MK 354 Spring 2010

April 26, 2010

A Dancer’s Dream

Filed under: blog #10, Uncategorized — Jackies blah-g @ 12:28 pm

               Across the nation, people with cerebral palsy are trying to live normal lifestyles. United Cerebral Palsy is an organization that provides services and support for people with disabilities in order to live a life without limits.

                Recently in Dubuque, Iowa, the Telegraph Herald published a story about a girl named Challes Reese who has set out to change her situation. Parade Magazine published an article about Reese on March 21 about how she overcame cerebral palsy to join her high school’s dance team.  Since that article was released, Reese has received phone calls, e-mails, and gifts congratulating her on her achievements from people all over the nation.

                Cards arrived at her home thanking Reese for her inspirational story and showing others that it is possible to follow a dream.  Reese’s favorite gifts thus far have been a fleece blanket with images of ballerinas on it. Her story has touched many hearts.

                For the next year, Reese isn’t sure about continuing dance because there may not be a coach. She has set her eyes on joining the cheerleading team at the high school instead.  Stories like these affirm UCP and their mission to help people help themselves.

April 12, 2010

And The Award Goes To…

Filed under: blog #9 — Jackies blah-g @ 12:25 pm


                Many charity organizations are constantly vying for donors to give monetary gifts to support their cause.  These gifts come from people and organizations that enable organizations such as United Cerebral Palsy to provide programs and services to the surrounding communities.

                United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut was awarded a grant by the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund. The $6,000 award will help fund its disability support program to support the mission of the organization: advancing the independence and full citizenship of people with disabilities.

                Founded in 1947, UCP of Eastern Conn. originally operated as the “Little White Schoolhouse” for children with disabilities. As of 1992, UCP of Eastern Conn. has expanded and began providing services and programs for adults as well. Programs include: community outreach, an adaptive toy library, residential services, and advocacy for people with physical and/or developmental disabilities.

                The Frank Loomis Palmer Fund was established in 1936 quality educational, cultural, and human services for underserved populations.  The Palmer Fund specifically serves the New London, Conn. area and applications for the grant are available through Bank of America’s philanthropic management department.

                In addition to the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund Award, UCP of Eastern Conn. was also awarded $5,000 by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut.  As the spirit of “life without limits for people with disabilities” rings strong, UCP of Eastern Conn. works towards being the premier organization advocating and enhancing independence by providing quality, cost effective and community based services for individuals with disabilities.

                 More information available at:

April 5, 2010

UCP’s New Sensory Room

Filed under: blog #8 — Jackies blah-g @ 9:49 am

United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile, Ala.  finally has a dream come true. Thanks to the hard work of many volunteers and countless hours, UCP of Mobile has built a sensory room for children. The sensory was a project that was stopped due to the lack of funding, however, the Junior League and the Mobile Homebuilders Association came together to help finish the project.

Cerebral palsy is a chronic condition caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain affecting body movement and muscle coordination. The brain damage usually occurs during fetal development or during infancy.

 This new space is designed to help children with special needs to interact and develop through different areas of the room. There are areas for light therapy, deep pressure therapy, and just an area to help the children feel safe. There are climbing exercises, pianos to dance on, or even a swing to lay in for the children.

Susan Watson of United Cerebral Palsy states, “We could have never done something like this on our own, and the results are just amazing.” This is the beginning of the development for the “My Child Without Limits” program. As United Cerebral Palsy sets out to help children with disabilities, UCP of Mobile has set a prime example.

For more information and to see the news video, visit

March 29, 2010

Australia’s Drastic Measures!

Filed under: blog #7 — Jackies blah-g @ 12:54 pm

When women are pregnant, there are two ways to give birth to the baby. A woman may make the choice to have the baby naturally or through surgery such as a caesarian section. Then there are worries as to whether or not the baby is healthy from the start or if there will be illness. One concern in Australian residents during childbirth is the development of cerebral palsy in the child.

 More than 600 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year. Well Professor Caroline Crowther from the University of Adelaide has found a way to prevent cerebral palsy from forming. The women in Australia are giving premature births so that they may undergo magnesium sulphate therapy. This type of therapy involves the pregnant woman to receive a shot of magnesium sulphate 24 hours before they give birth. The magnesium is vital for normal cell function and can protect against destructive molecule that may harm the cells of the baby.

 Premature birth is when a pregnant woman gives birth earlier that expected. Would you believe that these babies in Australia are given birth prior to being 30 weeks old! The premature birth is either through early caesareans to prevent complications or by spontaneous early labor.

 National guidelines have been put in place at an annual scientific meeting this week of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This procedure is hoping to prevent cerebral palsy in so many children and to relieve the Australian community of the $400 billion cost that is allocated to people that have cerebral palsy.

To read the article, please visit :

March 22, 2010

Character- Pass it on!

