Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blog Post #10: Explaining Exposition

Writing is universal; writing is substantial, it is strong. This method of communication is important. Because it is so comprehensive and unlimited in its entirety, in order to write effectively in order to achieve a goal or convey a message to a particular group the expansive category of “writing” has been divided into specific subsets. These subsets have been analyzed and defined in a way that makes them conducive to the teaching of writing. One type of writing, the type of writing that we as a class have been studying over the course of this past semester is called “expository writing”.

Expository writing is the kind of writing designated for description, information giving, or displaying knowledge concerning a specific topic or thing. Though this category is limited to those aforementioned qualities it is not restricted to a particular paragraph pattern—the author may choose to introduce as many categories as he or she likes without having to adhere to the five-paragraph essay form. Expository writing is not to be confused with creative writing. However, this is not to imply that expository writing exists only when human perception and experience is separate from the writing, because that is not true. The expository essay consists of factual information or understood observations and associations about a topic or subject.

The term “exposition” can be defined as a sweeping analysis of a concept or topic in order to explain or describe that concept or topic. The YouTube video composed by “Extra Credits” titled “Extra Credits: More Than Exposition” provides us with an amusing explanation of this notion of exposition.

Just a bunch of stuff. Materials thriving in our culture.

Material culture studies can aid in the investigation of exposition in that this study provide us with examples and histories of a specific concept. This extends our research and allows us the ability to provide readers with a more detailed and comprehensive description of the focus of our essay. The study of material culture combined with exposition supplies writers with a broader collection of parts for his or her writing. Through material culture studies, writers may examine a popular object, like we have in class, or they may take into consideration the way a specific thing impacts us. In order to write about things, the author may employ exposition in order to analyze all aspects of their concept and its specific relation with material culture studies.

Blog Post #8: The Mac Book’s Coffee House

The prompt for this specific blog-post uses the phrase “greater good.” What exactly is the greater good when it comes to our consumption habits? Who or what exactly determines what is right or wrong. In the case of food, the amount of food needed for a singular person is derived from the amount needed to be healthy. In other cases, more often than not, societal norms create what’s right or wrong in terms of one’s consumption habits. Why do the majority of college females’ wear Ugg boots? Is it because they’re fashionable? Are they comfortable or is it that every other female on campus has a pair and she wants to fit in? When I purchased my Mac book, it wasn’t because I felt that Apple produced a superior product. I just wanted to be like all the other guys in Starbucks with the large apple beaming from the back of my computer. This might sound crazy, but people with Mac books in coffee houses look better than those who use other laptops, in my opinion.  Is this a matter of advertising or a cultural perspective? Is my reasoning for wanting a Mac book insufficient for purchasing such an expensive laptop? 5480842927_5b0af5233f_z The purchase of my laptop was by far one of the most important purchases of my life, even though many would argue that my reasoning for purchasing one was insufficient. Much like the baby carrier Lakiesha references, my laptop has allowed me to work more efficiently than had I never purchased it. While my Mac book doesn’t necessarily promote a closeness to a third party like the baby carrier does for a mother and child, it does facilitate communication through emails, and that has to be worth something. To draw a parallel from Sneezy Deezy, was the marketplace or advertising responsible for my desire for a Mac book? In terms of advertising, I would have to say no, because I haven’t seen many Mac book commercials; however, I must concede that the marketplace had everything to do with my purchase. If I never walked into a Starbucks, I probably wouldn’t own a laptop. I’m not too big on assertions towards what is right or wrong for other people to make purchases. People purchase things for different reason: because everyone else has one, wanting to be different, advertising, etc…, and in the end, its all subjective. So consume what makes you happy!

Blog Post 10: Essay as exposition

In James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, he speaks about the condition of African Americans in the 1950-60s and much of the injustices they faced. The book is split into two essays. The first, “My Dungeon Shook,” is an epistle to his young nephew addressing the issues the author projects the boy to encounter being born in an era of civil strife. The second essay, “Down At The Cross,” details personal memories of the author’s life — from locally popular youth minister to a leading voice in the civil rights movement — and provides reflective insight to issues he’d faced. The book does not offer numbered facts nor does it urge its readers to view the civil rights era in any particular view. It is written as a personal, and sometimes emotional, account of the author’s life and explores areas in society that he perceives fault.

The author and his nephew
The author and his nephew

Fire Next Time is one of many examples of expository writing. That is, in this case, it collects experiential data and orders it to the culturally dominant mode of thinking, then it attempts to reason why the culturally dominant mode of thinking as such. Expository writing is a rhetorical mode concerned with informing its audience about a subject it covers. It is different from persuasive writing, though it can be persuasive, in that it is not attempting to convince its readers to believe in an argument the writer posits; rather, it encourages the readers to develop their own ideas based on the information presented. In many passages of “Down At The Cross” Baldwin asserts the misgivings of his younger self and reveals his later apprehensions to position himself within the circles of formidable civil rights leaders. He details his diverging opinions with many of his contemporaries in achieving racial and civil equality, yet he doesn’t charge them for seeking a disparate ultimate goal. Expository writing, in Baldwin’s case, utilizes personal views on the immediate world to address areas that need improvement.

