The Origin Of Cute

What is the ‘power’ of cute?  Where does it come from?   Why does it work? These are question posed by Beatrice Marovich in her essay “The Powerful Authority of Cute Animals.” Through her research, she explores the idea that the powerful authority of cute animals is created through human objectification of animals.  Dog is mans best friend because he has been specifically designed to exhibit certain traits and characteristics that please us. Dogs are bred to fit a standard that society finds cute not naturally but through human intervention. Humans impose their standards on these dogs. Different cultures find different qualities cute which is why favored dog breeds are different across the world.  So how are standards set for what is cute? The Origin of Cute is Babies! Michael Steven, creator of the YouTube channel Vsauce,  explains the concept of Why Are Things Cute in his video below while also answering the question of how the standards of cute are set. There are two types of cute. Some things are only cute on a cultural level because society says they are but other cultures may not agree. But some things are just inherently cute to everyone … like babies. Babies look different across the world but they all share similar characteristics and features: large heads, small chubby bodies, big eyes, stubby hands and feet.  Since all babies share these qualities, people with different cultural backgrounds all agree that animals or objects are cute when they exhibit these child-like characteristics of being small & round. Babies set the standard for what is considered universally cute…  but why are babies cute? There are two reasons...

Twitter Essay Reflection

I really enjoyed the Twitter essay assignment. Prior to this project, I did not have a Twitter account – @CaitlinEck1 –  and had no previous experience with the program. I have never been heavy involved in social media and I only have a Facebook account. I was pleasantly surprised with how much current information was trending (news, politics, science, events around Atlanta).  I also liked the social commentary tweets Dr. Wharton shared with us in class. It showed me how Twitter can be used as a way to stay informed and not just meaningless form of entertainment. Being new to Twitter, it can be a little overwhelming but I think Dr. Wharton helped me to see how Twitter can be used as a tool in the future.  I found the in-class peer reviews and discussions on how to manipulate language to fit the Twitter format very helpful. It made me really stop and think about each and every word I chose to use. The prompt was What do objects teach us about ourselves? I wanted to express that the way people relate to objects can give insight on a person’s values and morals. I wanted to make a connection between my tweets and the piece we read by Csikszentmihalyi discussing the sentimental value of objects. I thought that using exactly 140 characters was challenging because I have not previously had to limit my writing to so few characters. This assignment forced me to narrow my content down to only what was essential in order to get my point across. I did this by basically analyzing every word I chose and deciding if...

Syllabus and Course Info Quiz

Questions: What are the major projects? In a bulleted list, provide links to the project descriptions for each of them. Blog Twitter Essays Object Description/ 3D model Interactive Timeline Multimodal Object Analysis How will your final grade be calculated? It will be based on the points earned from all the projects, participation, and extra credit A=4,242 points B=at least 3,827 C=1,775pts What happens if you don’t complete one of the major projects? I will receive a C- and have to retake the class What is the “submission form” and how do you use it? Embed the form below your answer (hint: Google “embed Google form” to find out how). It is the way I turn in my work for credit. I submit a link to my work. Embed the course calendar and weekly overview below this question. Where on the course website can you find an overview of the grading policy and major project deadlines? Under the Syllabus and Course Info heading, on the Grade Calculation tab. What is the best way to see an overview of what’s due each week? Course Calendar What is the attendance policy? Unexcused absences will deduct 50pts from your grade. What is the one way that you can lose points? Arriving late may result in a 20-25pt deduction What are my office hours, and how do you make an appointment to see me outside of class? Mon & Wed 9-11am How do you earn participation credit? Provide a link to the instructions/guidelines for participation. How many points can you earn by participating in or organizing a study group session? How can you be assured of...

Why We Need Things 1/11/17

The article “Why We Need Things” brought up a lot of interesting ideas about material possessions and what it means to own them. Two objects that come to mind in my life concerning possessions are a bracelet own and my classic car. The bracelet was given to me by my grandmother on my 16th birthday along with a note explaining the importance of the bracelet. The bracelet was made out of bullet shells in a work camp by my great uncle during WWI. He made it for his sister, my great-grandmother. My mother held on to the bracelet for me until I was 27. It really meant a lot to me to actually have the bracelet in my possession. It reminds me of family and family history.  It may not have any monetary value but it means the world to me. The second item I have that fits into this discussion is my 76 Stingray Corvette. My boyfriend had been wanting a classic car for awhile and he finally talked me into getting one. We spend the majority of our savings on it because he said he wanted it so badly. Well we have now had the car for over a year and the only time he drove it was when he drove it home after buying it. So this car is basically an object he can show his friends to display his...
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