Filed under: blog #6 — Jackies blah-g @ 1:13 am

Just think back to the days of high school when people were categorized into cliques. The jocks, the nerds, the bandies, the cheerleaders, and the artists, are just a few that existed in the teenage world. There are many stories and memories that can be told from the interaction of the groups stated above.

In Made To Stick, the authors Heath and Heath state that “stories can almost single-handedly defeat the Curse of Knowledge. (237)” Through the progression of Heath and Heath’s book, each chapter has built upon the last to ultimately work together in the end to complete the SUCCESs model: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories. In this chapter, the connection plot is a story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap, whether it is racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic, or otherwise.

The Foundation for a Better Life uses commercials to tell a story to promote better living. In the commercial, “Character – Pass it On,” the stereotypical high school clique attitude is defied. A “nerd” standing at his locker is provoked by a group of “popular guys.” One of the guys knocked the nerd’s books out of his hand and the books and papers are scattered on the floor as they continue walking and laughing. The screen shot then turns to another guy, the “jock”, sporting a letterman’s coat. The jock walks over to the nerd and helps him to pick up his books.

Within a short time period, a viewer is able to connect with the commercial and recognize the stereotypical groups. Heath states, “Stories are almost always Concrete. Most of them have Emotional and Unexpected elements.” The viewer has most likely experienced this scenario in school or has seen it in movies. The greatest part is that the commercial itself is not attempting to sell you anything. The Foundation for a Better Life has definitely created a “sticky” commercial. There are many others ones that carry different messages such as: encouragement, true beauty, and sportsmanship.

As stated by Heath and Heath, “The stories have the amazing dual power to simulate and inspire (237),” and The Foundation for a Better Life does just that.


March 1, 2010

YOU can shine!

Filed under: blog #5 — Jackies blah-g @ 12:34 pm

Everyday we are bombarded with many commercials in which the companies and brands are so focused on the product that the message is unclear. Rarely do we find something that Heath and Heath would deem “unique,” to the point that a viewer will remember why that one message was able to stick.

In Made to Stick, Heath and Heath touch upon the use of emotional appeal in order for a message or idea to stick. One technique that the authors touch upon is appealing to a person’s self-interest. It is in the interest of the company or speaker to let the audience know, “What’s in it for you?” (WIIFY)

 Pantene Pro-V is a division of Procter and Gamble that distributes shampoos, conditioners and many other hair care products. Even though washing hair is lower on the Maslow hierarchy as a basic need, Pantene must appeal to its audience so that its product sales remain consistent.

In an advertisement spot in Thailand, Pantene Pro-V used an emotional approach to reach its target audience. The commercial involved the progression of a young girl through her childhood learning to play the violin. Her muse came from a local street artist that played the violin. When she is a teenager, she is constantly chastised for not being talented enough to compete in a competition and told that she should quit. She returns to her muse and seeks guidance to become a better musician. As the story progresses she competes in the competition and overcome the obstacles that she had to endure and just play with her heart. The tagline of the advertisement is: You Can Shine.

 At first glance, we don’t realize that it is a commercial for hair care products. We start to develop an emotional attachment to the commercial and apply it to our own obstacles that we had to endure through our own childhoods.  This relates back to Heath and Heath’s example of Caples and his print-advertising headline: “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano….But When I Started to Play!” The mentors and friends laughed at her when she came to play her violin, but in the end she received a standing ovation.

Shockingly the commercial is four minutes long and it definitely keeps you interested until the end. The emotional appeal in this case was successful. Question is, would you buy the product?

February 22, 2010

Do you smoke floor wipes?!

Filed under: blog #4 — Jackies blah-g @ 9:40 am

                Day by day it seems that more and more companies sprout from thin air that claims to be “the expert source.” Who is the all telling source? Is there just one company that reigns over all when it comes to credibility? Credibility can be derived from one’s beliefs from personal experience, family, or faith sources.  We judge credibility from the amount of detail that is presented such as images or statistics. Its human nature to want know that we are receiving the right information.

                In, Made to Stick, authors Dan and Chip Heath state, “It’s more important for people to remember the relationship than the number.”  Many advertisements nowadays state many statistics and claim to have support from a large corporation that has credibility in order to make their own claim reliable. For example, if the makers of the H1N1 vaccine have a claim for the public, they may use the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) name in order to back up their claim. Having the support of a company like the FDA adds credibility to their product and that alone influences the number of vaccines that need to be manufactured. If it wasn’t approved by the FDA, would you get the H1N1 flu shot? I highly doubt it.

                Then again, is it possible to endorse a product or message without the help of a celebrity or an organization where credibility already exists? Yes.

