All posts by Skranenburg

Southwest and Big Data

Looking back on the project, I think I could have spent a little more time evolving my topic. I knew that I wanted to do my presentation on something that related to my field of study, Aerospace Engineering. And, I knew that there was a lot of data in the airline industry, so I thought I could merge the two. After researching how the two related, I came upon how Southwest uses big data and decided to use this as my idea. I quickly found all the information I could on the topic, which wasn’t enough, but I was too far into the project to change the topic. I stuck by what I had already came up with and decided to add a little more on how the airplane itself gathers data. So, I looked up what sensors an airplane might use and came up with this sensor:


This water vapor sensor shows what an airplane’s data can do for itself and other fields, such as weather forecasting. The picture shows what a sensor might look like and all the parts involved with it. Since it would be hard to verbally tell what the sensor looks like and how it works, I added this picture to give the audience the image that my words could not create. My argument for this whole project was meant to be what data Southwest collects and how it creates a safer, more efficient, and more customer friendly airline. There was not as much information behind this as I thought there would have been. I thought the part about them teaming up with NASA was really interesting though. Southwest did not release too much information on how they maintain such customer satisfaction other than that they partnered with Aspect to analyze speech and social media to see what their customers want. All this data did work though because in the end, they do have the least amount of complaints.


It is amazing how they have such a low number of complaints and such a high number of customers. This visual shows that even airlines that have less customers have much more complaints. Other than Delta, all other big airlines, such as Virgin, US Airways, American Airlines, and United, have many more complaints. Adding this image to the Pecha Kucha gave the audience more of an idea of what the other popular airlines’ customer satisfaction was like.

If I were to do this project again, I would have given myself more time and come to office hours to talk about how I could formulate my argument/topic better. If I had done that, my presentation would have been much better.


The Maturation of Cartoons

I decided to use the Google Ngram to see find the popularity of specific cartoons and cartoon TV channels. This idea came to me because I used to spend hours at a time watching cartoons as a kid and I wanted to see how they have changed in today’s TV. The graph shows that Nickelodeon has been the most popular channel throughout its existence. Disney Channel used to be the second most popular out of the three (Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel), but Cartoon Network has recently surpassed it. This data shows that when kids our age were around 5 or so, the Disney channel was more popular, but as we grew older we changed preferences to Cartoon Network. Nickelodeon seems to appeal to a broader age spectrum and this might have to do with its Nick at Night section. As a kid, I was always more interested in Cartoon network than I was with Disney Channel so I can see why this shift happened. The shift could have occurred because of the release of Pokemon right around that time. Back in the day, I used to watch every episode of some of those early seasons.

Ngram Graph

I picked those three specific TV shows (Spongebob, Rugrats, and Family Guy) because they represented three parts of my life. I watched Rugrats when I was a toddler, Spongebob when I was in grade school, and Family Guy from then on. The graph seems to represent kids my age moving on from show to show. Rugrats was the biggest, then Spongebob overtook it, and if the graph kept on going, I would assume the Family Guy overtakes Spongebob around 2010.

It is very interesting how this graph seems to map my generation’s maturation just through the relative frequency of a few cartoon channels and TV shows. I definitely experienced a feeling of nostalgia while doing this experiential post and I very much enjoyed it. and its Influence on the World is one of the most influential websites today. It was created in 2005, and today, it brings in over 2 billion page views, 35 million users, and it contains over 100 thousand sub-reddits. Reddit works by allowing anyone with an account to post, comment, or vote on anything they want on the site. The way reddit operates is why it is one of the leaders of free speech on the internet. The posts are organized by categories called “sub-reddits” which contain a wide range of material on one specific subject. An example of this would be a sub-reddit for a television show such as Breaking Bad where users can discuss episodes, write fictional fantasies about the show, or even post original art. The use of Reddit is very common among high school and college students to organize and regroup thoughts, and it is a great tool for learning. There are quite a few sub-reddits on science, engineering, and how our world works that are very popular on the site. Though, users come to reddit from all around the world, the community on the site is very close-knit with very similar thoughts and views. Most of the time, the community feel is a good thing, but other times it can lead to bullying and misinformation. is one of the most influential websites out there today because of its devoted and consistent community-base. Continue reading and its Influence on the World

Snowden’s Motives


This article is a summary of the lives and possible motivation of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and Julian Assange. It goes into depth about the backgrounds of each and what could have sparked their interests and convictions that led them to where they are today. Firstly, the author of the articles starts off by explaining the “age of the leaker” that we live in. Many of the followers of these famous leakers applaud them for protecting the Constitution and the people, but the author hypothesizes that, “In fact, the leakers despise the modern liberal state, and they want to wound it… They want to spin the meaning of the documents they have released to confirm their animating belief that the United States is an imperial power, drunk on its hegemonic ambitions. ”

The passage on Snowden talks about his adolescence and more specific the content of his postings on the tech website, Ars Technica. Many of his posts are political banter and he actually condemns leakers at an earlier age. The author brings up the point that his posts do not coordinate time-wise with the plan that he stated he had in an interview. He stated that during the Bush administration era he was planning on leaking information because he was disgusted with the security policies of the administration. He halted when Obama promised a change to the policies, but then executed after he saw no change was coming. Though, Snowden was very committed to his philosophy, he needed Greenwald with his insight on politics and the media to put into straightforward words. As a result of the leak and the cooperation of Snowden and Russia, other countries including Russia have become upset with the U.S.’s internet policies, spying possibilities, and how American companies such as Facebook are handling their information. They want more control on internet companies like Facebook and Google.

