All posts by sukum88885@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg

Peer Podcast Review

Do we worry too much about the effects technology has on our lives?

The podcasts I listened to were very insightfully and I am glad to have my thinking provoked by questions my peers have mentioned in their podcasts. A few that I found interesting were the positive impacts of technology on our lives. I learnt from Pranav and Tannuj’s podcast. It was also very interesting to learn Sayma’s question that made me rethink that the use of technology helps us do things faster. Finally, Daniel and Anda’s insights on how we should live in the moment were extremely enlightening.

In conclusion, I think we worry far too much about the effects do technology on our lives and we should focus far more on the positive aspects.

Podcasts I listened to:

WF Reflection

“Our student-writers rose to the challenge, producing authentic, responsible and powerful pieces”

Find my Writer’s Fortnight article here!

Writers fortnight was more than just a task, it was a journey where the process is what truly mattered. Through the course of this process we were given the oppurtunity to meet and interview several interesting people with stories to be told. Hence, not only did we develop our writing schools through this proces but also acquired new journalism skillsets.

Some of us took on the challenge of presenting the stories ofthose we met and interview. However, some of us took on other issues that spoke to us and went on to write pieces based on them. I took on the challenge of adressing a socio-political issue in India about the restrictions on women for entry to a specific temple.

Though some of us wrote aobut the same story, each piece is different. We all took on different perspectives of the stories told and addressed them from different angles, hence no two stories are the same. The gruelleing yet creative process over the of  weeks put our brainstorming and constantly provoked us to write more and think further than waht we already had. It prepared us to analyze information and claims in order to make effective inferences that support our plot arch.

I found that the process I went through during Writer’s Fortnight equipped me to delve deeper into the various aspects surrounding the issue rather than mentioning them at a surface level. The guidance of my teacher and the feedback given  my acquanitances and others was extremely useful to prodcue a polished final piece.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”- a famous quote told by  Maya Angelou. However, after Writer’s Fortnight I would like to propose that even worse than an untold story is an un-writtenone as that closes a world of opportunities and perspectives.

Partner Podcast Round-up Post

Following several weeks of planning and preparation, my partner and I finally completed the podcast partner challenge.  The preparation consisted of several steps and intricate planning, however with the right amount of perseverance and hard work we were able to collaboratively complete our podcast. The ideas that I read about in this article were similar to our work ethics.

The article expressed ideas that aligned with how perseverance and grit are far more important than skillsets and that one can achieve a lot with just the two.

A quote which I found particularly striking and resonant form this article was: “Usually, we answer these questions by talking about the talent of top performers.”, the quote continues citing a few examples of comparisons that run” in our head whit similar thoughts. And ends of stating that: “your intelligence don’t play nearly as big of a role as you might think”.

This was very relatable to myself and upon a discussion with my partner, I found that she agreed as well. We often find ourselves in the constant cycle of wondering how we aren’t “born with it” or how we can never be “as good as them” when in reality all it takes is extra effort.

It was also interesting to find that during our podcast process we used similar methods when w were stuck. At times we experienced hurdles but all we required to conquer them was a small discussion and realigning our course of action. This is similar to when the article says “Mentally tough people don’t have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent — just more consistent.”.

Mental toughness isn’t about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage. It’s about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions over and over and over again.

A line which stuck with me and will continue to is “In other words, talent is overrated.”, and I find this so important as we are constantly thrown unrealistic examples that we will never be able to fully compare to.

During the editing process of the podcast, I was a bit lost as to how certain actions were to be carried out. However, the issue was that I perceived it to be easy and that I was supposed to complete it in a jiffy.  However, when I made myself understand that I need to work through it slowly and take as much time as it requires I was able to perform better. With the help of my partner, this was one of the obstacles that I overcame.

Upon reviewing the partner agreement we found that we stuck to most of the claims we made. With the exception of working overtime, as due to both of our commitments, we were unable to make time out of school to work on our podcast. However, we did not find the requirement to work overtime as all our work went as per schedule.

What I required the most from my partner was support and reliance which my partner was able to supply for the most part.