I bought the book several years ago to explore a different voice of the sixties. I wasn’t necessary concerned about the content of the book, but I did want to read Baldwin’s exercise in explaining scenarios of oppression and the ways he elucidated these injustices differently from more common voices. I went on forums and relied on user ratings before I stumbled on a contemporary review touting the author’s essays as two of the most influential of its era. The book itself may represent an artifact of material culture in that it represents much of the thinking of it’s time. The civil rights movement sought to combat discontent with the present state of the nation and much of it had to do with injustices of the past. And similar to this notion, Baldwin, in his book, expresses those same feelings of discontent, while exploring how his younger self influenced the person he grew to be. Material culture analysis is concerned with forming thorough inferences about a culture through the the items they used. In this case, Baldwin’s work was a critical success, and with this accolade, we can assume that he was able to speak on behalf of many in his generation.

Blog Post #10: What is Exposition?

Exposition is the act of demonstrating the knowledge and expertise of the author on a certain topic. According to the online Oxford Dictionaries, “exposition” is “a comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory.” It is derived from the Latin verb exponere, which means “to put out, exhibit, or explain.” An example of exposition is provided by the following sentence in the online Oxford Dictionaries: “The first edition of the Critique contained a lengthy exposition of the theory of the transcendental idealism.” In the same way, expository writing is about sharing information to inform and explain a topic to the reader by providing relevant details, facts, and information. This kind of writing generally tends to leave out personal opinions, although it may be subject-oriented because it is often based on the author’s experience. Also, expository writing aims to illuminate the topic for the reader and help him or her better understand the writer’s view. It is one of the most common writing styles, if not the most common, since it is present in virtually all textbooks and “how-to” manuals. There is an interesting video on YouTube providing a general definition for expository writing and then dividing this particular style into four possible essays based on topic selection: Definition, Process, Cause-Effect, and Opposing Sides. A Definition Essay provides a full explanation of a term or idea including examples and other key information. A Process Essay provides a description of how something works or an explanation of how to do something including instructions, narration, or a sequence of events. A Cause-Effect Essay provides a description or explanation of the connection between two or more events, exploring either the causes or effects of the events in question. An Opposing Sides Essay explains two or more sides of an argument by presenting opposing ideas with fairness.

The video is not only clear and informative, but it also makes an interesting connection between exposition and culture. Indeed, something like Greek mythology and literature can be investigated through the process of expository writing, which makes it more familiar to the reader or viewer. It also explains how certain work of arts are produced and describes the techniques used in the process, which is important as it gives an example of how one can understand the relation between a lifeless essay to practical use, science, history, religion, and other topics. This is the main reason why this video is so appealing and different from the other videos dedicated to expository writing: it makes a connection with material culture studies, as this specific writing style is the best one to give an expression to cultural study and analysis.

Then, the video defines the principal components of expository writing: a thesis and supporting ideas. A thesis must include a topic and the essay structure, while the support must include relevant details and examples.


In contrast, a persuasive essay is about convincing the reader of a certain idea or point of view. The main goal is to support one’s opinion with evidence and research. While persuasive writing promotes a personal opinion, expository writing is based on factual information. According to the online Oxford Dictionaries, “persuasion” indicates “the action or fact of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.” It comes from the Latin verb persuadere, from per– “through, to completion” + suadere or “advice.” Therefore, the opposition between the two styles is quite marked. Even the components, although similar, differ dramatically in the body part of the essay. A persuasive essay requires something more than details and examples; the opinion of the author needs to be supported with reasons, arguments, and justifications. Furthermore, persuasion may incorporate a call for action from the readers in the conclusion of the essay, a trait usually absent in expository writing.


A good starting point to write an expository essay is to know the what and the how of a topic (Arola, Sheppard, and Ball 40). In order to write an effective essay, it is necessary to know the topic well, as expository writing is mostly based on the articulation and description of something. In the book “Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects,” the use of technology to enhance the students’ learning experience has become a common feature of the way in which the exploratory process is carried on. The authors Arola, Sheppard, and Ball recommend students to research what’s already been said about a certain topic before starting the essay and also to investigate how other authors have presented their ideas about the topic. Using associations and multimodal techniques of analysis is also essential in order to fully explore and present a subject.

Something that struck me is the relevance of the audience in expository writing. Indeed, it is important to know well not only the topic, but also the kind of people you are describing and contextualizing the topic for. A certain audience may require background information due to their unfamiliarity with the topic; a certain audience may find background information annoying as they are already familiar with the subject; and someone else may want specific and detailed  material in order to further his or her knowledge. In order to know what to write, one needs to know who the audience is.

