, knowing farce into a heartfelt, serious comedy.

I see a headstrong teenager who may drop out of school in the opening scenes. At the end of Juno I see a young adult who has freewill and hurdles over obstacles with her mature decisions. My ears cling to every word.

 

 

Works Cited

Juno. Dir. Jason Reitman. Perf. Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jenneifer Garner, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Valerie Tian. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2008. DVD.

Puig, Claudia. “Unconventional ‘Juno” strikes right comedic balance.”Rev. of Juno,dir. Jason Reitman. USA Today,05Dec. 2007. Web. 23 Mar. 2012

Scott, Anthony Oliver(A.O.). “Seeking Mr. and Mrs. Right for a Baby on the Way.”Rev. of Juno,dir. Jason Reitman. The New York Times, 05 Dec. 2007. Web. 23 Mar. 2012

Passive Resistance

Eric Stiffler

01 October 2012

Prequels to movies can be very fun to watch. The movie, “The Wizard of Oz’ was made over seventy years ago. A prequel to that is coming out explaining the wizard’s origin. Just like movies, the prequels to civil rights activist teach us about today’s activist. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa parks and all such activists would not have been so inspiring if it were not for people of the past. Henry David Thoreau helped create few of today’s most powerful movements. Thoreau’s story of a humble and peaceful life in the woods sets the precedence for his passion of disobedience. Disobeying what the government tells one what to do is a scary thing. Thoreau had a drive to stand up to the government if it was unjust. Thoreau does not want people to show disobedience by rioting, but without a sword and in its place your ideas, your words and your civil disobedience.

The nineteenth century brought pioneers in human history. While Charles Darwin was advancing truths about the origin of biology, Henry David Thoreau was living a peaceful life without the requirement of the government. “Civil Disobedience” made Thoreau famous. Thoreau wrote about the unjust laws imposed by the system made to keep society just. Thoreau understood that government was going to remain a feature of American life and it needed to be opposed in order for it to be better. Slavery was the most appalling subject in the nineteenth century government. The cruel and unusual treatment of others was the tipping point for Thoreau. After the news of the Mexican war spread to his doorstep and he was imprisoned for not paying the taxes he did not support, “Civil Disobedience” was written.

Henry David Thoreau expresses many ideas that would anger just about everyone who read his essays, but the most intriguing idea to me is that peace and freedom are completely in your mind. I have flipped through the pages of Thoreau’s essay “Walden”, and every segment I read talked about nature and the joys life presented to him. Mr. Thoreau would be one I would visit if time machines existed today. The strongest of humans could buckle under circumstances he faced. In “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau writes about staying in jail for a day and night after not paying for his taxes. “I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone…” (Thoreau). The taxes that he did not pay for was for something he did not support. The poll-tax, the slavery movement, and even the war against the Mexicans were not favored by Thoreau, so why should he support them? The best way to rebel against such things is non-violent.

An idea expressed in “Civil Disobedience” targeted at government being a machine is that of wooden soldiers. Trying to explain this idea to current veterans may get you a lump on the head but its concept is interesting and no matter how degrading. Soldiers are a part of government. They serve their government, their people, and obey commands given to them. Wood, earth, and stone serve humans with comfort and shelter. Thoreau says solders, “command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt.” In order to understand his ideas and focus, one has to humble himself and read without emotions.

Instead of standing up with a sword to the things Thoreau does not like, he expresses his ideas and spreads them in hope of others acting in the same peaceful way. The inconsistency of what people believe and what they do explain the much needed display of civil disobedience. Townsmen say they disagree with slavery, but they will march to the Mexican War. The support for the government needs to stop if what it stands for conflicts with one’s belief. Thoreau peacefully displayed this buy not paying for the cause and not running to the gun.

Issues of today would knock Henry David Thoreau off his feet, but the promotion for civil disobedience would still reign supreme. Today is a lot different than Thoreau’s past, but issues regarding injustice still exist. Obeying what the government tells us to do is not necessary to keep our lives in America, but the necessity to disobey what we view as unjust is great to keep justice alive. In a world where fighting with action is so easy to do and killing others becomes common day news, rebelling against a cause within a peaceful way can speak louder than action. I have been part of causes involving the discrimination against religions in street fairs. Posting a booth that displays ideas against an unjust action is more effective than killing someone. “Civil disobedience” shows idea’s that resonate to all humans, but we have to open our minds and educate ourselves to what we believe; not what mommy and daddy tell us.

