Both films have similar opening birth-like scenes that indicate sexual themes will play a significant role in each film. Alien introduces the viewer to a dark and empty ship as it pans through the different rooms and corridors only to reach a state where there is a shift to a lit, white room. In this womb-like room, “men and women lay side by side, born in a micro-society that is ignorant to the inhibitions associated with sexual difference.” This is significant because it lays a foundation to take a stance on gender roles as the film begins with a sense of sexual equality. The members wake up from their hypersleep in the white, seemingly sterile environment with some brief disorientation and nearly naked. This is similar to what an infant would experience at birth in a hospital; a shift from darkness to light as they are being born, and in a daze, as they are crying and unaware of their overall situation. In On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin makes use of the phrase “survival of the fittest”, where fitness is defined as reproductive ability/success. The desire and need to reproduce is a biological mechanism of living species, birth being the manifestation of sexual activity. Thus, this birth-like scene foreshadows the influence of sexually related themes throughout the rest of the movie.
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The film Alien, directed by Ridley Scott, and Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer, both employ various aspects of sexuality intertwined with an extraterrestrial being to create fear, and do so while incorporating a powerful female character and breaking down traditional gender roles. Scott’s film utilizes an ambivalent gendered monster, known as a xenomorph, who preys on the crew of the Nostromo, a space vessel. On the contrary, Glazer’s alien is a seemingly human female, who seduces vulnerable men in Scotland. Although both creatures act to advance their own motives, isolation works as a humanizing factor in Under the Skin, but does not have the same effect in Alien. As a result of this, the strong female character in Under the Skin is the alien herself, whereas this position in Alien is fulfilled by a crew member who is determined to lead, Ripley.
There have been various attempts to improve traceability and safety in the supply chain process such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). However, any attempts to improve safety and traceability do not address the underlying issue; a lack of infrastructure for handling and processing records. Whole Foods lists selling the highest quality products available as the top core value and mentions that they “maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry.” Incorporating new technology to the supply chain process is a necessary change in the way our food is handled. Whole Foods has the opportunity to be one of the first of many supermarkets to make substantial changes. As a partner of Amazon, there is potential for their company to also to greatly benefit from this technology and its applications. Pairing with Amazon, or other large technology companies such as IBM is a conducive way to accomplish this task. Not only will Whole Foods benefit, but your customers will too. It is a win-win situation, another principle Whole Foods values as described in their core values.
Blockchain is a relatively new technology and its potential impact/applications are great. Incorporating blockchain technology would hold processors more accountable for accurate details, as well as a "allow easy tracking of information regarding produce and meat with a completely new system." There are a few meat processors in Asian countries incorporating this technology in an effort to drastically improve food safety. Earlier this year, International Business Machines (IBM) has partnered with multiple food giants such as Walmart, Nestle, DOLE, Tyson and McCormick to begin testing and implementation of a new blockchain systems to guarantee safer and more traceable food. Frank Yiannas reconducted the mango experiment with a test blockchain system, and his staff was able to locate the source in 2.2 seconds, a significant improvement from the initial experiment.
Blockchain is a new technology that acts as a structure for managing information and works on concepts such as decentralization and trustless consent. Blockchain consists of a vast network of nodes or computers with the software and uses this network to verify any new incoming information using cryptography. Compared to a centralized structure or database, it is more secure, not as vulnerable to hackers or corruption, it can not be controlled by any single entity, and is publicly accessible. It has many applications to manage data but is mainly used today for cryptocurrency transactions.
There are many issues regarding food safety and the current methods and infrastructure in place to track food products through the journey from farm to store shelf are not sufficient. There is no standardized system for tracking food and many processors handle it differently. When there are issues with contamination, lengthy and resource intensive traceback investigations must occur. Some distributors keep records in closed databases or on paper meaning they are not readily accessible or publicly available. Frank Yiannas, Walmart VP of food safety, mentioned in an interview that after giving staff a randomly selected package of mangoes, it required almost a full seven days to trace them back to the source. In seven days, hundreds of thousands of people can be significantly harmed by a contaminated product.
Another challenge when developing mathematical models with respect to data usage is the accessibility of specific data pertaining to the topic of simulation. Often times data necessary to simulate certain scenarios, such as number of deaths by a certain disease, is not accessible to the general public or researchers alike. This makes it impossible to accurately model certain scenarios, of which solutions could be offered with mathematical modeling. The WHO has proposed that “Raw data need to be made publicly accessible for research purposes. National health equity surveillance data need to be reported to, among others, national policymakers and WHO. Global health equity surveillance data need to be reported to the Economic and Social Council, other international bodies, and back to national governments” This would allow mathematical models to be more consistent, accurate, and faster and easier to develop. In turn, modeling done more efficiently allows for interventions to be made much sooner, and problems from the community to global level would be resolved relatively quicker.
Solutions to prevent this loss of important data have been explored by communities around the globe. An example of this includes community-based monitoring, in which communities that are not in countries where health data is routinely collected record their own data. This has been seen in India, where a pattern in sex determination and abortion rates was observed after community-based data was collected. When the sex of the child was determined as female, it was seen that many women chose to terminate these pregnancies. This potentially detrimental pattern to the population would not have been caught without this data collection and analysis. Based on this, mathematical models can then be used to simulate interventions and policies to offer the best solution to this problem.
It has been scientifically demonstrated that the use of mathematical models can be beneficial in predicting outcomes of epidemic, policy implementation, and other public health related endeavors. These models can depict scenarios at a community, country, or even global scale. However, there are caveats to the usage of these models. An especially important one to consider is the data of which these models are based on. Models rely on the inputs from equations, which are formulated on the basis of data collected that pertains to the event being modeled. If there is inaccurate collection of data of which the model is based on, then it is likely that the model will not accurately predict the events that it is meant to model. This can lead to detrimental and costly results, as the action taken based on the model could fail or have adverse effects.
Developed or undeveloped, inequities in healthcare are seen all over the globe in all different sectors of society. It is vital as a global community that these inequities are recognized, and that change is enacted in order to establish healthcare reform in unequitable areas. For this to occur, it is important that substantial evidence and data is collected so that reasons behind inequities in health and wellness resources can be detected. Both developed and undeveloped countries lack proper data collection methods and important accessibility and maintenance of data collection. Improvement of this is necessary in order to meet the goals and standards of the WHO (World Health Organization) to identify and solve problems with inequities in heath care across the globe.