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. – E. L. Doctorow

Multimodal Object Analysis

Impeccably round, but not a spherical structure, this disk-like item is smooth on its lower surface, the surface which rests atop the table it is presented on. The complete structure is approximately fourteen inches in diameter, with a radius of seven inches and a height of two and a quarter inches. The bottom surface feels gritty to the touch, although it appears completely level to the eye from afar; scant yellow specks adorn the foundation. Upon lifting the object to observe the entire foundation, the object is not rigid and inflexible. Rather, this thing is bendable; when picking up one half, the other half bends towards the ground. When ripping into the crisp exterior layer, the innards are like compacted gossamers. The lowest section of the circular substance is composed of a soft, fluffy, and apparently slathered with a golden substance material. The smooth material appears to have been molded, shaped, and distinctively crafted and created in order to comprehensively encompass its mostly flat but circular shape. When observing that the object is essentially flat, the flat aspect does not refer to the item in its entirety, but rather its inner most ring is the lowest and also the more horizontal segment of this thing. The outer segment is also a ring, this segment effuses from and is composed of the same spongy material which comprises the inner ring, yet this sector puffs up and surpasses the height of the lower material. The outer ring of material has been twisted upward and gathered into a dense, but also supple barricade to enclose the other pieces which constitute this rounded object. Atop the base infrastructure is a deep red, pureed sauce. This almost maroon concoction has been generously spread across the inner most layer, but it does not expand and encompass or intrude upon the second, elevated outer tier. So, the outer fence of material is not coated with the concentrated red paste. Atop the slab of red, slightly chunky coating, creamy off-white shreds are heavily scattered; these shards have been melted and consolidated into one singular gooey mass. However this smooth, velvety mass also does not encroach upon the outermost ring of dense, puffy material. About twenty-five other flat circular items have been strategically stratified onto the creamy, amalgamated mass. These rounded plates are deep red, oily and crispy, but they are not burnt. Their own outer edges are curved upwards slightly, almost working their way towards appearing as concave, but not quite. The object as a whole has been sliced into eight evenly chopped triangular pieces. One hemisphere of the object exists of four pieces; the other hemisphere exists of four other pieces. Even so, the pieces are still intact and have not been separated or pulled apart from the object. So, the object has been cut through in four different times. To the touch, the object is hot. The smells emanating from this object are appealing to the senses as well.


What could it be????

I can immediately observe this item and conclude it to be some sort of human food. I can deduce this because when approaching the object it makes my mouth water and my stomach rumble. I want to eat this object because it looks appetizing; I can assume that it is edible because when consuming this object it tastes delicious and fills my stomach in a satisfactory way. This round object is known under the title of “pizza”. This pepperoni pizza is quite a popular staple of the American diet. The pizza actually resembles a wagon wheel, with its rounded shape and its triangular sections existing as a parallel to the spokes of the wheel. One can make many connections regarding the semblance of pizza and the employment of many inventions used to make life easier. Considering the pizza as an abstract wagon wheel, one might inquire as to how society might associate the pizza with the wheel. The wheel is used for purposes of transportation. Could the pizza be used as a mode of transportation as well? Most likely this form of transit would not be reliable, nor would it be suggestible. But what about thinking of a metaphorical process of traveling as the way in which pizza moves? For instance, if one were to travel out of town or out of the country, pizza would be a sure way to find a sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar place, a sense of your home while inhabiting someone else’s, or a sense of America if you were missing your national ties. Also, pizza can transport us to a happier place by seeking emotional refuge inside of its warm, scrumptious layers of understanding. So, the pizza can exist as a figurative wheel, rotating around our own needs and carrying us back to wherever we may desire. Everyone can have his or own personalized “Pizza Wagon” whenever he or she may need it, so to speak.


Wagon Wheel resembling a pizza in its circular shape and its triangular sections


The Pizza Wagon is like an Ice cream truck, except for pizza


Although not originally from the country of America, this cuisine can be found in every American town and also in most of America’s home refrigerators. In fact, the American people enjoy pizza so much that they have developed and created pizza-flavored food to imitate the delicious tastes and aromas which are invoked by the consumption of this scrumptious food. The Americanization of pizza may be a reason why Americans who are homesick could seek comfort in the pizza by its association with home. Americans have adopted pizza as one of their own main dishes. The pizza I relatively cheap to make—although not always cheap to buy considering where you purchase it from and if it must be delivered directly towards you—thus, increasing its popularity among all types of American consumers. The object exists as layers of fluffy buttery pizza crust which has been hand-crafted into its designated circumference size. The next layer is a red tomato sauce with several savory spices to add to the aromas it strongly emanates. Next follows a layer of soft and chewy cheese, followed by flavorful pepperoni slices which add a tang but not a bite. Consisting of simply this bread crust, followed by a layer of seasoned tomato sauce, then topped with a layer of delectable cheese and pepperoni slices, the pepperoni pizza is a simple favorite among children and people of all ages. Often making an appearance at parties, the pepperoni pizza can be dressed up or dressed down for the occasion. Some prefer a thin crispy crust; others prefer a thick buttery deep-dish style pizza. It can cater to everyone’s desires; it is completely adaptable. People have become so involved in their pizza over the years, that entire cities have become known for their specific type, or model of pizza.


