All posts by rzielinski6

Popularity of Military Terms

I decided to look up military branches on Ngram to determine if increased use of the terms correlate with war in the United States and if a certain branch was more popular during which war. I did this by tracking “army”, “navy”, “marines”, “air force”, and “military” in American English only.


It is obvious that the army is by far the most discussed branch. “Military” follows closely behind “army” and eventually passes “army” to become the most common term among the five in modern language. In the distance is the navy and then (once invented) the air force. Most people seem to use “military” as a general term to describe all the branches which explains why it has grown in popularity over the past 40 years. Also, “army” could be the most popular term for so long because it was the most common used military branch in the past due to the lack of advanced technology.

Also, the spikes in the term usage correlate with wars in America. The huge peak in 1776 was when the United States gained their independence, which also explains the peak in the navy because of the magnitude of overseas warfare. The peak in 1812-1816 correlates with the War of 1812. There was little to no peak in “navy” in 1865, though there was a peak in the other terms because of the Civil War’s lack of necessity for a navy. The peak in 1918 associates with World War I while in 1944 World War II was in full swing. There are some peaks that are more difficult to find correlations for. This could be because there were wars abroad that made people think of the military more. Since the terms all peaked during wars, it seems as if people were extremely preoccupied with the war and that the topic dominated conversations.

Cable’s Upcoming Irrelevance


Cable’s relevance has been noticeably decreasing for the past four years due to the increase in popularity of streaming online. Streaming is so easy due to the hundreds of websites (some legal, some not) with databases of thousands of television shows and movies. While Cable has its perks, streaming is easier for the upcoming generation which makes buying a Cable subscription less important. Once Cable loses its monopoly on broadcasting sports and television shows in real time, streaming will be able to take over completely. The ease of streaming will soon lead to the irrelevance of Cable.

Continue reading Cable’s Upcoming Irrelevance

How Netflix Suggests

The class was told to do our pecha-kucha on something that interested us. I began thinking about what I enjoy: baking, volleyball, theatre, cake decorating, hanging with my friends, sleeping, and Netflix. Originally my “idea” had been a joke. Like most college students, I joked about how I was going to do a presentation on Netflix and my preparation would be watching all 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls in a week (all in the name of research of course). However, as I joked, I thought about Netflix in relation to the concept of big data and realized the concept of Netflix might actually work. I have always had issues with the suggestions section of Netflix because although it gets the genres I like correct, the shows were never ones that I actually want to watch. This prompted me to research how the suggestions are actually made and if I was the only one with these issues. I researched my topic with a focus on the Netflix’s drive to perfect their suggestions. I actually wrote out my script before making my presentation, though I constantly thought about what slide should have what picture. The following two pictures I believe aided my presentation the best and brought a level of understand that solely me talking wouldn’t have been able to.


When I was discussing the basics of how to personalize someone’s Netflix account, having the visuals (I believe) made it easier for the audience to remember the steps. It also allowed my explanation of the process to make more sense because the steps I was describing were right in front of them. Furthermore, by being able to see the steps it takes to complete the personalization process, it seems less daunting or annoying and the viewer might actually take the time to fill out the survey.


Once I was confident that all of my slides had pictures relevant to my script, I split my script into 20-second blurbs so that I knew what content went with which slide, and whether I needed to adjust my speed to stay with the pictures. I couldn’t however prepare for the question portion except to know my facts. However, I was lucky because the questions that were asked, I had good information about. I even got to mention a statistic I left out when I had presented. The question portion was the main difference that I felt from presenting to a live audience vs creating the recording. I had some audience feedback during (a few laughs or smiles), but other than that I enjoyed reading from my script during the media recording without needing to worry about making eye contact. Overall, I liked my finished product. I learned a lot about the process of how big data relates to Netflix while suggesting titles and I also learned more about how important the utilization of big data is to the success of the company.

Vatican proposes a change in viewpoint on gays?

The original source is an article from CNN about the possibility that the Vatican’s viewpoint about gays could be changing in the near future. The evidence in this article was a quote from a report that was released as a summary of the discussions within the Vatican this past week. However, it didn’t list a source, so I googled the quote and found it in an article on patheos. This article mentioned that the quote was from the Relatio, so I googled this as well. It led me to ZENIT The world seen from Rome and with the title “Synod14: Full Text of Relatio Post Disceptationem” before the original quote among other text from the same document. I then googled Relatio Post Disceptationem and found a website for the Bollettino with “Synod14 – Eleventh General Assembly: “Relatio post disceptationem” of the General Rapporteur, Card. Péter Erdő, 13.10.2014” as the page title. When I went to the homepage of the website I discovered that this was the official bulletin for the Holy See Press Office. This is when my search stopped because the official bulletin containing the updates within the Vatican seemed like a trustworthy source.