The most important tool of the Swiss knife in our challenge was the scissor for cutting out distractions. As not only was the basis of the challenge we chose but it was also an essential part of our editing process.

Partner Podcast Challenge

Partner Podcast Challenge

by Srinandini Sukumar and Megna Srinivasan | Partner Podcast Challenge

 

Show Notes

We consider our phones to be an integral part of our lives, some may even consider them an integral part of themselves. We decided to push the boundaries and test ourselves to see if we could reduce our phone usage for a week and monitored the effects it had on us.

We compare and contrast the opinions shown in these articles: Teens Would Rather Text Their Friends Than Talk to them in Person, The Surprising, Research-Backed Benefits of Active Screen Time, and  16 Things Everybody Should Stop Doing In Order To Be Successful to our experience and tried to form links to what we’ve experienced.

A lot of pre-planning was done for our podcast, first, we had to plan our recordings and devise an intro and outro to kick off the project. This process can be found on the planning doc, the final podcast had the intro which I made, and the outro of my partner. Intro/Outro/Planner 

 To get a better sense of the dynamics of a podcast and the flow of thoughts put into a podcast listening to a podcast was a quintessential part of the project. The podcast I reviewed was called “Freakonomics-Think Like a Winner”. Not only was it immensely interesting and inspiring but it also gave me a good sense of what a podcast should contain and outlined some ideas which I could implement in my own.

Finally to kick off the process my partner and I  had a conversation ensuring that we were both well versed with the steps that will be taken for the process.  We made a recording and also used the information we garnered from the personality tests. This helped us to better understand our attitude towards work and how we respond to situations. 

 

Teens Would Rather Text Their Friends Than Talk to Them in Person|| http://fortune.com/2018/09/10/teen-social-media-survey/

The Surprising, Research-Backed Benefits of Active Screen Time| || https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-03-01-the-surprising-research-backed-benefits-of-active-screen-time

16 Things Everybody Should Stop Doing In Order To Be Successful || https://medium.com/@parkernash/16-things-everybody-should-stop-doing-in-order-to-be-successful-18be67a70a2c

Intro/Outro/Planner 

 

First Podcast Review

 

Partner Agreement

 

Writer’s Fortnight Op-ed Article

Women holding up signs in protest to the supreme court verdict that allows women entry to the temple. Some of which read: “Save Temples from Atheists”, “Ready to wait till 50” (referring to the original law that restricted females between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the temple).

 

SABARIMALA: DEVOTION BEYOND CONVENTIONS

Disobeying religion to pray to a God that does not wish to see them

It was on the faithful, or as many would now say, the faithless morning of September 28, 2018, that the Supreme Court of India announced their verdict to lift the ban on entry of women to the Sabarimala temple in the southern state of Indian South-Western state of Kerala. The verdict passed given a 4:1 majority rule on the five-judge constitution bench with the only vote against the verdict being the female judge Justice Indu Malhotra.

According to Justice Indu Malhotra, “Religious practices can’t solely be tested on the basis of the right to equality. It’s up to the worshippers, not the court to decide what’s religion’s essential practice.” supporting her stance that judicial interference goes against constitutional morality.

Justice Indu Malhotra supported her stance that judicial interference goes against constitutional morality, claiming that “Religious practices can’t solely be tested on the basis of the right to equality. It’s up to the worshippers, not the court to decide what’s religion’s essential practice.”

The issue of equal rights to access places of worship has always been a controversial topic of discussion in the secular and democratic nation. However, access to the Sabarimala temple, in particular, is one which concerns many ardent devotees, and rightfully so. As this is not a matter of feminism and equal rights, rather, it is one of belief and faith. Many women are blinded by the belief that they are restricted from access as they are “unsanitary”. However, mythologically, the reason is quite the opposite.

As the legend goes, while Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity of the Sabarimala temple was still a minor, a demon was creating havoc. The Lord successfully defeated her and, it was revealed that the demon was actually a beautiful young woman who had been cursed. In gratitude, the woman proposed to Lord Ayyappa, refused as he had been ordained to go to the forest and answer the prayers of his devotees. But since the young woman was persistent, he promised to marry her when new devotees stopped visiting him with their prayers at Sabarimala.