The United States of Pizza

There is New York Style thin crust pizza—which originated in New York City in the 1900s—this pizza has a thin crunchy crust, with a sauce/cheese ratio of about 1:2. Detroit style pizza is interestingly a square pizza (an abomination?) no, just strange to those who have come to know the popular round disk dish. This special type of pizza, the Chicago Deep Dish pizza is extremely thick and satisfying. This development was introduced in the 1940s and almost resembles a cheescake, as it is baked for a while in a deep dish cake or pie pan. Because the cheese will burn if placed in an in oven for the prolonged period of time that a deep dish pizza requires, the toppings of this pizza are usually assembled upside down. So, the cheese is on top of the fluffy crust and the sauce is placed on top of the cheese. In approxiamtely the mid point of the 1970s, now famous Chicago restaurants Nancy’s Pizza and Giordano’s Pizzeria introduced the world to a popular variation of the beloved deep dish pizza, referred to as the stuffed pizza, which is incredibly even thicker and deeper and consists of a broader topping density than any other developed style of pizza.  To keep the cheese and toppings from sliding all over the creation, a somewhat thin layer of pizza dough is strategically placed above the tomato sauce with a hole around the size of a quarter in the crust—resembling a pie hole—in order to to allow the pressure and steam escape, and tomato sauce is added above the very top  of the crust. The Neopolitan pizza is the very original pizza that exists as its own wagon wheel and departed from Italy and transpoted itself along with Italian immigrants in the United States of America.  This primal pizza serves as the catalyst in the still raging American pizza fanaticism. It has become so important that the country of Italy has sought UNESCO heritage protection for the Neapolitan pizza.  The pizza dough consists of wheat flour and the crust is very thin, crunchy but not burnt, and baked to perfection in a classic wood-fired oven.  The pizza usually and should adhere to its promise of minimal toppings; these toppings typically consist of San Marzano tomato sauce, bufala mozzarella cheese, and basil; light on both the sauce and the cheese, this pizza is extremely specific and protected because too much sauce or cheese will burden the fragile crust and saturate it, making a soggy pizza. California Style Pizza uses a dough base similar to that of the aformentioned Neapolitan or New York style pizza and fancies up the drab base with a quirky and uncommon list of ingredients.  This also popular style of pizza is generally credited to Chef Ed LaDou who introduced the world to a pizza that involved ricotta cheese, red peppers, mustard, and pate, that Chef Wolfgang Puck experimented with often and discovered a love for in about the early 1980s.  Chef Puck instananeously hired another man named Chef LaDou to work at his newly opened shop called Spago in the year 1982 and then Chef LaDou proceeded to cleverly create a plethora of more innovative pizzas, including interesting varieties which called for duck sausage and smoked salmon.


In 1985, Chef LaDou created the first pizza menu for California Pizza Kitchen, including its signature barbeque chicken pizza, which spread California-style pizza to a national audience.

The “Deep Dish Pizza” (YUM!) Sort of resembles a calzone. Ish.


Many restaurant chains dedicated to the craft of pizza making, such as California Pizza Kitchen have taken up residence all over the United States. Many of these chains also offer a pizza delivery option. So, your pizza transports itself to you so that you don’t ever have to inconvenience yourself and leave your home. Calling in an placing an order increases the speed and convenience of your entire pizza experience. A few of the most well known American Pizza Chains include, but are not limited to: Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s, Mellow Mushroom and Pizza King (although these are sparse in the Southern regions of the United States).  This short, makeshift documentary called “Dominos vs Pizza Hut – PIZZA WARS #1” explores the differences between two of America’s most prominent pizza places. Pizza has become so important that people research it, modify it, document it, and explore it. Thousands of other videos exist on pizza as well. It is of huge interest to the American people.

However, according to a poll and displayed in the appropriately selected “pie” chart (haha) below, most American’s prefer independently owned pizza restaurants to chain restaurants. Although some chain restaurants do not deliver, some do. This pizza often tastes extremely fresh because the dough is usually hand crafted; it does not come premade. Each pizza is usually made to order and each restaurant puts their own spin on their particular pie. Even so, some pizza efficianados would rather travel to their nearby Domino’s or Pizza Hut to purchase the cuisine, because they trust these bands and they know they can always rely on their pizza to look and taste the same. Pizza chains and independent pizza restaurants usually charge around the same price range for a large pizza; this price typically lands somewhere in the range of ninteen to twenty-five dollar price spectrum.

Type of graph called a “pie chart” displaying popularity of pizza stores.