It was somewhat difficult to find the original source of information because it was an official document that was quoted many times. The original source was an update from the Vatican and the article I read was a both an informative article as well as a summary of the reactions occuring in the United States. Though the purposes of the sources of the information were different, the meaning of the quote did not change when used in each article. In addition, both sources were to inform the public about the change of the Vatican, and both sources do just that.

National Octopus Day!


In honor of National Octopus Day on October 10th, this infographic on octopuses was created to give viewers some general information about octopuses. Though I found this infographic on google images, the source of the infographic was not too difficult to track. I began by following the image to the website it was taken from. This led me to a daily infographic website. Their article accompanying the infographic was the information on the infographic written in paragraph form. They gave no sources in the article, but there was a source on the infographic. The creator of the infographic included their source of the National Aquarium and a website. On their homepage, I searched for octopuses on their database of animals within the aquarium and found only one variety of octopus: the Giant Pacific Octopus. This link led to an abundance of information about the Giant Pacific Octopus and octopuses in general. It even included the original infographic that I had found on Google images confirming my belief that the National Aquarium had made the infographic.

I also came to the conclusion that the information provided on the website was not taken from alternate sources for two reasons. First, there were no sources listed on the website, and scientific articles and websites usually post their sources to confirm their claims. Secondly, I was exploring their website and found a page of their “experts”. They have experts in multiple fields that would suggest the knowledge was either learned in their studies, or they conducted their own research and were using their own results and observations on the website. My assumptions of scientific protocol for citing sources, and the National Aquarium’s group of experts leads me to believe that this is the original source of the information.

The Ease of becoming an Entrepreneur


A visual aid from the magazine Entrepreneur.

Included after an introduction about ways to succeed at being an entrepreneur, the above infographic along with four other infographics were used as suggestions for thriving. The graphic is a lot friendlier to viewers than an article and is more enticing to people who only want to look for a moment. They can choose the pieces of the graphic that would be most useful to them without needing to skim an entire article. Large blocks of text can be extremely off-putting to people in a rush, which most people interested in succeeding in entrepreneurship usually are. The use of minimal words allows for quick skimming which is also aided by having different sizes of text to indicate which phrases contain the most important ideas. This method of conveying ideas using the minimal text also makes the “tips” seem easier to do. It is almost as if it is a checklist, rather than a project or life change needing to be done. The tips are also extremely easy and do not ask much of the reader which also aids in making the changes more manageable.

By having the cartoon of the bedroom, it allows for easier comprehension and remembrance of the information. When given the scenario “getting up early” and a visual of pancakes, it is fairly easy to assume they are suggesting eating a good breakfast without needing to read the caption. Also, when recalling the tips, it is sometimes easier to recall pictures, rather than the important words that were among a sea of other words. The fusion of pictures and minimal words, allows the suggestions to come across clearly and simply, making the tips seem more manageable to integrate into one’s daily life.

The emergence of new data

It is fascinating to realize that a lot of new data comes from old data. Sometimes new data will replace old data because it is more current. However, when old data is categorized and processed, the trends that emerge can be recorded as more data which could possibly be analyzed further.

8-31 reading-response

This passage (found on page 9) in a few words captures the extent to which data has increased over the past several decades. Though, this should not be surprising. Throughout the excerpt of Big Data, the author keeps articulating different situations in which people have used large amounts of raw data to hypothesize trends. These hypotheses can be used to create larger trends, and the cycle can continue. The analysis of the raw data is what catapulted the surge of data the modern generation has now.

One example of this in Big Data was the navigator Matthew Fontaine Maury. He was a navigator that decided to find the best trade routes by going off of the popular approach. He asked everyone he encountered for their knowledge of the seas and the routes they have. He asked old fisherman their secrets for learning the seas so that he could find routes that didn’t fight nature, but rather routes that nature helped along. He collected his own data in order to create his hypotheses because the data he needed wasn’t readily at his fingertips, and in the end created trade routes far superior to the ones previous.

Modern day society has what Maury created for himself, a database just waiting to be examined. People have been able to predict when the price of airplane tickets will be cheapest or track packages all because they used the data in front of them. Big Data fosters the idea that society could have a lot of answers right in front of us that we just haven’t pieced together yet.

Rebecca’s reflection on TTOFTTOF

What does the story tell you about your own relationship with technology?

My video focuses on my relationship with technology and how I believe that Remem could pose problems in the future. I dislike how society today is so focused on being online which causes everyone’s life stories to be public.  I wanted to emphasize in my video my fears for the future if technology continues advancing and how society could be too caught up in the past instead of investing in their future. An important thing to me while making my video was that I did not want to read off of a piece of paper or a computer screen. Since this is a reflection video, I felt that it was important for the video to seem organic. If I read my thoughts off a piece of paper, I felt it would lose a sense of openly sharing my viewpoint and instead be more authoritative than I had wanted. The difficulty with this method though, is that you need to have a strong idea and timeline for the video before you begin recording.