The Fantastic Bonus

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Eric Stiffler

28 November 2012

Sex invigorates the human imagination beyond words. The activity not only exercises the body but simulates the mind. Mention “orgasm” around your closest friend or family member, and you may get embarrassed faces or immature laughter. The conversation may end if you pose a question about the female orgasm’s purpose. Of course, your community is not racing to the streets to promote the idea. Any knowledgeable person knows from biology class or common sense the purpose for a male orgasm: to make babies. At this time, obscure scientists around the word are trying to find the female orgasm’s biological benefit. The upsuck theory proposes that the female uterus directs sperm to the egg when they sexually climax. The Desmond Morris theory says females lie on their back in a tired state after orgasm and semen does not leak out, and other theories mention other “off the wall” suggestions (Lloyd 49). Although the results spark positivity and interest with the public, conclusive proof eludes us. Speculation over why females ejaculate naturally enters our mind. Maybe humans experience social benefits like that of other animals. Maybe females inherited a by-product of fetal development like men inherited nipples. Can we venture into the statement, “Females got lucky with a useless trait of evolution”? I think so. Female orgasms display no justifiable or proven purposes to benefit evolution and look like biology’s happy accident.

Equally important, females don’t need orgasms in order to reproduce. Women don’t worry about getting pregnant when they have an orgasm during sex. The fact still remains that “women can conceive without orgasm, making it less…connected with reproductive success” (Zuk 294). Women who experience persistent genital arousal disorder can reproduce the same as women who will never experience an orgasm in their life.

Even if evidence shows no biological benefit, let us give careful attention to opposing views such as reproductive assistance. Some biologists believe the female body can help move semen to the cervix when climaxing and therefore assist in reproduction. The upsuck theory suggests that the created suction directs sperm to the female egg faster and better than without orgasm. In one study, doctors inject women with radio-active material similar to semen and oxytocin simulating an orgasm. The doctors watch how fast it reaches the uterus. Doctors even study live performances of two consensual adults (“Why is Sex Fun?”). Robin Baker and Mark Bellis observed such procedures and wrote a paper concluding that the “female orgasm was a way of manipulating the retention of sperm by creating suction in the uterus” (Smith). However, scientists cannot repeatedly reproduce this upsuck effect. The only doctors that achieve this effect are the only doctors making money off of the studies. Hence, the studies move to books and public attention. These doctors keep a job but don’t help advance mankind’s knowledge of survival. Of course, the results astound laymen to the most educated, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Indeed, the elusive purpose for the female orgasm sparks curiosity among the scientific community. Professional doctors and reputable biologists observe coitus not just for entertainment but for science. All this talk about sex could lead to passive people thinking, how silly? Of course curiosity flames any idea or study, but curiosity connects to understanding. Though female orgasms show no proven biological benefit now, scientists continue the search for the elusive wonder. Dinitia Smith writes how Dr. John Alcock thinks the woman uses orgasms to find the quality of a male. Alcock theorizes females determine who they will choose as a mate for their offspring by orgasms. Female orgasms form an “unconscious way to evaluate the quality of the male” (Smith). This suggestion now leads into an advantage or disadvantage to evolution. If males do not give their sexual partner an orgasm, the genes of the male will not be passed on and that lineage will die. Still, this theory fails to consider evolution by natural selection. Jerry Coyne says natural selection “requires only that individuals of a species vary genetically in their ability to survive and reproduce in their environment” (11). This begs the question about female orgasms. “Why wouldn’t selection have produced women who more reliably achieved one?” (Zuk 297) Because the theory holds no evidence or studies and therefore, belongs in the imagination. Evolutionary remnants flood the human body, so let’s add one more to the list.