The pizza has also undergone some bastardization, which can be good or bad, depending on your respect for the art or your taste buds. Pepperidge farm developed Pizza flavored goldfish; when these hit the market, people went crazy; most kids love to snack on these. But what exactly IS this “pizza flavor”? Well, it usually incorporates the salty cheese taste of an actually pizza in a dust form which has been glued to the cracker snack. Also, the pizza bagel is a thing. As a child, I would eat these at least once a week. They’re simple, microwaveable bagel bites that pretty much mock the pizza form, everything about them is honoring the pizza pattern except for the crust is half of a bagel. So, have people manufactured these inventions to scorn pizza? Do these inventors despise the pizza but have decided to pilfer its flavors? It’s most likely that these inventors have contrived new innovations in order to put a spin on the extremely beloved food. If pizza sells exponentially, there’s a significant likelihood that amalgamations of pizza will produce a substantial profit as well. New creations provide consumers with options; it keeps the public interested and engaged.

“Pizza Rolls”. I grew up on these. Like an inside out pizza.


When considering the significance of the pepperoni pizza, one must account for a comprehensive understanding which employs the use of all five senses. Utilizing one’s senses of sight and touch, it can be observed that the pizza will always come out of the oven hot, intending it to be consumed at a warm, temperate level instead of rigid cold, thus suggesting its ability to comfort its consumer, as food often does. The pizza consists of an abundance of circles. This repetition of circular shapes—including the overall shape and the shape of the slivers of pepperoni—can be attributed to human’s positive associations with rounded things. The object is often a circular one, although it is sometimes square–and heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day–round seems to be the preferred method of appearance and delivery. A round pizza is more convenient, in that the surface area of the cuisine when sliced is spread out across the surface in a triangular shape; this ensures that the top layer of cheese is less likely to slide off. When dealing with a square slice of pizza, the cheese is more likely to slide because the shape is restricted, and does not extend itself or diminish itself for accessibility. This object is edible and is therefore not a collectible, but a consumable. This warm object makes one feel pleasant, cheerful, and gracious for such a delectable disk of deliciousness. The disk-shape is safe and comforting–there is absolutely no sharp corners to abruptly scourge you or imply sharp rigidity to this object. Rather, this object invites you take it in–its smells, its sight. Its warmth is soothing, reassuring you that it will make you feel improved. If feeling emotionally heckled or physically frazzled, the pizza is always available to encourage golden optimism and desired reassurance.



Exploring Measures

The present object, at its face, has a triangular shaped side, measured at 7.6 inches tall. At the height of this measurement, the object is sectioned off by a perfectly leveled horizontal line to form a pyramid shaped portion at .3 inches tall. At the objects peak, it stands at 7.9 inches tall.

The object has 4 sides of uniform dimensions. When looking at the bottom of the object, when it is turned with it’s apex, at the pyramid shape, pointing downward, we see that the base is square shaped. Each side of the square, at the bottom of the object, measures at 4.5 inches. The slope of the triangle is roughly 101 degrees from base to apex. Its weight is measured at 330g.

The first component seen on this object is the indentation at what we can presume is the objects front. From 3.4 inches to 7.4 inches is where this indentation occurs, measured at roughly .3 inches deep into the object’s front. This indentation has a black triangular shaped finish on what appears to be treated plastic. On either side of the triangle there are groves following, perfectly, the original triangle shape of the object.

Directly down the center of this area is a metal piece. It is thin, with several grooves in it, measured perfectly starting at the bottom and occurring more rapidly as we scan its features to its top. This piece is not attached to this area, rather, if we follow is origination, and maneuver the whole object so that the apex of the triangle is pointing at us, we see a rectangular shaped hole where the object’s point of origination extends from. The rectangular hole measures about a third of the indentation in the whole object, and extends about half of the indented area’s base, centered, at 3.4 inches on the slope from the base of the object.

On the metal piece is a pitchfork shaped device with three prongs. The outer prongs of this device hug the metal piece and are thicker than the center prong, which is positioned directly on top of the metal piece. They seem to latch on to the grooves of the metal piece and the device can be moved to the desired position. The metal piece, at its very top, is housed within a ridge of the indented section. When the metal piece is removed from this housing it snaps forward from the front of the object and swings from side to side.

The final piece of the indented portion of the object is located directly underneath the metal piece. It is an additional indentation with a gray color. It extends the same height as the metal piece but is markedly wider. There are underlined numbers printed on this piece. The underlines correlate in position with the groves of the metal piece — so that the top number, 40, is underlined very close to where the first groove of the metal piece begins, when housed in the ridge, and the next number from the top, 42, correlates with the next groove of the metal piece.

Each concurrent number appears on the opposite side of the metal piece, on the final indentation, and lowered so that 40 is higher than 42, and on the left side (from our perspective) of the metal piece, while 42 is higher than 44, and on the right side of the metal piece (40 and 44 are both on the left side of the metal piece).

At the bottom of the final indentation appears to be a pitchfork shaped figure enclosed in a black diamond. Underneath the diamond is the word “Wittner,” presumably the objects maker.

