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The Potato Chips in Life Questionable Leisure by the very cool Dr. Jen Piatt University Life College provides many opportunities for education You explore new areas that you may not have even realized were possible occupations You also develop the other 50% of your life University Life One problem with getting through school is passing courses Another huge problem is learning to balance your social life with academics Questionable Leisure Academically, there is something called “questionable leisure” What does that mean to you? What is questionable leisure? Questionable leisure is leisure that much of society considers as having little or no value, although there is little consensus in society as to what that actually means Questionable leisure is leisure that is really good and gratifying at the time, but in the long term can have detrimental effects Prohibition and Illegal Drugs Is beer the basis for the amusement park? Prohibition and Illegal Drugs Yes…The amusement park traces its main origins to pleasure gardens that sprang up around Europe in the 1600s Beer and American Leisure In America in the 1800s, these pleasure gardens were called beer gardens (which is also what they were called in Germany) The main activity in the pleasure gardens and especially in the American beer gardens was drinking beer Beer Garden to Park After time, the inclusion of “amusement devices” at World’s Fairs, the invention of the mechanical Ferris Wheel (by George Ferris), Coney Island and trolley cars, the American amusement park became more recognizable in the late 1800s and early 1900s (Industrial Revolution) Beer Garden to Park All that said, the two Busch Gardens parks (Florida and Virginia) should be the most perfect amusement parks in the United States Beer Garden to Park Did you know that Anheuser-Busch not only owns the two theme parks called Busch Gardens (in Tampa Bay, FL and Williamsburg, VA), but the world’s largest beer company also owns the three SeaWorld parks (Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio), Discovery Cove in Orlando (a dolphin based experience that cost $219-$399 per day) and Sesame Place, a children’s exploratory park in Pennsylvania based on the popular TV show Beer Garden to Park The parks account for less than 5% of company revenues – why then do they spend millions to create and maintain these parks? Netherlands Marijuana: What do The Netherlands know that we don’t? Netherlands Contrary to popular belief, many of the “pastimes” that The Netherlands are noted for are only legal in the city of Amsterdam How does our view of Amsterdam affect our perception of Dutch values? Smoking *Think of how what a country defines as illegal affects the values of those people within the country. How does the current state of smoking (as it gradually becomes more and more illegal) affect how people value it and view it within a society? Do you think smoking is viewed the same way in Nevada as it is in California? Who is Jean Nicot? Prostitution Las Vegas ?? Is it legal? Actually, no. Some parts of Nevada, yes. But in spite of how it is represented often on television, Las Vegas actually has some rather strict rules regarding prostitution. *You might know that the Romans actually had quite a different view of prostitution. Indeed, our fascination with ancient Rome and its rather interesting values continues to this day, and in the Caribbean, one can stay in a set of all-inclusive resorts called Hedonism that are designed for … (well, you see the picture) Open Containers New Orleans?? Are they legal? Actually, no. Carrying alcohol in open containers, even during Mardi Gras is illegal in New Orleans. Surprisingly, however, the police never enforce this law. Gambling Gambling has become one of the nation’s greatest pastimes. Las Vegas is either number one or number two in the city with the most hotel rooms in the world, and new casinos can cost up to nearly $3 billion to build! Do they plan on making a lot of money? Yes! Interesting side note, Las Vegas makes 50% of its revenues from…shopping! Living on the Edge We spoke of how Americans like to put themselves in falsely dangerous situations We also like truly dangerous situations… Pushing the Limits Extreme Leisure, Extreme Lives Americans are noted for their “work hard, play hard” attitudes We push the limits daily at our jobs, trying to make the most of every minute and every dollar In our playtime, we take the same “go get ‘em” attitude, and love to test the limits of human strength and endurance Introducing… Based on the intro, we can see that life is full of crazy challenges to our better judgment A well-noted researcher has dubbed these the “potato chips in life”…Any idea why? Five Potatoes Couch Techno Fried Slot Extreme THE COUCH POTATO -What’s the big deal? -Is television really an “idiot box?” There’s been research on kids and blank walls… THE TECHNO POTATO -Is techno any better than TV? In its pure form, no. In many ways, computers and video games have replaced the television as the main way to “zone.” However, the dexterity children develop by playing videos can be valuable. In addition, strategy games help develop problem-solving skills. Never mind that if kids are really using the keyboards, they might actually learn how to type. As one might guess, some researchers are concerned that children are becoming less and less social based on the highly individual nature of most of the time spent on computers. Other researchers (and even some teachers) argue that chat rooms, email and IMs actually assist children in become more able to express themselves in writing. The “Porn Chip” Another issue with the techno potato (chips do come from potatoes after all) is the slice called the porn chip The Internet has increased the availability of pornography to not only consenting adults, but also do minors and individuals that once lived in parts of the country that frowned upon pornography in more normal outlets In some places, it’s still illegal to sell, but Internet and cyber laws haven’t caught up, and it’s fully available to view and download online THE FRIED POTATO (The Stoned, High, Sloshed Potato) Are drugs and alcohol a necessary part of American recreation? How does college “lower” the drinking age for some people? Alcohol is widely accepted in American culture: Beer companies are the main supporters of sporting events in the United States (ironic, since drinking beer in heavy doses hardly leads one to be athletic) Americans are also noted for getting drunk in order to socialize Toasting a new couple at a wedding, ringing in the New Year with a glass of champagne Alcohol is not only for partiers, but it’s considered high culture This is not necessarily a bad thing, but where is the line between social drinking and alcoholism? Where does this mentality and support of alcohol begin to extend to thoughts about other drugs? What is America’s most popular drug? Alcohol? Cocaine? Opium? Marijuana? No, all wrong. It’s Caffeine. Do you consider caffeine a drug? Is that based on your personal values or the values of your society/family? In the US, coffee passed soft drinks as America’s number one drink choice Withdrawal symptoms are spearheaded by a drop in body blood pressure, which increases the amount of blood in the head, producing painful headaches for as long as five days Stress is also likely a caffeine- caused anxiety In fact, if you read some “research,” it indicates that with the amount of caffeine shoved into products to make us addicts and therefore continued consumers, all primary headaches we experience (including migraines) are simply withdrawal symptoms from caffeine addiction And what is a main ingredient in most aspirin? Watching your weight or on a calorie-counting diet? Coffee may just be throwing your diet off. A large latte may have as many as 570 calories. One of the most common beliefs of college students is that caffeine will help them study by helping them stay awake all night. Problem is, after pulling a late- nighter, your performance on the test in question most likely will be severely reduced due to a lack of sleep. Therefore, drink coffee in moderation, and study in moderation over several days. Always get a good night’s sleep before a major test or exam. All that said, I prefer Peet’s to Starbucks (although Starbucks used to buy their beans from Peet’s, and in fact, Starbucks’ original owners sold the first Starbucks and now own Peet’s) THE SLOT POTATO Why did the gambling industry change its name? Is gambling addictive? Gaming is becoming legal in more states and closer to big cities Football betting, bingo, lotteries, etc. are all part of gambling (not just slot machines) Do you think Las Vegas will ever be family friendly? THE EXTREME POTATO We are a novelty seeking species…”Been there, done that.” You may have heard this before, and it’s quite the case. As we progress through the ages, as a species, we tend to become bored with what’s already been done before. Not 100% of the time, but in general, we push towards new experiences. We play up to the thrill seekers and extreme sports fanatics in society. Bungee jumping from higher and higher places Snowboarding on increasingly dangerous slope Skiing in areas specifically labeled as “off limits” The rise of the X-Games Roller coasters pushing past the limits of physical endurance And did I mention base jumping???
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