As a sign of respect towards this woman, females between the ages of 10-50 are not permitted to visit the temple as it would be an insult to her love and sacrifice. However, the women who are such ardent devotees of the lord are unable to believe the very reason behind restricting their entry.

Due to the spread of 21st-century ideologies involving political correctness in India, many have regarded the verdict to be an act of outright discrimination and have put the very basis of their faith away to be blinded by an apparent inequality. In essence, the women who wanted this verdict fought a painstaking battle against their religion by following the strict procedures of the Sabarimala pilgrimage which are physically and religiously not possible for  females to follow and ended up turning the peaceful atmosphere of the area upside down – all to see a God that does not wish to see them.


The pilgrimage that was once a solace seeking journey, where one could see roads overcrowded with faithful devotees during the winter months, now has its reputation in a pitiful state. Many male devotees have even said that they would not return to the temple due to the verdict. As said to BBC Hindi‘s Imran Qureshi, Murugan, a devotee avowed; “We have been coming to [this] temple for the last 30 years. But we may not come back because women entering the temple will spoil our belief system”. Although secluding women from accessing places is typically unconstitutional, the Sabarimala case is unique in that we see a majority of women protesting against the Supreme Court verdict in a quest to revive the reputation of their beliefs.

 

 

The empowering #MeToo movement and other feminist movements in India work towards ensuring women’s security, equal opportunities and uplifting women’s dignity. These movements have made great strides in bringing justice to many victims of inequity and sexual violence, and have also drawn the media’s attention to demeaning cultural stereotypes. On the contrary, the verdict to allow women entry into the temple paved a pathway for unnecessary state intervention in religious issues where fundamental rights were not being challenged and also hurt the sentiments of several people.

State intervention in religious matters in the past have only been appropriate when women were discriminated against through religious practices. One such practice would be the Triple Talaq, in which the supreme court ruled that the practice of meriting a divorce through merely saying the Arabic phrase “talaq” (divorce) to a female partner thrice. It was made a criminal offence, as it was being used against women and caused them immense suffering and outcasting.

Niranjana Jayakrishnan, Kerala-native practising gynaecology is an ardent devotee and comes from a family of staunch believers in the tradition. Niranjana has passionately expressed her views when she wrote in her opinion piece for News 18; “When I can walk back to my house, at night, feeling safe, without any lecherous stares or catcalls from men, that is victory”, expressing her views on what equal rights truly mean.

 

Women who favour the Sabarimala verdict have invested immense amounts of time and energy into ensuring that the verdict has passed. But who has benefited from this? The women who have entered the temple have religiously not benefited from this as they have gone against the belief that lied behind restricting women’s entry. Kanaka Durga, one of the women who entered the temple was socially ostracized and disowned by her family, while others who have entered the temple have received death threats and other actions concerning their safety. In terms of women’s rights and discrimination, negative progress has been made due to the large scale misinterpretation of where to draw the line. Most importantly, the true essence and values behind the pilgrimage have been lost to sensationalization and disturbances caused due to riots against the verdict.

Finally, in the words of Justice Indu Malhotra herself; “Notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion”.  

                                                                                            – Srinandini Sukumar

 

 

 

 

 

Boomerang Bags

Step One: Take this test (12 mins) and be sure to screenshot your final personality test. Based on the resulting type, write up two sentences describing what others need to know about working with you ‘best.’

  • “Debaters create original ideas, then step back to let more numerous and fastidious personalities handle the logistics of implementation and maintenance.”

Step Two: Highlight the three ‘strengths’ you feel you can rely on:

Creativity: I love coming up with new ideas

Organization: I can sort and curate

Flexibility: If you need me to go with the flow, I can do that!

Like a boss: If there is a problem to fix, I love solving things

Reliable: When I say I will do something, you know I will

Communication ninja: Call on me to create videos/posters.

Gamer gumption: Need someone willing to fail again and again and keep going? That’s me!

