“Code-Breaker” by Jim Holt is a descriptive essay about the life and accomplishments of Alan Turing. Although Turing was gay and faced challenges of the time, Holt does an excellent job outlining the many accomplishments and the genius of Turing. Holt also allows the audience to look beyond Turing’s sexuality and appreciate his achievements.

Holt’s essay has a bleak beginning; informing the audience that Turing had commit suicide by ingesting an apple containing cyanide. This effectively grabs the audience’s attention and allows Holt to describe the amazing accomplishments of Turing. “It was Turning who was chiefly responsible for breaking the German enigma code during the Second World War… (337),” this is an extraordinary feat. Unfortunately during this time, Turing was persecuted for being gay; however, looking beyond this unjust treatment Turing received, it’s easy to appreciate the genius of the man.

Holt goes on to mention Turing was the mastermind behind the modern computer, “…creating the blueprint for the modern computer (337).” This is another crowning achievement Turing accomplished during his lifetime. It’s unfortunate that these incredible successes are clouded because of his sexuality nonetheless; the essay was able to vindicate Turing.

Holt leaves the audience with a final statement, “…he solved the most important logic problems of his time, saved countless lives by defeating a Nazi code, conceived the computer and rethought how mind arises from matter (346).” This statement allows the audience to concentrate their attention to remembering Turing for his accomplishments. Holt intentional end his essay focused on remembering Turing for who he really was; a genius and helps the audience forget about Turing sexuality and the associated stigma he faced.

Holt’s essay expresses the unjust treatment of gays during the early 1900s. However he also encourages the audience to look beyond Turing’s sexuality and to the person he truly was. He accomplished amazing feats in a time when the odds were against him. Turning should be remembered for his ingenious accomplishments and not for the unjust treatment he received because of his sexuality.

Borders

Jun. 7th, 2013 03:06 pm
“Borders” by Thomas King is a fictional story about the necessity for people to maintain their identities and ideals. Although King uses a physical border between the USA and Canada in his story, the metaphorical border he was expressing was the idea that individuals must stand up for their beliefs in order to maintain their identity.

King starts his story by establishing the mother’s explicit love for her land and quickly presents that she is “Blackfoot.” This helps the reader distinguish her identity. The mother hints that there is no need for her daughter to leave her homeland by referring to the coffee shop near the border, “It’s the water. From here on down, they get lousy water” (132.) This statement lays the foundation for how the mother views her origins and ultimately her identity.

The body of the story presents the most obvious example of the mother’s persistence to maintain her own identity. Her and her son spend a few days sleeping in their car, while being caught between the physical border that separates the USA and Canada; however it was the mothers unwavering attitude towards her identity that presented the situation. She continually repeated that she was “Blackfoot” (135), when simply stating that she was a Canadian citizen would have avoided the situation completely. This represents the absolute resolve the mother has about her own identity even when confronted by authority.

The ending of the story brings the situation to a close. After the media showed up the mother received her justice and was allowed to enter the USA while still maintaining her identity as “Blackfoot.” The guards simply replied, “Thank you” and “Have a pleasant trip (144). This confirms the underlying message of story; holding true to beliefs in the face of opposition is what establishes identity.

Ultimately the mother succeeded through her determination to maintain her identity and to not take the easy way out. Although the manner in which she decided to make her stand was unusual it was nonetheless effective.
“Woman Confronting War” by Jennifer Turpin is a third person narrative on war and how woman are overlooked casualties. Although Turpin’s examples are compelling and the suffering of woman and young girls is unacceptable, her method of presentation limits the audience’s engagement. Turpin offers many examples; however, in most cases she lacks the evidence to back them up. The absence of logos and focus ultimately reduces the reader’s ability to fully comprehend the effects of war on women.
Turpin’s essay starts by describing how war affects woman and the ensuing impact. She states that, “woman suffer from war in many ways, including, dying, experiencing sexual abuse and torture….”(325); however, she lacks details to support these points. There is no doubt that these horrific acts occur and need to be addressed, but capturing the reader’s attention is less effective when the evidence is absent.
Turpin goes on to talk about rape and its direct link to war. She talks about UN peacekeeps that are sent into war-torn areas and have “…committed rape and sexual abuse against woman and young girls” (327). This reference is almost unbelievable because it’s so appalling and the use of statistics would help make this detail more prominent to the reader.
Finally at the end of her essay she states, “All of these factors, along with a cultural acceptance of violence against women, even at peacetime, put woman at greater risk” (328). This declaration is broad and if focussed she would have a stronger final statement and her essay would be more effective.
Turpin’s essay exposes the unjust treatment of woman during war-time and peacetime alike. This behaviour is unacceptable and must be remedied. Unfortunately without supporting data the entirety of the information was weakened. If she provided more facts, statistics, and evidence she would capture a more extensive audience and ultimately be more effective.

Just to be clear I am not trying to belittle the nature of the essay and I do believe in woman’s rights. I am just stating that Turpin’s essay could have been stronger had she included addition information to back up some of her main points.
Global warming has become a global issue that can no longer be overlooked. Al Gore, a leader in climate protection, outlines some major problems caused by the warming of our planet. The leading cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels and has been directly linked to the increase of melting Arctic ice. The alarming rate at which the Arctic ice cap is melting is of particular concern because it is considered to be at the center of the climate system. As the ice melts it releases trapped CO2 further accelerating the problem.
Increased glacial melt is of equal concern because the glacial ice is diminishing considerably sooner than anticipated; this is unfortunate because much of the world relies on glacial melt for drinking water and this could leave these affected areas in a permanent drought. This has also caused a dryer Earth, directly resulting in an increase of wildfires and natural disasters.
One of the biggest contributors to global warming is the mining and burning of coal. Unfortunately due to the large monetary gains, coal companies attempt to suppress and shield the public from the truth through advertising campaigns on TV. One of the biggest ploys these companies use is the idea of clean coal; however, the idea is false.
Fortunately there is an alternative; clean energy. Not only is clean energy better for the environment and essential in eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels, the cause of global warming, but, it will help the world’s economy through job creation (workers and innovators). Humanity recognizes that we can no longer poison the Earth at the current rate and if the human race is to endure we must tackle the threat of global warming collectively and swiftly.
Ted Talks - http://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_warns_on_latest_climate_trends.html

The Game

May. 9th, 2013 11:23 am
‘The Game’ by Ken Dryden, offers a unique point of view into the life of a celebrity. The general image of a celebrity is intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful; however, these characteristics are general embellished. Dryden states, “For the image I’m selling is your image of me” and is implying that the way he is viewed is doctored for the benefit of being adored by the public. He goes on to say, “If I don’t like my image I can do something about it” this also reveals how the image of a celebrity can be altered depending on the public’s response. Ultimately Dryden reveals that often our view of celebrities is fabricated and they are just average people.

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May. 6th, 2013 06:34 pm
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