Hence, women who experience the climactic moment of sex may just feel the lucky bonus of evolution. Ever wonder why men and women can wiggle their ears, why we get goose bumps, why do we have wisdom teeth, or why humans have appendages only to be remove in operation? These human traits remain, called vestiges, from when our ancestors needed them. “Hidden here are special features that make sense only as remnants of traits that were once useful” (Coyne 56). The male nipple exemplifies a vestigial trait. The male nipple comes from the early embryonic stage of life. As a man, I can’t imagine looking in the mirror and not seeing my nipples, but they only bring me pain when someone twists them. “Male and female embryos have the same external and internal anatomy for the first few weeks of development” (Goodenough and McGuire 358). Both males and females gain additional traits from the humble beginnings of development. Although the female orgasm does not display an obvious trace of our ancestors, it does display a remnant of an early embryo. To call a female orgasm a useless trait may be too harsh, for when we look at similar traits, they were once very useful, just not anymore.

Additionally, the female orgasm falls into the description of a useless trait. How many people still use wisdom teeth? We don’t need a tail anymore and we don’t need goose bumps. Males don’t need nipples and females don’t need orgasms. Goodenough and McGuire note another trait that stands on the line, “both male and female embryos of about 6 weeks of age have a small bud of tissue between their legs…the bud becomes the clitoris in females” (384) and the penis in males. Yes, even the clitoris comes from the embryonic development. “The male needs the orgasm and the female basically get it for free because of this shared body plan” (“Why Is Sex Fun?”). All of these explanations are flawed, but some make sense. Roller coasters make us laugh and entertained. Bungee jumping brings tears of joy or fear. Sexual climax makes us happy too.

Finally, when examining the bonobos and how they behave after sex, indications may show a social benefit to the female orgasm. Bonobos look similar to chimpanzees except for the bulgy buttocks and genitals. Male Chimpanzees rape the females, and encourage the younglings to imitate them. Primatologists believe the male majority was caused by practicing infanticide. Infants were intentionally killed. On the other hand, bonobos make love not war. They “have frontal intercourse, exhibit vocal intensities that suggest female orgasm, and make eye contact during intercourse” (Brody). The bonobos display consensual sex. Female bonobos solidify their bonds with each other and work together to dominate males. Females have sex with females, many other male partners, and males have sex with males. By “reducing any tension that does exist, they’re able to form alliances with each other and cooperatively dominate males and this changes the whole balance of power and the whole social dynamic in the group” (“Why Sex?”). The vocal intensities alert other females and sound like a victory yell. Comparable to bonobos, we express joy to ourselves and others when we feel good. Smiles are contagious, and they cause conversations to go well.

What if there were purposes for the female climax? It feels good, but what about an evolutionary purpose? The feminist movement would clamor to the streets with new ammo towards a sexist society. Partners seeking children would both want an orgasmic ending if the upsuck theory were true. You may creep yourself out wondering if mom had an orgasm during conception. Unfortunately, volunteers do not come quickly enough. Large study groups may never organize. The incentive to volunteer doesn’t outweigh the stage fright and embarrassment that comes with the sensitive issue. The lovemaking and peaceful bonobos display a social atmosphere that looks completely different than the warmongering and hateful chimpanzees. Did you ever notice a couple getting along one day and fighting the next? Maybe something magical happened one day and nothing happened the next day. Men and women! I challenge you to test my social benefit theory. Set a goal for one week straight. Two weeks! See how your life changes.

Works Cited

Bering, Jesse. “Reopening the case of the female orgasm.” Scientific American. Scientific American Mind, 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2012.

Brody, Dr. James. “Bonobo or Not Bonobo: Why Models of Human Evolution Cannot Continue to Ignore our Sexy Relative.” Behavior. Behavior, 30 Mar. 1999. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.

Coyne, Jerry A. Why Evolution is True. New York, New York: Penguin Group, 2009. Print.

Lloyd, Professor Elisabeth A. The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005. Print.

McGuire, Betty, Judith Goodenough. “Reproductive Systems.” Biology of Humans: Concepts, Applications and Issues. 3rd ed. SanFranciso, Pearson Education. 2010. 350-358,384. Print.

Smith, Dinitia. “A Critic Takes On the Logic of Female Orgasm.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 May. 2005. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.