Team sport: I am happy to ‘take one for the team,’ and make sacrifices for the greater good.

Jedi of just do it: I’m always willing to try new things that seem hard.

Extroverted warrior: I love meeting new people and am comfortable talking to anyone.

 

Step Three: Being Humble

In 2-3 sentences explain areas that you know you need to work on. No need to think about fixing them now–the intention here is to be aware and to be brave in that awareness.

  • Time Awareness: I might expect some tasks to take less time than they may hence leading to my lack of time management. This is only for taxing tasks and doesn’t nesacarily apply to all tasks.
  • Work management: My lack of Time Awareness is related to my work management as often ehen i undermine the amount of time a task may take my work gets affected in the process.

Step Four: Me in an icon.  Pick one of the icons that you think represents the person you are when doing collaborative work. Explain in 1-2 sentences your selection.

I like coming up with ideas and working around things which is what lead me to pick this icon.

Step Five: Showtime: in no more than 3 minutes (and no less than 1) video yourself talking through all your thinking from steps 1-4. Post that video to your portfolio and add it to our Padlet.

 

Boomerang Bags

  1. The three most important questions I answered today (and why)?
    • What is the purpose of this service: To reinvent and reuse plastic bags and give them a new life in order to reduce plastic wastage
    • How big is this concept: It’s rooted internationally and has made an impact. It is a dynamic concept and hence each reused bags makes a difference
    • What line of impact does this come under? :  Environmental and ecological impact. Often we find plastic on the beds of oceans susceptible to consumption by animals as plastics never completely degrades. By reducing the usage and circulation of plastic we reduce the risk of the same.

     

  2. My Experience with ‘teamwork’ and ‘collaboration’ has prepared me for this group. I say this because I am a motivated team worker that has had prior experiences with challenges situations to be encountered. This has prepared me to have an optimistic look at all situations and persevere while giving me best.
  3.  When assigning roles, it might be useful for the chairs to know that I do work well independently and am skilled in most creative aspects of this task. I can work well with others best in smaller groups/.

Freakonomics- Think like a Winner Podcast Review

The work ethics and rigorous maintenance that athletes retain have always intrigued me. Hence I decided to give the Think Like a Winner episode of the Freakonomics podcast a listen. The podcast focused upon the various beliefs that athletes base their strategies on and also questions some myths in sport and their practicality!  An interesting link that the podcast also talked about was why economists hold interests in analyzing sports and what meaning it amounts to.                                                                                                                                                       

The construction of the podcast was also very well made, it was engaging and constituted of the right amounts of all the elements needed to keep a listener on board. The podcast starts with a pre-intro bumper that contained only the most interesting parts of the podcast so as to try and encapsulate the general idea of the podcast in a few seconds and give the listeners a feel of what they were going in to.

Following the intro-bumper, the podcast went into analyzing the first sports myth which was “the hot hand’s theory” and how predictable it really was. Similar to this many other sports myths were scrutinized while taking the opinions of professional athletes. The podcast then leans in to talk about the effect of confidence and belief in a game and the power the big game has on your performance.

The podcast in its construction has also utilized additional elements such as live sounds of the place and time being described so as to make the claims seem more real.  The effect of this is that it also creates an ambiance and adds meaning to what the interviewee is saying.

The podcast then delves into the mental side of the sport and the effect it has on performance. Personally one of my favorite parts was when Bob Tewksbury, a mental-skills coach for the San Francisco Giants and also a retired pitcher in the major league said this;  “Confidence is a choice. A lot of people think it’s a feeling. But if you wait for that feeling, it may never come.”.  After which the podcast transitions into an interview with Shawn Johnson, a four-time Olympic medalist in gymnastics who speaks about how she is now terrified of gymnastics. Following these interviews, Kerri Walsh Jennings, one of the best beach volleyball players in history who won three Olympic gold medals had this to say; “Do you got it, do you want it? Yes? Carry on.“. She was referring to her training and preparation for her sixth Olympics and also touches upon her insecurities about contesting against new and young players now that she is 40. But her perseverance still remains. After this, the podcast incorporates snippets and clips from different games alongside opinions from several other professionals and acclaimed players such as;  Mark TeixeiraDoug Pederson,  Brandon McCarthy, etc. It then continues to dive further into the different aspects of the mental game using perspectives from; Robbie GouldJ.J. Redick, and Toby Moskowitz.