The object, excluding the indentation mentioned previously, appears to be made of a mahogany finish. It has several black striations from bottom to top and resembles a wood finish. The finish reveals itself to be a hard plastic when touched and inspected further. On the the object’s left side, if we presume the indented area is the front, there is a metal knob that clicks on hinges in the interior of the object, in an area that, to be inspected, would require dismantling the entire object to view. This knob, presumably, winds up the metal piece in the indentation, and when it is wound, the metal piece swings at different rates, depending on the position of the pitchfork shaped device on the ridges on the metal piece.

The higher the pitchfork shaped device is, the slower it swings — so that 208, the number lowest on the final indentation, swings the metal piece faster than 40, the number highest on the final indentation. Whenever the metal piece crosses the center, where it is housed, it makes a clicking noise. These clicks can be timed, when maneuvering the pitchfork device, to match up with the second hand of a clock — or faster and slower.

The final piece we will inspect is the “Wittner” inscription on the final indention, underneath the diamond shape. A quick internet search yields some results, Wittner is a german manufacturing company that specifies in various musical auxiliary equipment. Our object turns out to be a Wittner made metronome Model No. 812 K, plastic coating.

This object is not specific to the maker Wittner. Johann Maelzel is one of the early, questionable, inventors of the modern metronome, and the design of early model components are accredited to Galileo, who discovered the practical uses of a pendulum swing.

Maelzel’s story ties in closely with Beethoven’s composition of the Battle Symphony, where Maelzel requested a piece be written to be performed on another contraption of his, the panharmonicon. But after a bitter battle with the composer over the ownership of the piece, Maelzel, while on a world tour, died aboard the Otis in travel from Havana to Philadelphia, but his contribution lasted.

Despite Maelzel’s German lineage, the term Metronome actually comes from Greek. It is a combination of the words Metron (measure) and Nomos (relegating). Whether the ancient Greeks had any notion of developing a metronome predating Maelzel’s model is unknown, but history shows them as users of water clocks.

Water clocks are early time keeping devices that originated in Egypt around two thousand B.C.. These clocks were powered by a water supply, that, when emptied into a reservoir, lifted a floating device that was attached to handle. This handle, attached to a gear above it, would rise as water filled the reservoir, and turn the gear which controlled the movement of a clock dial. When the water in the supply container ran dry, and the reservoir was filled,  the clock would stop and both devices would have to be restored to normal. This design required constant manipulation to the ancient Greeks, but with Obelisks only being readable during daylight hours, the water clock was an efficient substitute.

These water clocks of ancient Egypt and Greece begot innovation in the centuries following that led to the invention of the clock, as we know it, and the Wittner metronome Model No. 812 K, plastic coating.

This particular metronome was used during the composition of an alto saxaphone and piano piece that won first prize at the 2011 Ohio Federation of Music Clubs’ Composition Competition collegiate level. The young man who won the competition began playing the piano at thirteen years of age. During his artistic infancy, he practiced fourteen hours a day, measuring his notes and discerning the distinct taste the staccato and legato flavor a piece. His daily schedule deferred to his practice schedule and he committed to the precedent routine with short naps throughout the day supplementing the lack of major REM sleep. This schedule would change depending on what time his bus, provided by the local public school system, would carry him to his middle and high school classes. At first he learned pieces of music by ear, playing crude renditions of Handel and fumbling through advanced chord progressions for those of the likes of Thelonious Monk.

He exhibited a singular interest in classical and blues music that distinguished himself among his peers. His appetite for the thrill of practicing, however raw, lead him to pursue a richer knowledge of the artistry of composition and arrangement. At fifteen years old he got his first piano instructor who would refine his artistic capabilities. On tuesdays and thursdays, at seven o’clock, he would meet with his instructor to develop his ability to read measures of sheet music. The instructor was captivated by the student’s quick knowledge and measured understanding of the classics.

He was advised, after a short period, by the instructor to seek a more advanced instructor. That year, during his first semester of tenth grade, he heeded his former instructor’s advice and he went on to study under a master class instructor who, over the progression of her advisements, would suffer bouts of disorientation and forgetfulness that accompanied her dementia. Nevertheless, the relationship was a fruitful one and the student decided to attend Shorter University in Rome, Georgia (the city’s name commemorates the Italian city with the same name) in remote appreciation of Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi.

The student performed well under the tuition of his professors at Shorter, and he graduated three years after he first entered the program. He amassed a comprehensive repertoire with works ranging from early classical to later twentieth century, and many of his own compositions (some of which he entered into competition and won). He then went on to pursue his master’s degree at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music after studying in Austria, the “capital of classical music,” and he’d learned on his trip that he focus should be on composition. There, in his second and final year at CCM, he wrote the piece that would win him the 2011 Ohio Federation of Music Clubs’ Composition Competition collegiate level, and placed him in an excellent position to pursue his DMA at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and after his sojourn in this city named after Odyssey’s refuge there is no way of knowing what direction his journey will take him.