                “Acetic Acid is found in cigarettes. Acetic Acid is also found in floor wipes.”[1] Can you imagine inhaling a floor wipe? As shocking as it may be, this is a fact. It didn’t come from the FDA. It didn’t come from the surgeon general. This fact came from, a web site that is composed of people that research the harmful effects of smoking. Many people recognize their commercials that strike upon a person’s emotional chords. One commercial (below) shows people lining up body bags outside of a tobacco company to make a point. The stated fact at the end of the commercial is that: Every day 1200 people die from tobacco. Not only does this affect a person visually, but it affects a person emotionally as well. has become the antiauthority is still impacting the way people see tobacco and smoking.  The relationship of tobacco and people are contextualized “in terms that are more human (143).”

                In a matter of 30 seconds, has endorsed themselves as a credible source.  The web site features: the “FACTory,” videos, downloads, apparel and “the useful cigarette,” to support the antismoking movement.  So will you log onto the web site to check out my story or will I also become the antiauthority in this case, and you’ll just take my word for it?


February 16, 2010

The Most Decorated?

Filed under: blog #3 — Jackies blah-g @ 7:10 am

As America winds down for the long weekend full of Valentine’s Day flowers, Chinese New Year fortunes, and Presidents Day, the action packed weekend has definitely become intense. This past weekend, in Vancouver, Canada, the Winter Olympic Games kicked off with the lighting of the torch. The United States of America has undoubtedly made a statement and is in the lead with a total of eight medals with Germany trailing in second with a total of five medals.

            Yet, the hype of the weekend rested on the death of an Olympian and the birth of a record holder. In Short Skate for 500 meters, Apolo Ohno has become the “most decorated Olympian” of the Winter Olympics. What does that mean? Does Apolo have the best outfit of all the competitors? Did he decorate his helmut like graduates do so that we can pick him out of a group? If you are not a fan of the Winter Olympics, this statement is misleading.

            In Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, the authors discuss the idea of being concrete. In order to make the idea “sticky,” it has to be taken out of its abstract form. Heath and Heath study the teaching strategies of mathematics teachers in America versus that of a Japanese teacher in order to have a better understanding of how abstract ideas stick. The students in Japan are more advanced at understanding the concepts of math because the teachers aid the students in building an abstract concept based on a concrete foundation. Again, it leads back to building upon schemas that already exist in the children’s minds in order to help them make more concrete connections like notebooks, pens, and school children. All the listed objects are what the students encounter in daily life.

            How does this connect to the Winter Olympics? In the case of Apolo Ohno, his achievements should be highlighted. He has now set a record and tied with a past Olympian, to have a total of six medals. The count of six medals can easily become nine medals since he has three other categories to compete in before the Olympics are over. Though he may be soon known as the new record holder to join the elite alongside Michael Phelps, the visual image of medals are easier to remember than the word “decorated.” So as we root on Ohno in his quest for the gold, we must remember that reporting the number of medals will create a visual image in a viewers mind rather than stating that he is the “most decorated Olympian.” Go Team USA!

February 8, 2010

Keep your hands off my Doritos

Filed under: blog #2 — Jackies blah-g @ 1:24 am

            As the Super Bowl came to an end tonight, the New Orleans Saints dominated over the Indianapolis Colts to become the champions of the football world for the 2009-1010 season. Yet, the talk of the morning will not be about the game, but rather about the advertisements that took place during the game. Are you one of the millions of people that view the game just for the commercials? Which commercial was the most memorable and why? Why did that commercial of all commercials stick?

           In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath state, “If you want your ideas to be stickier, you’ve got to break someone’s guessing machine and then fix it (71).” It is human nature to try to predict what will happen next so that we are prepared to react accordingly. The reason that some of those commercials are more memorable than the rest is due to the fact that it may have caught you by surprise. When we are surprised our brows go up and our eyes widen to give us a broader field of vision (68).

            In the Doritos Chip advertisement in the first half of the Super Bowl, a young boy breaks our guessing machine and definitely catches the audience by surprise. As the commercial is unfolding, Heath and Heath’s Gap Theory of Curiosity is becoming clearer. “When we want to know something but don’t, it’s like having an itch that we need to scratch (84).” The commercial opens the gap as we, the audience, try to predict what will happen with the young boy.

            As the older gentleman is waiting for the young boy’s mother for their date, he reaches for a Doritos chip in a chip bowl on the coffee table. The confrontation is now face to face, as the little boy speaks in the tone of an overprotective father. He lists two rules that the older gentleman is expected to abide by. Since we weren’t sure what was going to unfold, we keep watching until we can close that knowledge gap.

          In doing so, the Doritos Chip ad has become one of the more memorable commercials because it was planned unexpectedness (66). The commercial grabbed our attention and kept it for the full 30 seconds until the message was clear. So the next time you walk down the potato chip and snack aisle in your nearest grocery store, you may just reach for a bag of Doritos Chips thanks to this advertisement.

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