The podcast helps me think about the challenge I would like to choose as it extends concepts of determination and confidence that anything is possible with the right mindset. The podcast has given me a new perspective that confidence is a key factor in everything you do and makes me question myself on things like; “What’s truly holding us back” and “is too much confidence good?”. The podcast overall was very well made and the story is very honest and blatant and answers all the questions in the heads of the listener while including perspectives on different experiences.

 

 

 

The Science behind the Lance Armstrong case

Respiration is the release of energy in cells by the breakdown of food substances. The chemical reactions for respiration take place in the mitochondria of the cell. There are two types of respiration:

  1. Aerobic respiration: Respiration which takes place in the presence of oxygen-glucose is completely broken down with oxygen into carbon dioxide and water.
  2. Anaerobic respiration: Respiration which takes place in the absence of oxygen-glucose breaks down without oxygen. The chemical reaction transfers energy from glucose to the cell.

Glucose is an extremely important chemical involved in the process of respiration: So what is glucose?

 

  • Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula C6H12O6. –  which means that it is a molecule that is made of six carbon atoms, twelve hydrogen atoms, and six oxygen atom.

 

  • Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, it is the monomer of carbohydrates. In other words, Glucose is the compound that makes up most of our carbohydrates.

 

  • It’s a type of sugar you get from foods you eat, and your body uses it for energy. As it travels through your bloodstream to your cells, it’s called blood glucose or blood sugar.

Respiration is important when we do exercise so that our muscles have enough energy to move.

In aerobic exercise, muscles draw on oxygen as well as the glucose and fatty acids carried in by the blood to produce adenosine triphosphate or ATP. ATP is the energy source that enables muscles to contract. The ability to keep exercising aerobically depends on the delivery of oxygen and fuel molecules (glucose and fatty acids) to your muscles. And that depends on circulation and respiration, provided by your heart and your lungs.

When exercising anaerobically, muscles are drawing on stores of glycogen (which is formed from glucose) and converting them to ATP. During this type of high-intensity exercise, the muscles are producing energy without oxygen–the cardiovascular system is unable to keep up the demand. There is a price to pay for exercising anaerobically, as a waste product called lactic acid builds up. This is what causes the burning sensation in muscles and causes them to fatigue more rapidly.

The Lance Armstrong Case

Long distance cycling focuses on aerobic respiration. Long distance cycling competitions, such as the Tour de France, are longer than 50 miles and hence, take several hours to complete so aerobic respiration would be needed to maintain energy levels and avoid the build-up of lactic acid – but this involves a compromise in speed and extent of muscle usage. But can sportsmen cheat the system and get both?

Lance Armstrong, the name on the lips of many fans during several Tour de Frances, but in 2012 on the lips of the judge. After winning 7 titles in the famous Tour de France, Lance Armstrong was convicted of blood doping and was banned from the race itself.

Blood Doping in its essence is injecting more oxygenated blood into the system in order to increase athletic performance rates. This can improve an athlete’s endurance and aerobic capacity.

Lance Armstrong was also found to have used other performance-enhancing drugs and steroids such as; human growth hormone, testosterone, and cortisone. The steroids have effects that include; muscle building, pain control, and speedy injury recovery.

EPO (Erythropoietin) is a hormone produced naturally by the kidneys. However, this hormone can also be artificially produced and injected to increase endurance.

Lance was able to get away with doping for a long period of time as EPO couldn’t meaningful be detected until 2001 which is when he switched to Blood Doping and HGH (Growth Hormone). Armstrong was a skillful user and was able to evade nearly 200 tests over the decade of his participation and usage of the method of doping. This is because of his switch to a method of EPOs and Blood Transfusions which was harder to detect through the Urine Tests. There still exists no method to determine evidence of blood doping solely from tests as long as an athlete uses their own blood.