The metronome was attendant in much of his journey, from Rome, Georgia, to Austria; from Cincinnati to Ithaca, and It was used to aide in the preparation of many pieces before garnering the mentioned win. Prior to its current ownership, it was shipped from Allgäu, Germany, Wittner’s shipping address.

If this metronome will ever be encased in glass, like Beethoven’s famed metronome, from his house in Baden, Austria, is too early to know, but there are millions of metronomes in use today measuring the practice of aspiring, and accomplished, musicians.

The most recent metronomic devices are digital and many can be used from the internet. They range from the traditionally standard (ranging from 40 to 208 beats per minute [bpm]) to the technologically advanced digital interfaces that measure time at 900bpms.

Various measures of time are useful to what flavor of music is being created. From the 72bpm in “Kaneda’s Death, Pt.2 (Adagio in D minor)” from the 2007 science fiction film Sunshine, to the 140bpms in Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love,” to the faster 380bpm, at its peak, in John Coltrane’s “Giant steps.” The disparity in tempo can be culture and genre specific and can provide abstract insight on the culture attributed to them (disco music in the 1970s usually has a faster tempo than 17th century baroque music).

The metronome simply measures time and a key component of many traditional metronomes is the pendulum. The pendulum is a thin metal piece that swings and ticks as it crosses the center line of the metronome. It was initially developed by Galileo Galilei in the early 17th century, and its full functionality came later that century with the invention of the pendulum clock by Christiaan Huygens. Galileo played a major role in scientific revolution during the European Renaissance, a movement that was concerned with ordering the nature.

The clock maintains its basic function, as it has since prehistoric Egypt, with their invention of the obelisk, and that is to track time.

Although the ancient obelisk were designed to designate time for the early egyptians to farm, our present mode of life is not disparate from their ideas of raising grain during their most productive hours. We maintain a forty-hour work week; a scheduled time in which a train arrives, or leaves; we maintain our children’s bedtime, or our own bedtime, and bedtime stories; we maintain daylight savings time, and innumerable ways to track our time. Many contracts are often carefully crafted with time limitations and stipulations. Many of our laws have statutes. We even monitor our blood pressure with time, and surgeons offer an estimated time of surgery prior to operation. Time is an aspect of life we adhere to constantly without conscious effort. We order ourselves to certain schedules and are flustered when that element of our life falls to pieces–how many times do you scour the internet or repeatedly pester your coworkers and friends to gather a definite answer to whether we fall back an hour when daylight savings ends. Time is an rigid autocrat and we marshal our abilities ingratiatingly for an opportunity to compose a symphonic catalogue of how that time was spent.

Post #9 The Cell phone

The iPhone 5c cell phone is 5 inches in length, 2 inches in width and about .35 inches in depth. Its about the size of an adult palm. It is only 4.65 ounces heavy which is relatively light or equal in weight compared to other things that we carry on an everyday basis. When the cell phone is not being used it has a a screen that covers the entire front (except on the borders which is the most minimal). 4 inches of that screen is an LED-blacklit widescreen. It is a multi-touch display with IPS technology which includes a 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. It also includes a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on the from and support for the display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously.

On the back side of the phone there is a iSight Camera. It has 8 megapixels. a sapphire crystal lens cover and an LED flash. When using the camera it is capable of autofocus, tap to focus, exposure control, HDR for photos, face detection, panorama and geotagging. With this same camera one can also switch to video recording. While recording the LED flash is available, there is face detections, the ability to still take photos while recording video, 3x zoom and video geotagging. A camera lens is also incorporated to the front of the cell phone in order to facilitate FaceTime Camera. It is often used to take selfies as well all though there are less options on this camera. It only includes face  detection, exposure control, video recording and a backside illumination sensor.

Besides the camera lens on the front of the cell phone, there is also a listening opening meant for typical conversations. There is also a singular a button on the opposite end of the phone called the Home button. These 3 things are the only things on the front screen.

On the side there are several other buttons. there is a Volume up/down button, a Ring/ silent button, an on/off sleep/wake button, and a built-in speaker. There is also a microphone, 3.5 – mm stereo headphone minijack and lighting connector.

On the back there is only a camera lens, a flash lens, the Apple icon  and the information about the identity of the phone.

This is a description of the outer and physical properties of the iPhone 5c. The internal technologies create infinite possibilities to assist humans.

Blog Post #10: What is exposition?

The full title of this class, from the course catalog, is “History, Theory, and Practice of Expository Writing.” Over the course of the semester we have identified some of the formal and rhetorical characteristics of expository writing. In general, the purpose of expository writing is to explain, inform, and describe. Its organizational structure tends to be narrative or associative. Expository writing is often found in “essays,” a form or genre that, as Lynn Z. Bloom explains, often operates as a catch-all category for the heterogenous canon of short works studied in first-year composition courses.  Expository writing that describes or explains the author’s subjective experience and perception displays the markers of “expressive discourse,” that is writing through which the author develops and comes to a better understanding of her identity as a human subject in the world.