While the majority of the article remains relatively neutral, the author paints a very negative picture of Snowden. Evidence of this can be seen in how he picks specific negative and sometimes derogatory posts from Snowden’s Ars Technica profile. Also, the author goes on to say that a lot of the information leaked, such as techniques used for foreign spying are not necessarily illegal, and the leaking this information could hinder our National Security. He does not think these leakers deserve any of the praise they have gotten because their motives are not to criticize to eventually help it, but instead to hurt it and try to destroy it.

Social Media Sites and Their Average Monthly Usage


This post does a great job showing the more important social media sites at first glance. The purpose of the infographic is to show how many minutes the average user spends on each site over a one month period. Facebook pops out the most just because of the size of its bubble and logo while others have smaller bubbles and take longer to be noticed. It took me several seconds to notice the Google+ bubble at the bottom. This picture’s authority comes from the The Wall Street Journal logo at the bottom right hand side of the frame. The Wall Street Journal is a well-known and well respected news source and adding it to the picture gives it more value. Also, the data was taken from the internet and compiled by comScore which gives the picture a little more authority.

The source of the infographic is an article about how little time Google+ users spend on the site. I actually did not expect this to be the focus of the article, but instead for it to be about how large the Facebook bubble is. The infographic conveys almost all of the information needed to come to the same conclusion as the author of the article. The article explains that Google released a statistic that Google+ has over 90 million users, and 60% of them are active daily. The infographic demonstrates the even if 60% of the users are active, they spend only a few seconds on the site at a time, probably coming from logging into one of Google’s many sites.

The Gears of War Keep Turning

The first thing my eyes are drawn to in this image in the running man in the center of the picture. From his body language, I can tell that he is in pain and afraid of what he is running from. Next, my eyes look to see what is behind him and I see fire, destruction, and tiny soldiers in the background. This African savannah, a place with primarily wildlife and peaceful settlements, is ravaged by battle.

At first glance, it is easy to understand that this is an image of war or genocide, and the conveyor belt aspect of the landscape shows that war is never ending. This picture is meant to evoke empathy from the person looking at it. The color of the background seems to represent haze, dust, and smoke which usually come from explosions. It is dull and leaves me with a feeling of sadness and pain as opposed to what a brighter color would do.

The symbol and motto in the bottom right corner show that this image belongs to a charity against war, armed conflict, and probably more specifically, genocide. Though, I haven’t heard about this specific charity before, it give the image more authority. The audience for this picture is anyone that can do anything to help the charity or to anyone who can do as little as donate. I would assume that this picture could be used as an advertisement that could be seen somewhere like a mall. All in all, this image does a sufficient job using emotion and surrealism to paint a picture that sends a very relevant message to our world today.

The Path From the Printing Press


“As a duplicating machine, the printing press not only made texts cheaper and more accessible; its real power was to make them stable. ‘Scribal culture,’ Eisenstein wrote, was ‘constantly enfeebled by erosion, corruption, and loss.’ Print was trustworthy, reliable, and permanent.” (The Information, James Gleick page 400)


The printing press was one of the most influential and important innovations of all of human history. Though, there are arguments to where and when it first arrived, the impact it had on human advancement was incredible. Because of its efficiency it allowed many people, poor and rich, to learn, stay up to date, and access information. The fact that it allowed people to access information is the most important breakthrough that this invention caused. It caused our memories and history to rapidly move towards a future based on the truth of fact. In my opinion, this invention sparked the beginning of the information era.

Though, the printing press’ mass production of information lead to scientific and cultural enlightenments, there are some downsides to the fact that so much is open for the world to see. Years down the road from the printing press, people seem to run into too much information. At every turn, there is another spam email or another link to a bizarre activist site. People are constantly under fire from messages all around them and can barely process the most important ones. It is even hard to determine which messages are lies and which are trustworthy.

Due to the increase in available information in the years since the invention of the printing press, people can spend lifetimes only accumulating it. Some people think that the key to knowledge is only by gaining more information, but in actuality, knowledge is gained through practice, experimentation, and experience. Knowledge is the ability take information, understand it, and create something with it. The printing press started us on this road with available information, but it is our job to use it as knowledge and with enough experience, wisdom.