“Why is Sex Fun?” Curiosity Season 1. Narr. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Discovery Channel. Discovery Communications, Silver Spring, Aug. 2012. Television.

“Why Sex?” Evolution. Narr. Liam Neeson. PBS. WWPB, Hagerstown, 22 May 2008. YouTube. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.

Zuk, Marlene. “The Case of the Female Orgasm.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Spring 2006: 294-298. Science & Technology(ProQuest). Web. 13 Nov. 2012

You Didn’t Answer My Question

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Eric Stiffler

29 October 2012

“I’m so busy.” Although everyone says these words, America announces them with a hint of pride. Ask a family member or friend about their life or what they have planned for the next couple of weeks and you will hear the word “busy.” You will not hear exactly what the business entails, but you will get informed of that person’s busy life. I often wonder what “busy” really means. A couple of thoughts come to me when someone responds with the word “busy.”  They don’t want to speak with me anymore, can’t think of a fitting description to their life, don’t know the true definitions of “busy,” think having no time to do anything makes them proud or a combination of the above. The word comes out of a person’s mouth with no thought of an alternative. The over usage of the word “busy” dilutes the meaning and raises additional questions.

How we use busy in conversation leaves an impression of hurrying and having no time for anything.  If you have a lot of things going on in your life, saying the word “busy” sums up a would-be five minute conversation. Saying the word “busy” lets everyone know you cannot do anything with the limited amount of time you have but doesn’t respect the people who care enough about you to ask. Today I will hear someone describe their day as busy more than once from more than one person. Rather than share the joys and happiness of one’s life, the busy person will exclaim a life of dread and pressure from the clock.

When I talk to someone about their day, I know the word “busy” will come up if they show anger and sorrow. Often times you will hear a sigh come along with the word “busy.” The answer comes so easily from these people because the phrase “I’m busy” connotes a stressful life. The feeling of empathy enters one’s head when a friend or family member reacts this way. Answering someone with this statement only poses new questions. People say “busy” so often that I have to judge them on how they use the word.

The thought of “foolishly or intrudingly active” immediately comes to mind when people mention “busy” (Gove 303).  People don’t use “busy” in this way all the time, but the more I inquire of these busy people the more unproductive they sound. Dig deeper into one’s life and you’ll probably hear time spent on watching sitcoms, checking Facebook, or playing sports. If an initial response answered with spending time on hobbies, the need to dig deeper and ask more questions would not be necessary. Someone who prioritizes time to play sports and complains that school work isn’t done or about family members not seeing them, intrudes on more important matters. This scenario happens a lot when one pays more attention to what a busy person does. Maybe the statement that busy people are “full of distracting details” sounds nicer (Gove 303).

When you consider that all humans “engage in something requiring time or attention,” telling someone about your busy life could mean anything (Grove 303). Breathing air, watching YouTube videos, and sleeping require time. I think this definition describes how most people use the word “busy. Keeping this definition in mind, a busy person could engage in anything and the word’s meaning disappears when someone pukes it out in a conversation. The second part to this definition explains why you should not be proud and throw the word around like a badge of honor

People who use the word “busy” so readily may pray for the antonym every night. When I picture people being busy, I imagine a room full of chickens running around with their heads cut off. The total opposite sounds like a pipe dream. Imagine sitting at home watching your favorite show or reading a book on the balcony of The Ritz hotel. A mother of five who hires a home nanny to cook, clean and watch her kids would never consider herself busy. If there was one word to explain the opposite of a busy person, I would choose “time.”

Business men and woman live a busy life when they are “full of business activity” and ordinary people live a busy life when they do something that requires time (Gove 303). My request does not involve eliminating the word “busy” from our daily vocabulary. Understand that a busy life doesn’t promote a positive one, therefore; don’t drag your listener down like a crab in a bucket. I only ask that you show respect by briefly explaining to your audience what your business entails rather than throw the word “busy” around like a hot potato or a badge of accomplishment. Your listener may enjoy the conversation more and respect you more for taking the time to explain why your leisure time does not exist.

Works Cited

“Busy.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 2012. Credo Reference. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.

“Busy.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.

Gove, Philip Babcock, Ed. “Busy.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. 1993. Print.