Image credit: “Message #1” by John Nicholls on Flickr.

In this blog post, you will offer your answer to the question presented in the title: What is expository writing? Or, in a formulation that includes modes of composition that employ more than alphabetic text: What is exposition? How is exposition different from persuasion? And what is the relationship between exposition, as a rhetorical activity, and material culture studies, as an interdisciplinary field of cultural study and analysis? What, if anything, can we learn about the history, theory, and practice of exposition from material culture studies? Or, how does material culture studies draw upon the theories, or reproduce the practices of exposition?

Posting: Group 2

Commenting: Group 1

Category: What is exposition?

In your Blog #10 post, you should do more than offer a list of answers to these questions. Rather, you should offer a cohesive, reasoned answer to the central question presented in the prompt title: What is exposition? In the course of attempting to answer that question, you may also be offering answers to these or other related questions. Your post, though, should read as a coherent statement about, perhaps even an argument in favor of the criteria you are using to define what exposition is. You are encouraged to draw upon any of the texts we have read this semester, including Writer/Designer and Everyone’s An Author.  Please carefully read and follow the guidelines and posting information for this blog as they’ve been outlined in the Blog Project Description.

Feature Image: “moleskine” by Jochen Handschuh on Flickr.

Pizza Portrayal

When considering the significance of the pepperoni pizza, one must account for a comprehensive understanding which employs the use of all five senses. Using the senses of sight and touch, and also referring to Kenneth Haltman’s practice of “polarities and oppositions”, the pizza will come out of the oven hot, intending it to be consumed at a warm, temperate level instead of rigid cold, thus suggesting its ability to comfort its consumer, as food often does. The object is often round, although it is sometimes square–and heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day–round seems to be the preferred method of appearance and delivery. A round pizza is more convenient, in that the surface area of the cuisine when sliced is spread out across the surface in a triangular shape; this ensures that the top layer of cheese is less likely to slide off. When dealing with a square slice of pizza, the cheese is more likely to slide because the shape is restricted, and does not extend itself or diminish itself for accessibility.

The object exists as layers of fluffy buttery pizza crust which has been hand-crafted into its designated circumference size. The next layer is a red tomato sauce with several savory spices to add to the aromas it strongly emanates. Next comes a layer of soft and chewy cheese, followed by flavorful pepperoni slices which add a tang but not a bite.

This object is edible and is therefore not a collectible, but a consumable. This warm object, makes one feel pleasant, cheerful, and gracious for such a delectable disk of deliciousness. The disk-shape is safe and comforting–there are no sharp corners to abruptly scourge you or imply a rigidity to this object. Rather, this object invites you take it in–its smells, its sight. Its warmth is soothing, reassuring you that it will make you feel improved. If feeling emotionally heckled or physically frazzled, the pizza is available to encourage golden optimism and desired reassurance.

Blog Post #9: Air Jordan 11 Description

The Air Jordan Retro 11, which serves as the subject of my analysis measures to twelve inches long and six inches high above the ankles. The sole is divided into two parts, which the designers have said create a more flexible feel for Jordan’s feet while he played basketball games. The bottom portion of the sole is a light shade of red and resembles that of a rubber material. Horizontal ridges begin at the toe of the shoe and transition around the entire sneaker. The upper portion of the sole is an inch and a half of white cushion that when contrasted with the lower red portion and the materials of the actual shoe, make the shoe more noticeable.

The section of the shoe that covers the toes rest on the double-layered sole, and is made of black patent leather, which resembles the dress shoes of an army command sergeant major. The black patent leather on top of the double-layered sole creates a red, black, and white combination that goes perfectly with the Chicago Bulls game jerseys. This patent leather was unpopular when the shoe was first released, because of the fact that before the shoe’s release, the only shoes that made use of patent leather to date were worn by women.

Above the patent leather portion of the sneaker is a material with more texture than the black patent leather and possess six vertical slits on each side in order to hold the shoelaces.  On the tongue of the shoe, there is writing that if you look at forwards resembles Greek lettering, but if you turn it sideways reads, “Jumpman Jordan.” In between the words “Jumpman” and “Jordan” is the iconic Jordan symbol, which is also on the back of the sneaker.The Jumpman Jordan symbol, which is also the logo for the entire Air Jordan brand, is a silhouette of Michael Jordan flying through the air palming a basketball over his head with his right hand in what appears to be an attempt to slam dunk the basketball. His left hand is lowered behind his body with all five of Jordan’s fingers extended near his thigh. His legs are spread as if Jordan is attempting to do a split in the air. His left foot is pointed in forward, which one can only guess is the location of the basketball rim Jordan is attempting to slam the basketball in, and his right foot is pointing outward making Jordan’s posture a position only a well trained athlete could accomplish.